Mental shift

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What has come to pass, Vatican II — what went wrong?

Posted by jytmkh on October 18, 2008

2008-09-18
What has come to pass, Vatican II -- what went wrong?
 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 r…
  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.

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.  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.  What a sad and touching comment. Given the devastation wrought by the destruction of the liturgy and practice of the Church by Vatican II, there’s sometimes 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’m sure this priest is not alone in looking back with regret.

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.  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?  This testimony by the priest speaks volumes of why MANY people who stopped going to Mass because their hearts were broken.  Many people think that confession went out the window after 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.    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.

It’s true, yes, that 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.  Most Catholics even today think 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.  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.

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….

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

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?

Do I think that form of the Mass in Latin turned Protestants away?  Of course the Latin turned Protestants away. One of the first things that Martin Luther did to his Mass was to abolish Latin.  Consider this quote from the year 1840 by Dom Prosper Gueranger, founder of the Benedictine Congregation of France and first abbot of Solesmes,he wrote the following in Liturgical Institutions

“ Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit… We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in ever destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being said in the way one speaks on the marketplace.”

The best place to look would be in the official explanation given by the Pope who promugated that missal. It can be read here:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pa…omanum_en.html

Archbishop Bugnini: “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren , that is for the Protestants”

The Mass was changed for ecumenism. The Latin Mass was an “impediment” it made the Protestants feel “ill at ease”.
Here in his own words is what Bugnini though of the Mass of countless saints and martyrs and over 250 Popes.

“Signs and rites are likely to become incrusted by time, that is, to grow old and outmoded . They may therefore need to be revised and updated, so that the expression of the Church’s worship may reflect the perennial youthfulness of the Church itself…the Liturgy feeds the Church’s life; it must therefore remain dynamic and not be allowed to stagnate or become petrified .

Latin is a sign of unity. To say that I think using other languages is heretical is a misconception. Traditionalist prefer the Traditional Mass not for just the Latin.   Reform of the liturgy isn’t code for some conspiracy by modernists to subvert the One True Church. The liturgy has been reformed and has developed over time.  Over time. Not in a couple of years.  Trent did not “update” the Mass. It did make it uniform.  But it did state the authority of the Church to change how the sacraments are dispensed to fit the needs of time, place and circumstance (which is what an update is).(Session 21, Ch. II).

There have been plenty of innovations throughout history that would have seemed radical–even scandalous–when they were introduced, but are now seen as venerable traditions today–for example, private confession and mild penances of prayers rather than more corporal satisfactions, the different modes of Baptizing, or the application of indulgences primarily to satisfaction in the after life, rather than the lessening of prescribed satisfaction to be done in this life.

The previous practices made a great many Saints, and yet they were changed–and according to the traditional doctrine of the Church, there’s nothing wrong with that

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One Response to “What has come to pass, Vatican II — what went wrong?”

  1. When things go wrong you correct them rather than find excuses for
    them. Vatican II went wrong and is being corrected slowly but
    surely. When you had about 75 percent of American Catholics attending Sunday Mass on a regular basis before Vatican II and
    about 25 percent attending Sunday Mass on a regular basis after
    Vatican II it was and is obvious that something was and is wrong
    and needs to be corrected. Luckily the Catholic Church has Synods
    on a regular basis and checks to see what is going right and what
    is going wrong. Eventually things are straightened out. It is hard
    to be patient. The Catholic Church is more like a bamboo tree than
    and oak tree. It will bend but it will not fall.

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