I wish I had copied it, but I saw a photo of a man and woman in some kind of print commercial and the man was wearing a Nero jacket just like the one I had when I worked for Macy's in the early 1970's!!!!! The 1970's or nostalgia for it is back!!!! It is reemerging also with aging Cardinals whose heyday was in the 1970's. Cardinal Kasper is but one case in point. It is like he has had a rebirth of influence bringing us backwards not forwards!
But this is a very good diagnosis and excerpt from Cardinal Wuerl's Pentecost Letter which you can read in full HERE:
"Why it is so crucial that we reassert and strengthen our Catholic identity, and that our freedom to do so be respected in society and in law.”
“When I was a young priest in the 1960s and 1970s, there was much experimentation and confusion in the Church,” he recalled. “Teachers and clergy were encouraged by some to communicate an experience of God’s love, but to do it without reference to the Creed, the sacraments, or Church tradition. It did not work very well. Catholics grew up with the impression that their heritage was little more than warm, vaguely positive feelings about God.”
“Those years of experimentation left many Catholics weak, spiritually and intellectually, and unable to withstand the tsunami of secularism that came in recent decades,” he continued. “We lost many people because we failed to teach them about right and wrong, about the common good, about the nature of the human person. This left many no longer able to admit that we are sinners who need Jesus because many no longer know what sin is. This lived experience of people not being fully or correctly presented the truth of the faith illustrates why we are called to the New Evangelization.”
My thoughts: However, the Tsunami of secularism is not just coming from a loss of Catholic identity amongst lay Catholics it is coming from the highest echelons of the Church and particularly from cardinals in Germany, France and Switzerland. Someone, meaning all the bishops and in particular the Bishop of Rome needs to address this scandal and immediately. The laity have had to put up with too much scandal already. They don't need more to erode what little Catholic identity they have left. The 1970's should have remained buried!
Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Reporter tells the very sad, scary and heretical, schismatic story which you can read in full HERE about 1970's church building but the following is an excerpt (1970's anyone, Cardinal Wuerl will you call your brother cardinals out on this:
A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.
Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, at the invitation of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier.
One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church.
Participants also spoke of the need to “develop” the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a “theology of love.”
One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”
Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”
French Biblicist and Ratzinger Prize-winner Anne-Marie Pelletier praised the dialogue that took place between theologians and bishops as a “real sign of the times.”
According to La Stampa, another Italian daily newspaper, Pelletier said the Church needs to enter into “a dynamic of mutual listening,” in which the magisterium continues to guide consciences, but she believes it can only effectively do so if it “echoes the words of the baptized.”
The meeting took the “risk of the new, in fidelity with Christ,” she claimed. The article also quoted a participant as saying the synod would be a “failure” if it simply continued to affirm what the Church has always taught.Then there is this good article from the New Liturgical Movement that hits the nail on the head on confusion in the Liturgy from the same period of time that Cardinal Wuerl speaks of 1970's confusion and its deleterious effect on Catholic identity when it comes to the Mass, other liturgies and the Sacraments. You can read the full article HERE but the following is an excerpt:
Before this period, Catholics around the world were known for their widespread attendance at Mass, and it seems that a great many people were trying to be devout, or at least respectful, at Mass. Families attending low Mass together, praying the rosary or reading devotional books, may not have been the pinnacle of participatio actuosa in the Mass, but then again, as the Liturgical Movement pointed out, many places had never implemented what St. Pius X had called for—namely, that Mass be sung, that the people sing the chants and dialogues of the Mass Ordinary, and that they become familiar with the actual prayers of the liturgy. Still, there was a distinctively Catholic thing that Catholics did every Sunday (and the more pious, more often than that); they knew that this was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that Jesus was really and truly present in the Eucharist, and that you couldn’t receive Him if you were in a state of mortal sin.
Mass attendance was already decreasing in the mid- to late sixties, for social and cultural reasons known to all, but after the liturgical rupture embodied in the Pauline Missal, attendance fell precipitously. The situation we have on our hands today, with only a small percentage of the baptized still going to church at all, has its birth in this period of unprecedented liturgical insolence, experimentation, disruption, and confusion. A decline had already set in, to be sure, but it was the outrageous shock of substituting a new rite of worship for an age-old bearer and transmitter of Catholic identity that confirmed definitively the modernizing madness of the institutional church. This was the death knell. To paraphrase Joseph Ratzinger, if this is how the Church treated her most valued possession, her mystical treasures, what other betrayals could be expected from her? Would anything remain stably in place? Could doctrine itself survive the onslaught?
This is why some, rightly in my opinion, consider the Synods on the Family (last year’s and the forthcoming) to be the logical continuation and completion of the conciliar reforms. The years during and after the Council were preoccupied with changing ritual and discipline as widely as possible, while doctrine seemed to be left untouched, but all along the modernists have been preparing as well as they could for an opportunity to “renovate” the doctrine as well. Given the freedom to do so, there is almost nothing in the faith that they would not falsify or modify, in the same way that almost nothing in the Mass was left intact.
My final comments: Cardinal Wuerl hits the nail on the head about the past, but I fear it doesn't see the same thing happening today and once again spearheaded by confusion in the Magisterium and his brother cardinals in very, very high places. It is no wonder the laity have lost their Catholic identity and continue to do so.
Apart from the recovery of the 1970's silly season amongst bishops and cardinals, the liturgy and its diminishment since the 1970's is a big culprit too. Pope Benedict XVI knew this but I fear his successor doesn't as his successor may have nostalgia for the 1970's too. Although with Pope Francis, we are learning that he did not bring a wider world view to the papacy but a very provincial South American view and that he doesn't read widely, didn't travel widely and hasn't watched televsion since 1990 or used the internet. While this is laudable for someone in religious life, it is not laudable for secular priests and bishops who live in the world. We can't go backwards or remain stuck in the 1970's.
The sense of the faithful "sensuum fideli" is based upon the faith and belief of orthodox Catholics not heterodox lay Catholics. Heterodoxy that leads to heresy is not faithfulness. It isn't the sensuum fideli!