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Musings 2002/170

So declares the great, the magnificent, Vatican Two: Sacrosanctum Concilium 14 - Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
To obtain this ideal requirement it would seem essential that
the pastors themselves, to begin with, become thoroughly penetrated with the spirit and power of the liturgy. Therefore ... attention must be directed, above all, to the liturgical instructions of the clergy. SC 14.
Vatican Two goes on to make it loud and clear, that courses in seminaries and religious houses of studies must have the study of sacred liturgy as compulsory and as underlying all priestly training.
Professors and teachers also must be imbued with true liturgical formation.
In article 17, the Council Fathers made two excellent points:-
Clerics will also need to celebrate the sacred mysteries personally, as well as popular devotions which are animated with the spirit of the liturgy;
In addition they must learn how to observe liturgical laws.
It seems to me that the Fathers had in mind a particular 'spirit of Vatican Two' but that this 'spirit' must have
liturgical laws within which to operate. This is common sense and could be no other way.
Or is it possible that Vatican Two intended
the restoration and promotion of Liturgy to take place without restraint incorporating any and every innovation?
Some certainly thought so.
One recalls the ridiculous, pathetic and even anti-Catholic antics that some clerics and their stooges promoted in their awful 'liturgies'.
But instead Vatican Two directed that clerics
will need proper direction so that they can understand the sacred rites. SC17.
With zeal and patience pastors of souls must promote the liturgical instruction of the faithful, directs article 19, and yet again we here find the definite intention that the Liturgy will and must have, necessary guidelines and framework.
Well, of course!
Such is the basis upon which Vatican Two began its guidelines and framework for the future Liturgy.
But immediately, in chapter three, the Council Fathers persisted in their endeavours to shape the future Catholic Liturgy in an organised manner and a responsible way. Thus we read in article 21:-

Holy Mother Church desires to undertake
with great care
a general restoration of the liturgy itself.

To that end Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop. SC22.

Therefore absolutely no person
not even a priest
may add, remove or change anything
in the liturgy
on his own authority.

An important demand from Vatican Two - article 23 - confirms the Council's determination that sound tradition may be retained :-

Finally, there must be no innovations
unless the good of the Church
genuinely and certainly requires them
and care must be taken
that any new forms adopted
should in some way grow organically
from forms already existing.

Vatican Two issued many other norms for a future Liturgy. Indeed, the whole Constitution involves two things: -
* directing
restoration and promotion of the Catholic Liturgy and
* setting norms for these purposes.
Setting norms has only one meaning:- to achieve certain, specific results and to avoid unwanted results.

It is a beautiful fact to cherish that
both the Spirit of Vatican
and its actual hopes
for The Church and the world,
as intimated by the numerous norms,
will find fulfilment.

Youth and Chastity
A young lady approached me recently with some excitement and an obvious sense of delight and well being.
She had been proposed to! She had said 'yes'.
She and her boyfriend had been going out
four years, eight months and some days, according to the young lady - in answer to my question.
I asked that question for I have known both of them some time and I knew that the relationship was based on chastity.
Yes, truly.
I know this might seem impossible in this day of permissiveness and so-called 'tolerance' which really means 'anything goes'.
In an era which will be remembered for its contraceptive mentality, what a blessing it is - not just for me, for the families of these two and for everyone who knows them,

but what a blessing for the whole world.

I say 'for the whole world' and I say this not to highlight my admiration of them and my 'thank-you' to them, but because it's the truth.

Do not be angry with me, Lord, I entreat you,
for making one more plea:
what if ten (innocent men) are found there?
I will spare it from destruction
to save ten.

Here Abraham speaks to God in an effort to save Sodom from destruction, and God replies (Genesis 18:32).
Such is the absolute importance of a small minority of
innocent men, before God.
In these columns I write of two innocents, but that is already one-fifth of ten
innocent men!
That is important to the whole world.
It is important also because

these two chaste people
are a sign for the times.

They are a triumphant sign for The Church and for goodness, for truth and for love.
Bearing in mind that there are many millions of real-Catholics around the world, not to mention other
men of good will - in spite of a century given over to the devil - here we find chastity still exists and therefore still exists around the

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