To What Degree Did The Pre-Vatican II Church ‘Cause’ The Decline Of It's Influence?
In an earlier blog post we flagged up a recent Catholic Herald piece showing the need for a diagnosis of how classical Christianity came to drop the reins of cultural influence. http://tinyurl.com/nrk454m
The Winter 2013 “Mass of Ages” provides another piece of evidence. The Latin Mass Society presented a thorough analysis of twentieth century Catholic Church statistics (pp. 27-30). A key conclusion in Joseph Shaw’s helpful report was that “After about 1960, give or take a year or two, growth by all measures went into startling reverse.” He acknowledges that this was “at a very early stage of the liturgical reform”. It seems hard then to blame that reform.
His discernment of the prior causes of the collapse concerns “the visible historical continuity, universality, and stability [of] the Catholic Church.” This “was one of the features which expressed most eloquently, to people of all backgrounds, her truth. Cracks appeared in this stability and continuity with the Nouvelle Théologie (from the 1930s), [and] the 1955 Holy Week reform …” This seems a rather weak diagnosis of secularism’s taking over of the cultural reins. What caused the cracks? See following posts.
May / June 2018
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