Daily Archives: June 22, 2012
I read around various posts more or less based on the fact that the degeneration (in all possible meanings) of the Church in the last 50 years is not (necessarily) due to V II, but to the changing times and the particularly hard challenges that came with it.
One would be tempted to say “yes and no” but, really, I think the answer is “no”.
Clearly, the world emerged from WWII posed great challenges to the Church. An explosion of unprecedented welfare challenged the traditional basis of society, based on charity and hope rather than on social services and long life expectancy. On the other hand, another unprecedented phenomenon took place: an entire generation grew up with a degree of instruction – at least in the traditional way instruction is measured – vastly superior to that of their parents, and as a result felt authorised to challenge their parent’s teaching in matter of religion in the same way as they challenged them in the many little ways in which a better educated person can show the less educated the error of his way. In societies traditionally based on transmission of traditional values – among which the obedience to the parents, and the awe in front of the wisdom of the elder were paramount – this had to become a powerful threat to traditional religious wisdom.
But this is only one part of the equation and is a bit – leaving political correctness aside, which I love doing – like saying that the explosion of obesity is due to the expansion of McDonald’s. With all due respect, McDonald’s never made fat anyone; fat people make themselves fat. Similarly, cars and wealth never stabbed the Church; the Church stabbed herself.
The difference between good and bad Popes, bishops and priests is not in whether they have challenges. Of course they will. The difference is seen in how they react to them. As long as he was alive (and particularly so, when he was healthy), Pope Pius XII had the situation fully under control. He could not make a trial to intentions of course, and the voices of ferments and strange thinking coming to him from various corners could not be fought more energetically than he did, considering they did not come out in the open, challenging the status quo.
But the corpse of the great Pope was, metaphorically speaking, not entirely cold that great “changes” were already planned, and clearly the modernists saw their hour coming. Still, they are not the primary cause of the mess. They were there before. The primary cause of the mess is in the people who allowed them to come out with their own subversive ideas (less so during the council; much more so after it) and these people are mainly two: Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Blaming the heretics for their undisturbed march is like blaming the mice for the infestation. I’d give a hard look at the cat.
I also know – from unimpeachable testimony of many relatives – that the Italy of the Fifties, growing in prosperity like it’s going out of fashion, also experienced a great rigidity in matter of mores, actually a much bigger rigidity than the one commonly experienced during Fascism. This is further proof growing economic security does not have to translate into moral relaxation, if there are at the helm people strong enough to understand the times and act accordingly.
The great tragedy – and unredeemable construction fault – of Vatican II consists in exactly this: that, having seen the evil coming from the new times, it chose to embrace them, in the very stupid assumption that to embrace the world means to make it more like you, whereas at the very moment they decided themselves for the embrace they had already decided they wanted to become like it.
All the tragedies that ensued derived from this fundamental initial mistake: the liturgical and spiritual atrocities of the “spirit of V II” would have never had a chance, if it had not been absolutely truethat VII ushered a spirit – not necessarily and not so openly in the official documents, mind; but in the air these documents allowed, nay, demanded to breathe – of revolutionary change. Without this “encouragement”, the “spirit of V II” would have had no more chances of sweeping the Catholic world than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
V II and its aftermath both happened, because they were wanted and the idea of the “spirit” of V II suddenly appearing as if brought by the stork and surprising everyone is naive to the utmost. Ex nihilo nihil.
It is, therefore, clear the societal changes did pose a problem and, admittedly, a rather large one. But the great damage was not made by the problem, but by the Vatican not only ceasing to fight against the problem, but becoming part of it. Think of the cat selling out and declaring that from now on there will be no enmity between the mice and him.
Fifty years later the mice are everywhere, but astonishingly so many people keep saying the cat was misunderstood, or is surrounded by wolves, or must be oh so prudent because if he angers the mice there might be… an infestation.
Unfortunately, there is no brilliant mind out there able to act in an effective, practical way. Not only there is no “Top Cat” in sight, but if we stay to the practical decisions we are very far even from the passion and zeal of Sylvester The Cat.
It will change one day of course, as we know the Gates of Hell will not prevail.
But I’d prepare myself for a long wait.
One of the scariest features of modern Anglo-Saxon societies is the inability of people to tell things as they are. Facts become taboo on the very day that some “minority” has decided that they are “hurt” from them.
A prime example is feminism. It has always been my experience (and I ain’t the youngest, and have lived in three different countries) that feminists are ugly. I do not mean here the actresses and singers who, after getting to fame (in which way, I will not discuss) decide they’re “feminists” to give themselves some airs. I mean the real examples out there.
When I was at school, you could see some attractive young women who showed clear feminist tendencies. Young and “idealist”, you know. Probably with the wrong parents, certainly with the wrong influences around them. You saw them here and there and thought: “what a waste”. All other boys…
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Extremely interesting blog post from Father Z about the angry priest. I will possibly write another blog post on the main matter, but what shocked me most was to read the following paragraphs. Emphases and comments mine.
I am tired to distraction of having to chase young people down the aisles in church to retrieve the Blessed Sacrament because they have no clue what it is. [I did not understand this at first. Keep reading…]. A year or so back, I was offering a funeral Mass and a teenaged girl came up for Communion, took the host, looked at it, turned it over and began to walk away holding it in her palm. I followed her and asked, “Have you made your First Communion?” She said simply, “I’m Jewish.” I smiled and said, “Perhaps I should take that from you.” Quite a few of the mourners were furious with me for my discourtesy [hopefully the non-Catholics. Hopefully..].
At another funeral not long ago I saw a passel of tattooed and pierced adolescents [this is, to an intelligent priest, a clear sign they are not Christians] coming down the aisle at a funeral. It was a large funeral so a number of priests were helping with Communion. I had finished my line so I stood about ten paces from the celebrant, a visiting priest. The first of the young Goths [this is a good priest…]received the host, looked at it curiously and as she passed me I asked, are you Catholic? She said, “no.” I said “Perhaps I should take that.” So there began a curious ritual, of clueless youths. One priest would say “Body of Christ and the second priest would say “I’ll just take that.”
There are several shocking elements in these few lines.
In the US today there are evidently Masses at which communion is offered as a matter of course, to everyone, as if it were a refreshment. In doing so, not many seem to care if the recipients are Catholics, or Christians in the first place. They are given the Holy Communion in the same way as you are given lunch in an aeroplane. Priests do this and they just don’t care.
I wonder whether caning would be more appropriate for the “visiting priest”, of his dismissal from the clerical garb altogether. Probably both. I wonder what he would do if a young and unsuspecting boy wearing a kippah would appear in front of him in the communion line. No, wait, better not, it’s bad for my health.
I am curious to know whether there is any sensible man who still does not get that this sacrilege is the product of Vatican II. It is clear enough that Vatican II, whilst obviously not prescribing to allow young Jewish girl to (unwittingly try to) receive the Most Holy Communion, made it possible in the first place, or can you explain to me how, without V II and the decades of mess than followed, such a mess would have been possible in the first place, or how priests like the “visiting” one of these short lines could have been allowed to get out of seminaries (nay! To get into them!) in the first place. In the end, it is V II that brought us all this, as it created the mentality and the humus allowing this madness to flourish.
Reblog of the day
One of the consequences of the remarkable levelling to the minimum common denominator of almost every conceivable activity is the scaling down of those elements of ceremony once cherished as beautiful and today considered arrogant or elitist. In fact, one can go as far as to say that nowadays whatever is not absolutely and tragically plain is at high risk of being labelled as “elitist” or “snob”. We see this everywhere but what I would like to mention with you today is the style of Papal appearances.
There was a time where a Pope would – on certain and particularly solemn occasions – be carried on a sedia gestatoria. This was a kind of movable throne, splendidly adorned, offering the advantage of making the Pope visible by a large crowd whilst at the same time beautifully stressing his (literally) exalted position. It goes without saying that the entire exercise…
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