Thursday, January 18, 2018

HOW WAS IT THAT THE PRE-VATICAN II CHURCH OF THE 1950'S IN THIS COUNTRY COLLASPED, LITERALLY, OVERNIGHT?


This is a good comment from another post and raises legitimate questions:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THERE ARE THOSE WHO THINK THAT THE PRE-VATICAN II ...":

There had to be serious serious problems in the Church prior to Vatican II (I am talking about clergy and religious only) because how would you explain the devistation that occurred.

Look at the priesthood in 1963 and the look at it in 1966. Totally different. The same priest in 1963 said Mass reverently and was neatly dressed and conducted himself as a gentleman and a CATHOLIC priest. Fast forward to 1965 and the same man has long hair, is taking incredible liberties with the Mass, is questioning everything and is open to any crazy thing that comes down the road accept the truths of the Faith.

Let’s say that picture in the article of the Sisters of St. Joseph was taken in the early 1960’s. By the end of the decade the majority of those sisters were militants who openly opposed the Faith and corrupted the innocent children in their care with their nonsense. Something is wrong with that.

Stable people do not completely change their way of thinking and way of life so radically in so short a time as one year.

Look at the history of the Church in those days. There is a major difference in the Catholicism of 1963 compared to that of 1965. I am convinced that what happened was no accident. Destruction like that had to have been carefully planned years in advance. Using reason dictates that the decline that what we have seen happen so rapidly in the Church, literally from 1 year to another was diabolical and planned. What other explaination is there? The Holy Spirit is NOT the author of destruction and confusion or surprises. The Holy Spirit is a rational divine being not a sentimental feel good Jesuitical hippie from Latin America.

One the outside the Church looked wonderful but there is no way solidly formed nuns went from being Sr. Mary Benedict in a full length habit one year, to swigging Peggy in jeans and picket signs the next. That’s kind of behaviour is not how a mature well balanced adult behaves. It’s just not. The problems must have been extremely severe. 


My comments: The period which anonymous refers to, 1963 to 1966 or better yet 1968  has interesting demographics for the priesthood and religious life. There were a huge number of very young priests and religious many of whom entered seminary or convents at the age of 14 if not younger. What kept them in line and mature looking was the strict discipline of the Church and their superiors who were older and seasoned. They had strict maternal and paternal supervisors and they had to tow the line or be kicked out.

Thus when Vatican II's tornado hit, everything that underpinned the strict and sometimes authoritarianism of the priesthood and religoius life was swept away as though a fire department hose washed away the foundations of the seminaries, convents, priesthood and seminary life.

Those in formation and newly ordained or professed let loose as the yoke of authority and yes, authoritarianism was removed.

In my seminary which was the strictest in American UNTIL 1968, the revolution began when the long time rector who preferred the discipline was publicly disobeyed and without repercussions to the seminarians. Over what, you might ask? Coke machines added to the seminary.   They won! Then everything began to change and more freedoms came and by 1970 this seminary was unrecognizable as the same one prior to 1968. I arrived in 1976 and I can tell you it was chaos to say the least but everyone was excited about the rampant changes happening and so quickly.

Of course the same anti-authority, anti-institutional, anti-law, anti-law enforcement was happening in America which prior to 1968 was a very strict, patriotic and authority oriented society.

The young won the day and the old were booted and humiliated.

VATICAN II BROUGHT ON A NEW TRIUMPHALISM AND ARROGANCE UNSEEN PRIOR TO VATICAN II. CHANGE ALWAYS MEANT NEW AND IMPROVED WHEN IN FACT IT WAS NOT IMPROVED BUT IT WAS CHANGE.

THE CHURCH BECAME MORE DEMOCRATIC AND MOST MAJOR CHANGES IN RELIGIOUS LIFE OCCURRED THROUGH VOTES OF YOUNG MEMBERS WHO ONCE THEY CHANGED THEIR ORDERS FOR THE WORST, DEPARTED BY GETTING MARRIED OR SIMPLY LIVING SECULAR LIVES.

THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF PARISH LIFE THROUGH COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES DEFORMED PARISHES AND THEIR LITURGIES AND TURNED AUTHORITY UPSIDE DOWN.

MOST OF THIS WAS WELL MEANING AND NOT MEAN SPIRITED. BUT IT WAS A DISASTER THAT HAPPENED OVER NIGHT AND BECAUSE OF THE YOUNG WHO WERE IMMATURE AND THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH SAYING "GO FOR IT AND EXPERIMENT AND HAVE A GAY OLD TIME IN THE PROCESS!"

15 comments:

Henry said...

The key:

I am convinced that what happened was no accident. Destruction like that had to have been carefully planned years in advance. Using reason dictates that the decline that what we have seen happen so rapidly in the Church, literally from 1 year to another was diabolical and planned.

Planned to exploit the complete obedience to and trust in the institutional Church, of both lay and clerics.

"MOST OF THIS WAS WELL MEANING AND NOT MEAN SPIRITED."

I doubt it. True, the mass of Catholics who fell for it, and carried out the destruction at ground level, were trusting, well-intentioned dupes. But not those pulling the strings.

Rood Screen said...

The commentator seems lacking in the daily experience of living a Christian life. Even the holiest among us are capable of spiritual falls. Just as physical falls are sudden by their nature, so are moral falls. Adam and Eve were fine one day and outcasts the next.

The generation of Catholics that so quickly abandoned Catholic tradition was strongly influenced by the post-WWII spirit of defiance brought on by the long absence of their warring fathers. But that influence was contained by Catholic tradition until VCII effectively abandoned tradition in favor of modern fancy. And at this point in history, there's no point arguing that VCII intended some other outcome, since it is the outcome, not the intention, we must now try to outlive.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

One thing I omitted is that apart from the macro things going on in the Church there were the micro things happening in Families, Catholic and otherwise, where children were in outright rebellion as it concerns drugs, sex, alcohol and the like. They were a huge part of the protest against injustice which they perceived at home, in the Church and in society--think Vietnam War and Civil Rights. Even MLK was relatively young in all he was doing.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry, I think the desire to deconstruct the Church, although evil, was from a triumphalism and arrogance to make Catholicism like Protestantism. The hierarchy and lowerarchy wanted Christian Unity and were willing to sacrifice Catholic identity on a number of fronts to achieve it. I don't think they had malicious intentions but were drunk on the authoritarian model of the Church that could pull it off, whereas Protestantism for the most part would never become more Catholic, use Latin buy into our devotions, resort to indulgences or appreciate celibacy and our top down way of doing things.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

I have often thought that the 1960's were an age of mass adolescent rebellion, writ large, because of the Baby Boomers. If the first Baby Boomers were born around 1945 at the end of WWII, (I know the dates are very fluid; lots of people extend the Baby Boomer years on either side), then around 1962 the first Baby Boomers were 17 years old. In 1965 the first ones were 20. And the numbers were huge entering adolescence and young adulthood each successive year for at least 10 years.

My feeling is (and this is only my own hypothesis; not anything I can PROVE (:-) )that this huge population of adolescents and young adults was very influential because of their numbers. As young people, every new fad, every new idea, every throwing off of authority seemed right and good, and there were people out there ready and willing to exploit it for their own political ends. And they did, inside and outside the Church.
It was like a social WWII.

Just my idea.

God bless.
Bee

Victor said...

"CHANGE ALWAYS MEANT NEW AND IMPROVED..."
Let's face it, a Modernist minority took over not only the Council but its implementation, to the horror of Paul VI. When you have documents full of tensions, they can be interpreted in many ways, and that falls right into the Modernists' lap with the collusion of the media which always searched for the new, whether it be toothpaste to sell or ideas for shows. Just look at the liturgical document, and how it has been falsely interpreted. The demons used to advantage the obedience that the faithful had to give to the hierarchy.

Henry said...

"The hierarchy and lowerarchy wanted Christian Unity and were willing to sacrifice Catholic identity on a number of fronts to achieve it. I don't think they had malicious intentions"

Nor do I. Without, doubt the vast majority of the hierarchy and lowerarchy were well-intentioned. The questionable intentions were on the part of those--typically academic theologians lacking pastoral experience--who put it all over on them. Resulting in the pastoral disaster of the past half-century.

TJM said...

Hey everyone, fake catholic, Nancy Pelosi, is going to be a judge on Ru Pauls Drag Race!! Nothing says Vatican II catholic like this does!!! Kavanaugh will be ringside!




https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2018/01/18/nancy-pelosi-is-going-to-be-a-guest-judge-on-rupauls-drag-race-all-stars/?utm_term=.a7457a5a14c0

ByzRC said...

I'm sure back then, reformers were patiently waiting in the wings ready for the genie to come out of the bottle starting the process of deconstruction followed in short order by reconstruction in their ideal. They likely existed in sufficient numbers and across all ranks such that organizing wasn't difficult. Large organizations always have those who seek destruction or, the advancement of their individual or, collective agendas. I'm sure today there are plenty that if given the chance, would band together and take the reforms even further. For evidence of this, all we have to do is watch the proceedings for the synods, read Amoris Laetitia and see how various dioceses are or, are not going to implement. The cycle will continue and its strength and weakness will correlate directly with the era in which it occurs and the tone set from the throne.

Years back, I read Pius XII's Mediator Dei and without rereading, I seem to remember him warning about this very thing and the need to safeguard, among other things, the liturgy as a result. My recollection could be very flawed, however.

Adam Michael said...

I do not think that pre-Vatican II Catholics were any more devout or weak than other generations of young Catholics. They had their weaknesses and virtues, as did other generations of Catholics. However, unlike other generations, their lives were upturned through a rapid harnessing of their Church's energies toward a reformist agenda. The rest is history.

I once valued centralization as a great benefit to the Church. However, the results of Vatican II have taught me to value decentralization (with its occasional organizational messiness/pettiness). Human nature is weak and secularism is strong. It is good to not be able to change things easily. The lack of quick action breeds reflection until more mature sentiments prevail. For example, there were some liturgical reformers in the Orthodox Church of the 1960s. However, there was no mechanism for liturgical reform and today their sound contributions to piety survive, while their innovative ideas are largely forgotten for lack of implementation.

TJM said...

Adam Michael,

EPIC fail. When 80% of American Catholics went to Sunday Mass prior to Vatican Disaster II compared to a little over 20% now, I think that's pretty good evidence that the former group was more devout than those that don't even bother to show up.

Adam Michael said...

TJM,

I was referring to the generation of Catholics who experienced Vatican II. My point was that we cannot argue that this generation lost their Faith because they lacked piety or had a defect in formation. Your comment regarding their Mass attendance hints at this. Regarding what happened to their piety once Vatican II hit - history records the fall.

TJM said...

Adam Michael,

Your clarification makes sense. As part of the generation who experienced Vatican Disaster II, I can say I thought most of the "updating" was a huge mistake. And this emphasis on "love, love, love" was never a major selling feature because atheists love, protestants love, jews love. Teaching of the Faith essentially ceased around 1965. And remember this was a top down revolution which makes it all the more perplexing

Cletus Ordo said...

The Vatican II era from the 60's to the present is an embarrassment. Future Catholics will look upon this time with the same horror as we look upon the Arian period when people who believed wrongly had all the power and the faithful (like Athanasius) were punished. It will not last forever, but it's gone on for far too long. Note how those most devoted to the silliness are the oldest perpetrators of the mess.

The legacy of this "liberated" Church is a pathetic, destructive joke.

It will end. It cannot sustain itself. Parishes will close--some near you. But IT WILL END.

TJM said...

Cletus Ordo,

Yes parishes will close even while Archbishops like Cupich lie about the reasons. In Chicago there is a parish closing which is located within a vibrant Hispanic community. Think about that. Hispanics have historically been Catholic in overwhelming numbers. But the Novus Ordo Church has worked its magic, and viola, even the Hispanics aren't showing up in sufficient numbers to keep the parish going! Cupich lies and says the neighborhood has changed!! No, Cupich, the glories of Vatican Disaster II is the reason for the closing.