Monthly Archives: May 2016
“Today Our attention is directed to one of the most common of them (abuses), one of the most difficult to eradicate, and the existence of which is sometimes to be deplored in places where everything else is deserving of the highest praise; the beauty and sumptuousness of the temple, the splendor and the accurate performance of the ceremonies, the attendance of the clergy, the gravity and piety of the officiating ministers. Such is the abuse affecting sacred chant and music.”- St. Pius X, Pope
And today, it is with a high degree of certainty that it can be said that the abuse of sacred chant and music is more prevalent than ever and that “the beauty and sumptuousness of the temple, the splendor and the accurate performance of the ceremonies, the attendance of the clergy, the gravity and piety of the officiating ministers” have also gone the way of sacred music.
Performance mentality, “presentation” type music, and profane repertoire have totally inundated the local Catholic church music scene. And this is with the blessings of the bishop, the clergy and liturgical ministers who consider it their duty to “entertain” the congregation and advance the misunderstood concept of “full, conscious and active participation” with a near total abandonment of the concept of liturgy as worship, expiation, petition and thanksgiving directed to God and instead have made it a social event, the success of which is judged by the number of smiling faces and homiletic wisecracks.
Hilary White pretty much says it all in this post on one of her blogs called “What’s up with Francis Church”. I have not visited the convents or talked to priests as she has but I’ve done my share of reading and study and have come to the same inexorable conclusion.
Quotes from her blog include:
I had started from a position of believing in the simplistic conservative narrative. It goes something like this: there had been a group of “liberal” prelates at the Council and afterwards who had tried to “hijack” the conciliar documents and the subsequent acts for their own purposes. This had met with quite a lot of success and things had been pretty bad until the 80s and 90s, particularly with the bad bishops under Paul VI. But then the “conservative” pope John Paul II thwarted them, “cleaning up” seminaries and appointing (mostly) “conservative” new bishops. The attempt to hijack the Barque had, in the main, failed and things were returning slowly to the natural course of the Church. There were lots of signs that this younger “conservative” movement – particularly among seminarians – was the future. New(ish) Catholic colleges were consciously self-identifying as “Ex corde ecclesiae” colleges; parishes and some whole dioceses were getting rid of the bongos and retiring the guitars and puppets and balloons in the Mass… it was all slowly returning to normal.
… it was inescapable: there was and is a vast cleavage in the Catholic Church that amounted to a de facto schism. A new and false religion was being produced, like the toxins from a bacterial infection that sickens the body, inside all the institutions of the Church, and hardly anyone had noticed. It was a hidden schism that had been nesting within the Catholic institution entirely uncorrected, since the close of Vatican II. Neo-modernism had succeeded in replacing authentic Catholic teaching to the point where to hold the doctrines of the Faith in certain areas and profess them out loud was enough to have you ostracized from this “conservative Catholic revival”. The New Modernism had, in fact, become the new conservatism.
It took a long time, a lot of reading, a lot of talking and thinking and visiting and learning to understand all this, but when I did, it was like being pulled out of the Matrix. The entire universe of Catholicism was, in reality, nothing at all like what I had thought. I realized that not only had I, somehow, come to a perspective in which all the puzzling pieces fit together to form a coherent, though horrifying, big picture, but that without this perspective it was going to be nearly impossible to convince anyone else. How do you tell people that things are, indeed, much worse than even their darkest imaginings and, more importantly, aren’t getting better?
One of the most distressing aspects of this is that most everyone sdeems oblivious to the situation or, if they have some comprehension, they don’t seem to care. Oh what a terrible chastisement God has visited on His Church.
And the church of nice goes merrily on it’s way.
Read more here.