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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason



Pope John XXIII Statues-of-Kim-Il-Sung-and-Kim-Jong-il-Wikipedia Pope Paul VI


The Loss of Language — and other Paradigms

in the Catholic Church


... and the “Three-Generations Solution”


Every Muslim knows how to pray in Arabic in his Mosque and every Jew knows how to pray in Hebrew in his Synagogue and every Catholic for nearly 2000 years once knew how to pray at least some Latin, if only a few short prayers, during the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

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 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.

Latin as idiomatic of Catholicism

Why, then, has the Catholic Church jettisoned Latin as the language specific to prayer in collective, and often private worship?

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

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 imbues 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",  for which purpose God established Her in the first place? 1

North Korea as the Paradigm of the Policy  to Abolish Catholic Ecclesiastical Language: specifically, Latin

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.

The Three-Generations Punishment as a Paradigm

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.


Another paradigm ...
Dresden at the turn of the century Dresden as another Paradigm

of the aftermath of
Vatican II

Dresden in 1945
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.


 Typical Catholic Church at the turn of the century Vatican II
as another Paradigm

of the aftermath of Dresden

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels - Los Angeles, California
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 29 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


  1 Baltimore Catechism: 120. Q. Why did Christ found the Church? A. Christ founded the Church to teach, govern, sanctify, and save all men.

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)


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