Saturday, June 01, 2019

Mirus v. Marshall. Mirus on Wrong Page

While conspiracy theories are often ......ahhh......wrong, they exist for a reason:  some of them are right.  Taylor Marshall wrote a book describing a deliberate insertion of Communist-chosen men into the Church's hierarchy--an 'op' verified by an ex-Communist years ago--and broadens his inquiry into other areas of Church life, as well.

Jeff Mirus, no longer a staffer at Christendom College, objects, making a Big Deal of Eeeeeeevil Conspiracy Theories, such as "McCarthyism" and thereby dismissing any discussion of Communist, or Masonic, or Modernist efforts to undermine the Church's orthodoxy.

(Since Joe McCarthy was right, by the way, is Mirus just another East Coast City-class Establishment twerp with a Ph.D.?)

Well, maybe he is.  Mirus chose five of Marshall's discussions to demonstrate that Marshall is a typical Texas wack-a-doo.  One of them is 'liturgical reform.'

....There was a strong liturgical movement in the first half of the twentieth century which later bore fruit in Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium). Whatever one may think of the implementation in various places over the years, the liturgical movement was concerned to eliminate the inessential encrustations that had been added into the Roman Rite over the centuries in order to restore the famous “noble simplicity” of the rite, so that it would be easier for Catholics to unite themselves with the essential action of the Mass through what is now called “active participation” (understood as spiritual participation). Encrustations and accretions that had crept in included such things as the “prayers at the foot of the altar” (which were originally prayers the priest said to prepare himself for Mass) and the “last gospel” (with which the Mass closed long after the Liturgy of the Word had been completed), and a number of other less obvious things. Moreover, the Mass, which was originally deliberately said in languages (Greek and Latin) that most people knew, could no longer be understood by the vast majority. But in a breathtaking fit of classic Traditionalism, Marshall takes the changes called for by the Council to mean that the Council Fathers wished to obscure the central nature of the Mass, when the purpose was just the opposite....

Oh, really?

Mirus makes so many erroneous assertions in that graf that it is a challenge to unpack it, but we'll take a stab.

First off, he--like most proponents of the Novus Ordo--asserts that there are "inessential encrustations", naming e.g., the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and the Last Gospel.  How does Mirus know, with Biblical certainty, that these are "inessential" and "encrustations"?

I assure you, he does not know.  When Pius XII warned against "exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism" in 1947, he was speaking directly to and about the Liturgical Movement's charges of 'inessential encrustations.'   Peter Kwasniewski makes short work of such claims here.

But then Mirus steps further into the mire, with the claim that "most people knew" Greek and Latin until the Liturgical Movement came on the scene to rescue Catholics from these dead, forgotten, and impenetrable languages.

Sorry, Prof.  You're wrong in two different ways.  First, "most" barbarians--such as those in Germany, France, England, and Scotland (not to mention North and South America) did NOT "know" Greek and Latin.  Yet--mirabile dictu--they were Catholic and attended Mass, and many became saints.

Secondly, and even more significant to this discussion:  one of the Liturgical Movement's proposed reforms was the "Dialog Mass."  In this Rome-approved experiment, the laity would respond, IN LATIN, to the priest's lead, and this 'dialog' included the prayers at the foot of the altar, an "inessential encrustation."   How can this be?  Which is it, Dr. Mirus?  "Inessential encrustation" in un-knowable Latin?  Or a modern-day (1958-ish) method of 'fostering participation' endorsed by Certified Reformers?

More generally, does Mirus understand the concept of "sacred language" such as those utilized in Jewish (Hebrew) and Orthodox (Greek, Old Slavonic) liturgical ceremonies world-wide?  Draw your own conclusions here, friends.

There are other objections to Marshall's work made by Mirus.  Perhaps they are more defensible than his one-millimeter-deep flapjaw about the Mass--which, by the way, echoes the flapjaw of George Weigel.  Jus'sayin'..........

Intelligent Catholics can decide for themselves whether Marshall's book makes sense.  That's a good reason to go out and buy it. 


Tancred said...

You would HOPE someone from Christendom had more than a New York Times appreciation of the political legend of Joseph McCarthy. It’s hard to believe this man was known and tolerated by Warren Carroll.

Dad29 said... talks. Maybe Mirus had a bunch of dollars to toss into the pot. Or maybe Carroll mis-read this guy by a country mile.

On the whole, Christendom College has not demonstrated a consistency in its 'core' to this outside observer. Faculty turns over rather quickly, there are controversies......

At least with Marquette or Georgetown you KNOW what you're going to get, which is 'not Catholic'.