One of the dastardly effects of the post Vatican II, spirit of Vatican II ideologies, was the complete denigration of popular piety being too private and too pietistic. The Rosary, novenas, adoration and Benediction among others were discontinued or discarded almost over night.
The main emphasis was placed on the Mass as the source and summit of Catholic life because it was communal and the post-Vatican II Church’s so-called new ecclesiology including a more communal expression to the Mass in a much more horizontal, family meal like fashion with little attention to the vertical aspect of God’s intervention into the Church’s liturgical expressions.
Priest were celebrating Masses all over the place, in homes, on beaches, at hotels and at camps. The Mass was the popular devotion but a priest was needed, whereas most other popular devotions, especially those prayed privately did not need a priest.
Most modern Catholics had no idea about what an “act of perfect contrition” is or consists and its parameters. They certainly did not know about “spiritual Holy Communion.” Most Catholics when they attend Mass, even sporadically, will go to Holy Communion regardless of the state of their souls and lives. The thought of a “spiritual Communion” is not something they’ve ever heard about. You go to Mass, you go to Holy Communion. You don’t go to Mass, you don’t even think about it or Holy Communion, let alone contrition or attrition.
And now, with Masses closed to the general public and lived streamed, we are teaching once again about acts of perfect contrition and spiritual Holy Communions. Will this new fangled theology bring about a new private piety based on the Mass, but watching it on TV or various media sources where one simply makes an “act of perfect contrition” and then a “spiritual communion” as though that’s just as good as being present in body and soul in the Church for Mass?
Will the rediscovery of popular piety encourage the 8% to 30% of Catholics who did go to Mass regularly to consider a new form of the heresy of dualism, that the spiritual without the physical is just as good as the physical without the spiritual? By that I mean, they think spiritual contrition and Communion is all that is needed and one doesn’t need to be physically present at Mass to tangibly receive our Lord’s forgiveness and Holy Communion. And when we are allowed by in our churches, fewer will return, the truly committed, hard nosed rigid Catholics only, the ones denigrated the most by the Holy Father?
This of course is very Protestant, pietistic and dualistic. No?