Sunday, March 3, 2013


D esacralization is a coined word to describe what has happened in the Church through much of the last half century. It refers to making something holy into something profane. Most of us have experienced this where it should never have occurred, and that is the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Under the guise of updating the holy Mass, prayerful music and hymns were too often replaced by that which was supposed to appeal to the modern taste. And then there were the renovations. Churches were renovated into clean, neat and beautiful places. That is, clean, neat and beautiful halls and auditoriums. We lost the sacred. We lost people.

Without a doubt, poor catechetics and the lack thereof largely contributed to this secularization of the holy. You can’t make something worldly and expect it to be Godly. The old mantra regarding these changes was that this updating was mandated by Vatican II. But, was it? Indeed, it was not.

In his wisdom, then Pope Benedict XVI, promulgated the Year of Faith in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the close of Vatican Council II and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church. The purpose is that Catholics and non-Catholics would know what the Faith really teaches. It is the mind of the Church that understanding the truth leads to God. Knowledge of the Faith without ambiguity is evangelization. Vatican II did not alter doctrine. It recognized that the world was much different from the world of Vatican I, a hundred years previous. In light of this, the Church wanted to bring the same Faith to the modern world.

Blessed John Paul II knew this very clearly. He was part of the Council fifty years ago. He set about doing all he could to give the right understanding concerning the documents of the Council. One result was, after much study and work, the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Another effort concerned the holy Mass. In the mid-eighties Bl. John Paul recognized the need to correct some of the translations of the prayers. Although the final result took place during the pontificate of Pope Benedict, both Popes and their commissions worked on it. Also, they put right the attitude of many to the Latin Mass. Latin was never to be suppressed. The faithful were misled.

In this Year of Faith let us learn what in fact Vatican Council II said and what the Church teaches. We will have an unimaginable appreciation of God’s love for us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Father Stanley

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