Changeover Latin to English . . .

. . . was a triumph of centralized planning, enough to make a statist weep with envy, I wrote in 2006.

The world over, Catholics got used to mass in everyday language. It became part of a worldwide social engineering victory — change by design, not by natural influences or “organically,” as you hear.

Vatican II celebrated the freedom of the children of God, but not in liturgy. Latin had to go. Latin went. Rebels were marginalized. Only recently (in 2005) had Latin returned with church authority’s blessings.

So it goes, change dictated from above for our own good by people who know what’s best for us.

A whole new mass developed after Vatican II, developed quite consciously by dedicated experts.

Young Jesuits like me debated the coming changes in the mid-50s. It was already foreshadowed.

This liturgy of the future, in the vernacular, would be as much communicating with each other as with God. The priest would face the people, look at them, saying the sacred words, making them more pew-sitter-friendly.

Mass today has the arguably good thing, in our celebration of community with each other. As for the mystical and mysterious, that’s a memory fast fading from Catholic consciousness.

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