Sunday, August 16, 2015
A COMMENTARY ON HOW MUCH THE LITURGICAL CLIMATE HAS CHANGED AS SIGNIFED BY POPE FRANCIS' CHOICE OF CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH AS THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
On my post below this one about Cardinal Sarah, a Pope Francis appointee to be the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, John Nolan writes the following insightful comment which I had not considered:
"Fontgombault, with close to 100 monks and which has founded four other abbeys has opted to use the pre-Conciliar rite. Did Cardinal Sarah come with a message from Pope Francis to get with the program and update their liturgy? No he did not.
This is highly revealing and shows the extent to which the liturgical climate has altered since the 1960s and 1970s when Benedictines in France burned their chant books, embraced modernism and saw their communities disappear through lack of vocations.
Here in England Bishop Egan of Portsmouth has entrusted one of his parishes to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who are offering Mass in both the newer and older forms."
As you know I was formed (some might say deformed) by my quite progressive and very liberal seminary. When I entered First Theology in the fall of 1976, there were 60 eager candidates many of whom, not all certainly, were formed in solid Catholic households and parishes despite the silliness in the Church of that period.
I would say that the majority of that 60 seminarians knew their Baltimore Catechism frontwards and back and not only attended Mass daily as lay people, but also had a powerful devotion to our Blessed Mother, frequently prayed before the Most Blessed Sacrament and appreciated the deep devotional life of the Church prior to the Council. They also appreciated distinct garb for nuns and priests and despised the frumpy secular clothes (although some wore rich fashions) that many nuns and priests had selected over habits/clerical clothing to look like lay people, although the nuns never seem to be able to do so for some reason, you could still pick them out even in frumpy lay clothing! They also liked calling priests "Father" although our seminary priests to include the rector wanted us to call them by their first name! I felt so grown-up!
At the time I was 22 years old. Thus only 11 years had elapsed since the close of the Council, but to me at the time it seemed like a lifetime! But the point was that most of us and I was amongst the younger, were formed in a hybrid Church, pre and post Vatican II. Most of us loved the best of pre-Vatican II and appreciated what the real Vatican II wanted to accomplish if only it would be implemented except for the progressives who hijacked the Council with their spirit, not the Holy Spirit and distorted it.
However, the silly progressive priests in the seminary who ridiculed the entire corpus of the pre-Vatican II Church to our first year class had already begun what would lead to the destruction of once proud and glorious religious orders and lay the foundation for the same thing to happen to a significant number of lay Catholics who would eventually become "nones." These same progressive priest/theologians also ridiculed the conservative inclinations of more than half of my first year class leading to about half of them not coming back for second theology, some of whom went to other seminaries and eventually were ordained.
By the time we were ordained transitional deacons in 1979, my class of 60 had dropped to 24. Today of that number some have died but many have left or have been asked to leave the active priesthood. So the active priests today are about 8!!!!!!! (Aging Progressive priests of that era would see my class as a success so in denial are they about the ruin they caused!)
What did the progressive seminary staff despise about the majority of my entering class? These wicked first year seminarians challenged the seminary personnel to have public recitation of the Holy Rosary or at least a public time for all to quietly pray it together, to have Adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament regularly; to promote Holy Hours before the Blessed Sacrament and to tighten up on the public dress of seminarians on the first floor of the building. (There was no dress code!) However, but 1978 after some seminarians started wearing short-shorts and flip flops to class and one even a tank top with it, the seminary cracked down, kind of and said, don't wear that).
The other thing some of our seminarians demanded was more Latin in the new Mass and more tradition (not a return to the Tridentine Mass but just more attention to detail and tradition for the new Mass). For anyone to push the Tridentine Mass at the time would have been a sacrilege and gotten them thrown out of the seminary under the cover of night.
Baby, we've come a long way since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. A Pope Francis appointee goes to a French monastery that primarily celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and supports the great recovery this Benedictine Order of priests has experienced since doing so and even spreading their success to other places.
It has to make the iconoclasts of the 1960's (if any are still alive or have their faculties) burn with anger to see their agenda completely dismantled and by a younger generation. These still live progressives (some 84 and older like good ole Fr. Hans Kung) don't like to have their ideologies questioned although they encourage others to question truth and Truth! Just don't question them or they will bring down their almighty wrath on you!