Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Clericalism Never Goes Away.

I think it's funny how some people seem to have the mistaken idea that clericalism went away after the council. It most certainly did not go away after the council. In fact, quite a bit of what happened during and after the council was an exercise in clericalism or similar sentiments.

Despite what modern Catholics will tell you, 95% of Catholics were not likely clamouring for a new liturgy with a new calendar and new doctrines and the total destruction of their parish churches and parish lives. Certainly, 95% of Catholics weren't completely satisfied with the way things stood as of 1962, but to walk into your average suburban parish church and say that That is what they wanted is an untruth.

There is evidence upon evidence that it was priests, bishops, and lay experts who decided among themselves what would be good for the laity. They laity were rarely, if ever consulted about such things. When Collegeville was instructing that parishes tear down their altar rails "To open up the church to the people", the people were not asked if they wanted the altar rails torn down or if they even wanted the church opened up to them. When the Gregorian Institute (Now known as GIA) and bishops in agreement with them were instructing priests and choirmasters to break up their mixed choirs and boychoirs for modern music bands, the faithful were not asked if they wanted modern music. The choirs were not asked if they wanted to be broken up. That decision was made for them by the priests and bishops who ran the church.
When bishops such as the infamous Weakland were advocating mixed altar servers, parishioners were not asked if they wanted them, and servers were not asked if they would like to be mixed. Parish priests were not even consulted to see if they would like them. Bishops made the decisions for them. Even with communion in the hand*, the decision was made by the bishops apart from the laity. And in the U.S., when it was plain that there was enough support for communion in the hand, what did the bishops do? They polled retired and sick bishops till they got enough votes. (Something which I believe was actually contrary to the law.)

In any case, you get where I'm getting at.The same clericalism that devalued the laity before the council devalued them during it, while it was implementing it. The same clericalism rules the church today.

Don't beleive me?

Check your diocese' s rules for implementing Summorum Pontificum. Are they open and consultive? Do they leave the decision up to parish priests and whether the laity actual want the old rite? Or, are they restrictive? Is the decision left only to the bishop and his whims? Are they dependent on his good favour ?
9 time out of 10, bishops seem to have gone down the "This is MY diocese and I'M in charge of the liturgy here!!1!!!1!!" route. These are the same bishops who may refuse communion to those who kneel, or get rid of priests who fail to uphold the party line when it comes to modern liturgy. (Try having your priest tell your bishop that he's only going to have boy servers and he's introducing a chant schola to supply music for the main Sunday mass, and see how long it is before your bishop either reprimands him, removes him and makes him a vicar rather than pastor, or sends him off to the boonies in a retirement home or hospital "Where he can't stir things up and make trouble".)

See how lay experts and the hierarchy regularly devalue those who long for traditional worship and practice of the faith, and then get back to me.

There, now you guys know that I'm actually a closet liberal. At least when it comes to some things. :D

*As a disclaimer, I don't believe that communion in the hand is necessarily irreverent and sacrilegious.