And it Came to Pass!



And it Came to Pass

editorial by Leo Darroch,

Latin Mass Society of England


It comes to very few to predict the consequences of something and for
their words to be quoted nearly verbatim many years later as the consequences of what they
predicted conic to pass.

During the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 1967, after seeing a
demonstration of the proposed new Mass, Cardinal Heenan told the Synod: At home it is
not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly
to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine
Chapel we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.
words of warning went unheeded.

Come forward 32 years to the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 1999.
After much debate on “somewhat problematic situations” besetting the Church, the
Synod Fathers declared: “In many countries of the West, liturgical celebrations
are frequented almost exclusively by children and older people, especially women. The
young and middle-aged are few in number Such a situation runs the risk of projecting an
image of a Church which is only for the elderly, women and children”. Art.69
can, almost hear Cardinal Heenan’s voice from the clouds: “I told you so30 years ago
but you wouldn’t listen.”

What is to be done? In normal circumstances, most people of moderate
common sense, not blinded by dreams of what might be, or what they might like it to be,
would take a cold hard look at what is failing and abandon it, and identify what is
working and embrace it fully. Unfortunately we are living in times when rational thought
and analysis has been replaced by a process devised by Lewis Carroll for Alice in

In one English diocese, for example, the figures for Mass attendance for
1998 have just been published 59,971 (or 25.11% of the Catholic population). In 1974 it
was 119,115 (or 42%). The bishop has just written to his people and said: “We
live  an exciting and demanding time when the vision of the Second Vatican Council is
beginning to be realized”
‘ This is plainly nonsense; how can such a dramatic
collapse in Mass attendance be proclaimed as a great triumph of the Second Vatican
Council, yet this is the prevailing wisdom’ with many of our prelates.

Winston Churchill made a very astute observation when he said: “the
further back you look the further forward you can see.”
This is the
traditionalist argument. We look back over the sweep of the centuries; we learn from 2,000
years of tradition and have an instinctive feel for the direction of God’s Church. The
traditionalist priestly orders are being obedient to tradition and are flourishing. Those
that are ignoring tradition are failing, and failing catastrophically.

Those who wilfully look back no further than the 1960s have no sense of
history, no sense of purpose, no sense of direction, no feel for the past or the future,
and no guiding principles. The ultra-Modernists (whose existence is sustained entirely on
a bunkered and one-eyed interpretation of Vatican II), through this deliberate rejection
of established Catholic culture, have cut themselves off from the realities of Catholic
life and the great mass of the faithful, and sadly, it is the great mass of the faithful
that is suffering. For the modernists, only the present is important, because the’ live in
the present day. Nothing will change until our bishops grasp the nettle and order a root
and branch examination of what the Fathers of Vatican II actually desired and implement
their wishes “in the light of sound tradition”. Leo Darroch — Editor.