13 May 2020

New Light on the Spirits of Vatican II

Don't you ever tell me that God has no interest in clerical minutiae such as the 'coincidences' of ecclesiastical Calendars. On October 19 this last year, Fr Jerome Bertram died; and that day is the feast of S Frideswide, the Patron Saint of Oxford, where that great priest and antiquary worked and studied; and also of S Philip, titularis of Arundel Cathedral in Fr Bertram's beloved Sussex ... the Church in which he was baptised and ordained.

A year before his death, Father wrote his own extended obituary in the form of an account of a 'pilgrimage' from Oxford to Arundel. It is called Isis to Arun, and costs £9.50 and is in stock at the shop attached to S Aloysius Church in St Giles in Oxford.

Here is an extract.

"Wonersh, of course, is far famed for its seminary. ... The buildings had been greatly expanded in 1962, for the then bishop of Southwark was sure that the forthcoming General Council would trigger such a vast increase in priestly vocations that double the capacity would be needed. All these extra priests would then fan out over the diocese to serve the enormously increased congregations of eager converts that would come flooding into the church as soon as the longed-for reforms had begun to take effect. ... That was Bishop  Cyril Cowderoy ... it did not take long before he realised that the great revival of faith was not going to happen in his lifetime. He came to visit the English College soon before he died, and someone [omnes Quis? dicimus] had the cheek to ask him about the Council. 

"'Wasn't it very boring, all those long speeches in Latin, rather like endless seminary lectures?'
'Well yes, it was exceedingly boring. But there was a bar, you know.'
Suddenly we realised how it had been - bishops happily chatting in the bar, the 'Bar Jonah' it was called, and trooping through the lobbies when the division bell rang. How much had how many of them really understood of what was going on? They would never say."

Ah, the Spirit(s) of Vatican II. Is there an exorcist in the house?


philipjohnson said...

Indeed Fr indeed.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. If one takes a look at the goals of his local seminary, one will be inspired to move the time for cocktails forward by one hour.

The Saint Vincent DePaul Seminary in the spiritually dead diocese of Palm Beach County, Florida.

Mission Statement

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary shares in the mission of Jesus Christ “to bring the good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18) in the training of future leaders.

The seminary’s primary mission is to foster the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation of candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood so that as ordained ministers they share the joy of the Gospel with all.

Acknowledging the cultural makeup of Catholics in the United States, the seminary distinguishes itself in offering a comprehensive bilingual formation program, preparing future priests for ministry in both English and Spanish while cultivating a rich and diverse multicultural community.

The secondary mission of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary is to provide graduate theological education for permanent deacon candidates, clergy, religious, and laity as well as to offer ongoing clergy formation programs so that the evangelizing mission of the Church may continue and broaden its reach.

SVDP, producing protestantised preachers since...well, for quite a while now..

Compare the goals of a modern-minded seminary with the goals of a tradition-minded seminary...

The Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Virginia:

An Instrument Used by God for the Salvation of Souls

Catholic priests serve primarily as mediators between God and man.

The two offices—the offices of saying Mass and forgiving sins—are the most exalted among the many powers and privileges God grants His priests. The faithful, therefore, for these and many other reasons, owe the greatest respect and devotion to God’s chosen ministers.

Offering the Mass, and thus renewing Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, constitutes the priest’s chief dignity. While engaged in the sacred liturgy, the priest assumes the role of the Son of God, lovingly offering himself to the Father on behalf of all mankind. When the priest says the words of consecration, he reenacts Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, himself separating the Lord’s precious blood from His holy body. The priest then literally takes hold of God and raises Him up high so that the people can adore their Savior.

The priest, in addition to being the specific instrument God uses to manifest Himself daily to the Church, also distributes divine grace when he gives Communion to the faithful. The people thus receive God directly from the hands of the priest.

The priest’s dignity, however, is not limited to the Mass alone; he also shares another divine prerogative when he pardons sin through the sacrament of Penance. Christ, when He told His apostles that whose sins they forgive are forgiven and whose sins they retain are retained, clearly willed that the normal means of returning to God’s good grace should be through priestly absolution. Thus, the ordinary way a soul passes from the death of sin to the life of grace is through the Catholic priesthood. Only souls in the state of grace can enter paradise; therefore, God has entrusted the very keys of Heaven to his priests.

What a seminary produces is modern or traditional in proportion to its acceptance or rejection of the spirit of vatican two.

Prayerful said...

'all those long speeches in Latin'

Just a bit before V2, a good knowledge of Latin was prevalent among priests and monks. Cushing was something of a rarity in having no Latin, not even able to pronounce it properly. Few of this proud bishop, proud in their pretended humility, could manage a speech in Latin long or short.

Shaun Davies said...

I talked with a good friend of mine ordained in England in 1956 ; he had been educated at an independent school and indeed taught latin later of after ordination. He told me that manyif not most of his confreres in the Seminary had only a rudimentary knowledge of latin, which would have got them through much of the Psalter but would be lost in the Lessons at Matins. He also told me,interestingly, that in the early days of his priesthood the excitement caused by the announcement of "the Council" was extraordinary.This was borne out by another friend of mine who was a pupil in a Catholic Public school in the early 1960s. Like the priest, the pupils were almost "brainwashed" about the Council; how wonderful it would be, how it would change the Church in every way. Nobody seemed - from what I have been told - to know HOW the church would change and in what way.It seems that it was all part of the almost magical cult of change - always for the better.(ha ha)

John Patrick said...

"Acknowledging the cultural makeup of Catholics in the United States, the seminary distinguishes itself in offering a comprehensive bilingual formation program, preparing future priests for ministry in both English and Spanish while cultivating a rich and diverse multicultural community."

... and eventually they will need perhaps Vietnamese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, etc. After all we can't leave anyone out.

If only there was one common language for the liturgy that everyone could use and follow ...