Recently a Novus Ordo priest in Maryland tweeted the following:
Simply put: every diocese is full of parishes that have much smaller, now mostly older, congregations, in aging buildings with less money, and in a few short years we will hit the bell curve with both people and money. And we’re barely talking about it.
Our schools are closing, and those that remain are becoming “private” schools for those who can afford them, as we struggle to understand what “Catholic Identity” means for a student body, most of whom do not attend Sunday Mass.
The average knowledge of the faith in most Catholic communities is at a low point, though it will probably get worse. Meanwhile, the practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation has virtually disappeared, as have other traditions that had culturally marked Catholics in the past.
The priest’s name is Fr. Matthew Fish, and is the pastoral administrator at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland. He assigns the cause of all of this to the “collapse of Catholic culture.”
As horrifying as Fr. Fish’s analysis is, and accurate, I am forever aghast at the failure to assign this decomposition to Vatican II. All of the Catholic culture, of which he laments the passing, was very much present before Vatican II, e.g., Catholic schools accessible to all (because of the plenitude of brothers and nuns to teach in them), Catholic hospitals, Catholic orphanages, Catholic Youth Organization, Catholic lawyers’ and doctors’ associations, Holy Name Societies, Confraternities, Rosary Societies, and many other similar organizations. There were long lines for confession every Saturday with many priests hearing. Seminaries and novitiates were loaded with vocations. There were public processions with the Blessed Sacrament. There was the Legion of Decency. In other words, there was a whole world of Catholicism which preserved Catholic morals and culture in every aspect of life. I am witness to this, since I lived it as a child. Then Vatican II blew it all up. Why do not any of the Novus Ordo clergy say this When will they say that the Council was the work of the enemies of the Church, the Modernists, called by Saint Pius X the worst enemies of the Catholic Church? Never in her history has the Church seen such devastating destruction of the faith in her people and her institutions.
Before the Council, the Catholic Church was very careful to protect the faithful from the influences of the non-Catholic world in which they lived. The reason for all of the institutions and organizations which I mentioned above was, precisely, to make a Catholic world for Catholics living in a non Catholic, even anti-Catholic, culture. The very notion of protecting Catholics from bad influence was destroyed by Vatican II, embracing as it did the Modernist idea of adaptation to the modern world.
I even remember sitting in a religion class in 1966, in which the the teacher, a religious Brother, was talking about the change in thinking about protecting Catholics from the modern world. He spoke about all the organizations which I mentioned, and said that the trend now is to dismantle these, and to let Catholics mix in with non-Catholics. The fact that I can remember it, now 53 years later, shows that I was very bothered by the whole idea.
Vatican II is, of course, the cause of the decomposition and collapse of which the Novus Ordo priest speaks. For one thing, the gradual decline over the past sixty years of Catholic faith, morals, and culture, accelerating as it goes, is absolutely coincidental with Vatican II and its subsequent reforms. But someone may say: “You cannot accuse Vatican II just because these problems are coincidental with it.” True, but nevertheless the phenomenon does draw our attention. So let us look at the intrinsic causes. Modernism’s basic principle is that the Catholic Church must be adapted to the modern world. This idea is what has dominated Vatican II and its reforms. But the modern world embraces perverse, atheistic, relativistic, agnostic, and immoral ideas and practices, to which Vatican II has conformed the Church. But to conform the Catholic Church to these things is to kill it. This is precisely what is happening before our eyes.
The Novus Ordo religion is still operating on the immense strength of pre-Vatican II Catholicism. Just like a hurricane over land continues to turn even after it has lost its source of power, so the Novus Ordo is still functioning as an institution because it is still drawing from pre-Vatican II power. But just as the hurricane eventually dissipates, so too will this new and false religion of Vatican II dissipate. The young people, for the most part, just have no interest in it.