13 July 2023

Christine Mohrmann, 1 August 1903 - 13 July 1988

Today is the (35th) obit of one of the greatest intellectual figures of the last century. Mohrmann it was who demonstrated that Liturgical Latin, like many liturgical dialects, was an artificial construct deliberately invented so as to be as worthy as possible for the August Sacrifice (forget the creaky old Protestant and 1960s superstition that 'the Primitive Church' was dead set on 'vernacular' liturgies designed to be 'understanded of the people').

One of the tragedies of the 1960s was that a particular version of a 'Liturgical Movement' got its grip upon the minds of superficial 'professional liturgists' who had their sticky hands upon the levers of power. Men (yes, I think they were all men) who were deaf to Mohrmann's scholarship and her immense erudition. Men (well, let us say half-men) who knew what was best for little Johnny and insisted on little Johnny's jaws being clamped open while they force-fed him with their revolting gruel.

In those middle years of that century there were other very competent women liturgists. I wonder if the "Liturgical Reform" would have been less disastrous if it had not been forced through by an insensitive illiterate narrow-minded fascist androcracy.

Curious, isn't it, that our male culture went pretty well straight from a crass and arrogant assumption that the little woman had little capacity for intelligent thought, all the way to a servile and creepy subordination to every whimsy of femino-fascism.

Men are such odd creatures.


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. This is some rollicking rhetoric.

Kudos !!!!

Arthur Gallagher said...

You had better luck with women than we had in New York. We had a tyrannical liturgy nazi here who was widely feared by priests and loathed by the faithful whom she victimized ruthlessly and with enthusiasm. A typical broken Sister of Charity (of the New York group) A type I knew only too well. Gone now, but the evil she did lives after her. Which is more than can be said of her order, which is winding up its operations.