Sunday, March 19, 2017
THAT AWFUL PRE-VATICAN II CHURCH THAT CAUSED SO MANY TO LEAVE THE PRACTICE OF THE FAITH AFTER VATICAN II!
There are a slew of laity, priests, bishops and cardinal-bishops my age and much older, some all the way up into their 80's who feel like this person of that age feels:
I am not an expert on secularism nor in sociology, but I have vivid memories of the church in greater Boston dating back to the 40’s and 50’s. in those days, the church was the building where we attended Mass on Sundays and Holydays under serious oblgation. It was the place we went on Saturdays to make our confession on the rare occasions we were planning to receive communion.
It was the place where the aging Monsignor and his younger curates told us what we had to do to get to heaven. They, and the “good sisters” who were responsible for catechism classes, taught us that we should be proud to belong to The One True Church because all who didn't belong to her were likely doomed to hell.
They also taught us that our goal should be purgatory where after eons of punishment we could hope to see the face of God.
The Catholic Church in those days was a monolithic institution which sought to rule over every aspect of our lives. We went to or heard Mass, though there was not much to hear. We were taught to say our prayers, support the parish, and obey all authorities in the church. No one told us that we became part of a royal priesthood in Baptism, nor that there were spiritual gifts and ministries available to us from the Holy Spirit.
Then came Pope John and The Council. It’s teachings on the role of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the nature of the church and its leaders brought with the notions of critical thinking, full participation in worship, a new respect for other Christian churches, and, most importantly the call to holiness.
Most Catholics received those changes with enthusiasm or acceptance. I submit that the declining Mass attendance resulted from many factors (including HUMANAE VITAE) but was mostly due to increasing numbers of people unwilling or unable or fearful about the prospect of becoming more devout and intentional disciples of Christ. . If Catholics were content to observe a few obligations from time to, hearing the teachings of God’s word each week proved too great a burden.