An old priest comments: “so many of the ardent became lukewarm, many lapsed”

South Ashford Priest has guided me to a comment on the blog of the always interesting Fr. Ray Blake at St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton:

As a priest in my 83rd year I have to make a confession. I implemented the Pauline reforms without understanding or sensitivity. I did it relying on the advice and coercion of my bishop and diocesan authorities. As I did it I witnessed the hurt and pain of many of the devout, so many of the ardent became lukewarm, many lapsed. I thought I acted rightly but in my 59 years of priesthood I recognise that that which we hoped for has not come to pass.

I do welcome a careful reappraisal and assessment of what has been done since my ordination, especially by the younger clergy. In order to do that they must learn something of the spirituality that brought men of my generation in vast numbers to the seminary.

In short I welcome this Merton initiative.

Incidentally, in the solitude of my retirement, since last September, I have relearnt the Mass of my youth, it brings me great consolation. It is the Mass I have not celebrated out of obedience since 1970.

Fr P O’Rourke

 

I cannot say adequately how deeply impressed I am by this priest’s comment.

An old priest comments: “so many of the ardent became lukewarm, many lapsed”
0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

135 Responses to An old priest comments: “so many of the ardent became lukewarm, many lapsed”

  1. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    Thanks for posting this, Fr! I am always amazed by priests like Fr O’Rourke who persevered through the storms and after the 30 or 40 years of madness, can give a testimony such ad this. What a mission we young priests have!

  2. Scott says:

    God bless our holy priests!

  3. Rubricarius says:

    I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.

  4. Larry says:

    I think that it is clear that if many priests who stood on both sides of the divide are honest with themselves these would be their testimony as well. I know as a layman who was in college when much of these changes were taking place I embraced the new; but, I listened to my mother and many of her age group who were at the very least uncertain of why these things were happening. I now wonder if it is not a certain amount of fear that something similar will happen that has some bishops and priests being less than enthusiastic in welcoming the Holy Father’s MP. I know generally it is perceived that they are acting on the basis of pride; but, I suspect many are gun shy as well.

    At any rate, Father Z. your job is by no means over. There are huge issues that must be explored if what has been started is to actually continue to grow.

  5. EDG says:

    What a sad and touching comment. Having seen – and been personally affected by – the devastation wrought by the destruction of the liturgy and practice of the Church by Vatican II, I sometimes feel a certain bitterness towards the clergy who enforced this. But many of them probably had no choice; and in turn, many bishops probably felt they had no choice, either, and were probably not very happy about it.

    I am sure this priest is not alone in looking back with regret.

  6. Richard says:

    “I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription.”

    I think it’s unwise to generalize too much.

    Having said that, it may well be that one thing we have learned from what has happened the last 40 years is how – and how much – the liturgy affects the rest of the life of the Church – for good and for ill.

    Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until you’ve lost it (even if the old mass was never really “lost’ – but I think we all know what I mean).

  7. Oremus says:

    Help me out. What did he mean by “Merton initiative” ? Not THOMAS MERTON, I am sire.

  8. Fortitude says:

    “Help me out. What did he mean by “Merton initiative” ? Not THOMAS MERTON, I am sire.” Posted by Oremus

    Merton College, Oxford – The Latin Mass Society’s second annual Priests’ Training Conference

    Check out the Latin Mass Society for a short summary.

  9. Nancy says:

    I have to share with you an experience I had the other day at Mass. I attend a TLM, and on this particular day the woman sitting next to me was clearly an Italian lady who may not have spoken much (if any) English. She was reading a Latin/Italian missal, and was reciting the Latin responses, and singing the sung portions of the Mass (Gloria, Credo, etc.) comfortably along with all the rest of the congregation. And I thought, there is probably the most profound reason for the Latin Mass – here is a woman who may not be able to communicate readily with anyone in her day to day life here in the United States, but she can come to Mass and know exactly what is going on, and be an active part of the group because of, not in spite of, the Latin. The church can speak to us all, without difference or discrimination, through the use of Latin liturgy, wherever we are.

  10. John V says:

    Another reminder that the “reform of the reform” must be carried out with understanding and sensitivity lest many devout and ardent souls who have known nothing other than the Ordinary Form be hurt, become lukewarm, and lapse. Even now, more than a year after Summorum Pontificum, Fr. Z’s Five Rules for Engagement maintain their relevance.

  11. Jordanes says:

    Rubricarius said: I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.

    If Piero Marini’s recent book is anything to go by, it would appear that Annibale Bugnini and his allies were aware that liturgy was more than a legal prescription and has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations — they implemented a program to create a different kind of Catholicism, one with which most Catholics naturally were not familiar. The disastrous pastoral effect was predictable, and I think was predicted. Whether or not they desired to overthrow the faith of many (and I hope and pray it wasn’t), that is what their ill-advised wholesale liturgical reform in fact caused.

  12. TJM says:

    What stunning honesty and a very moving account. God bless this holy priest. Tom

  13. Maynardus says:

    Nancy et al:

    One Sunday at Holy Name in Providence we took an informal survey as people were leaving Mass (E.F.) – in addition to Latin-English, we counted handmissals with four other languages: French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Polish. This was amongst the “regulars”, we know there are a few others as well including Anglophones who are equally comfortable using, say, their grandmother’s Latin-Italian Missal. We get about 250 people every Sunday and that mixture seems pretty typical for a T.L.M. congregation that size…

  14. Luke says:

    When I was doing research at the Archdiocese of Dubuque, I worked in a room with an older priest. It was about this time that I started getting into the TLM and I asked him about it. He just kept saying we had lost so much: We had lost so much of the mystery, we had lost so much of the respect for the Mass. You could tell he was very sad about it all. I hope he knows of this movement.

  15. TJM says:

    This is a question probably better answered by someone other than me. When you had about 75% of American Catholics attending Sunday mass
    pre-Vatican II compared to about 23% now, what on earth were they trying to fix? Tom

  16. SARK says:

    Dear Paul V,

    “Another reminder that the “reform of the reform” must be carried out with understanding and sensitivity lest many devout and ardent souls who have known nothing other than the Ordinary Form be hurt, become lukewarm, and lapse.”

    On the contrary surely this is a reminder that we should get on as quickly as possible with the “reform of the reform” before the whole game is as good as up in some European countries.

    While I agree that it is always good to be sensitive and careful when the salvation of souls is at stake – your comment suggests that there is some equivalence between the supression and an ancient and holy rite with a neo-protestant one that occured during the latter part of the 1960’s and re-provision of that same venerable rite today.

    Dear Rubicarious,

    “I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.”

    With greatest respect I have to say I think this is one of the strangest comments I have seen on this blog. Certainly both the enemies (the modernists: e.g.,Bugnini) and the defenders of the Faith (the traditionalists; e.g.; + Lefbevre) new exactly what the effect of the introduction of the NO would be? They have both been proved to be right. Let’s get rid of it as soon as possible.

    Fr P O’Rourke is obviously a man of great humility. Respect is due to him.

    JMJ

  17. miss book says:

    This good and holy priest had the honesty and humility to tell the truth about those stormy and difficult years following Vatican 2.God bless him and others like him.

  18. I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.

    Both having been there in the 1950s and 1960s, and having followed WDTPRS daily since its beginning, I don’t think a more more inexplicable comment has ever appeared here.

  19. Luke says:

    I understand the comment, though I will defer to others if it’s right or wrong.

    You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. And when it’s gone, and it was good, you miss it tremendously. Makes sense.

  20. magdalen says:

    I have spoken to MANY people who stopped going to Mass because their hearts were broken.

    My own father, who continues to go to the Saturday ‘vigil’ Mass, is nowhere near what he once was when he went to regular confession and was a devout man. That is lost. And my aunts and uncles think confession went out with Vatican II. There is a reason why they think that–because their shepherds told them so. I have been in churches where those who were not in favor of the innovations were ridiculed and marginalized. Those who prayed the rosary were scorned and on and on ad nauseum.

    ‘They’ took the Mass away and gave us, even through valid, a protestant service from the Book of Common prayer and so many innumerable things went by the wayside. Orders were corrupted. The list never ends.

    But it is like you state–save the liturgy, save the world.

  21. m.a. says:

    I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.

    Comment by Rubricarius

    ******************

    I don’t think this comment is strange at all. As a person in the pew and as one brought up with the Baltimore Catechism/Catholic schooling and having experienced the Church as very legalistic in the 1940’s – 50’s, I tend to agree with Rubricarius.

    I don’t remember any teaching that emphasized how liturgy would affect the priest or congregation. I think this is an idea that has developed from present experiences. It certainly wasn’t emphasized in religion classes. The major emphasis seemed to be on sin; not the goodness of our God.

    As for the Mass itself, I often thought that some priests tried to get through the Mass as quickly as possible. Others mumbled through the Mass. Even though I used a missal and could follow what was happening, I was so grateful when the Mass in the vernacular arrived.

    However, I realized even then that to totally suppress the Latin Mass was not right. I am not interested in TLM myself but want to have it available to anyone desiring it.

  22. AnnaTrad says:

    God bless this dear Priest for his honesty. I too think there are many Priest who feel the same in their hearts.

    We have to be very careful or history will repeat itself if there is not a stop to the avalanche of those who want to change the Gregorian Mass. Once you start with one thing then it’s another and before you know it the guitars and the clown suits will be showing up with Mr. Potato Head. Because of all the havoc of the past decades nothing should be changed in the GM for a good long time and then only after much much thought. This disease of changitess is still rampant in the Church and it may take a generation or two to disappear.

  23. Avus says:

    The more I see, hear, and read, the more I’m convinced the Holy Spirit really was the inspiration for VCII, in order to save the True Mass and the Church from oblivion. What I mean is, if there hadn’t been an NO for the “progressives” to destroy, then they would have forced the feminist and protestant changes on the Tridentine Mass itself. By now it would have been an unrecognizable disaster, too late to undo the damage. Instead, we’re beginning to emerge from the 40 years in the liberal desert with the True Mass virtually intact, and a tiny but growing number of Catholics gaining a renewed appreciation for it. So now, the question and challenge is: have we learned our lesson and are willing to fight to keep the Mass sacred, or will we allow them to eventually do to the real Mass what they’ve done to the New Mass? They won’t give up. Will we?

  24. I don’t remember any teaching that emphasized how liturgy would affect the priest or congregation.

    Nor do I. People were shaped in their spirituality by the liturgy. They didn’t need to be told that they were.

  25. RBrown says:

    I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.
    Comment by Rubricarius

    If that’s true, then why did Solesmes sell so many records?

    Anyone who ever went on retreat at a Benedictine or Trappist monastery has experience the effects of liturgy. In fact, anyone who ever read The Seven Story Mountain saw how Merton tied liturgy to life.

  26. Nathan says:

    Henry Edwards: “People were shaped in their spirituality by the liturgy. They didn’t need to be told that they were.”

    Martin Mosebach, in “The Heresy of Formlessness,” makes a similar point. To paraphrase, he says that one of the great tragedies of the liturigical changes was that everyone had to learn to evaluate liturgy, rather than simply have their spiritual lives focused by the Mass that simply was what it was. To become a “liturgist” in this sense is to lose your innocence on the mystery and the reality of the Holy Sacrifice.

    I’ve been wrestling with Mosebach’s argument, because on face it seems profound and accurate. I’m trying to reconcile it with the idea that one can know God better through the study of the liturgy because the Mass, in its ceremonies and in the theology behind them, is the meeting point of God and man in both the Incarnation and in the Redemption.

    In Christ,

  27. RBrown says:

    I don’t remember any teaching that emphasized how liturgy would affect the priest or congregation. I think this is an idea that has developed from present experiences. It certainly wasn’t emphasized in religion classes. The major emphasis seemed to be on sin; not the goodness of our God.

    You are uninformed. Sanctification via the liturgy was the constant theme of Dom Gueranger, the 19th cent founder of Solesmes and father of the true liturgical movement. And there is a famous book by Madame Cecile Bruyere, the first abbess of St Cecilia, sister house of Solesmes.

    Did you ever in the 60’s go on retreat with the Benedictines?

    As for the Mass itself, I often thought that some priests tried to get through the Mass as quickly as possible. Others mumbled through the Mass. Even though I used a missal and could follow what was happening, I was so grateful when the Mass in the vernacular arrived.

    OK, some mumbled to get through the mass quickly. So what do we have now? Priests are hamming it up and emoting through a show biz mass complete with corny songs. Whatever deficiencies in the old way of saying a poor mass, at least, no one left mass offended by such vulgar parodies of Catholic spirituality.

    However, I realized even then that to totally suppress the Latin Mass was not right. I am not interested in TLM myself but want to have it available to anyone desiring it.
    Comment by m.a.

    So you prefer the Protestant approach, eh? [Whether this is right or not, it is probably just ‘picking a fight’.]

  28. Trad Tom says:

    As I read this dear priest’s words, I found myself actually choking up. At a party recently, I announced to my (mostly Catholic) friends that I have been unhappy and unfulfilled in my church/parish/etc. for the past 38 years or so. They looked at me as if I had two heads as I explained all that we had lost. They all agreed that Mass in the vernacular and priests who told them to let their consciences be their guide (about anything!) were the best things that ever happened to Catholicism. This from people who also claim that missing Mass on Sunday doesn’t really matter — God loves you no matter what.

  29. dark_coven says:

    “…It is the Mass I have not celebrated out of obedience since 1970.”

    I can hear the SSPX saying at the back of my mind “see, I told you!”

    Instavrare Omnia In Christo.

  30. Many years ago I learned a very wise saying from a recovering alcoholic nurse that seems to be so apropos to the good Father’s witness: God gives us joyful days in order to hare His Joy with us; He gives us days suffering and pain to toughen us up a bit. We are living in a truly marvelous Springtime of the Liturgy. Let us not take it for granted, but share the treasure we have been given.

  31. mitch says:

    If this letter read like a petition I am sure it would be signed by thousands. He must feel so relieved to come forward with it and I thank him for sharing it with all of us who “tune in” here. Does anyone know if these types of letters ever get to Rome, or will be part of that 3 year review period after the MP went into effect? It should. It is a fine testamnent from someone “in the know”. I hope someone invites him to say a public Mass once again. It would be such a fitting conclusion to read his letter in a homily. God Bless You Father.

  32. Woody Jones says:

    I think that Jordanes’s post above about Marini and Bugnini is right on the mark and very telling when we see the reactions to SP coming from so many quarters, including the comboxes that provoked Fr. O’Rourke’s splendid comment.

    It may be because a friend and I here were just discussing and lamenting how no one in the USA, not even Republicans, seems really to have wanted a return to small government, but I really fear that the same will be found to be true in the Church, with respect to return to liturgical reverence and orthodox teaching and living. While many say they are for it, it remains to be seen how many will really push for it all the way. The reluctance of the bishops in this area, as well as others, speaks volumes. As I have said before, it appears that they are just waiting for the Holy Father to pass on, and then they hope to get another one, more liberal, to their liking.

    This time seems to me really to be a fork in the road of the Church’s history, and while I hope and pray the right-ward path will be chosen, I am by no means confident that it will.

  33. Peg says:

    I was told by a very holy priest that doctrine comes before liturgy and that the doctrines of the Faith were being watered down long before the “New” Mass was imposed upon us. The Novus Ordo was a natural result of the weakening of Catholic Doctrine.

  34. Malta says:

    *if there hadn’t been an NO for the “progressives” to destroy, then they would have forced the feminist and protestant changes on the Tridentine Mass itself.*

    BINGO! You got it! Paul VI, in ordering Bugnini to manufacture a new mass, actually saved the traditional form! I don’t know why this isn’t more generally recognized, but VII called for a reformation of the TLM, not, necessarily, a new mass. Now that we can see, with 20/20 hindsight, what a disaster the NO really was (almost no belief in the REal presence, etc.) we can reevaluate the value of the traditional form

    It’s like this: The TLM was saved in a Cacoon through the tumult of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, and has been given to us, anew but unchanged, almost as a gift from God, because it hasn’t been adulterated and watered down by all the legions and legions and legions of liberal screw-balls who have inserted themselves into high positions in the Church and parade as “Catholics,” when, really, they are subversive deconstructionists who hate the Traditional values of our Holy Faith: and, thus, hate Christ Himself, as He truly is….

  35. Tomás López says:

    Rubricarius and m.a., I have something that I want to share with you. I want to tell you about a Catholic magazine.

    When it was founded, its primary aim was “to develop a better understanding of the spiritual impact of the liturgy and to promote active participation on the part of all men and women in the worship of the Church.” Sounds like something you would like to subscribe to, doesn’t it?

    Its founder organized this magazine around four operating principles:

    1) “The idea that the parish is the body that can most effectively carry the Gospel to the world.” The founder believed that “through lay participation in the liturgy, congregations could be built up into active communities of service and love.”

    2) “The local Church must be interested in the daily lives of men and women – in their work, in their leisure activities, and in their social concerns. “ The founder believed that a parish’s “worship must come out of human life and return people to the serious business of life formed not only in the abstract realms of theology but in the concrete realities of marriage and family life, work, sickness, and leisure.”

    3) “The unemployed and marginalized were the very people whom the Church, if true to the mission of Jesus Christ, should be specially searching for and serving.” The founder knew that “the lonely and poor needed was to feel wanted and one thing the Church should be able to give was a sense of belonging to a human community.”

    4) Lastly, “that the corporate worship of the laity must be renewed everywhere.” The magazine’s founder “taught that worship is something that lay persons must do together in order to grow into the unity of the Body of Christ.”

    What year was this magazine founded, with all of the aforesaid in mind?

    a) 1926

    b) 1946

    c) 1966

    d) 1986

    (Feel free to use one of your lifelines!)

    To find the answer (as well as the name of the magazine), click here:
    http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/worship/worship/page1.htm

    So then, how does the above square with these two quotes?

    1.”I don’t think anyone in the 1950s and 1960s thought liturgy was anything other than a legal prescription. The idea that liturgy has a profound effect on both individuals and congregations wasn’t even considered.” Rubricarius

    2.“I don’t remember any teaching that emphasized how liturgy would affect the priest or congregation. I think this is an idea that has developed from present experiences.” m. a.

  36. Jim says:

    I was received into the Catholic Church at age 19 during the summer of 1961. I lapsed for 20 years after the abrupt changes post VII. That would have been around 1966 or 67 (it came early in my diocese). I am not proud of how I handled it. I came back after my son was born in 1986 because I wanted to see him baptized.

    I remember the insensitivity with which the new changes were introduced. It warms my heart to hear this priest made this statement 40 years later, at age 83. Liturgical abuses continue in the area where I now live, and it brings back a sense of deja vu. Rather than making the mistake of lapsing once again, I have found solace in an Eastern (Ukranian) Rite parish where we are blessed with a strong priest, a convert from orthodoxy. The Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics did not experience the same jarring changes. The liturgy is substantially the same as it had been before VII. Only the Roman rite was affected in a big way.

    Let us all pray for reform of the liturgy. It is not too late. Only the Holy Spirit can bring about true reform.

  37. Mark says:

    I agree with Father O’Rourke that “that which we hoped for has not come to pass”. I too have many friends who are lapsed Catholics. For many of their children the Catholic Church means absolutely nothing.

  38. m.a. says:

    You are uninformed. Sanctification via the liturgy was the constant theme of Dom Gueranger, the 19th cent founder of Solesmes and father of the true liturgical movement. And there is a famous book by Madame Cecile Bruyere, the first abbess of St Cecilia, sister house of Solesmes.
    *************

    None of these people were ever discussed in elementary or high school religion classes when I was growing up in the 1940’s-50’s. There were no theology or liturgy classes in Catholic HS when I was growing up… and I was taught throughout by Benedictines!

    The old Baltimore Catechism was our religious fare. Sanctification through the liturgy was simply not where the emphasis was placed. People in the pews were not catechized like you think they were. At least, they were not in the South where Catholics were in the minority.

    So you prefer the Protestant approach, eh?

    No, I prefer the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

  39. m.a. says:

    Tomas Lopez said: Rubricarius and m.a., I have something that I want to share with you. I want to tell you about a Catholic magazine.
    ********

    It is a real pity that the magazine “Worship” was never available or passed around to the ordinary Catholic in the pew. It may have been around for a long time, but if we were never shown or told about it, then it wouldn’t have existed for us.

    BTW, thanks for the link.

  40. Tomás López says:

    m.a., I believe you are on the wrong blog — try solipsist.com

  41. TJM says:

    I remember when “Worship” was called “Orate Fratres.” In retrospect they should have kept
    the old title. Tom

  42. RBrown says:

    None of these people were ever discussed in elementary or high school religion classes when I was growing up in the 1940’s-50’s. There were no theology or liturgy classes in Catholic HS when I was growing up… and I was taught throughout by Benedictines!

    Dom Gueranger wanted each parish to learn to sing Greg Chant. IMHO, implementing that would have meant teaching it to high school students.

    Obviously there were deficiencies before Vat II (more so in the US than in Europe, which is more aware of Catholic heritage), and they didn’t just involve liturgy. I have met pre VII grads of Notre Dame who took 4 years of religion classes but had never read a word of Ste Terese’s “Story of a Soul” or St. Augustine’s “Confessions”.

    Having said that, I find it interesting that anyone would consider any course taken in high school (or for that matter, at a university) to be anything but an introduction. In fact, every university course I ever had–and some were very advanced–I consider to be little else than an introduction, a door opened.

    The old Baltimore Catechism was our religious fare. Sanctification through the liturgy was simply not where the emphasis was placed. People in the pews were not catechized like you think they were. At least, they were not in the South where Catholics were in the minority.

    I understand the problems of the 50’s, but we’ve moved from that to expressive liturgy, which is not only not Catholic (by definition) but also boring and often offensive.

    So you prefer the Protestant approach, eh?
    No, I prefer the Ordinary Form of the Mass.
    Comment by m.a.

    Protestants use the vernacular; Catholics now use it. Protestant celebration of the Eucharist is done facing the people; now the Catholic Eucharist is also done that way.

    That’s a lot of quacking not to be a duck.

  43. It is great humility that I see in the priests quote

    I have several friends who went from being devout Catholics, to being CE Catholics during the Liturgical changes. Now that I’ve told them about the TLM, they’re interested in coming back to the Faith.

    The quote about Paul VI saving the TLM is very profound. By creating a new rite the TLM was saved from possible destruction.

    Deo Gratias for Pope Benedict and SP!

  44. Deusdonat says:

    However, I realized even then that to totally suppress the Latin Mass was not right. I am not interested in TLM myself but want to have it available to anyone desiring it.
    Comment by m.a.

    So you prefer the Protestant approach, eh?

    Must you belittle and slander everyone you personally disagree with? To insinuate [And this is nothing other than knee-jerk reaction to language that needs to be ignored.] this person prefers a “Protestant approach” simply because he/she does not prefer the Tridentine mass is both dishonest and bitter. In short, not at all charitable (and unfortunately quite in tune with the character of your overall posts here).

    If I had what “I” want, of course the TLM would be instituted universally throughout the Latin Rite churches tomorrow and I believe the NO would within a few generations be relegated to history. But it’s not about what “I” want. And I realize that at this point in history those who desire the NO have a right to it. That is reality. And I would be VERY and extremely grateful if there were millions more Catholics like M.A who had the courage to say he/she believes the TLM should be available to anyone who desires it. Maybe then the bishops would realize that even their “core” wants the TLM availabe for those who want it. Anyway, you really should think twice before you say such divisive and spiritually bankrupt comments like that to people. You know this isn’t the first time, so let it be the last.

    M.A. from the heart, I truly am thankful for your comment. I do not believe you are subscribing to a “Protestant Way”. But also, if it is simply mass in the vernacular you seek, then the Tridentine mass has been, and can be said in the vernacular as well. This has been done at many times throughout history. Just an FYI. And thank you again for your post.

  45. SARK says:

    Dear Avis & Malta,

    The NO as decoy theory set up by the Holy Ghost is cute.

    However, I have three initial thoughts.

    First, the TLM has not been in a cocoon for the last 40 years – it has been celebrated everyday by hundreds of priests and assisted at by thousands of faithful – quite openly.

    Second, it is is not clear whether the TLM will be left intact by Rome or whether there will be a significant revision or a melding of the NO and TLM (some might say it started with the change to the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews). The forces of modernism are still rampent within the Church as recent posts on this blog make clear.

    Third, the NO was only one of a number of damaging novelties introduced following VII (false ecumenism, collegiality etc) – the Holy Father does not seem interested in reforming those reforms.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts.

    JMJ

  46. Michael UK says:

    I recall a parish priest {Redhill, Surrey, UK) in 1960 predicting exactly the devestation which was to all upon us – the intial small chnages to the The Mass, escalating.

    A Non-Conformist minister friend [North Cumberland Mission, UK] an alumnus of Bob Jones University became a missionary in the Far East and was friendly with Catholic priests of the area. [He would have been excommunicated if his home sponsors knew!] He was appalled at that which Vatican II imposed on the Catholic populace, particularly the elderly, believeing it was cruel in the extreme. That can be taken as an unbiased view.

    I have it on certain authority, that one UK Modernist Archbishop in the last few days of his life, acknowledged the devestation which had been inflicted upon the Church in E&W and his part in the promulgation of the same.

  47. Adam says:

    Michael UK,
    Your “UK Modernist Archbishop” agreed towards the end of his life (when he was making his peace) to celebrate what was then called the “Tridentine Mass” for the Latin Mass Society, but he died before he could do so.

    Fr Finigan reports on his blog that this “modernist” bishop was mentioned at the Merton conference last week, perhaps much to the surprise of the participants.

    Incidentally, he might not have been a good bishop, in what were very difficult times, but does that make him a modernist?

  48. Wow. Truly humbling to hear from the other side of the rail. I had so often heard Catholics, even people who were mere children of 7 or 8 talk of the horrifying experience when it first happened.

    My sister tells me that she was only 8 and after all they were taught – to never touch Our Lord with their own fingers – had to suppress that awful feeling to obey the nun who now ordered them to receive in the hand, standing. This was before sanction was given to the practice. Traumatic is the only way to describe it from so many people I’ve heard from.

    I had never thought about what the priests must have been feeling at the same time.

    It also illustrates something else. Priests went along with it because they thought it was the right thing to do at the time. It shows tremedous courage to reflect back openly and honestly, and to work towards restoring what truly is right.

  49. Fr. Chris Reay says:

    I entered the seminary in Melbourne, Australia, in 1970. I remember hearing people say in those years that they had stopped going to Mass because it wasn’t the same. I didn’t know what they meant. Surely the Mass is the Mass. I still believe that the Mass is the Mass. But now I know what they meant. On August 19 I am 30 years ordained. On that morning – praise God! – I will celebrate my first Mass in the extraordinary form. And the “old” form has altered the way that I celebrate the novus ordo. Thank God for the present Holy Father!

  50. Tecumseh says:

    Which “UK Modernist Archbishop” were they talking about. Archbishop Worlock ? there is a picture of him on Fr Finnigans blog.

  51. dick says:

    Amen,amen! After watching our parish priest of thirty-five years retired by the new bishop because he didn’t get with the “spirit” of Vatican II and our Italian marble High Altar chopped into little chairs for the “presider”, I left. Tried going back numerous times only to leave again. Found a small parish with a very conservative priest where the Novus Ordo was not a Sunday morning variety show. He was transferred and the new priest brought all the “spirit” with him. I left again. Father is correct when he states many of us voted with our feet. Luckily, I now have access to which priest will offer the various masses and which warblers will be leading the musical. Ironic- last Sunday’s communion hymn’s first words were,”Sacred Silence”. It was Not silent!

  52. Chris says:

    However, I realized even then that to totally suppress the Latin Mass was not right. I am not interested in TLM myself but want to have it available to anyone desiring it.
    Comment by m.a.

    So you prefer the Protestant approach, eh?

    I thought having the extraordinary form available alongside the ordinary form was the approach of Pope Benedict, hardly a protestant. Those of us who are devoted to the reverent celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI sometimes get the impression that the real ‘traditionalist’ agenda is to do away with Vatican II and all its blessings. Posts like this confirm our suspicions.

  53. Simon Platt says:

    As a young man. Well, youngish. At least younger then the council. As a middle-aged man, I wonder: what exactly were the blessings of Vatican II?

    (I’m not trying to be funny here. I’d really like to know. At least one commentator on this blog has referred to these, and perhaps he’s been around longer than I have. I’d like to know what he means.)

  54. SARK says:

    Dear Chris,

    I don’t think there is any concealment here. Most traditionalists would love to “do away with
    VII and all its blessings”.

    It was an unnecessary council that produced highly ambiguous documents on many issues and
    ushered in a period of modernism (that’s spelt h-e-r-e-s-y) even within the very heart of Rome,
    which in turn led to apostacy among both religious and the laity alike, on a massive scale.

    The development and impositon of the NO with its strongly neo-protestant symbolism was a key
    element in this dismantling of Catholic spirituality, morality, culture and practice.

    If we want to revitalise Catholic spirituality, morality, culture and practice we should
    consign the NO to history asap.

    It confuses me how anyone who has experienced both the TLM and NO can say the “mass is the
    mass”. The NO is (and was designed to be) far closer in spirit to a middle church CofE
    eucharist than it is to the TLM. Even +Hoyos recently admitted that the two rites were
    based on different theologies.

    Could I humbly recommend a reading of the Michael Davies’ (RIP) brilliant trilogy on the
    liturgical changes to all, starting with “Cranmer’s Godly Order”. It’s a real eye-opener.

    JMJ

  55. Basil Roberson says:

    SARK

    May I suggest you read ‘Worship’ 28 pp. 157-167. I think you might find the text informative rather than suggesting the Ordinary Form is ‘middle CofE’. Pope Bendict has taught that the EF and OF are two forms of the one same Roman rite – do you know better than him?

    BTW I think you will find that many parishes in the CofE have adopted the modern Roman rite to the detriment of their, more classically Protestant, 1662 BCP.

  56. mpm says:

    SARK,

    Do away with Vatican II? Turn back time?

    Vatican II wasn’t modernism, even if it gave modernists an occasion to mess
    up the Church (which I think is indefectible, you know, ex fide)? Would you want
    to tell the Holy Spirit to stand down, ie., to His Face?

  57. Deusdonat says:

    Chris,

    you are correct. That “Protestant” comment was snide, dishonest and spiritually bankrupt.

    SARK,

    Regardless of our personal feelings, to call anyone who prefers the NO a “Protestant” is uncharitable to say the least. Many people who have grown up with it are in fact indoctrinated. I went to a Jesuit university and can honestly say I was indoctrinated in many beliefs which I found perfectly acceptable and “Catholic” (after all, I was being told directly from priests). So, please be mindful that to go around calling other Catholics “Protestants” or prefering a “Protestant approach” simply for preferring the NO does nothing but paint traditionalists as irrational and propagandists.

  58. RBrown says:

    Must you belittle and slander everyone you personally disagree with? To insinuate this person prefers a “Protestant approach” simply because he/she does not prefer the Tridentine mass is both dishonest and bitter. In short, not at all charitable (and unfortunately quite in tune with the character of your overall posts here).

    I said nothing personal to her. It is you who continue to attack me because I pointed out that your comments on the Filioque were disgraceful and irresponsible. Somehow you thought that you could waltz onto this site, make inflammatory comments, then blame someone else for the fire.

    And once again, I encourage you to consider the nature of psychological projection.

    Re my comment to her (which was not uncharitable, bitter, nor dishonest–but was, I readily agree, direct): It is well known that Protestantism influenced the creation of the Novus Ordo as well as the way it is commonly said (versus populum in the vernacular). You might want to look into the works of Jean Guitton, the French philosophe, friend of Paul VI, lay observer at VatII, and member of L’Académie française.

    If I had what “I” want, of course the TLM would be instituted universally throughout the Latin Rite churches tomorrow and I believe the NO would within a few generations be relegated to history. But it’s not about what “I” want. And I realize that at this point in history those who desire the NO have a right to it. That is reality. And I would be VERY and extremely grateful if there were millions more Catholics like M.A who had the courage to say he/she believes the TLM should be available to anyone who desires it. Maybe then the bishops would realize that even their “core” wants the TLM availabe for those who want it.

    It’s not a matter of what I want but rather what is appropriate for Catholic life. It’s also a matter of pointing out the half-truths of the post Vat II Church–the relation between them and the current problems.

    And I noticed that you wrote nothing to contradict my comments on the Novus Ordo.

    Anyway, you really should think twice before you say such divisive and spiritually bankrupt comments like that to people. You know this isn’t the first time, so let it be the last.
    Comment by Deusdonat

    Who died and left you in charge? Are you invoking the same authority that triggered your “stuff and nonsense” comment about the Filioque? Or your prediction that it would eventually be taken out of the Credo?

  59. RBrown says:

    I thought having the extraordinary form available alongside the ordinary form was the approach of Pope Benedict, hardly a protestant. Those of us who are devoted to the reverent celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI sometimes get the impression that the real ‘traditionalist’ agenda is to do away with Vatican II and all its blessings. Posts like this confirm our suspicions.
    Comment by Chris

    I assume you’re not referring to me–I am not a Traditionalist.

  60. RBrown says:

    Regardless of our personal feelings, to call anyone who prefers the NO a “Protestant” is uncharitable to say the least. Many people who have grown up with it are in fact indoctrinated. I went to a Jesuit university and can honestly say I was indoctrinated in many beliefs which I found perfectly acceptable and “Catholic” (after all, I was being told directly from priests). So, please be mindful that to go around calling other Catholics “Protestants” or prefering a “Protestant approach” simply for preferring the NO does nothing but paint traditionalists as irrational and propagandists.
    Comment by Deusdonat

    When did I say anyone was a Protestant?

  61. Calleva says:

    God bless Fr O’Rourke. His example of humility is deeply moving and edifying, and I wish him well. It would be good to hear more from him, his wisdom is so needed in cyberspace.

    A pity that some posters here could not show the same spirit. Blasting someone who happens to prefer the Novus Ordo leaves a nasty taste. I don’t recognise a heretical or ‘protestant’ spirit among holy and devout Catholics who attend their local Catholic church week in, week out.

    Someone mentioned relativistic teachings on confession. A young woman I know lives in Vienna. She went to confession to a young priest who told her that something was only sinful if you think it is, such as sex outside marriage. She was scandalised. What harm is being done to souls in this way, especially among the young?

  62. Chris says:

    Sark
    At least you are honest about wanting to do away with Vatican II, a lot of other posters dress it up. The problem I have is that once you reject an Ecumenical Council and say the Missal of Paul VI is either invalid or not Catholic you cross a line that leads, logically, to sede-vacantism and the SSPX. Pope Paul promulgated that missal so it is Catholic. Pope Benedict continues to celebrate from it because he knows it is Catholic. I’ll take their word for it!

  63. Deusdonat says:

    Who died and left you in charge? Are you invoking the same authority that triggered your “stuff and nonsense” comment about the Filioque? Or your prediction that it would eventually be taken out of the Credo?

    Whether you think any of my comments are irresponsible is irrelevant as I care naught for the ramblings of a closet Protestant; specifically one that is ignorant to the fact that the filioque is already “taken out” (see: never added) to the credo in all Eastern Rite churches.

  64. SARK says:

    Dear friends,

    Basil – I’ve tried to apply the ‘hermeneutics of continuity’ lense which the Holy Father
    employs with regard to litrugical matters but the discontinuity between the TLM and the NO
    in style and substance is so enormous that it simply does not stand up to intelligent
    scrutiny. I think we are allowed that to exercise our God-given intelligence as Catholics.

    The Pope is great intellect and a brilliant politician – but he is in a bit of a pickle over how to sell the “reform of the reform” to the modernists – his strategy is to emphasize the similarities between the
    NO and TL rites. I think +Hoyos let the cat out the bag on his visit to London recently when he said that
    priests need to be educated in the theology of the TLM as it was different from that of the
    NO. It would be inconcievable that two forms of the same rite would have different theologies.

    mpm – I chose my words carefully – I said VII was ambiguous and ushered in a period of
    modernism, I didn’t say it was modernism. Why God allowed VII to happen is an interesting
    question – but the same could be said about many events and acts that on the face of it seem
    objectively bad. Some contributors to the blog have speculated on this above. I see no value
    in speculating on this.

    Deusdonat – sorry I think you got the wrong chap. I have not made any personal comments
    about anybody.

    JMJ

  65. RBrown says:

    Whether you think any of my comments are irresponsible is irrelevant as I care naught for the ramblings of a closet Protestant;

    Once again, I encourage you to look into psychologist projection.

    specifically one that is ignorant to the fact that the filioque is already “taken out” (see: never added) to the credo in all Eastern Rite churches.
    Comment by Deusdonat

    You cannot assume that I am ignorant of the Trinitarian approach of the Eastern Churches.

    But you can assume–correctly–that one of my Roman classmates, recently made a Ukrainian bishop, and I argued quite a bit about the Filioque and Papal Infallibility.

    You can also assume–correctly–that a lot of what I know about the differences between Latin and Eastern Trinitarian theology came from one of the big theological guns at the SCDF.

  66. RBrown says:

    “psychologist projection” should be “psychological projection”.

  67. SARK says:

    Dear Chris,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I did not say the NO was invalid. I said it was full of neo-protestant symbolism – so that
    even when not ‘teaching’ or expressing heresy formally it encourages heretical beliefs in the
    faithful – especially with regard to the real presence and the sacrifice. That is why the
    imposition of the NO has played such a key role in the decline of Catholicism – at least
    in Europe and the USA. So, while attending the NO may fulfil our sunday obligations –
    my wife and I would go through H&HW to avoid it’s corrupting influence on us and our children.

    While I am not a sede-vacantist (I pray for the Pope as Pope every day), you guessed right
    I have supported the SSPX in their struggle to defend Catholic liturgy, spirituality and morals
    for the last 18 years. This has been 18 years full of ‘interesting times’ but also incredicle
    graces for me and my family.

    JMJ

  68. Deusdonat says:

    “psychologist projection” should be “psychological projection”.

    I also correctly assume that you are as equally errant in psychological terminology as you are in theology. Keep trying. [Now I am getting irked with more than one person.]

  69. Spiggle says:

    I think +Hoyos let the cat out the bag on his visit to London recently when he said that
    priests need to be educated in the theology of the TLM as it was different from that of the
    NO. It would be inconcievable that two forms of the same rite would have different theologies.

    Are you suggesting that the pope is lying? Or deliberately misleading us by the language he uses?

  70. Geoffrey says:

    Sark said in regards to the new Mass: “…to avoid it’s corrupting influence on us and our children.”

    I take offence to that. I have attended Mass in the Ordinary Form my entire life. It did not have a corrupting influence on me. I’ve always believed in the Real Presence.

  71. Chris says:

    Geoffrey I can only agree with you. I suppose as a priest I am both corrupted and corrupter. Odd that my belief in the real presence after almost 25 years of celebrating the Mass of Pope Paul and nearly 20 years before that as a server and seminarian is stronger than ever.
    Sark, I am truly glad you experience grace even in schism. May the Holy Spirit lead you back to communion – the only guarantee of truly Catholic faith.

  72. Fr. Angel says:

    Deusdonat:

    You threw the first punch in this one. And now we have another spat between you and RBrown.

    My suggestion is to stick to the actual words of a post and ask a question before assuming another poster is trying to belittle or slander; e.g. you could have started with “what do you mean when you say a Protestant approach?”

    As it turns out, m.a. was able to hold their own and continue the discussion with RBrown without assuming bad intentions. And both of them were able to stick to the topic of liturgy without fights over the sensitivity/charity/intentions of their words.

  73. Michael J says:

    Geoffrey,

    I have handled poison ivy all my life and have never gotten a rash. On the basis of that, can I then conclude that poison ivy is not an irritant?

  74. Deusdonat says:

    Deusdonat: You threw the first punch in this one.

    Yup. KO. Ego sum Malleus Protestantorum : )

  75. Jordanes says:

    Oh brother. Hammer of Protestants? Right now to me you’re looking more like Don Quijote attacking “giants.” Please, just cool it for a bit. This is so unedifying to observe.

  76. m.a.: People in the pews were not catechized like you think they were. At least, they were not in the South where Catholics were in the minority.

    I also grew up in the South, and still live in the single U.S. diocese that has the smallest per-capita Catholic population.

    But my observation would be that liturgical catechesis took place then — as I believe it should now — in the pew, not in the classroom.

    That the older form of Mass was its own catechesis in the liturgy, and did not appear to require support in \”religious education\”. For I knew no Catholic then who — though usually without any pertinent classroom instruction — failed to be fully cognizant of transubstantiation, the Real Presence, the Mass as propitiatory sacrifice, etc.

    Whereas neither modern catechesis or the ordinary form of Mass — which I myself attend daily with the same reverence as the TLM on Sundays — has succeeded in inculcating vital beliefs in any consistent and general way.

  77. Geoffrey says:

    Michael J said: “I have handled poison ivy all my life and have never gotten a rash. On the basis of that, can I then conclude that poison ivy is not an irritant?”

    I don’t know. I wouldn’t think to compare the Sacrifice of Calvary with a plant.

  78. Michael J says:

    Geoffrey,

    Of course you should not compare the Sacrifice of Calvary to a plant. I was not doing so either, but I suspect you know that.

    The point I was making (and I suspect you know this too) is that your logic is fatally flawed.

  79. Fr. Chris Reay says:

    The anti-spam that I’m required to type in on this occasion is “think then post”. Not a bad suggestion to all of us before blogging.

  80. Christa says:

    Piping up here as a former Protestant, and I hope I can offer some constructive thoughts.

    The problem with the NO is not the NO itself, but the lack of reverence from some priests and quite a few of the laity. When I attend mass in a nice jacket and slacks I am OVERDRESSED compared to most of the congregation, who are showing up in shorts, flip flops, crop tops, etc. In my former Methodist church this would not be acceptable.

    And the music is not reverent or inspiring, and much of it is difficult to sing, having odd rhythms and weird tempos.

    Hearing the mass in the vernacular is not, in and of itself, irreverent. It is the lax practices of those participating.

    I also have to say that if the mass was only in Latin, I doubt my husband would have converted, as he would not have been able to understand it and would have felt left out. His conversion was a great joy for me.

    Anyway, I am glad to see Latin coming back because I like it and will probably be attending the Traditional form at a parish near me about once a month. I like the formality, the reverence, and the music. It will enable me to focus more on Christ. But for those who aren’t able to follow the Latin, a little charity would be in order.

  81. SARK says:

    Dear Geoffrey & Father Chris,

    I apologise if I offended you both. Perhaps I expressed my views too frankly and my analysis was too simplistic.

    Here’s a go at a more nuanced version – Even though we know that many people have lost their Faith as a direct result of the NO (either they have fully lapsed or continue to practice but hold non-Catholic beliefs), clearly some, such as yourselves, haven’t.

    An interesting scientific study could be made on this topic. One hypothesis is that a person’s temperament and personal circumstances determine the extent to which their Faith will survive exposure to the NO. The sanguine and choleric amongst us may be more affected by the neo-protestant symbolism of the NO and the phlagmatic and melacholic less. Those with families more and those without families less.

    Relating this hypothesis to my own situation – as a sanguine (with an element of choleric) and who has children I made the choice to avoid the possible negative effects of the NO and seek out a context in which we could practice, strengthen and deepen our Faith in a completely orthodox Catholic milieu.

    I truly believe that if we had not found the SSPX (by the grace of God) that my Faith would not have survived twenty more years of the crushing banality that I had previously experienced in typical modern Catholic parishes. I also believe that my children have a far better chance of keeping their Faith and saving their souls because they attend Traditional catholic schools where they are taught that Faith without fear or favour – than if they had attended a modern Catholic school. Unfortunately we can’t run experiments on these matters as we only get one chance to get them right. However, I am acutely aware that I will be answerable to God for my soul and for those of my children – God willing I have done the right thing in this regard.

    JMJ

  82. Malta says:

    *you are correct. That “Protestant” comment was snide, dishonest and spiritually bankrupt.*

    Deusdonant, it must be remembered that Paul VI himself said one of the major motivators in creating the NO Mass was to create a Mass more protestant in character: [And my irritation grows.]

    “French philosopher Jean Guitton says that Pope Paul VI revealed to him that it was his [the Pope’s] intention to assimilate as much as possible of the new Catholic liturgy to Protestant worship…”

    http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/stickler.asp

    “It is widely known that Paul VI later confided to his intimate friend Jean Guitton that the new Mass was specifically designed to resemble as closely as possible a Calvinist communion service…”

    The Great Facade, Woods and Ferrara, Remnant Press, 2002, pg. 315-316 (citations omitted.)

    I don’t think it’s necessarily unjust to call the new Mass a protestantesque version of the Old. The Table has replaced the Altar in the mind’s of most priests and laity; look at the belief in the true Presence, for instance: a plural see the bread as ordinary–that’s a great and manifest sacrilege. Aborting and contracepting Catholics receive without compunction. What’s up with that? All the while, Fr. Bozo is telling jokes, while his eurcharistic ministresses dress in clerical garb and pass out the Host, hand-to-hand, and afterwords go home and donate money to womenpriests. Yikes!

    Regarding the whole business of, “The Holy Spirit was with Vatican II,” give me a break! It was a fallible, pastoral council, and as such we owe it due respect. There are fine passages in Vatican II, but many flawed ones as well. Christ said that hell wouldn’t PREVAIL against His Church, He never said She might not face vast and universal apostacy. Heresy reigned in the days of Arius, when laymen, priests and Bishops all railed against Orthodoxy, and were heretics. Most Bishops and Priests today, as well, are heretics since they are modernists, but there are many, many good Priests and Bishops as well, fighting the Lord’s battle. It’s a strange thing why God would allow His Church to be so inundated with evil, but that is the mystery of iniquity.

  83. Malta says:

    Christa: *I also have to say that if the mass was only in Latin, I doubt my husband would have converted, as he would not have been able to understand it and would have felt left out.*

    There were hordes of converts before Vatican II and the Mass became vernacular.

  84. Christa says:

    Malta,

    I am sure there were hordes of converts before Vatican II.

    All I am talking about is my husband, who is not very good with languages and would have had a lot of trouble.

    Thanks for your comment.

  85. Deusdonat says:

    Jordanes – Right now to me you’re looking more like Don Quijote attacking “giants.”

    LOL. If I’m Don Quijote, I guess that makes you Rocinante. It’s cute that you pretend you can understand Latin when you don’t even know the diference between the word “us” and “you”.

  86. QC says:

    I know in my case, I became ardent first, and then discovered the EF as it is now called (of course, it helped me to continue to grow, but it wasn’t the foundation of my ardency, if that makes sense). This is the path of many I know as well. Personally, I don’t know anyone in fact, who while being apathetic found the EF first, then became ardent afterward. I am wondering if this is a common experience of those here who love the EF and who, like me, may have began rather lukewarm or if my experience and that of those I know is uncommon. Did you discover the EF first and become ardent, or was discovering it a result of your new ardency?

  87. Fabrizio says:

    Malta,

    your hatred for Pope Paul VI and your ignorance of what his Missal and the Council really say has brought you in the ditch once again. Legitimate and fact-supported criticism is one thing – and we all know what are the limits of NO – foaming with irrational rage is quite another.

    Paul VI himself said one of the major motivators in creating the NO Mass was to create a Mass more protestant in character
    yah, sure, and your source for that?

    “French philosopher Jean Guitton says that Pope Paul VI revealed to him…
    rrrrright…now that’s damning evidence! Jean Guitton (!) says!

    The Table has replaced the Altar in the mind’s of most priests and laity

    That’s nowhere in the Missal and its rubrics and the relevant Magisterium. The rubrics of NO clearly suppose an “ad orientem” celebration.

    look at the belief in the true Presence, for instance: a plural see the bread as ordinary—that’s a great and manifest sacrilege

    That’s nowhere to be found in the Missal and its rubrics and the relevant Magisterium. NO does not celebrates sacrilege. Certainly the author of Mysterium Fidei didn’t see the Euhcaristic Bread as “ordinary”?

    Aborting and contracepting Catholics receive without compunction.

    That’s nowhere to be found in the Missal and its rubrics and the relevant Magisterium. Certainly the author of Humanae Vitae did not add rubrics and prayers to the Missal encouraging such abominations?

    Fr. Bozo is telling jokes, while his eurcharistic ministresses dress in clerical garb and pass out the Host, hand-to-hand, and afterwords go home and donate money to womenpriests

    Surprisingly, that’s nowhere to be found in the Missal and its rubrics and the relevant Magisterium. Certainly the Pope who ordered the publication of Inter Insigniores did not issue a Missal encouraging or even just implying female “priesthood”, to say nothing of clowns?

    As someone who rejoices at the spreading of TLM and prays for its return as the ordinary and normative liturgy, I am convinced that precisely the rad-trad illogical thinking and bitterness and the disconnect with facts were among the main obstacles in the way of authentic liturgical renewal and the return of TLM. [Good point.]

    Despite partially different conclusions, you have accepted the modernist idea that Vatican II was a doctrinal watershed and you have also accepted the modernist description of what the liturgical reform was meant to be. Having accepted their premises, it is no surprise that modernists always benefitted from the rad-trad pointless venom-spitting.

  88. Jordanes says:

    It’s cute that you pretend you can understand Latin when you don’t even know the diference between the word “us” and “you”.

    Sigh. More of your standard childish putdowns. Please don’t suggest that I didn’t understand what you said. You sure didn’t say, “Ego is the malleable protester.” As I’ve said before, my knowledge of Latin is pretty bare, but neither am I altogether unfamiliar with it.

    It’s not cute that you behave as if you think you understand, well, everything, better than everyone else on the planet, Ioannes. Your shtick is worn and tired. Please reinvigorate your act with some more edifying routines.

  89. walter says:

    Some of the comments towards m.a. and others exemplify exactly what we should not be doing as Catholics who are working to bring mystery and orthodoxy back into the Church. In fact you are behaving much like the “progressives” of the 70’s mentioned by ridiculing other Catholics who disagree with you.

  90. Deusdonat says:

    Walter – amen!

    Jordanes – your errancy in Latin is only matched by your errancy in deductive reasoning. I am not the poster Ioannes you refer to. I assure you this, and you can confirm it with Father Z should you so desire. Better yet, try sticking to the topic at hand and stop trying to give armcair psychology diagnoses, as I assure you they are nothing but laughible. FYI, I don’t understand everything on the planet, but it might simply seem that way to you : )

  91. Peg says:

    My husband also became a Catholic, thirty some years ago. He didn’t care for the NO. Said it reminded him of his Protestant church. He took to the EF form with great enthusiasm…we would sometimes drive 4 hours each way to attend a EF Mass in those days. In fact he could use the Latin/English missal better than I could.

  92. Deusdonat says:

    Peg drove?? you mean he didn’t “walk” both ways barefoot in the snow? What kind of lukewarm commitment is that?? : P

    Actually, the sad fact is that many bishops use geography against us. I am glad your husband found the courage and fortitute not to let it be a detterant to his desire for the TLM.

  93. Jordanes says:

    I am not the poster Ioannes you refer to.

    I didn’t say you were the poster Ioannes, Elnathan. I don’t even know which “poster Ioannes” you’re referring to.

    Better yet, try sticking to the topic at hand and stop trying to give armcair psychology diagnoses

    Thanks. Sounds like excellent advice for you too, Theodore.

    FYI, I don’t understand everything on the planet, but it might simply seem that way to you : )

    It sure doesn’t.

  94. Geoffrey says:

    Fabrizio: Well said! Thank you!!!

  95. Fr. Chris Reay says:

    As a young priest in the 1970s, I looked down on those who had given up Mass because of the changes. My thinking was that the “new” Mass is valid, so why don’t they accept it. There’s some truth in that. But it’s a limited and cold truth. “Limited” because it doesn’t sufficiently consider the human-ness of faith and worship. I now believe that I was arrogant, insensitive and immature in my judgement of them. Certainly the present Holy Father is emphasising the importance of beauty – the beauty of music, architecture, vestements, and ritual. “Ritual” requires predictability and repetion. It has the same effect as a mantra. The celebration of the novus ordo, at its best, could express these qualities. (It would’nt need to be solemn or “High”.) The tragedy of the last 40 years is that our parishes rarely experience it at its best. It is sobering to think that the reason why fewer are attending Mass could be in front of our eyes – the Mass itself! (Or rather the way it is celebrated.) If I wanted to enjoy myself, the Church would be the last place I’d look to! Anyone else could provide that. What the Church can offer is a sense of the transcendent. That’s what we seek. But that’s what our liturgy tends to lack. In the motu proprio Pope Benedict expressed his intention that the extraordinary form would influence or inform the celebration of the novus ordo Mass. It has certainly done that for me!

  96. m.a. says:

    I was thinking about the 1940’s-1950’s when I was growing up. I married in the 1950’s and we started our family during the late 1950’s. As I mentioned before, the church seemed very legalistic to me during that time.

    My impression of the Latin Masses was that though I recognized the sense of mystery inherent in the Latin Mass, I did not notice a great deal of reverence or holiness in the way some of the priests celebrated it. As I mentioned before, I too often saw priests rush through the Mass. I saw also, too many of the parishioners busy with other prayers such as the rosary instead of uniting themselves with the priest in celebrating the Mass. Much of the pomp and circumstance was lost for me since I much prefer simplicity. Obviously, I have only the experiences in my own parish and in my own diocese to draw on.

    Perhaps some of the priests by that time (’40’s-’50’s) had lost the reverence and awe that appears to have been rediscovered by priests who have now begun celebrating the Latin Mass. I don’t know.

    I recognize that there have been a number of far-out Liturgies with the Ordinary Form. I don’t condone those at all. I don’t think that is the norm for most of us who love the Ordinary Form.

    I think what the Ordinary Form has done is not only to continue to recognize that the Mass is a sacrifice but to include a new appreciation of the role of the community (the People of God) in the celebration of that sacrifice. Some of you may look at this as 2 different theologies at work, but one could also recognize how a new vision of the role of the community as the People of God could enrich the celebration of the Mass.

    And BTW, I do believe in the Real Presence. I certainly wouldn’t bother to be a Catholic if I didn’t.

  97. Deusdonat says:

    Jordanes – you are being incredibly childish. I am none of the posters you referred to in your posts: neither Ioannes, Elnathan, Theodore, “big bird” et al. I believe these are/were posters who frequented the Jimmy Akin blog, as did I for a time. So, rest assured, the people you are referring to are not me, but rather OTHER individuals who no doubt found you as antagonistic and disagreeable as I do.

  98. Malta says:

    Fabrizio,

    You falsely attribute my opinions about the consequences of the NO to assumptions about what I might believe the rubrics of the NO actually teach. You also say that I “hate” Paul VI: I never said it, and implicating that I did is calumny.

    The so-called “rad-trad venom spitting” of which you speak has produced some results: FSSP, Summorum Pontificum, etc. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Trads are small, but vocal, and philosophically, morally, and factually correct as time has proven. There are too many slothful, complacent, people who ride of the backs of others, claiming to be “conservative” Catholics, while Rome is disintegrating–morally and financially, and yet try to reap the benefits of the sacrifice of such as the SSPX, while stabbing them in their backs.

    [Now I’m mad.]

  99. Deusdonat says:

    MALTA you should refrain from trying to lump the pious FSSP with the scoundrel SSPX when trying to paint a picture of traditionalists. There is nothing less traditional than disloyalty to the magesterium. They “stabbed themselves in the back” the day they jumped ship.

  100. I think most of you know that I am on the road and can’t monitor things as much as I usually can.

    Thus, I suspect some of you think, perhaps, to write things on my blog without self-editing as you should.

    So… keep in mind… if you write things that you think might, in the final analysis, make me really irritated when I tune in again, and I get the sense that you are taking advantage of my relative absence… then I will probably throw your butt off this blog regardless of how long you have posted or how long I have known you.

    Because when I get phone calls, telling me that people are insulting each other and I must intervene – and I can’t because I am busy – I get mad. 

    What the priest at the top of the entry wrote was exceptionally important.

    Some of you have wiped your nasty shoes on my entry. 

  101. Tina says:

    <>

    What was it that was hoped for? My question is why did the Mass change and what was hoped to be gained from the changes?

    Someone suggested that scientific research should be conducted to find out what is really behind the decline. I agree and I think the reasons will not be anything that is commonly cited here.

    Finally, what do you all have against guitars? I could see there being a problem if one is breaking out the effects, whammy bars and doing guitar solos but what exactly is wrong with guitars?

  102. TJM says:

    I must have been an extremely fortunate Catholic. I was in a parish immediately prior to Vatican II that participated in the “Liturgical Movement.” Hence, I learned from a very early age, 6 or so, to learn the responses to the Mass in Latin, and by the time I was 10 I could sing 5 or 6 of the Latin chant ordinaries. When the changes began in late 1964 I was thorougly confused and angry because I LOVED the Mass in which I was “actually” participating. However, in speaking with my confreres from other parishes in that period, I learned that I was one of the very lucky ones because for most of them, the Mass was a very distant experience. That being said, I now know, that what the Council Fathers desired was for the Faithful to participate in the Mass as I did back then. When you read Sacrosanctum Concilium, it appears they were trying to universalize the experience I had. Unfortunately, liturgical “reform” was highjacked by progressives who distorted what the Council Fathers desired and we are only today beginning to recover what they truly meant by liturgical reform, i.e. to do what I was already doing on the eve of the Council. Tom

  103. Dear Tom (TJM),

    I do believe that you are right. What you had in your parish before the Council is what the Council documents propose.

    Unfortunately, it seems, the usual experience was different. At least in my parish. We had sung Mass only twice a year (Christmas and Easter)–even though we had a Catholic school where there might have been a choir to sing Requiems, if nothing else. We didn’t even have “dialogue Mass” until the vernacular come in!

    My memories of Mass as a child were kneeling and reading my English (I was a “public” and we were denied bilingual Missals for some reason that I never understood) and waiting to hear the bell ring to know if I was in the right place. The priest was inaudible. It was prayerful, but I was always attracted to music and it made me sad. At least we go to sing “Holy God We Praise thy Name” after Benediction if we went to the 11 am Mass.

    If only your experience had been the norm, perhaps the reforms would have been different. We went from silent low Mass to vernacular said Mass (soon with Peter, Paul, and Mary hymn sandwich) in about 18 months. Sad.

  104. Tina: the problems are several. First, the guitar still has a secular connotation: instruments have connotations which can change but only very slowly. Secondly, there is no literature of sacred composition for guitar. Thirdly, guitars cannot fill most spaces with sound. When, in worship, you have to amplify a voice or instrument, there is automatically a problem. Perhaps, if problems one and two were resolved, guitar could be used in small chapels and oratories. Finally, music for worship must be both sacred and it must be art. So, aside from the sacred connotation, the music must be of a certain quality. This means art regarding both composition and performance. In most cases today both composition and performance are … are… sub-optimal.

    That’s what’s wrong with guitar.

  105. Jordanes says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf said: First, the guitar still has a secular connotation: instruments have connotations which can change but only very slowly.

    That’s a good point, and it reminds me of something I’d once read, of all places, in Roger Sherman Loomis’ “The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol.” Apparently even the venerable pipe organ that we associate so naturally with the liturgy took quite a while to lose its former “pagan” connotation. In the early centuries of the Church, it probably would have seemed scandalous to have an organ in a church, and according to Loomis, the Life of St. Cecilia says that on the day of her undesired wedding, “She, hearing the organs making melody, sang in her heart only to God.” Loomis quoted another writer’s comments here: “The saint shuts her ears to the blatant instrument with its hateful pagan associations, and in her heart, that is to say silently, chants her prayer for the preservation of the purity she has vowed.” Later on, after the organ lost its negative associations, St. Cecilia was thought to have sung to the accompaniment of the organ.

  106. Geoffrey says:

    Jordanes: Very interesting! I suppose by the time the guitar loses its secular connotation, we’ll all be long gone!

  107. Fr. Angel says:

    The 83 year old priest confesses to having gone along with a poor and mistaken implementation of the liturgical reforms. What I do not understand is why Vatican II and Pope Paul VI are demonized for the crises which afflicted the Church, while other forces at work from the outside always seem to get a pass.

    The Pope and the Council are spoken of as if the Church existed in a vacuum, unaffected by the storms raging around in the 1960’s. The marxism sweeping the universities gets a pass. The existential and utilitarian philosophies confusing everyone’s notion of truth gets a pass. The sexual revolution gets a pass. The contraception and population control movements, backed by big money, get a pass. The radical feminist agenda gets a pass. The drug trafficking gets a pass.

    As Fabrizio says, the Pope and the Council were up against various tsunamis and if you read the documents and the encyclicals, there is nothing contained therein which implicates either as the agents of satan they are painted out to be. There is every indication that both the Holy Father and the hierarchy were trying to use their teaching office to steer the Church through these raging storms and avoid being dashed on the rocks.

    The devil must be really delighted at this historical amnesia. While his true munions who worked to tear the Church apart from the outside are getting a pass, his enemies like the Pope and the Council are being demonized.

    The good priests of those times had to fight enemies within the Church–I do not deny this. But the Council and the Pauline Mass which followed were sincere attempts to respond to the external attacks which painted the Church as fossilized, medieval, and incapable of responding to modernity.

    The elderly priest cautions against repeating the mistake of imposing change without a respect for continuity. But he also challenges us to see the spirituality which brought so many men to serve the Church as priests. Is not love and respect for the Pope and the hierarchy part of that Catholic spirituality?

  108. Christa: I also have to say that if the mass was only in Latin, I doubt my husband would have converted, as he would not have been able to understand it and would have felt left out.

    Before I discovered the Mass prior to Vatican II, I knew (consciously) not a single word of Latin, but that was no barrier to my following and understanding the Mass — indeed, being entranced by it — as surely had many millions of converts before me.

    It is often overlooked that the action of the traditional Mass is carried and conveyed more by ceremonial and ritual than by words, whether they be Latin or vernacular.

    But so far as the words are concerned, most TLN Catholics to this day probably follow them in their native tongue (e.g., using a Latin-English missal) rather than in Latin.

  109. mpm says:

    Fr. Angel,

    Excellent summary!

    And, now, with Pope Benedict, realize that our vocations start “now”, and lead
    into the future, not the past!

  110. Calleva says:

    Fr Angel’s post is one of the best I’ve ever read on this blog.

    Yes, the church today is in crisis. But is this due to the Novus Ordo or the prevailing spirit of the age? Had Vatican II not been convened, had the liturgy remained much as it was, do we believe that the churches would still be full, the laity devout, vocations thriving? I’m not so sure. People may answer that it’s pointless to ask ‘what if’, but isn’t this what the rad-trads are always telling us?

    Our task now is to redress ‘change without a respect for continuity’. There is a crisis in the Church, no doubt about it, but we have a wonderful Holy Father who understands this. Let’s follow him prayerfully as he guides us to Christ.

  111. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I dunno about the whole connotation thing for musical instruments. I took a friend of mine from England to a baseball game a few years ago, and she was flabbergasted to hear an organ being played during the game. She said that Americans must really think that baseball was holy. When I go to baseball games, I don’t really think of the organ as a church instrument, and I don’t really think of the organ at church as a baseball instrument. I’ve heard some wonderful guitar settings of Bach (a piece doesn’t have to be written originally for guitar) that were very beautful and uplifting. I mean, guitar music does not have to be Simon and Garfunkel music. When played in a sacred way, it sounds like a completely different instrument with as much overtones of folk music as Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring does of Take me Out to the Ballgame.

  112. Ioannes: I don’t really think of the organ at church as a baseball instrument.

    Surely you’re not serious! Don’t you agree that the great American game of Baseball is also sacred, and fully worthy of that most sacred of musical instruments?

  113. Calleva: Had Vatican II not been convened, had the liturgy remained much as it was, do we believe that the churches would still be full, the laity devout, vocations thriving? I’m not so sure. People may answer that it’s pointless to ask ‘what if’, but isn’t this what the rad-trads are always telling us?

    I’m not qualified to speak for the “rad-trads”, but my personal conjecture would be that — had the traditional Mass been retained, but with the reinvigoration that Vatican II (and Popes Pius X through XII before it) called for — the Church today would likely be somewhat smaller than it is, but that most Catholics remaining within it would be considerably more devout and faithful. This result sounds pretty much the forecast our Holy Father (at least as Cardinal Ratzinger) has described somewhere.

    The point I feel most confident about is that the traditional Mass would (and will) attract far more vocations. The role of the TLM priest is a manly one that boys admire and envy. This is evidenced from the over-flowing traditional seminaries to individual TLM communities (like my own small one) where virtually every single boy of age wants to be an altar server:

    http://www.knoxlatinmass.net/gallery/4Easter2008/125_IMG_1030.jpg

    And, expanding on this picture, let me take the opportunity to invite views of a wonderful just-posted “dynamic slide show with Mozart accompaniment” showing our first solemn high Mass:

    http://www.eecomp.com/HG_Centennial/HG_Centennial.html

  114. TJM says:

    I do not disagree with Father Angel’s statement regarding what was going on in the world at the time of the Council because I was around for
    all of that “fun”. Where I would disagree, was that the Church did have an option that it did not exercise. Instead of Church leaders standing up
    to these forces, many unwittingly elected to join the chaos in the name of “change”, a meaningless word if there ever was one. The Church could
    have elected to remain a beacon of stability during the storm and probably would have retained its influence and prestige to a much greater
    extent than it did by “grooving” with the times. I was in my teen years then and I was absolutely sickened by the wanton (yes wanton!) destruction of the old liturgy and old forms, carried out by my elders who should have known better and exercised far greater restraint. I am just pleased to read
    that this elderly priest has issued his mea culpa. I wish more would. Tom

  115. Ed the Roman says:

    Someday I shall commission a setting of Casey at the Bat in polyphony.

  116. Calleva says:

    Henry, the second part of my post tried to balance the part you quoted. The rupture from tradition was wrong and let in many heretical and even pagan notions, but set in the context of the time, much of what we now know wasn’t so obvious then. By the early 80s I had heard enough heresy from the pulpit to realise that modernity was on a hiding to nowhere (except hell, perhaps).

    I think we can take heart that there is a sea-change going on, and it’s among the young. The two of my children who are the most enthusiastic about their faith are both fascinated by the TLM. The impetus has come from them, and I’ve been really encouraged by their delight in the prayerful aspects of the EF.

  117. Michael J says:

    Fr. Angel,

    I have no problem believing, as you put it, that the Council and the Pauline Mass which followed were sincere attempts to respond to the external attacks which painted the Church as fossilized, medieval, and incapable of responding to modernity.

    Now the question becomes: “Were these attempts successful?”
    If so, then they should be continued. If not, what is wrong with thinking that these efforts should be halted and perhaps even reversed?

  118. Carol says:

    Tom,
    That’s how I remember it. Thanks.

  119. Regina says:

    I can’t compete with the cerebral acuity and theological knowledge of the many people who contribute to this blog, but I am very moved by Fr. O’ Rourke’s comments, and as a regular everyday person who is aging, I can certainly relate to his examination of his life and his perception that,in some way, he has failed through his obedience to the newer reforms, to carry out the mission of his profession. This is not accurate, Father.You should not feel bad.
    The reforms of Vatican II were so miniscule in relation to the world at large.I realize a lot of people find it convenient to blame the reforms on the wretched condition most people are in today. But I do not believe that Vatican II was the impetus that caused many people to fail, spiritually, morally, and intellectually. So much changed, culturally and socially, that would be far beyond the reach of a one hour worship service. Maybe some people were ensconced in a kind of microcosm where they saw the world only in their religious and devout experience, where the ones who fell away were attributed to the Vatican reforms, but instead were sucked into an amoral vacuum generated by an increasing media influence that far pervaded their life moreso than their one hour at church on Sunday.I remember personally that the Church did not have an outreach program, or ministry, for those in need. It was all about the envelopes and attendance, but if you needed a priest, forget it. If you needed prayer and support, forget it. This is what caused the Vatican reforms to fail,because they were not truly reforms, but lip-service to a population that was now questioning everything, including a woman’s role in Church, a priesthood mired in antiquated celibacy, a desire to integrate the laity in the services, and a priesthood that couldn’t be bothered to respond.
    You can only look at your life at what you intended to do, and you have to have faith and confidence that what you wanted to do was right. And in the end, it was your desire to do what is right, yet your obedience to the powers that be- and are- superceded your personal beliefs, but there is much to be respected in obedience.So now that you are in the sunset years-enjoy them! Embrace the older Mass of your youth and know you have the respect of many people on this blog who are maybe too cerebral to respond emotionally, but in their hearts acknowledge and respect your service. I thank you and I will pray for you!

  120. Malta says:

    returning to the Father’s original comments, how can the “ardent” not become “lapsed,” with this sort of shenanigans still going on:

    http://www.taosnews-eedition.com/crawler/pma_index7/taosnews/dar_67/cd_20080626/Sacred-life-comes-for-Archbishop-Sheehan.htm

    A pagan Buffalo dance done around the Altar (err, I mean, “table”)!

    The Father’s comments are very good, and I respect this holy Priest, but we need to take a cold hard look at the reasons why the faith is falling away….

  121. Avus says:

    A significant question not being addressed is why were/are the Eastern Churches seemingly immune to the chaos and changes of the Western Churches for the past half-century? I suggest the blame lies squarely at the feet of those two bastions of radical left-wing liberalism: academia and the media. Neither has the hold and the influence in the Eastern and Middle Eastern areas that they do in the West, although with the Internet and the Western world working feverishly to export secularism and feminism (especially abortion), it may eventually fall victim, too.

    All this by way of saying that VCII was a product of its time and place, and would unlikely to have been as successful at any other period of history including, believe it or not, now. I contend that it could not have been such a liberal triumph today simply because of the disillusionment of today’s laity. The vast, sudden upheaval worked primarily because Catholics had been raised and conditioned to accept the absolute authority and near-infallibility of the priesthood, regardless of the pain and confusion of the changes. That condition is unlikely to ever be the case again.

    So, the bottom line is that, as I stated earlier, the liberals will never give up trying to destroy the Classic Mass once and for all. But I believe post-VCII gave them their best chance and they took their best shot, a sucker punch most conservatives never saw coming. This time, our eyes are wide-open.

  122. m.a. says:

    Avus said: The vast, sudden upheaval worked primarily because Catholics had been raised and conditioned to accept the absolute authority and near-infallibility of the priesthood, regardless of the pain and confusion of the changes. (my emphases)
    **************************

    By the same token, when John XXIII opened the window, this conditioning thankfully went out, as the fresh breeze came in! :>)

  123. TJM says:

    Regina, the pre-Vatican II Church you describe was certainly not my experience. Unfortunately, it seems you have bought into the notion of the Church as some type of social welfare agency, rather than the Church of Christ primarily dedicated to bringing the people of God the seven sacraments and God’s grace. But in terms of social service I think the pre-Vatican II Church did do an excellent job, unless you believe that Catholic schools, orphanages, nursing homes, hospitals, and St. Vincent De Paul Societies lack social value. Moreover, I recall countless kindnesses of priests and nuns from that era, far more gentle and caring, than some of the priests and nuns I encounter today who, I suspect, see themselves as social workers rather than ministers of the Gospel. As an side, based on my religious training I never would refer to the Holy Mass as a “one hour worship service.” That is language I would use to describe what Protestants do on Sunday. Tom

  124. Tom: But in terms of social service I think the pre-Vatican II Church did do an excellent job, unless you believe that Catholic schools, orphanages, nursing homes, hospitals, and St. Vincent De Paul Societies lack social value.

    I recall seeing a quote recently — by Bishop Fulton Sheen, perhaps — that in the decades prior to Vatican II the Catholic Church in the USA had the broadest and most effective social service program the world has ever seen, before or since.

    I suspect that — despite vastly more money likely being spent now — the Church’s current social service efforts pale in comparison with an earlier time when they were grounded on a firm foundation of faith and devotion (plus, of course, swelling ranks of low-maintenance religious sisters).

  125. Fabrizio says:

    The more I read this old priest’s words, the more I am moved.

    I wish I could add something useful to underscore the imprtance of what he is saying, but I can’t do better than an old priest of the Lord.

    What he says is worth more than years of controversies and dozens of tomes to illustrate the meaning of Catholic priesthood, of sound liturgy of the whole concept of gratiarum actio and why it is important to have it understood and right at the core of the life of the Church.

    Thank you Lord for your only begotten Son, thank you for your priests.

  126. Regina says:

    I do appreciate, TJM, your enlightening remarks and your recollections.
    You were obviously not one of the liberation theologists.
    ( Now that philosophy and practice would make for an interesting discussion here.)You are fortunate to have had religious training( I am not being sarcastic or envious…well, maybe a little- envious, not sarcastic), but my comment about a one-hour worship service
    was intended to be inclusive and metaphorical, not a disrespect of the Mass.I am sorry it appeared that way.
    Regina

  127. Jordanes says:

    when John XXIII opened the window, this conditioning thankfully went out, as the fresh breeze came in!

    True, in some places fresh breeze blew in, but generally what blew in were noxious fumes . . .

  128. TJM says:

    Regina, thank you for responding. I’m just surprised that your recollection of the pre-Vatican II Church is starkly different from mine, particularly, with regards to the vast institutions which existed then, and still exist, to serve the needs of children, the poor, the abandoned, or sick. By the way, true liberation, in my view, comes from becoming a disciple of Christ, not listening to some half-baked liberation theology. They are sooo 1960s. Tom

  129. Regina says:

    You know, Tom ,I may have been too young- and naive-to have understood,or known, the social resources that the Church provided pre-Vatican II. When I was growing up, the Church seemed so responsive to so many social and political issues.It really seemed so alive and relevant and certainly had a positive influence on my growth as a person and a Christian. Aside from the efforts of special interest groups in my parish who are very dedicated and committed, I am ignorant of programs on a national level that you may be aware of that still exist.I would think that the diminishing number of people committed to a religious life, especially nuns, would have a negative effect on the advancement of programs helping those in need. And as far as the priests are concerned, I don’t see how they meet their parish obligations with the shortage in the profession, let alone being able to establish any outreach programs. They are over-worked.
    I am intrigued and interested, though, in your comment on true liberation coming from being a disciple of Christ because this is what I am reading in all the Pope’s missives. I don’t think I quite understand that concept of freedom. If the goal is to become Christ-like, then to me that involves reaching out to others and not being so concerned with self and how I want my Mass to be. My relationship with God can be very personal, but it involves my reaction and behavior to others as well.And that is really a true challenge on a day-to-day basis.So what is this concept of freedom that the Pope is always talking about?

  130. all the dissent that occurred after vatican II was predicted in private prophecies.

  131. TJM says:

    Regina,

    First of all, the Church in the US may not be involved in politics, otherwise, it would forfeit its tax exempt status. In your town, then,
    as now, there must have been Catholic schools, nursing homes, hospitals, St. Vincent De Paul society’s, etc. which are powerful forms of outreach.
    The nuns, what can I say. Following the Council, most of the traditional orders in America abandoned their traditional missions, schools, healthcare,etc. to become in effect social workers, a role which can be handled quite nicely by laymen and women. By doing so, they visibly cut themselves off from the larger audience of young women (in Catholic grade and high schools)thereby losing their ability to recruit effectively. Also, by abandoning their
    religious identity (i.e. taking off of the habit), with many no longer living a life in common, they became just nice ladies who do social
    good. Well, a young girl could then reasonably conclude, I guess I don’t really need to be a nun because what they are doing I can do as a lay woman.
    Ironically, the fasting growing orders of Catholic nuns in the US today are those orders of woman who wear a habit, live in common, and
    pursue a traditional ministry in teaching or healthcare. I guess the old ways are sometimes the best ways after all! By the way, if you haven’t
    guessed, I am one of those skeptical Catholics who think Vatican II (as implemented) was a collosal flop. The Decrees are great, but how they
    were “implemented” was a disaster of monumental proportions, unless one gauges success by steeply declining attendance at Mass and loss of
    influence. Could you even imagine prior to the Council that a Catholic politician in this country would dare to be pro-abortion? Tom

  132. John Murray says:

    Simon Platt–a very good question indeed. My first thought concerning the benefits of Vatican II is that there were some, but very thin and remote from most Catholics’ experiences. I would nominate _Nostra Aetate_ and the general reconciliation that followed from it with the Jews as a very positive development. Just one guess, others must have better nominees.

  133. Regina says:

    Good points, Tom. Thank you.
    Regina

  134. Rob F. says:

    Deusdonat said, “Jordanes – your errancy in Latin is only matched by your errancy in deductive reasoning.”

    Pride goeth before the fall. “Malleus protestantorum” is not Latin, although “malleus protestantium” is.

    Exaltavit humiles.