The Heart of the Matter: The Loss of Tradition

Part 7 of 14 – This series of columns is based on the work of Fr. Chad Ripperger that analyzes the spirits of the past six generations and how those spirits have affected the Church.  We only ask that you consider whether his descriptions are true in a general sense, even if they do not describe you or people you know.

So far, in every parish I have served, I have been shown pictures from the 1950’s when every seat in the church was filled–on a regular basis.  Even though the ones showing me the pictures prefer the “kinder, gentler” church of today, the empty pews of today testify something was lost in that transition.  Fr. Chad Ripperger, in his tracing of the generational spirits of the past five generations, suggests the Church’s Tradition was lost.

If one is to pass on Tradition, intact, he can only do so by putting himself aside, making sure he does not interject himself into it, and pass it on without tainting it. The “Greatest” Generation did nothing of the sort.

Not only was Tradition lost, it became as something despised.  It was during this generation that prayer was taken out of our schools, that Sundays became a day for shopping and sporting events, that Christian holidays were renamed, that sexual promiscuity was accepted and even encouraged, that divorce skyrocketed, that pornography became widespread.  The “Brave New World” of the “greatest” generation brought prosperity while the foundational values of the country crumbled.

And what did this generation oversee in the Church?  Fr. Ripperger notes,

It was this generation that wrought Vatican II and its aftermath. It was this generation that brought about a loosening of disciplinary requirements in the Church. It was this generation that allowed dissent, unorthodoxy, and immorality to have a life in the Church. It was this generation that began the sweeping under the carpet of the pedophile problem, the homosexual problem among the clergy, that rejected and did not enforce or teach the immorality of contraception. In effect, this generation was handed a Church that by some accounts could be considered at its prime morally, spiritually, and financially, and they passed on to us a Church whose members are spiritually, morally, and financially bankrupt. (all quotes taken from Latin Mass magazine, summer 2012)

 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.  (2Thessalonians 2:15)