Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Confusion in the Church - Part 1

I began to write a response to PBXVI's post, 'I love the Novus Ordo Mass!' but it started to spiral uncontrollably into a huge megapost. Knowing that no one reads long posts (because I certainly don't), I have decided to break it down into bite sized chunks and address the issues raised one by one so that an adequate (but by no means exhaustive) response can be given.

Many issues were raised in the post. But here, I would like to address one which many people seem to ask but no one seems to have the answer to.

Here's how PBXVI phrased it.
But there is a pressing and valid question that many have asked--- If the Novus Ordo Mass is good, then why is the Church in such a state of chaos? Why are there so many abuses that take place in so many of the Masses?
Ok. His question is actually 2 questions, one on the state of the Church and the other regarding abuses in the liturgy. The 2nd question actually stems from the first and it is the confusion and lack of discipline in the Church as a whole that opens up the liturgy to abuse.

Let's look at the first question and try to avoid the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. Meaning "after this, therefore because of this", it is a logical fallacy which assumes or asserts that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second.

I think that assigning the Pauline Rite of the Mass as the cause for the chaos is putting the horse before the cart. The current state of chaos in the Church is caused by liberalism and modernism, which, although in reversal, is still the dominant strain of thought in Catholic academia and in many seminaries and diocesan curias. But how did this happen? How, just after the long pontificate of Pope Pius XII (may he be canonized soon) who gave us the solemn definition of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and who appointed most of the bishops who sat in Vatican II and were ordinaries in many of the world's dioceses, did we end up with the almost total collapse in Church discipline and the renunciation of so many priests and nuns of their religious vows and the rapid decline of the Catholic Church in the West?

These Fathers of Vatican II took the Oath against Modernism and were reared on the Pian Rite of the Mass, the only they had ever known and the only Mass ever celebrated while the Council was in session. They prayed the rosary, had benedictions and the 40 hours devotion, celebrated Mass ad orientem and, if those who seek to restore ecclesiastical life to before 1962 are believed, lived in the golden age of the Church. The seminaries and convents were overflowing and so were the diocesan schools and colleges. Gregorian Chant and polyphony and Palestrina were the norm, Latin, as per John XXIII's Veterum Sapientia, was the language of the Church. The rubrics were observed. Devotions were up and people were satisfied with the Church and their religious life.

The Pope looked Papal, with tiara and sedia gestatoria and preceded with flabella, the bishops looked episcopal, with ring and gloves and mitre and mantelleta outside their jurisdiction, the priests looked like priests in cassock, collar and biretta and the nuns looked like nuns with veil and wimple. The Churches looked like Churches, the tabernacles were front and centre and the vestments and vessels were the finest that human hands could make.

We traddies are trying to restore all that. But, remember, these were already there and with all that we want to restore already present, how did the Church end in up in this fine mess? How did we end up with so much chaos and uncontrolled dissent and unfaithful bishops and priests when we started off so nicely? How did the Golden Age of the Church descend into a dark age? Surely the cause was not the Pauline Rite of the Mass which was only promulgated in 1969?

So, what's the answer?

There are actually 4 broad answers.

The first is dissent on the part of priests and bishops.

The second is the lack of willpower to exercise disciplinary control on the part of the Roman Curia and the hierarchy.

The third is the lack of stability and certitude among the faithful caused by the dissent and the inability of the hierarchy to reign it in.

The fourth is the deliberate misinterpretation of the documents of the 2nd Vatican Council resulting a a hermeneutic of rupture, a hermeneutic of discontinuity and a break with the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

All 4 are linked and we will analyse how these 2 factors caused the almost total collapse of the Church. Then we will see what brought the Church back to where it is now, at the threshold of a new beginning, the first budding of the new springtime foretold by Pope John Paul II.


The Hymn Selector said...

How about infiltration in the hierarchy by Freemasons and Communists? Yeah..it might sound conspiratorial and sensationalist, but the later was proven in Poland recently, so if Freemasons were doing it too, nobody ought to be surprised.

Andrew said...

Haha...all in good time.