Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Gregorian Rite's Obstacles

From a correspondent, an article published in Oriens, February '08--the pertinent excerpt.

A few weeks before Christmas, a close observer of current Church affairs, and one well informed about the quality of ecclesiastical manpower, suggested to Oriens that, when it came to implementing a liturgical “reform of the reform,” bishops had to confront the fact that many, perhaps the majority, of their clergy were “ecclesiologically challenged.”

This was a kindly way of saying that much of present generation of clergy, for the most part trained in the period 1965 to 1995, is so compromised by contemporary styles of manhood and priesthood, that it lacks the cultural aptitude for a sympathetic response to Pope Benedict XVI and his call for teaching and worship to be anchored in the whole tradition of the Church. This analysis includes “papal liners” as it does “liberals”.

It is the “pope’s men” who interest us here. During the John Paul II years, it was easy to be a “papalist”. In those days one could declaim against the culture of death while liturgically celebrating the culture of banality. One could proclaim human rights, and bemoan the marginalised, while kicking traditional Catholics in the pants and banishing them to the outlands. One could condescend to Catholic pieties while paying reverence to the shaman’s humbug. One could kiss the papal hand and Mr Mahomet’s book with nearly equal respect. For a certain type, combining ornery attachment to some tough Catholic doctrines with obeisance to the most respectable fads was a cakewalk. But suddenly it is not so easy to juggle incompatibles.

A very perceptive observation.

And--if you think that this is far-fetched, then tell me: which Archbishop, Bishop, or priest have YOU heard preaching about the mortal sin of contraception in the last....oh......20 years?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've heard three priests preach against it, one was elderly and two were ordained in the late 90s, I think the younger priests and the current generations of seminarians "get" what BXVI is trying to do and will respond well.

If the notion of a three priests assigned to one parish weren't so uncommon these days, one could make a pretty interesting situational comedy about an elderly retired priest who came of age in the 1950's, a Spirit of V2 1970's mold priest, and a brand new priest, all living together in a rectory and the conflict and hillarity that would ensue as the young new guy proves to have more in common with the old guy than the boomer.