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The deforming of the Roman Rite May 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, Eucharist, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking.
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A long post for your weekend reading. I discuss how the liturgical movement of the 20th century went severely awry, and left the Church gravely weakened with an inorganic Mass that leaves souls starved.

I’ve been continuing to read Dom Alcuin Reid’s The Organic Development of the Liturgy.  The book has many strengths but some glaring weaknesses. The biggest weakness is that while Reid lays out all the evidence for how the liturgical movement, begun with such good intentions, transmogrified into a vehicle of modernist revolutionary destruction of the Mass, he fails to make the final conclusions to definitively tie the radicalism in the liturgical movement from ~1935-1962, to the actual “product” that was “manufactured,” to use Pope Benedict’s expression, after Vatican II.  But I will say the book has gone a long way to fill in gaps in knowledge I had regarding how the liturgical movement began, how it became radicalized (he rarely uses this term, he in fact frequently apologizes for the modernists who moved into liturgy after Pascendi and at first subtly, and then increasingly openly, directed the small liturgical movement away from it’s original goal of improving liturgical piety into one of revolutionary “reform”) and was eventually permitted to dominate the post-conciliar liturgical reforms.

One thing that is remarkably clear after reading several books on the subject, and this is really key: there was never, ever, a broad-based movement in the Church involving laity, priests, and hierarchy, calling for the radical changes to the Mass that were made after Vatican II.  In point of fact, the liturgical movement so talked about was really little more than a small cabal of self-anointed elites (college professors, typically, but also monastery priors, a few diocesan officials, etc – the vast majority had limited experience as parish priests), the overwhelming majority of which were from a few northern European countries.  There were some adherents in the United States, a few in Britain, and a very few (but highly influential ones) in Italy, but for most of the world, this movement, such as it was, did not hold much sway.  Not many parish priests were on board with it.  All told, it’s doubtful there were ever more than a few thousand who bought into this movement, and the vast majority of those adhered to its original intent: to leave the Mass as it had been for well over a dozen centuries, perhaps allowing for a few minor revisions, while striving to improve the liturgical piety of the souls in their charge. A noble goal, and something I certainly have no problem with.

But, oh for that small but exceedingly loud and influential group who did advocate for radical change!  Led by Joseph Jungmann, a protestant convert and modernist through and through, as the liturgical movement developed in the years before WWII, it gradually changed from being about liturgical piety, to being about changing the Mass.  It seems a few of these radicals did try to encourage the experience souls had at the Mass, but they found that work hard, and discouraging. They found it was much easier, more interesting, and much better for their careers in academia, to talk about making sweeping, unheard changes to the Mass.  And over the 20 years prior to Vatican II, those calls for change became more and more extreme.

One example ought to serve to show both how elitist, and how revolutionary, the liturgical movement had become by the mid 50s.  John Murphy is described by Dom Reid as being rather a liturgical moderate by the mid-50s, calling for substantial changes to the Mass but not going as far as some of the more extreme liturgical elites. But he developed some beliefs that I think reveal just how far askew from right understanding of the Liturgy the whole movement had become.  To quote:

Yet, in discussing the “problems of participation,” Murphy goes further, and arrives at a questionable position.  He fixes his attention on the ‘typical’ person attending Mass in his parish (John Jones, who works in a steel factory). Such a person, he maintains, has little inclination for singing chant and partipating in similarly exclusive liturgical enthusiams…….Murphy thus regards the liturgical movement as having reached a critical junction. He asserts: “There are two alternatives: either do something to bring about an active sharing in the present liturgical practice, or – if that proves to be well-nigh impossible – do something to the Liturgy so that such participation will be possible.”  He further quotes Clifford Howell, SJ (when a Jesuit starts talking liturgy, like Jungmann, it’s time to run, screaming, in the other direction): “The present Mass-Liturgy, though venerable from long usage, though filled with treasures of doctrine and devotion and beauty and art which are the delight of cultured people, is not fully functional as the vehicle of community worship of the ‘toiling masses.'”

I think the preening elitism is readily apparent to anyone.  The basic implication is that John and Jane Q. Public are simply too stupid to appreciate something like the Mass as it was then – what we now call the Traditional Latin Mass – and that it must be radically changed to suit their low standards.  This ignores the fact that the very same Mass they wanted to destroy through revolution had successfully catechized, sustained through Grace, and raised up innumerable Saints, through generations of people much, much less well educated than John and Jane Public, who could almost certainly at least read, which the vast majority of people in the Mass’ long history could not. It also reveals that, by the mid-50s, the self-anointed leadership of this movement had pretty much given up on the original goal of forming the laity in a better practice of participation at Mass, and were now just agitating for a Mass they could make their own, sure that it would work wonders in improving participation.  That is to say, but the mid-50s, and really much earlier than that, the liturgical movement had given up on trying to help people particpate better in the Mass as it was then, and instead decided it was much better to manufacture – in a scant 5 years! – a new Roman Rite.

One final note on vernacular translations that I found interesting.  Getting the Mass out of Latin and into local vernacular languages became the sine qua non of the liturgical movement by the 1950s. Of all the changes the more radical liturgists wanted to make, vernacular Mass was probably at the very top.  But vernacular Mass is problematic for many reasons.  One, it destroys the universal character of the Roman Rite – what was once the same Mass everywhere in the world becomes different from one country to another (and with “inculturation” – the incorporation of elements of various local cultures into the Mass, it changes even more significantly).  And, two, those translations can be a source of grave problems themselves, as H.A. Reinhold, a more traditional member of the liturgical movement, pointed out (I add all emphasis):

What I am personally afraid of…is a “commission” of professors who know all about their fields but do not speak the language of the people, or the Saints, or the poets, or whose spirituality is and has been fed on an individualistic, subjective diet, who will smooth over, streamline, modernize, make more dogmatic, [or way less dogmatic!] less shocking, more elegant, less uneven, what they find. And then we shall be stuck with it. And that would be worse  [much, much worse] than what we have now, because it would falsify the spirit of our Roman Liturgy…If……what the Martyrs, the Fathers and Popes created will once have been watered down in its entirety to our bourgeois mentality and speech, the damage may prove grave – and permanent.

Indeed, it did. In fact, I cannot think of a better one paragraph summation of what happened to the Mass in the period 1962-1970 than what I just typed above. It describes almost perfectly what occurred, years after Reinhold wrote it. In fact, Roman Eucharistic theology was gravely weakened in the Missal of 1969, as were many other elements of belief. Scripture was ostensibly emphasized, but only Scripture of a certain sort: references to death, judgment, and hell were almost totally exorcised from Sunday Masses, and were greatly limited even on weekday Masses. And,  as some Italian bishops said recently to Pope Francis “the ecclesiology of the Old Mass is incompatible with that of the Second Vatican Council.”  What we got, to repeat what Pope Benedict said, was a liturgy fabricated by a small group of self-anointed elites (“experts”), which even included some protestant “advisors.”

Enjoy your weekend.

The real reason for lower crime rates……low birth rates May 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, demographics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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One of the things I forgot to mention from my post on the First Vows of Sister Maria Benedicta at the Carmel, was some information relayed to me by the good sister’s father.  As I mentioned in that post, he spent 30 years as a cop in San Francisco, and since his retirement, regularly counsels prisoners in California state prisons.  He has spent his lifetime studying crime, and he and I had a very interesting (for me) hour long conversation.  He related to me something I had not considered before, but which makes a great deal of sense.

It’s regarding something that has puzzled me for some time. I have wondered, since our nation is becoming increasingly amoral and atheistic all the time, how it was that the national crime rate keeps dropping, especially the violent crime rate. While there are still very dangerous areas and cities, nationwide, violent crime is much lower than it was 30 or 40 years ago.  In many states, crime has dropped to levels that haven’t been seen since the 40s 0r 50s.  I could not understand how that could be.

Well, this former cop enlightened me, and did so from a Catholic perspective. The reason the crime rate has dropped, is that the birth rate has dropped so much.  In fact, there is a nearly perfect correlation between the national fertility rate, and the violent crime rate – albeit with about a 15-20 year lag.  Most crimes, and especially most random violent crimes, are committed by young men. If you have fewer young men, you will have fewer crimes.  It’s just that simple.

In small areas – a town, neighborhood, or even a subdivision – where there are large numbers of immigrants, you tend to have higher crime rates.  Where birth rates have plummeted, so have crime rates.  It’s not always and everywhere a perfect correlation, but, as a general national trend, it holds.

So, behold the vision of Margaret Sanger come to fruition!  It was always Sanger’s, and her fellow racist eugenicist’s belief, that contraception and abortion should be used in a targeted manner to radically reduce the birth rates of “problem people” – the poor, ignorant, and especially, those of certain ethnicities.  The irony is that no one has used contraception so well as the white anglo-saxon populace she meant to keep dominant by her eugenicist policies, to the extent that caucasians have slipped from being the dominant majority in this country 50 years ago, to being now a minority in bare numbers, with the ratio falling rapidly. Because God frequently allows our sins to punish us, and her sin was racist pride, the group she meant to aid is now being consumed by the practices she developed to assure their ascendency.

Quite ironic.

It also shows how Western/European culture is so inextricably linked with the Catholic Church.  When that culture rejected the Church, it’s demise was inevitable.

And no, I haven’t gone and researched this post at all, it’s all anecdotal, but based on the violent crime statistics I’ve followed over the years and recall, and since I have learned fertility statistics quite well in the past few years, it seems to make sense.

A very weak defense of Cardinal Dolan by Janet Smith May 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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I found via Pewsitter a link to a post at Al Kresta’s blog that transcribes an interview Kresta did with Janet Smith, wherein Smith attempts to defend the Archdiocese of New York’s paying for contraception and even abortion through it’s employee’s healthcare plans.  I thought the defenses very weak, and some of the statements shocking coming from one whose claim to fame is being one of the nation’s top moral theologians:

For one thing, state law in New York mandated that employers provide the coverage; and many U.S. bishops have assumed control of dioceses in which longstanding insurance policies include birth control and abortion coverage. [No, NY state law mandated that employers who provided health insurance cover contraception and abortion. There was always an alternative not to provide that insurance]

[This is truly the low point……]Secondly, some in the Church during the years following the Second Vatican Council may have expected that canon law on the subject of contraception would eventually change; hence insurance policies which anticipated that change by offering contraceptive care may not have raised concern at the time. [OK! We’re going to hang this decision on future heresy, way to go!  Because it’s not just an issue of canon law (nice try), but the declaration of contraception AND abortion (notice how she ignores the even worse evil entirely) are matters of Dogma. Apparently, Dr. Smith believes that Doctrine can change. This is not even a remotely reasonable defense. It is, in fact, a joke.
A third explanation which Smith cited is that Cardinal Dolan’’s and the USCCB’s resistance to the HHS Mandate has caused some to review their existing health care policies.  As a result, manyCatholic dioceses may only recently have “discovered” that the standard group insurance package which they purchased for their employees includes coverage for contraceptive services. [then they have been morally derelict in duty]
……In the Archdiocese of New York, the late Cardinal John J. O’’Connor did, in fact, resist the state requirement that all employers provide insurance which included contraceptive services. After efforts in the early ‘90s to eliminate birth control coverage from the Archdiocese’’s medical plan, he eventually decided that there was no other option, if the Catholic Church was to continue to provide health care to its union-affiliated employees in the city of New York……..[This is the point of revelation of truly grave moral error. A choice was made: providing health insurance was more important than not being complicit in grave moral evil. This is not valid Catholic moral thinking. You cannot do evil that “good” may come of it. It is in fact a very materialist and utilitarian trade.  I am very dismayed, but not surprised, that such has been done in NY and likely in many other dioceses around the country.  It’s heart-breaking]
……….One last question raised by Al Kresta concerned the issue of “intrinsic evil”.  Is the Church cooperating with evil if it affiliates with hospitals whose health care plan for unionized employees includes contraceptive coverage?
Dr. Smith laughed, [nice tactic, pretending the question is ridiculous] noting that God gave us everything we have, even while knowing that some humans would do some terrible things:  God provided Adam and Eve with the tree and the apple, and He gave them the possibility of eating the apple from the tree.  God was not, however, complicit in their sin. [This is a total non sequitur. The Archdiocese of NY, under Cardinal Dolan, is not just paying for contraception, but also abortion. This is something Smith ignores throughout the interview, as does Kresta, as it radically changes the moral dynamic.  Even though both are intrinsic evils, in our sad, amoral society, most people, even within the Church, just don’t get that worked up over contraception. But abortion is something very different.  Did God make abortion available? This is absurd, and frankly insulting. The Archdiocese of NY is definitely, without question, complicit in grave moral evil. That is what I have been told by the best moral theologian I personally know.]  Similarly, if a thief puts a gun to your head and demands that you drive him to the airport, you are under duress and are not guilty of material cooperation for driving him.  In the same way the Catholic Church, required to include birth control and abortion in their insurance coverage, is not culpable if the insured then utilizes that coverage.[Once again, a non sequitur, and totally wrong.  This entire line of argument assumes that there is simply NO alternative to providing this coverage in this form, or that coverage has to be provided at all. Both are false. There are many alternatives, and I don’t care what the union contract says.  Let me repeat: One cannot do evil that good may come of it, and that is exactly what Smith is arguing here. We’re going to do this evil, so that our employees may be insured.  Wrong, wrong, wrong! How about not insuring, but increasing employee salaries to buy their own insurance? How about self-insuring the entire Church in the US?  Smith pretends there is a moral imperative to provide health insurance, I would argue that is a stretch, at best. Frankly, if the choice is pay for abortions, or don’t have health insurance, I think the moral choice is completely clear.  Even if that means closing all the Catholic hospitals in NY, because you simply cannot do evil for any good]
Very sad. Very poorly argued.  Straw men and special pleading abound. Yes, it’s an interview and not a dissertation, but still, I would expect better.  Notice that Dr. Smith is certainly very dependent on the good will of bishops for her livelihood. I cannot help but wonder how much impact that has on her answers here.

Michael Voris exposes the hypocrisy of “Catholic in good standing” May 31, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, self-serving, sickness, the return.
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The Dolan-Cuomo “Catholic in good standing” imbroglio revealed a lot more than, I think, was intended.  It showed how the hierarchy uses the term “Catholic in good standing” to label what is acceptable Catholic behavior, and what is not.  So, apparently, being a radical marriage-destroying, baby-killing, contraception-distributing fornicator leaves one “in good standing,” while criticizing the hierarchy, or even revealing embarrasing truths, denies one that very critical label.  That is why the professional Catholic crowd – the Sheas, the EWTNers, the speaking circuit guild, etc., so rarely criticize the hierarchy – doing so would end their careers overnight.  And such is well known to all the members of the approved speakers guild.

I know the lack of “Catholic in good standing” credentials has caused Michael Voris headaches in the past. But it’s done little to prevent his apostolate from growing, and explosively. That is because the old school means of blocking criticism or keeping information bottled up has collapsed. The internet has made everyone a publisher, a broadcaster, and a source of information.  The old controls the bishops have over “approved media” like the Schismatic Reporter no longer work.  And that has caused no end of heartburn in chanceries around the country.

But I’ll go a bit farther than Michael.  There are definitely people who, to many in chanceries and at the USCCB, are most definitely NOT Catholics in good standing. Or, at least, they don’t receive the cherished letter that is the ticket to (sometimes lucrative) Catholic speaking engagements, diocesan endorsements, etc. etc. So while Sr. Joyce Rupp has that “approved letter,” even though she conveys little but soul-endangering (destroying?) new age claptrap, Michael Voris, by dint of his refusing to hide the manifest failures of the episcopate, does not.  Traddies in general also constitute a rather substantial block of people routinely denied that official approbation, because they question aspects of Vatican II or point out rather stridently the collapse in the Church since then.  These people almost never get to speak on Church property, they have to hold forth in secular conference halls, hotel meeting rooms, etc.

With regard to Michael Voris, there are many tales to tell, but they are his to tell, and not mine.  Let’s just say, he’s had sponsors, and lost them, because he wouldn’t play ball, and now he is basically persona non grata to the professional Catholic set in the US.  Have you ever wondered why Michael essentially never speaks on diocesan Church property in the US, but he does so overseas routinely?  Ever wonder why Michael spends sooo much time travelling overseas?  Well, this is why, he’s blackballed in the US, but the long arm of the USCCB does not yet reach to the Philippines, or European countries, etc.

It’s not just Michael. As he shows in the video, others who say uncomfortable things or who refuse to ignore the elephant in the room of Church collapse are treated similarly.