Tuesday, April 21, 2015
MY MOST HUMBLE OPINION ABOUT THE STATE OF THINGS IN THE CHURCH AND IN 20 YEARS
What is my opinion on the state of the Church in 20 years on:
-State of the liturgy
-orthodoxy of the episcopate
I am an eternal optimist and I must be because we are an "Easter People" as much as I despise that 1970's term. But we know that the battle is done in eternity but eternity isn't quite complete here on earth so the remnant of the lost battle rages on taking with it casualties.
--In 20 years--the liturgy:
It will be the way it is now. I think it is better now than in the 1970's. But ask any bishop what the state of the liturgy is like in the parishes in his diocese and and his evaluation will be grim. Our only hope is that more priests will know and celebrate the EF form of the Mass and then learn from it the way to properly celebrate the OF Mass and lead their congregations in a rediscovery of the traditional sense of the sacred, reverence and piety during Mass which so often is substituted by giddy happy-clappy liturgies and music and gross banality and casualness. All these are enemies of the liturgy so often the experience of the laity in their parish Masses.
Thus the EF Mass known and loved by priests will influence their celebration of the OF Mass in a very positive way. They will not proclaim prayers to God or to the congregation, they will humbly pray the prayers of the Mass in the traditional manner in which prayers have been prayed in the Catholic Church for two millennia. They will chant the Mass but not use entertainment forms of singing to sing any part of the Mass. This will enhance their understanding of the cultic aspect of being a priest and they will have a renewed sense of their priesthood. But only those who celebrate the EF Mass with joy and let it inform their OF celebrations of the Mass and inform their own priesthood will appreciate this. Those who think this is absurb will create circular arguments saying they know it all even without ever having celebrated or attended an EF Mass, the height of pride and arrogance.They will ask in mocking ways for an explanation but for those who have Faith no explanation is needed and for those without the Faith, no explanation will be suitable.
--orthodoxy of the episcopate
I fear we are in a period of nostalgia for the 1970's mentality in so many areas of life. That mentality was content with ambiguity and confusion and loved ambiguity and confusion. But I hope that what Pope Benedict began to do in his pontificate in terms of clarity of doctrine and discipline will truly be appreciated and have an impact in 20 years.
--men and women religious
It will be smaller but faithful and prophetic and will be the mustard seed for a renewal of religious life in the future. The future of religious life for women is not the LCWR mentality. No progressive group of anything in the Church survives for long as it is a path of self-destruction and suicide.
The various traditional Dominican groups and the like will really take hold.
--Mass attendance in 20 years:
If the Mass continues with its banal ways of celebrating it in the Ordinary Form to include music that is simply not suitable for the Mass in terms of ethos, style and theology, Mass attendance will decline as people simply won't take the Mass seriously as they did prior to Vatican II when things were sober, austere and no-nonsense.
The more priests who know the EF Mass and apply its principles of reverence and piety to the OF Mass, which will be the primary Mass in 20 years with the EF Mass applying to a small minority of Catholics, we may see some kind of turn around and a true understanding of the Mass and what its purpose is.
Overall, secularism will take Catholics away from the Church. We will become a smaller but more faithful Church of clergy and laity. The political activism of progressive Catholics who became post-Catholic but wanted the Church to be like them, post-Catholic, will not be as big of an issue. These post-Catholics will not repent and return to orthodoxy so the post-Catholics will give up and simply be honest about having left the true Church and thus will leave.