Friday 23 December 2016

More on Tolkien and Vatican II

Continuing from:

More evidence has come to light on Tolkien's intense revulsion from of the changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council:

Worst of all briar patches was what he persistently regarded as the spiritual decay of our times and particularly of his own Roman Catholic church, of which he was a longtime and devout member. The Church, he said, ‘which once felt like a refuge now feels like a trap.’ He was appalled that even the sacred Eucharist might be attended by ‘dirty youths, women in trousers and often with their hair unkempt and uncovered’ and, what was worse, the grievous suffering given by ‘stupid, tired, dimmed, and even bad priests.’ An anecdote I have heard involved his attendance at mass not long after Vatican II. An expert in Latin, he had reluctantly composed himself to its abolishment in favor of English. But when he arrived next time at services and seated himself in the middle of a bench, he began to notice other changes than the language, one a diminution of genuflection. His disappointment was such that he rose up and made his way awkwardly to the aisle and there made three very low bows, then stomped out of the church.

Cited by Bradley J Birzer from unpublished parts of Tolkien and the Silmarillion by Clyde S Kilby, from MS in Wade Center, Wheaton College.

1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

I recently read "Open Letter to Confused Catholics" and had never realized just how bad things were immediately after the reforms. It was effectively "do anything" and morals, articles of faith, everything was tossed out the window in the "spirit" of Vatican II.

Much of the most egregious abuses have since been backtracked, but standard practices (at least in our US parishes) like "women in trousers" and children handing out communion every week still go on as normal even though, officially, they're not supposed to (that is, lay people are only supposed to distribute communion in rare circumstances of need).

The authority of the church is in effect destroyed except in one way (towards leftism). No-one leftward leaning is actually fired or punished for doing these things, but the life of conservatives is made very difficult, at the least.

Reading saint lives though, it seems the church has always dealt with failing faith, poor practice, abuses of liturgy - and those saints were made such in part for their reform, renewal, and commitment. The current situation though is certainly unique in the extent of the problem.

Perhaps God desires for Christians to show more than basic obedience, but to turn to their personal conscience, or to investigate and read tradition, to go beyond what is easily available, to enable a greater commitment and faith among some.