I have consistently told my conservative, traditionalist friends that a traditional pre-Vatican II Catholic always “prayed paid and obeyed.”
My progressive friends seem to think those three words are denigrating to Catholics. But wait, are they?
1. Catholics must be people of prayer and Catholic spirituality. And truly Catholic spirituality is really spiritualities. There are many forms of it. Nothing nasty or denigrating here.
2. Catholics must be people of good and sacrificial stewardship, giving generously of their time, talent and treasure as a gift or sacrificial offering to God. Nothing nasty or denigrating here.
3. Catholics must obey God and the Church God the Son founded. Catholics love and respect all people and honor the institutions of Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony which are sacraments. In terms of obeying Church authority, be it a pope or bishop, we are asked to obey them in the areas of faith, morals and cannon law acknowledging the Supreme Pontiff and all that this means in the areas of faith, morals and canon law but in continuity with Scripture and Tradition. We recognize too that there is not to be blind obedience in all things and we don’t check our brains or free-will at the doors of the Church. And we can disagree with any pope who pontificates on the weather, immigration specifics and when he disagrees with another pope, Summorum Pontificum verses Traditionis Custodis. We are free to have our own takes on that but we are not free to rebel in authoritative administrative decisions of any pontiff or bishop in union with him.
Where my traditional friends veer off the road of Catholicism is their antipathy and disrespect shown to the Ordinary Form of the Mass and other Sacraments which are valid, can be beautifully celebrated and are the experience and Lex Orandi of the majority of Catholics who still attend Mass throughout the world.
Where my progressive friends veer off the road completely is their critique of the beauty, ethos and micro managing rubrics of the EF Mass and its vestments, in particular the traditional altar and altar arrangement, maniples, ornate chasubles, and ad orientem as well as kneeling for communicants who receive exclusively on the tongue without saying amen.
Can we have our own tastes in liturgical chants, hymns and motets? Yes and taste is a factor. But the bishops need to be more pro-active in excluding some styles of music at Mass as well as giving imprimaturs to the words that are sung, are these orthodox or heterodox or outright heretical?
Today, we must focus on the Ordinary Form of the Mass, training priests properly which means forbidding a Father Eugene Walsh approach to the liturgy which he promoted in the 70’s and 80’s, God rest his soul.
The priest and adjunct personnel in the video from Sacred Heart in Venice, Florida are of Walsh’s school of liturgy but on steroids. But that is how my generation and maybe a subsequent generation were taught and formed to celebrate the Mass and in their mind properly formed!
We need to call this out today and forbid it! We need to accompany them back to Ordinary Form liturgical sanity. Read the black, do the red and create beautiful, transcendent and reverent liturgies in continuity with the older books.