The present crisis in the Catholic Church might be seen as the last hurrah of the spirit of Vatican II. If rumors are to be believed, Pope Francis is preparing new restrictions on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. This combined with the dissent being fomented by the German Catholics and widespread modernism and liturgical laxity in the rest of the Catholic Church in Western Europe and North America brings many Catholics of a conservative mindset close to despair.
Not a few conservative Catholics are wringing their hands and asking what they can do in the face of a Church whose leadership seems hell-bent on following the lead of the mainstream Protestant churches into moral relativism, accommodation to the zeitgeist, pathetic irrelevance, and terminal decline.
The key to the Church’s evangelization, retention of the faithful, and cultural relevance is a reverent liturgy. If our architecture, music, and celebration of the liturgy is beautiful and traditional it makes a counter-cultural statement and aids in the proclamation of the fullness of the Christian faith in the Catholic Church. If the liturgy is merely “relevant” and accommodates the spirit of the age it is, paradoxically, irrelevant. Reverent Mass, on the other hand, is supremely relevant because with increased reverence for what is truly holy, all else falls into its correct priority.