What doth it profit a man to attend Latin Masses, but not live like the Good Samaritan?
Email: torontocatholicwitness@outlook.com

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Going back to the 50s will not "make the Church great again"

Every so often Fiftiesism breaks out amongst Catholics who hanker for the "good old days" of Pius XII and the comfortable lives - so they think in their fantasy - of the Catholic Church prior to the Council. but the Council blew away the rot, the decadence, the hypocrisy, the liberalism, the Americanism  that had invaded the Catholic Church for decades prior to the 1960s. 

Fifties Catholicism was a Church far too rich, far too comfortable, far too conformable to the secular world that was rapidly sliding into apostasy.

We do not need to "make the Church great again" or some other shallow political slogan, for the Church was always great, from the moment She was born from Christ's side on Mount Calvary. What we need is to prayer, to act with humility, to never be tempted that we will save the Church. "Place not your trust in Princes..." 

Just as the Dominicans, the Jesuits, the Franciscans and the other once great Orders have crashed off to the side, seduced by liberalism, so too we see much of the Fraternity of St. Peter's and the Society of St. Pius X slowing crashing off to the side with Manicheanism and prideful temptations that they will be the special "elite" of God to save the Church. 

Pride always comes before the fall. Beware of pride, dear readers. God has never blessed or favoured the proud, but always brought them down.

Is it not a marvel that outside of the North American Martyrs, and a number of holy nuns, the only Canadian elevated to the Altars was the humble, semi-illiterate Brother Andre of Montreal? Let this extraordinary saint be a warning for our eminently "educated" churchmen. 

We need to "watch and pray", remain humble and follow the example of saints like Philip Neri or Therese of Lisieux.

I reflected a while ago on Fifties Catholicism, and stand by every word - even more so today, than when I wrote it. 




Anonymous said...

What a load of hogwash from a blogger I have followed for some time now, extraordinary in it,s stupidity to compare the Faith of families to the non existence from families of today. What a letdown from the writer which can only seen as an insult to so many.

Holy name Masses for Men were a real foundation that rates as the one of most telling memories I have of that time. Standing beside Dad at these Masses instilled a lifetime of joy that has turned to sadness that I cannot be part of that joy now with my own sons.

Some years back I attended a 50 year school reunion of a class of 1959. Mass of course was part of the day and what struck me was the fervour of those men now touching 70 who participated in the Mass that day, it really surprised me, especially from men who I regarded as just so so in the Faith when I was at school. Not only that, the downfall of so many accepted ideals of those times was at the forefront of many discussions later in the day.

You forget the altar service of so many young boys so close to the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, Benediction, Missions. You forget the lines of people at Confession on both sides of the Church, you forget the influence of the Sisters and Brothers who supported our home teaching with so many readings and instructions especially from the Old Testament and lives of the Saints.

Maybe you haven't looked at the people now attending Mass. Numbers have fallen drastically but the old 50 diehards are still there, so many when they pass still have a Requiem Mass attended by family who last went to Church when at school.
Most of these religious are not part of our young lives now, many other distractions are, that is the real reason, television being the major corruptor at the star,t followed by online computer filth.

No one can deny that the greatest influence on the downfall of Faith is Humane Vitae. . The failure to support this by so many clergy was a catastrophe. You like me would have no doubt attended Missions in the 50,s given by those Orders you now criticise. This extraordinary insight by Paul V! so true in it,s was never supported by so many leading Catholic clergy in the middle 60"s not the 50,s. Indeed I cannot recall ever going to a Mission in the 60,s that approached the subject.

Why you picked the 50,s I just don not understand. The 60,s is where most of the neglect commenced...not the 50,s

Barona said...

The 50s represents the culmination of nearly 200 years of the institutional Church's slide into compromise with protestantism, liberalism, Modernism - both doctrinal and social, Americanism etc. My point is that a deep, deep rot had entered the Church well before the Council How many priests preached, for example that religious liberty is not Catholic?

Not everything was bad in the Church prior to the Council, but enough was to have allowed a Council full of ambiguity and then explode in the post-conciliar crisis. If indeed the influence of the priests and nuns was so profound we would not have had this massive collapse. The Church was far to close to the edge of the cliff of secularism and had a massive fall.

Brian said...


I too was disappointed with this post. Trashing the "fifties", is normally from the go-to playbook of the "progressives"(sic dictum) and in recent years from confused neo-cats. About 1960, the American Management Institute, recognized the Catholic church as one of the best run organizations in the western world. This assessment was based on three conditions: A clear sense of purpose, great defensive capability, and a dedicated work force, lay and cleric. I for one am very grateful that I received my formal catechizing in those years. Now, that said, there was no shortage of rot, active and passive. But there again, when has there not been rot in the church? The active, triumphed at Vatican II, and is now, after fifty years, in complete control in Rome. Sadly, the passive just went along. Those who desire a return to a solid faithful Lex Orandi/Lex Credendi are often tarred with the "fifties slur". Now, as for the photographs you posted, I like both, acknowledging the wheat and the chaff existing in each picture.

Anonymous said...


While I "hear" what you are trying to say...

You way are off base. In fact, your post comes off as being more prideful than those you judge.

Read the Book of James. Stop using "broad brush strokes" to condemn thousands of people you do not know. You appear to be the one focused on "externals", but you cannot see it for some reason. Pull the plank out of your own eye, before pointing at the splinters in others.

A copy of Divine Intimacy, read and mediated upon daily, will help soften the anger you seem to have towards the FSSP and SSPX. We are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Never forget this...

Luke 6:37

Pax Christi


Barona said...

Yes, we are all part of the Mystical Body of Christ. This includes "novus ordo" Catholics.