Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

make no mistake about it

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 16, 2006

Fr. Richard McBrien explains how the liturgy got renewed (and why your opinion on the question doesn't matter):

Make no mistake about it: persistent opposition to the changes in the liturgy that were authorized by the Second Vatican Council and approved by the late Pope Paul VI has had little or nothing to do with the quality of vernacular translations and liturgical music, nor with the sometimes free-wheeling style of some presider-celebrants. It has everything to do with ecclesiology.

The basic changes in the celebration of the Mass came about because theologians, liturgical scholars, and thousands of bishops and priests broadened their vision of the Church from a primarily hierarchical institution to the People of God.

See if I have this right. In the old days, the Church was viewed as a hierarchical institution. But then things changed. In the new order, the Church is viewed as the People of God. Viewed by mechanics and waitresses and farm hands in the pews? No, by bishops, priests, liturgical scholars, and theologians. That is to say, nothing changed.

Le Peuple de Dieu, c'est moi. "His Eminence has decided this is the Mass that YOU prefer..."

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,416 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,584.25
95% 5%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 17 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Quadratus - Dec. 19, 2006 4:43 PM ET USA

    The new Liturgy has nothing to do with being a “people of God” Church or “non hierarchical oriented”. The New Age bishops and liturgists are as clericalists and elitists as any, and they despise the “popular” pieties of the people such as the Holy Rosary, devotion to the Mother of God, Eucharistic adoration. They are elitists who want to be “for the people” without the people meddling in their “enlightened” business. They tried to destroy the old Mass but now are suprised by its resurgence.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 19, 2006 1:33 PM ET USA

    If the bishops wish to give us liturgical pablum for spiritual nourishment let them suffer the consequences. If the wish to give us feel-good theatrics let the suffer the same fate as Broadway producers. If they play is a flop, nobody comes. No income-show closes. If the faithful do not like the production, it won't take long for them to cut off the money. That what the bishops seem to thrive on.

  • Posted by: Gino - Dec. 18, 2006 5:40 PM ET USA

    We need not worry about people being late or bored now; they just do not come! Fr. McBrien is a priest who gets press because he spouts such inanities. It is sad to watch him try to make us all Episcopaleans; their church has been so successful. Sadly McBrien and his cronies will never learn but our Church will survive in spite of them!

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 18, 2006 1:26 PM ET USA

    Cdl. Mahony's "Stand Up" routine is no joking matter. He has done & is doing serious damage to the Church as he misleads the faithful. What we see, imposed by Mahony, Bp. Trautman, Fr. McBrien & their gang, is their vision of "church" & liturgy, which is actually an idealogy/ecclesiology that is opposed to Jesus & His Church & His Liturgy. The result, as Diogenes notes, is that Mahony & Co. are denying the people of God their right to the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, properly celebrated.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 18, 2006 1:15 PM ET USA

    "That is to say, nothing changed." Dante's placement of final resting place of Bishops, et.al. in the Divine Comedy is just as relevant today.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 18, 2006 5:52 AM ET USA

    Ignacio has it! I remember my mother's sorrow on hearing the news that the altar rails were going. I remember the outcry and the curate (who later ran away) placating the people by using the marble for a new ambo. I don't remember petitions for the removal of the tabernacle, total obliteration of both the Lady and Sacred Heart altars, for the disbanding of the decades old choir on *five* minutes notice. Essay question: The Liturgical Reform - a popular movement or a Bolshevik revolution?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 17, 2006 11:42 PM ET USA

    McBrien, like most of his aging '60s pals, is becoming increasingly irrelevant. I can't wait to see him spit the dummy after Christmas when the Motu Proprio concerning the universal Tridentine Rite indult is published.

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Dec. 16, 2006 5:14 PM ET USA

    "Stand up...never forget"? Let me guess, that's what Cardinal Mahoney wants everyone to do during the consecration. What a freak show!

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Dec. 16, 2006 3:56 PM ET USA

    A pagan mass needs Thracian maidens. Well done Cardinal Mahony.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 16, 2006 2:53 PM ET USA

    I dunno, Remigius. At least they're girls.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 16, 2006 2:04 PM ET USA

    Taken to its logical conclusion, McBrien's thesis would imply that in the new order we do not need priests. It also fails to explain why the movement towards a more classical and traditional liturgy is gaining momentum among us lay people. Why would lay people be asking for something which supposedly makes them second-class citizens? No Mr. McBrien, there must be something more at stake than an alleged 'class struggle' within the Church.

  • Posted by: Lisieux - Dec. 16, 2006 1:36 PM ET USA

    Fascinating to read Fr McBrien's take on the Mass pre-VII, with its bored congregation who strolled in late and rushed out early. Now, of course, everyone in the pews prays the Mass devoutly, is full of awe throughout the liturgy and remains for at least ten minutes of private thanksgiving afterwards. Nice to know how great things are now. I wouldn't have realised unless Fr McBrien had filled me in.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Dec. 16, 2006 12:56 PM ET USA

    Why is it that the reform of the liturgical reform is being moved by the laity? I was fairly young at the "time of the changes" but I don't recall anyone asking for the altar to be turned arround, Mass to be said in English, the abolition of the choir and gregorian chant, or any of the other changes. They sort of fell out of the sky. I remember at 8,9,10 years old understanding the Latin Mass because I had my children's missal.

  • Posted by: Ross Dee - Dec. 16, 2006 12:28 PM ET USA

    This is not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Without the Crucifixion, there is no Salvation. This looks like a ballet or modern dancing. I do not believe that we can dance or sing our way into Heaven. The devil would like us to believe this, but I think the bar for entry is much much higher. I want to know who danced at the Crucificion? Afterall, it is the same Crucificion as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in our time, today. This is the same Jesus that said, "Pick -up your Cross and Follow Me"

  • Posted by: Leo XIII727 - Dec. 16, 2006 12:22 PM ET USA

    Yes indeed. Where are the transgender folks in this tableaux.

  • Posted by: Remigius - Dec. 16, 2006 11:22 AM ET USA

    I am troubled by the lack of diversity among the performers, which reinforces stereotypes of suitability for liturgical leadership roles and dis-empowers the historically under-represented who painfully feel excluded from what is by right their 15 minute old heritage of worship styles.

  • Posted by: Clorox - Dec. 16, 2006 10:54 AM ET USA

    "Broaden vision" = eliminate traditional practices

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO 21 hours ago
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8