Cleveland newspaper on Vatican II and TLM

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.

 

Vatican II reforms set in motion 50 years ago with Pope John XXIII’s edict
Michael O’Malley The Plain Dealer

Before Vatican II, a priest celebrated Mass in Latin, facing the altar with his back to the congregation. [So, the writer either didn’t do any homework at all about this point or he chose to distort was is really going on.   The priest doesn’t have his back to the people any more than a leader of troops has his back to them when he leads them toward their goal.]  Here, the Rev. Bede Kotlinski celebrates the old-style Latin Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Cleveland last Sunday.

Picture a man heaving a stone into a placid pond, the splash setting off an ever-widening chain of waves.   [I think I have used that image.  Perhaps he do some homework.]

Fifty years ago today, Pope John XXIII unleashed such a wave of change in the still — some would say stagnant  [and some wouldn’t] — waters of the Roman Catholic Church when he called for a worldwide council of bishops to reform their ancient institution.

On Sunday, Jan. 25, 1959, John — less than three months after becoming pope — proclaimed it was time to drag the church out of the Dark Ages [HUH?  At what point did he say that?  Was that when he also revived the camauro?] and into the modern world. It was time, he said, to open the stained-glass windows and let in some fresh air[cliche upon cliche.  But remember what Pope Benedict said about stained-glass windows when he was at St. Patrick’s in NYC.]

The proclamation shocked Catholics, unused to seeing change in a more than 1,900-year-old patriarchy steeped in tradition. Some were skeptical. Others embraced it.

"I remember being very excited that the bishops were going to meet," said Sister Christine Schenk of Cleveland, a St. Joseph nun who was in the seventh grade when John put out the call. "We were wondering what it was all going to mean."

The council, known as Vatican II, convened in Rome in October 1962.

The convention of nearly 3,000 bishops, under the guiding hand of John, went to work on revolutionary changes that would give more freedom to the laity, [They were always free.] reach out to non-Catholics ["reach out" means…. what?] and allow congregants to celebrate Mass [congregants don’t celebrate Mass in any way like the priest] in their own language, [Which means that the Council’s requirement that Latin be preserved was disobeyed] with the priest facing them.   [Something else not prescribed by the Council and already permitted when the circumstances required.]

Before Vatican II, the priest faced away from the congregation and said Mass only in Latin.  [Except when he was a Maronite, for example.  And the priest was facing TOWARD  something, not "away" from the congregation.]

"You went from a guy with his back to you, [3rd time this cliche has come up.  Like a broken record.  ARe they really that hung up about this?] speaking in a language you didn’t understand, [So… what were they saying in the translation we got?  Try doing a quiz on the way out the door after Mass sometime.] to where you were one of the celebrants," said Schenk. [This sister is goofed up about the terms here.  But you get a sense of her ecclesiology from a comment like that.]  "You went from a spectator to a player. It was all very exciting and new."  [Also wrong.  People were "spectators" before, anymore than they are now.  Doing stuff doesn’t make you liturgically "active".]

John died in 1963, but Vatican II continued in four sessions through his successor, Pope Paul VI, until it adjourned in 1965, launching more changes over the next 10 years than in the church’s previous 100 years. 

"I have very vivid memories of how poorly prepared people were for the changes," said Bishop Richard Lennon of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. "Priests were not prepared at all, and as a result it was a pretty haphazard event, a bit unsettling until you got used to it."

Vatican II opened the gates of social activism, [You’ve got to be kidding.  The Church supported ALL social institutions for the poor and needy for centuries!]  freedom of expression [Had a look in a museum lately?  A library" Concert hall?] and conscience, [What does that mean?] and a respect for all religions, [respect for people’s rights, that is] proclaiming to put an end to centuries-old prejudices and bad blood toward other Christian denominations.  [Wow!  The Church must have really been bad back then!]

In Africa, Masses were celebrated with drums; in America, with guitars. [And that has worked so well.] Women no longer had to cover their heads in church. And nuns all over the world began shedding their medieval robes and veils. One nun told a documentary filmmaker that it was strange to feel wind on her forehead and in her hair. (John’s fresh air?)  [And how are your vocations doing in your institute there, sister?  Pretty good are they?]

Bigger role for lay people

Vatican II eventually put an end to meatless Fridays [Well… not entirely] and long hours of fasting before receiving Communion. [Which lowered respect for the Eucharist.]  It restored the stature of the Bible, [?!?] which had taken a back seat to church teachings, and allowed lay people to hand out consecrated Communion wafers, a job only a priest had been allowed to do.  [Because no one believe that a consecrating a priest’s hands means anything anymore.  Big improvement that!]

"The fundamental change is the role it gave to lay people," said the Rev. Lou Trivison, 84, retired pastor of Resurrection Church in Solon. "It called on the laity to put their faith into action — to work for peace and unity among ourselves and all Christian churches.  [This is ridiculous.  People did that for centuries before the Council.  Notice when most parishes and schools were build, hosiptals, etc.]

"There’s more to being a Christian than just baking cookies and making coffee after Mass," said Trivison. [How insulting to our forebears in the faith.] "The laity can now be more-active members of the church through involvement in parish ministries.

"Prior to Vatican II, the laity’s role was to pray, fast and obey. In other words, ‘Shut up.’ " [Another insult.]

But the newly empowered laity would speak up, [Not a problem if their shepherds would and lead them and formed them.  But they DIDN’T.] unleashing a host of hot-button issues that today remain subjects of fierce debate: Ordination of women, marriage for priests, gay sexual intercourse and the use of contraception — all, to various degrees, not approved by the church hierarchy.  [This phrase makes it sound as if the "hierarchy" can simply approve things, as if there is no role for the Church’s tradition, or of reflection on natural law or Scripture.]

"I believe those things need to be addressed," said Marilyn Cunin, 78, of Cleveland Heights, a lifelong practicing Catholic. "We have educated people in the congregations today who don’t just say, ‘Yes sir, yes sir.’  [Again… see the pernicious nature of the implication that the hierarchy can just "change things" if they were finally to come to their senses and follow the sheep instead of shepherd them?]

"I can’t imagine why Rome would object to ordaining women. Women are perfectly equal."  [No.  Not "perfectly equal" in the sense that roles of men and women are identitical.  Men and women are equal in dignity as images of God.  They are not "equal" in the sense of "interchangable" as far as vocations, etc. are concerned.]

Cunin said the church in pre-Vatican II days was preoccupied with the trappings of ritual — rosaries, candles, incense, icons, novenas — which, today, she said, have little meaning for her.  [Neither did the schools, libraries, colleges, hospital, parishes, orphanages, convents….]

"If you forgot your chapel veil, you had to put a Kleenex on top of your head," she said. "That’s just ridiculous. It’s laughable.  [Second time this is brought up.  The writer is trying to make the Church before the Council seem stupid in the eyes of the oh so grown up and knowing modern reader.]

"I can appreciate the rituals, but sometimes there are people down the street going hungry while you’re saying the rosary[Another insult.  When were the Little Sisters of the Poor founded?  The Missionaries of Charity?  Catholic hospitals which did not turn away the sick.  When was the Vincent de Paul Society formed.  Does this person honestly think that the Church was not involved with the poor and hungry before Vatican II.  Really?] I believe faith should be more about addressing the problems of world hunger, AIDS and injustices."   [Mushy thought.  It all sounds so very high minded and smug.  How are "injustices" to be tackled?  People of good will can disagree about the ways "injustices" can be approached.  But to suggest that the Church wasn’t interested in "injustices" before the Council is just a lie.]

Small group of Catholics rejects reforms as heresy  [Sloppy use of that term]

Most Catholics, both liberal and conservative, support Vatican II, although they may differ in their interpretations of it[Is it legitimate to "interpret" it in a way other than that which this writer is trying to convey?] And most believe Pope John Paul II slowed the Vatican II movement by issuing conservative decrees and reaffirming Rome’s authority, which to some is a blessing and to others a disappointment.

"Pope John called them prophets of doom," said the Rev. Allan Laubenthal, 74, who was in Rome during Vatican II and now teaches theology part time at St. Mary’s Seminary in Wickliffe. "There are a few still around. They crop up now and then."

The Society of Pius X, based near Kansas City, Mo., is a breakaway group flatly opposed to Vatican II. It is represented here by the Rev. Markus Heggenberger, who celebrates Mass in the old Latin rite at St. Peregrine Chapel in Westlake.

Heggenberger opposes Mass in English, the new roles of the laity and efforts to reach out to other religions. [Perhaps it would be fairer to say opposes misinterpretations of new roles of the laity and false ecumenism?]

"Who wants to make common cause with Muslims?" he said. "The Catholic Church, I think, is a new religion, a religion of sentimentality as opposed to a religion of the Ten Commandments. Pope John XXIII was a liberal, not consistent with the Catholic faith."

But it was John’s messages in a time of cultural changes throughout the Western world that attracted millions of Catholics, including the Rev. Donald Cozzens, [You knew that if this was from Cleveland they would have to trot out this guy.] who teaches religious studies at John Carroll University.

"Vatican II asked, ‘What is religion all about? Is it about control or about liberation?’ " Cozzens said. "Religion is meant to liberate the soul so an individual sees his or her dignity as a child of God.

"You should follow your conscience. But you should form your conscience in light of truth and Christian teaching. The commandments are really in your heart. They’re not imposed arbitrarily by a church."

 

Some of the bullet points in the side box on the article:

Some changes spawned by Vatican II

• Congregants could celebrate Mass in their own language, rather than in Latin, with the priests facing them, rather than the back altar.

• The Bible got a greater emphasis; previously, unlike in Protestant denominations, it took a back seat to church teachings.

• Good works and social action gained importance, taking the church to the streets.

• The church embraced and worked with other religions.

• No more meatless Fridays and long hours of fasting before receiving communion.

• Women no longer had to cover their heads in church.

• Nuns no longer had to wear habits.

• Lay people gained a greater role in the celebration of the Mass, including handing out consecrated communion wafers, which had been strictly the work of priests.

 

How does that list set with you?

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84 Responses to Cleveland newspaper on Vatican II and TLM

  1. Jillian says:

    GRRAAAHHHH!!

    The ignorance is maddening! I am going to go pray a Rosary for these people… they got it ALL wrong.

  2. Jayna says:

    “Cunin said the church in pre-Vatican II days was preoccupied with the trappings of ritual—rosaries, candles, incense, icons, novenas—which, today, she said, have little meaning for her.”

    Ummm…in other words, preoccupied with praying? Scandalous! It’s an outrage! Why on earth would the Church care so much about praying? Honestly…

  3. Sieber says:

    Er, um, uh….that’s what they teach at my parish.
    Los Angeles, you know.

  4. Bibliothecarius says:

    Said Rev. Donald Cozzens:

    “You should follow your conscience. But you should form your conscience in light of truth and Christian teaching. The commandments are really in your heart. They’re not imposed arbitrarily by a church.”

    We’re through the looking glass, here, people. All emotion, no reason.

  5. TJB says:

    Happily the orders that still teach this garbage have no vocations, and therefore no future.

  6. Hanna says:

    He’s hurting my brain. Apparently journalism and scholarship have gone the way celebrants facing the altar – they are supposed to but most don’t bother, cuz social activism is so much more important, right?

  7. Mila says:

    Father, this article sits like a ton of bricks on an upset stomach. It both saddens and angers me.

  8. This is the usual claptrap to uphold modernism and denigrate any of us who want ‘T’radition, reverence, holiness and virtue in living a truly Catholic life. So we have our work cut out for us. Let’s continue in the alternate media.

  9. Anne Scanlon says:

    Unfortunately I spend a good deal of my time (I am a DRE) trying to re-educate many Michael O’Malleys ….. so much work to do………..

  10. Rancher says:

    This writer (editor in the making I’m sure) interprets and reports on the subject much like many priests and some bishops did way back when (and some still do)—which, of course, is what led to the problems and abuses we are saddled with today.

  11. Mitchell says:

    I just read this about 30 minutes ago while surfing the net….Slanted, appalling, distorted, and provocative…I looked for a comments section where I saw the article and there was no section to post. It is this garbage that was shoveled out of the late 60’s that has created so much anger and frustration in many good minded folks who eventually just left the Church altogether. Glad to see your comments Father Z, I thought it was only me.

  12. Willebrord says:

    Essentially what this does, is split the Church into two unequal camps:
    The first (the much smaller one, which is also the evil one), is composed of all us sedevacantist radical traditionalists who believe that Vatican II is the worst thing to ever happen to the Church. According to this, I would be in this camp, along with probably 99% or more of Fr. Z’s readers.
    The second,(far larger)camp consists of all the vibrant, joyful Catholics who push for rock Masses, feminism, and the like. Obviously the writers regard themselves as part of this group, and also all true Catholics. The only charitable ones are in this group.
    As for the conservative Catholics that just go to the NO, and are mostly neutral… the writer here would likely assign them arbitrarily to either group.

    I wonder what would have happened if they’d mentioned the SSPX excommication lifting… probably they didn’t hear about that until after this issue went to print.

    BTW, Fr. Bede is a very holy man.

  13. Sid says:

    Take heart, my friends. This text proves something. When a movement is loses its confidence, loses any intellectual content beyond cliche, when its spokemen are all over 50, and when it is simply dying, it screams all the louder. The “liberal” movement in the Church is dying.

  14. Sid says:

    that should read “when a movement loses its confidence”

  15. PaulJason says:

    Father I beg you to please write a response to this “article”. Even something in the comment section online.

  16. Well, this newspaper article seems to suggest that before Vatican II the Catholic Church was a medieval, obscurantist, uncaring organisation, obsessed with ritual, and oppressed by the dead hand of a priestly hierarchy.

    Since Vatican II, it has realised the error of its ways, and everything is now peachy.

    I don’t recognise in this description the Catholic Church either before or after Vatican II. But I do recognise the spirit of discontinuity in which the article was written.

  17. Gravitas says:

    Let him know how you feel:

    momalley@plaind.com

  18. tradsem says:

    I picked up the Plain Dealer this morning before Mass and read the article. You didn’t include the picture of Fr. John Hayes celebrating mass with glass and earthenware vessels at the same parish as the (venerable?) Fr. Bede is celebrating the TLM.

    Other than the Bishop, who probably also took note at the non-noble substance vessels, the other sources used for this article are whacky. Cozzens, Shenk, Trivison (of “Insurrection” in Solon), and Laubenthal obviously have an agenda. Unfortunately, this article is a prime example of the sort of shabby leftest reporting of the PD and many other newspapers (who have been losing subscribers for years). If anything, it was at least good advertising for the TLM at “the Mac” on Superior Ave, in Cleveland. (Note that the TLM is celebrated at two other “Mac’s” in the Diocese of Cleveland as well: Madison & Willoughby.)

    Please pray for the Church of Cleveland: for Bishop Lennon and Cleveland Priests and seminarians.

  19. Anthony says:

    Well, now that I’ve had some ginger ale to calm my stomach from this mess of an article…

    What really makes me sad about this article is that this is what Joe Catholic, not just Joe Journalist, sees in the Catholic Church today.

    I don’t think the problem was the Council. Any time our shepherds speak on matters of the faith united with our Holy Father, it is very good! The problem is that many weren’t listening, or only listening to those parts that we wanted to hear! (Or in some cases, listening for any “out” to get the parts they wanted to hear!)

  20. Kerm says:

    FYI, Sister Chris Schenk is director of FutureChurch.

  21. Henrici says:

    A young priest — whose parish has an average Sunday Mass attendance of about 1110 (to pick a convenient estimate) — asked how many would complain if he celebrated a Mass faithful to Vatican II — Latin and/or ad orientem Novus Ordo.

    I said about 1000 just come to Sunday Mass, don’t think too seriously about it, don’t care much about the details, might not even notice. That about 100 would react positively but silently, they’re not accustomed to speaking out. That the remaining 10 would hate it, and they’re the only ones the bishop would hear from.

    Have I got it anywhere near right? If so, stereotypical articles like this represent the loud views of a tiny minority, with the majority whose views are serious enough to be considered being, unfortunately, truly a “silent majority”.

  22. Muscovite says:

    “[S]aid Marilyn Cunin, 78, of Cleveland Heights, a lifelong practicing Catholic, ‘We have educated people in the congregations today…. I can’t imagine why Rome would object to ordaining women.'”

    Perhaps Ms. Cunin and her associates are not as educated as she believes.

  23. Mark says:

    A pile of fertilizer.

  24. A Random Friar says:

    As the kids say, “EPIC FAIL!”

  25. Steve says:

    Instead of praying the rosary for people who spread lies (as Jillian said), I always think of Pope Pius X and his famous remark about heretics….

    “Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle; a duel. If Our Lord were not terrible He would not have given an example in this too. See how He treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!”

    Not that we physically assault people but we stand up and call these clowns what they really are.

  26. Willebrord says:

    I think we could all take Gravitas’ idea and all email the reporter.

    BTW: Fr. Bede also celebrates the Mass at St. Stephen’s in Cleveland, and St. Mary’s in Akron (just to get the word around).

  27. Martin says:

    Do you think Father, there just might be a way for your red type to appear on the online versions of these articles? Now that would be excellent. ;-)

  28. momoften says:

    The great changes they speak of were unsettling to me when I saw the change when I was
    4 years old….they were unsettling to me as a child receiving fluff religious education..
    and they grind me today–in disbelief at the idiots in the pew(until after they receive Holy
    Communion and leave) Sad we have been dumbed down.

  29. Peter says:

    The article is bad. But before you invoke ‘conspiracy’ consider ‘cockup’. For the journalism is not unique to this topic – inaccurate, poorly researched, cliched, seeking to establish a conflict.

    I see this every day in my sphere of work. Every time you actually know something about a topic being addressed in (almost all) media you are left wondering “how could they write that? didn’t they do any research at all?”

    But this article, and all those inaccurate ones, are written by journalist who probably don’t have any interest in the story they are covering.

    If they can concoct a conflict, all the better because that gets peoples interest (concupiscence?).

    The journos work mostly for big firms who don’t care about journalism, just profits. They work to a tight deadline and then its on to the next piece. And if they can pilfer ideas or even text from elsewhere so much the better. The footsoldiers don’t have to be fully subscribed to the devil’s agenda to unwittingly do his bidding.

    (We in Australia exported Rupert Murdoch to you – for all his huff and puff about journalism he has no interest in the truth.)

  30. Vox Cantor says:

    What a poorly researched, inane column; and for what purpose?

    I hope the good Catholics of Cleveland hold this miscreant accountable for his juvenile analysis.

  31. Cory says:

    I cannot believe that the reporter didn’t talk about the clown noses that priests are now required to wear!

  32. This was a terribly written article. As a progressive Catholic, I am really embarassed by the view of Church that the journalist gives and the poor example given by the people he interviewed.

    Fr. Z, why did you waste your time critiquing this article? Surely, there are better researched articles written in a progressive vein where you could have brought forth serious discussion from us.

  33. Nan says:

    I’ve never attended Mass in Latin but have my dad’s St. Joseph’s Missal and playbook, which clearly indicates what’s going on at any given time. In English!

    With regard to activism, the people quoted in this article wouldn’t be anywhere without the religious orders founded over the last couple of centuries to do crazy things like feed and house the poor, educate children, teach women to sew…unknowingly, they have benefited from changes wrought by myriads of religious orders.

  34. Robert says:

    “I said about 1000 just come to Sunday Mass, don’t think too seriously about it, don’t care much about the details, might not even notice. That about 100 would react positively but silently, they’re not accustomed to speaking out. That the remaining 10 would hate it, and they’re the only ones the bishop would hear from.”

    “Have I got it anywhere near right? If so, stereotypical articles like this represent the loud views of a tiny minority, with the majority whose views are serious enough to be considered being, unfortunately, truly a “silent majority”.”

    You’ve go it exactly right. Also, with a more reverent Mass, and education as to the true doctrine of the Church, many of those 1,000 would become more involved, and former Catholics would begin to return (I say this as a revert myself).

    I think many bishops are so concerned about keeping happy that “vocal 10″ who don’t even belong in the Church, they’ve neglected the vast majority of Catholics and lost many along the way.

    So what can we do to educate people that views expressed in this article do not represent Church teaching?

  35. Some of you are suggesting to write to the reporter. If you were to write nasty e-mails or blast him behind the cowardly mask of anonymity, I would be very disappointed with you.

  36. jo says:

    Oh, yes, those rosaries must go.

    Back in the early ’70s, my mother pulled my little sister out of a Catholic High School in Chicago, Maria High School, run by the Sisters of St. Casimir, because her religion teacher, a nun, said the rosary was, exact quote here, “garbage.” I am not kidding. My mother then sent my sister to a Chicago public school so she wouldn’t have to unteach her everything about our religion. Oh, and when they had Mass at this school, they sat in a circle and meditated on a candle, and the priest wore vestments that looked like wild animal skins. It was bad when I went to the same school from ’67 to ’70, but it really went downhill after that. My poor mother was in such distress. She is probably a saint now.

    I won’t go into what my little brother was learning in the seminary at about this time, but that’s where he met his non-Catholic wife.

    This article just proves how widespread and damaging this modern movement was.

  37. Jillian says:

    Steve,

    The Rosary was so that I might return to a rational state of mind to better form my honest and charitable comments towards Mr. O’Malley. I do think we should confront the falsities of the article, but from a clear and rational perspective; not the heat of enraged passion.

  38. Jennifer G. Miller says:

    The list is so bad. So, how about writing a true and positive list Vat II DID bring about?

  39. jo says:

    Jennifer, I think it would be a very short list.

  40. Tina says:

    Meatless Fridays were banned/ended by Vatican II? Did my diocese not get the memo?
    I went to a high school run by the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, and regardless of what you think of them, in the four years I went to high school, meat was never ever served on a Friday at all. This was in the 1990s. I remember one year McDonald’s donated cheeseburgers to the school for a Friday treat in Lent, and the sisters almost didn’t let us have it until the Archbishop gave his permission. They insisted we would have to give up meat 2 extra days that week to make up for it.

    Fish fries are big deals here…

    I think that list is bogus. I thought the Church was always supposed to be “in the streets” as it were.

    My thoughts. On my way to Mass, I hope it is the St. Paul one. I’m soo curious.

  41. W. Schrift says:

    I notice that the average age of the people interviewed for this article is 74 (Sr. Christine Schenk (a seventh-grader in 1962 would have been about 12, so let’s say she’s 59; Fr. Lou Trivison, 84; Marilyn Cunin, 78; Fr. Allan Laubenthal, 74).

    I wonder how old Fr. Heggenberger, the SSPX priest, is. I’m betting he’s in his thirties.

    The fact is, the “movement” is dying out. These people approach the Church with a hermeneutic of rupture, of power struggle, of rights. The Church must be understood (She demands to be understood!) through a hermeneutic of continuity. Anything else is a grave misinterpretation. You can see how this politicized perspective perverts Catholic history. But Jesus Christ is the master of history, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church.

  42. Cathomommy says:

    I read this article this morning in the Plain Dealer and nearly lost my breakfast. SUCH a badly written, badly researched article, for all the points Fr. Z has so capably refuted. What made me laugh was that the pictures that accompanied the article, the old lady in a mantilla, the “priest’s back” in the TLM, were not pulled from pictures from 50+ yrs ago, but from our local TLM communities LAST WEEK. Shouldn’t that have given the guy some kind of a clue that maybe there’s been a recent shift away from the viewpoint that all the happy, clappy, free-wind-in-one’s-hair, Vatican II-era changes were for the best??

  43. RBrown says:

    “I can appreciate the rituals, but sometimes there are people down the street going hungry while you’re saying the rosary.

    It probably takes less time to say a Rosary than it did for him to write his article. How many many were going hungry while he was writing his article?

    And how many were going intellectually hungry while they were reading it?

    I am among those who are disturbed over the demise of the newspapers. One of the reasons for their problems is that they have been employing people like Michael O’Malley, who have nothing to say. Sadly, the industry that once employed the likes of Jimmy Breslin, Tom Wolfe, and H.L.Mencken now can only offer the vacuousness of people like O’Malley, whose incompetence is such that the written word can only be used by them to enthrone their own ignorance.

  44. Jim says:

    Grrrrrr! (to quote Fr. Z).

    Traditional fasts have been a great loss to the Church, both the lenten fast and the eucharistic fast. The lenten fast is a mere vestigial remnant of what it used to be (meatless Fridays in Lent; one-meal-a-day on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). The current eucharistic fast (one hour before receiving communion) is a joke. It is possible to have an early dinner on Saturday, then rush of to a quickie “vigil” mass designed to satisfy one’s Sunday obligation.

    The Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches still keep the traditional fasts, which are an immense aid to growth in the faith. But that’s just my humble opinion. With a pro-abortion President in the White House, now is a great time to fast and pray. We need to go back to our roots.

  45. Athelstane says:

    “Another insult. When were the Little Sisters of the Poor founded? The Missionaries of Charity?”

    A profound insult – despicable.

    This is immanentism run amock – the complete horizontalization of the Church. All that matters is social action – not heaven. As if prayer and helping the poor were somehow at odds with each other. Appalling.

    “If previously there was a narrowing of the Christian vision to an individualism, we are now in danger of a sociological leveling down.” – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Foreword, Catholicism by Henri de Lubac.

  46. TMG says:

    W. Schrift,

    Fr. Heggenberger (editor of Angelus magazine) is in his forties.

    Reading this article in my local Plain Dealer brought back all those queasy feelings. This sums up exactly why this traditional Catholic bolted to the TLM at a SSPX Chapel.

  47. Christina says:

    I work and worship in the Diocese of Cleveland.

    We have wandered off the reservation.

    We don’t take sin seriously. We’re too busy “centering”.

    Pray for us that we repent of the rank individualism and theological Liberalism that undermines our faith and lets the Enemy proclaim victory from atop Tower City!

    Save the Liturgy, save the nation…..

  48. matt says:

    standing maryanna,
    As a progressive Catholic, I am really embarassed by the view of Church that the journalist gives and the poor example given by the people he interviewed.

    Fr. Z, why did you waste your time critiquing this article? Surely, there are better researched articles written in a progressive vein where you could have brought forth serious discussion from us.

    Excellent thought, could you point one out? I really am trying figure out what it means to be a faithful progressive Catholic.

  49. Marty Fuhry says:

    I read this article and nearly fell out of my chair. I was just at a Latin Mass at St. Mary’s Akron today and Father Bede was there celebrating.

  50. Allena says:

    I would have read this article, but I was too preoccupied with the ritualistic kissing of my 5 fold scapular. You know, this ritualistic pre-occupation is some really good stuff, everyone should try some.

    FWIW, if some you write emails people, remember that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. We already have a stigma against us, please let us not affirm its validity!

  51. Thomas Grant says:

    I had to sent him a note and I hope he reads it, I was nice. I even suggested he read a good book on the Catholic Church. “How the Catholic Church built Western Civilization” by Thomas Woods, Jr. PHD. He might actually learn something but I don’t think that’s his motivation.

  52. Bruce says:

    This article by Michael O’Malley & the people in it reminded me of a term coined by C.S. Lewis & Owen Barfield:

    Chronological snobbery – is a logical fallacy describing the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior when compared to that of the present.

  53. Bruce says:

    The subject came up between them when Barfield had converted to Anthroposophy and was persuading Lewis (an atheist at that time) to join him. One of Lewis’s objections was that the religion was simply outdated, and in Surprised by Joy (chapter 13, p. 207-208) he describes how this was fallacious:

    “ Barfield never made me an Anthroposophist, but his counterattacks destroyed forever two elements in my own thought. In the first place he made short work of what I have called my “chronological snobbery,” the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited. You must find why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted (and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood. From seeing this, one passes to the realization that our own age is also “a period,” and certainly has, like all periods, its own characteristic illusions. They are likeliest to lurk in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the age that no one dares to attack or feels it necessary to defend them. ”

    [Brilliant quote. Simply brilliant. Thanks for that!]

    Excellent Quote!

  54. Clinton says:

    Sadly, it’s not surprising that O’Malley’s piece is so terrible. I cannot remember the last time I came across a news report in the
    mainstream media concerning the Church that wasn’t similarly weighed down with cliches, factual error, and logical fallacies. The
    present sad state of media coverage and analysis is most obvious when one compares news reports of papal statements against
    the statements themselves. I’m not a paranoid person, but I cannot help but feel that when it comes to the Church the major news
    outlets have decided that basic charity, objectivity and commitment to veracity are optional. As Peter from Australia noted in his
    post above, it pays for these news outlets to manufacture controversy. Such behavior is suitable only for the tabloids, and should
    be beneath any publication with pretensions of journalistic integrity. It makes me wonder about where else the media have decided
    sales trump reporting facts…

  55. Richard Cox says:

    A sense of the Sacred and of Sanctity was sacrificed for what? Fifty years of the desert.

  56. Sandra in Severn says:

    Well, until I found this site, did more reading, and learned a few things — I would not have thought anything was amiss in that article in my old hometown newspaper. Oh some points I would have known were wrong but the over all article, would not know the difference.

    Thank-you everyone, especially Fr. Z for educating this laywoman. I now know better.

  57. Patrick says:

    They are all woefully biased and demonstrate a lack of understanding.

    But ” Lay people gained a greater role in the celebration of the Mass, including handing out consecrated communion wafers, which had been strictly the work of priests.”, is the worst of the lot.

    The lack of reverence, and the evident lack of unbiased research is appalling.

  58. Father Bartoloma says:

    After a while, dumb articles like this aren’t even worth becoming upset over. What upsets me is that Michael O’Malley would get a paycheck for writing a piece like this with the same old spin and catch-phrases that have been parroted for decades now. But I’m sure that for characters like Sr. Christine Schenk it reads as fresh and exciting as the day she threw away her habit.

  59. Msgr D says:

    Fr., I am at a little bit of a loss. Why did you deem this article worthy of discussion in the first place? It obviously was written by someone with little of no knowledge. Perhaps time spent with better material might lead to better discussion.

  60. Cathomommy says:

    Msgr D,
    Since this was on the FRONT PAGE of our paper in what used to be one of the most heavily Catholic cities in the country, I think it is definitely worth discussion, or at least worth pointing out. I think it’s all too easy in our traditionalist circles to forget that this is the mindset of a huge majority of people who call themselves “Catholic.” However erroneous, vapid and anti-intellectual, this is the mindset we have to fight and work against.

  61. chironomo says:

    I know it is a broken record, but I have to agree with those above who point out that this is a sign of a quickly dying movement. I took a look at the “Folk Group” that I (have to) accompany this past weekend…many of them now have to sit in special chairs, use walkers, etc…no new members for the past several years.

    My “Traditional Choir” has nearly doubled in size during the past two years (20 members now)… nearly half of the group is under the age of 35, quite an accomplishment in Florida! Also, since the Folk Group began playing exclusively at one Mass on Sunday morning, the attendance at that Mass has noticeably gotten thinner, while the attendance at the “Traditional Choir” Mass has noticeably grown. I have seriously considered compiling some hard data on this, using the figured from Donation Tracker for the past several years and bringing it to the Pastor’s attention. I know this is a bit off topic, but there are obvious signs other than this article that the “movement” is coming to an end…

  62. jarhead462 says:

    Dopey dreck.
    Makes me want to punch somebody in the brain.
    Maybe that will jump-start it, and this guy will stop writing in hippie-cliches’

    Semper Fi!

  63. I was sitting about three pews behind the lady who took these pictures as she was taking them. I knew they’d end up on wdtprs.. I was just hoping under better circumstances.

    Unfortunately for some reason there were significantly less (half?) people there than usual last week.

    Also, Fr. Bede is one of the most amazing priests I know. Pretty sure he knows Latin better than I know English, and he has one of the best voices for chant I have ever heard. I am also quite convinced that he has never ever made a mistake on anything in his life ever.

  64. GOR says:

    Once I saw that Christine Schenk and Donald Cozzens were some of the ‘authoritative’ quotes, I knew what to expect. Drivel.

  65. inillotempore says:

    When arrogance is mixed with ignorance it is almost too much to bear.

    Would it be too much to expect a new pastoral council as a “reform of the reform” ? probably not in our lifetime, although the Holy Father is certainly laying the groundwork…brick by brick…as Fr. Z says.

    The sweeping manner with which the incorrect “interpretation” of V.II spread was wrong, and once you’ve given something people think is their “right” it is very difficult to wrestle from them (Just like government entitlements).

  66. Molly H says:

    The Catholic Social Action movement started before Vatican II, and Dorothy Day was a convert to Catholicism. She began the Catholic Worker Movement in the United States in the 1930’s. She was able to work within the Pre-Vatican II church and establish some of the strongest advocacy for the poor. There are many saints in the Church that have worked for the poor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is another American who converted, all of them before Vatican II. So there had to be some good things in the Church that drew people into the Catholic Faith.

    Its frustrating to see the Catholic Church portrayed in such a way because I am one that has only grown up in the post-Vatican II church and I know that the way that he talked about the Church is incorrect. However, I know that many youth my age are not aware of the history and tradition of the Church, so if they were to read this article, they would see only his side. I went to a Jesuit College and Studied Theology and I feel like I got a pretty good idea of what the Catholic Tradition is really supposed to be about.

    I just wish that people would be more intelligent about what they are saying and writing about this tradition that should be honored for helping people come to God for centuries.

  67. TomG says:

    I am a convert and former Reformed Protestant. I can tell you with near certainty that I would have not become a Catholic if my sole exposure to the Roman Catholic Church had been the Church as it developed after Vatican II. The spare liturgical trappings of the American Reformed sects were more appealing than the puerile folderol of the OF (as commonly observed). And, frankly, I don’t believe any serious Protestant would (and certainly no Orthodox!). As Esau of old, the Church all but gave up its birthright for “a mess of pottage.” Remove the mystery and awe from the Holy Eucharist and it becomes … a memorial.

  68. August says:

    I, as a non-Caucasian Catholic, perhaps ironically, feel very offended at statements like the ones found in this article.

  69. RichR says:

    I don’t lose sleep over these types of articles anymore. The future is very bright for our church. I would maintain that this is due, in large part, to the New Evangelization and resulting explosion of apologetics and catechetics. When you teach the faith, it’s harder for renovators to try to repackage it and sell it under a different label. Younger people who stay in the Church are harder to fool.

  70. chironomo says:

    I find it interesting that the list says that these are changes that were “spawned” by Vatican II…. not changes that were indicated in Vatican II documents!! I find “spawned” to be an appropriate word here… as in “spun off” or “produced uncontrollably”…there is truth in the details!

  71. tradsem says:

    Someone should print the comments out and send them to the PD.

  72. Scott says:

    A snippet from my letter to him:

    “I do agree that there is much that remains stagnant in the Church, principally the 70s era “folk” Masses and self-centered worship that had already grown old and into a cliche back when many of us were in grade school.”

  73. JW says:

    If I believed the stuff in this article, I probably wouldn’t be Catholic anymore. Why bother to belong to a religion that took almost 2,000 years to do anything right?

  74. Maureen says:

    I’ve also wondered about the emphasis on “his back to the people” but I think that it really may be a central issue. When the priest faces the people, their attention is on the priest, when he faces the alter, their attention is riveted on the altar and the ongoing sacrifice that is the Mass. One can attend a NO Mass without focusing the mind on God; one can’t easily ignore the Christ-centric focus when everyone including the priest is focusing on the alter (and the large crucifix that used to hang above altars). Its the difference between a religion of men and a religion of god

  75. Picard says:

    Such an article PROOFS that there is a problem in Vat.II itselfe. Well, not this article alone, but together with hundreds and thousands -innumerable – of similar ones.

    You might say (object) now: No, it is only misinterpretation, Vat.II itselfe is ok, it is not to be blamed.
    – But that cannot be. If there is such a great number, such an amount of “missinterpretation” – if it is so easy to “missinterprete” a Council – then there must be something wrong or better: blameable in the Vat.II itselfe.

    It is like in BF. Williamsons interview: Even if he would be right, he is blameable for beeing imprudent and even more: for not making clear that he is against all hate and murder of Jews.

    So like he is blameable for this default and so for easily leading to missinterpretations so is (at least!!) Vat. II!

  76. Picard says:

    Such an article PROOFS that there is a problem in Vat.II itselfe. Well, not this article alone, but together with hundreds and thousands -innumerable – of similar ones.

    You might say (object) now: No, it is only misinterpretation, Vat.II itselfe is ok, it is not to be blamed. – But that cannot be. If there is such a great number, such an amount of “missinterpretation” – if it is so easy to “missinterprete” a Council – then there must be something wrong or better: blameable in the Vat.II itselfe.

    It is like in BF. Williamsons interview: Even if he would be right, he is blameable for beeing imprudent and even more: for not making clear that he is against all hate and murder of Jews.

    So like he is blameable for this default and so for easily leading to missinterpretations so is (at least!!) Vat. II!

  77. Alan F. says:

    “No more meatless Fridays and long hours of fasting before receiving communion.”

    This bte kept getting me. Why does he say this? Those rules are still in place!

    Also:
    “[…] rosaries, candles, incense, icons, novenas—which, today, she said, have little meaning for her.”

    So the Most Holy Rosary, and excellent spiritula weapon against Satan has “little meaning for her”. Icons of Our Lord, the Blessed VirginMary and the saints in Heaven have “little meaning for her”. Candles, an ancient symbol for the light of Christ has “little meaning for her”.
    What kind of catholic is this.

  78. Alan F. says:

    “No more meatless Fridays and long hours of fasting before receiving communion.”

    This bit kept getting me. Why does he say this? Those rules are still in place!

    Also:
    “[…] rosaries, candles, incense, icons, novenas—which, today, she said, have little meaning for her.”

    So the Most Holy Rosary, and excellent spiritul weapon against Satan has “little meaning for her”. Icons of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints in Heaven have “little meaning for her”. Candles, an ancient symbol for the light of Christ have “little meaning for her”.
    What kind of catholic is this?

  79. John says:

    I find it interesting that the underlying philosophy of all of the drivel spewing forth from the mouths of these “enlightened” Catholics is that finally the Church and man have “come of age.” Finally, we’ve grown out of the old self and into the new, mature Us. This is the same smug attitude of modern teenagers who throw off all authority and embrace the self as the ultimate authority and guide. Little do they know that the very mark of immaturity is thinking oneself more mature than one really is…

  80. LarryD says:

    “FYI, Sister Chris Schenk is director of FutureChurch.”

    Actually, in her case, its FutileChurch.

  81. Melanie says:

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And he shall direct your path.
    “His” opinion is the only one that matters.

    Wonderful link on Headcovering: http://www.catholicplanet.com/women/headcovering.htm

    Many Blessings,
    Melanie

  82. California Girl says:

    I knew I couldn’t read the whole article without having my head explode, bit I did take a look at the “bullet points”. The one that jumped out at me was:

    “Good works and social action gained importance, taking the church to the streets.”

    Hello??? For HOW LONG has the Church been (wrongly) criticized as a “church of works”, not of “faith”? The Protestants have always told us that we are saved by faith alone, and that to require “good works” is superfluous, or downright wrong.

    And now, after we’ve spent centuries stressing that our faith must be lived out in our deeds, NOW we are told that it was only after Vatican II that “good works and social action gained importance”?!?

    As my grandmother would have said, “Give me strength!”

    (It’s a good thing I skipped the rest of the article!)

  83. irishgirl says:

    What idiotic drivel….

    Hey JarHead, I’ll second that ‘punch in the brain’!

    I’m glad you picked that story apart, Fr. Z!

  84. Joe says:

    I grew up near Cleveland (25 miles from downtown, but in the Youngstown Diocese). In the 1970s, the Youngstown Diocese wasn’t any better than Cleveland. I suspect the same is true today.

    The Plain Dealer, like so many newspapers, is a hollow core of what it once was. The PD once faced competition from the Cleveland Press, which has been gone for almost 30 years now. The writing is shabby throughout the paper – as it is in so many papers today.

    Given the radicalism of certain “Catholics” there, I’m not surprised at the article. I remember well the guitar Masses and felt banners of the 1970s in Catholic school, right after the Baltimore Catechism was banished.

    Things are somewhat better in Pittsburgh. At least here, we have Fr. Kenneth Myers and the Latin Mass Community at St. Boniface.

    Deo gratias!