The So-Called "Extraordinary" Meme
I'm tagging myself for this meme for two reasons. The first is that I would never be tagged for it otherwise. You see, the originators and devotees are waiting for people like me to "die off" before they would ever consider it.
Second... There really wasn't anything wrong with this meme in principle, but it took a nasty twist at the end, and I'd like to stick up for the maligned individual in question. I don't know if the last question was on the original meme or not, I think it was an accretion, but it epitomizes the ugliness, chortling malevolance, and mean-spiritedness that has unfortunately become the dominant characteristic of the posts and combox responses to be found in the Catholic blogging world today. It sickens me.
As I alluded earlier on Crystal's blog, I'm sick and tired of people who are still wet behind their ears from their chrismation presuming to tell people who've lived their entire lives in the faith what authentic Catholicism is and what it is not.
I'm also frustrated by all these young traditionalists, "re-discovering" their Catholicism on some apologetics website within the last two or three years imagining a so-called Golden Age prior ot Vatican II, either trashing the Second Vatican Council outright, or giving it the most tepid endorsement possible, characterizing it as a sort of failed "pastoral" council that didn't change any dogma thank goodness, and should be quietly jettisoned. Another variant urges people to look at the "letter" of the Vatican II texts rather than the "demonically-inspired 'Spirit of the Council'". Anyone old enough to remember, on the other hand, who actually happened to be around in those years, is spurned as a gray-haired liturgical-dancing loving fogey who presided over the "ruin" of the Church, which is lying in shambles, and waiting for the young traditionalists to fix it. The fogeys are urged to die off as soon as possible.
It's more likely that the young trads will shrink it down to a curious museum piece, if they get their way.
The truth of the matter is, every single indicator that worries them so much was already present in the years before Vatican II. Europe was already in a crisis of faith. That's why the Council was held. That's why Henri de Lubac, a peritus at the Council, wrote The Drama of Atheistic Humanism, seeking to explore why the Church had already lost the hearts and souls of so many of the faithful. As for the US, it was living a hermetically-sealed ghetto Catholicism in a hostile Protestant society. Once Catholics became educated, affluent, and mainstream, those very elements, along with the secular upheavals in the sixties and seventies themselves, contributed to leading us where we are today.
The young radtrads cry, "Look at the wreckage in the Church after Vatican II! Wow! Great idea that was! What fruits of the Council! It's Springtime!"
I answer, "World War I - 9.7 million military deaths, and 10 million civilian deaths. World War II - 25 million military deaths and 50 million civilian deaths... Yes, It was Summertime before Vatican II!" That's not counting all the other wars around the planet in the Twentieth Century. What kind of Christian continent was that? That Latin Mass certainly was a panacea for everything that was ailing Western Civilization, wasn't it? It certainly was doing the job, obviously.... If anything, the Council was held about 10 years too late, putting it up against the perfect storm of the sixties.
As for these youngsters who are bitter about their whiffle-catechesis while growing up, angry that all they got in their classes was word-search puzzles and smiley-faces, I hear you excorciating the nuns and laywomen who taught you. Well, I remember how difficult is was for them to educate the spoiled brats in your generation, because you had no manners and you had no attention span for anything much deeper. Don't blame those educators for your woeful lack of knowledge. If you were brought up without the Faith in your households, it was the fault of your parents, not the fault of the educators who worked their hearts out trying to get through to you. Just because you're jealous of the vitality of Evangelical Protestantism in comparison to how you view Catholicism these days, don't blame the educators. Look closer to home. Truth is, your parents likely checked out with Humanae Vitae (when Paul VI listened to his curial mandarins instead of the laity) , which is why you weren't brought up like they were themselves.
I consider myself to be in neither the traditionalist nor the liberal camp. I must say, however, that I can certainly understand the frustration on the part of progressives in recent decades. I don’t have a problem with Latin. I don’t have a problem with the historical legacies of our Church, although I do agree with traditionalists that Vatican II was in fact a revolution. It was not a revolution in the sense that they mean it, in that the values of the French Revolution infected the Church. It was a revolution in the sense that the assembled bishops finally stood up like men and acted like real bishops, and were not cowed by the coterie of extreme anti-modernist integrists in the Roman Curia who equated the Church with themselves. The bishops had the support of the Pope in that regard, at least with John XXIII. The Curia has been fighting a rear-guard action in a restorationist effort ever since. The Curia was never reformed as it should have been. They just waited for the bishops and the theologians to go home, then it was back to business as usual. Now that the Church is in a mess, they point the accusing finger at others rather than themselves, casting aspersion and blame on the very council they worked so hard to scuttle.
I understand the frustration of progessives on matters related to the liturgy in particular, because a lot of this was SSPX-driven, and there is a lot more wrong with the SSPX than the illicit consecration of a handful of bishops in defiance of the Pope. In addition to their non-acceptance of the Council is their obnoxious anti-semitism (which should be roundly condemned by all Catholics everywhere) and their inane, crackpot theories around Judeo/Masonic/Communist plots. These Jansenists are still obsessed with the French Revolution and the Ancien Regime. These are the people Benedict is extending an olive branch to, while progressives, concerned about more lay involvement in the governance of the Church, a wider role for women, a reconsideration of mandatory celibacy, and a recognition of positive aspects of Liberation Theology, are shunted to the side, or investigated, censured and disciplined.
Anyhow, here's this meme...
1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?
That's the Missal of Blessed John XXIII and The Missal of Paul VI, please! Partisans of the Latin can use TLM if they wish (so we can refer to it that way here), but please refrain from using the pejorative term "Novus Ordo".
I attend the Rite of Paul VI. I attended the Latin Mass for the first 10 years of my life. That was enough.
As I said above, I have nothing against Latin, or Gregorian Chant, or the Mass as it was heard by our beloved saints for centuries. Unfortunately, however, the Latin Mass has become a politicized tool in the hands of Vatican II recusants and traitors, and those who believe the least in liturgical diversity. Putting it in their own manner of speech, I'll go extreme and militant.... Enemies of Vatican II are enemies of the Catholic Church. Enemies of the Catholic Church are enemies of God. Enemies of God are my enemies... Sorry to paint with a broad brush, I'm sure most of the attendees of the Latin Mass are reasonable people who attend both rites, but there are enough schismatics in the ranks for me to not want to share pews with them. I guess we won't have to be bothered by each other's company at Mass any longer. I've read too many stupid commentaries on the "invalid Novus Ordo, clown masses, liturgical dance, beer and pizza eucharist, altar girls, communion in the hand", and other apocalyptic nonsense out on the blogs to want to be associated with this.
The last time I attended a Latin Mass was about 10 years ago in Binghamton, NY. My wife had $80 dollars stolen out of her purse when she went up to Communion. That never happened to her at the "Novus Ordo". Would it be fair for me to characterize what happened there to us with the Latin Mass and its adherents in general? Of course not, but this guilt by association is what happens with the Paul VI Rite all the time with every liturgical abuse horror story.
Therefore, I will never attend another Latin Mass.
In fact, I'm going to have it written into my will that a Latin Mass cannot be said for my funeral, even if it has become the "ordinary" form by that time, rather than the "extraordinary" form, which is what this Sri Lankan bishop would no doubt like to see.
2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton Upper Falls is only 1.6 miles from my home. When Holy Trinity, which had been the home for the indult previously, was slated to close, Mary Immaculate became the new home for the Latin Mass community, although MI had been originally slated to close as well. I have attended masses at Mary Immaculate in the past. I have no intention of doing so in the future. Those who attend the Latin Mass are mostly outsiders to the parish.
3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?
Just "Catholic" is good enough. According to Beliefnet's What Kind of Catholic Are You quiz, I scored 71, which is "Divine Office (Moderately Traditional)".
4. Are you a comment junkie?
I don't even know what that means. All things should be done in moderation. It isn't good to be a junkie about anything.
5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?
6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?
Only if there was a technical issue preventing me from posting as myself, or if there was a new type of blog that required me to sign up all over again, and get onto another spam list. I always say who I am.
7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?
Joseph O'Leary's Spirit of Vatican II
8. Which blog is the first one you check?
9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?
10. What are you reading?
It's always posted on the right.
11. Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?
I sure hope not! See # 7 above!