Friday, July 18, 2014
WHILE THERE IS PLENTY WRONG ABOUT THE POST-VATICAN II CHURCH, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE PRE-VATICAN II CHURCH?
Let's face it, the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II and after Vatican II is infiltrated with sinners! Yes, there are sinners galore in the Catholic Church, some of them mortal sinners destined for hell if they didn't or don't repent and go to confession.
Who are we to judge previous generations of Catholics? Well, that has been done for the past 50 years as a sort of examination of conscience to promote Vatican II theology.
I can only speak from personal experience being a cusp Catholic, one who recalls as a child what the pre-Vatican II Church was like, one who lived through the tumultuous changes in the Church an society in the 1960's as a pre-teen and teenager and one who graduated from high school in 1971 and entered young adulthood in that period often called the silly season.
I remember vividly the Cuban Missal Crisis, the duck and cover strategy to survive an atomic bomb and the digging of fall out shelters in backyards.
I remember the assassination of President Kennedy (and added that term to my vocabulary on November 22, 1963). I remember the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King.
I remember the changes in the Church beginning around 1964 in my home parish of St. Joseph in Augusta. It was called an updating of the Church making us more modern, which in 1964 was an important word, becoming modern. It was a good term to hear even when referring to what would happen in the Church.
This modernization would bring about stronger Roman Catholics. We would become more adult and take our place in striving to live holy lives along with the priests and nuns who were considered the truly holy people of the Catholic Church.
Authority would be shared by the laity on the parish level. Parish councils would vote on important issues concerning the Church. All would be made perfect because of this.
But what was wrong with the old, unmodern ways?
There was rigidity in Catholicism and being a good Catholic meant that one prayed, supported the Church/parish/diocese, and obeyed legitimate authority, especially ecclesiastical authority. One went to Mass each Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation, made their morning and night offering, examined one's conscience at the end of the day, went to confession regularly, did penance and fasted before Holy Communion, abstained from eating meat on Fridays and fasted on the appointed days.
Catholics loved their externals too in the pre-Vatican II days. Nuns, priests, monks and sisters and brothers wore distinctive garb, habits and one could tell which order they were by the habit. Laity wore Sunday best to Mass, women/girls covered their heads in Church and there was respect and deference to the clergy and religious.
Catholic institutions were very strong, parishes, schools and hospitals flourished with nuns for the most part running not parishes, but their schools and hospitals. There were religious galore in most cities even in predominantly non-Catholic communities such as Macon, Valdosta and Augusta, Georgia.
Vatican II called the laity to holiness and to take their rightful place in the liturgy, in parishes and in the public square.
To assist the laity in the liturgy, the vernacular soon became the norm for all liturgies. Catholics were taught to think for themselves and not rely on blind obedience. Catholics were called to update themselves and not rely only on the Baltimore Catechism they studied until they completed Catholic school or CCD programs.
Catholics were taught to read the bible, join bible study groups and be ecumenical.
Most of all Catholics were called to be activists, joining the anti-war movements, hammering nuclear weapons after breaking into military installations and joining in other acts of civil disobedience to make their political and religious points.
Catholics were called to pray before abortion facilities.
Catholics were called to use their conscience in making moral decisions. This meant consulting the Church, seeking counsel and then making their decision. Fierce individualism was promoted in this decision of conscience and not always based upon the common good if it went against the individual's good.
Prior to Vatican II Catholics supported slavery and racism. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II Catholics supported virginity and chastity. After Vatican II this all ended
Prior to Vatican II Catholics did not practice artificial birth control and had large families. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II all Catholics were pro-life. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II convents, monasteries and seminaries were full. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II Catholic laity were very pietistic. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II Catholics were very humble and believed in their unworthiness. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II Catholics did not participate in the Mass or sing. After Vatican II this all ended.
Prior to Vatican II, apart from providing vocations galore to the priesthood and religious life, did not participate in the institutional aspects of the Church such as parishes, schools and hospitals. After Vatican II, the laity stopped providing vocations who would become non human (not laity).
Prior to Vatican II, non humans, those who are not laity, ran everything. After Vatican II this all ended as non humans (those not laity) no longer ran institutions which then shut-down.