Sunday Thoughts: Was Satan Present During The Second Vatican Council?

Sunday when I grew up was the day Catholics went to church. Masses started early around 6:00 a.m. and ended around 11:00 a.m. They were in Latin. The priest prayed facing the crucifix  behind the altar leading the people. Mostly we prayed in silence. We dressed properly and the girls and women covered their heads when entering and while in church.

Communion was sacred. It was after all the body and blood of Jesus. It was handled only by the consecrated fingers of a priest. When he handed out communion to ensure no speck of Jesus’s body and blood would fall on the floor, the host went directly into a person’s mouth. As a precaution an altar boy holding a paten would follow the movement of the priest’s hand. In the sacristry after the Mass there were two stainless steel sinks; one was used for the purpose of cleaning the chalice that carried the blood of Christ and the paten. It drained into the soil unlike the other sink that drained as every other sink.

When we went to church we carried our missals. These had the liturgy in both Latin and English for those who wished to follow it. As altar boys we would have memorized the Latin responses to the priest’s statements in Latin. For the most part we had no idea what they meant but we uttered them almost correctly and in the proper order. The response to “Judica me, Deus, et diserne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me” in Latin would start “Quia tu es, Deus, Fortitudo mea: . . . ”  I still recall my response which was: “Quee us Two us Deus Forty- Two Dough Mea . . . ” As you can see it was pretty close but it wasn’t Latin but at least I got the word for God correct.

The beauty of having the Mass in Latin was that no matter where I went I could go into the church and hear the same words that were spoken back in my home parish. When in Japan, the Philippines, or Dominican Republic while in the marines the familiarity was comforting in churches where the people spoke languages other than English. I knew my folks at home  were hearing the same prayers.

The Mass in Latin was called the Tridentine Mass. It had been in existence  since 1570. Over that more than 400 year period it had served the people well. The parishioners were content. The Church seemed to be strong and thriving.

My sons went to a school whose principal was a minister. Its brochure contained words to the effect “read this carefully, these are our rules, we expect them to be followed, if you don’t like them then don’t apply here.” That was what was expected of Catholics at one time prior to  1965.

Then the Sixties came. In October 1958 a 76-year-old man who took the name of John XXIII became pope. Three months into his pontificate he called for what became known as the Second Vatican Council. That began with a first session on October 11, 1962 and ended on December 8, 1965. The result of that was a turning of the Catholic Church on its head and having the Latin Mass and much of our tradition stolen from the people.

The Pope’s idea for the Council was allegedly done to “open the windows [of the Church] and let in some fresh air” wrote  Maureen Sullivan. That may be so but when you let in fresh air you don’t throw out all the furniture in the house. That is precisely what was done.

The result according to one man was some were: “allowed to invent and create some new forms of liturgical celebrations for their own enjoyment. Yet what has happened is not a rise in the number of faithful enthusiastic for these innovations. Quite the contrary, churches are more and more empty.”

How many know that three years and five months into his papacy on February 22, 1962, Pope John XXIII issued a document known as  Veterum Sapientia. (Ancient Wisdom. ) This was promulgated 8 months before the opening session of the Council and 16 months prior to his death. He made it clear that the Latin Mass was be continued noting: “For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority “as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws…”

He continued: “The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives…so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.”

Later Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Letter Sacrificium Laudis wrote in August 1966: “For while some are very faithful to the Latin language, others wish to use the vernacular within the choral office. Others, in various places, wish to exchange that chant which is called ‘Gregorian,’ for newly-minted melodies. Indeed, some even insist that Latin should be wholly suppressed. We must acknowledge that We have been somewhat disturbed and saddened by these requests. One may well wonder what the origin is of this new way of thinking and this sudden dislike for the past; one may well wonder why these things have been fostered.. . . ” 

The Second Vatican Council met in four sessions between 1962 and 1963. Prior to its second session Pope John XIII died. It continued under Pope Paul VI and ended in December 1965.

An American observer of the Council Michael Novak wrote about the Council and the state of the Church in America in the 1990s in this lengthy introduction to book The Open Church. It is well worth reading. This was before the priest sexual abuse scandals rose their ugly heads.

Vatican II was the beginning of the Church’s troubles. Vocations dried up; nuns fled; and as  Novak noted in 2012 that: “The years 1965-1985, give or take, were in clerical dereliction the worst in my memory (including historical memory, going back to the beginning of this Republic).”

How was it Latin despite two popes advocating that it be maintained stripped from the Mass? Novak wrote:“Paul VI, said publicly some few years afterwards that “the smoke of Satan” had filtered into the work of the Council . . . .”  Was Pope Paul VI right? We’ve seen how the Church covered up the sexual abuse by priests for many years to protect it; is it also covering up what really happened at the Second Vatican Council?





8 replies on “Sunday Thoughts: Was Satan Present During The Second Vatican Council?”

  1. I was an altar boy too. Nowadays, I’m afraid I’m just a cultural Catholic.

    If I didn’t have one of those priests who could doa full Latin mass in 20 minutes, I was particularly enthusiastic delivering the closing response.

    Priest: Ite missa est.
    Altar boy: Deo gratias.

    P: Go, the mass is ended.
    AB: Thanks be to God.

  2. Got to confess that I miss the Gregorian chant, even though I’ve fallen far enough away from the Church to exist in another galaxy. I also viewed the use of Latin as a symbol of the Church’s universality rather than trafficking in a dead language. The Church dropped Latin and got rid of the Gregorian chant, but hung on to the vow of celibacy and the prohibition against women becoming priests. The result is the train wreck we see today.

  3. Matt

    still wrestling with your tribal identity demons eh?

    Dominus Vobiscum….

    Transcending the Tribe
    By Caroline Myss

    All of us are born into a “tribal mentality” of various forms. These include our family unit, religious background, country of origin, ethnicity, etc. The tribal mentality effectively indoctrinates an individual into the tribe’s beliefs, ensuring that all believe the same. The structure of reality – what is and is not possible for the members of the group – is thus agreed upon and maintained by the tribe.

    While the tribal mentality has definite benefits in terms of establishing common ground and ensuring group survival, it is not a conscious agreement. We are born into it. Yet at a certain stage, both personally and collectively, the tribal mentality must be challenged. People can then begin to recognize the need for a personal honor code independent of the tribe. If humanity is to progress, we need to learn how to treat everyone – regardless of tribal affiliation – with honor and respect.

    Every one of us is plugged into the tribal mind. We support tribal belief patterns by directing a percentage of our life force into maintaining our affiliation with the tribe. This involves an implicit agreement to think like the tribe thinks, to evaluate situations and people the way the tribe does, and to believe in right and wrong according to tribal values and ambitions. As long as the tribal mentality within us remains unexamined, we unwittingly subject others to our tribal laws.

    When we are plugged into tribal thought forms, we can easily believe in nonsensical prejudices held by the tribe. Tribal mentality allows us to hold harsh, judgmental positions or attitudes about an entire group of people: “All fat people are lazy,” or “all Irish are drunks,” or “all Muslims are terrorists” for example.

    A rigid tribal thought form may have little truth to it, but individuals hold to such beliefs because that perspective is what the tribe has agreed to believe. Innocent children, born into the hatred and prejudice of their parents and ancestors, grow up inside a tribal mentality that sponsors an endless march toward war against the tribe’s perceived enemies. People grow up hating other people – people they have never seen – based on group affiliation. This is the shadow side of the tribe.

    Inevitably, some among us come to a point where we want to break out of the inflexible tribal mentality. At some point, these individuals want to explore, develop, and manage their own consciousness without the judgments and limitations of the tribal mind.

    It is easy to spot these mavericks when they start to question and unplug from tribal mentality – they hang out on the periphery looking bored and restless, or whimsical and dreamy. Others may act out the agitated hot-head as they challenge tribal ways.

    The unspoken assumption of the tribal mind is that everybody loves being part of the tribe. And in many ways, we do. Knowing where and to whom we “belong” is crucial to our self-concept and sense of safety in the world. Yet when we begin the real deep journey of questioning, “What do I believe?” and start to individuate from the tribe, we often enter a dark night of the soul. It is, by necessity, a passage we take alone.

    It’s one thing to reject what we don’t want to believe anymore. It’s quite another to begin to explore what we do believe. All we know as we enter the dark night is that we can’t go back – even when the tribe is the only world we’ve ever known.

    At this critical point in our development, the tribe doesn’t feel right anymore. It no longer offers us comfort. Previous feelings of security and familiarity begin to feel like a trap constraining our individuality and hampering our efforts to discover deeper levels of who we really are.

    This dark night passage pushes us to look at our false gods – the tribal belief patterns in which we’ve become invested and to which we’ve given our allegiance.

    The Language of Wounds

    For a large segment of the population, the language of wounds has become the new tribal language of intimacy. Prior to the current age of personal therapy – which only really took off in the 1960s and 70s – the tribal language of intimacy largely involved the sharing of only superficial personal and family data. Deeper matters such as family secrets like sexual abuse or a mad aunt or uncle were shared with exceedingly few, if any.

    Divorce and financial information were also considered very intimate. People would almost never talk about such matters, or about their inner life and emotions. They talked only about the details of what was going on in their external lives. The tribal mentality at the time kept people from revealing intimate matters or deep wounds or traumas even with their family and close friends.

    The current age of personal therapy has brought about a very different situation. Now, the tribal mentality has shifted such that we not only share our intimate feelings more openly and willingly, many have even begun to define themselves by their wounds. Let me give an example of how this phenomenon plays itself out.

    I was in an Indian restaurant in Scotland talking with two men friends when the woman friend I was to meet for dinner walked up and greeted the three of us. After I had introduced her, another man walked over and asked if she was free on June 8th, as he thought she might like to attend a lecture on that date. The question required little more than a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer.

    Instead of a simple answer, she began an elaborate discussion about June 8th. “Did you say June 8th? No, no. Any other day would be fine, but not June 8th. That’s the day my incest survivor group meets and I have to be there because we never let each other down.” She went on and on for at least a full minute with this.

    Later, I asked her, “Do you realize that in that brief introduction, you told two men whom you have never met before that 1) you had experienced incest, 2) you were still in therapy about it, 3) you were angry about it, 4) you were angry at men, and 5) you needed to determine the course of the conversation – all in one minute?”

    She replied, “Well, I am a victim of incest.”

    To which I replied, “I know that. Why did you have to let them know that?”

    She was operating from a tribal mentality. The group mind within the incest survivor community has a belief about how this particular wound should be healed. The tribe says, “You need a group.” The tribe says, “You have a right to be angry.”

    People now get together in support group tribes that function within many of the same rigid frameworks of ethnic, national, or family tribes. Some feel that the comfort and security of belonging to a group or tribe is more important than venturing alone in the direction of real healing.

    Tribalism in Relationships

    The tendency toward tribalism can keep us stuck in repeating negative cycles in our intimate relationships, and can wreak havoc when a relationship

    in other Men dressed in funny clothes and Hats news see

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  4. Yep . He never misses a Vatican Council !!! …Loves to mumble dog Latin responses during the Tridentine Mass . ……. Satannnnnmmn !!!

    Jesus, Matt , do you think that’s gonna land you in back to Jamaica ?

    That’s nuttin’ .

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