»I think I need to say that we really thought we were doing the right thing. Many of us had grown greatly concerned that the Catholic Church was no longer able to speak to the modern age; an age that was becoming increasingly sophisticated, scientific, etc. Increasing numbers of people had college degrees and demanded that faith speak to the intellectual and social issues of the day. But despite this need, we were still running churches that catered to a peasant and immigrant community. We were hunkered down in Catholic ghettos. The Catholic Church was increasingly identified with poor old immigrant women kneeling before statues, lighting candles, and fumbling beads. Yes, our schools were full, but our children weren’t being “prepared for the future.”
It was thought to be a time that we had come of age in America. Science had reached new heights, there was talk of going to space, we had split the atom, computers and televisions were entering onto the scene.
Meanwhile in our churches we were chanting in ancient languages and reciting old formulas. Many of us desperately thought this had to change if the church was ever survive and be able to speak to the modern age. It’s funny that we didn’t turn into our own intellectual tradition. St. Thomas, St. Anselm, St. Augustine, and so many wonderful Church Fathers and Doctors had developed a rigorous intellectual tradition in the Church. Even still, all this seem to us so “old-fashioned” and the stuff of dusty old books.
A popular book from that time “A Catholic Priest Looks At His Outdated Church” articulated our many concerns for a Church that was out of touch for the modern world.
Regarding architecture, remember that Art Deco and other streamlined forms were very popular in the 50s. The phrase, “sleek and modern” comes to mind. Straight lines, and functional design were all the rage. But our churches pointed back to flourishes and excesses of what many people considered “myths” of a previous time. Why should we keep running to St. Blase to bless throats when modern medicine had more to offer? Did priests really have more to offer us by way of counsel than Sigmund Freud and other modern psychotherapists? Who needs exorcism when you have psychotherapy? Was not our time mumbling on beads better spent with social action?
Yes, we were desperately afraid that the Church was frozen in time, while the modern age was moving forward in light-speed.
So we thought we were doing the right thing. Updating was essential if the Church was to survive and be able to speak to the modern age. We started gutting and simplifying churches to make them look “sleek and modern.” We started demanding more vernacular in the liturgy and celebration of the sacraments. English was common in the Sacraments long before Vatican II. Baptisms and weddings were conducted almost wholly in English as early as the 50s.
For most of us, changes like these couldn’t come fast enough. How could we appeal to the new, young college “jet set,” those were going to school on the G.I. Bill, how could we ever appeal to a young intellectual crowd while running old-fashioned peasant churches, reciting “old myths,” novenas, legends of the Saints, and catechetical formulas?
And so we ushered in our little revolution, convinced that we were doing the right thing, convinced that this would save the Church from irrelevance in the modern, scientific, intellectual and supposedly sophisticated age.
Remember the times! We were building interstate highway system, we just introduced television, there were scientists in lab coats seen everywhere, and computers were entering on the scene. We were planning to go to the moon by the early 60s! Yes, we thought we had come of age. If it was old, it was bad, but if it was new, it was good.
So, when the cry “aggiornamento” all went out, the foundation for this phrase had been laid more than a decade before. Whatever the Pope meant, most of us in the trenches heard that it was out with the old, in with the new!«
Und er fügt hinzu:
»Even today, far too many in the Church who want to go on making the mistake described above by the older priest friend who spoke to me. How desperately they want the Church to adapt to the modern age, by discarding the received doctrine, tradition and wisdom of God. Too many would have us reflect the modern age, more than Christ. In order to be “welcoming” modern and sophisticated, they want the Church to succumb to worldly demands that we cave on many issues related to marriage, sexuality, life issues, and Church authority and governance. We cannot survive, they say, unless we make these sorts of changes.
Never mind that denominations that have done just this, such as the Episcopalians and many branches of the Lutherans and Methodist have suffered far worse declines than we. Still many go on that we must better reflect the modern “wisdom” and age in order to appeal to it.
But really, have we not learned at this point that seeking a reproachment with the world only ends in the further erosion of the Church and the ultimate impoverishment of the world? Our modern world is in a mess, and in darkness, because we have failed to be what we are supposed to be, a light in the midst of darkness, and a sign that is often contradicted.
It is not the job of the Church to be popular, to reflect the thoughts of the times, or to parrot worldly “wisdom.” It is the job of the Church to reflect the views her founder and head Jesus Christ, who speaks in the Scriptures and sacred Tradition he handed down to us. Is not our job to be appealing, or even numerous. It is our work to proclaim that which is been received, whether in season or out of season.«
Seit zwei Wochen kursiert auf den sozialen Netzwerken dieses (klick) Video. Eine Predigt von Erzbischof Alexander Sample, die sehr schön darlegt, was es mit der Reform der Reform auf sich hat.