Vatican II Urban Legends

Vatican II called for Mass to look like this, right? (NOT!)

Vatican II called for Mass to look like this, right? (NOT!)

The thought has occurred to me to do an adult education class (maybe, at some point) on “Vatican II Urban Legends”. It would involve looking at various ideas and errors that have been proposed as originating from the Council but are, in fact, nowhere to be found in its documents. Things such as:

– Altars must be detached from the wall and Mass must be said facing the people

– Altar rails must be removed

– Guitars and drums are OK; Latin chant is not to be used

– All religions are good and it is not necessary to be Catholic

Help me out! What are some other “Vatican II Urban Legends” that come to mind? Perhaps, if I ever succeed in organizing this class, I can do a series here on the blog also. Thanks!

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18 Responses to Vatican II Urban Legends

  1. mmfollbaum says:

    Some of these may be more recent changes, but girl altar boys, Communion in the hand, no need to use Communion patens, no kneeling at consecration, take the statues out of the churches (I think the idea of what makes a church ‘beautiful’ really changed after Vatican II), greeting your ‘neighbor’ before the Holy Mass begins, how about drums with your guitars, and did you mention no Latin? Like I mentioned, some of these are more recent changes, but I think that most trickled down from supposed Vatican II changes. Our family seeks out a parish home that specifically doesn’t do the above! I would love to take your class, but will have to be satisfied with the blog posts. šŸ™‚

    God bless you, Michele

  2. hashtagcatholic says:

    We had a class on Sacrosanctum Concilium that was supposed to last one term. It lasted a year and a half. With every other statement, it seemed, we had questions. “If it says this, then why do we…” It really seemed like we were reading about a different liturgy on those pages then we were used to every day.

  3. Renee G says:

    Nuns must ditch their habits and stop teaching in our parish schools. Let’s hold hands during the Lord’s prayer. Sign of peace is a long extended greeting (including peace signs) to as many folks as possible. I’m sure I could come up with more given more time

  4. Revolutions in Church art and architecture have been among the most visible such myths. Time and again we have seen the (essentially iconoclastic) belief that all, or nearly all, sacred art must be stripped out of churches, so as not to distract from the Eucharistic action – all based on a frenzied reading of Sacrosanctum Concilium 125.

    But even more problematic are radical church designs that have been inflicted on the faithful. Despite their manifest unpopularity, progressives still insist that it is unacceptable to build new churches with traditional layouts. Consider the criticism made not long ago by British composer Paul Inwood (on PrayTellBlog, May 7, 2014) of the new cathedral design for Raleigh, which employs a strikingly traditional design:

    “I fail to understand why people are still designing churches, let alone, cathedrals, in theatre-style, rectangular layouts, with serried ranks of parallel pews facing a sanctuary that is nothing less than a stage. That does not elicit full, conscious and active participation in my book. Rather, it perpetuates the notion of liturgy as entertainment, or as something that a few selected people do while everyone else watches. For a start, it means that some parts of the assembly ā€” those further back in the nave and transepts ā€” cannot see each other. If you have a fragmented assembly that cannot relate to itself properly, that spells trouble and lack of cohesiveness in celebration…Cruciform and T-shaped layouts exist, sure, but there is no excuse today for designing a new building in this way.”

    This is the mentality at work. And it has no writ in the Council documents.

  5. jjgigem says:

    In the late 1970’s, it appeared that the church had relaxed her rules on many moral subjects. I now know this to be wrong but there was a permissive liberalism that was not being adequately challenged at the time. I was completely lost. I ended up leaving the church after college because I could not see the difference between Catholic and Methodist. The Methodists were more upbeat. It was not until around 2001 that I took an RCIA class and learned about my religion. I am grateful for RCIA because today I am Catholic and I appreciate the Holy Eucharist. I learned more in one year of RCIA than I learned during my childhood growing up in a Catholic family. I can’t blame my parents because they did the best that they could given the times.

  6. Mona says:

    Holding hands during the Our Father.

  7. Leslie says:

    Do what you want as long as you really want it – there is really no consequence, because God loves you and forgives everything. Therefore, you don’t really need Confession and Reconciliation.
    If you disagree with the Magesterium, simply cite the “Spirit of Vatican II” and you’re home safe.
    And don’t start me on the interpretation of Vatican II by the LCWR *hand smacking forehead*

    God bless Father – please make it an online class….. šŸ™‚

  8. That the Eucharist must be distributed under both species at all Masses?

  9. That confession must not be hindered by a screen?

  10. debra says:

    Most of what was said above, so I look forward to a class or blog in the interim.


  11. Magdalena says:

    We must reject everything that came before Vatican II, apologize for it, be ashamed of it. “The new ecclesiology of Vatican II: the Church is not about hierarchy, it’s about the people of God.” Everything anthropocentric.

    As was pointedly said to Cardinal Baldisseri in the last week or so, “There is only one sin today – the defense of what the Church has always taught.”

  12. Mary Cameron says:

    Of course, women need not cover their heads in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Catholics are no longer required to go to Confession nor do penance on Fridays. Be sure parish socials and festivals serve nothing but meat on Fridays just to emphasize our modernity. It’s best to eliminate the confessionals. Perhaps designate a “reconciliation room”, so if they insist on confessing, you can make sure they are REALLY embarrassed. That should discourage them from those old-fashioned Popish practices. Remove those holy water fonts while you are at it.

    Reverent silence before and after Mass is unfriendly – let’s have more chat. Be sure to applaud the musicians, in fact, Fathers, you should LEAD the applause at any chance you get for even more friendliness at Mass. Refrain from referring to our Creator as “He”. Let’s change words to be inclusive. “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God’s name for our good and the good of all God’s church” does not sound at all awkward.

    Ditch those cassocks and other clerical clothing. Show up in khakis and other “business casual” attire whenever possible.

    Father Faber, in “Kindness” wrote that sarcasm is usually unkind. God forgive me.

  13. Lin says:

    Rubrics are merely guidelines.
    Mary was an unwed mother.
    Many of the writings in the Bible are just a myth.
    The wearing of blue and other odd color vestments.
    The use of glass and pottery for The Eucharist.
    The “spirit” of V II.
    A merciful GOD sends no one to hell.
    Love is all you need Catechism classes.

  14. That Oregon Catholic Press is the sole source for liturgical music?

  15. Analda Anglin says:

    -Along the lines of what northernhermit wrote, any music written prior to 1970 is old fashioned and depressing and shouldn’t be used.
    -The Traditional Latin Mass is not approved and only celebrated by schismatics.
    -You only have a Sprinkling Rite on Easter.
    -Homilies need to be entertaining. In fact, the entire Mass needs to be entertaining to keep you laughing, interested, and engaged.
    -Let’s use rhyming intentions during the Prayer of the Faithful to keep everyone interested.
    -The Sign of Peace must be exchanged at every Mass.
    -Reception of the Eucharist is enhanced when a lot of lay men and women help to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ, because that way more people get to participate.
    -We must have amusing announcements.
    -Deacons are a brand new development in the Church.

  16. Mary Cameron says:

    northernhermit: you made me laugh! But that is SO true

    Oh, and now that you have banished Latin since no one understands it (despite four to eight years of classes in Catholic schools), introduce hymns like “Pan de Vida”. Those who don’t understand Spanish need to get with the program and be “multicultural”. “Pan de Vida” and “I am the Bread of Life” are the preferred Eucharistic tunes. Ban all those Thomas Aquinas numbers.

    But here’s another one: don’t let people get up at will and go to Communion. They must wait until designated laymen and laywomen ushers motion an ENTIRE pew to get up and go to Communion, that, is, EVERYONE, row by row, in the state of grace or not.

    As God says in Psalm 94/95:
    “Forty years long was I offended with that generation.t.”

  17. Bee bee says:

    The Rosary, Forty Hours Devotion, Litanies, Benediction, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament should be discouraged and hopefully forgotten, and certainly not done in the church anymore.
    Formal altar cloths and large candlesticks should be replaced by modern items.
    Huge banners need to be placed in the sanctuary, with symbols like sheaves of wheat and clusters of grapes, or other such symbols of religious scenes.
    Fake flowers are perfectly okay to decorate the altar.
    No more kneeling to receive Holy Communion.
    Demphasize sin and morality in the homilies, and emphasize God Loves YOU!, and eventually, talk more about social justice and historical context of the Scripture than the revelation of God.
    Try not to mention Our Lady or devotion to her. Don’t refer to her as “Our Lady.”
    Get rid of the statues of saints!!!! And the vigil lights. Use a stylized version of the crucifix, or better yet, use crosses without a corpus.
    Place the baptismal font at the entryway and let it be a running fountain, to also use as a holy water font.
    Confession can be done in a group setting with a penitential service.
    Lay men and women need to be lectors and extraordinary ministers of Communion, even when deacons and priests are available.
    The collection should be brought up to the altar along with the bread and wine.
    Genuflecting when about to enter the pew is optional.
    Piety is weird. Pious people are weirdos.

  18. ugly churches, visiting in the sanctuary, tabernacle either deemphasized or hidden

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