Daily Archives: January 1, 2012
Today is the 1 January. This day happens to be:
a) The Solemnity of Mary, and
b) The World Day of Peace
Whilst there are other days called “days of peace” (one in September, I think; possibly others; can’t be bothered to check) I do not doubt that this day will be used in many more or less trendy churches to spread the usual thick layer of molasses over the already diabetes-endangered pewsitters. I would say that days like this one are a very good gauge to guess where your parish is going: if the diabetes-inducing “peaaaace” call has substituted or put Mary in the second place, you may want to think about attending elsewhere. If the peace issue got a mention en passant (for example during the bidding prayers) and the religious feast was at the centre of the homily you could be in a much worse parish. If Mary was the only issue of the day and the mass sugar-free, you are most probably in the right place.
I was attending in a church of the second type (very orthodox homily, by the way) and could not help wondering whether an appeal for “just wars” by the bidding prayers would make the same impression. Just war being a war that is considered inevitable to avoid a much bigger evil, a prayer that “just wars” may be the only wars to be fought is, in fact, every bit as Catholic or peace-loving as a prayer for “peace”; but for some reason I have the impression that it would not be received with the same sense of self-satisfied goodness from the pewsitters, nor would it make the priest as popular.
We don’t like war, one would say. We don’t like death, either; but we still recite the Hail Mary every day; the same goes for hell and the Fatima prayer, & Co.
Once again: to pray that there may be only just wars is in no way less Catholic, or less pacific, than to pray that there may be no wars at all. If anything, it reminds one of the reality of this fallen world, with its unavoidable load of injustices, violence, oppression, and aggression. On the contrary, a generalised stance “against war”, whilst possibly formulated with the best of intentions, is easily misconstrued in a pacifist way; which is not only anti-Catholic, but stupid in the first place.
It seems, alas, that the modern churchgoer is like a very old, infirm man only able to take to himself the lightest and most digestible fare; but stray from the path of the obvious and banal – and be it even by remaining absolutely orthodox, and even absolutely peace loving – and you’re in trouble.
Mala tempora currunt
I can only assume, then, the Wicked Witch of the West successively took control of pretty much everything in the affairs of the Church; probably whilst the Conciliar Fathers were having their tea and cake, or their afternoon nap.
Now don’t take me wrong: I can only cheer the good Cardinal for breaking a lance for the Tridentine Mass, a sport certainly not well spread among his colleagues. What I find always more than strange is this continuous desire – one would almost say, the felt obligation – to put Vatican II as the basis of everything good and sensible and consider everything that went awry afterwards as being to do with utterly external circumstances like the above mentioned female.
The simple truth of the matter is, the Conciliar Fathers might have wanted to keep Latin as the backbone of the liturgy at the very beginning of the Council – or, say, as long as they knew Pope John XXIII wanted things to stay that way -, but they most certainly threw Latin out of the window in the course of the following years, and did so themselves in the clearest of manners, the bishops presiding over the massacre of Latin being very largely the same people who had taken part in the Council.
This of the Council being betrayed is, if you ask me, one of those legends always created to defend the indefensible (we all know the stories; for example, the imagined “good communism” or “good socialism” as opposed to the brutal reality). What happened after the council was every bit the unavoidable result of what happened during the council, and executed by the very same people.
Therefore, I welcome Cardinal Ranjith’s intervention. I only wished he would stop trying to defend the indefensible and would either say things as they are – we’ll get there in time, I am sure – or cover with a charitable silence the thorny matter of the responsibility for the catastrophe of the last fifty years. We suffer the fruit of Vatican II every day to this day and the way out is not letting us believe in some utterly implausible “good Vatican II” ( or good communism, or good socialism), but to recognise that if the fruits have been so bad the tree cannot have been good at all, particularly considering the people tending the tree and distributing its fruits have been the same all along.
Let us start the year with a clearly “insensitive”, “homophobic” Monthy Python video.
I can see our Prime Minister and his Prime Girlfriend taking this seriously, and praising it as an example of the new times….
Hat tip to Linen on the Hedgerow