|John XXIII||Kim-Il-Sung-and-Kim-Jong-Il||Paul VI|
Both are essential idioms in their respective religions, although most Jews, like most Muslims, do not speak, or largely understand either language. Each is unique to, and are carefully preserved identifying markers both inseparable from, characteristic of, and exclusively pertaining to — their respective religions. Even Reform Jews know the Sh'ma Yisrael, just as the most culturally assimilated Muslim knows the Shahada.
It is important to understand that Arabic is only specific to Arabia and 25 other countries throughout the world, and is not the lingua franca of other Muslim states. Hebrew is only specific to Israel and is not the native tongue of the Diaspora. We are agreed upon this, yes? The language of prayer is different from the language spoken outside the place of worship. Judaism clung to Hebrew. Islam clung to Arabic.
Why, then, has the Catholic Church not just relinquished, but systematically repudiated it — even effectively censured Latin as the language specific to collective Catholic prayer at Mass, in the Sacraments, and in the Divine Office (the Liturgy of the Hours)? The severity of this censure can be seen in Francis’s Motu proprio called Traditionis custodes on July 16, 2022. This did not simply “restrict,” but abolished the Latin Mass .. worldwide!*
Why is Latin a taboo, unlike Hebrew and Arabic? You will be hard-pressed to find a Catholic fluent in Latin, and much more to the point, any ecclesiastic (priest, bishop, and cardinal) who any longer has facility with Latin. Our own “Cardinal Sean” (as he prefers to be called) is fluent in Spanish, but I highly doubt that he could conjugate the simplest Latin verb. It is no longer taught in seminaries (despite Can. 249 requiring it), and no longer perpetuated in the Church itself at its highest levels. The language that has been synonymous with the Catholic Church for over 2000 years has become forgotten (yes, and verboten) in less than 50. To pray in Latin is historically and absolutely unique to the Roman Catholic Church. All formal ecclesiastical pronouncements are still indited in Latin! Simply visit http://www.vatican.va/latin/latin_index.html
Why, then, is Latin the
lightning rod of all “progressive” criticism of the Church — especially
in the language of worship? Virtually every other profane
language (any vernacular language specific to location: e.g. English,
Spanish, Vietnamese, Lao, German, etc.) is permitted ... but the
sacred language itself is not? Why such widespread animus
toward Latin? The answer is surprisingly simple: it “smacks” of Catholicism
in an age of unbridled ecumenism. Every language is acceptable to
the Post-Conciliar Church — except Her own. If She has forgotten how
to speak, how can She "teach, govern, and Sanctify",
which purpose God established Her in the first place?
The period at which the
people of North Korea became totally sequestered from the world and
the inception of the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass (concomitantly
with the abolition of the centuries old Tridentine Mass) coincides
within a 10 year margin. Important — and potent — analogies obtain:
Having been both categorically and systematically indoctrinated — crushed under an iron fist with no tolerance for dissent or dismay, North Koreans subsequently know nothing other than what their brutal regime propagates and allows them to know. This concerns such quotidian features as whether the earth is round, the notion of free speech, and the freedom of thought.
150,000 to 200,000 North
Koreans were born in, live, and will die in concentration camps under
North Korea's policy of deterrence through “three generations of
punishment”: the criminal together with his entire family, and the
following two entire generations that will be born — and die — in the
prison camps: in other words, the primary “malefactor”, his children,
and their children. If there is a fourth generation, it
will possess no knowledge of anything whatever from posterity and outside
the concentration camps. It is their world. At least two complete generations
born within it will not know of any other kind of existence, and will
understand their own miserable existence as “normal”. Through this
policy of “Three generations of Punishment”, there is no possible transmission
of any knowledge apart from what is acquired (indoctrinated) in the
camp itself. All possibility of dissidence is totally expunged, for
there is knowledge of nothing from which to dissent.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church subsequent to the “policies” enacted following Vatican II, appear to have taken a similar approach in the way of language, worship, tradition, and the Mass itself. Within three generations, Catholics have largely lost (or more accurately, have been systematically deprived of the transmission of) what pertains to the unique Catholic identity that had been taught and lived for centuries prior to the catastrophe that has been euphemized as “Vatican II”. Centuries of teaching, worship, and tradition were categorically abolished and anything verging on “residual” was not allowed to emerge again. In may ways, it was not so much abolished as “stamped out” — much as any criticism of the "Dear Leader" was met with a quick and final “dismissal”, so was any criticism of “the Spirit of Vatican II” a specter even more ghastly and destructive than the actual corpus itself.
Not only was a millennia old language abolished as unacceptable anymore, but nearly every tradition and concept that was uniquely Catholic was peremptorily suppressed, tossed out, and ultimately forgotten … such that the last “malefactor” who breached the policy, were he still alive, would no longer recognize the institution in which he was nurtured — and the fourth generation Catholic would no longer recognize the last malefactor and would not understand his language, let alone his gestures and manner of living. Indeed, the physical structure itself in which the celebration morphed from a Mass to a Prayer-Space, would itself become unrecognizable to either. The spires ascending to God would seem archaic and meaningless beside the Bauhaus flat, unadorned, and indistinguishable building that could as well be a synagogue, a mortuary, or an office building and which has a “presider” instead of a “priest” (a now unacceptable "patriarchal" image of Christ).
North Korea succeeded in extinguishing, obliterating all memory of anything that preceded it. And so did Vatican II. Despite the motu proprio Summum Pontificum, allowing the Tridentine Mass to be said by any priest without “permission” from his ordinary (bishop), virtually any attempt to celebrate it is met with hostility and every possible impediment. Vatican II had spoken … much as the Dear Leader had spoken, and the matter was settled and irreversible.
as another Paradigm
the aftermath of
|Dresden at the turn of the century||Dresden less than 50 years later in 1945|
Irreversible also is the damage. It is rather like a vignette of the city of Dresden before and after its infamous fire-bombing in World War II. The name was retained, but it designated utter ruin.
as another Paradigm
of the aftermath of Dresden
|A Catholic Church at the turn of the century||
A Catholic Cathedral less than 50 years after Vatican II
“The Eternal President of the Republic” Kim Il-sung (his formal title, despite being dead 19 years now and counting) and Kim-Jong-il (dead now 12 years and counting) and his porculent, maniacal son Kim Jong-un have made North Korea another Dresden. And if we look at it closely and without bias, so did Vatican II make a once flourishing Catholic culture the mere detritus of another Dresden called the City of Man which is still being dismantled and destroyed as we watch — without any outrage ... or even wonder.
Boston Catholic Journal
* To mollify the outrage it caused both within the Church, and surprisingly, throughout the world where prominent voices (not American Cardinals, we are quick to point out) criticized this heavy-handed suppression of an institution that has been part of the fabric of Western civilization for well over a millennia. It was seen as a spiteful act of authoritarianism.
1 Baltimore Catechism: 120. Q. “Why did Christ found the Church? A. Christ founded the Church to teach, govern, sanctify, and save all men.”
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome