Were there ever liturgical abuses before Vatican II


#1

Just wondering if there ever were any notable cases of liturgical abuse BEFORE vatican II. I know afterwards there was obviously, but I before were there ever problems with things like priests using the people's language or not saying mass right etc.


#2

In many places the mass was in Latin. I suspect this reduced the abuses considerably. Attendance at Mass was many times today’s bleak numbers. The priest would have to deal with a lot more phone calls then if abuse was detected by the parishioners. Unfortunately, I am too young to know the answer for sure - born in '63.


#3

Not in the same sense there is today. There were things such as the 15 minute low mass, etc. Unlike today, the majority of the rubrics were under the painof sin if not followed.


#4

Yes there were.


#5

Suggest reading any decent historical review of Vatican II. They will all note that the trends that lead to liturgical abuse post-Vatican II, as well as to the more progressive mindset, were already well established beforehand. Logically speaking, this must have been the case, as trends are generally not borne of single events or moments.

Vatican II was not the "bright line" that it is sometimes made out to be. In fact, an understanding of the background of each of the significant conciliar documents will show that a more tempered result was achieved despite the efforts of some factions, conservative and liberal, among the bishops.

That said, there have already been good examples cited here.

As music history is an area of personal interest and study, I would note that "in the day", the Masses composed by some of the great Baroque and Classical era composers were considered scandalous.

Sometimes its a matter of perspective, at least until Barney shows up at the altar ...


#6

[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:295751"]
Just wondering if there ever were any notable cases of liturgical abuse BEFORE vatican II. I know afterwards there was obviously, but I before were there ever problems with things like priests using the people's language or not saying mass right etc.

[/quote]

St. Francis' Letter to the Clergy in 1219 shows us that liturgical abuses have been present for a long time:

Moreover let all those who minister such Most Holy Mysteries, consider within themselves—most of all those who minister illicitly—how vile are the chalices, corporals, and (altar) linens, where His Body and Blood is sacrificed. · And by many in vile places He is placed and abandoned, borne about in a wretched manner and received
unworthily (in mortal sin) and ministered to others indiscreetly. · Even the Names and His written words (scripture) are sometimes by feet trampled upon; · because "the bestial man does not perceive the things that are of God" (1 Cor 2:14). · Are not we moved with piety concerning all these things, when the pious Lord Himself offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and receive Him each day by means of our mouth? · Or are we ignorant that we must (one day) come into His Hands? Therefore let us quickly and firmly amend (ourselves) regarding all these things and the others; and wherever the Most Holy Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been illicitly placed and abandoned, let Him be removed from that place and be placed and sealed in an precious place. Similarly let the Names and written words of the Lord, wherever they are found in unclean places, be gathered together and they ought to be placed together in an honorable place. · All these things all clerics are bound to observe above all until the end.· And let those who have not done this, know that they must render "an account" before the Lord "on the Day of Judgement" (cf. Mt 12:36). · This having been written, so that it ought to be better observed, let them know themselves (to be) blest by the Lord God, who have had it copied.


#7

My dad said most of the priests he saw raced through the Mass as fast as possible, mechanically, like they were helping people get their cards punched in the most efficient assembly line fashion possible.


#8

There were also many liturgical abuses present at the time of the Council of Trent.

theanglocatholic.com/2010/04/liturgical-abuses-at-the-council-of-trent/

One instance which may be interesting to CAF members:p:

“They shall also banish from the churches all such music which, whether by the organ or in the singing, contains things that are lascivious or impure; likewise all worldly conduct, vain and profane conversations, wandering around, noise and clamour, so that the house of God may be seen to be and may be truly called a house of prayer”.


#9

[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:295751"]
Just wondering if there ever were any notable cases of liturgical abuse BEFORE vatican II. I know afterwards there was obviously, but I before were there ever problems with things like priests using the people's language or not saying mass right etc.

[/quote]

Depends on what you consider an "abuse," I guess.

More to the point, it bears remembering that one can easily be misled by reading all those precise instructions and prohibitions into thinking, "Wow, those guys really did it by the book!" But all those rubrics and directions are not there because some overeager scribe decided to record for posterity what everyone was doing. There are all there because people were doing things incorrectly in sufficiently large numbers for it to be worth Rome's time to deal with.

It reminds of one of the articles of -- was it Florence?; one of those councils, I think -- forbidding bishops from celebrating Confirmations on horseback. This was, of course, because they would ride from town to town doing "quickie" drive-thru Confirmations. And apparently it was a serious enough problem for a Church council to have to take up. But we can't make the mistake of reading such a prohibition and thinking, "Well, it is good to know that all bishops celebrated Confirmation with great care in the past. See? The instructions are all right here on paper."


#10

[quote="kentuckyliz, post:7, topic:295751"]
My dad said most of the priests he saw raced through the Mass as fast as possible, mechanically, like they were helping people get their cards punched in the most efficient assembly line fashion possible.

[/quote]

An older sister at a parish i used to attend said priests used to race through their breviaries with little if any understanding of the Latin, just to get it finished for the day. The Church is 2000 years old, and entirely composed of very imperfect people. It's naive to think that liturgical abuses weren't a problem before 1963.


#11

I’d be surprised if any of our parishioners detected liturgical abuses. None of us understood Latin. We replied as a matter of rote. The priest could have been saying ‘abracadabra’ and we wouldn’t have known the difference.


#12

I have a couple of books on the history of the Papacy, and it’s telling how often the phrase ‘reform of the clergy’ comes up…century after century.


#13

[quote="vsedriver, post:11, topic:295751"]
I'd be surprised if any of our parishioners detected liturgical abuses. None of us understood Latin. We replied as a matter of rote. The priest could have been saying 'abracadabra' and we wouldn't have known the difference.

[/quote]

This sort of reminds me of the medieval baptism(s) accidentally done in the name of the fatherland, the daughter, and the spirit... One probably can assume that there were multiple baptisms done with this erroneous formula before St. Boniface and/or St. Vergilius happened to hear about it, because the vast, vast majority of medieval parishioners wouldn't have known the difference.

newadvent.org/cathen/15353d.htm


#14

Here's something Br. JR pointed out in a thread on the SSPX in the TC forum:

[quote="JReducation, post:480, topic:291521"]
Part of that is due to the fact that people before 1963 did not speak Latin, did not know the rubrics and did not know that there were diverse forms of the Tridentine mass. People were not as mobile as we are today. They had no idea that the parish down the street used a different form of the Tridentine mass because the priest was a religious. Nor did they know that some priests fulfilled their obligations to celebrate a votive mass, a mass for a deceased person and the mass for the day by piling all the intentions into one mass and linking the collects. The mass was valid, but highly illicit.

[/quote]

They did exist, people just didn't know because the people not knowing was the status quo.

[quote="MarkThompson, post:9, topic:295751"]
It reminds of one of the articles of -- was it Florence?; one of those councils, I think -- forbidding bishops from celebrating Confirmations on horseback. This was, of course, because they would ride from town to town doing "quickie" drive-thru Confirmations. And apparently it was a serious enough problem for a Church council to have to take up. But we can't make the mistake of reading such a prohibition and thinking, "Well, it is good to know that all bishops celebrated Confirmation with great care in the past. See? The instructions are all right here on paper."

[/quote]

:rotfl:

I'm sorry, I had a total laughing moment there. Confirmations on horseback, eh?


#15

[quote="AnastasiaRomano, post:13, topic:295751"]
This sort of reminds me of the medieval baptism(s) accidentally done in the name of the fatherland, the daughter, and the spirit... One probably can assume that there were multiple baptisms done with this erroneous formula before St. Boniface and/or St. Vergilius happened to hear about it, because the vast, vast majority of medieval parishioners wouldn't have known the difference.

newadvent.org/cathen/15353d.htm

[/quote]

You're right. To an untrained, uneducated layperson, the two formulas sound exactly the same:

Correct: *in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. *
Incorrect: *in nomine Patria, et Filia, et Spiritus Sancti. *

They would sound exactly the same to someone who knows no Latin.


#16

[quote="vsedriver, post:11, topic:295751"]
I'd be surprised if any of our parishioners detected liturgical abuses. None of us understood Latin. We replied as a matter of rote. The priest could have been saying 'abracadabra' and we wouldn't have known the difference.

[/quote]

The important thing is whether you understand the Mass, not the words. There are the signs of cross, genuflections, low tones, bows, epistle side, gospel side, and other details which allow one to follow the Mass even if he knows or hears not a word of Latin. But I find that hard to believe. My dad taught me how to respond "Et cum spiritu tuo" before I learned a word of English.


#17

Thanks for the responses. I was looking more for the more recent period. I know there were obviously abuses in the middle ages and around the time of the middle ages when clergy sadly wasn't as educated (and if you want to go back farther look at the Arian heresies and such). Anyway, thank you for the answers.


#18

[quote="The_Scott, post:15, topic:295751"]
You're right. To an untrained, uneducated layperson, the two formulas sound exactly the same:

Correct: *in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. *
Incorrect: *in nomine Patria, et Filia, et Spiritus Sancti. *

They would sound exactly the same to someone who knows no Latin.

[/quote]

Those were the days when knowledge of Latin was so abysmal in western Europe that priests could unwittingly make the mistake of saying 'filiae' rather than 'filii'. :p Umberto Eco put it best:

"At that time, the rest of Europe was reduced to a heap of ruins; one day they declared invalid all baptisms imparted by certain priests in Gaul because they baptized "in nomine patris et filiae" - and not because they practiced a new heresy and considered Jesus a woman, but because they no longer knew any Latin."


#19

[quote="The_Scott, post:15, topic:295751"]
You're right. To an untrained, uneducated layperson, the two formulas sound exactly the same:

Correct: *in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. *
Incorrect: *in nomine Patria, et Filia, et Spiritus Sancti. *

They would sound exactly the same to someone who knows no Latin.

[/quote]

But contrast with the English if someone thinks he's baptizing "in the name of the Father, the Sun, and the Wholly Ghost."

I'm not trying to be funny, just making a point. How do you deal with a spoken language which has so many homophones which confuse many children and people trying to learn the English language?


#20

But wholly ghost makes no sense does it:rolleyes::stuck_out_tongue:


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