Every once in awhile you see an article or a post directly correlating the effects after Vatican II to Vatican II itself. Though they seldom show how the documents themselves did this.
Jones believes, as do many Catholics, that the Second Vatican Council and the implementation of various reforms immediately following that Council are directly responsible. �No reasonable person looking at the evidence could come to any other conclusion. The beginning of the declines in all categories commences after the Council, and it�s been all down hill since. Yes, I believe there is a positive correlation.� Yet in spite of the post-Council wreckage, church leaders continue to insist that the Second Council was a smashing success, and the reforms should continue, in spite of the results. The disconnect between the causes and effects of the decline was the motivation for writing the book, which Jones hopes will help Catholics distinguish between the myths and realities of Vatican II.
I wouldn’t exactly call people like Cardinal Ratzinger’s comments on the post Vatican reform implementation in the class of “a smashing success” and who calls for a reform of the reform. While I have much sympathy with those who are not exactly happy with the direction of the liturgy and church architecture in the last decades, just blaming Vatican II does nothing.
Intellectually I can think about how some of the more stark modern architecture and the loss of part of the outward beauty in the Mass, especially in the music used, in some ways reflect on the incarnation as viewed by those at the time of Christ. The second person of the Holy Trinity was fully before them and they only saw his outward appearance. Jesus was fully with them as both God and man in the wondrous mystery of the Incarnation, but the outward appearance of his humanity made seeing that more difficult. In the Sacrifice of the Mass Jesus is more fully with us in this sacramental presence and no matter what the beauty of the Church an Liturgy are they pale compared to this. So even in a more austere church the reality of his presence is there.
Now I am in no way advocating that we do not reform the liturgy and the architecture used. Even though I can intellectually understand this concept, I still have difficulties praying in a more desolate church than one with a more traditional style. Some can meditate on abstract church art and grow in the spiritual life. Some are like the Desert Fathers who can grow more deeply in love with God in a environment that physically seems to be devoid of him. The majority of us, and this is not just an editorial us, need liturgical training wheels to help us concentrate on the unseen reality and to worship and adore God. Since we are both body and soul we must maintain the proper balance or we lapse into just spiritualism or materialism.
Here is a song parody based on Sir Paul McCartney’s most published and recorded song.
Yesterday (Lamentations of a Rad Trad)
I use to love the Latin liturgy
Now it looks like liturgists are here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday
We used to have only fifteen mysteries
Can’t rely even on the Rosary
Oh yesterday came suddenly
Why it had to go I don`t know
it is hard to pray
No more plain song
Now I long for yesterday
Drum kits and not organs now they play
And the tabernacle they hide away
Oh I believe in yesterday
Now Mass puppet shows…….
Vatican II just gives me dismay
The whole Church has just gone astray
Oh, I believe in yesterday
Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm…………