More from Fr. Rutler

Great stuff:

And a primary evangelical tool of the Church is the liturgy, and wherever the liturgy is banal, you will not have vocations. In many places it’s not a problem of heresy, it’s just a matter of sloth. People are just stuck in the 1970s. Young people don’t want to go to a church where there’s a septuagenarian playing very bad Jesuit hymns from the 1960s. But many bishops don’t understand that. The liturgy has become just sort of man-focused. One giveaway is liturgies where the bishop or the priest cannot restrain himself from interjecting his own personality. They were taught to do this: greeting people, telling jokes and then thanking everybody for being there, and at the end asking applause for the choir and the ushers and everybody else. We don’t thank people for keeping the commandments! These are commandments, not propositions.

That’s people’s main contact, and I would say my vocations more than anything else came from young men’s absorption in the liturgy. And I’m not speaking about being fussy or obscurantist. I think there’s a real problem of reaction from evangelization, a real problem of nostalgia rather than tradition on the part of many people as far as the Extraordinary Form is concerned. But that’s to be expected when people have been denied their authentic Catholic roots. The danger then, of course, is…to become enclosed. Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about the danger of Mass facing the people as a kind of enclosure, whereas when the priest leads the people facing East it’s an opening to the kingdom of God. The priest facing the people becomes a kind of circular community lacking in transcendence. But a lot of people who embrace the Extraordinary Form run that risk too.They become ghettoized. It’s rather significant that in so many cases — I can’t cite numbers — but usually it’s been my experience that where the Extraordinary Form is, usually you have a static group of people, and you don’t have outreach for bringing others in.

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One Response to More from Fr. Rutler

  1. John Walter S. says:

    Sometimes you can tell when priests are faking it, you know, the “Father Friendly” act, because being intellectual and telling people what they need to hear won’t get those collection plates full. People get bored, because they don’t want to learn anything in church. They don’t want any mental activities. So they want to be entertained, they want feelings, like the sort of brain rot and atrophy encouraged by the world outside the church.

    I’m afraid the good Fr. Rutler will be sent to Our Lady of Nunavut eventually, if we connect the dots regarding recent trends. That Holy Innocents was saved is a small victory in a war that has many lost battles.

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