Monday, January 16, 2017


Most Catholics who are old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II Church can remember how dogmatic priests and bishops were. The laity were often treated as children rather than adults. In part, this has a great deal to do with the laity's rebellion in the late 1960's when the Church after Vatican II began to be more pastoral than dogmatic. Many Catholics under the heavy yoke of authoritarianism, like a child, moved from childhood to adolescence using and abusing their new found freedoms. They did not move to their adult state.

Today, heterodox, progressives continue to promote a pastoral council, which Vatican II was, as well as more recent documents coming from the Holy Father in a dogmatic, pre-Vatican II authoritarian way just as it was done by the Magisterium after Vatican II and their cohorts. Just think of the Maltese Falcons, I mean, bishops.

The orthodox, though, should keep in mind that prior to Vatican II, pastoral theology was often promoted in a dogmatic, authoritarian way. Just think the the theology of Limbo for unbaptized infants. It was a pastoral theology that presented a better option than eternal damnation for unbaptized infants. It was a more merciful pastoral approach not only for the infants but for their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. But it was never a formulated doctrine let alone dogma. It was a pastoral theology.

The greatest area in which progressives highjacked and dogmatized the Second Vatican Council is on its pastoral perspective (which can never be dogmatized, by the way) as well as on the reform of the Liturgy. One gets a sense of this in a recent interview by Italian media with the Liturgist, Fr. Andrew Grillo, professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm. (Keep in mind, though, how Pope Francis described liturgists recently: "what's the diffference between a liturgist and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist!" )
This originally appeared as a feature on Rai Newsand was conducted by Pierluigi Mele:
 Professor, there is a debate in the Church of Rome, which at first might seem only to be of interest to the “insiders,” but which is in reality important to all the people of God. We are talking about translation of the liturgy. As you know, the Second Vatican Council initiated a Copernican revolution in Catholic liturgy. Under Pope John Paul II, the document Liturgiam authenticam was issued. It provides the criteria for the translation of the liturgy from Latin to the various languages. We know that the current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship is the ultra-conservative Cardinal Sarah, who dreams of a “reform of the reform” of the Catholic liturgy. What, in your view, are the limitations of Liturgiam authenticam?
The first thing to say is that the 2001 document is part of a long chain of texts produced by the central magisterium – papal and curial – between the late 1980s until the first decade of the new century. All these documents are united by one characteristic: they are the fruit of fear. They are a reaction to the trust and confidence that the Second Vatican Council had introduced into the Church of the 1960s and 1970s, overcoming the anti-modern trauma that had paralyzed the Church for more than a century. Now we move back to the old mistrust and suspicion. They brought back the nineteenth-century frame of mind. In this particular case, it is the mistrust and suspicion of modern languages ​​and modern cultures. The authority to translate them has been taken away, and keeping in line requires a method of translation from Latin that yields a result that is, one can say without exaggeration, comic: If you follow the rules laid down, the resulting text is incomprehensible; but if you want a text that is understandable, you have to violate the rules. This is the experience of all the national episcopal conferences for the past 15 years. It is happening widely. The events related to the Missal translation into English, German, French, and Italian are just the best known examples.

After reading the authoritarian, myopic, narrow views of Grillo above, compare this with the common sense approach of Cardinal Ratzinger the future pope. His views are certainly more pastoral, middle of the road and beneficial for the Church:

In this 2003 video, Cardinal Ratzinger speaks of ad orientem celebration:

He also speaks about a future document favorable to the Traditional Mass:

"There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.  What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

My final comments: What Cardinal Ratinger and later as pope, wanted to do was to promote inner healing in the Church which was happening under his pontificate as Catholic identity was being recovered in a marvelous way and polarization was being reduced. Pope Francis and his friends still enamoured with the post Vatican II confusion and rupture want to restore the wounds to the Church that Pope Benedict so valiantly tried to heal. What a mess we are in now and very similar to what happened after Vatican II by these very same dogmatists who are so very authoritarian.


Victor said...

This whole "pastoral" thing of Vatican II has evolved into the subjectievist mantra of the Protestants. It the ME standing alone before God, needing no priests or Church to tell ME what is right or wrong in my justification towards God, but solely the Bible through a "discernment". Objective laws no longer count but it is the individual who makes his own decision, because subjectivity is the truth as no law can encompass all the particularities of the individual's life situation. Indeed "mercy" is just feelings, having sympathy for someone despite his willful transgressions. After all, everything will be put right in the next life if you only believe, that is trust God. God's justice is simply mercy, a forgiving and forgetting no matter what just for the asking. In other words, everyone is a victim that needs mercy and will receive it for the asking.
I do not know if the above is heretical in any way, but I certainly hear it more and more in Catholic circles these days.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald, I posted information about the following to a different thread on your blog. Perhaps that information is appropriate here.

With your permission, Part 1 of 2

This is a speech offered by Father Joseph Ratzinger in October 1964 A.D.

Father Ratzinger declared "that the first real task of the Council was to overcome the indolent, euphoric feeling that all was well with the Church, and to bring into the open the problems smoldering within".

A "profound crisis in the life of the Church." Its roots lay back in the late Middle Ages, when "awareness of the real essence of Christian worship increasingly vanished. Great importance was attached to externals, and these choked out the whole."

"New overgrowths were in fact prevented, but the fate of liturgy in the West was now in the hands of a strictly centralized and purely bureaucratic authority.

"This authority completely lacked historical perspective; it viewed the liturgy solely in terms of ceremonial rubrics, treating it as a kind of problem of proper court etiquette for sacred matters.

"This resulted in the complete archaizing of the liturgy, which now passed from the stage of living history, became embalmed in the status quo and was ultimately doomed to internal decay.

"The liturgy had become a rigid, fixed and firmly encrusted system; the more out of touch with genuine piety the more attention was paid to its prescribed forms. We can see this if we remember that none of the saints of the Catholic Reformation drew their spirituality from the liturgy...."

"The baroque era adjusted to this situation by super-imposing a kind of para-liturgy on the archeologized actual liturgy. Accompanied by the splendor of orchestral performance, the baroque high Mass became a kind of sacred opera in which the chants of the priest functioned as a kind of periodic recitative. The entire performance seemed to aim at a kind of festive lifting of the heart, enhanced by the beauty of a celebration appealing to the eye and ear.

"On ordinary days, when such display was not possible, the Mass was frequently covered over with devotions more attractive to the popular mentality. Even Leo XIII recommended that the rosary be recited during Mass in the month of October.

"In practice this meant that while the priest was busy with his archeologized liturgy, the people were busy with their devotions to Mary. They were united with the priest only by being in the same church with him and by entrusting themselves to the sacred power of the eucharistic sacrifice".

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Part 2 of 2


Please note that following section from the Commonweal article does not begin with a quotation mark. However, the final paragraph from this section ends with a quotation mark. In the absence of an initial quotation mark, I am not certain that the following section belongs to Father Ratzinger's address in question.

After the baroque period, it was clear that the efforts of the Congregation of Rites had resulted in the total impoverishment of the liturgy. If the Church's worship was once again to become the worship of the Church in the fullest sense-i.e., of all the faithful-then it had to become something in movement again. The wall of Latinity had to be breached if the liturgy were again to function either as proclamation or as invitation to prayer...

It was now clear that behind the protective skin of Latin lay hidden something that even Trent's cutting away of late medieval ornamentations had failed to remove. The simplicity of the liturgy was still overgrown with superfluous accretions of purely historical value.

It was now clear, for example, that the selection of biblical texts had frozen at a certain point and hardly met the needs of preaching. The next step was to recognize that the necessary revamping could not take place simply through purely stylistic modifications, but also required a new theology of divine worship. Otherwise the renewal would be no more than superficial".

Father Ratzinger continued...

"If we view the Council's initiatives for liturgical reform in their historical context, then we may well consider them a basic reversal. The value of the reform will of course substantially depend on the post-conciliar commission of Cardinal Lercaro and what it is able to achieve.

"The problems and hopes of liturgical reform anticipate some of the crucial problems and hopes of ecclesiastical reform in general. Will it be possible to bring contemporary man into new contact with the Church, and through the Church into new contact with God?

"Will it be possible to minimize centralism without losing unity? Will it be possible to make divine worship the starting point for a new understanding among Christians? These three questions represent three hopes, all bound up with liturgical reform, and all in line with the basic intentions of the recent Council."


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

The era before Vatican II was not exclusivly filled with beatings and cold comforts anymore than the post Vatican II era is exclusivly clergy sex scandals. One could make the case, strongly, that the mighty cathedrals and glorious parish altars were accompanied by equally grand schools, hospitals, universities, shelters, fresh water projects, vacination clinics, and innumerable other charitable activities that should also be considered pastoral.

We certainly are a field hospital for the victims of Satan's war. His most effective weapons are close range and fired by the victim into his own heart. It would be nice to grapple with the Enemy for the weapon but we have have the nerve to fight with those we love as they repeatedly pull the trigger. So the preVatican II priest already smelled like his sheep because he had wrestled the stupid creature into his arms and carried it out of the pit it had thrown itself into.

Православный физик said...

Simple, they know their arguments/philosophy/theology doesn't hold water, so they have to do it by force in order for their ideas to stick.

TJM said...

Pope Benedict, brilliant, scholarly, a class act. The polar opposite of the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter.

Rood Screen said...

They're intolerant of diversity, and so they fundamentally misunderstand what it means to be "catholic".