Charlie's Blog: The Evelyn Waugh Option


The Evelyn Waugh Option

The liturgical changes in question stemmed directly from the Second Vatican Council, which met from 1962 to 1965. For many, the council was, in the famous words of Pope John XXIII, a chance to “open the windows [of the Church] and let in some fresh air.” This was not so much the case for Waugh, who loudly (though unsuccessfully) protested the radical transformations foisted upon Catholic worship. These changes included an emphasis on vernacular languages over Latin, a revised lectionary, and significant alterations to the components of the Mass. Waugh’s words in response to this revolution are arresting: “Church-going is now a bitter trial,” he wrote. Elsewhere he said, “the Vatican Council has knocked the guts out of me.” To a friend, he wrote, “I have not yet soaked myself in petrol and gone up in flames, but I now cling to the Faith doggedly without joy.” In another letter to a cleric, he sought to know the least he was “obliged to do without grave sin.” This is remarkable, coming from one of the most famous Catholic writers of the 20th century, one who had previously adored the Mass.
CASEY CHALK in The American Conservative

The new Mass of Paul VI is what scandalized and deflated novelist Evelyn Waugh so profoundly. I have to wonder what his reaction to today's scandals would be. We have a gigantic sex abuse scandal with pedophiles and sodomites engaged in all sorts of filth, and prelates covering up for them. We have orders pushing communism under the guise of "social justice." The teachings of the Church are being destroyed by the day. We have a Vatican Bank in the clutches of the mafia. Then, there is the pope who denies the divinity of Christ. Having the Mass said in the vernacular seems like small potatoes in comparison. But Evelyn Waugh did exercise an option which was to do the least that he was obliged to do without grave sin.

Recently, I brought to the attention of my priest, Father Jerk, sacrileges being committed against our Lord in the eucharist by parishioners. This was nothing more than sending a link to a blog post from a fellow parishioner discussing the sacrileges. The response from Father Jerk was what I expected from the guy. It was a long diatribe about how the parishioners basically suck. One thing I have learned over the years. Good leaders blame themselves. Bad leaders blame their people. Father Jerk is a bad shepherd.

I am very well informed about the scandals and failings in the wider Roman Catholic Church. But I also know that I could ride it out serenely if I belonged to a good parish with an orthodox priest and a Latin Mass. I know of such a parish in my diocese, but I live too far away to attend Mass there. Instead, I am stuck with the rest of my diocese in attending parishes that are lackluster at best where priests spread their Spirit of Vatican II heterodoxy and celebrate the Mass with the least amount of reverence or care. Then, there is Father Jerk who turns the Mass into a clown show with his narcissistic personality disorder. Finally, we have a bishop who doesn't care about any of this garbage, has been caught sheltering a pervert priest, and has his own sex abuse claim against him to contend with.

I belonged to the Knights of Columbus in my parish except they have let my council wither and die as no one bothered to show up anymore. I was one of those knights, but I think almost getting killed in an accident and recovering from that has excused me this year from being more active in the council. Before that, my inactivity was due to the simple fact that retired boomers like to schedule meetings during the week where actual knights with real jobs and families find it difficult to attend. Long hours and a long commute killed me as a knight. When I recommended moving our meetings to Saturday mornings, this was met with the expected response. This time would conflict with golf games, fishing, hunting, and preparing to watch college football games on television.

The Knights of Columbus are dead anyway. The organization amounts to an insurance company and little else. Most men can't afford the life insurance. The organization no longer resembles the mutual aid society Father McGivney intended. Membership is in steep decline, but the Knights hide this decline by tricks as they pay the dues of knights that no longer attend or care to belong to the organization. The group has also sold out by supporting illegal immigration, letting pro-abort politicians remain members in good standing, and putting their money into the heterodox Crux news website. Carl Anderson's response to the auto demolition of the Knights of Columbus was to change the fourth degree uniform from traditional to Girl Scout third world dictator. Needless to say, no one likes this.

My personal life is a shambles from my accident. The hardest thing I do each week is to drag myself to Mass to meet my Sunday obligation. I attend the Spanish Mass where I understand very little of what is going on. That is OK to me because this is what a Latin Mass would be for me. The reason I attend the Spanish Mass is because it effectively mutes Father Jerk whose Spanish is still at the high school level. He could be reading from a trashy romance novel, and I wouldn't know. I just sit in silence knowing that Jesus sits in silence in the tabernacle. I go to suffer with my Lord as some clown puts on his Vegas show. There is one thing Father Jerk has done for me. He makes me appreciate virtually any Novus Ordo Mass where he is not present.

My giving has changed dramatically. I stopped giving beyond the Diocese to things like Peter's Pence and the USCCB. Then, I stopped giving to the Diocese. Now, I put a mere dollar in the offering envelope each week to cover the cost of the envelopes and the hosts we consume. I put the rest of my money into the building fund and the capital campaign for the parish. I figure the building can't do bad things, but it may get sold to pay for sex abuse claims. We even bypassed the Church in our almsgiving by giving our donations directly to people in need. The main thing for me is to not pay Father Jerk's salary anymore.

These are sad times to be a faithful Catholic. It is all I can do to maintain my faith. I have concluded that I am obligated to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and to support the parish materially. That is all I do now and all I will do now. I pray for the priests and prelates, but what I ask for is punishment on these wicked men. There is no fate that could befall them that would not be deserved. This includes being plunged to the bottom of Hell.

Most of my consolation today comes from personal prayer and private devotions. I anticipate that Pope Francis and his modernist allies will inevitably invalidate the Mass in some way. When this happens, I will no longer attend the farce because it will be sacrilege. Christ will not be present in the tabernacle in this abomination of desolation, so I will no longer go to be with Him there. All I will have left are my beads and the Holy Bible. I would do more, but Catholicism doesn't work like that. I can work a soup kitchen, but I can't work the altars. Jesus instituted a division of labor in His Church, and the Roman Catholic Church is not a democracy. It is a monarchy that is now a tyranny.

The Roman Catholic Church is now the worst church in the world. We make the Protestants and the Orthodox look good in comparison. The Episcopalians have a more reverent liturgy than the Catholics. You can feel reasonably assured that your local evangelical megachurch won't subject your kids to molestation and rape. As it stands, the Roman Catholic Church is an international organization of criminals fleecing the faithful, promoting communism, sodomizing each other, and destroying our kids with unspeakable acts. Then, they express amazement at polls that show that less than a third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence. When you have done everything possible to kill the faith, what do you expect?

I don't know why God allows such things to occur in His Church. I don't know why He allowed me to get my brains smashed up in an accident. But I feel completely hollowed out and empty inside. I hold out the hope that things will get better. But that hope dims by the day. I think Francis will finish off what is left of the faith and replace it with neo-pagan sodomite earth worship. I expect rainbow banners, gluten free chocolate chip hosts, and women priests any day now.

What is the least I can do and remain free from mortal sin? That is the Evelyn Waugh Option. I am there now.  My prayer is that I can move closer to that good parish that I mentioned. The reality is that it may no longer exist by the time I get there. The faith is dying, and those running the Church are killing it.