Need help understanding Vatican II, latin mass, etc!

I’m having trouble understanding somethings about the Church regarding Vatican II and the novus ordo. My fiance prefers the latin mass, and I like it also, but I don’t dislike the new mass the way he does. He makes it seem as if all the problems in the Church today are because of Vatican II, but I don’t think that’s the case. If the mass was so perfect before why did God lead the Church in such a way (with Vatican II)? He always talks about statistics like mass attendance, confession and vocations have decreased since Vatican II and I don’t know what to believe anymore. I just want to follow the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and since even the Pope celebrates mass in the vernacular, I don’t see why he is so critical of it.

[quote=twin2jason]I’m having trouble understanding somethings about the Church regarding Vatican II and the novus ordo. My fiance prefers the latin mass, and I like it also, but I don’t dislike the new mass the way he does. He makes it seem as if all the problems in the Church today are because of Vatican II, but I don’t think that’s the case. If the mass was so perfect before why did God lead the Church in such a way (with Vatican II)? He always talks about statistics like mass attendance, confession and vocations have decreased since Vatican II and I don’t know what to believe anymore. I just want to follow the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and since even the Pope celebrates mass in the vernacular, I don’t see why he is so critical of it.
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I’m assuming your fiance means the Tridintine Mass, not the “latin” mass. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy written during Vatican II lauds the use of Latin in the Novus Ordo mass.

I think what you’re fiance has a problem with is the “spirit” of Vatican II that infected the Catholic liturgy. There were many liberal theologians and lay people who abused the language of Vatican II to support completely heterodox, and downright heretical, teachings. If staunch anti-Vatican II opponents were to read the actual texts of the documents, they would not be as infuriated with it. The problem is that the laity went on a power trip, as they were given a greater responsibility in the ministry of the Church, and made changes that should never have been made.

Look at the up side: Because of Vatican II, we have Christopher West, Scott Hahn, and a plethora of lay people who are able to re-catechize the Catholic faithful. We have Tom Monaghan, former founder/owner of Domino’s Pizza, working with Michael Novak and others to create Ave Maria University, Ave Maria Mutual Funds, Ave Maria Radio, et cetera. Because of Vatican II we have Catholic broadcasting, both televsion and radio. Because of Vatican II, we have state Catholic conferences that lobby for social justice and pro-life causes with state legislatures.

Vatican II wasn’t a bad thing. What gives Vatican II a bad wrap are the people who abused it.

A good book to read is The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich Von Hildebrand.

Many, if not most, people have little sense of history, particularly recent history. Most of the problems in the Church today can be sourced back, not to Vatican 2, but a series of other factors. One of the greatest problems was the reaction to Humanae Vitae; the dissent was immediate, extremely loud, led by many prominent Catholics, including theologians, priests and bishops, and was the greatest rift in authority that the Church had seen since the Protestant Revolution. It had nothing to do with Vatican 2; the Pill preceeded Vatican 2 by 10 to 15 years, if not more.

Coupled with that was the general breakdown in society occuring because of the Viet Nam war, which shook our nation right down to its core. It was the first time that the nation was subjected to a daily onslaught of information about the casualties of war; and the youth movement, primarily in the colleges and universities, brought dissent against any authority, and in particular, civil authority to the daily news. Constant coverage of protest marches, sit ins, etc. left people with the impression that the individual had more wisdom than the leaders. We also went through the civil rights marches, and were treated to a national show of contempt for individuals by lawful authority based only on the color of skin.

All of this worked to create a very strong mindset that the individual had not only a right, but a duty to protest whatever rule or law they felt was 'unjust". Coupled with that was an emphasis on conscience that too often only talked about the need to follow one’s conscience, but never the need to properly form that conscience.

Given all of that, there have been many - not a majority, although at times it may seem that way - who have questioned anything and everything that the Chruch says and does.

The net result is that there are those who insist in throwing out the baby with the bath water; they tend to be more conscious of rules and regulations and find comfort in rules and regulations themselves, as opposed to what the rules and regs are designed to point us towards. They also prefer a spirituality that is very regulated and shaped, and emphasizes the transcendent over the imminent (the liberals flip flop that), not understanding that it is not an “either/or” but a “both/and”.

It is easy to quote statistics; it is entirely a differrent matter to really understand what those statistics really show. It is also possible to pick and choose the statistic which appear on the surface to support your theory, and ignore the rest.

Part of what he is ignoring is that the problems the Church has had since Vatican 2 are mirrored in all of the mainline Protestant Churches - and Vatican 2 had little, if any impact on them! Their problems, too, stem from much of what has impacted the Catholic Church; sloppy theology, particualrly in the area of moral theology, dissent, relativism, rampant materialism, sexuality having become the playground of permissivness that it is; the list goes on.

The net result is that people are seeking solidity, stability, sanity, and safety, and have a rather romanticised notion that if we just turn the clock back, everything is going to be alright. What they fail to realize is that everything wasn’t alright back then, either.

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