Vatican II, 50 Years Later
  • Thank you Francis.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    i keep asking God why I personally had to live through this nonsense, and this article helped me to realize that nonsense comes in waves throughout time. but i cant help but wondering if our wave amounted to the tsunami of nonsense.
  • Indeed it did, and does, but the Church will weather this storm, too, since as Pope Benedict is always reminding us, she exists by the will of God, which cannot be defeated in the end, no matter how much evil He permits.
  • Old fogey, ca. 1600: "Trent destroyed the liturgy; it's just not the same without the sequences. I just can't get with the new missal, and it took all this time to revise the chant books." At least back then the Protestants LEFT the Church.
    Thanked by 2chonak IanW
  • This time, they try to destroy it from within.

    See, that's the biggest difference between now and Trent. Then, the radical liturgical reformers --- the Protestants --- left the Church. Now, the post-conciliar liturgical reformers, just as impatient, had pretty free reign and they really did destroy the sense of worship. They've mostly passed one way or another, but they've left us ground zero.

    So your comment works, but probably not as intended. Something tells me that you mean your old fogey to be a stand-in for traditionalists when really that hardly fits. There's a whole body of lowercase-t tradition that only traditionalists sustained for so long, that patrimony that only now the church is reapproaching.

    (How's that for irony? In the name of reapproaching ancient things, we abandoned all our old things. Now that we realized we've flushed the ancient things down the toilet, we really do get to reapproach them. Except now we do it in the comfort of a sewer.)
  • (Not to mention that the Tridentine liturgy involved more pruning and consolidation than it did outright fabrication. Did it include any fabrication?)
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I'd invite you to allow for more circumspection when you scaffold your scenarios of then to now. If it weren't for certain liturgical reformers that God placed on the road of my own pilgrimage to Rome, and who weren't "hell bent for leather" iconoclasts out to willy nilly destroy the musical vestiges of our heritage, well then you wouldn't have to discuss liturgical history with your friend 40 miles away. Really, many of us saw the skeleton of the VII liturgy which was then enfleshed with some amazing musical attributes and organs (pun intended.) Perhaps if there'd been a few more interested clergy (like Skeris and Schuler) back in the day who'd actually engage their musicians, like Mahrt and Salamunovich, to spread the so-called verve of the reformed Mass towards a full inclusivity, rather than a popular, confected one, who knows where we'd be now. I'd guess better off.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    We lacked leadership after the council. The bishop of our geographical diocese (now split into 3 dioceses) came to my parish and spent 45 minutes telling us what wonderful things he and his brother bishops had done for us at the council. Unfortunately, he didn't lead, but turned music and liturgy over to the priests and their musicians. It was chaos.
  • Mr. Melofluent: There are exceptions all over the place. Broad comments must speak broadly. Dr. Mahrt does wonderful work; it is sad history that he was so long a voice in the wilderness. There are some orthodox summaries of the events as they happened, but they are defined by being disregarded, largely cast aside by the yawning swath of leaders. Trojan Horse and the City of God, first published 1967. Recovery of the Sacred, first published 1974. Works cited by the latter are often contemporary confreres who'd agree with the book, which suggests a wider movement of sympathy --- but it was still a disregarded, belittled movement.

    Now, this may be only half the story, but for practical reasons it is a necessary part. Today's liturgical rupture could be healed and even forgotten in 100 years. This luxury is not given to us now. In the life of the Church through all time the Second Vatican Council will be relatively minor compared to, say, the First Council of Nicea, but it is Vatican II and not Nicea which still has unsettled business.

    The second half of the story will be one of greater inclusivity. It will vindicate Von Hildebrand, Hitchcock, and Mahrt. It will also vindicate the gut reaction of "traditionalists", if not the bitterness of some or the schism of fewer. This is because it will be an acknowledgment of at least the terrible executions after the Council and a revival of the hardiest and dearest of the old devotions, and probably not a few restorations in the Ordinary of the Mass.

    (By the by, folks talk of traditionalism as if it were an ideology, a pre-formed mold of ideas from a priori prejudices. It is not. At the beginning, and the reason why it continues to exist, traditionalism was a kneejerk reaction, and almost certainly righteous. It is only after the fact --- because the movement was sequestered, ignored, belittled for as long as it was as widely as it was --- that it retreated into a bunker in the shape of an ideology. You may say that traditionalists should have had the patience of Christ and you would be right, and it might even be true that Lefebvre and company even early on did themselves no favors. This does not change the fact that hostility towards traditionalism even when traditionalism was right is a if not the primary factor in explaining the quirks and insularity of many Catholic traditionalists, why many continue to founder in errors like radical political conservatism, aestheticism, &c, and why their theories sound so much like rationalization. Some of these sheep have been beaten or ignored for so long that they have largely gone feral.)