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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking at the Landscape....

So, I had a peer come to me with some questions about the landscape of the Church and Traditionalism.  Below is how the correspondence went, she and I have been emailing back and forth:

I'll try to respond as succinctly as I can.

But even in the videos you posted on the change in the liturgy on STP spoke to how the liturgical reform was well underway by the time V2 rolled around. But it would not have been able to creep in if secularism had not already reared it's ugly head in the hearts of so many. It obviously has contributed to the decay in the Church, but it's not like the Church was in tip-top shape and then just in the last 40 years came tumbling down. There were many little leaks in the dam prior to the invention of the NOM. So because of the weakness the dam just broke.

Yes, the Liturgical Movement was underway by the time that Vatican Council II rolled around, but the Liturgical Movement wasn't so mainstream that it was calling for the wholesale changes that came with Vatican Council II.  The Movement was simply about understanding how to apply the Mass to the 20th Century, not how to apply the 20th century to the Mass.  It is the latter which brought all of this "off the rails."

As for secularism, yes it was creeping in and there are a lot of problems which exist because of it, Modernism being the heresy by which secularism gained a foothold in the Church.  Yes, the decay in the Church is due to Modernism and yes, it is bigger than the Mass; I've never denied that, but what I've always contended is that the Mass is the most outward sign we have of expressing our Catholic faith, so I've chosen to focus on that.  I can also speak to the culture of death, the emasculation of the priesthood, the rending of the religious life, the utter destruction of the family unit and other issues which as a whole speak to the totality of the hermeneutic of discontinuity (or rupture).  But, I do firmly believe that had the Mass remained unchanged OR had the Mass been adjusted according to the wishes of the Council Fathers, we would not be in the situation we're in today.  For if the Mass is the most outward sign of our Faith and both the Mass and the rest are intimately tied to one another.  Lex orandi, Lex credendi.

But there is not that much wiggle room in the freedom of expression, Right? That there is the right and the wrong way of saying the Mass. Today we see much less liturgical abuse then say 15 years ago, especially in more orthodox dioceses. So I guess I would argue with that they can't be stopped-  they could. I think it would be easier to stop the liturgical abuses then to try .and eliminate the NOM and go back to the TLM.

Let me ask you this- Do you think that if a NOM was said completely according the rubrics would it be as sufficient as the TLM?

There is that much wiggle room when one takes it.  The old adage, "give an inch, take a mile" certainly plays into this.  You're absolutely right, there is a right way and a wrong way to say Mass.  Look at the rubrics and tell me how many priests say Mass 100% according to the rubrics?

I think that the amount of liturgical abuse today is just as rampant as it was 15 years ago, but Catholics have become so desensitized to it that it has become the norm.  AND THAT IS WHAT I AM REBELLING AGAINST.  I agree, they can be stopped, but name one bishop who has attempted to stop it.

Because the NOM has become so engrained with abuse and is out of control, the only solution is to simply stop it.  How do we put it back on the rails?  We know that the TLM has never come off of the rails, so there is nothing to try to fix.  And it seems that those who are assisting at and those who are celebrating the TLM, have very little trouble following the rubrics as set forth.  So, as a matter of ease, it would be MUCH easier to simply enact the TLM as opposed to enforcing the NOM, mainly because nobody seems to know how to enforce it.

To answer your question directly, If the NOM were celebrated completely according to the rubrics, with absolutely no innovation and absolutely no abuse, then yes, it would be as sufficient.

The caveat:  That doesn't happen.  I know of one parish in the United States (just one, mind you) that even comes close.  So, your question is a non sequitur.  The premise doesn't apply to the conclusion.  It's like saying, "I hear rain outside my window, therefore the sun isn't shining."

The real answer is this, The NOM is nowhere said completely according to the rubrics, so it will never be sufficient.

But we also have to look at our culture. We are dying as a culture as well. This came when we denied our need of God in the West. As the computer age changed the face of the world materialism took hold full force. As we made leaps in science and technology we began to busy ourselves and shut God out. We looked for the next latest and greatest. Not-so-slowly individualism and independence became the mantra of the West. Why would we need to go to Mass if we do not need God. Plus we were taught that if I am a good person, I'll make it to heaven. Doesn't matter the faith. So yeah, why go to Mass. That is why I think Mass attendance is the lowest in history.

Oh, it isn't just in the West, it is everywhere.  That is the end of any heresy and it is the end of Modernism and Protestantism.  Modernism started with the Enlightenment.  Protestantism embraced it.  This was going on well before computers.  The problem is and the goal of the Enlightenment was to separate science and religion.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  Science is not an end, it is a means.  Religion on the other hand is an end.  Look at most scientific fact, it is based as much on hypothesis and theory as theology is.  The issue is that science uses the physical world to justify it's conclusion, whereas religion uses logic and philosophy.  Protestantism bought into all of this, why?  Because they were protesting religion.  Religion at the time was the Catholic Church.  So, to discredit the Catholic Church, the Protestants accepted the principles of the Enlightenment and brought about the discrediting of religion.  All the while, Protestants were changing how we look at God and how we approach Him.  Rather than using science to explain how God is, which was the original goal of science, it became a way to explain why God is not.  See the shift?  It is subtle, but it is nevertheless there.  So, if the Protestants were to justify the Enlightenment, they had to become subjective in theological and philosophical thought.  Has it never occured to you that some of the "greatest" Protestant philosophers and theologians were also scientists?  Ayn Rand, Immanuel Kant, Charles Darwin, and there are many, many more.

The reason that Mass attendance is at it's lowest in history, is because of two things,
  • The Church has been relegated to the spiritual and the temporal has been abandoned, thank you very much Pope Paul VI.
  • Population Control.  Abortion.  There are fewer and fewer people to become Catholic.
Calvary has the the salvific power and Calvary is present at both Masses. And why isn't NOM being accepted as the TLM? you mentioned 2 times about attendance and such, but the NOM has far more people assisting at those Masses? And many solid, holy people.

The NOM also wasn't supressed for 40+ years either.  You keep trying to convince me that the salvific power of Calvary is present at the NOM.  I know that it is.  I've never denied it, you keep equating sufficiency with validity.  Sufficiency has to do with how licit the Mass is, not how valid it is.

If you think that the TLM isn't being accepted, think of this...Summorum Pontificum came out in 2007 loosening everything with regard to the TLM.  Since that time, the number of people assisting at the TLM has grown by something north of 350%, as compared to when the indult was in place from 1988 on.  And it has grown by something north of 1000% since Quattor Abhinc Annos in 1984, which was the first document since the Council on the TLM.  I think that within 10 years, the majority of Catholics will be assisting at the TLM far more than at the NOM.  And the NOM will simply fall into disuse, as did many regional celebrations of the Mass immediately following the codification of the Mass in 1570.

Sure, many solid and holy people assist at the NOM, but for every 1 of them, there are 30 who are either lukewarm or flat out indignant about any number of Catholic issues.

I still stand by that all of the people I have had the conversation with that are old enough to speak to V2 spoke to how they didn't know Latin or what was going on. May not have been the way it was supposed to be, but it is the reality. Especially in this day. I doubt 99.9% know a lick of Latin.

And that is PRECISELY why the Council Fathers wanted everyone to be able to understand the prayers in Latin.  It was a matter of laziness and poor catechetics on the part of the clergy and this apathy continues today.  It's easier to say Mass in the vernacular, that is why it is done that way, laziness on the part of the clergy.  The won't teach it in seminary and therefore they won't/can't teach it to the faithful.  And the vast majority of those clergy who do know Latin are indignant and won't pass that knowledge along, because it doesn't fit their world view inside the Church, which brings us back to Modernism.

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