Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

Nicholas Frankovich on Several Things

At National Review Online. Like so many other writers I’ve discovered at the magazine over the years, Nicholas Frankovich has become the guy to go to for the Catholic culture overview.

On Trump’s intrusion into sports:

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. A few months later, they went to the White House for the traditional round of presidential congratulations. Manny Ramirez was a no-show. Why? He didn’t like the president, George W. Bush, a baseball man himself, a former part-owner of the Texas Rangers? Sox officials said Ramirez was visiting his sick grandmother. Boston won the Series again a few years later, and the president invited the team back to the White House. Again, no Ramirez. Bush’s response? A shrug, a teasing smirk. “I guess his grandmother died again,” he said.

On the decline in Catholic Literature:

The traditional Catholicism that is the setting of that backward-looking novel included a lot of looking backward itself, of course. That’s what made Catholicism traditional. For believers immersed in the faith, the past was alive no less than the present. They could see ghosts. A heavyweight from the Norman Mailer generation of American letters once commented on the Catholic writers of her generation. They were sure of themselves, she recalled, though not preachy. Spend time with them and it was hard to escape the impression that they knew something you didn’t. That’s gone. So the flowers in the garden aren’t what they used to be? Blame the flowers if you like, but it remains the case that the soil has been depleted.

Here he is on reasoning behind the Novus Ordo:

In the 20th century, Church leaders began to advocate an effort, more deliberate and thorough than in the past, to enculturate the faith among the various nations of the Third World: Catholic missionaries should learn, and learn to love, local customs and languages and to translate the faith into forms that would be meaningful and appealing to indigenous peoples. Implicit in their argument was the need for the Church to pour the Romanità out of Catholicism so that vessel could accommodate the new wine of non-Western cultures.

Read Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963), the Vatican II blueprint for liturgical reform, and you will notice a lot of concern for the mission lands. References to them dot the document, and in their glow the reader is led to imagine that the point of the many broadly sketched recommendations is only sensible and moderate, generous but not extravagant.

In the mission lands, let bishops adapt the liturgy to local cultures. Trust their circumspection and sober judgment: “Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved; and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites and devising rubrics.”

No sooner had Western Catholics digested and largely shrugged in agreement to the gist of this plan for liturgical reform than they discovered that Rome now counted them, too, as inhabitants of mission lands, in effect. In America, English was introduced into the Mass by increments, which meant of course that Latin was ushered out at the same pace, until the process was complete in the fall of 1970.

The movement away from the sacred, classical language and toward the vernacular was accompanied by a corresponding change in tone and style, from solemn and formal to less solemn and less formal. William F. Buckley Jr. recorded for posterity a typical reaction of many a Catholic: both a sense of loss and a glum resolve not to be sour about it. Surely some good could come of this?

Comments

  1. Quin,

    Great stuff. I’d like to believe that the NO was merely misguided zeal for “missionary” efforts – and duly take SC to be that in large part. But the fact of the matter is, our writer fails to take into consideration the chilling similarities between the NO and Cramner’s efforts to snuff out the Catholic faith in England immediately after Henry VIII bedded his mistress.

    It’s always what’s NOT said that is more effective, as Michael Davies underscores time and again in his masterful treatment of the Mass’s destruction in Merry Olde Englande.

    https://angeluspress.org/products/cranmers-godly-order

    (I note, perhaps from my loose Straussian training, how you present the vital matters of culture in ascending order – Sports (Templum Profanum), Literature (Pons Inter Forum et Sanctum Sanctorum) and Liturgy (Summum Caelum)).

    Thanks for this.

    JOB

  2. And thank you for the link … it’s probably not at my local library, but it looks pretty damning. I recently picked up Martin Mosebach’s “Heresy of Formlessness” … maybe you’ve read that one as well? I found Mosebach by way of his novel “What Was Before”

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1586171275/ref=pd_aw_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=N86RFWBX2BSZGY7VJX6R&dpPl=1&dpID=41Ch7g7Gq-L

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0857422146/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506461397&sr=1-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Martin+Mosebach&dpPl=1&dpID=51YAnTXhenL&ref=plSrch

  3. Louise Orrock says:

    I can’t read online and comment until my other computer is working because of the pressure/gas emissions from this.

  4. Louise Orrock says:

    I’ve known what is happening for a few years now but am not always sure who’s doing it to him and the stupid sound of the ambulances can make me think of Catholics. On the other hand, the fact that they cross themselves – I thought of this when I was about to cross the street but I think more because of the irritation of the passing cars and thought they were probably more likely to be victims. I ought to know, but have trouble telling groups apart. The catholic churches here in London look like they’re teeming, or did a while ago, but I wondered if there were converts in them – and might have been wrong on that – but also was surprised at the similarity with the church of England service, and the young men – Philippino – conducting the service I recently went to out of interest.

  5. Louise Orrock says:

    I’ve known what is happening for a few years now but am not always sure who’s doing it to him and the stupid sound of the ambulances can make me think of Catholics. On the other hand, the fact that they cross themselves – I thought of this when I was about to cross the street but I think more because of the irritation of the passing cars and thought they were probably more likely to be victims. I ought to know, but have trouble telling groups apart. The catholic churches here in London look like they’re teeming, or did a while ago, but I wondered if there were converts in them – and might have been wrong on that – but also was surprised at the similarity with the church of England service, and the young men – Philippino? – conducting the service I recently went to out of interest. I also spoke to a Monseigneur after a service in New York in September 2015 and had wondered during the service if he was Jewish. I stopped him on the way out to speak to him about microscopes – before I thought of the likely origin of the term ‘electronic’ microscope – and then he hopped into a cab like something out of, I say Damon Runyon not being that familiar with writing on New York. He did, however, say something about the seven or eight, or six or seven other priests in the church, although there were no others at the time. I also spoke to a father Francis, I think his name was, on the Upper East side on one holiday who seemed a nice person, a bit under siege in the church.

  6. Louise Orrock says:

    To me, I meant, rather than to ‘him’. Sorry not to read first but I have to conserve my energy and there is heavy gassing at the pc, although I have been given a new laptop as a gift.

Leave a Reply to job Cancel reply

*