Thursday, July 11, 2019


Let’s face it, people my age, in our 60’s and older are nostalgic for the days of their youth. As we approach our personal judgment, we are rallying prior to our demise to bring back the 1960’s and ‘70’s to the Church of the 2020’s. We see this in Rome downward!

Thus this National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) article illustrates precisely what I mean. The NCR aging editors are the epitome of what I speak. Press the title for the complete article but below it are the two most important excerpts:
Within a few years, St. William became one of the most popular churches in the city, drawing people from around the archdiocese and even from Indiana, across the Ohio River....

.....Earlier this year, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz thought it was time for St. William to have a priest pastor again, like all the other parishes in the archdiocese. The only way for him to do this, however, was to assign a priest from another parish to do double duty as our pastor. This is not uncommon at a time when many dioceses have more parishes than priests.

Unfortunately, the priest that was named turned out to be a bad fit. Our lay parochial administrator keeps things running, but the parish's major decisions are arrived at through discussion, deliberation and consensus. The new appointee had a more traditional mindset, according to which the pastor makes all the decisions. Rather than allow the differences to become a public confrontation, the archbishop wisely decided to allow us to continue as we have been.
We'll see what happens next year. We had priest pastors for 20 years, but they were priests with a Vatican II vision and a willingness to be led by the Spirit. As you can see, that Spirit has led us into places where few parishes dare to venture.......


Cletus Ordo said...


For who? By what standard?

"led by the Spirit"?

Indeed led by a spirit. But how do we know it's the Holy Spirit?

This reporter assumes much and we all know what happens when we assume...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It's post-Vatican II spirit of Vatican II Gnosticism. It also infected the charismatic movement.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. that must be the same "Thomas McDonough" who was the bishop of Georgia's "other diocese" (I write from 30327, which of course is not the "other diocese"!) from 1959 to 1967! I suppose during his time in Savannah, there were a lot of liturgical transitions that today would have looked pretty liberal in comparison....

Mark Thomas said...

Many Catholics in their 60s (and older) yearn for the "good old days" of the mid-to-late 1960s, and into the 1970s, as they recall the tremendous excitement and expectations that had filled the (Latin) Church.

They had grown up in pre-Vatican II days that had been marked by dreadful liturgy. The Latin Church had plunged deeply into legalism.

With few exceptions, the Vatican II Fathers, liberal, conservative...whatever...were convinced that the serious reform of the Roman Liturgy, launched by Pope Venerable Pius XII, was necessary to revive the stagnated Latin Church.

During the early 1960s, such men as Father Joseph Ratzinger insisted that the Roman Mass and Latin Church were in dire need of reformation.

In 1998, during an address to thousands of "traditional" Catholics, Cardinal Ratzinger painted a bleak picture of pre-Vatican II life in the Latin Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger had insisted that the state of the TLM had collapsed to the point that the Faithful were "never in contact with the liturgy itself."

Cardinal Ratzinger added that pre-Vatican II Roman Liturgy had fallen "into a private individualism, and that communication between priest and people was insufficient."

Given all of the above — the bleak condition of the Latin Church — as well as the radical reforms launched by Pope Venerable Pius XII, which had fueled hope that the stagnated Latin Church would enjoy a New Springtime, it is easy to understand as to why many of today's older Catholics do not wish to return to the "pre-Vatican II Church."

Instead, they desire to return to the 1960s and 1970s, when, in their minds, the Church had been filled with hope, cheer...when Mass had been reformed (and offered in "creative" fashion) so that the Faithful were in contact with the Mass — something that had not existed within the pre-Vatican II Latin Church.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

It is true that many Catholics, in their 60s (and older), long for the days of the 1960s/1970s.

That is, they long for the 1960's/1970's hype that had existed within the Latin Church.

They long for the 1960's/1970's notion that Latin Church had consigned to history Her dreadful state of pre-Vatican II TLM liturgy. They long for the 1960's/1970's notion that the Latin Church had consigned to history the legalism that had engulfed the pre-Vatican II Latin Church.

It is also true that many Latin Catholics, in their 60s (and older), are very satisfied with the Vatican II/Novus Ordo renewal — the renewal in line with official Church teaching.

Popes Francis, Benedict XVI, Saint John Paul II, and Saint Paul VI, have insisted that the by-the-book Vatican II and Novus Ordo reforms have renewed one parish after another.

At such parishes, their isn't any desire — besides, the Church would not do so — to return to the 1960s, 1970s...the 1950s...


Mark Thomas

TJM said...


Pray tell us what reforms Pius XII initiated in the Mass? I was around then and I don't recall any. The Sunday Mass I attended was a magnificent Missa Cantata, in stark contrast to the banal, stark, soul-less Masses most Catholics are stuck with today. I could chant five Latin Ordinaries by the time I was 10. So you even know what I am saying? 80% of American Catholics attended Sunday Mass then in contrast to about 20% now with the "new and improved" Mass. Do you think, at all, before you post? Your assertions are pure and utter balderdash.

Anonymous said...

False hopes.

Radical experimentation does not equal "reform".

Anonymous said...

the folk mass, guitar mass, the clown mass, the puppet mass, the dancing liturgy. what’s next?

Anonymous said...

So TJM thinks that if we just went back to the Latin Mass, all would be fine and dandy. There would be no more pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians---in fact, there would be no more abortion at all period. Gay marriage would be relegated back to where it should be---not recognized by any state. Churches would be full again like they were in the "good ol days."

When I've talked to people over the years who used to be Catholic, few have ever mention that they bolted because the Mass was in the vernacular. Most "left the scene" over disagreements with moral teachings (birth control most notably). Some didn't like that women could not be ordained. I think it is appropriate for Latin Masses to be offered (like the Orthodox---Eastern, that is---I don't believe in "one size fits all" when it comes to liturgy.) Heck, even some portions of the Episcopal Church allow use of their 1928 Prayer Book (as opposed to their current 1979 version, the latter actually influenced by Vatican 2).

TJM said...

Anonymous K,

Reading too much into what I said. I stated that MT comments on the pre-Vatican Disaster II Liturgy were balderdash. You desire to expand that into other areas, such as abortion. You probably spoke to a lot of malformed Catholics "trained" after the Council. Prior to the Council you would find that only a tiny fraction of Catholics would have supported the ideas you mention. To suggest otherwise, is engaging in re-writing history of the period, which of course is a favorite past-time of "liberals" today.

Gay marriage is intrinsically evil and so is abortion, but you apparently have no problem with that. One thing I can say with certainty, if some politician had advocated those things prior to Vatican Disaster II and that politician was "Catholic" those positions
would have been a career ending move such was the Church's influence in those days. I will give you one example that even someone like you should be able to grasp. Back in Massachusetts in the 1920s when William Cardinal O'Connell ruled in Boston, some politicians tried to introduce a a bill to legalize birth control. When O'Connell got wind of that, the bill was withdrawn. Catholic prelates today have become so politically correct and neutered by the popular culture, they wouldn't even try.

John Nolan said...

If people want to gather around a 'plain wooden table' and twang guitars, then good luck to them. However, to say such things were 'approved' by the Second Vatican Council is patently untrue.

Nor would the Eastern Orthodox allow their Divine Liturgy to be deformed in this way.

Anonymous said...

TJM, I am not "Anonymous K". I have never met him, would not recognize him on the streets of Fulton County. As for your comments that I have no problem with gay marriage and abortion, from what do you base that? I do not support neither and never have...what I am saying is that is it simplistic to blame the woes of today on changes on the liturgy. The same would be true in the Episcopal Church...some left 40 or so years ago because of changes in their prayer book, but the reality is that the Episcopal Church was losing members even before the old 1928 Prayer Book became the then-new 1979 one.

AS for birth control, LOL trying to outlaw is so widely practiced (even among evangelicals) and even among the Eastern Orthodox. Your time would be better spent battling abortion, where God willing someday, the Supreme Court will overturn ROE and send the issue back to where it belongs, the states, so we can at least mostly prohibit it in some states.

TJM said...


You continue to miss the point. The liturgical "deforms" destabilized the Church and weakened Her and it spilled into other areas such as abortion. We are still feeling these effects today. It is difficult to put the genie back in the bottle, but that was not where I was coming from. I was speaking to a particular moment in time, a moment that the Church and the left-wing loonies botched things up, either through naivete or malice. My original post did not address abortion, but you did.

TJM said...


Pope Benedict had this to say which buttresses my argument:

"the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.”

John Nolan said...

In a theoretical and academic sense the liturgy in the 1950s left much to be desired, and Ratzinger was a supporter of the Liturgical Movement. I can't speak for continental Europe or north America, but in England there was little if any dissatisfaction on the part of the laity with the liturgical status quo. In particular, there was no desire for a vernacular Mass.

Apart from anything else, the still confident Established Church identified itself by its English liturgy, and occupied the medieval churches and cathedrals which were built and paid for by Catholics for a Latin liturgy.

Forced to worship in (for the most part) uninspiring buildings, Catholics prided themselves on the fact they had continued what was more important; 'the Mass for which our martyrs died'.

And before the usual know-it-all pops up to say that the Mass had been 'changed and changed again' our 16th century ancestors understood that the Tridentine Rite, as celebrated by the missionary priests of the 1580s, was the same Mass as the Sarum Use of Queen Mary's reign and had nothing in common with the Protestant English communion service.

In consequence, it hit us much harder when in under three years (1965 to 1967) the Mass was stripped down and completely vernacularized. There were some who were enthusiastic about the changes and most accepted them out of ingrained obedience. But they were not welcomed 'with joy', despite what the bishops reported to Rome. In fact, the laity were never consulted, and most of the clergy simply did as they were told. The haemorrhage of congregations began at this time. Sure, there were other factors, but the liturgical revolution cannot be discounted.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

I can't speak for Europe or England, but on the eve of Vatican Disaster II, there was NO desire to change the Mass in the United States other than those we would call Modernists. As I have stated many times on this blog, 80% of American Catholics attended Mass on Sunday. Many of us belonged to parishes which were part of the Liturgical Movement. By the age of 10, I could chant, in Latin, 5 Ordinaries. My fifth grade teacher made sure we could recite, in Latin, the Prayers at the Foot of Altar, and the other parts of the Ordinary, including the Gloria, the Credo, the Pater Noster, the Domine Non Sum Dignus, etc. When the initial unwanted "deforms" were imposed on American Catholics, I was outraged. My Daily Missal became obsolete. Two of my uncles, never returned to Sunday Mass on a regular basis again. We were not consulted, at all. So much for the "pastoral" crap many talked about. The "deforms" liberated the clergy from having to learn Latin or anything of any importance about the liturgy. It gave them license to pervert the Liturgy in their image and likeness. Thank God for Summorum Pontificum which restored to the Faithful their rightful heritage.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Not K - Yes, TJM and others seem to think that 1) changes in the liturgy brought about all the cultural (ecclesial and secular) problems we face today from acne to abortion, and 2) that reinstating the so-called "Traditional Mass" or "Mass for which the martyrs died or "The Mass of the Ages" or "The Mass thst Never Changed" will set everything right.

"Beware the man with simple answers to complex problems."

Even TJM's rolling everyone who disagrees with him into his imaginary Anonymous K is an example.

John Nolan said...

No-one has suggested that 'changes in the liturgy brought about all the problems we face today from acne to abortion' or that reinstating the traditional Mass 'will set everything right'.

What Anonymous is doing here is his usual trick of attributing imaginary opinions to others so that he can glibly dismiss them - it's the classic 'straw man' argument.

I don't use the term 'Mass of Ages' because it gives malicious individuals like Anonymous an excuse to claim that traditionalists believe that the Mass did not develop organically over two millennia, or that there were not distinct Rites and Uses both before and after Trent. And 'The Mass That Never Changed' is an absurd title that could only have emanated from Anonymous's twisted imagination.

In any case, the proliferation of community-centred 'liturgy' which emphasized modernity and creativity and scorned tradition had little to do with Vatican II and the liturgical reform. It reflected the culture of the decade 1963 to 1973 which exalted individualism and choice and denigrated obligation. Old assumptions were gaily tossed aside. This caused tensions in society between those who valued tradition and those whose motto was 'let it all hang out'.

This was not merely a generational issue, although the sexual revolution brought about by the Pill mainly affected the young.

The febrile atmosphere of the times impacted on religious practice (and not just in the Catholic Church). Many abandoned it altogether. Some joined way-out movements and experimented with hallucinatory drugs. Intellectuals decried 'the myth of objective consciousness', in effect rejecting the philosophy underpinning Western culture, and giving rise to the sort of relativism which Anonymous embraces.

The destruction of traditional liturgy and the questioning of what recently had been regarded as certainties were as much a symptom as a cause of decline. The traditional Mass has now been officially reinstated, and over time it will certainly bear fruit, but neither it nor anything else can take us back to the 1950s and a Catholic culture which had ceased to exist by 1965, as Evelyn Waugh perceptively, if regretfully, realized. (See the foreword to the recension of his Sword of Honour trilogy, written between 1952 and 1961.)

Anonymous said...

"No-one has suggested that 'changes in the liturgy brought about all the problems we face today from acne to abortion' or that reinstating the traditional Mass 'will set everything right."

This is the pretty consistent lament of many poster's here, John. The assertion is that Vatican II, especially as it resulted in changes to the liturgy, ushered 8n virtually every problem we face 8n the Ch7rch todsy from "clericalism on steroids" to "neo-gnosticism" to receiving communion with one's "paws."

Let's just have a Catholic dictator with Latin as the language of the realm and everything will be copasetic... its a pipe dream.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As one who remembers quite well what happened before and after Vatican II as it regards the laity, I can say with certainty that what that generation experienced affected for better or worse the subsequent generations, leading to the sort of malaise we experience today.

We had a strong Catholic identity, that was also rooted in a cultural identity built upon common external practices and devotions, all swept away to include the culturally time habits and ways of religious life, liturgy, morals, etc.

Two groups reacted that had deleterious effects upon the generations that followed, Traditionalists mocked and denigrated at being pre-Vatican II disengaged and became confused and frustrated and Progressives who thought that if one thing that was considered unchangeable could change then all was open to change, especially in the realm of sex, symbolized by the rebellion against Humanae Vitae. They too disengaged from the Church and their off spring too when they didn't get their way in this regard.

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald,

I believe you and I (who are about the same age) correctly identify both the causes and symptoms of the current malaise. Anonymous (above) whose identity is presumably known to you, and who simply snipes at what he assumes to be others' opinions without advancing coherent opinions of his own, contributes nothing.

I have just returned from Mass at the Oxford Oratory (not the earlier EF Low Mass, but the principal Solemn Mass which uses the Ordinary Form but in Latin apart from the Scripture readings and 'bidding prayers').

Over the past 20 years the age of the priests has become noticeably younger, and 'traditional' additions to the NO have gradually increased. Since 'ad orientem' was re-established 8 years ago, we now have the conjoining of thumb and forefinger after the Consecration, the reintroduction of the Asperges (traditional form) before the Mass begins, followed by the GR Introit. Only the Roman Canon is used. It's a good example of the 'mutual enrichment' envisaged by Benedict XVI, and Oratorians are now biritual. Forty years ago the London Oratory had wonderful music and Latin liturgy, but didn't much care for the older Rite. This no longer applies.

Looking around the packed congregation (who have the option of attending an English Mass) there is a wide age range, although from my perspective they tend to look a lot younger!

A Mass like this (the setting was Byrd, with motets by Guerrero and Victoria) would have been regarded by my parents' and grandparents' generation as not just authentically Catholic but of a high order of solemnity. And yet it is the Novus Ordo without any deviation from the text of the same.

Are there lessons to be learned from this?

Anonymous said...

Conjoined thumb and foreginger...

Are there lessons to be learned from this?

Yes, some people argue that conjoined thumb and forefinger matter.

Is there any value to what we hsv3c lee4ned?


John Nolan said...

Visitors to Westminster Cathedral will have noticed the shrine of St John Southworth who was martyred at Tyburn in 1654. His effigy is clad in Mass vestments; the right hand in the gesture of blessing, the left hand with conjoined thumb and forefinger, indicating his priestly function of saying Mass. It is therefore an important symbolic gesture.

Of course, the conjoining originally had a practical purpose, to prevent fragments of the Host being inadvertently discarded; yet its retention (optional after 1967) indicates the respect with which the Sacrament should be treated, and which is not noticeable today where it is routinely picked up with the fingers and handed around.

The conjoining exists in pre-Tridentine rites (e.g. Sarum and the Dominican) so its retention is a witness to continuity.

Those who see the liturgy as a purely functional device, invented by modern man to appeal to modern man, will have no truck with all this traditional nonsense. Yet Catholics, albeit often subconsciously, might well answer 'Is there any value to what we hsv3c lee4ned?' in the affirmative.

John Nolan said...

By the way, has anyone managed to decipher Anonymous's question? It seems that he is not content with concealing his identity, but wishes also to conceal the meaning of his utterances.

Not that they mean much in the first place ...