Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WHO CALLS THE SHOTS AND TO WHOM DO WE OWE OBEDIENCE WHEN IT COMES TO THE LITURGY?

"spirit" of Vatican II Catholics have been trying to turn things upside down for the past 50 years, especially how authority is exercised in the Church, but they have failed and are failing and they are mad as hell and won't take it anymore and so we say, get over it, you lost and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The spiritual battle the Church has experienced for the past 50 years since Vatican II is one of authority and who exercises it and who obeys it. The Catholic Church has many levels of authority and some of it based upon the very sound principle of subsidiarity. That means that some decisions need to be made on the local level.

For example a bishop has a great deal of flexibility in terms of how he will teach, rule and sanctify. Yes, he must follow canon and civil law (but not civil law that compromises the teachings of the Church). He can be a micro manager or delegate his authority to others. The same it true of pastors. Within parameters there is a great deal of flexibility and diversity as to the manner in which a pastor pastors a parish.

On the higher levels of the Church, many who were and are deconstructionists of traditional Catholic authority centered in Rome with the pope in union with the bishops of the world, wanted and want many decisions of a universal nature relegated to the local level, either to the bishop himself or the more novel approach of bishops' conferences. This they thought and think would lead to a better form of subsidiarity and enable the Church to deal with problems on the local level.

This can be applied to many aspects of the Church's life, but when it is applied to the liturgy the following could happen.

1. Each bishops' conference comes up with its own translation of the liturgy into the vernacular. This then enables others who claim authority in this or that aspect of the liturgy to politicize the process of translation and put forward their own perception of what is best for the rest of us. Gone totally viral, it allows each priest to translate the Mass on his own, to make it up as he goes as we have seen so often in the post-conciliar liturgy, a crass clericalism where the priest treats the liturgy has it own creative playground with creativity and manipulation. Or the priest could delegate this to committees in the parish that do it also creating what I call "laityism" as it concerns lay people seizing authority all in the name of the spirit of Vatican II. We've actually experienced this in many places in the spirit of Vatican II especially in the 1970's. This dying breed is trying mightily to keep this spirit alive especially in academic institutions where the young are molded or brainwashed in this method of thinking.

2. An example of the irritation the spirit of Vatican II Catholics have is their contempt for Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul in re-centralizing authority in Rome especially with regard to guarding orthodoxy, calling a heresy a heresy and promoting the reform of the reform in continuity by seizing control once again to the process of re-translating the Mass into the vernacular, bringing back things that were excluded to the Mass and sacraments and liberalizing the ability to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.

This group use to use the word "patriarchy" to describe the "mean old men" in the Vatican, usually the pope, his cardinals and bishops and those who work for them at the Vatican. These men are viewed as pariah.

The post-modern term in the 21st century is "monarchy" to describe the Holy Father and the bishops that surround him. Some of this use of the word monarchy centers especially on the turn of events in the translation of the Mass where Pope John Paul II and probably at the behest of Cardinal Ratzinger changed the rules for translating the Mass with the document Liturgicum Authenticum and reorganized ICEL and created another organ call Vox Clara.

Those who lost the battle of their method of translating the Mass were quite angry and still are and some were fired for their vociferous objections to the new way of doing things because their hard work was tossed aside. Like little children, they didn't want to play by the new rules, so their either pouted in the most public way or disengaged in the most angry way. This is quite understandable and often happens in other venues of life. People quit when they think they are not appreciated or their work is tossed aside.

So there is an extremely small group of liturgical and linguistic theologians and academics that got burned and seriously so. Their hermeneutic was successfully challenged and derailed by others who had the pope's ear. They lost in other words.And in losing they are trying to rally their side in the most vociferous political way and continue the divisiveness this group has promoted in the Church for the last 50 years.

It is all based on authority and who exercises it and who is in control. Make no mistake, those who are liturgically,linguistically and musically inclined tend to have controlling personalities and what to control and when they lose control they get not only rabidly angry, they want to get even.

That is what we are seeing in the two liturgical camps of the Church.The first has the ear of the pope as he promotes the reform of the reform in continuity and brings back that was lost in the post-conciliar era.

And of course the Holy Father has an authority in the Church that is legitimate backed by Scripture, Tradition and Canon Law. His authority is authoritative not authoritarian for he has the legitimate right to exercise it, which means he can also interpret Vatican II in light of Tradition and continuity with it.

The ones who want to seize control of authority on all levels of Church life especially the liturgy do so by exerting influence and manipulating others with their bravado and expertise on this or the other subject.

Their authority though is bogus, not based in Scripture, Tradition or canon law, but merely on the spirit of what they think Vatican II in a very narrow way teaches implicitly but not explicitly.

Their authority since it is bogus is authoritarianism, not authoritative. No one owes them allegiance of obedience, no one.

So, I recommend that we follow our Holy Father and the bishops in union with him and enjoy the new way in which Vatican II is now being implemented especially as it regards the liturgy. It will lead to a new "Pentecost" in the Church and a new "springtime" of renewal. Thank God! God is Good!



8 comments:

qwikness said...

Why does the Western Liturgy change so much and why doesn't the Eastern ever change?

Joe Potillor said...

I'm doing my part...and encouraging others to make the jump.

Joe Shlabotnick said...

The "anti-authoritarians" as you call them are oh, so open-minded...until you question THEIR authority.

There is no one as inflexible as a rigid liberal.

Father Shelton said...

This is an intense post!

rcg said...

I think the laity knows it place very well, that is what caused this mess. In my own case, and based on what I have heard interacting with others, we obeyed and went to these nutty Masses for several over 40 years in the trust of the leadership. I think some of the laity got excited that they could do some priestly duties, gestures, and EMHC, servers, etc. based on the trust that these were proper and common practice. I think the clergy got excited that they could experiment with the limits of 'performance' to express their own understanding of God's acceptance of our meager offering. I think the Sex Abuse Crisis woke people up to get back in line and follow their assigned duties. The Pope, this wonderful man, is making gentle yet firm corrections. It is all for the Good.

John Nolan said...

Into schism and unashamed caesaro-papalism? No thanks. The Latin Church will weather this storm. Putin's Church is going nowhere.

Marc said...

Why does the Western Liturgy change so much and why doesn't the Eastern ever change?

The answer is probably quite complicated. I'd say it has to do somewhat with the ecclesiology of the East and the different understanding of the nature of Holy Orders. For example, the lack of centralized authority dictating changes from afar and the ability of the laity to resist change results in inherent conservatism. Moreover, there is no appreciable modernist movement in the East and there is no IDE of liturgical "renewal" because the people love their liturgy (just as the Western laity did before a new one was foisted upon them, I might add). If a renewal was attempted, the laity would resist it and not follow with the sort of blind obedience that previously obtained in the West.

There are myriad other reasons in addition to these.

Oddly, with Vatican II, the Catholic Church added eastern elements into the liturgy presumably with an eye toward re-unification with the Orthodox. Of course, the Novus Ordo Missae and the whole western liturgical "renewal" is pretty much a joke amongst the Orthodox and an example of how wrong (dare I say "heretical") the Roman Church is and why it is necessary to resist the idea of development of doctrine as exists in the West.

WSquared said...

"The post-modern term in the 21st century is "monarchy" to describe the Holy Father and the bishops that surround him."

With all due respect, I think it's modern rather than post-modern, Father. One sees this with the rise of the modern democratic republic, and 18th-century America is a very pertinent example. Describing authority that one doesn't like "monarchical" or "priestcraft" or "popery" casts a long shadow, and Americans in the period post-Independence employed a lot of that very language to fashion the political barbs of their choice. So the post-moderns of whom you speak are cribbing on old tropes with a lot of history and baggage, methinks.

The thing about those who like to "question authority" is that they often seem oblivious-- either innocently, or on purpose-- to the to the obvious: that their questioning of authority is selective, and therefore arguably disingenuous. The only authority they refuse to question is their own.

There is, however, a very legitimate way of questioning authority in humility: to think it through and seek to know and understand it on its own terms, and therefore to understand why one submits to it, if one is to submit at all. The reality is that everyone submits to some form of authority. The far more intriguing question is whom or what. It also has the effect of enabling one to ask questions in sincerity and humility, and to curb the temptation to get one's own back. It doesn't come all at once, though.

It's pretty much a truism that many of those who presume themselves "too smart" to allow the Pope to tell them what to do are seemingly not smart enough to not allow advertising, television, their libido, their emotions, their stuff, and What Other People Think, no matter how nonsensical or wrong (perhaps especially), "tell them what to think/do." Nature, after all, sure hates a vacuum: without a truth, a transcendent authority, one is left to wonder what the hell is left (and I don't use the word "hell" lightly or in vain here).

"[The Holy Father's] authority is authoritative not authoritarian for he has the legitimate right to exercise it, which means he can also interpret Vatican II in light of Tradition and continuity with it."

And he himself would tell us that it's not an imposition of his own views, but that authority is meant to be used in order to allow God room to speak. His authority always points beyond himself, to the One who gives it to him, and it's one to which he himself submits.

"Their authority since it is bogus is authoritarianism, not authoritative. No one owes them allegiance of obedience, no one."

Thank God for that.