‘You always end with a jade’s trick. I know you of old.’

by Bernard Brandt

I was there when you lot of spoiled priests said that the Spirit of Vatican II said that we had to drop the use of Latin in the Mass like a live hand grenade. And so we did. It didn’t matter that the Council Fathers said that they wanted to keep Latin in the liturgy. You did it anyway.

I was there when you lot said that we had to stop singing Gregorian chant, and do your Hootinanny masses instead. Ditto everything else beautiful from Josquin de Pres to Maurice Durufle. Again, it didn’t matter that the actual Council documents said otherwise. You just did it.

I was also there when you replaced the strains of organs, brass, winds, and choirs with guitars and Kumbaya. Good going, guys.

I was there when you said that we had to remove the Communion rail from around the sanctuary. Again, it didn’t matter that it wasn’t authorized. It also didn’t matter that this was an important sign, from back in Roman Imperial times, of the majesty and sovereignity of  God. You brought out the sledge hammers and pickaxes, and these too went.

Ditto the statues, altars, and baldachinos. Removing the tabernacle from its place of honor to a broom closet was a good touch, too.

I was there when you lot of iconoclasts destroyed both tawdry statutes and priceless works of art, and replaced them with childrens’ banners and the works of Correta King.

I was there when you decided to replace communion while kneeling at that missing Communion rail (see above) with receiving communion while standing, and in the hand. Yeah, I know they’re both ancient practices. Pity you had to replace practices everyone was familiar with with ones that were not. Pity also for all the desecrated hosts. But one has to break a few wafers to obtain panko, or something like that.

I could go on, but what’s the point?

The point is that I know you of old. You alleged priests and bishops are just a bunch of small time grifters who have a nice little racket going, rather like Hophni and Phineas in their day. You’ve got a somewhat good deal going, even though 3/4ths of the alleged Roman Catholic faithful don’t come to church anymore to put their money in the collection plate. You’re getting nervous, because most of the remaining 1/4 will be dead in fifteen years. You’re welcoming the Latinos who are coming into the country, because maybe some of them will cough up some dough for the kitty. But it’s less than you would like, because they’re actually hungry for spirituality, and the evangelicals are giving them what you will not.

And so you’re hoping to draw in the divorced, the gays, and the lesbians, who actually have some disposable income. That’s why you’re so eager to present the recent Synod, and the recent letter by the current Pope, as a justification for legitimizing their relationships. It does not matter that they’re saying no such thing, except perhaps ambiguously. It’s always the cash for you, no matter what you may say.

In short, as Beatrice said both to and of Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, “You always end with a jade’s trick. I know you of old.”