Rejecting the Old
Something was happening back in the late 1960's early 1970's that was never publicly announced, but it was so consistent, widespread, and organized, that it is very hard to believe that it was mere coincidence. No, I am not a conspiracy theorist who finds conspiracy in everything. Yet, just because there are not necessarily conspiracies in everything, does not mean there are no conspiracies anywhere. So, was it a conspiracy? I do not know, but here it is.
During that time there were vast numbers of Catholics (mostly clergy and theologians) who were speaking disparagingly about anything before Vatican II. They used terms that were quite pointed regarding the "old way" of doing things, and the "archaic practices of the past". One (good) theologian recently referred to the behavior of this time period as "Catholic masochism". In other words, the Catholic Church by and large was causing pain to itself. It was attacking its past (like a cancer!) and actively making the laity believe that all that came before was wrong and only a "new" way, a "new order", would be allowed from here on. We could consider it something of a cross between split personality and an attempt at ecclesiastical suicide.
The majority of this happened in private conversations, but there are some articles and books written during that time that showed this attitude. I remember once at a Catholic parish that I pastored before I was sent here to St. George, I found a book in the Church library that I had to remove. I have no idea who put it there, but it was one of these attacks on the past in the name of the "new way". It was published by Jesuits. One quote should suffice to make the reality of this evident. The quote comes from Pope Paul VI (!) in 1968:
The Church is in a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would better be called self-demolition. It is an acute and complicated upheaval which nobody would have expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself.
Now, in tandem with my post yesterday, imagine if you were brought up hearing this (maybe you were!). What would be your perspective of things when you walked into St. George and saw the Divine Worship form of the Mass? You would think it was a bunch of Catholics who were disobedient to the Church. You would imagine that attending Mass like that was going to harm your spiritual well being. You would reject it outright, with no argument able to change your mind; unless you realized that you had been lied to.
It is a lie to say that the first two thousand years of the Church got it wrong and only since 1965 did we figure out what God wants. In fact, that is the EXACT same argument used by cults (Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.) and most Protestants to reject the Catholic faith. Trust me, please, I know. I was there, and learned this in my college classes. This is a grave error that has crept into the Church over the last 50 years and most Catholics have swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. Do not believe it. The Church is indefectible and she is created by Christ. She will endure until the end of time, and in spite of whatever mistakes she makes, she is the only place where the fullness of Grace is found. It is the same Grace in A.D. 100, 1000, 1500, and 2023. This is God's Church; do not reject her.