Is this the new Pelagianism that Pope Francis decries (the restructuring of the Mass to look like this and thus the causation of the loss of vibrancy in the Church that was in place prior to Vatican II and her reliance on Christ's transcendence that led to the pre-Vatican II vibrancy)?
Pope Francis with his less than linear way of communicating seems to be crystal clear when it comes to Pelagianism and its recovery in the "spirit "of Vatican II that continues to haunt the post-Vatican II Church in a deleterious way!
In his speech to the Bishops of Germany, one of the fastest growing post-Catholic countries in Western Europe, Pope Francis directly appealed to them not to “put trust in administrative structures, in perfect organizations”. He called such a tendency “a sort of new Pelagianism.”
But isn't placing trust in administrative and perfect organizations precisely what Vatican II has done to the hierarchy and through them to local clergy and laity?
First of all "spirit" of Vatican II liturgical theologians and the amateurs on the parish level thought that restructuring the Mass would save us. Yes, they believed that reorganization the Mass would save us, just as they thought the documents of Vatican II would save us. Yes, they believed that and they preached and taught Vatican II and the restructuring of the Liturgy and not so much Jesus Christ!
Pope Francis in telling the German bishops that their pre-Vatican II Church was far more vibrant than their post-Vatican II Church with its idolatry and Pelagianism. This means that restructuring the Mass has been a dismal failure for it has not accomplished the salvation of people nor attracted them to the Liturgy as the pre-Vatican II Liturgy did. In fact, the pre-Vatican II liturgy led to a vibrancy in most dioceses throughout the world all the way up to Vatican II. The reason was that the Mass of the Ages enabled the clergy and laity to enter into the transcendence of God. It enabled people to experience God personally and communally with with wonder and awe, fear and joy! Thus the focus of the Church prior to Vatican II was to enable people to know, love and serve God and not be preoccupied by restructuring everything from the Mass to religious life, from church architecture to parish organizations which became the false gods that a small, elite group of Catholics shoved down the throats of the majority of Catholics who were quite content with the Church and the means by which the Church enabled them to know, love and serve Jesus Christ. Just think of all the laity who were willing to enter priesthood and religious life and this tells you of the vibrancy of the pre-Vatican II Church compared to what we now have, a mere shadow of the Church that once was about 50 years ago, within my memory!
Pope Francis calls the post-Vatican II Church on the carpet concerning this restructuring of the Church, a new kind of Pelagianism, that has removed the transcendence from the Church, her liturgy and her life.
This is what the Pope said on Saturday about his preference for the pre-Vatican II ability to enable people to enter into transcendence and how the post-Vatican II Church has been such a miserable failure in this regard with its "neo-positivism.":
"Christian education -- the Pope says -- ... is bringing up the young in complete reality with human values and one of these [values] is transcendence. Today there is a tendency to neo-positivism, which is education in immanent things, in countries of Christian tradition as well as those of pagan tradition. We are closed to transcendence but closure is of no use in education.”
Yes, Pope Francis hits the nail on the head in recognizing why the pre-Vatican II Church was so vibrant. It has to do with transcendence which the new Pelagianism of the post-Vatican II Church has attempted to destroy in favor of the horizontal, not the vertical (immanent things, not transcendence!)
Apart from the so-called experts who believed restructuring the liturgy would lead to a new springtime for the Church (like the Babylonians who thought they could build a tower to God) and could replace God and the Sacrifice of His Most Beloved Son as the Source of all salavation, what other new Pelagian things did the post-Vatican II Church bring that destroyed the vibrancy of the pre-Vatican II Church, the clear causation that Pope Francis sees in a very focused way?
Here is my list:
1. One of the biggest complaints of priests after Vatican II when they were told to form parish councils and various consultative committees is that priests felt that they were now administrators going to meetings all the time rather than spending time in prayer and visiting people.
2. Councils and committees replaced devotions in the Church and supplanted these.
3. It is still believed that the best parishes are the ones which have the most structures and most meeting and restructure things over and over again. Where is Jesus and encountering Him in a transcendent way involved in all of this.
4. With the increase of structures of councils and committees, we see a decline in Mass attendance, fewer people going to Confession and the disappearance of popular devotions which prior to Vatican II would fill our churches. What parish today has a novena or Benediction that packs their parish church during the week or on a Sunday night as in pre-Vatican II times?
5. The restructuring of the Mass to eliminate Latin, reorganize and expand the lectionary, to reorder the Mass and simplify it (dumb it down), make people stand for Holy Communion, receive in the hand and receive from lay people did nothing to increase the vibrancy of the Church prior to Vatican II when these things were thought of and developed. Pelagianism is a heresy that diminishes the Church; it does not create vibrancy!
It seems that Pope Francis has either consciously or subconsciously pointed the Church in the right direction to recover vibrancy of the Church prior to Vatican II. It is the recovery of transcendence and the true God and the only means of our salvation, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
The Extraordinary Form of the Church to include how the sacraments were celebrated and how the priesthood and religious life were lived and how devotions had such a prominent place in the lives of Catholics is the way to go in order to recover the vibrancy that the Holy Spirit desires for the Church.