Tuesday, August 16, 2016
BISHOP BARRON DIAGNOSIS THE PROBLEM OF TODAY'S CHURCH:BEIGE CATHOLICISM! BUT WHO AND WHAT IS THE ROOT OF IT IN 2016?
Father Francis Manion, who by all accounts is of that generation that helped create beige Catholicism, has a good article on Bishop Barron. Here are some of the money quotes with my comments at the end:
(Bishop) Barron has long lamented the split in pre-Vatican II Catholicism between the intellectual and the spiritual. This had led to a theology that was dry and unappealing, and a spirituality that lacked much substance and depth. Furthermore, he has lamented what he calls the “beige Catholicism” that developed after Vatican II. By this he meant a watered-down understanding of Catholicism that lacked conviction and was minimalistic in content and tone. “Beige Catholicism” sadly led to a colorless style of catechesis and liturgical practice. This sort of Catholicism allows the culture to set the agenda for the Church, and to underplay the power and beauty of the Catholic tradition.
The height of arrogant clericalism, which is on steroids in the academic community which sets the agenda for so much, is that intellectual Catholicism is so important and in fact more important than the spiritual aspects of the Church especially her popular piety.
It is here that Pope Francis hits the nail on the head and His Holiness has little room for academics who have helped to create the post-Vatican II beige Catholicism that Bishop Barron laments.
Perhaps some bishops and many theologians were unhappy in the pre-Vatican II Church because their causes were not front and center. But on the popular or populist level, we had nearly 98% of Catholics attending Mass each Sunday even though not that many availed themselves to Holy Communion, most going to Communion only a few times a year, but at Mass each Sunday!
Popular devotions and the use of sacramentals were at an all time high prior to Vatican II. The Holy Rosary was the most popular of popular devotions. But churches which held novenas and Benediction found hundreds of people attending either on a Sunday night or during the week.
Most Catholics knew the basics of the Faith from the Baltimore Catechism, if only from its first edition for primary grades.
What happened after Vatican II when the bishops turned the Church over to academic theologians and allowed them to rule the roost?
1. The Liturgy became dry, sterile, banal and creativity in planning liturgy and setting the theme for the liturgy became the norm. Children were encouraged to plan the liturgy and come up with good ideas (gimmicks) to make the Mass "relevant"to them!
2. A sober reform of the 1962 Liturgical books went array with the wholesale deformation of the Order of the Mass and rubrics that lacked clarity and general norms which in fact allowed for ad libs and substitutions of official texts in the Mass.
3. Norms for chants in the Mass were watered down and an anything goes mentality about what could be sung liturgically took over like wild fire.
4. The academics created a disdain for anything pre-Vatican II and rediculed Catholics who were not as smart as they and remained mired in the so-called "pre-Vatican II " Church.
5. The greatest insult and the worst evil in the Church was to be labeled pre-Vatican II especially if one's spirituality centered on devotions and apparitions.
Yes, the Church prior to Vatican II had rank and file bishops and priests who were authoritarian and treated the laity like children. Not all bishops and priest, but some. Compounding this was the fact that we had strong Catholic schools with strict nuns and brothers who teenage Catholics prior to Vatican II rebelled against as most teenagers do with authority figures. But for Catholics the rebellion was against religious authority and more so in Catholicism because of our strict schools than in Protestant denominations that don't have parochial schools.
The academics used their own version of post-Vatican II authoritarianism to shove their agenda down the throats of Catholics who prior to Vatican II trusted those in charge to lead them correctly.
Vatican II was shoved down the throats of Catholics in the most pre-Vatican II authoritarian sort of way--this is the cause of beige Catholicism today.