Emasculated liturgy

My friend Fr. Ray Blake, over at St. Mary Magdalen has an interesting letter with this interesting quote:

John Carmel Cardinal Heenan apparently said this after attending the first demonstration of the Novus Ordo.

"At home it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children."

Emasculated liturgy
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112 Responses to Emasculated liturgy

  1. Mac McLernon says:

    Positively prophetic !

  2. Father Anonymous says:

    And consider that what the Cardinal saw and remarked on was a Mass that was in the beautiful Sistine Chapel, probably still had Latin in it, did not have any women in the sanctuary reading, serving, or distributing Holy Communion. I doubt that at that “test drive” Mass communion was given in the hand and I would presume that the music was not what is heard in an average parish. I’d take the Sistine “test drive” Mass in a heartbeat over what the Sacred Liturgy eventually collapsed into and the banal way that it is celebrated. Notwithstanding the “Reform of the Reform” exceptions.

  3. Barrett says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I was received into the Church Easter ’07, and I got the impression that most “devout Catholics” were women, making me feel a bit out of place at daily Mass and praying the Rosary. This all changed once I started attending TLM.

  4. Matthew Mattingly says:

    The real crime in this story, is that most of the bishops and cardinals attending this “practice run” of the new “Novus Ordo Missae” of Paul VI violently opposed it.
    But it was rammed thru anyway by Archbishop Annibale Bugnini and Pope Paul VI despite enormous objections, objections expertly revealed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci shortly before the Novus Ordo came out. It is now known as th Ottaviani Intervention”. But
    it was ignored by a supposedly “irritated” Paul VI. And the rest of the disaster we now know as the “Novus Ordo” is history.
    Mass attendance and everything else in the Church promptly collapsed. And Paul VI spent the rest of his life (nearly 10 years), agnonizing about what could possibly have gone wrong? Duh !!!

  5. Charles R. Williams says:

    Certainly this has happened. What did he see in in that Mass that triggered this insight? Did he foresee the the Novus Ordo would open the floodgates to the kind of effeminate, sentimental, anti-liturgical piety that dominates the typical American Sunday Mass? Was it the focus on the person of the celebrant rather than the work of Christ in the Mass? Was it the obscuring of the sacrificial element of the Mass by an overemphasis on the communal aspects of the Mass? Was it a Protestantization of the liturgy?

  6. Cathguy says:

    How can anyone argue with this? Just go to Church and look who is there.

    The is a direct correlation between how the Novus Ordo is practiced, and the feminization of the Church.

  7. dcs says:

    The real crime in this story, is that most of the bishops and cardinals attending this “practice run” of the new “Novus Ordo Missae” of Paul VI violently opposed it.

    I don’t think “most” is accurate – but it did not get the 2/3rds approval it supposedly required.

  8. Mark S. says:

    The Mass Cardinal Heenan was referring to was celebrated in October 1967, and was referred to as the “Missa normativa” (“Normative Mass”). It was a kind of draft version of the Ordinary Form, demonstrated in front of a group of prelates from various countries, and I’ve heard that the modern Eucharistic Prayer 3 was used. It was celebrated at least partly in Italian, in a way analagous to the EF’s Missa cantata. This apparently prompted Cardinal Heenan to question its description as the “Normative Mass”, allegedly commenting that most people were more attached to the old Low Mass than the more solemn forms, and would be put off by daily Masses celebrated in the way he had just seen.

    This Missa Normativa was different from the modern OF is several ways, one of which was that the Offertory was almost completely stripped of prayers – the first Offertory prayer was the Orate, fratres. The prayers we now have were inserted after comments made by the attending clergy. It is also rumoured that the supervising committee even wanted to remove the Orate, fratres, but Paul VI directly intervened to ensure it was kept.

  9. Brian Walden says:

    I sometimes go to a Solemn Latin NO Mass at a nearby parish that is, as far as I can tell, done how the NO Mass is meant to be done. There are a lot of men there. Is there something inherent in the NO Mass when done correctly that drives men away? Or is it the abuses?

  10. I went to mid-day Mass a couple of days ago (Novus Ordo) and, not having looked at the liturgical calendar, just assumed since it was July 1st the Mass would be for the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. I was stunned to learn the Mass reading & prayers had nothing to do with this feast. After doing some internet searching, I found that this feast was supressed in the new calendar. What arrogance!

    After going to several thousand daily Masses in the Novus Ordo, I have yet to find one positive aspect that is an improvement over the Extraordinary form.

  11. RichR says:

    Cardinal Heenan was one of the most conservative English Cardinals at the Council. In fact, he secured from the Vatican the permission for the continued use of the Tridentine Mass in England when the Novus Ordo Missae was imposed. This “demonstration” may have been a catalyst.

    Very interesting.

  12. John6:54 says:

    I would like to see the entire context that the quote was said in. While the quote appears prophetic, don’t discount the affect that contraception and pornography have had on men since V2. Society has redefined the definition of what a man is, and given the proper opportunity men will not be hypocrites. So if a guy is out sewing his wild oats and watching Skinamax on a nightly basis you are not going to see him attending daily or Sunday Mass.

  13. T. Falter says:

    Brian Walden: I surmise that many if not most men who are serious about the Faith are drawn to the most reverent celebration of the Mass available to them. Even those not too serious are more likely to appreciate more solemnity — at least those that have resisted the emasculated culture we live in.

    So, I would say, the Cardinal was comparing the Mass he saw with the one he already knew, and saw that it was emasculate by comparison. After 40 years of degeneration, the same could be said today about a typical NO celebration vs. one celebrated by Fr. Z, for example (though I’m guessing since I’ve never witnessed one of his Masses).

  14. mpm says:

    “I would like to see the entire context that the quote was said in. While
    the quote appears prophetic, don’t discount the affect that contraception
    and pornography have had on men since V2. Society has redefined the
    definition of what a man is, and given the proper opportunity men will not
    be hypocrites. So if a guy is out sewing his wild oats and watching Skinamax
    on a nightly basis you are not going to see him attending daily or Sunday Mass.

    Comment by John6:54 — 3 July 2008 @ 8:22 am”

    John6:54,

    I don’t disagree with your major thought here, but what would that have to
    do with the full context of Cardinal Heenan’s words?

  15. Robert Badger says:

    South Korea, where I currently make my home, unfortunately does not have the forma extraordinaria celebrated anywhere in the country, apart from the SSPX chapel in Seoul. The Mass, though, is celebrated with great devotion and reverence. Korean Catholicism, though, has not become emasculated. Indeed, some of the most active parishioners are men.

    In my old parish in Gwangju (I now live in Seoul), we had many Legion of Mary groups, many of whom had quite a few men involved. I once attended a Mass at Seoul’s Cathedral where Legion of Mary groups from across the archdiocese were participating. So many men and women were there, many of them young. The Legion of Mary isn’t just a group for old ladies here.

  16. Is there something inherent in the NO Mass when done correctly that drives men away?

    I’m not sure, but I wonder whether the incessant chatter and noise of the new Mass — even in Latin, though perhaps not so overbearing as in the vernacular — is more attractive to women than to men. The article

    http://pblosser.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_pblosser_archive.html#112834519559455123

    posted by The Pertinacious Papist discusses the feminization of the new Mass:

    “The hum-drum leveling of the new Mass, its touchie-feelie ‘sharing,’ its ‘reaching out,’ its condescension, its attempts at something called inclusiveness, its sing-song ditties that supplant the great music of the past, its brightly smiling altar girls — some seem on the verge of saying ‘hi’ when they serve the priest — I find disconcerting and grating. All this contributes more to a sense of alienation than belonging. Lots of men may well feel the same way.”

    Whereas it generally appears to me that there are more men than women at a TLM.

  17. Matthew Mattingly says:

    “Was it a Protestantization of the liturgy?”

    Very many traditional Catholic scholars, theologians (and even many of the younger priests and prelates in dioceses and even in the Vatican)
    now believe that THIS (the Protestantization of the Mass), was one of the biggest, if not THE biggest element which lead to the destruction of the liturgy and basically of all Catholic life.
    It was as if Luther, Calvin etc. had triumphed 400 years after their deaths. Tragic.

  18. Robert Badger says:

    Frederica Matthewes-Green, a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy from Anglicanism spoke of how so many women who converted to Orthodoxy were brought there by their husbands. In her words, the Orthodox Church is something like the Marine Corps. Indeed, if you are a devout Orthodox Christian and follow the fasting rules strictly, your Lent is going to be free of all meat and dairy products.

    Similar things have been noted by those who’ve visited Maronite and Melkite parishes. Many of the active parishioners are men.

  19. Habemus Papam says:

    The EF or Gregorian Rite is succinct “to the point”, allows for individual participation and has a depth which is not overtly expressed. I think the absence of these elements in the OF are what drive many men away. Also regular attendance at the EF (if that were possible) will protect men from the many temptations of the flesh.

  20. LCB says:

    “…Is there something inherent in the NO Mass when done correctly that drives men away? Or is it the abuses?
    Comment by Brian Walden — 3 July 2008 @ 7:59 am”

    1) Holding hands
    2) Hug fest
    3) Constant buzz of noise (social hour before, during, AND after mass)
    4) All women readers
    5) All women servers
    6) All women EMHC (Father sits in his chair)
    7) All women “Song ministers”, with music that is very difficult for men to sing
    8) Music that says things that, frankly, make men uncomfortable (“Sing a New Church” makes me long for “On Eagle’s Wings”)
    9) Clapping along to music
    10) A homily all about sharing, feeling, loving, US!, accepting, not judging, being inclusive, self-expression, etc. Basically Oprah on Sunday.
    11) A constant focus on “meal time”

    and finally…

    12) Everything about sacrifice has been removed

    Any reason these things would drive men away?

  21. mpm says:

    “12) Everything about sacrifice has been removed.”

    Bingo. 40 years of it. I think this has become a hallmark of
    Western Civilization (if you will pardon the expression) today.

  22. TJ says:

    And let’s not leave out:
    13) Applause! There should NEVER be applause at Mass!

  23. I think that LCB nailed the real reason that men are not drawn to the “modern” rites when he wrote:

    12) Everything about sacrifice has been removed

    St. Paul teaches us in Ephesians chapter 5 (a passage that is optional in the new Lectionary) that,

    Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it:

    Just as the essence of being a priest is to be a minister of Christ’s sacrifice, so the essence of being a husband is to sacrifice yourself for your wife (and for your children). This is the priestly service that a husband performs in his family. Without sacrifice, there is no coherence to Christian morality, or to Christian liturgy. As this essential element of our worship was devalued, hidden and de-emphasized, the attraction to men of the Church’s worship was also diminshed. Instead of appealing to the best within the faithful, too often it was an appeal to “lowest common-denominator” elements that was pushed. With unfortunately predictable results.

  24. craig says:

    No argument with #1-11 and #13, although none of these are “inherent” to the NO mass. They are abuses that can be stopped (and will be, God willing, probably as soon as the baby boomers die off) without altering a line of the rubrics.

  25. PNP, OP says:

    I am currently re-thinking some of my earlier defenses of the NO and the theology of VC2. Having recently re-read and taught parts of Zwingli’s “Commentary on True and False Religion,” I am becoming convinced that modernist Catholic sacramental theology is most definitely Protestant. This is not to say that the language of the NO is necessarily Protestant only that certain, recent interpretations of how the sacraments work seems very Protestant indeed. I am thinking particularly of the insistence of some on giving the notion of “sacrament as signifer” a less than truly objective sacramental spin. Fr. Philip, OP

  26. Brian Walden says:

    Sorry for stealing Fr. Z’s style
    1) Holding hands [nowhere in the rubrics]
    2) Hug fest [ditto]
    3) Constant buzz of noise (social hour before, during, AND after mass) [this is irreverent and uncalled for]
    4) All women readers [don’t the rules say that women may be used if no male acolytes are available]
    5) All women servers [see above]
    6) All women EMHC (Father sits in his chair) [Isn’t the rule that EMHC’s can be used if necessary, most parishes violate this rule by using them all the time]
    7) All women “Song ministers”, with music that is very difficult for men to sing [Don’t the guidelines say that chant should be given pride of place]
    8) Music that says things that, frankly, make men uncomfortable (“Sing a New Church” makes me long for “On Eagle’s Wings”) [see above]
    9) Clapping along to music [see above]
    10) A homily all about sharing, feeling, loving, US!, accepting, not judging, being inclusive, self-expression, etc. Basically Oprah on Sunday. [This isn’t called for anywhere]
    11) A constant focus on “meal time” [Mass should draw attention to both the Sacrificial and Wedding Feast aspects of the mystery]

    and finally…

    12) Everything about sacrifice has been removed [Mass should draw attention to both the Sacrificial and Wedding Feast aspects of the mystery]

    I love bashing all these things as much as anyone. But these are abuses. They’re not in the letter or spirit of the liturgy. The question I asked was about the NO when it’s done properly (which I realize might be even harder to find than an EF Mass).

    That said, thanks T. Falter for your response, that helps me to understand better.

  27. Deo volente says:

    Germane to this discussion is an article in the EWTN Classics collection by Rev. Jerry Pokorsky entitled, “Feminist Dissent, Human Sexuality, and the Liturgy.” Here is a relevant section:

    It is not at all difficult to see parallels between liturgical abuse and sexual promiscuity. Unlawful activities in the celebration of Mass express a spirit of disorder and dysfunction. Liturgical aberrations are like contraceptive sex, in which “routine” sexual behavior cannot satisfy the most essential appetites. So there is a constant need to go beyond the normal into various forms of eroticism.
    Liturgical dance, for example, is an example of something
    “new” and “exciting” in the liturgy. But rather than opening
    up the community to a transcendent God, it merely occupies
    the attention of the community until something more
    entertaining comes along. Liturgical aberrations are also
    symptoms of a self-absorbed and autonomous community, a
    community without a strong father. Like a wife who has
    rejected her husband, or a husband who has rejected his role
    as father, the community is barren. It has closed in on
    itself, incapable of new life because it has shut itself off
    from God’s grace.

    Evidence of this barren individualism in contemporary
    celebrations of the liturgy can be found in some attitudes
    toward adoration of the Blessed Eucharist. The Eucharist-the
    body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ-is the gift
    of the heavenly Father through the mediation of the priest.
    In adoration outside of Mass, a properly formed Catholic
    does not worship by contemplating the work of the male
    priest as a mediator. The attention is on the Eucharist-just
    as Eve delights in her child, not in Adam who mediated the
    child. (Of course this does not exclude Eve’s appreciation
    of Adam, any more than the Catholic community’s worship of
    the Real Presence excludes an appreciation of the priest.
    But the priorities should be clear.) If the Mass has been so
    reduced that many participants see the liturgy as nothing
    more than a community meal, adoration of the Eucharist would
    be senseless at best, perhaps even irritating.

  28. Jack Regan says:

    Two comments:

    Firstly, when the Motu Proprio was published Fr. Z picked up on an article in the Tablet and (rightly) berated it for implying that some things about TLM vestments were effeminate. This was fair comment.

    Since then there have been numerous things (from various people) on this site saying that the OF is in fact the effeminate option. Maybe we should just leave the comments about who is a big girly girl to the playground :)

    I say that in good humour and charity. There are many things I like about this site :)

    My second comment is this: I am a man and I remember exactly what brought me back into the Catholic Church. It was an OF Mass. Complete with guitars, female altar servers and everything. I still remember that day and how strongly I felt the love of God in that community.

  29. Matthew Mattingly says:

    I’d add a Number 14 & 15
    14) No more Protestant hymns at Mass
    15) No more of Father strolling around the sanctuary with microphone in hand while he gives the homily, just like Jimmy Swaggart, Joel Osteen, or and one of dozens of “dime-a-dozen” fundamentalist pastors seen on TV.

  30. Cathguy says:

    Jack Regaan,

    Thanks for your comment, and for using your name. I don’t even have the courage to do that!

    I appreciate your point of view, however, given the data it would seem that you are in a minority.

    Just look at the demographics re: who attends Church these days. The religion HAS become feminized. I see this every Sunday. On most Sundays I assist at the OF with my family. As the young father of a large and growing family, I stand out at the OF Mass. People often comment on how nice it is to see such well behaved children with their dad and mom.. etc. etc. etc.

    At the EF Mass we try to attend once a month (maybe twice if I just can’t take it anymore at my home parish) we do not stand out at all. My family is one of the smaller ones, there are TONS OF KIDS, and the worship is reverent. And every father is there. Every single one. Young men are everywhere you look.

    It is a TOTALLY different demographic. This is why so many argue that there must be a connection between the reverence and authentically Catholic nature of the EF (and the huggy-feely protestantesque OF) and the living of Catholic family life.

    Now, please don’t be insulted. I know of good and faithful Catholics who just ADORE the folk music and the huggy feely. A lot of them are into stuff like Cursillo and the Charismatic Renewal. A lot of these folks are zealous, and ardently pro-life (including assent to Humanae Vitae), as I am sure you are (and do) as well.

    Its just that they seem to be a minority. In other words, this new approach doesn’t seem to be working for MOST men. I would posit that you may be the exception that proves the rule. Also, these movements I mentioned seem to be largely female as well. On the men’s Curisillo weekend I went on one of the Clergy there called me a “pharisaical phill” for saying that a) The Church was founded by Jesus Christ, and that b) NO, women cannot be priests.

    Thanks Deacon. “pharisaical phill” huh? What the heck else didn’t they teach you in formation classes?

  31. Jack Regan says:

    *No more Protestant hymns at Mass*

    That’s Bach out then. Who’s going to break it to the Holy Father?

  32. Maynardus says:

    Not to throw any cold water on this – I think it’s pretty obvious where I stand on the liturgical spectrum – but I think Mark S. makes an important point:

    “It was…analagous to the EF’s Missa cantata. This apparently prompted Cardinal Heenan to question its description as the ‘Normative Mass’, allegedly commenting that most people were more attached to the old Low Mass than the more solemn forms, and would be put off by daily Masses celebrated in the way he had just seen.”

    I forget where I read it – perhaps Cdl. Heenan’s memoirs – but I have always understood the Cardinal’s interjection in the same way as Mark does. Perhaps Heenan had in mind the sentiments of the late Evelyn Waugh, with whom he had a lively correspondence about the Council and the immediate post-Conciliar liturgical changes. Waugh forcefully expressed his own preference for Low Mass, but also gave voice to the mindset of many Englishman – lay and cleric – whose Catholic identity was steeped in the persecutions of the past and the less-onerous marginalization of the 19th and 20th centuries. Like the Irish – and ironically because of the same persecution by the English Protestant authorities – the “Low Mass” mentality was deeply entrenched amongst English Catholics.

    It’s such a great quote that I hate to let any steam out of the argument, but we should always be seeking to understand the true meaning of things, not just what we’d like them to mean. Or what they can presently be construed to have meant when viewed through the lens of hindsight…

  33. Jack Regan says:

    Cathguy,

    Interesting post with some interesting points. Thank you. I appreciate your affirmation that one can be a good Catholic and like folk music :) Recognising legitimate* differences is absoutely vital.

    Also, that deacon sounds dangerous!

    *Emphasis, of course, on the word legitimate.

  34. dcs says:

    That’s Bach out then. Who’s going to break it to the Holy Father?

    I think the OP means “hymns with Protestant theology” (e.g., “Amazing Grace,” “Supper of the Lord”) as opposed to “hymns written by Protestants.” Of course some hymns common in parishes these days are both.

  35. Dan O says:

    At the risk of getting the sour grapes award, I watched the High Mass for the Feast of the Precious Blood on EWTN the other day and I enjoyed it. However, the seemingly constant kissing of the celebrant’s hand by the deacon or subdeacon really seemed effeminate to me. It even bordered on seeming gay and I’m gay and have no problem with it, but it certainly gave me an odd feeling. Please don’t beat up on me too badly.

  36. Habemus Papam says:

    Jack Regan: You felt the love of God in that Community? No subjectivist neo-modernist, neo-protestant nonsense there then.

  37. Habemus Papam says:

    Dan O: Thats OK. You say what you think. But don’t plead for tolerance. Its unmanly.

  38. RBrown says:

    11) A constant focus on “meal time” [Mass should draw attention to both the Sacrificial and Wedding Feast aspects of the mystery]
    and finally…
    12) Everything about sacrifice has been removed [Mass should draw attention to both the Sacrificial and Wedding Feast aspects of the mystery]

    The meal concept that has entered the mass has little to do with the Wedding Feast or Heavenly Banquet, both of which are references to future glory.

    The Mass as Meal theology, however, does not refer to future glory but rather to the past–the Last Supper.

    In Matthew the reference to the Banquet refers to future glory and is closely connected to the Sacrifice:

    [28] For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
    [29] But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

  39. RBrown says:

    At the risk of getting the sour grapes award, I watched the High Mass for the Feast of the Precious Blood on EWTN the other day and I enjoyed it. However, the seemingly constant kissing of the celebrant’s hand by the deacon or subdeacon really seemed effeminate to me. It even bordered on seeming gay and I’m gay and have no problem with it, but it certainly gave me an odd feeling. Please don’t beat up on me too badly.
    Comment by Dan O

    In Mediterranean cultures affection is shown between men without it being homosexual.

  40. Mark S. says:

    Maynardus (and any other interested readers): If you’re interested in this topic, you may like to get your hands on a copy of a book called “A Bitter Trial”. It’s made up of a series of the letters you refer to, exchanged between the Cardinal and Evelyn Waugh. It ends (I think) in 1966 with Waugh’s death, but it reveals that both had misgivings about the liturgical changes. Chardinal Heenan was in the difficult position of having reservations about “the changes” but, being the head of the English and Welsh hierarchy, had to take the lead.

  41. RBrown says:

    I think the OP means “hymns with Protestant theology” (e.g., “Amazing Grace,” “Supper of the Lord”) as opposed to “hymns written by Protestants.” Of course some hymns common in parishes these days are both.
    Comment by dcs

    To me it also refers to the type of music. The music of Amazing Grace would be sickeningly sentimental even if it used Tu es Petrus . . .

    As a matter of fact, even worse than hearing Amazing Grace sung is hearing it played on bagpipes.

  42. Nothing like a Novus Ordo bash fest.

  43. Geoffrey says:

    I don’t understand this quote. I assume when this Mass was first said, it was said CORRECTLY, i.e. in Latin, Gregorian Chant, “say the black, do the red”, with no handholding, liturgical dancers, female servers/ministers, etc.

    I am a man and if I had Mass like this (a by-the-book Mass in the Ordinary Form), I wouldn’t stay home. I’d be very pleased. So what did the late Cardinal mean? Did he back this up?

  44. Jack Regan says:

    *You felt the love of God in that Community? No subjectivist neo-modernist, neo-protestant nonsense there then.*

    I am going to assume you’re not kidding. But apologies for what follows if you are.

    I think I am going to quote that comment to people in future when I am looking for an example of how people can completely lose touch with what the faith is about!

    The Love of God is completely central to Christian life. 1 Cor 13, 1 John. It is simply EVERYTHING. The fact that we are God’s children and that he loves us is the greatest message we will ever hear and the greatest joy in our lives. That sounds like a corny thing that you say to kids, but it is central to everything. Hence, love is the sure norm for all things. It’s what Jesus meant when he said ‘judge them by their fruits.’ St. Paul wasn’t kidding either when he said that if we do what we do without love then it is utterly useless.

    Or is that just modernist, liberal, hippy, wishywashy, effeminate, irrelevant rubbish?

  45. Jack Regan says:

    *I think [that by ‘protestant hymns’] OP means “hymns with Protestant theology” (e.g., “Amazing Grace,” “Supper of the Lord”) as opposed to “hymns written by Protestants.”*

    Indeed.

  46. Patrick says:

    My NO parish has just many men attending and participating in parish life. Families come to Mass together. It’s very unusual to see a mother and children without the father at Mass.

    But then again, my parish does the NO correctly and very reverently, with appropriate hymns and chant. So, I’d say from what I’ve seen, it’s not the Novus Ordo that drives away men, it’s the abused, happy-clappy Novus Ordo that drives men away. Men desire solemnity and reverence…they’re not into verbal hugging and hand-holding.

    Besides, I’ve heard that Cardinal Heenan was actually referring to the super-frilly, lacy albs that were worn at that Mass.

  47. Daniel Latinus says:

    My first religious instruction was in a Missouri Synod Lutheran school, and the first church services I remember attending were Lutheran services conducted according to the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal. As I developed an interest in the Catholic religion, I was exposed to old prayerbooks with the TLM, and the traditional English translations.

    When I was about ten or eleven, I started attending a Catholic school, and began to attend the Novus Ordo on a regular basis. And even at that tender age, it struck me that the language of the Novus Ordo, compared to what I remembered from the Lutherans, and what I read in the old prayerbooks, it struck me that the language and tone was emasculated. (Although the term I thought of was rather less refined than “emasculated.”

  48. Jack Regan says:

    *My NO parish has just many men attending and participating in parish life. Families come to Mass together.*

    My experience is the same, and I dare say many others too.

    One thing I have found is that when demographics are reported on the internet regarding Mass attendance, there is a great deal of spin and hype. Often the situation on the ground is very very different to what you read on the blogs.

    Many reports would have us believe that NO Masses are mainly attended by old women, by ‘ageing hippies’ who don’t realise that the sixties are over, and by a few young people who are unable to get to a TLM. On the other hand, TLM/EF Masses are apparently bursting at the seems – and with young people too.

    I have absolutely nothing against either the TLM or the NO and I respect anyone who prefers either, but as I have said many times on this site, there is a real spin going on with regard to numbers.

  49. Patrick says:

    Jack,

    We’ve actually had 2 families recently join our parish. They were traveling 20 minutes to a parish that offers the TLM. The thing that drew them to the other parish wasn’t the TLM, it was the reverence. When they found the same reverence at a NO parish closer to home, they switched.

  50. LCB says:

    Brian wrote, “[Mass should draw attention to both the Sacrificial and Wedding Feast aspects of the mystery]”

    In the appropriate sections of the Catechism the word “wedding” appears twice.

    Banquet appears 6 times

    Feast appears 6 times, but 2 or 3 of them are references to Church feast days. 2 of them are references to the future glory of the Kingdom, one is a reference to the present (as a recognition of future glory)

    The word “sacrifice” appears 66 times.

    I believe the focus is clear, and the theology of the Novus Ordo is deficient in that it does not properly focus on the sacrifice. Infact, the theological focus is so radically different from the Gregoian Rite, that we must legitimately wonder if these are not two separate rites that are simply in juridical union.

  51. LCB says:

    Brian,

    Concerning your Fr. Z style fisking of my post (which really is an effecient style to use!), I have but one rejoinder:

    Silence means consent. The abuses, unlawful innovations upon Sacred Tradition, and sometimes sacrileges have not just been ignored, they have received lawful status that sanctions the abuse.

  52. Patrick says:

    LCB,

    I count 8 uses of the word sacrifice in the Novus 1970 missal. I count 9 in the 1962 missal.

    Maybe I’m missing something.

  53. Adam says:

    Jack,
    With regard to the post Patrick made just above me I can give you some unbiased numbers since I attend both forms and have no real preference. My two clustered parishes are made up mostly of ageing hippie women- the mass is relatively banal and much like a Sunday social- however another parish I attend sometimes with reverent(some protestant) more traditional music and ordinary form Mass, plus one mass in the extraordinary form. Because of their adherence to rubrics and such they have had to expand the OF mass schedule from 1 up to 3, and mind you the church holds 1200. Its full of WHOLE families- so I agree with the thought that reverence has a lot to do with this. As I said though, my preferences for one or the other don’t exist- I just report what I notice.

  54. Patrick says:

    To paraphrase James Carville…

    It’s the reverence, stupid.

  55. Jack Regan says:

    *It’s the reverence, stupid.*

    I’d agree with that. But perhaps one person’s idea of reverence is slightly different to that of another.

  56. Habemus Papam says:

    Jack Regan: You’re a bit touchy for a man (joke). I was refering to your claim to find God “in the community” when present at a Catholic Mass (if thats what it was?).

  57. Matt says:

    It’s ultimately more than reverence.

    Many protestant services are reverent and well attended too.

  58. Michael J says:

    Patrick,

    I agree that lack of reverence may be a significant cause of the problems facing the Church today. The question becomes then, why is a properly reverent liturgy so rare? Your own experiences notwithstanding, irreverent or insufficiently reverent Masses are the chief complaint across the board.

    I assume that you reject the suggestion that irreverent celebrations of the liturgy is caused or encouraged by the NOM itself so what is the source?

  59. Jack Regan says:

    *You’re a bit touchy for a man (joke). I was refering to your claim to find God “in the community” when present at a Catholic Mass (if thats what it was?)*

    Touchet. Point taken :)

    I have a strong awareness of the four presences of God in the Mass. All of which bring a beautiful and different dimension to it.

    Sorry for any misunderstanding.

  60. Habemus Papam says:

    Patrick: Now count the words “oblation” “host” and “victim” in each Missal. And note the context.

  61. Another Tom says:

    I read somewhere and some time ago that the recessional hymn was “Faith of Our Fathers” sung in Italian.

  62. Ian says:

    When you count the word “sacrifice” in the 1970 missal, are you using the Roman Canon or the most frequently used EPII?

  63. Adam says:

    RichR
    “Cardinal Heenan was one of the most conservative English Cardinals at the Council.” this same cardinal commissioned the building of Liverpool cathedral in 1959-60.

  64. Brian Walden says:

    I find it hard to believe that a Mass made people disobedient and caused all the problems we have today. After all, weren’t the people who went crazy in the 60’s and 70’s raised in the TLM. Yet they’re the ones who made the new Mass. They’re the ones who used Vatican II as an excuse for every kind of abuse and sin. I find it hard to believe that this all just sprung up instantly when the NO was implemented. Whatever the cause was, it must have been brewing beneath the surface while everyone was still participating at TLM’s.

  65. Adam says:

    Sorry, previous link did not work.
    http://www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk

    While we are on the subject of Liverpool, a certain Fr Paul has posted the following comment on Fr John Boyle’s blog.

    The following information came into my hands today from a member of the clergy in the Archdiocese of Liverpoolregarding the Traditional Parish in Liverpool.

    In accordance with the requirements of Canon 515$2 the archbishop wishes to consult the Council about the following intention:

    That the territory of the parish of St Vincent, Liverpool, be annexed to the Cathedral parish, and that St Vincent’s thereupon cease to be a separate parish.
    N O T E S

    1. There is no statutory quorum for attendance at the Council of Priests, but most members of the Steering Committee are expected to attend, as they have other agenda to address as soon as the general meeting ends.

    2. As this is a consultative exercise, all priests working in the diocese, whether named representatives of their Pastoral Areas or not, are welcome to attend, and/or to submit written observations to the Secretary (Mr P Heneghan at LACE) in advance of the meeting.

    3. Pastoral Area Leaders could profitably take soundings among local priests with a view to making a corporate submission from their area.

    4. The archbishop’s intention is to create a new City Centre Pastoral Area (Pastoral Area 25) which would embrace the specialised ministries of the Cathedral, the Royal Liverpool Hospital, the University Chaplaincy and the Blessed Sacrament Shrine with the addition of the church of St Vincent.

    5. St Vincent’s church would be reserved for the celebration of liturgy in the “Extraordinary Form” (cf “Summorum pontificum” 2007), in the care of Fr Simon Henry.

    6. Fr Henry’s status would be that of Assistant in the Cathedral parish, but his accommodation would be in St Vincent’s.

    7. St Vincent’s church would no longer be used – except in special circumstances – for Masses in the “Ordinary Form”. St Vincent’s present parishioners would become members of the Cathedral parish.

    8. Bishop Malone will advise the parishioners of St Vincent’s about this consultation at the 6.30pm Mass there on Saturday 12 July. END

    Bishop Malone is of course the chap who speculated that women might be empowered to hear confessions and grant absolution, but also celebrates pontifical Mass in the EF.

  66. Patrick says:

    Michael J,

    The cause is priests who have received bad formation. I have no doubt that when Fr. Z says the 1970 missal, it is a devout and holy Mass. The words of the liturgy do not cause him to start abusing the liturgy. Now, take a man who has received terrible formation in the seminary, ask him to say Mass, and you will have problems.

    Ian,

    I am using the roman canon.

    Habemus,

    All together:

    1962 – 18
    1970 – 15

  67. Mark S. says:

    RichR: Just seen one of your early comments, regarding the “Missa normativa” acting as a catalyst for Cardinal Heenan asking for permission for continued use of the TLM in England after 1970. As I understand it, England’s Latin Mass Society played a big part in this. In the lead-up to the OF becoming standard on the 1st Sunday of Advent 1971, the Latin Mass Society arranged a petition, signed by well-known people such as Agathe Christie and Cecil Day-Lewis. This petition requested that permission be given for the continued use of the TLM as it was part of the civilisation of the western world. Cardinal Heenan was more than happy for this petition be sent to Rome; Paul VI was an Agatha Christie fan, and allegedly gave permission on seeing her name on the petition.

  68. Matt says:

    “I find it hard to believe that a Mass made people disobedient and caused all the problems we have today. After all, weren’t the people who went crazy in the 60’s and 70’s raised in the TLM. Yet they’re the ones who made the new Mass. They’re the ones who used Vatican II as an excuse for every kind of abuse and sin. I find it hard to believe that this all just sprung up instantly when the NO was implemented. Whatever the cause was, it must have been brewing beneath the surface while everyone was still participating at TLM’s”

    Brian you raise an excellent point. If you read Pascendi
    you will find that the crisis in priestly formation was
    longstanding. The New Mass wasn’t a cause but an effect
    of the craziness. However, the historical legacy of the
    NOM was that at a most critical moment, it gave
    revolutionaries a most effective and malleable tool to
    advance their theology and agenda. This made an already
    dodgy situation much worse.

  69. dcs says:

    Patrick proposes:
    The cause is priests who have received bad formation.

    Yes, priests who have been formed by the Novus Ordo Mass. Why else is it that liturgical abuses and irreverence are so common, but the “Novus Ordo as it should be” is so rare?

  70. Michael J says:

    Patrick,

    I suspect that there have always been Priests who have recieved a bad (or even terrible) formation. Why is it that this caused the widespread problems we see today in such a short time?

  71. Chaplain USN says:

    As a priest ordained in 1998, I am obviously accustomed to the NO, but I have
    trained in the Gregorian Rite recently so I may offer the broadest access to
    the Holy Mass possible for those I serve. I have a great deal of love and devotion
    for both Rites, and all things Catholic. However, I find it loathsome that anyone who calls themselves Catholic could so freely denigrade and dishonor any valid Mass offered
    according to our Holy Tradition. Yes, there are some abuses in the NO, and they should not be promoted as legitimate, but that is not what is happening here. This has become a sort of pogram against the NO, a Rite legitimately established by a Holy Council of the Church. I caution you friends not to let your “conservatism” become grounds for questioning the validity of the Council. That would make you cafeteria Catholics.

  72. Brian Walden says:

    So, does anyone know what led to the poor priestly formation and the rise of the revolutionaries that Matt mentioned. Wouldn’t that be the root of the problem?

    I don’t know a lot about the minutia of liturgy, but in my experience it’s knowledge of what actually happens at Mass that leads to reverence. When I learned that Mass brings us to the foot of the cross at Calvary and first believed that the Eucharist is Jesus, I started thinking about what I was doing all throughout Mass. This led to me being more reverent at Mass and doing my best to approach Mass with the mind of the Church. It’s understanding that brings reverence to the liturgy. In my everyday experience the reason people like the crappy Masses that are common today is because they don’t know what’s really happening at Mass. For people to just absolutely trash the NO Mass from the beginning, there must have been a great lack of knowledge already existing among a majority of Catholics. That’s my speculation anyway from someone who wasn’t around back then.

  73. Patrick says:

    Michael,

    It’s a lot easier to change around a liturgy when it’s in the vernacular. So, poorly formed priests could do a lot more damage once Mass wasn’t in Latin. Of course, there were plenty of poorly formed priests who just skipped prayers during the Mass before the vernacular. It was also the rise of non-conformity in the culture. All of the sudden, being different was a really good thing. Add to that, popular music that got injected into the liturgy and it quickly became very, very different.

    Brian,

    There were bad guys teaching in the seminaries in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Incidentally, the move toward stark, weird church architecture started in the mid 1940’s as well. Remember that the pastors of the late 70’s early 80’s were often men who went to the seminary in the mid-40’s to mid-50’s. My grandfather was in major seminary in the mid-40’s (lucky for me he didn’t have a priestly vocation!) and most of his priest friends were, well, pretty wacky.

    dcs,

    Because the vast majority of the men saying the NO Mass went to bad seminaries and received bad formation. Also, some of the worst wacky priests were in seminary when the TLM was said and they still came out with all sorts of problems. There is more to formation than just the liturgy.

  74. Dennis says:

    we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.”—–

    In my parish one is even hard pressed to find children– while you see some toddlers there are not many kids over 8 years old and the ones that are , are mainly girls—- I recall one sunday 2 years ago counting about 4 boys total who were over the age of 10 ( and that was for 2 masses)

  75. Romuleus says:

    Why was “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory is yours now and forever” inserted into the NO?

    I know the so-called history of the source of the doxology; however, to me, it seemed like a concession to the Protestants in order to have all of us end the Lord’s Prayer the same way. At almost all NO Masses I have attended, this is accompanied by holding hands and raising our held hands high when we say that doxology (just like evangelicals …).

  76. Matt says:

    Reverend Father,

    Thank you for your generosity in offering the Gregorian Mass.

    “Yes, there are some abuses in the NO, and they should not be promoted as legitimate, but that is not what is happening here. This has become a sort of pogram against the NO..”

    Traditionals like would argue that the chief defect of the NOM
    is that it allows a plethora of options and indults, each naturally
    creating an environment of chaos, which makes it hard to distinguish
    an abuse from a rubric anymore. When in Seminary we had a massive
    black hardcover book called “Liturgical Documents of the 1970’s” and
    if you read, one could easily conclude that practically anything
    could be allowed in the NOM when push came to shove.

    “a Rite legitimately established by a Holy Council of the Church”.

    Another point of contention, first given that the introduction of the NOM
    was based on the “untruth” that the TLM had been abrogated. Second,
    because it’s link to Vatican II’s SC is dubious at best. Nothing
    in SC called for the removal of Latin, the turning-around of altars,
    the creation of 26 new Eucharistic Prayers, communion in the hand, ect ect.

    “I caution you friends not to let your “conservatism” become grounds for questioning the validity of the Council. That would make you cafeteria Catholics”.

    I don’t think anyone questions the legal reality of Vatican II, we question
    the political approaches it advocated and the resultant effects thereof.
    Nobody outside the Church had to change as the result of Vatican II, not the world, not unbelievers, not politicians, not other denominations. The only people that were forced to undergo massive cultural change
    (cultural genodice really to borrow a pc term)were Catholics. Is it
    disloyal to question whether any of this was truly done for “the good of the faithful”?

  77. David Kubiak says:

    Dan O:
    When I learned to serve Mass in the ’50’s we never did the ‘solita oscula’, and I was startled too when I first saw them done after the Indult. A priest who was recently at the EF training session at St. John Cantius told me that they were told there that the American bishops had received permission to omit the ‘oscula’ as too foreign to the American way of life. (Cappa magna’s are too, I suppose, but men kissing each other’s hands is a step further.) In the Introduction to his rubrical manual (which in the new edition I have has for obvious reasons been suppressed) Fr. Fortescue hopes that the ‘oscula’ might be abolished, as well as genuflections to the bishop at pontifical Mass. So you’re in good company if you think they are a little odd.

  78. If every Mass was celebrated like the Holy Father’s there would be much less of a problem.

  79. Lee says:

    Traditional Protestant hymns were a relief after some of the awful stuff they were singing (or whining) in the “new” Mass….except even the lyrics of those hymns were changed and vanilla-ed down; i.e., “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me” changed to “that saved and set me free.” Yech. Who’s idea was that? Of course I prefer traditional Catholic hymns, but even “Nearer My God to Thee” is a lot better than most music I hear in church today.

  80. Mark S. says:

    David Kubiak, and Dan O: I serve Mass in the EF at a local church (not my own) and I have never been told to use the solita oscula – and this is in England. I don’t know anything about specific permissions being given, but the man who taught me to serve emphasised that you follow what is customary. It seems to me that custom itself is very significant in these matters, as long as it doesn’t contradict explicit liturgical law and has a historical precedent. I wonder if the solita oscula are omitted because a layman is serving Mass in place of a cleric – does anybody know? Perhaps they are expected in Masses where clerics are assisting as deacon/subdeacon/acolytes – between these individuals – but omitted when the priest is assisted by laymen only. Also, in the UK at least, it’s tolerated for a layman to serve Mass in civvies if necessary, although the norm is cassock and surplice. What’s the rule in other places?

  81. ASD says:

    Bach? At NO Mass? I wish.

  82. RBrown says:

    Of course I prefer traditional Catholic hymns, but even “Nearer My God to Thee” is a lot better than most music I hear in church today.
    Comment by Lee — 3 July 2008

    Wasn’t that the hymn said to be sung as the Titanic was sinking?

  83. Fr. Angel says:

    Some have asked whether something else happened at the time of the arrival of the Novus Ordo (1969) which would have caused such a precipitous drop in Mass attendance. In tranditionalist circles, the assumption is that the Pauline Mass was the culprit.

    However, I have been told by older priests who were pastors at the time that it was another action of Paul VI, which at least in the U.S., caused Catholics to abandon the Mass–namely, the publication of Humanae Vitae.

    One priests told me that at Christmas eve of 1967 he had 4 priests helping him with confessions and they heard each at least 4 hours each of confessions. This pastor stated that he had already been using one of the experimental Missals with guitars and most of the Mass in English, and there was not the slightest decrease in Mass attendance. However, on Christmas eve of 1968, he remembers that the same four priests who heard a combined 16 hours plus of confessions were finished in an hour and the drop in Mass attendance was also very noticeable (the encyclical came out in the summer of 1968). If someone has the time to go through the Gallup statistics, I suspect that Humanae Vitae will be cited in 1970 and afterwards as the number one factor described by Catholics as their reason for defection from Mass–not the arrival of the Novus Ordo.

    I am by no means criticizing the encyclical–to me it was Pope Paul’s most heroic act and prophetic pronouncement. However, if we are interested in the numbers, in why so many (like in John 6) walked away and would no longer follow the Lord, Humanae Vitae is described to me by the older clergy as the main factor in what can only be described as a mass apostasy.

  84. joy says:

    It’s OK, Bach is Catholic now…

  85. Matt says:

    Interesting thesis Fr. Angel.

    I’m sure it was a factor. However, most Catholics who went to the Novus Ordo
    didn’t accept Humanae Vitae either (hence you never heard about it from the
    pulpit). This was to such an extent that the Bishops here in Canada
    basically denied HV too in the Winnipeg Statement to dodge the issue.

    So now whe must ask what the variable would be that separated the
    non HV Catholics who loved the NOM from the non HV Catholics who stopped going
    to it?

  86. Habemus Papam says:

    Patrick; Comparing the 1962 Roman Canon with the 1970 Roman Canon is hardly fair if your point is to make a real equivication of the EF and OF. The last time I heard the Roman Canon in the Novus Ordo the moon was blue.

  87. Patrick says:

    Habemus,

    I didn’t bring it up, someone else did. It was said that the 1970 missal removed the mention and emphasis on sacrifice.

    My point was to show that the missal of 1970 IS about sacrifice, no matter how much that is often downplayed by poorly formed priests.

    When I see the Holy Father say Mass, it is very clear that he is offering the greatest Sacrifice.

  88. Andreae says:

    All the FSSP’s Latin Masses on EWTN are beyond beautiful. They are very reverent, very solemn and truly holy. Plus the singing of the Poor Clares make it doubly wonderful.

    I do not have a problem when the deacon/subdeacon kisses the hands (and biretta, incense, etc.) of the priest celebrant. To me, it conveys the total humility of those serving and assisting in the holy sacrifice. Also, by kissing such hands it shows to me that those hands of the consecrating priests are very holy and sacred – sacred enough to hold the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Please, no effeminate conspiracy theory here!!!

  89. Atlanta says:

    That’s not nice.

  90. Habemus Papam says:

    Patrick: Perhaps they meant the other Eucharistic Prayers, not EP1? I think you right about the Holy Father. They say his private Mass is always 1962.

  91. Cathguy says:

    Fr. Angel

    That is a VERY interesting post. Thank you for your vocation, and for bringing up Humanae Vitae. I think your post raises VERY interesting questions someone more qualified than me should ask.

    I wonder about this:

    In the 1940’s and 50’s we are told by some historians that Catholics were proud of their Church’s stand against contraception, and were proud of the size of their families. If the size of the Catholic families then was any indication, this is certainly true.

    What happened between 1940 and 1960 that would effect older generations of the laity so profoundly that they stopped being proud of the Church’s teaching and stopped showing up? I can see the youth stopping to come (the sexual revolution and all that) but the middle aged and older?

    Another interesting question: in 1930 after the Lambeth conference, the Pope reiterated Catholic teaching. Several years later, and for the first time, my grandparents heard sermons on contraception. They had never heard sermons on the topic before. Before she died, when she was around 90, my grandmother told me she was shocked to learn that coitus interuptus was a sin. My mom can likewise remember after the Sunday sermon that day all the uncles and aunts gathered at my grandparents for dinner. They sent the kids to bed and sat around the dinner table discussing the sermon. They were all surprised and challenged by the teaching. My mom was all ears from her bedroom. They were talking about SEX. That NEVER happened. (This dinner table conversation must have occurred late 1940s for my mom to remember and be interested enough to listen in. She was born in the early 30s.)

    An academic Church historian should look at the laity’s faithfulness to the Church’s teachings in relation to contraception and coitus interruptus across generations. The study would probably have to be limited to certain nations (like the US) to be doable. It would be interesting to see how the laity react to correction from Rome regarding their sexual lives. This could be very interesting from a historical perspective. Currently, the VAST majority of the laity (95%) ignore the Church’s teaching on contraception entirely. It is as if the encyclical was never written.

    It would also be interesting to postulate what the demographic data would look like if Catholics were more faithful to the Church’s teachings, and to hypothesize what sort of effects on society that may have had.

    By the way… I am a faithful Catholic who lives (and adores!) Humanae Vitae.

  92. LCB says:

    Patrick,

    I should have been more clear. When I criticize the NO, I generally don’t include the Roman Canon, mainly for the reasons listed above (I have heard it twice in 3 years). Most NO criticism, in my experience, is aimed at prayers 2-4.

    When I say that the NO is theologically deficient, I mean this in two distinct senses:

    1) EP2-4 (and many of the 20+ other variations) are theologically deficient in that they are insufficiently focused on sacrifice and they are insufficiently in organic continuity with the Gregorian Rite. (Not so much “What I have done” but more “what I have failed to do.”)

    2) Though the rubrics are (relatively) clear, the number of exceptions, indults, options, loopholes, pastoral exceptions, and so on are so great that most anything is deemed permissible. Very often abuses are sanctioned either by bishops, or occasionally by Rome. The deafening silence in response to NO liturgy abuses (in a Rite that in its structure, options, and rubrics lends itself extensively to abuse) implies a strong form of official consent. As such, the prayers themselves are theologically deficient. The abuses are so widespread, and so natural to the NO, that one must recognize the NO contributes to the problem.

    Believe me, I could totally live with EP1 alone and strict adhesion to the rubrics.

  93. Paula says:

    Gentlemen (as the group seems to be mostly gentlemen at the moment):

    As an ex-feminist, an ex-hippie, and a woman, I feel compelled to note that I, for one, would welcome greater reverence at Mass and less sociability. And better music, please! I sometimes wince each time a hymn is announced at Mass these days. It was one of the more obvious losses when I converted from Episcopalianism (or can I say reverted? I was baptized Catholic to please my mother’s family, then raised Episcopalian). That and the liturgical language–I’m thrilled that we’ll soon have better translations. So please, don’t be so fervent about wishing my generation would hurry up and die off.

  94. Cathguy says:

    Sorry Paula,

    I have engaged in that sort of rhetoric before.

    Mea Culpa.

  95. Rose says:

    I thought Fr. Angel’s post fascinating and at first blush, I would agree. But I would like to know what happened (happens) at Orthodox Churches and the Protestant denominations who accept contraception (not abortion, but contraception). Any decline in their regular churchgoing numbers? And at what point in time? Personally I think the decline is due to the SEISMIC change in the attitudes and lives of women (which developments are probably traceable to
    the introduction of the Pill which enabled sex without sin and also freed women to enter the labour force in huge numbers) in the past 40 years. Many women abandoned going to Church when they became sexually and economically “liberated” and “independent” because many of them no longer believed in the concept of sexual sin and had no use for a faith that kept stubbornly teaching repentance of sin, sacrifice, hanging on to crummy marriages and male authority. If Catholic women abandoned going after Humanae Vitae, it was because the encyclical made Catholic doctrine very clear on these subjects and those who had conveniently evaded their upbringing to that point could no longer do so and simply made a choice to abandon going to Church (many through guilty consciences, I think). It seems to me that the “feminization” of the Church in the past 40 years tracks the rise of power and the “freeing” of women in Western secular society and instigated the liturgical changes, not the other way around. And in fact, the dominance of women in the ministries of the Church also encouraged priests to abandon their leadership roles in parish life- understandably, who wants to be called a “chauvinist”?

  96. Matt says:

    Good post Rose, and I think it’s very close to the heart of the matter.

    Also interesting comments about the Church “interfering” in the married life via the issue of contraception being the catalyst which brought the question foreward for the first time (meaning outside of the confessional). In former days, the Church didn’t openly discuss sex at all, and many preferred that approach to the sudden intrusion that Humanae Vitae signalled.

    I think many Catholics had not considered that married love could be so “political” before, and how closely the Church regulated the marriage bed via the long list of acts and thoughts which could constitute mortal sin ect.

    I think contraception was to the Church’s perceived stand on married life and sex what the issue of alcoholism was to the policy of prohibition in the US. i.e. a problem which produced a very, very unpopular policy.

    Perhaps Catholics saw the handling of this question so openly as a major back from the Church’s traditionally more “liberal” attitude to certain joys of Catholic culture. Specifically the Church wasn’t prudish about the “evils” that their dour protestant neighbors constantly railed against such as dancing, smoking, music and alcohol.

    Without the invention of the pill, the Church likely would not have discussed such an explosive issue like married sexuality so openly and confrontationally.

    So we get Enlightened modernist trained clergy with their own agendas + feminism + the Humanae Vitae backlash against “prudish” Paul VI and a jello mold of a liturgy to get to where we are today.

  97. RBrown says:

    Fr Angel,

    By the time Humanae Vitae was promulgated, the vernacularization of the liturgy was well underway. IMHO, the liturgical changes gave people the impression that the ban on contraception would be lifted.

  98. LCB says:

    RBrown, Fr. Angel,

    It’s not like large Catholic groups took out full page ads in the New York Times dissenting from Humanae Vitae, and were fully supported by their Catholic Universities while doing so.

    It’s not like Bishops openly dissented from Humanae Vitae in a public fashion.

    It’s not like priests openly dissented from Humanae Vitae from the pulpit and in the confessional.

    Oh wait…

  99. Paula says:

    Rose,

    I think you cut to the heart of the matter. I do wonder how many US Catholic women have thought through what the Church’s teaching on contraception implies. Women with large families may not be able to commit to the labor force full-time, with the economic independence a job implies.

    RBrown,

    I think you’re right about expectations after the liturgical changes. My husband entered the seminary in those years, under the impression (an impression given him by priests he knew) that by the time he was ordained, the celibacy requirement would be abolished.

  100. Jack Regan says:

    Fr. Angel’s post about HV is absolutely fascinating. I would like to point out that one can very much prefer a more modern liturgy and, at the same time, be loyal to the Church’s teachings. NO does not necessarily mean liberal. Though I’m sure some will point out that the rise of the two has been concurrent.

    If you want my view as to why Mass attendance has declined (which you probably don’t, but hey…)

    I think that there are 2 factors: Firstly I genuinly believe that a lot of Catholics were in Church because of fear, not love. Vatican II took away the fear to a very large degree. It took away the ‘do this or else’ aspect of the faith which IMHO now allows us to see Jesus as he really is – Loving and inviting, not threatening. Maybe – maybe – people who left Mass after VII were the people who were there because they were scared not to be. Maybe.

    Also, I think that the way society changed in the last part of the twentieth century, from the sixties onwards, meant that a decline in Mass attendance would have happened whatever. After all, look at the world as a whole. I believe that Mass attendance in Africa for instance has actually rised since the NO came in.

    Those are my views, anyway… feel free to rip them to pieces :)

  101. Mark S. says:

    I think I agree with RBrown’s comment, at least to an extent. By 1967/68, lay Catholics would have realised the Church was changing in a major way, and may have had hopes re. contraception. I remember in my final year at school, my RE teacher telling us that she remembered the lead-up to Humanae Vitae coming out. There was a lot of expectation that perhaps the Pope would remove the artificial contraception ban, and a lot of disappointment when he didn’t. It seems that was when many people – including priests – really bought into the idea of “You can follow your own conscience, even if it contradicts Church teaching, as long as you’ve formed a well-considered judgment.”

    Also, I have sympathy with the comment made by Jack Regan. The 20th century in general was, for want of a better word, catastrophic – 2 devastating world wars, Communism, fascism, etc, and then the social upheavals of the 1960’s. People of all religious persuasions don’t live in a vacuum, they are affected by the world around them, to try to blame declines in the Church purely on Vatican II is ignoring all the other influences.

  102. Jack Regan says:

    *Also, I have sympathy with the comment made by Jack Regan.*

    Blimey, two people aggreing with me in one day. It must be Christmas.

    Mark, I think we met at the pub after the EF Mass in London a few weeks back. If you’re the guy I think you are?

  103. Habemus Papam says:

    Vatican II didn’t take the “fear” away from those adults raised in 30s and 40s. The New Mass was such a radical departure from the religion of their youth that many thought “well if They can change that They can change anything”.

  104. RBrown says:

    Jack,

    1. If by “fear”, you mean wonder, awe, and respect for the Church, Her Doctrine, Her clergy, Her religious orders, and Her Sacraments, then I agree.

    On the other hand, if by “fear” you mean only “scared”, then I would strongly disagree, saying that think that is based on a worst case scenario.

    2. The changes in society/culture argument is self-defeating. After VatII the Inculturationists, who favored vernacularization of the entire Church (not just liturgy) swung into action. And so the Church, which should influence and convert culture, has instead been influenced and converted by it.

  105. Habemus Papam says:

    Jack Regan: You suppose that before Vatican II Catholics did not see in the Sacred Heart a God who was loving and inviting? You seem to suggest a new religion was created by Vatican II.

  106. Jack Regan says:

    *If by “fear”, you mean wonder, awe, and respect for the Church, Her Doctrine, Her clergy, Her religious orders, and Her Sacraments*

    I don’t!

    I’m sure there were those who weren’t there in fear though.

  107. Michael says:

    Jack Regan, I read an exchange between one Jack Regan and Cornelius about conscience, have prepared much of my comments for posting, but lost the title of the post in which the correspondence took place. If you are the same Jack Regan and interested to read what I have to say, please let me know where the corresopndence is. I am not all that good in finding my way in this maze of coments. Thanks

  108. Mark S. says:

    Sorry, Jack, a different Mark. I’m from “up north” (it’s grim up there!) and I last went to London over 30 years ago! Sorry!

  109. Supertradmom says:

    For the record, my son, who is twenty, and his friends infinitely prefer the TLM to the NO, even though most of them were not “raised in it”, as it was not available in our area. Several of them want to join trad orders. Here are men seeking to not only attend but to celebrate the TLM — a silent, peaceful movement in the Church — which will create a generation returning to traditional Holy Mass in numbers.

  110. John P says:

    A propos oscula and genuflections to the bishop, as an assistant MC in the diocese of Worcester\\<
    MA (under Bishop John WRight) in the 1950s we were always taught that the American church
    did not use oscula, and, indeed, I never saw them used, except in Europe, until
    “Europeanized” groups like the ICK and the FSSP appeared. I am by no means crititissing
    these groups, but simply saying that they are not following the American tradition.
    Although it was common to genuflect to kiss a bishop’s ring, in the sanctuary one
    merely bowed, never genuflected

  111. Mark J. says:

    Craig- “…They are abuses that can be stopped (and will be God willing, probably
    as soon as the baby boomers die off) without altering a line of rubrics.”

    Now hold on there young fella! I will have you know that a lot of the 44-62 year
    old crowd have been fighting the good fight for years. At age 53, I just might
    have a little fight left in me too.