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August 28, 2015

The Liturgical Babel

I’m going to quote you a bit more from Phoenix from the Ashes, the book I discussed  on Tuesday. 

First, another passage regretting the wholesale abandonment of Latin:

It is ironical that in an age of unprecedented communications the Church has thrown away its great medium of union. Catholics who go to a foreign country nowadays often stop attending Mass because they do not understand it. In tourist places, the priests never considered preserving, and are now unable to use, Latin as the language that would unite all their worshippers; and the great pilgrimage centres , instead of displaying the unity of the Catholic world, are now paradigms of the Babel that has been created by the search for intelligibility.

 And here’s Henry Sire on “bourgeois”  liturgical vandalism:

The modern priest, lacking genuine liturgical knowledge, fills the bareness of the altar by putting on it anything that comes to mind; and what come to mind are the accessories of the modern living room. By these the whole character of the Catholic liturgy has been banalised. The arrangement of the modern altar displays the ideas of a middle-class hostess of what is appropriate to decorate the dinner table: some candles and a bowl of flowers. By cutting off the life of the Church from a timeless tradition, the Modernists have immersed it in a contemporary social setting.  The foible is especially noticeable in Germany,  where the radicalism of the reformers has produced a parish Mass of comically bourgeois style; but that is the tone of the modern  liturgy in all  the Western countries.  In an ordinary Mass today the sense one has is not the offering of an eternal sacrifice but a lecture conducted by the priest and two or three women of the public-librarian class, to whom the readings and other duties of the church are allocated. The verbosity and preachiness of the liturgy is itself a middle-class characteristic with which many ordinary parishioners feel little rapport; and the alienation of working-class worshippers, in a way that was never true of the old Mass in poor parishes, has become a peculiar feature of the liturgical reform.



One comment

  1. In the Second Vatican Council (an unwritten story) (P. 156-158) Roberto de Mattei states: “On 25 March, 1961, L’Osservatore Romano published a front-page article signed with three stars and entitled “Latin, Language of the Church,” which vigorously defended the necessity for the Church to have a language that was “universal, unchangeable, and not vernacular.” The article fully developed and articulated the statement of St. Pius X that “With good reason the Latin language is called and is the proper language of the Church” and also the passage by Pius XI in his letter Officiarum Omnium dated August 1. 1922, in which he says that the Church “requires by her very nature a language that is universal, unchangeable and not vernacular.”

    de Mattei continues: “It is worth quoting the basic arguments of the article, to which no convincing argument has ever been given.”

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