Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tradition and the future: one in the same?

As we've mentioned before on this blog, this year marks the 50th anniversary from the start of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. On the website of the Catholic News Service (the official media arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), an interesting video was recently posted. In the video is a brief interview with Fr. Joseph Kramer, F.S.S.P., who is the pastor of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini (Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims) parish in Rome.

In this short clip, Fr. Kramer discusses the cultural premises behind the changes in the Catholic Mass after Vatican II. It might come as some surprise to a few of you to read this, but, while some of the changes to the Mass were certainly good and were specifically mandated by the Church (i.e. a greater use of vernacular languages within the Mass), many other changes in the liturgy that many of us have simply assumed were mandated by the Church were actually nothing other than the products of the imaginations of an ideologically-driven few. These types of changes are also very real (the total and complete expulsion of all Latin from the liturgy in most parishes is a widespread example), but they were not done in response to any of the Vatican's post-conciliar instructions on the liturgy but were, instead, done in what the change-agents often described as being "in the spirit" of Vatican II - a phrase which essentially means "let's do whatever we want to do during the Mass, regardless of what the Church's documents actually instruct."

Well, Fr. Kramer has some very interesting (and I'd argue, quite accurate) observations about young people today and how many of my generation and yours now view those same premises. [Spoiler alert: we think they're silly and outdated.]

Have a look: