What Happened to the Catholic Church?!

If you are a Catholic in this day and age (practicing or not) you probably have noticed the massive disarray in the Catholic Church. Few people go to Mass or receive the sacraments regularly if at all anymore, and those who do attend Mass can immediately notice the changes, the laxity and lack of devoutness when comparing to the Mass of many years ago. There is also a lack of priests and nuns and scandals surround many of them in the news. It is very discouraging to say the least. What happened?

Below, we review some of the causes and effects of these problems and some recommended solutions and workarounds.

The Situation

Depending on your age, you may remember the Catholic Church before 1969 as being completely different from the Catholic Church today. If you were born after the 1960’s, then the Catholic Church and Mass you see today may seem normal to you since you may have never experienced the way it used to be. This page reviews the differences between the Catholic Church and Mass before and after 1969 and shows the problems that have developed into what we are seeing today.

The Second Vatican Council

In 1962 through 1965 the Second Vatican Council was called together by the Catholic Church. The goal behind the council was to “update” or give a “renewal” to the Catholic Church. Attending the council was Pope John XXIII, who passed away while the council was still in session, and was replaced by Pope Paul VI. In addition, to the surprise of many, many Protestant ministers also attended and were involved in the decisions of the council. This was a huge red flag to many Catholics since involving Protestants in Catholicism in any way has always been forbidden by the Church throughout Her history. The final decisions of the Second Vatican Council were drastic changes to the Catholic Church and the Mass, despite the fact that changes to the Mass too had always been forbidden by the Church throughout Her history. Looking at the papal encyclical, "Quo Primum" (Promulgating the Tridentine Liturgy) written by Pope St. Pius V (a canonized Saint) in 1570, we can very clearly see that changes to the liturgy of the Mass were forever forbidden and declared to always remain under the Tridentine Liturgy ratified by the Council of Trent.

At the conclusion of the council, a “new mass” was created and Catholic Churches were instructed to start saying it starting in 1969 instead of the untouched original mass which had been celebrated since the earliest days of the Catholic Church. Throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s and through to today many other changes have slowly crept into the Church as well, as we will see below.

At the conclusion of the council, a “new mass” was created and Catholic Churches were instructed to start saying it starting in 1969 instead of the untouched original mass which had been celebrated since the earliest days of the Catholic Church. Throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s and through to today many other changes have slowly crept into the Church as well, as we will see below.

The Changes to the Catholic Church in General.

If we compare the Catholic Church in general before the Second Vatican Council to the modern day church today, we can see MANY differences. Obviously these differences vary parish to parish and all may not apply to all parishes, though there is no doubt these changes are WIDESPREAD:

 

Traditional Church

New Church (1969 and later)

 

 

Full churches on Sundays and Holy Days

Near-empty churches on Sundays and Holy Days.

Abundant religious vocations (priests and nuns)

Drastic drop in religious vocations

Altar used

Altar replaced with a table

Tabernacle kept on altar in center

Tabernacle removed or moved to the side

Crucifix over the altar

Crucifix removed, and other pictures such as that of John Paul II are hung instead

Communion rail Communion rail removed

Statues of Jesus, Mary, Angels & Saints

Most if not all statues removed

Veneration of Saints

Little or no veneration of Saints

Little variations in churches across parishes

Large variations across parishes

Modesty regulations strictly adhered to Modesty regulations lax or abolished

Goal of the Church to convert others to Catholicism

Conversions no longer a goal – instead Ecumenism is preached

Heresy strictly forbidden by the church

Heresy no longer discussed

Staying in the state of grace and receiving the sacraments mandatory to save our souls

Sacraments optional. Little emphasis on the state of the soul, mortal sin, penance, judgment or hell

Liturgy and sacraments consistent throughout the centuries

Liturgy changed and validity of the sacraments now questionable

Tradition held sacred in every aspect

Modernism now replaces tradition

Priests ordained with traditional rite

Priest validity of ordination questionable due to changes in ordination rituals

The Changes to the Catholic Mass

If we compare traditional Catholic Mass (before the Second Vatican Council) to the modern “new mass” that exists in churches today, all of the differences below have also been witnessed. Again, these differences may vary parish to parish and all do not apply to all parishes, but nevertheless, these changes are undeniably WIDESPREAD:

 

Traditional Mass (followed since the earliest days of the Church)

New Mass (1969 and later)

 

 

Mass was the solemn worship of God offered as a “sacrifice” for our sins

Mass now more of a memorial, instructional service or meeting

Mass said in Latin for centuries

Mass inaccurately translated to English

Rituals & prayers untouched since the early days of the Church

Rituals & prayers changed or removed despite prior Popes' disapproval

Priest faces Our Lord in the Tabernacle

Priest has his back to tabernacle (if there is a tabernacle)

Communion received on the tongue

Communion received in the hand

Communion received kneeling

Communion received standing

Communion distributed by priest only

Communion distributed by anyone

Silence, reverence & devotion during Mass

Talking and little devoutness during Mass

Sisters sing beautiful hymns at Mass

Modern, profane music at Mass

Priest reverent and restrained during Mass

Priest very casual and frequently joking

Frequent signs of the cross & genuflections by priest and laity

Far fewer signs of the cross & genuflections

No variations in Mass across parishes

Large variations across parishes (ONE Church should have NO variation)

High Mass with incense

No more high masses or use of incense

Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Benediction completely changed or abolished

Altar boys only

Altar girls

Only clergy and altar boys in sanctuary Anyone in the sanctuary
Only Traditional missal used according to decrees of Council of Trent Traditional missal discarded, contrary to decrees of Council of Trent

Traditional Canon of the mass intact and is a true sacrifice with true transubstantiation

Words changed – true transubstantiation doubtful which likely makes the new mass no longer a true sacrifice. This change is the single most devastating change that resulted from Vatican II

Notice that many of the changes to the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council resemble changes proposed by Luther in the 16th century, many of which are seen in Protestant churches today. During the Reformation, Luther's motive was to destroy the belief that the Catholic Mass is a true sacrifice and to also push ecumenism (i.e. one religion is as good as another).

How can this “new mass” and new doctrine, forbidden by prior Popes and forbidden throughout the history of the Church be true and pleasing to God?

How can this “new mass” and new doctrine, forbidden by prior Popes and forbidden throughout the history of the Church be true and pleasing to God?

Looking at the changes to the Catholic Church and Mass above, it is not surprising that there has been a drastic drop in religious vocations and people practicing their faith today. Clearly many characteristics in today’s Catholic Church have similarities to Protestant churches. Since there were Protestant ministers involved with the “renewing” of the Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council, is this not a surprise? If you were born after 1969 and have only attended the “new mass” in English and have always thought it was the norm, you have now been shown it is NOT the norm.

KEEP IN MIND:

Truth doesn’t change. If the traditional mass was right before Vatican II, then it is right now. If the new mass was wrong before Vatican II, then it is also wrong now.

”Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” Thessalonians 2:2

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-16)

If You Currently Attend Mass Regularly

If you are Catholic and currently are a member of a parish in your area, take note of the changes just mentioned above. If you are a sincere Catholic and you see these changes in your parish, it is your DUTY as a Catholic to make these issues known to your pastor. If your pastor disagrees, then it is your DUTY as a Catholic to seek out a validly ordained priest who offers the true Mass and sacraments elsewhere to the best of your ability. Simply put, no true Catholic should knowingly attend a Protestantized or ecumenical service (see the directory of Churches across the US and Canada below that offer the traditional Catholic Mass and sacraments). Note that a true, sincere Catholic will even relocate if required to be able to attend a true Catholic mass, since the true mass and sacraments should be a priority in life for EVERY Catholic.

If You Are Catholic But Don’t Currently Attend Mass or Practice Your Faith

If you consider yourself Catholic and do not practice your faith due to the problems in the Church today (or for other reasons), we are now making you aware that there ARE Catholic Churches that still practice the traditional Catholic Mass, and the Vatican has approved of any priest that wishes to continue to say the traditional mass. See the directory of Churches across the US and Canada below that offer the true Catholic Mass and sacraments. Jesus did not tell us to abandon practicing our faith if problems arise in the Church. Rather, Jesus established His Church for us NOT as an option, but as mandatory for our salvation. It is your duty to seek out a validly ordained priest, and the true mass and sacraments to the best of your ability!

The Official Catholic ONLINE DIRECTORY OF TRADITIONAL LATIN MASSES AND RESOURCE BOOK for the United States and Canada

Click the image below to browse the online directory to find a traditional mass near you (use CTRL-F to search it), or order your own paperback copy of the directory from Traditio.com.

2006 Traditional Mass Directory

NOTE: Beware of The “Indult Mass”

The "indult mass" is the traditional Catholic mass offered at churches where the new mass is also normally offered. Some concerns that Catholics should be aware of with the indult mass are:

  • Some priests saying the indult mass MAY not be validly ordained with the traditional (pre-Vatican II) rite, and therefore MAY not be valid priests.
  • The Holy Eucharist distributed at the indult mass MAY also have been consecrated (invalidly) and left in the tabernacle during a new mass said in the same church. In this case, people at the indult mass MAY not be receiving validly consecrated hosts at Holy Communion.
  • Priests who celebrate the indult mass AND the new mass may be obliged by their diocese to preach certain Vatican II doctrine in their sermons, confession and elsewhere. This would be a danger to ones faith.

 

Therefore we do not recommend Catholics attend the indult mass since the above criteria may be difficult or impossible to determine. If there is no other traditional mass available in the area, Catholics may consider attending an indult mass providing they perform thorough research to the best of their ability to determine if the above criteria are present.

Conclusion

No true, sincere Catholic should ever blindly attend a Mass that they know is Protestantized, ecumenical, invalid, forbidden by past teaching of the Church or otherwise displeasing to God. You are putting your salvation at risk if you do so. We urge you to investigate further on your own. There are plenty of books available on the traditional Catholic Mass. Some books on the subject are below (these may be found at sites such as http://www.tanbooks.com and http://www.amazon.com):

The Problems With The New Mass

Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D.

The Great Sacrilege

By: Rev. James Wathen

The Problems With The Prayers of The Modern Mass

By: Rev. Anthony Cekada