THE ROUGH VIRTUES of the old Roman Republic were long lost in the late Empire in the West. Accustomed to great income spent on frivolous luxuries, the ruling classes thought they could buy their way out of any difficulty; while the people were placated by ‘bread and circuses’ and no longer lived lives that were their own. Even knowledge and learning was corrupted: the famous philosophical schools of Plato and Aristotle became debased to skepticism and power-mongering. Long gone were the days when a simple farmer could be raised to nobility by his virtue. Eventually, the time of the Empire in the West had ended and barbarians filled the void, men who had their own rough virtue and eventually rebuilt society along better lines.
Likewise in the Catholic Church today. Skeptical philosophy, power-seeking, and a denial of virtue seem to be the norm in many places, where the Mass is too often seen as entertainment or a venue for empowerment, and not worship. The Body of Christ is weak in these places since they embrace worldliness and not Christ's cross. The generation that upheld the so-called ‘spirit’ but not the texts of the Second Vatican Council have nothing more to say, and their empire is crumbling.
The latest online edition of the Adoremus Bulletin is now online. Click here to read it. Included are articles by Fr. Samuel F. Weber, OSB, who is known for his English-language liturgical chant settings, and architectural historian Denis McNamara, author of the recent book Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy.
I notice that some writers in this issue, and quite a few people mentioned inside, come from the American Midwest. This region is derisively called ‘flyover country’ by many on the coasts of the U.S., calling this a land of barbarians. But in the United States, it is precisely these places where much of the current liturgical renewal is taking place, a renewal based on the authentic spirit and text of the Council, a true reform in continuity with the long sacred tradition of the Church.