Dumbing Down The Priesthood… And Everything Else.
That worthy man of God, the Traditional Catholic Priest, has a very interesting post outlining the long path to the priesthood used for many, many centuries before the usual “reforms” of V II. Father points out that the system is still in place, intact, not only by the SSPX, but also by traditionalist orders in what the Vatican calls “full communion with Rome”.
We see here at work something that is one of the very marks of V II: the dumbing down of pretty much everything.
The Church founded by Our Lord on Peter obviously developed Her own customs, procedures and ordnances in time, no doubt with the assistance of the Holy Ghost. This development was not a betrayal of the original “simplicity”, but rather the unavoidable consequence of the growing ability to better reflect in exterior acts, procedures, clothes & Co. the reality of the Church, and make Her work more efficient and more easily recognisable.
The “second Christians” (I call in this way, and forgive the joke, those who came after the extremely famed “first Christians”) weren't less Christian, or more interested in ceremony than their predecessors; nor were they lovers of useless pomp, procedural complications, or expensive vestments. They were, very simply, aware that things could be done better, and this is what they set up to do.
The entire process ended up in an edifice that made the Church not only better suited to pursue Her mission, but highly recognisable in all Her dealings.
Enter V II, and the desire – naive, or evil – to simplify everything. The dismantling of all those “complicated” parts of Church life – from the ecclesiastical career, to the Liturgy, to the dress code, to the devotional life to mention only some – have now been put in pace and “tested” for several decades. Result?
1. A massive crisis of vocation. If the priest is one of us, there's no reason why anyone among us should become a priest.
2. A tragic decline in mass attendance due, in part, to a dumbed-down, second-class liturgy.
3. Priests (or nuns!) who are often not even recognisable as such on the street, which again goes hand in hand with many of them barely recognising themselves as priests as opposed to, say, social workers. Again, this results in decline of attendance.
4. Massive loss of faith as the obvious result of people not even being taught to pray because hey, it's so arid and structured.
What do we learn from all this? Dumb down the way you do things, and you'll become dumb yourself. Priests who lose sight of their role become dumb priests. A liturgy that tries to be “easy” and “accessible” becomes a dumb liturgy. The “simplification” of the way the personnel looks leads to them becoming both invisible and ashamed of being seen for what they are. The encouragement to “spontaneous” prayer becomes the loss of the habit of praying.
V II has dumbed down not only the priesthood, but everything else. As a result not only the priestly vocations, but everything else suffered.
In time, more and more within the Church will discover this simple facts of life. Not, however, before the impious generation who brought us this mess, and possibly the one after, are six feet under. It is necessary that the punishment for our stupidity be paid according to the Lord's will before sanity goes back again.
We, dutiful sons of the Church, see and denounce the dumbing down. We are a minority now, but we are the spearhead. In time, our descendants will put a remedy to this.