Wednesday, May 31, 2017
DO PROGRESSIVE CATHOLICS, OFTEN HETERODOX ABOUT CHURCH DOCTRINES AND MORALITY, PREFER THE HORIZONTAL LITURGY BECAUSE IT EMPHASIZES CONCERN AND OUTREACH FOR THOSE ON THE PERIPHERY OF SOCIETY, THE POOR AND MARGINALIZED, WHICH HETERODOX, PROGRESSIVE CATHOLICS TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN SERVING THE POOR? AND DO TRADITIONAL, ORTHODOX CATHOLICS WITH THEY LOVE FOR THE VERTICAL LITURGY CARE LITTLE TO NOTHING ABOUT THE PERIPHERIES AND HELPING THE POOR? I WONDER?
In the 1970's it was the radical Catholics who had a passion for the social issues confronting the world as it concerns the poor, marginalize and their causes such as just wages, liberation of women and feeding the poor. Their liturgies were heterodox and extremely horizontal to symbolize their social work at the peripheries of society.
But is this true of the pre-Vatican II Church? Did we give a flip for the poor and marginalized back then?
Most certainly we did and the vertical Liturgy supported this Catholic Action apostolate. The poor were taken care of in spectacular ways by religious orders in long, habits---the active religious of the day.
They founded orphanages, soup kitchens, built hospitals and located Catholic schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods.
Think of Dorothy Day, by all accounts a liberal progressive of her day for her concern for the poor and marginalized, who loved the Tridentine Mass and was not pleased by the spirit of Vatican II renewal of it when she first experienced it.
My former parish of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity was an amalgamation of three downtown parishes in Augusta into one.
One of the parishes closed and amalgamated into it was the former Immaculate Conception Church and School in the poorest neighborhood of Augusta which was founded in 1912 by the Holy Ghost Fathers who staffed the Church and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who staffed the school.
In that period from approximately 1912 to the closing of the parish in 1971, scores of Protestant African Americans where educated at a minimal cost by these Sisters and priests. Many of them were evangelized into the Catholic Faith not only by the superior education they received from First Grade to the 12th grade, but the the Tridentine Mass they attended as children. These African Americans loved the Tridentine Mass and many of them, like Dorothy Day, were not please by the changes in the Mass according to the spirit of Vatican II renewal and were aghast when they were told they needed to have their Protestantism of their former days dragged into the music of the Mass-Gospel Music and Gospel Masses.
I would dare say, we had more African Americans becoming Catholic prior to Vatican II than today especially in the south and in my Diocese. It is negligible today.
What was it that these pre-Vatican II African Americans loved about the Catholic Church that motivated them to answer God's call to become Catholics? It was a combination of the horizontal in our Catholic schools at the time and the vertical in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with its Latin, Gregorain Chant and incense.
It was about religious priests and sisters in long habits and all the customs of the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II--most now, completely gone with the wind as are African American Catholics.