|Cardinal Ottaviani, pray for us.|
This morning after Mass I read a quote from Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, author of the Ottaviani Intervention, a letter to Pope Paul VI written in 1969 warning about the disastrous changes in the liturgy. We're reading it for book club and it is sad indeed to reflect on what has happened and where it all began.
The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place -- if it subsists at all -- could well turn into a certainty the suspicion, already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever.What a prophetic statement. The "truths which have always been believed by the Christian people" are, today, under vicious assault in the name of "being pastoral." Doctrines on human sexuality have been "changed or ignored" since the 1960's. How many of us ever hear sermons on the sanctity of human life and the indissolubility of marriage? How many in the pew ignore Humanae Vitae's clear teaching on the grave immorality of contraception, much less the atrocity of abortion? How many marriage tribunals are no more than "annulment shops" giving the stamp of approval to Catholic divorce while parents affirm adulterous second unions in order not to "alienate their children." And it isn't only laity. Peace at any price, popularity, and political correctness seem to be the staples of the current papal reign, the so-called "Francis Effect" of worldly popularity.
We are living in serious times when the "sacred deposit of doctrine" is under attack by the very men called to defend it most vigorously. What part did the elimination of "all that is of perennial value" from the Mass play in the gross betrayal we are seeing today?
When Peter remonstrated with Jesus telling Him He need not suffer, Jesus responded by calling him Satan and ordering him out of sight. Today many clerics walk in the footsteps of Peter, not in his conversion, but in his betrayal describing their dissent from doctrine as pastoral. They urge sinners to remain in their sin and demand the rest of us to "reverence" their sin. And if, in faithfulness to Christ, we refuse, we are called "traditionalist, homophobic, closed-minded Catholic"s. So much for liberal charity. Yes, we are all sinners and need to remember it, repent, and chastise ourselves first before practicing the spiritual work of mercy to "admonish the sinner." But admonish we must particularly in our own families. Spiritual correction is an integral aspect of charity.
And so I always urge my children and grandchildren to leave the church quietly after Mass rather than engage in conversation. Sad to say, this morning, once again, I left the presence of Almighty God in the tabernacle with a heavy heart while the church, as usual, turned into a gymnasium with loud talking and laughing. It does not reflect well on us or the "law of prayer" we profess to believe.
Who in that "sacred space" really believes Jesus is present and who will challenge the congregation to extend their worship in thanksgiving to God for all He has done for us -- at least until they reach the church door?
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.