A 1960s CHILD WATCHTOWER (PLEASE WRITE TO: A60sCHILDMAILBOX@aol.com)

" The More We Learn, The More We Realize Just How Little We Know, And How Much There Is Still To Be Learned " I come from the dramatic, revolutionary, albeit violent, yet 'magical' 60s. Opinionated and challenging, I write about current events, geopolitics, globalization, history, music, mainly classic rock, philosophy, pop culture, politics, religion, sociology, and anything else that defines the person which I am. 60s Child

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Location: Miami, Florida, United States

I belong to a special generation, the 'Baby Boomer Generation', all 70 million of us. Mine is the countercultural, culture-changing, music-influenced, society-altering, rebellious, and revolutionary generation which grew up during the dramatic and violent, while in many ways exciting and 'magical' 1960s. After all these years, I still feel totally identified with the 60s, as that decade defines me. Although I was both a participating and observing member of the 'flower generation', I am a conservative in my political and sociological principles. As much as I appreciated the freedom and radical liberalism of the 60s, I nevertheless did not support the anti-war movement. I am also Roman Catholic, and teach catechism. AS I CONSIDER THE MUSIC OF THE 60s AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CULTURE, AND CONSIDERING THAT EVEN AFTER 40 YEARS IT RETAINS ITS POWERFUL ALLURE, I WISH TO SHARE SOME OF MY 60s FAVORITE GROUPS: ANIMALS, B.BOYS, BEATLES, B.GEES, B.S.&T, CHICAGO, CREAM, C.C.R., C.S.N.&Y, E.L.O., E.L.P., 4 SEASONS, G.F.R., J.HENDRIX, KINKS, LED ZEP, MAMAS & PAPAS, M.BLUES, R.STONES, R.ORBISON, S.& G., WHO, YARDBIRDS EMAIL: A60sCHILDMAILBOX@aol.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

THE RESULTS OF VATICAN II, A GENRATION AFTER





THE RESULTS OF VATICAN II,
A GENERATION AFTER


I will qualify the following by first stating that I am a member of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

As such, it is my duty to accept, support, and defend the changes instituted through the Second Ecumenical Council of my church, also known, (and called hereon) as Vatican II. Otherwise, I would be straying from my church, which I consider the one and true universal, or Catholic Church, akin to what Father Martin Luther did when he rebelled against the church of his day in 1540.

I believe that if changes are to be made, they must take place from within the church, not from outside, because, as genuine as Martin Luther's grievances against the church may have been, I believe that he reacted, or acted upon those grievances in a wrong and shortsighted way. He could have been an instrument for change and unification of the church, but instead became a rallying point for its division.

In principle, I should not spouse the call for changes, as the work of Vatican II was inspired by the Holy Spirit, as it has been the work of God thru the Princes of the Church, or its Bishops.

However, these Bishops, though enlightened and inspired by God, as human beings, which they were, could have interpreted some of the changes in a way different from that intended by our Lord.

We all know that throughout its 21 centuries, those entrusted with the leadership of our church have committed a multitude or errors, many of them sinful transgressions. In addition, we know that even today, the church, after having learned so many lessons and supposedly grown and matured throughout these 21 centuries, still makes mistakes, many of them shameful.
So cognizant of that, I feel that I can share my feelings about today's church without fear of being marginalized, or ostracized.

I was a child in the early to mid 1960s, but do still remember how it used to be, as I studied in a Catholic school, (De La Salle, Christian Brothers). I remember having to attend daily early morning mass, including Saturdays, since we had school Saturday mornings, and having to go to confession every Thursday. In addition, we were made to wear suits for Sunday mass, white during the spring and summer, and navy blue during the fall and winter. And we did go to Sunday mass, as the brothers were always there taking attendance week in and week out.

I fondly remember that each one of us students always carried our own personal black with golden-edged pages Missal, tattered as it was, since we used it daily, 24/7, 365 days a year. And that was a sight which we no longer see anywhere.

Religious instruction was not as much a class as it was a daily 'drilling exercise', as we were taught catechism from A to Z, with nary a subject left out. The subject matter and depth only changed as we matured enough to understand the contents.

I finished High School in 1968, just a bit after the end of Vatican II, and while its changes were still being implemented. However, as I grew up and matured I did get to study and learn more about it, giving me a perspective, which few people today have. I was, and am in a position to compare and analyze my church as it was before, during, and after Vatican II, as I have never stopped being a student, even after these forty years.

I would be less than candid if I said that I did not miss the church as it was before Vatican II. And I am in a position to have an opinion, as like I wrote before, I went to what you may today consider a strict Catholic school before, during, and after Vatican II.

I miss the solemnity of the Latin Mass, the traditions, which have been liberalized, the mysteries which we could not understand but had to accept on faith alone. Precisely, that which was not within our reach and understanding is what made the church that much more powerful and awe-inspiring.

As Catholics, we are taught to have faith. And as good Catholics, we were called to have blind faith in the church and its teachings, and there was never anything wrong with that precept.
We were taught, and we understood that we did not have the luxury, which the apostles had, having witnessed the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We were taught to believe in what Jesus' first followers saw for themselves. We were taught to rely on our faith, and on faith alone.

Many nowadays qualify Vatican II as a necessity of modern times.

Present lay people say that the world in the 1960s was a "grown-up world," a "mature world", an "intellectually prepared world", a "world full of questions which required answers", a "skeptical world", and therefore a "world, which was ready to take on responsibilities and privileges never granted to it before".

I call that a bunch of hogwash, if you may excuse my saying so.

I do not dispute that today's men and women to an extent have grown in knowledge. However, knowledge does not equate with maturity and intellectual capacity. I dispute that today's men and women are ready intellectually, and maturely in a way to be handed so much freedom, responsibilities, and privileges. Men and women of today may know more about science, about other cultures, and I do not deny that in many other ways we are more advanced as compared to our ancestors and mothers from centuries ago. However, that does not make us necessarily ready philosophically, theologically, or even spiritually to take on religious responsibilities and authorities of such magnitude.

I know that I am in a very unpopular minority, as if I expressed these views in a parochial forum, I would for sure be shouted down by just about everyone else in the room, including the Pastor.

The biggest proof that I can submit to support my claim is precisely the dire shape in which our Church finds itself today. And I do believe that the church is indeed in pretty bad shape, mostly the result of its erosion from within, a product in my opinion of the liberalism instituted by Vatican II. Big accusations these are indeed, but I stand by them.

Yes, the church itself was in worse shape during the middle ages, during the time when Bishops and Cardinals lived like princes and had mistresses. Yet, back then the people were more religious, much more obedient, and exhibited much more faith than they do today.

So the church in the late 1950s, and early 1960s saw that society was becoming more liberal and more independent and feared that it was losing members, so it reacted in an extreme way. If some members were in disagreement over the church's pre-Vatican II way of teaching catechism and of its traditional customs, so be it. The church is not a democracy. There are no gray areas within the church, as there is only black and white, with no room to wiggle in-between. You either accept the church and all of its laws and teachings or you may opt to go elsewhere.

I prefer quality to quantity. I would much rather have a church of 500 million true believers who follow all of its laws and teachings to the letter, than one of over one billion members, most of which follow it according to their own interpretations of its laws and teachings, interpretations which are totally contrary to what Jesus intended them to be.

The church accommodated its members so as not to lose them. And I believe that the opposite effect has taken place.

In its quest to relax its structure and be seen as more "inclusive" and participatory, the church has allowed too many members to interpret its teachings and traditions any way it suits them. Therefore the term "Cafeteria Catholics."

I am not implying that the Roman Catholic Church 'changed its rules' through Vatican II. That assumption would be short of blasphemous on my part. The church, through Vatican II as its vehicle attempted to 'humanize', or make itself more accessible to its members, not just its lay members, but priests, brothers, and nuns as well. Vatican II is the instrument through which we the members of the Catholic Church have been given the ability to participate to the fullest extent possible in the celebration of the Eucharist, and not just be spectators. That is a great premise, but one which has not arrived at the desired results.

A great many of the church's members 'have not quite gotten it' and have misused Vatican II as a license to worship, or 'misworship' in my estimation, as each individual thinks is correct and acceptable not only to the church, but perhaps more to their own personal liking. And that has been the great failure, as laymen and women have used Vatican II to 'customize' Catholicism to their own taste and much worse, even their own sense of morality.

In its attempt to become more universal and appealing to the masses, the church has given way to a whole new generation of confused members who are not intellectually, or religiously prepared to understand, much less follow such changes.

Laymen and women were not in the 1960s, and are not in the present ready for such openness by their church. And I doubt that we would ever be, which is fine with me, as these liberties were never meant to be had by the people.

Too many liberal Catholics have literally taken the direction of the church into their own hands. And I even include some members of the clergy among them.

Since Martin Luther was responsible for the first schism in the Western, or Roman Catholic, church, thousands more of so-called Christian "movements" have taken form, most of which we consider Protestant, or Evangelical sects, such as the Anglicans, or Episcopalians, the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, many forms of Evangelicals, Adventists and too many more sects than I could fit into several pages.

It is my contention that the modern Catholic Church, unintended as it may have been, as a result of Vatican II and of the maturation of a whole new generation born since the Ecumenical Council, is in danger of suffering another schism, or split.

And this schism, although aided by a large base of laymen and laywomen, is actually being lead by some within its own ranks of authority, including a number of liberal Bishops.

We constantly hear that in Latin America there is great discontent with Rome, as a great number of Latin American clergy, were they not consecrated members of the church, would otherwise be considered socialists due to their sociopolitical inclinations.

But nevertheless, the greatest threat, in my opinion lies right here in the United States, as millions of members, including of the clergy have not quite hidden their disagreements with Rome on quite a number of dogmatic fronts, such as the role of women in the church, celibacy, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, artificial birth control, divorce, annulments and other matters.

It is a well known fact that American Catholics in general al liberal thinking people. I hate to admit it, but most of our Protestant brothers and sisters are much more conservative than we are in matters of morality. In general, American Catholics are sexually promiscuous, practice pre-marital sex, use artificial birth control, receive the Eucharist despite being divorced, (some even divorced several times over), do not observe official Holy days, do not attend mass regularly, and in general worship as they best see fit according to their personal circumstances.

I can defend all of my contentions, support them with facts and figures, and end up with a hundred-page dissertation, but I will not dwell into that at this point.

However, I will cite just a couple of my contentions, which are eating at the fabric of our church in America.I will never accept the notion of "separation of church and state." That term is totally incongruent as far as I am concerned. You cannot lead without a conscience and a set of values as your ethical and moral core. And I am not even going into the fact that our nation was born on Judeo-Christian values.

I cannot accept American Bishops that abstain from criticizing, much less excommunicate public figures that commit and/or support mortal sins, such as many Catholic politicians do.

There is no way that anyone can convince me that Sen. Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts, a Roman Catholic does not deserve to be excommunicated for his support of "Roe Vs. Wade" and abortions on demand, including 'partial birth abortions' and of the right of minor girls to have abortions without the need of parental consent, or notification for that matter. And that is but one of Senator Kennedy's public mortal sins, as I could write a laundry list of his misdeeds, including his support of homosexuals, his adulterous live and even the manslaughter of one of his lovers.

I will never accept that a Senator's politics would not be influenced by his religious beliefs, whether Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. How could I trust such politician? Every decision a person makes is molded by his or her moral ethics, his or her core values. And a person's ethics and values are a product of his or her faith.

If you tell me that you can vote on issues of national importance while setting your faith and values aside, you are telling me that you are a phony and a liar. That politician does not have his or her priorities straight, and thus is not to be trusted.

I have my priorities straight, and I believe that everyone's priorities should be the same: 1. God, 2. Family, 3. Country, 4. Work. How could they be anything different? How could you place anything else before God? Even Jesus tells us in the Gospels that we should be ready to leave our fathers and mothers, and our loved ones to follow Him. How could you not love your family more that anything else, except for God? How could your father, mother, wife, husband, daughter, or son not be more important than your country or your job? If you do not love your family, it means you have no heart. And how can you be so materialistic as to love work over your own country? Work is only a means for obtaining the bare necessities in life, like food and shelter, but it is not something to be defended as your own country is.

So I see what is taking place in America and I fear that possibly within my own lifetime there will be another schism within our church, a split between the American Catholic Church and Rome, a liberal American Catholic Church, and a conservative and traditional, true to The Word of God Rome.

And, although unintended, it is a byproduct of Vatican II, as Vat. II has liberalized the church to the point of irresponsibility and confusion among its people. Men and women are customizing their church and its teachings to their own convenience and are getting away with it.

Even in the 21st century, as modern and studied as we are, we are neither intellectually, nor spiritually equipped to take the church into our own hands, as it seems that we are doing.

No, we are not the 'proverbial lemmings' that can be lead to the edge of the cliff and beyond. We are not children. But we are still the sheep that the Lord, our Shepherd must still guide with a firm hand.

We need the structure, the traditions, the mysteries, the mysticism, all which made the church more than just the building I used to visit when I was a child. The church then, as now, was the House of God, and I liked it that way, and it felt awful comfortable that way.

Even the modern edifices take away from what used to make our church so much more special. A church used to be a grand building, an edifice that felt holy throughout, a place that really inspired you to kneel and pray. You walk into a modern church and you find empty walls, a bare altar and a tabernacle stuck in a corner that looks almost like a breadbox. Churches were so solemn that you would only whisper if it was necessary to say something, whereas in today's churches people engage in common conversations out loud while waiting for the mass to begin.

Men and women, out of respect would wear clothing, which covered most of their body, and even wore their Sunday best. Now you have men walking in wearing shorts and flip-flops, and women showing their navel, if not also wearing short shorts as well.

I actually blame the Pastors for this. I do not care if people are embarrassed publicly, as they only bring it upon themselves, but I would forbid these men and women from stepping into the church.

Perhaps Pope John XXIII had something else in mind when he convened Vatican II, and Pope Paul VI may have diverted from that original mission.

I believe in a strictly centralized church, where Rome, or the Pope for that matter makes all decisions and guides us from there as the only direct descendant of St. Peter, which he is.

If I wanted a decentralized church, or a liberalized church where one community can worship differently from another, and where the concepts of right vs. wrong may be interpreted differently, then I have thousands of Protestant denominations, which I could join.

Or better yet, I could even convert to Judaism, Christ's own religion.

However,

I do believe in Vatican II, and as I read the documents further, I can only realize how wonderfully and brilliantly they have been crafted.

These documents are nothing short of the blueprint for how the modern Catholic Church should be conducted.

Actually, that relates directly to what I have been trying to say.

I am not trying to portray myself as an intellectual, much less a theologian or philosopher. However, I can speak from the perspective of a person that has been instructed and has studied much more than your average Catholic man or woman.

Not only have I been schooled within the Catholic system, but once graduated I have continued to learn and thereby comprehend that much more about my church than the average lay person.

I have always been involved within my parish in a myriad of ministries. I have studied both the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and I am still studying the Bible, (Bible courses every Wednesday) while still reading it daily on my own.

I believe that there are many Catholics out there just like me, many of them much more advanced than me in their knowledge of our religion. However, I am afraid that we are only a small minority within our church. I not just believe, but know that most so-called 'Roman Catholics' know very little about our church, its canon law, its precepts, and in general its laws.

"Ignorance is the cause of evil." We have heard that statement forever. I will add to that: A little knowledge is very dangerous.We can take care of the 'ignorant' by proselytizing, or evangelizing them. And while ignorant they do not pose any danger to the church, other than the unfortunate possibility of being converted by other Christian sects, but they are in no position to threaten the foundation of our church.

However, those that do know a little tend to believe that they know a lot, or that they know enough. Those are the Catholics, which we must be afraid of, as they are the 'modern Catholics' who threaten to change the church from within.

These men and women were not raised prior to Vatican II, and have not studied its sixteen documents, either, much less the updated Catechism of the Church. These men and women have taken many unintended liberties and have the audacity of believing that they know everything there is to know, and therefore know what is best for the Church.

These are the men and women which I fear like I fear Satan himself. They pose the greatest present threat to our Church, as they intend to forge forward with their modernistic and liberal ideas and split the church once again.

Just this week I have come across three news items, which are of note, and in a way, illustrate and corroborate my fears.

1. "Gay Priest Nominees May Be Rejected," Miami Herald, Tuesday, 9/13/05

"……..Roman Catholics await word of a much-anticipated Vatican document on whether homosexuals should be barred from the priesthood".

Without going into details, or pro vs. con arguments, it is my opinion that this is a subject that needs no "much-anticipated Vatican document." I mean, hasn't that subject been covered enough already? Isn't it already clear that homosexuals cannot become priests? What more is there to discuss? We all know that Pope John Paul II very clearly made it known that gays cannot become priests, so why should the subject be revisited?

However, it is true that many gays here in the US are waiting for word on whether they can become priests or not, or word that they can 'come out from the closet' without fear of reprisals.

And please, before you say so, I will tell you that there is no such thing as a celibate homosexual priest. That is like saying that there can be a normal behaving schizophrenic priest.I for one know an openly homosexual and promiscuous man who became a priest here in South Florida. He is the nephew of a good friend of mine.

This man at first became a ballet dancer and danced with the ABC Ballet Company in New York, where he lead a very open homosexual lifestyle. After several years he decided to enter the seminary, (his family is very religious). He presently works for the archdiocese and I have seen him at the side of Archbishop Favalora during ceremonies as one of His Excellency's aides.

I have often wanted to write to the Archdiocese about this person, but restrained myself because I did not wish to cause any more scandals than the Church is already going through.

In addition, in the published comments of one layperson lies the threat to the Church: "Debbie Weill, executive director of DignityUSA, which represents gay and lesbian Catholics, (what an oxymoron!) accused Bishops of 'scapegoating' gays to divert attention from the failure of the church leaders to protect children.

Would you consider Ms. Weill as a Roman Catholic in good standing and in communion with the Church?

This is a woman with a little knowledge of our Church and has taken it upon herself on becoming a leader, one that threatens the fabric of our Church in America.

2. "Survey: Half Of Teens Have Tried Oral Sex". M. Herald, Friday, 9/16/05

"Slightly more than half of American teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex,'………….'the figure increases to about 70 percent of 18 and 19-year-olds."

And this article is written in a very positive light, as it goes on to say that, the survey "offers one more sign that young women are more sexually confident than they used to be." "The data also underscore the fact that, unlike their parents' generation, many young people - particularly those from middle - and upper-income white families - do not consider oral sex a big deal."

As a major reason the article surmises that young people, "When they weigh the advantages and disadvantages of intercourse vs. other forms of sex, they decide that they are far more at risk with intercourse, both because of pregnancy and the greater risk of disease".

In other words, children are practicing 'abstinence' from intercourse not for moral or religious reasons, but because they fear pregnancy, which of course would in most cases lead to abortion, or the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease from their sex partner. Besides, in the meantime, to them oral sex seems like a pretty good alternative.

It is a safe bet that a good chunk of those surveyed that admitted to having oral sex are Catholics, or come from Catholic families.

This is a direct result of the lax morality that is being taught to our children, both at home and at school.

When I try to teach the 13 and 14-year-old children I teach catechism to the concept of abstinence, they look at me as if I came from another planet, as if I was nuts. They plainly, without any fear jump out and say that there is no way that they are going to wait until they marry to have sex for the first time. Try to convince them otherwise while living in a society where a president engaged in oral sex and taught a nation that oral sex is not considered having sex! Try teaching abstinence in a society where condoms are handed out to High School students as if they were candy, so that they do not contract any sexually transmitted disease, therefore condoning, if not encouraging having sex before marriage!

This is the new generation that will affront the Vatican when Pope Benedict XVI, or the Pope that follows him attempts to tell them what they can and what they cannot do sexually.

This generation, along with their parents does present a grave threat to the Church in the US.

3. "Same Sex Encounters Up", Miami Herald, Friday, 9/16/05

"More women - particularly those in their late teens and 20s - are experimenting with bisexuality or at least feel more comfortable reporting same-sex encounters, according to a new report from the Center for Disease Control."

"……the CDC found that 11.5 percent of women, ages 18 to 44 , said they've had at least one sexual experience with another woman in their lifetimes'……'for women in their late teens and 20s, the percentage rose to 14 percent……."

The article goes on to say that in College, having same-sex relations is "a rite of passage', and the bisexual label has become a 'badge of courage.'What are these women, some of which must be Catholic, going to teach their children? Is it going to be just another casual subject, or one of little preoccupation for future mothers, like those women, (and men) nowadays that think nothing of receiving the Eucharist, even though they are not in good standing with the Church, including being divorced?

These are women, and men who think they know all there is to know about the Catholic Church. They believe that many of our teachings, including those formulated during and post Vatican II, are outdated, and believe that the Church is "out of touch" with the people. They believe that they know better, just because the Church gave them more of a say, which they have taken as a license to mold the Church to their liking.

These people withdrew from Vatican II only what they felt addressed their own inclinations and needs, while ignoring everything else that ran counter to their idea of how the Catholic Church, and therefore their own lives were to be run. They are taking that knowledge as credentials to decide right from wrong, with the end result becoming a sword with which they are threatening to rip the Church to pieces.

Common wisdom alleges that today's morality is but a reflection of modern society, and of course, Catholics make up part of such society.

I say that the opposite may be quite true: Today's society is a reflection of modern morality, or lack thereof.

Moral standards have eroded increasingly over the last forty years, which encompass the post-Vatican II generation. It hit a new low during the Bill Clinton administration, during which, in order to deflect criticism and scandal over its low sense of morality, the bar on moral standards was radically lowered in the public arena by the liberal media and those that took pleasure in further damaging our church.

We must try to reach out to the Catholic community to bring them back 'into the fold' of the Church and re-set them on the proper path to salvation, as otherwise we will lose them, as we already have lost so many.

Once, after we have saved our own brothers and sisters, we must pray and work hard so that their example will influence their children and grandchildren, and therefore the rest of society.

60s Child

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