Church Decline After Vatican II?
#41
(07-31-2015, 07:00 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(07-28-2015, 08:01 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: I've never really been sure of the claim that tradition is a source of revelation in addition to Scripture. The Bible, after all, is itself a product of tradition and can be read in the proper fashion only when the reader is doing so in the light of tradition. More broadly, I think some theologians have a tendency to rationalize tradition, as if the term existed solely for the purpose of justifying the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and things like that.

Perhaps tradition is not a set of data that can be presented in a straightforward way, but rather the result of the irruption into time of that which is timeless. At the source of tradition, one finds an encounter with being that has granted a community its proper way of life. To act traditionally is for a person or community to comport itself toward the tradition in a responsible and faithful way. In this way, those who adhere most closely to the tradition must in one sense choose to appropriate the tradition for themselves, but in another sense, they have no choice at all, as it is tradition that comes forward to claim them. Seen in this light, sanctity is perhaps not the goal of tradition, but rather one possibility within the tradition. It is perhaps the most faithful possibility that one can choose, but it is still presented within the context of tradition and oriented toward the source of the tradition. Of course, when tradition has degenerated or been lost, as it has been for us, it presumably must be restored or revitalized from somewhere, but what this would look like for us, I can't say. However, tradition is closely related to myth and mythopoeia. 

I too do not care for the separation of scripture and tradition, as if both could stand alone. At any rate you have some very interesting ideas here.

Today, like Martin Mosebach lamented we are too self conscious of tradition because it's been lost. We've had to think too much about what our ancestors simply picked up through living the daily life of the Church. I would say that this undermining of tradition in the Western Church started a long time before Vatican II, the papally sanctioned breviary reform of Pius X being the first major rupture. I've also heard it said that Pius XII turned Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi on its head with Mediator Dei.  In a certain sense the 20 th century was one long rejection of our western patrimony.

How do we get this back? Can we get this back? Everything is quite self conscious now. 1962 is the best we have legally speaking in the Church, but even that is tainted somehow by the 20th centuries overzealous reforms and cut and hack jobs.

Archeologism much?

Your impulse to get back to a purer past already puts yourself outside the tradition. If you want to live the tradition, pray traditionally and attend a traditional Mass; have sons and daughters and teach them. Outside of that there's nothing a person can do, this [counter]revolutionary spirit being always treacherous; tradition is not made with big movements and big super stars, but in the silent life of deep faith.
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#42
I think fb is right. I honestly don't see how one can read Pius XII's reversal of Lex orandi, lex credendi in Mediator Dei as anything but a renunciation of traditional attitudes toward the liturgy. If calling this into question is archaeologism, then isn't every trad who has problems with what has gone on since Vatican II also falling into the error of archaeologism? At the same time, the Counter-Reformation, the Piuses, and so on are a part of our heritage, and I agree that we shouldn't simply dismiss them, but this doesn't mean that we have to accept their modifications to the tradition as somehow definitive. After all, tradition leaves room for a certain degree of trial and error. If some innovation is out of keeping with the core assumptions of the tradition, it can be abandoned. This is not archaeologism. Leftist historians often mock the concept of tradition by showing the ways in which traditions are "invented," as if this somehow made them invalid. What they fail to understand is that a key part of the maintenance of tradition is the creative appropriation of traditions by every generation. In this way, tradition is, in a sense, a sort of non-identical repetition of the same. The tradition remains alive as long as a spirit of faithfulness and piety remain. Strict, legalistic adherence to minutia is not necessary, and is perhaps even harmful.

One might also wonder if our modern self-consciousness might play into the particular vocation of the Western church at this time. Perhaps our self-consciousness and self-criticism--and maybe even the self-destructiveness that often seems to be central to modernity--can allow us to look back at our tradition, not in an arrogant or self-righteous way, but rather in a thoughtful and faithful one. In doing so, we might understand why the tradition developed in the way that it did and so come closer to the original phenomena that animated it, those phenomena to which past adherents of the tradition were attempting to remain faithful. With this perspective, we might be able to begin to clear away some of the negative results of the developments of the past couple of centuries, allowing for a new openness to tradition and divine phenomena. Of course, I realize how tentative and abstract all of this sounds, so perhaps it isn't very convincing, but it really seems to me that our problem will take centuries to sort out (though of course there will always be new ones) and trads need this broader perspective when considering what is to be done now. Getting caught up in petty political squabbles isn't the answer.       
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#43
I suppose I have an antipathy to the sort of fbian lamentations because I perceive this longing for a pre-62 Mass, or even a pre-Trent Mass as precisely adherence to minutiae. I might grant the 62 Missal is not perfect in comparison to others, but its not like it is a radical departure from tradition. The NOM, on the other hand, was made out of whole cloth. There is simply no comparison between sticking to what one always did and complaining about the absence of an extra phrase in the gradual of some obscure early medieval Missal.
I agree there is space for perfection to the 62 Missal, but we are simply not in a world where these changes can happen without doing violence to the Mass. That is simply not the case. We are not a pious, liturgical people. And we all know how it goes when one hires a liturgy scholar.
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#44
I suspect that there are multiple definitions of tradition being used here that is making some of the discussion problematic and difficult...
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#45
(08-01-2015, 12:57 AM)richgr Wrote: I suspect that there are multiple definitions of tradition being used here that is making some of the discussion problematic and difficult...

Rules #1 of debate is to define the terms used.
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#46
(07-31-2015, 10:17 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: I think fb is right. I honestly don't see how one can read Pius XII's reversal of Lex orandi, lex credendi in Mediator Dei as anything but a renunciation of traditional attitudes toward the liturgy. If calling this into question is archaeologism, then isn't every trad who has problems with what has gone on since Vatican II also falling into the error of archaeologism? At the same time, the Counter-Reformation, the Piuses, and so on are a part of our heritage, and I agree that we shouldn't simply dismiss them, but this doesn't mean that we have to accept their modifications to the tradition as somehow definitive. After all, tradition leaves room for a certain degree of trial and error. If some innovation is out of keeping with the core assumptions of the tradition, it can be abandoned. This is not archaeologism. Leftist historians often mock the concept of tradition by showing the ways in which traditions are "invented," as if this somehow made them invalid. What they fail to understand is that a key part of the maintenance of tradition is the creative appropriation of traditions by every generation. In this way, tradition is, in a sense, a sort of non-identical repetition of the same. The tradition remains alive as long as a spirit of faithfulness and piety remain. Strict, legalistic adherence to minutia is not necessary, and is perhaps even harmful.

One might also wonder if our modern self-consciousness might play into the particular vocation of the Western church at this time. Perhaps our self-consciousness and self-criticism--and maybe even the self-destructiveness that often seems to be central to modernity--can allow us to look back at our tradition, not in an arrogant or self-righteous way, but rather in a thoughtful and faithful one. In doing so, we might understand why the tradition developed in the way that it did and so come closer to the original phenomena that animated it, those phenomena to which past adherents of the tradition were attempting to remain faithful. With this perspective, we might be able to begin to clear away some of the negative results of the developments of the past couple of centuries, allowing for a new openness to tradition and divine phenomena. Of course, I realize how tentative and abstract all of this sounds, so perhaps it isn't very convincing, but it really seems to me that our problem will take centuries to sort out (though of course there will always be new ones) and trads need this broader perspective when considering what is to be done now. Getting caught up in petty political squabbles isn't the answer.     


Agree with you here, but the bold part really jumps out. We ought to be careful here, as what, say Archbishop Lefebvre did and what other self styled trads did up until Summorum Pontificum was exactly this sort of navel gazing, disobedience and treachery Renatus thinks folks like me engage in, yet most trads, if they are honest,are thankful for his refusal to let the pope and bishops bury the rest of our Latin Rite patrimony.

You have to understand, I'm not one of those guys that refuses to go to a 1962 Mass, but when I've studied our Latin Rite Patrimony and some of the things that were done in the last century I cannot help but be critical of some of the reforms before the Council. If we want to study our Tradition we can't put blinders on, we have to study the whole of the Tradition. No doubt there's no argument that 1962 is closer to our full Roman Catholic patrimony than the Pauline Reforms, but compared to what things were like before the beginning of the 20th century it's still not quite as robust. 

Like our friend here said, this process will take centuries to sort out. Layman like me are not bound under pain of sin, say,to pray the 1962 Office. There' are even a few trad chapels not associated with sedevacantists who are restoring the older Holy Week. Even the SSPX years ago used to have certain priests that prayed older Missals and older breviaries. It'll take a century or more of individuals as varied as Sarum loving independent Anglicans like Father Chadwick, hardline sedevacantists like Father Cekada at SGG, Indult groups that restore our patrimony brick by brick and layman who discover the Tradition and live it in order to foster a restoration.

Maybe this self consciousness will be a good thing over time, who knows?
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#47
I actually find the move from lack of self-consciousness to self-consciousness a good one. It helps us remove what is false to the issue and helps clarify what is true and proper to each. This process occurs in the history of philosophy and theology, and numerous examples can be pointed to that have led to great benefit for the Church. The move doesn't necessarily occur over time though. Latin philosophy was almost entirely lost after Descartes. Charles Sanders Peirce was an anomaly among modern philosophers for his reverence for Latin philosophy. Anyway, this doesn't bear on the topic, but I just wanted to make one point regarding us being self-conscious of what tradition is and is not.
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#48
I think fb has in mind the sort of skeptical, nominalistic self-consciousness linked to the process of Enlightenment. This is the kind of self-consciousness that seeks to reduce everything to the self-evident through the banishing of what it considers to be mythology. So, for instance, Enlightened self-consciousness regards thought about Being as little better than thought about Zeus, and so limits thought to the categorization of the merely ontic. Similarly, it might recognize the concept of life as mere mystification, as in its view, everything can be explained by chemistry or physics.
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#49
In resp. to Vox (finally), I think we're talking a little bit past each other because, as has also happened with others in this thread, we're not clear on what tradition is or which tradition we're referring to. Sometimes I'm referring to Sacred Tradition, which I try to capitalize when I'm referring to it, and sometimes just tradition or traditions in general.

I don't really have anything to respond actually because I agree with everything you said.

The strong/hard, moderate, and weak labels were just philosophical terms you'll find when discussing different forms of basically the same view; they're not meant to connote anything positive or negative.

I've just come across a fascinating essay in the Catholic Historical Review journal on seminary reformation in Latin American countries in the early 20th century (1900-1940s) and the dismal state of the priesthood. For example, many of them couldn't explain basic passages of Scripture, would give Sacraments only if paid, would live openly with women, wouldn't make any hurry to visit those who needed the Last Rites, etc. Priests soon had a reputation for immorality, and families would prevent their sons from entering seminary because they didn't want their boys to be corrupted! It just goes further to dismantle the narrative that the Church was in a golden era before Vatican II.

Recently, I've wondered what is the state of traditionalist Catholics as traditional who have grown up in traditional communities but don't seem to care or know much about what is important to the traditional movement. They are traditional perhaps only nominally. It's a saddening thing to see.

I'm also continuing to reflect on how tradition (lowercase) could ever be presented as a "better option" in a pluralistic society, especially one that emphasizes individual choice, independence, self-determination, and all the regular values of liberalism etc. Obviously there needs to be a mass takeover of all the major aspects of society and culture, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be enough people to do that.

Anyway, it's been interesting to discuss all this...
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#50
(08-08-2015, 01:03 AM)richgr Wrote: Recently, I've wondered what is the state of traditionalist Catholics as traditional who have grown up in traditional communities but don't seem to care or know much about what is important to the traditional movement. They are traditional perhaps only nominally. It's a saddening thing to see.

I'm also continuing to reflect on how tradition (lowercase) could ever be presented as a "better option" in a pluralistic society, especially one that emphasizes individual choice, independence, self-determination, and all the regular values of liberalism etc. Obviously there needs to be a mass takeover of all the major aspects of society and culture, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be enough people to do that.

Anyway, it's been interesting to discuss all this...

I have been interested in this as well.  It seems like we intercepted the ball in 2007 and then ran it in the end zone and did a dance for a few years.  Now what?  We almost seem without a direction now, especially as those whom we most empathized with, died or are sacked from their office.  I think the issue is that the people who made the sacrifices and pushes for the Latin Mass in the 80s, 90s were near elderly or elderly, who despite of the cultural upshift of the post-Vatican II era, still retain a very strong Catholic faith and morals from their youth.  Their children and their grandchildren did not share in that upbringing, and are thus still subject to the different blitzes whether we grow up on a farm and homeschooled or in a city and never seen the stars. 

Where I would like to see the traditionalist movement to go is to become more unified as a group.  The one thing I have noticed since the election of Francis is that there has been more infighting than there used to be amongst us, and while it goes back and has been building up for time.  The battle to reclaim our patrimony is like a football game.  If we all do our own things, we can't stop the other team and we can't score the ball. This SSPX vs FSSP does not help us one bit.  We need to be realistic and acknowledge while we have issues, but there are much, much bigger fish to fry.  If we pray as one, and push for our goals one by one, we will be more successful not just in raising our children but bringing more souls into the Church.. 
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