Every day, the archbishop [Abp. Ranjith] disclosed, the Congregation for Divine Worship receives new complaints about serious liturgical abuses, and complaints that local bishops have failed to correct them. If the Church fails to curb these abuses, he said, "people will attend the Tridentine Mass, and our churches will be empty."
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I think the post Vatican II Roman Catholic Church has finally reached "crunch time." The council itself may not have been a failure, but many of the "reforms" that have resulted from it were. The liturgy of the new mass (Novus Ordo) has remained devoid of the sort of reverence and awe found in the traditional Roman Rite for centuries. Liturgical abuses have become so widespread that the Catholic mass has nearly become a "free-for-all" in some parts of the western world. The content of the new lectionary is questionable, if not suspect in some places. While it would seem that more Scriptures are read in the new 3-year cycle, there remains some question about the fullness of the selected text. Some have questioned if the language of the Gospels has been "sanitized" through omission of certain key verses. The translation of the lectionary text itself has been revised and revised again, only to remain unsatisfactory to most, and subject to further revision. Today, you can't even get a Bible that matches the new Lectionary text verbatim. Modern churches have been gutted of traditional Catholic art, and in some cases the tabernacle has been misplaced so profoundly, that many worshippers become confused about which way to genuflect before entering the pew. All of this, and I haven't even touched upon catechisis abuse. I wouldn't even know where to begin there. When you have a large number of Catholics who believe there are many paths to God, and Catholicism is just one, it would probably be safe to say we have a problem.
Indeed, what Catholicism has experienced in the last 40 years has been more of a revolution than a reformation, and insofar as revolutions go, this one has been the wrong kind. In a very real sense, Pope Benedict XVI (B16) tends to agree with the semi-schismatic Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) at least in principle. Both believe the mass should be a more solemn and reverent event. Both believe many of Catholicism's ancient traditions should be restored. Both tend to believe that Vatican II was hijacked! Both tend to agree that it was liberal modernists who did the hijacking. What they disagree on is the matter of when. The Society (SSPX) tends to believe this hijacking occurred within the council itself, thus nullifying the validity of the documents produced from Vatican II. While our current pope (B16) would appear to believe this hijacking occurred only after the council was closed. This would make the Vatican II documents valid, but their interpretation and implementation skewed by the bias of those attempting to hijack their meaning. Thus Holy Father (B16) hopes to rescue the council from those who abuse it, and restore unto the faithful its rightful interpretation. When it comes to the mass, that would mean a conformity of the Novus Ordo to many of the traditions from the old Tridentine mass.
But one nagging question remains; is the new really any better than the old? In other words; how much re-reformation do we need to reform the supposed reformation? Indeed, it almost seems hopeless. With all that has happened since Vatican II, is it even possible to do everything that needs to be done to "get it right?" That is the question of the day. Regardless of the answer, it would appear that one thing is guaranteed to come out. The election of Cardinal Ratzinger (B16) to the papacy, has secured one thing in history that cannot be changed. The Catholic Traditionalists were right! All that remains now is to see just how much they were right.