I’ve been reading something co-written by scholars whom I have hitherto respected. These are not “libs”. These are not Fishwrap types. They are sound scholars. What they signed is over-the-top ideological cant about the Novus Ordo and its Spirit-inspired glories, with a strong polemical and aggressive style.
I’m bumfuzzled. I’m not bumfuzzled about how to respond to their points (they get some things just plain wrong, which amazes me, easy things, too), though that always takes writing as much or more than they. I’m bumfuzzled at how people who are so smart could get to this point.
One of the core ideas of their aggressive and polemical ideological cant is that the Novus Ordo is the same Roman Rite reformed by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It’s the same.
Is it? Is the Novus Ordo what the Council wanted? Or is it what some people wanted the Council to want and, by
hook and crook … sorry, Spirit-filled discernment… eventually got in the name of the Council?
Whatever it is, friends, and under what inspiration and stemming from which mandates, we have to account for serious contemporary problems, not the least of which are the fruits it has borne, the “poorly implemented” excuses left aside. We can start with why a huge majority of self-professed Catholics don’t believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist. That’s a problem.
(But Hey! Father! But Father! You are an ossified, nitpicking stick in the mud (not that sticks are bad, they are from trees). We have the solution! In the name of the Spirit, we change what the Church teaches, or at least obscure it, so that it isn’t even an issue anymore! How? Wellll… change how it is received! Change the language used! It’s the Spirit! Change how it is handled! Because, People of God! Change who can receive it! Accompaniment is what the Council wanted. Pretty soon, no problem, right? If people don’t have the right words and visuals, they don’t have the concept and the problem is gone, right? No… wait… ummmm….. YOU HATE VATICAN TWOOO!)
What I’ve read is part of a series, so I will reserve my zisks for the time being.
As a zwischenzug, I’ll re-post this.
I have questions for them.
What we are seeing is a blitzkrieg on all fronts, the main method of attack is the claim that the Second Vatican Council ushered in what is tantamount to a new age of the Church, the “spirit” of which doesn’t just permit but requires RE-interpretation of all cult, code and creed.
The new re-interpretive gift of the Council is not so much in the written texts of the documents but rather in their innovative (and therefore Spirit-filled) style, their subtext, what they really say to the special people who have the ability to tease the Spirit-filled message out from between the words. It’s a kind of Gnosticism, perhaps.
Whatever there was before the Council is now open to re-interpretation, reform or even rejection, including dogmatic teaching. We have to use “discernment” through a synodal (“walking together”) path to arrive at the new “way”. It will be hard, but it is so important that we get that there that anyone who stands in the way or questions motives or direction or methods must quite simply be marginalized, silenced and, if need be, crushed.
Why the aggression?
The answer could have several elements.
Some of those who embrace that aggressive cant, are locked into a paradigm burned into them in their formative years of change, revolution, “fresh air”, anti-authoritarianism, etc, culminating in an iconic moment of halcyon days that must be perpetuated. Gotta keep that guitar music coming. Don’t trigger me with a biretta and a Kyrie “in Latin!
Next, there are those who, by their formation committed once-for-all-time to the changes. They take revival of the old ways as implying that they are failures on the level of human respect. “You are saying that I’m a failure!”
Others sense that there is something lacking in the post-Conciliar reforms that was lost. They don’t want to look too closely at what was lost because it is frightening. They don’t want to look at what really is found in the cleft of the rock, because that would require a deep and maybe painful conversion and change. This is one reason why they don’t like popular devotions: because they are so raw and active in the affective life.
Some know that the winds are blowing in a certain direction. They want to a) ascend with them or b) not be blown over and left behind by them. They might be ambitious or they might be afraid for what they have. Either way, they react aggressively to challenges. Their attachments are utilitarian and political.
The bottom line is, perhaps, fear.
Meanwhile, compare and contrast.