Monday, October 22, 2012


The Glory of the recovery of Catholic identity and unity!

I've Got a Secret was a wonderful panel show on prime time television in the 1950's through the mid '70's. A guest would whisper a secret into the ear of the host and a panel of celebrities had to figure what it was by asking the guest questions.

My secret which I whisper in your ear here is that when I was a teenager in the post-Vatican II 1960's and early 70's, I felt the Catholic Church through a misguided reform at the time (which I have come to know now as the false "spirit" of Vatican II) was making me into a Protestant against my will although I did conform my will to those pushing this unfortunate agenda, being the obedient pre-Vatican II Catholic that I was. Those pushing the "spirit" of Vatican II and even from the hierarchy were doing so, not in the spirit of Vatican II, but in the most dogmatic and authoritarian way.

Of course well into the 70's utter confusion reigned in the Church and infighting amongst the various divisive factions that developed because of this authoritarian faux spirit of Vatican II has yet to relent to this day, although it is a new century and we are well into the teens of the 21st century.

Kathleen Pluth from the Chant Cafe makes an astute observation of what is going on now in many exclusively Ordinary Form parishes which have become nothing more than post-Catholicism, although I hate being so judgmental:

Of Course Not
Posted by Kathleen Pluth

It seemed for a week or so that someone writing for the Pray Tell blog was actually giving the Reform of the Reform the benefit of a fair hearing, and a charitable reading. James Frazier, while not Catholic himself, seemed to be thoughtfully considering the contributions of three recent non-mainstream Catholic hymnals.

The epilogue explains that this pretense of a fair hearing was actually a sham.

Frazier makes two resoundingly stupid claims:

Liturgy's validity (yes, he actually uses this technical word) can only be measured "by the extent to which the congregation succeeds at evangelism, outreach and justice."
In practice, communities that "lean towards the EF" are turned inward and are not evangelistic. They do not work for justice.

Now, everyone who has been paying attention to liturgical mullarkey (an Irish term) for any length of time has heard this kind of characterization before. And it must be asked: huh? What is the #1 civil rights violation of our time? Abortion. And which congregations are most likely to be working to end it? Those that "lean towards the EF."

Of course, if we're talking about the likelihood of more traditionalist parishes marching to the beat of the progressivist causes du jour--bottled water, gender blur, nuns on a bus--then no, traditionalist parishes are not likely to be taken in by things like that. Good music is not about hype. Good theology is not about hype. And true faith sees through nonsense.

MY FINAL COMMENTS: I've got another secret: Since Pope Benedict has become pope and we've had all this talk and theology of the hermeneutic of continuity and the reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the Church, exemplified by the generous recovery of the EF Mass, but also by the papal fanon at the canonization Mass in Rome on October 21 and the recovery of the Epistle and Gospel side of the altar at the same Mass and also the opening Mass of the Year of Faith a week earlier, I feel more Catholic than I have in a long time, since my teenage years. No it is not just the fanon that I should thank, but God Himself and the course of true renewal He is bringing about in the Ordinary Form of the Church that will make us once again Extraordinary! And when I compare this to what I experienced in the 1960's and 70's, I must say that it is presented in the most non-dogmatic and non-authoritarian way possible, it is proposed by example not by fiat like the progressives are loathe to do in the 1960's and now today. Their authority though is faux and oppressive to be charitable and post-Catholic to be truthful.


John Nolan said...

I often wonder why Montini, whose coronation in 1963 was accompanied by all the traditional ceremonial, was so quick to adopt a minimalist approach to papal liturgy. I have a photograph of him in the late 1960s ascending the altar in St Peter's in a plain modern chasuble, the papal altar furnished with six stubby candles and a tiny crucifix.

JP II was the first to refuse the sedia gestatoria (JP I, although he refused the coronation, used it) and was visibly annoyed when the congregation heckled him when he first walked into St Peter's, chanting "sedia, sedia". Given the length of his pontificate it was disappointing that his successor's installation was so lack-lustre, although it should be remembered that Piero Marini was still in charge.

One hopes that Guido & Co. have something better in store next time round, although I hope that Benedict has many more years before he hands over the baton to Burke or Ranjith (I wish!)

rcg said...

I wonder, Pray Tell, why people waste their time with Pray Tell. Evangelisation? Although the raw numbers may be fewer, the rate Seminaries (waiting lists, anyone?) are filling would indicate the true state of evangelisation versus the legions of music directors and EMHC flitting about On Eagle's Wings. My persnoal metric would be average AGE of the population. Even the reproductive rights crowd must acknowledge the advantage of a young, virile population.

John, you may get me fired it you continue to post about Burke or Ranjith taking the Chair. They allow me to read the site during work, but they frown on Rebel Yells.

Anonymous said...

The Fathers of Vatican II were first concerned about all their vesture in the reform of the Mass.
Now the bishop of Rome is again piling on meaningless pieces of regalia. See, I make all things OLD!

I am a robot.

Joseph Johnson said...

Burke or Ranjith (or Athanasius Schneider)--I couldn't agree more, John!

By the way, rcg, I've got ancestors who fought for the Confederacy so I don't frown on Rebel Yells (as long as they're "rebels" for a worthy cause).