One of the four big themes of Bergoglio’s papacy has been “inculturation.” (The other three being, of course, “Worship the Earth,” “Go Gay,” and “Kill the Trads.”)
Inculturation is one of those flabby, non distinct words leftists throw around as if they mean something. Words that only a racist, homophobic, science-denier could possibly have a problem with. Words like “inclusion” and “diversity” and “equity.” (All those words have meanings, of course, but 99 percent of the people who use them more than once a year have no idea what those meanings are.)
What Bergoglio and his myrmidons mean by “inculturation” is changing Catholic teaching to agree with local pagan superstitions. He would even incorporate those local heresies into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as he did with Pachamama in 2019, ushering in the Wuhan Plague and other untold evils.
Call me whatever you want, but for me, the less inculturation the better. I am against inculturation in the Church. Here’s why.
What does the word “catholic” mean? You probably know it means “universal.” For many centuries, the Church’s universality was pretty much complete. This universality encompassed all Church teachings, all sacraments, and the handful of sacred liturgies. If you assisted at a Latin Rite Mass in Bangladesh and, later, Boston, it was the exact same Mass for a given day in the liturgical calendar. Same for the Mass of St. John Chrysostom, whether in Istanbul or Islip. In other words, your Catholic rite was one rite.
Even today, Traditional Catholics can walk into a Tridentine Mass anywhere in the world and know exactly what’s going on. It’s universal. The language is common, as is every tiny action by the priest, the servers, and the people.
In the Novus Ordo world, this is not the case. In fact, at my former N.O. parish, we received choreography instructions (usually requiring rehearsal) before every Sunday Mass, the changes were so frequent and jarring. When I was splitting time between Latin and American Masses, I would find myself lost whenever I attended the Novus Ordo after two or three weeks at Latin. Yet, after a 15-year hiatus from Latin Mass, I felt right at home with the liturgy upon returning.
And there’s a reason for that familiarity and consistency. The Latin Mass is man’s imperfect attempt at worshiping God the way God wants to be worshipped. Our attempt at this liturgy is rooted in Exodus 25-27, introduced thusly:
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them. 3 Here is a list of sacred offerings you may accept from them:
gold, silver, and bronze;
4 blue, purple, and scarlet thread;
fine linen and goat hair for cloth;
5 tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather;
6 olive oil for the lamps;
spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense;
7 onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece.
8 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. 9 You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.
God’s instructions for Aaron and the priestly tribe were equally exacting. Though the covenant is new and the particular instructions given to the Hebrews no longer apply, we have no Scriptural evidence that God is any less exacting. And directionally we should probably take some eternal guidance from Exodus.
For example, God seems to like His tabernacles and altars to be made from the most precious materials in the world. The same goes for the priest’s vestments. That’s why the Church for centuries demanded everything in and around the altar to be of the finest materials and finest quality, built by skilled and dedicated craftsman.
Yes, I’m sure Jesus is pleased with a child’s felt banner covered with religious symbols, but not around His Father’s altar. And I’m sure our modern praise music pleases God, but not during the most solemn Sacrifice of the Mass.
While God’s permissive will (at least) led to a diversity in cultures and customs, those customs belong to the way people experience and get through life. Diversity and local customs end at the church doors. We are one in the presence of the Lord.
Bergoglio and the modernists claim that the missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the only “law of prayer” of the Latin Church. Yet, that missal is rarely celebrated as written, even in Novus Ordo churches. Instead, that missal is sort of the photograph that a liturgical impressionist painter—the priest—uses as an artistic inspiration for his performance art. And he would to shudder in embarrassment if anyone should recognize a pattern in his performances from one show to the next.
Tell a Novus Ordo priest, “I like your grand entrances at the beginning of every Mass, with the girls throwing flower petals and the dancing zebra braying at the congregation in beat with the Styx song being pantomimed by the St. Mary’s Class of 1968 air band,” and you will never see that priest make a grand entrance again. To the modernist, repetition is the gateway to reverence and anathema to the priestly art.
This “universal” and “unique” missal is, in fact, treated like an outline at best, a suggested “run of show” sheet.
Granted, many of the so-called “abuses” of the New Mass stem from lack of the discipline in most dioceses around the world. The New Mass could be consistent and reverent like the Old Mass, but along with the New Missal came episcopal nods and winks that told the clergy, “do what thou wilt.” And wilt they do.
Moreover, the New Mass as promulgated actually violates the rules for liturgical reform expounded by the Second Vatican Council. The Council required the Latin language, ad orientem (facing God, not the crowd), and a predominance of Gregorian chant. But the New Mass did away with all of those things except for the orientation of the priest. That was simply introduced without anyone’s permission at all, along with many of the practices you see in the typical Novus Ordo pageants, including Communion in the hand or from a sacred Pez dispenser as you walk out the door.
Inculturation intends to take these massive variabilities one step further. The goal of the incultruationists is to make the Mass completely unrecognizable to Catholics from outside that particular parish. While Holy Infant might employ a braying zebra in processions, St. Antony’s will deploy liturgical pom-pon girls in glittery, sequined skirts to lead a cheer down the aisle. The priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Community (because “parish” sounds so pre-Vatican II) might surf into the crowd for the consecration so the congregants can better participate in the act of transubstantiation with one hand on the host and the other clasping a neighbor’s (as if man, and not God, were responsible for this miracle.)
Diversity to the point of confusion. And that confusion we see at almost every Novus Ordo Mass almost every Sunday seems the whole point of Bergoglio’s inculturation offensive. Divide and conquer.
I’m against inculturation because inculturation implies the Church learns from the world. But this world belongs to Satan, its prince (Ephesians 2:2, John 12:31, John 14:30, John 16:11, Matthew 4:8-11).
The Church founded by Christ and animated by the Holy Ghost on Pentecost ~33 A.D. can learning nothing from this world. The Church in all its forms is not of this world. The Church is the mystical Body of Christ, Christ the King, Who told us and Pilate,
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were one which belonged to this world, my servants would be fighting to prevent my falling into the hands of the Jews; but no, my kingdom does not take its origin here.” (John 18:36)
Therefore, we, as members of His Church, are not of this world. In baptism, we became citizens of another Kingdom, a kingdom that does not learn from this world but attempts to teach this world. We are not here to “dialogue” and “accompany” this dying world, but to preach the commandments He has taught us and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that they, too might become subjects of Our King and live life eternally with Him in His Father’s house.
Thus, I reject inculturation and all its empty promises.