What If?

What if the actual prescriptions of V2==not any of the hoo hah experimentation “in the spirit of” but the actual words of the Council documents==regarding liturgy had been applied to the mass of the 1962 Missal? What would Mass in the Ordinary Form look like today?
catholicexchange.com/2010/09/13/134261/
writer answers that question, and it is one I have been asking since 1965? Why was not V2 implemented, complete and entire, without any accretions, novelties, experiments and gross disobedience? The bulk of the reform had already been accomplished, resulting in the 1962 missal, which is what most of us old-timer remember as The Latin Mass. When will the SC be implemented? The expanded lectionary, most splendid fruit of the council we have, but I will not discuss the translation, that being more than covered on the scripture forum. Most of the most visible changes we have lived through in confusion, trepidation and sorrow are NOT in the V2 documents, and there is no point in asking where they came from. The topic is what IS in the docs, especially SC.

read the article first you will see how he answers the question

I deliberately chose this forum because it discusses the Mass today, the OF, and because I am trying to side-step the off topic unpleasantness that will arise on the Traditional forum.

Honestly, I think that many of the innovations would have happened anyway, at least in the U.S., because of the pressures of the culture. I think that the writer of the article ignored the tremendous pressures of the culture of the last 40 years and assumed that the Church happens in a cultural vacuum or in a fortress immune from the influences of the outside world. This is not the case.

First of all, I think that there would have been a steady and rather large exodus from the Catholic Church if the Latin had continued as the language of the Mass. The lure of the exciting, down-to-earth, feels-appealing, needs-based, modern-music, plain-language evangelical Protestant churches would have been too appealing to Catholics who didn’t understand what the heck was going on in their foreign-language Masses and who didn’t feel any sense of awe in the ancient styles of music.

Secondly, I think that many faithful Catholics would have eventually demanded more vernacular in the Mass because in the late 20th Century, communication and comprehension superceded tradition and submission to authority. We demanded understanding between husbands and wives instead of submission and “sticking out the marriage.” We demanded that our news media tell us MORE and present it in our language. We demanded the our schools teach less rote and more comprehension. And in our churches, Sunday schools became less lecture and history and systematic theology and more interactive discussions, current events, and above all else, application of the Scriptures to our daily lives.

I’m not saying that all of these things had good outcomes. Obviously divorces are commonplace nowadays, in spite of our increased emphasis on communication in marriage. Obviously the news media is in the entertainment business nowadays. Obviously our public schools aren’t teaching diddly. And obviously, many Protestants have no clue about history and theology and are often led by the nose by the latest demogogue who speaks and writes well.

What I’m saying is that I think the Catholic Church (in the U.S.) would have been swept up in these same trends of the late 20th Century, and we would have seen more vernacular in the Mass, more contemporary music, more emphasis on everyone participating in “ministries” (or whatever you call them), and more homilies about needs rather than about the Bible readings.

Beginning in the late 1960s, rebellion against authority became the norm in the U.S. “Don’t trust the establishment” was a slogan that became ingrained into many of us as we were growing up, and I believe that a lot of the current political climate in this country is happening because many of those children and teenagers are now in their 50s and 60s and STILL have no trust in authority. I don’t think that the Catholic Church would have been immune from this spirit of rebellion. As I said earlier, I think that many Catholics would have demanded reform, and if reform were denied, they would have walked.

In our evangelical Protestant churches, without a pope or any kind of central governing authority, we saw gigantic changes beginning in the late 1960s. It was sweeping and in many cases, it was divisive and destructive. Many of the mainline churches opened their doors to outright sin, teaching that open marriages, homosexuality, and abortion were not only allowed, but God-given.

Many older folks quit in disgust over some of the innovations, which they correctly attributed to societal and cultural pressures. In retrospect, we can see that they were right, but back then, we called them “fuddy duddies.”

Besides the tossing of traditional music and the rise of rock music in the worship service, probably the biggest and most harmful change in evangelical Protestant churches was the emphasis on needs-based outreach instead of continuing to teach doctrine and systematic theology. Children and teenagers no longer learned an overview of the Bible. Instead, they sat through “rap session” on music, sex, love, movies, the occult, the war (Viet Nam), etc., and of course, sang “new music.”

The results are seen today–an explosion of non-denominational churches and home churches and no churches at all for many, as Protestants ignorant of their own history and theology come to bizarre conclusions on their own about the Bible and rebel against any idea of a “Church with a human authority structure.”

So IMO, it’s a good thing that the reforms in the Catholic Church happened under the guidance of the Church, more or less. (Many would say less!)

Hi,
I am not sure if I am gonna be off topic.

I read through the article and I admit i do not agree 100 % to the WIR view. Having said that I believe the current OF missal needs a serious re look.

I completely agree with all the comments about the “ministers”, dress code, maintaining the decorum of the place, choir etc.

But I do not find any problem with priests facing people and I do not think it is practical to have the separation of altars and restructuring the churches for the people to kneel down while receiving Holy Communion; In many parts of the world churches do not have the same ancient western classical architecture. Though it is desirable it is extremely difficult if Church insists that all the churches have to have the same style of architecture design. The cost factor cannot be ignored. In many parts of the world, there are huge crowds in the churches. OF takes an hour , may be a 15mins more if sermon is a bit longer. Example in my Parish, on Sundays there are 5 Masses (morning alone) in different languages. Each mass is attended by at least 500 people. Each mass is scheduled at 6:30, 7:30,8:30,9:30 and 11:00

And to be Honest almost all the churches has the same attendances and number of masses. In such scenarios , be prudent, it is not practical , Holy communion is distributed with help of many priests and nuns in different stations in the church.

Second main point in the article was about the use of Latin. Let’s not live in a fantasy world.

Use of Latin in OF:

The world is much more diverse and large than the west thinks. The use of Latin require reeducation of the people. The Holy sacraments have to be understood and taught carefully, effectively. May be people from China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, Japan or any other non western nations can learn a few words in Latin.But it is impossible for the whole christian population to learn Latin to use it meaningfully and effectively. Church will be ruined in many parts of the world if the Catholic Church put " a linguistic qualification" to participate and “enjoy” the Holy Sacrament.

When someone insists that Latin must be used,in parts or whole, they maintain an preconceived notion that rest of the languages lack something to be effective ?? Yes I would like learn it and use it, but, to be honest , the major catholic populations are not in that part of the world where people uses the vernacular languages that are originated from Latin. Dictating Latin to the rest of the world has indeed far reaching negative impact. For example Koreans an Chinese seem to have difficulty in pronouncing the letter “R”. Well, if they say “Credo” it will sound like “Cledo”. So much for Latin there.

Vernacular Missal - Exact translation from Latin:

Again, some people seem to think that Catholicism is a group of elite western oriented (I mean elite in the west , not west is elite :slight_smile: ) people who demand a nostalgic approach and who think that Catholic tradition is to be imposed and maintained in their familiar way in the rest of the world.

Latin CANNOT be translated exactly to most of the vernacular languages. If done so, the liturgy in vernacular languages will be of “third grade and meaningless” . Just because Oriental, Eastern languages are so rich and so different. For example Indian languages originated from Sanskrit,which is probably 100 time richer, and heavier than Latin. And there are 24 Indian languages + around 1800 dialects and there are Christians in each of these ,who can only speak their vernacular or their dialects. The structure, grammar, vocabulary are extremely different. The meaning of words in each languages are derived from the cultural and social context. I don’t think I have to explain more on how unlikely that we will preserve the real meanings if we insist on the literal translation.

I may sound a bit bizarre here, but to be honest, the people who reject the V 2 and even doubt its validity just because the rest of the world “enjoy” their vernacular liturgy has to wake up and face the odds of this world.

It is also important to realize the Holy Catholic Church comprises of another r22 independent Churches which have their own unique, rich and wonderful liturgy. And its is them who shepherd the major catholic population. Those churches stood firm with Rome, surviving the odds and attracting many new people to them without Latin. Why spoil it all ?

I was thinking, what would I be as a catholic, if i had grown up only attending the Latin mass and liturgy. I probably would not have understood any of the core catholic sacraments and its importance. Moreover, imagine my parents, and their parents, in 1920 s and 1930, thank God we had our own vernacular Liturgy . Thanks to the Syro-Malabar Rite. And many other rites who kept Christianity alive and thriving through their vernacular liturgies and Bibles. Without them, Church would have as many members as to fill the Vatican square.

And above all Catholic means Universal, crossing the boundaries of culture, languages, traditions, nationalities etc. It has to blend in to every part of the world. V2 has done just that. We are united in Christ, not in Latin culture.

Am I off topic?? Sorry if i were,
Joe

I just have to address the part about the latin in your responce. If what you say is true how on earth did the western church ever grow throughout the world from 400 A.D to 1965 A.D. use only Latin in the litergy? The use of one langueage is unifing, as we see now with the new translation for the missal we have not been say what the rest have ing says for 40 years.:frowning:
I also find the credo/cledo remark very condacending. I being a european decent still do not pronoun all latin words correctly. I have said my ears love it my tounge not so much.

Even though that may sound like a fair analogy, it’s not. The world before WWII was a vastly different place from today. It relates to the reason that there were so many parishes back then: they weren’t just a place of worship, they were the community meeting place. Back then, a parish would have been the heart of the community, so naturally everyone (of that faith) was a member. I would speculate that this would not only apply to the Catholic churches, but also the protestant ones too.

It was also a fairly obedient era. Going “against the establishment” was an invitation to be ostracized, whether it was the government or the Church (and in some places, the lines between were non-existant). The only times there was success was in mass numbers (like the French or American Revolution), that is only when people found enough other people to support them.

Up until the French Revolution, the idea of Devine Right Rulers (Kings or Queens) was still the norm, so there was even more of a taboo in rebellion. DRR dates back to at least the beginning of the second millennia, and before that in the Dark Ages your village (and maybe a few around it) was the entire world.

I would say that it would be incorrect to say that that means they were more faithful or traditional though. Obviously not the moral problems we’re seeing now, but there are heresies dotting the history books from the establishment of the Church until the Reformation (that last one being so big that it took on a mind of it’s own. You don’t see too much “heresy crusades” after that one).

Post-WWII, everyone realized how big the world actually was, and how interconnected we are. We’ve only gotten more interconnected since then (witness the recent global recession, which seemed to start in the US). That’s been going on from the early 20th century though (witness how the Great Depression started in the US and effected the whole world). Post-WWII though, with the founding of the UN, largely put the nail in the coffin of isolationism ('bout time in my opinion), especially in the US. You have the emergence of global superpowers (you did sort-of have these in the old days, but Empires like the British didn’t have much influence outside of their own Empire, and the new superpowers had influence everywhere). Like the industrial revolution, we moved into a new era, a complete new cultural paradigm. That’s what the 60s and 70s was born out of.

I share the opinions of those above that if VII had not translated the Mass into the vernacular, the Catholic Church wouldn’t be very big right now. If you really want a reason why faith largely decreased during that era, you don’t really have to look any further than JFK (JFK was elected in 1960, VII didn’t open until 1962). He essentially split faith from the public sphere when he declared that he didn’t take orders from Rome. He likely lowered anti-Catholicism in the States, but the price seems to have been a flood of secularization since. He became the model for Cafeteria Catholicism, and when you’re President you automatically become a role model.

so the discussion does not get more off track, a careful reading shows the writer assumes the pre-V2 trend of the on-going liturgical reform had already incorporated a lot of the vernacular and would continue to do so where it “counts”–readings, homilies, instructions etc.

second posters hunch about people leaving for “contemporary” style worship in other places is quite possible, and the reminder that other cultural pressures would still have come to bear is quite accurate.

I don’t think myself the discussion can be divorced from the parallel crisis in the Church caused by dissent to Humanae Vitae and by extension papal teaching and authority in general. It do think however if experimentation had been curtailed from the outset, the present obvious split between a “traditional” and “progressive” Catholic Church at the parish level would be less lopsided and the wars that led to schism on the conservative side would not have so devastate the Church and deprived her of that voice for so long.

Keep in mind that the Latin was translated from Greek, Hebrew and I think Aramaic texts, and St. Jerome gave us the first “vernacular” Bible (the Vulgate), which at the time happened to be Latin. Most of the texts in the liturgy come from Holy Scripture.

Every translation loses something.

There’s much to be said for having a common unifying language and having that language be Latin, as a liturgical language. But scripture will necessarily have to be translated into the vernacular if the Word is to spread beyond the narrow confines of the Vatican.

Also keep in mind that the Church is larger than just the Western Church, and the Oriental Churches (in or out of communion with Rome) have never used Latin, to my knowledge.

Latin in the Western Church is a tradition. Note the lower case “t”. It is not an immutable Tradition (upper case T designating the Deposit of Faith).

It was an interesting article. I think it is a shame that its author didn’t provide us with a description of what he thought the WIR would be like.

I found it interesting what some posters were saying about translating the Latin text “faithfully” in to the vernacular of non-European languages. I am not an expert in linguistics but I am learning Mandarin Chinese and for some time I have been thinking how difficult it would be to make a literal translation from Latin to Mandarin. The structure of the language is so different from European languages that I think it will be an extremely difficult task.

Hi,
I think few already elaborated how Latin indeed was not so unifying. I am just treating the above quoted sentence.

The only thing I was trying to say , Insisting Latin throughout the world would not result in unification, will be rather considered as domination. Cultures are very sensitive to that issue. And if one person who is an European descent (Linguistically Latin descent) find it is extremely hard to maintain and use latin at least with satisfactory efficiency, what value it is going to add to the Church when it makes the whole world comply to such an “order”. ??

Latin will limit the intellectual capacity of the millions of people to truly and wholly understand …(many things religious) …etc.

Joe

I guess maybe I should have stated this more clear. I also have problems with most all but my native langueage. Even some words in English give me trouble from time to time.

The fact remains that langueage can unit or divide and the liturgy all in one langueage is a unifing force and has been for many many many centuries in the Roman Catholic Church. basicially what you and other are saying is that in the last 40 years man has become less intellegant and can no longer comprehend beyond their mother tonge.
How sad.:frowning:

:slight_smile: I am sorry if I were offensive in anyway in my earlier post. Looks like you didn’t smile after reading my post.

When you say Language was unifying for centuries, which Catholic Church ? You mean all the 23 Churches that make the the Catholic Church? It would be nice if you could find some info about them. Because they are so different from latin rite.

ABout man becoming less intelligent-Did you really mean that ? :slight_smile: Its not about being intelligent at all. If People were so clear and intelligent to understand all that scripture and church teach through Latin, the Lutheran movement would not have been accepted at all… Because Luther taught heresy easily because none of them had any idea what Scripure actually says !

The original language when the scripture or liturgy was written was not Latin, it was Greek and Hebrew (Am I right at all?) Scriputre was translated into Latin by St Jerome, when the Latin powers was dominating. But the People around the world choose christianity with clear conviction and intelligence without even knowing Latin exists. So If Latin is the only factor that make anyone so religious, pious, intelligent etc, there si something missing in between, the real understanding.
Joe

=

joeantony;7064137]:slight_smile: I am sorry if I were offensive in anyway in my earlier post. Looks like you didn’t smile after reading my post.

No I did not smile. I found the remark about how people from the far east have trouble to the r and pronouning credo as cledo quite offencive. I accept your apolige.

When you say Language was unifying for centuries, which Catholic Church ? You mean all the 23 Churches that make the the Catholic Church? It would be nice if you could find some info about them. Because they are so different from latin rite.

Did you read my Post? I clearly said Roman Catholic. I am fully aware the the other 22 suri Juris churches of the Catholic Church do not and never have held to a Latin liturgy.

ABout man becoming less intelligent-Did you really mean that ? :slight_smile: Its not about being intelligent at all. If People were so clear and intelligent to understand all that scripture and church teach through Latin, the Lutheran movement would not have been accepted at all… Because Luther taught heresy easily because none of them had any idea what Scripure actually says !

Most of those people in Luthers rebllion followed the lead of the Noble how gobeerned them. The Nobility did speak Latin for the most part 9 at least an (elmentary understanding ) Luthers revolt was more political than than what his objection to the Chruch ever were. Almost to the point of not being fair to call it his revolt.

The original language when the scripture or liturgy was written was not Latin, it was Greek and Hebrew (Am I right at all?)

Yes, I do not believe anyone has ever said other wise.

Scriputre was translated into Latin by St Jerome, when the Latin powers was dominating.

A time when most all spoke latin.

But the People around the world choose christianity with clear conviction and intelligence without even knowing Latin exists.

Since the Latin church was the leader in spreading the Gospel. That statment is hardly true. for with the latin rite went the Latin Language. Out side of those now orthodox chruchs all and the catholic suri juris church the rest of the world prior to 1500’s that was christian was Latin rite Catholic. Which meant that no matter were in the world a person went he could go into a catholic church and know what was being said. because reaguardless of popular belief today even if they could not read they knew the latin of the mass. and tranlationg scripture in the the vanacular did not change the fact that the magority of people could not read.

So If Latin is the only factor that make anyone so religious, pious, intelligent etc, there si something missing in between, the real understanding.

You were the one makeing the statment that people could not understand latin today. I have not read anyone that has taken a stance that it latin that make people religious, Pious, or Intelligent. It does work as a universal unifier and protector from bad translation. You wold not have in america people of the same parish not going to mass together because the English mass is and this time and the spanish mass it at another they would be going together because the same langue is used at both times.

Just to chime in with my own humble opinion. :slight_smile:

:thumbsup:

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