The Great Apostasy Begins

Please read this brilliant article-it’s quite long, but worth the effort. H/T to @ProfJCharmley

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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12 Responses to The Great Apostasy Begins

  1. Pics says:

    “Those who call themselves traditionalists think they are harking back to the original purity and practice of the Church. They are not. They simply prefer the startling liturgical innovations of 500 years ago to the startling liturgical innovations of 50 years ago – and think everyone else should, too.”

    This is the most stupid notion I’ve ever heard on traditionalists. I’m actually offended by this much ignorance, which can only be called willful. There were no liturgical “innovations” 500 years ago, other than the Protestant and Protestant-like innovations rightly condemned by Trent and removed by Pope St Pius V as he promulgated the 1570 Missal which was in practically all points identical to the texts of centuries earlier. Most of the Ordo had remained the same since the age of St Gregory the Great. This willful spreading of untruth is extremely disappointing, as if “traditionalists” (who merely are and behave and believe and worship as Catholics always did before 1965-1969) and heretics (“Progressives”) are just “extremes”, and that the “virtue” is in the middle… Between Poison 100% and Poison 0%, the safe choice is not Poison 50%…

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  2. annem040359 says:

    When I see a picture of a pearl found in its oyster, for some reason I think of the famous book by John Steinbeck, “The Pearl”.

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  3. mmvc says:

    Nail on head, Pics!

    A brief reminder for our readers of what Benedict XVI (both before and after he become Pope) had to say about ‘the startling liturgical innovations of 50 years ago’. Nothing glib about ‘preferences’ here:

    On the Liturgical Reformers Creating a ‘Fabrication, Banal Product’:

    The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment. (Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104)

    On those Who Appreciate the Latin Mass being Wrongly Treated Like ‘Lepers’:

    “For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 [the older Latin Mass] should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?” (Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000)

    On the Degeneration of Liturgy and ‘Liturgical Fabricators’:

    “[W]e have a liturgy which has degenerated so that it has become a show which, with momentary success for the group of liturgical fabricators, strives to render religion interesting in the wake of the frivolities of fashion and seductive moral maxims. Consequently, the trend is the increasingly marked retreat of those who do not look to the liturgy for a spiritual show-master but for the encounter with the living God in whose presence all the ‘doing’ becomes insignificant since only this encounter is able to guarantee us access to the true richness of being.” (Cardinal Ratzinger’s preface to the French translation of Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Monsignor Klaus Gamber, 1992)

    On the ‘Disintegration of the Liturgy’:

    “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy.” (Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977)

    Against ‘Homemade Liturgy’:

    “It is also worth observing here that the ‘creativity’ involved in manufactured liturgies has a very restricted scope. It is poor indeed compared with the wealth of the received liturgy in its hundreds and thousands of years of history. Unfortunately, the originators of homemade liturgies are slower to become aware of this than the participants…” (Feast of Faith p. 67-68)

    On the Latin Mass as the ‘Holiest and Highest Possession’:

    “I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.” (Ratzinger Salt of the Earth (1997))

    On the Danger of Creative “Presiders” at the Mass:

    In reality what happened was that an unprecedented clericalization came on the scene. Now the priest — the “presider”, as they now prefer to call him — becomes the real point of reference for the whole Liturgy. Everything depends on him. We have to see him, to respond to him, to be involved in what he is doing. His creativity sustains the whole thing.

    On the Danger of ‘Creative Planning of the Liturgy’:

    Not surprisingly, people try to reduce this newly created role by assigning all kinds of liturgical functions to different individuals and entrusting the “creative” planning of the Liturgy to groups of people who like to, and are supposed to, “make a contribution of their own”. Less and less is God in the picture. More and more important is what is done by the human beings who meet here and do not like to subject themselves to a “pre-determined pattern”. (Spirit of Liturgy, ch. 3)

    On Why the Priest Should Not Face the People During Mass:

    The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is locked into itself. The common turning toward the East was not a “celebration toward the wall”; it did not mean that the priest “had his back to the people”: the priest himself was not regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian Liturgy the congregation looked together “toward the Lord”. (Spirit of Liturgy, ch. 3)

    On the Priest and People Facing the Same Direction:

    On the other hand, a common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of accidentals, but of essentials. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. (Spirit of Liturgy, ch. 3)

    On the ‘Absurd Phenomenon’ of Replacing the Crucifix with the Priest:

    Moving the altar cross to the side to give an uninterrupted view of the priest is something I regard as one of the truly absurd phenomena of recent decades. Is the cross disruptive during Mass? Is the priest more important than Our Lord? (Spirit of Liturgy, ch. 3)

    On the Sacredness of the TLM:

    What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well…(Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, July 2007)

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  4. johnhenrycn says:

    “This is the most stupid notion I’ve ever heard on traditionalists. I’m actually offended by this much ignorance, which can only be called willful.

    Pics, I really think you’re being far too harsh and picky. You’ve picked and chosen 3 sentences consisting of 48 words out of an essay of more than 4,000. The thrust and only essential point of Charlie Johnston’s piece is that ‘traditionalists’ and ‘progressives’ should both be wary of unknowingly becoming ‘minions of satan’, to paraphrase his third last paragraph.

    You should at least have given his orthodoxy and intelligence the benefit of the doubt by quoting the rest of the paragraph to which you take objection:

    Those who call themselves progressives think they are visionaries seeking to break bold new ground, but they simply want to follow the ground the “Mainline” Protestant denominations have already trod – and which have led to those denominations’ wholesale collapse. The virtue of the traditionalists is that they still believe God is God, unlike progressives who think the “myth” of God is a great foundation for social work. The virtue of the progressives is that they are not fearfully trying to bury their talent in the ground, suspending practice into the amber of what was a major innovation 500 years ago. The authentic development of Christian doctrine has not just been a refining of the rules, an esoteric ideology, but a lively concern for how it is lived practically.”

    I don’t want to get into an argument about whether the Mass of Pius V was a “startling liturgical innovation”. We can talk about that another time perhaps (although I will say is that it strikes me as having been a blessedly fortunate one if it was) and it might have been better had Mr Johnstone not thrown out that line about liturgical innovations at all, since his piece has to do with doctrinal innovations and heresies.

    It’s clear there are heretics on the ‘orthodox’ side of the Catholic spectrum, and the author gives some examples of them, without suggesting there are not similar examples to be found on the ‘progressive’ side. I was very taken by this sentence near the end of his essay:

    “Throughout, God has used the grit of heresy as the irritant around which the pearl of great price has been formed – a doctrine and practice that is true to Christ and gives life.”

    I wish I’d said that and it gives me great comfort when stewing about the upcoming 2015 Synod on the Family.

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  5. Brother Burrito says:

    Thanks JH, that was perfectly put.

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  6. kathleen says:

    I do not agree that Pics has been either either “harsh” or “picky”. His objection to the author’s statement is absolutely correct, and mmvc‘s excellent following comment gives clear references to these errors of ‘Charlie’ re the liturgy. But there is a lot more…

    Using this one paragraph as an example of his liberal opinion on the Church’s ancient liturgy (plus a very weird and wonky view of the Early Church) one can read the whole of the rest of the long article and see that his main target is on traditional Catholics. He cleverly weaves some authentic truths and flowery language – including a fascinating personal testimony to a life woven with friendly chats to visiting angels that he expects us all to believe without question – to a mean and subtle attack at all orthodox Catholics who dare to voice their worries about abuses and heresies they see being committed by some members of the Church hierarchy. Those who denounce these things precisely because they love our Holy Catholic Church, Charlie tells us are apostates, and schismatics!!

    Well, I’m sorry Brother Burrito for your well-meaning recommendation, but that is a blog I shan’t be visiting again.

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  7. Brother Burrito: It has become clearer where you sit in the scheme of things. Your insightfulness has diminished in my eyes.
    I look for insights in the comments of contributors to these pages. Some commentators are simply obscure. Others perceptively ‘nail it ‘ as have Pics, mmvc and Kathleen. Still others speak from a position of ignorance of Church History and Holy Tradition.
    As Kathleen has said,…this is a blog I shan’t be visiting again

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  8. johnhenrycn says:

    Geoff: one hopes when you say …”this is a blog I shan’t be visiting again…” that you were referring to some other blog and not to this one 😉

    But I must also say – for you to suggest that the worth of another’s ‘insight’ depends on whether the other’s opinions and ideas are in lock-step with your own is not conducive to honest and fruitful discussions. Surely you don’t mean that you are never wrong or that within the confines of orthodoxy there is no room for opinions and interpretations even slightly different from those you hold.

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  9. Brother Burrito says:

    Geoff, (I hope you are still reading) I would be saddened if you felt driven to stop reading and commenting here on account of my articles/comments etc. Please just ignore me instead. Plenty others do.

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  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Even Catholics whose theology traditionalists admire can change their minds:

    ” A new volume of Benedict XVI’s collected works includes an updated version of a 1972 essay in which he had suggested that the divorced and remarried could receive Communion – but the Pope had long since abandoned that position…”

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/scholars-no-benedict-xvi-doesnt-support-kasper-in-synod-debates-35882/

    …which is why I heartily approve Mr Johnston’s remarks about the “authentic development of Christian doctrine [not just being] a refining of the rules…but a lively concern for how it is lived practically.” [and] “…God has used the grit of heresy as the irritant around which the pearl of great price has been formed…”

    To consign Fr (as he then was) Ratzinger to the outer darkness because he once held semi-heretical views similar to those now being espoused by Cardinal Kasper, or to refuse to engage those views in a spirit of respect and goodwill, is not the way forward.

    I, for one, shall continue to look at Charlie Johnston’s blog now and then. And I don’t by any means think he’s less orthodox than me or anyone else around here – not based on this one article anyway.

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  11. kathleen says:

    Dear Geoff,
    Please don’t be too hard on our Brother Burrito. He is a donk of many hidden talents and possessor of a heart of gold. We all love and value him very much on the Team of CP&S… in fact we would collapse without him! 😉
    _________

    @ JH (re Pope Benedict)

    Yes, it is common knowledge that the former Cardinal Ratzinger held some pretty liberal ideas at the time of the Council… as so it appears did many in the Church at the time, swept along by the prevailing ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ as it seems they were. I believe it was only in the later 70’s when common sense and awareness of where that “spirit” was coming from began to dawn on the more wise and holy of the hierarchy, who then began to backpedal!
    (Some, like the first members of the SSPX, Cardinal Ottaviani, and farsighted laymen like Dietricht and Alice von Hildebrand, Michael Davies etc. saw it right from the start!)

    In the case of Cardinal Ratzinger (as Pope Benedict was then known), as soon as he was named Cardinal-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope John Paul II on 25 November 1981, the Holy Spirit swept over him! He became known for his firm orthodoxy and conservative views from then on.

    Interesting to remember how seventeen years ago now, the future Benedict XVI presented his vision of the future of the Church; at the time it seemed very pessimistic. He foresaw that the Mystical Body would be so fragmented that it would be reduced to a collection of small groups that were still lively, though surrounded by general decadence:

    Perhaps the time has come to say farewell to the idea of traditionally Catholic cultures. Maybe we are facing a new and different kind of epoch in the Church’s history, where Christianity will again be characterized more by the mustard seed, where it will exist in small, seemingly insignificant groups that nonetheless live an intensive struggle against evil and bring the good into the world….” [1]

    The Church… will be less identified with the great societies, more a minority Church; she will live in small, vital circles of really convinced believers who live their faith. But precisely in this way she will, biblically speaking, become the salt of the earth again.” [2]

    P.S. I do not agree that his former views were ever comparable to Cardinal Kaspar’s, simply by the one opinion he pronounced on the subject of Holy Communion for those in irregular marriages. Card. Kaspar is an out and out modernist – something Card. Ratzinger never was.

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  12. Brother Burrito says:

    Aw shucks Kathleen, you’ve made me turn red 😉

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