Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Keeping the Spirit of Vatican II Alive

September 13th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Perhaps I should have titled this piece “Introducing the Spirit of Vatican II,” but I think you get the idea. The fruits of the Council, as we have discussed before, are not what were intended. When the primary liturgical documents all place a clear emphasis on Gregorian Chant, we end up with pastors and administrators (administraitors) who take that and leap to the illogical conclusion that this means “do whatever you want.” Enough with juvenile folk Masses, Life Teen Masses, Caribbean Masses, etc. We’re Catholic and we have one Mass, not several. Sure there may be slight variations from country to country, but this doesn’t mean you ignore the vast majority of the documents just to do what you want. The Church is about humble service, not arrogant entertainment and the celebration of mediocrity.

Of all the parishes in the Diocese of Rochester, there used to be one shining beacon of what post-Conciliar liturgy ought to be. That was St. Anne Church on the city’s south-side. We all know what happened to that parish. So now, while they may still experience the glorious strains of Gregorian Chant every Sunday, the sight of Sr. Joan Sobala in her alb severely diminishes the radiance of that experience. It sounds very Catholic, but guess what? Music isn’t everything. Music is the cherry on top of the Sacramental Sundae. It garnishes what is already a complete thought, a healthily-formed and licitly-enacted thought. When you have inappropriate “theology” being hawked between notes of the Gloria and the Credo, the splendor of the music only serves to drown out the wailing of souls being misled into the perilous waters of liberalism.

Well, as one parish wanes, another one waxes, seemingly picking up where the previous one left off. While St. Anne continues to decline, slumping against the wall after receiving her mortal wound, Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph’s continues to grow and to thrive. The latest piece of brilliance to emerge from the Little French Church on Pleasant Street is the addition of the whole Mass XI, Missa Orbis Factor. We received several emails which asked us to commend the parish for this, and so we do just that. When you have something distinctly Catholic (Gregorian Chant) paired with orthodox (correct) Church teaching, the fruits are plenteous. I look forward to seeing the next chapter of Rochester orthodoxy unfold. To all of those who defend the Church’s liturgy, no matter what church you attend, keep up the good work. Your prayers and efforts are bearing fruit, surely but slowly. You see, when people are fed the same mush that everyone else is fed, they don’t bother to give their heart and soul over to the Church. And I don’t blame them. But when people experience the sacred in a truly beautiful way, that’s when God works His miracles. That’s when you see vocations to the priesthood. That’s when you see large families openly practicing their faith. In essence, that’s when you see a vibrant and living faith.

If your parish is still hesitant to embrace Gregorian Chant, or just non-folk music in general, don’t give up. Keep praying, keep working. Ora et labora. When you have a cause such as the beauty of the Holy Mass, you can’t possibly lose the final battle. We’re doing the work that should have been done by Catholics in the 60’s and 70’s, striving for an implementation of Vatican II which doesn’t ostracize, doesn’t castrate, doesn’t manipulate, and doesn’t attack the very Mass it sought to reform. Keep the Spirit of Vatican II alive by doing what the documents plainly say, not by doing what renegade bishops vaguely imply.

Standing in the rubble of the mis-implementation of Vatican II.

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3 Responses to “Keeping the Spirit of Vatican II Alive”

  1. SR. EMILY says:


  2. Jean says:

    Groups like Catholics United for the Faith formed to fight for the real Vatican II by educating themselves on the documents of the Council and notifying the Vatican of liturgical abuses, complaining to bishops, etc. The Wanderer newspaper documented many abuses, including the sexual ones, but nothing was done to rectify the situation.

    Una Voce and the Latin Mass Association were formed to try to bring back the Old Mass which had been virtually banned. Pope John Paul II finally answered their pleas and the rest is history. Pope Benedict XVI wants this Mass offered at least once at all weekend Masses. He hopes that this will have a beneficial effect on the Novus Ordo Masses. We see this at the masses at OLV.

  3. Jean says:

    The Extraordinary Rite Mass at St. Stanislaus Church sets the example for the rest of the diocese to follow.

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