21 July 2016

Why do they hate it? More on Sarahgate.

So those bishops around the world who resent liturgical renewal are getting ever nastier, and turning the screws on their unfortunate clergy ... especially the younger ones (you'd think they might be glad to have one or two younger clergy as they shut down their priestless churches by the dozen).

Why? I think they had their minds formed in an age when liturgical texts and habits preceding the 1970s were viewed by some with a deeply and viscerally personal detestation. There are some around who are still motivated by the same obsessive aversions.

Hence, the fuss caused by Sarahgate (am I first with this neologism?). It has close similarities with the fuss after Summorum Pontificum. Remember? The poor chaps in their terror complained that their declining dioceses would explode into liturgical chaos (did that ever happen?). When some curial officials came over to explain Anglicanorum coetibus to the English bishops, it transpired that some of them were still more angry about Summorum Pontificum (which had emerged two years earlier).

Sad, really, that some bishops had (have?) so little confidence in the good sense of their clergy.

Cardinal Sarah's admirable and timely advice has stirred up exactly the same widespread and uncontrolled panic; the same draconian attempts to devise intricate dodges to 'prohibit' clergy from doing things which the relevant dicasterial authorities have declared to be perfectly lawful. Apparently, ad Orientem is 100% legal and woe betide any priest in my diocese who employs it!

Why such silly tantrums? A wise priest trained in psychiatry has diagnosed the problem thus: They associate the Extraordinary Form with what they think of as a repressive and sin-obsessed form of Catholicism from which they were glad to be set free.

In other words, their liturgical passions are still tangled up in their adolescent struggles with their now aged hormones.

Makes sense to me.


vetusta ecclesia said...

B XVI clearly had his finger on the pulse during his visit to these shores. At his final address to the assembled bishops he singled out, recommending that their lordships give them and their pastoral potential particular attention, the two things he knew they all hated viz the Ordinariate and the corrected translation of the Misale Romanum!

Zephyrinus said...

"In other words, their liturgical passions are still tangled up in their adolescent struggles with their now aged hormones."

What an absolutely wonderful description of certain Senior Clerics in certain Senior Positions.

The best laugh one has had for ages.

Well done, Fr, and "Thank You" for the antidote to this month's "Silly Season From The Seniors".

Deo Gratias.

Zephyrinus said...

"Hence, the fuss caused by Sarahgate (am I first with this neologism?)".

I think The Duchess of York might demur on that point, Fr.

Ben Whitworth said...

The elderly Bishop of Harrogate
To himself was most anxious to arrogate
Every choice about gesture,
And rubric, and vesture -
"For we must put the lid back on Sarahgate!"

mark wauck said...

If you had tried to figure this out back in the '60s I imagine the reasons might have differed more from one country to another. I suppose they still may--why are France and the US more receptive to tradition than other countries, etc.? There are historical and sociological reasons behind all that. It was a crisis that was a long time in attaining critical mass, and it took many different shapes. But I think this post is right that it has all morphed into a more or less similar, gelatinous attitude that is now best dealt with by psychologists.

The bigger question is as put: where do these bishops think they're going, where do they think the future of the Church lies? In going "mainstream?" That seems to have been the V2 thinking. We've seen where that leads, and that slope keeps getting slipperier and steeper. If this weren't at bottom a question of character and psychological health, these repressive bishops would be seeking real solutions that addressed real problems.

The clergy on the ground, large numbers of them, know this, and I think it explains their greater tolerance for--even attraction for--tradition. Those clergy who are truly concerned with their flocks know their bishops aren't with them.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Father. I think the wise priest's diagnosis is absolutely right and I don't think evrn bsdic training in psychiatry is in any way necessary to reach that conclusion! :) I think that also explains why, in my experience, the irrational hatred over this issue (and anything that in some way makes any kind of mental link with pre-conciliar liturgy/Church - seems to be more intensely displayed by those closest to around 70-75 years of age. The good news: it WILL pass.

Anonymous said...

"(T)heir liturgical passions are still tangled up in their adolescent struggles with their now aged hormones."

Could not have said it better.

tradgardmastare said...

Amen!So,so true and so,so sad at the same time. The 1970s shackles still bind so much of our church liturgically, musically and in myriad other ways.Thank God for the Ordinariate and others fighting on among the ruins.

Kathleen1031 said...

That sounds about right, Fr. Hunwicke. It does seem likely that fear is what motivates progressives and liberals. Look at the censorship and violent reaction one can see on American college campuses today, simply by inviting a conservative to give a talk. Out come the fascists in angry droves! They will be only too glad to silence the conservative, so fearful are they the dreaded words of tradition or common sense may appeal to other ears, they must be silenced at any cost! This totalitarian reaction is common today, as Marxists feel force is justified in order to obtain the goal. This mindset can be expressed in various degrees of course.

Elizabeth Vann said...

I have not been able to express it as well myself, Father, but I have had thoughts along the same lines: that the people pushing the progressive agenda within the Church basically have not grown in wisdom over the course of their lives and are stuck, emotionally and mentally, in their glory days of being anti-establishment. As a person in my mid-60s, I see this as particularly sad. But, reality is always better, and acknowledgement of and learning what constitutes truth, which we gain in life by God's grace, is the only way we can move forward and closer to God.

Rguerra said...

This well meaning initiative by Cardinal Sarah begs the question: If the Vatican got wrong something as basic as the priest orientation, what else did they get wrong in the novus ordo mass??

Fr John Hunwicke said...

One answer is that "the Vatican" never mandated a change in Orientation. I seem to remember that this was demonstrated in court when the Bishop wanted to reorder Cobh Cathedral a few years ago "in accordance with Vatican II" and the planning authorities threw it out after Alcuin Reid explained the facts to them.

Stephen said...

Sorry Fr. H, but that is a bit of punt. Or do you really want think that the wholesale rejection by the west of its liturgical patrimony - a self-immolation - was due to 99.999% of the Latin Rite bishops and clergy working out their adolescent challenges??? Say what? No, to speak of such avoids the real question, and to not ask it means that it will only occur again and again, as is normal with an engine of innovation. And that question is, However did they get so much control over the liturgy in the first place, and roll it out with relatively so little objection????

Augustinus said...

Do those who keep turning this into a generational thing (old modernists versus young traddies) realize that Cardinal Sarah is 71 and was ordained in 1969?

Rood Screen said...

Since most of this open opposition began with the Vatican clarification of a supposed misinterpretation, I wonder if anyone has managed to identify the misinterpretation itself. Which reporter, blogger or commentator was so confused by the cardinal's proposal that the Vatican press office had to clarify it?

Anonymous said...

please do not mention or use V2. Reminds me of my childhood, in Bristol living nights in an Anderson shelter. V2's dangerous weapons whistling overhead. We beat them then by prayer and we will beat the churchly huns again with prayer especially Numbers 16 verse 28 and following