Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Water discovered to be wet, and other extraordinary news

Although Melancholicus has not posted in over a year and doubted he would do so again, he is just so exercised by the smug hypocrisy of Catholic Radio that he absolutely must vent or else burst a blood vessel.

Yesterday evening, en route to the adoration chapel at Holy Cross parish in Tacoma, Melancholicus amused himself by listening to EWTN on AM 1050, which he often finds both edifying and consoling. But occasionally this station strikes a jarring note: at the end of Patrick Madrid’s apologetics programme, there was a three-minute vignette in which the announcer instructed his listeners on how the Second Vatican Council promoted the use of the Latin language in the celebration of the sacred liturgy, liberally quoting from Sacrosanctum Concilium in support of his position.

Yes, really.

The reader might think Melancholicus ought to have been pleased with this promotion of the sacred language of the Church.

He was not. On the contrary, he was absolutely infuriated.

So, Mr. neo-catholic radio announcer, the Church encourages the use of Latin in the liturgy, does she? And your beloved Second Vatican Council actually endorses this position, does it?

This is what Traditionalists have been arguing FOR DECADES, you clueless twit. And for our pains we have been castigated, condemned, harangued, berated, dismissed as ‘schismatic’, ‘disobedient’ among other unflattering epithets—and this by neo-catholics of the same ilk as our smug EWTN radio announcer. So Melancholicus is not amused when these johnny-come-latelys have suddenly discovered, to their own satisfaction, what we have been saying all along. Has it really taken our neo-catholic brethren FORTY YEARS to find out what Sacrosanctum Concilium really teaches about the liturgy? Melancholicus is not impressed. Nor have Traditionalists been given the credit for this belated realization; the breezy confidence of the announcer suggests a different source for this amazing discovery.

So, which source?

Since the 2005 elevation of Benedict XVI to the Throne of Peter, the Holy See has been gently but persistently urging the celebration of the liturgy in a decidedly more traditional direction. The neo-catholics, given their overall whatever-proceeds-from-the-Vatican-is-necessarily-good-and-we-must-do-it attitude are simply following the lead of the hierarchy; nothing more.

We might be pleased that the neo-catholics are finally (and not before time) talking sense where the liturgy is concerned. But here is the cause of Melancholicus’ vexation: they are doing so not from a conviction of truth but because of a political position. Restoration is authority’s policy of the hour. As the attitude of the neo-catholics is essentially to blow along with the prevailing wind, they have obediently fallen into step and are obligingly pushing Latin and even—mirabile dictu—the Traditional Mass. A change of leadership in the Vatican (not beyond the bounds of possibility) could see the policy of restoration abandoned, new life breathed into the culture of conciliar novelties, and we would be back to the 1970s again. The response of the neo-catholics—ever predictable—would be to fall into line with the ‘renewalists’; gone would be the calls to re-examine the sources, gone would be the promotion of Latin, sacred chant and the eastward position, and Traditionalists would be fighting their lonely battles once again as we did in the dark days of the Tabletistas’ reign supreme.