Corpus Christi in bombed out Cologne in 1947

No, no… everything is better now since the “reforms” of the liturgy and the way doctrine and law have been de-emphasized in the name of the spirit of Vatican II.  No.  Everything is so much better now… really… better.. it is…

That’s right… they’ve got nothing on us! What a vibrant and faithful Church we have now! The seminaries are full, convents are packed, confession lines are long. There are so many schools and hospitals being built. And try to count the wedding and baptisms! Well! I’m mean… wow… right?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jana Parma says:

    Never in all my life have I ever witnessed a religious crowd of such size and reverence. I wish I could but I wouldn’t know where to find it.

  2. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    How can we have fallen so far in 70 years? Seriously, only 70 years…

  3. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Basically all of the children in this video grew up and apostacized.

  4. FrAnt says:

    I can’t count the number of times I have heard from parishioners how wonderful things are in the Church since Vatican II. Next time I’ll show them that video and explain to them what is happening.

  5. jaykay says:

    Even up to around the mid-80s our Corpus Christi procession (still held on Thursday) through the town’s main streets used have thousands, with shop windows and houses decorated with images and altars, and flags and bunting everywhere. These days, 300 turn up and we’re counting it a good turnout. And that’s in just over 30 years. The older people, for whom attendance at such things was part and parcel of their life, have died or got too old, and their children and grand-children have, as Atra says above, largely apostatised. In the space of 30 years.

    As North Africa once went, so we in “Catholic” Ireland seem to be going – and without the excuse they had of violent, bloody, forced conversion with execution for refusal.

    Well, not yet ;(

  6. lmgilbert says:

    This reminds me of the rector of the cathedral here in Portland speaking in a sermon of how gloomy the Church was in his childhood. He was speaking at a Sunday Mass in which the cathedral was roughly a quarter full. In his childhood that space and virtually every Catholic church throughout the country would have been standing room only at the midmorning Sunday Masses.

    As for “gloomy,” it is true that the Church of our youth ( the fifties) had a far more vivid sense of sin, and in consequence heard a lot more about what was and was not a mortal sin, about Hell, about going to confession. It was in consequence far more penitential, “gloomy,” if you will, especially in Lent. One could say, too, that servile fear was deliberately cultivated, as it should have been, and should be. In our age, servile fear has become a kind of bogeyman. Filial fear is of course to be preferred, but the usual course of a devout life is for people to move over the course of many years from servile fear to filial fear. From the desert fathers especially one could supply many testimonies to this dynamic.

    However, for the very reason that is was so penitential, its Paschal season was far more glorious, grace was far more abundant, our rectories and convents were full and we were zealous to pass on the faith to our children through many Catholic schools that charged a nominal tuition.

    If that is “gloom” we need more of it. One could say, on reflection, the very key to all this was the cultivation of servile fear, as counter-intuitive as that might seem. As it is, we are now swimming in the Catholic version of “cheap grace, ” perfectly symbolized and celebrated by cheap music, cheap art, and cheap liturgy.

  7. ajf1984 says:

    But Father! But Father! Surely you must know that the short/non-existent Confession lines are because the People of God doesn’t–nay, cannot!s–sin anymore! We comport ourselves like the angels now, donchaknow…

    And the emptying of the seminaries is really a good thing, because it means that the few priests we still manage to hang on to must be the best of the best, and that those crammed-to-the-gills seminaries of Yesteryear must have been full of men without any real vocation, right? {eyeroll}

  8. Dan says:

    That is antiquated nonsense for sure, I know for a fact from the last Eucharistic Procession in my diocese that you are not to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. The correct rubric is to shake your fist in the air and yell at the top of your lungs “Yo Jesus we got your back!”.
    Also their seem to be way to many people there and they are dressed to only draw attention to themselves and declare how holy they are.

  9. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    It seems that the typical Progressive answer to charges that their programs in the political realm have been unsuccessful, is that the budget allocated by Congress was insufficient; that not enough people could be reached; that the program was constrained by budget and legal obstacles, etc., etc. For example, when the ultimate failure of L.B.J.’s “War On Poverty” is pointed out to Progressives, they answer with a straight face, that although *some* federal money was allocated to the program, that a great deal more money was required for success. The mindset is that the Progressive agenda is infallible; its full implementation, however, has to date been undermined, underfunded, understaffed, and subverted at every turn by the backward Conservatives, resulting in failure after failure of liberal initiatives in our society.

    Undoubtedly, the Progressives in the Church flatter themselves with the same sort of arguments: that because the the proponents’ of “The Spirit of Vatican II” have been unable to bring to fruition the *full* scope of liturgical, catechetical, theological and moral changes they had envisioned, there is a lack of participation in today’s partially-reformed Church.

    I do agree that the Church of the early 1960s was out-of-step with the World. But instead of getting ourselves more in-step with the World, Catholics needed to pray for, sacrifice on behalf of, and evangelize the World to make it more in-step with Jesus Christ and His Church.

  10. gdweber says:

    I experienced a bizarre glitch with the video link. Instead of the expected Corpus Christi procession Munich 1947, I saw a 2017 Polish fashion show for priestly vestments, with priests literally walking on stage and turning around to display their robes, some garishly colored, and one decorated with a fish net. I thought, Fr. Z’s irony is even stronger than usual today.

    A few minutes later, the Corpus Christi procession was ready to view, and when I visited the page again, the video worked as expected.

  11. EF says:

    I grew up in the 60’s. I have attended Sunday Mass and Holy Days regularly my whole life, in different locations, but mostly the Midwest US. I had never even HEARD of Corpus Christi Eucharistic processions, let alone SEEN one, or participated in one, until a few years ago. Truly, it is a new experience for me and I am 60 years old! I am glad that they are slowly coming back. To see this vintage film is truly eye-opening.

  12. YellowRoses says:

    Take heart, everyone. There are new priests, young priests, who want the beautiful traditions. There are good seminarians coming up the ranks. The more we pray and sacrifice for holy priests, God willing, the more will come. And with good priests, devotions like these will return.

    As for my parish, we had a Corpus Christi procession immediately after Mass…we stopped at three altars along the way with readings and benedictions. It was not as huge as Cologne, but it was also just one Mass.

  13. Pingback: TVESDAY CATHOLICA EXTRA | Big Pulpit

  14. jaykay says:

    ImGilbert says: “One could say, on reflection, the very key to all this was the cultivation of servile fear,…”

    How close, though, servile fear is to holy fear, or should be, because we’re all “servi”, or should be. Slaves of Him, slaves in the perfect sense, glad to devote ourselves to His every wish.

  15. You can view the procession from this year in Cologne here:

    It’s long—they taped the whole thing—but skip through it and you can see it’s still an impressive gathering.

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