Thursday, August 29, 2019

Banning the old Mass

This one's making the rounds on the interweb. I too hate that churchmen broke their promise of the old and new services coexisting, the situation we now have, which is fine. Catholics were bait-and-switched. To be fair, some of this stuff is Ecclesiology 101: you don't get to bring in a priest uninvited by the diocese or set up services outside the parishes just because you like the old missal better. The bishops' attitude was reprehensible; such was yucky American Catholicism in the '70s and '80s. The textbook right answer was to remember that our teachings can't change and that the church can write new services, so hunker down and obey, using the missal you're told to but sticking to the teachings. (Go to the earliest, lowest Mass: no funny business.) But I appreciate that the situation in some parishes and dioceses was dire, even anti-Catholic, and I appreciate the churchmen, most famously Archbishop Lefebvre, who fought for the externals, making it possible for a future generation to learn them. It turned out to be "the Mass that would not die."

Before Benedict XVI lifted the ban on the traditional missal, as the apostle and liturgiarch of his diocese, could the bishop forbid a previously approved missal?

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Spin vs. reality about Vatican II

Vatican II is disliked because it asks the Catholic laity to do MORE, not less. We are challenged to actively participate in the Mass rather than offer our own private devotions during the Mass. We are asked to study the Scriptures instead of merely parroting catechism answers. We are asked to pray the Liturgy of the Hours instead of merely reciting the Rosary. It is this challenge to the laity that laity bristle at, while pretending the old way of private devotions is better.

American Catholics were corrupted by living in a Protestant country and had an inferiority complex. Catholic ghetto is Christian community that Protestants and liberals don't like. American Catholics understandably wanted to fit in, so Vatican II let them pretend the church was just another Protestant denomination of vague do-gooders, with no embarrassing customs that stuck out like the Latin Mass or fish on Fridays. To just be one of the fellows. Nothing to do with what Jesus taught. This party line that Catholic understanding, practice, and community before the council were shallow is just internalizing Protestant prejudice.

Vatican II didn't define doctrine, and I accept the church's authority to change rules and write new services; just please don't ban the old ones. There were lively movements before the council that encouraged people to read the Bible, taught people about the traditional Mass and encouraged them to CHANT it, and encouraged lay recitation of the Divine Office. (Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, anyone?) The council's effects killed the latter two. The old Low Mass junked up with sappy hymns won out. At least the old missal was better. It's full of scripture quotations beyond the readings. Today's Catholics DON'T know the Bible better. They don't even go to Mass anymore.

The changes were mistakes that didn't create deeper Catholics but made the church crater.

Take the council back. I don't want it and pretty much live like it doesn't exist. If you think that makes me a bad Catholic, I'm cool with that.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Uninformed Catholic opinion right and left

What makes me laugh is that some people with no theological background or no knowledge of the Catholic Church have so much to say & judge her... & sadly these very same people call themselves "Catholic" & consider themselves more Catholic than the Pope...
It comes in well-meaning conservative and liberal versions, from the person obsessing about Fatima (you tell him not to worry because even approved private revelation isn't doctrine but he doesn't listen to you) or the Confiteor, Last Gospel, etc. (nice but not essential; this person can't or won't read liturgical history) to the obnoxious liberals who ran the church in America for decades after Vatican II and in some places still do, claiming that the changes were God's will for all and thus being just as intolerant as they accused traditionalists of being. Then the traditionalists understandably reacted to that and became intolerant, and so on. Or the person who wants to throw out our doctrine for mainline Protestantism or secular humanism but don't tell him otherwise because he knows what's what; "I went to Catholic school for 12 years"!

I believe the doctrine. Locally I'm blessed with a choice of traditional services. I give money and don't tell people what to do, because that's not my responsibility as a lay person. And everything that's not doctrine is on the table.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Why all the mass shootings

A wise friend:
In the aftermath of this latest flurry of mass shootings, we'll hear lots of pontificating about guns and racism. But we'll hear little to nothing about the real problem, which is the increasing alienation of young men in our society. This has been evident since Columbine. A perfect storm of broken families, social and economic powerlessness, lack of masculine influence, social media, and the decline of religious faith has disposed today's young men to extreme ideological fantasies. None of this can be fixed overnight, but until we recognize and confront these issues directly, expect things to get much worse.