Danny Kaye tells the story of the Emperor's new clothes.
Fr Ray Blake has put up a brave post about the failure of the route the Church has taken since the Second Vatican Council. He starts by saying what some have long thought and others are only now beginning to allow themselves to express:
"It is pretty obvious that the Vatican II experiment has failed"It's intentions may have been full of hope but perhaps caught up in the spirit of the age - the 1960's when everything seemed up for grabs and change was in the air. The brightest and best of those who were at the forefront of all that very quickly realised that it was not the answer. Among them was Fr Joseph Ratzinger who, as a peritus to Cardinal Frings of Cologne, was viewed as a reformer but as early as 1968 he realised that all that went with the "liberating" 1960's was not the answer. It's taken others a little longer to realise the same thing.
If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the evidence all around us can no longer be ignored. Our churches are empty and closing, our convents and monasteries (in any proper sense) are almost non-existent, the seminaries close one by one, Catholic education in our schools is a joke (a very poor one) but we keep hearing about the wonderful fruits of the Council. What are they? The intentions may have been good but the results have surely not been a success of any kind. I don't believe a wholesale return to the past is the answer but nor is carrying on with the same failed rhetoric. Only now, fifty years after the Council, are people willing to start telling the Emperor that he has no clothes on. Interestingly, in Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale, the Emperor is told by the tailors that only those unfit for position are unable to see the invisible couture, so everybody lies, saying how wonderful they look. The Spirit of the Council that has been Emperor for fifty years is finally hearing the truth but many who are still "possessed" of that spirit still act like the Emperor in the fairytale and hold on to the imaginary mantle:
"The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that. He though it better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn't see his clothes was either stupid or incompetent. And he stood stiffly on his carriage, while behind him a page held his imaginary mantle."The experiment has failed. Fr Ratzinger noticed realised the truth quite some time ago! Fr Blake suggests we need to draw on new leaders with views that don't match what has gone before for the last fifty years. In speaking to other priests, all agree that leadership is crucial. There are small signs that the type of men being appointed bishop is beginning to change - but they are indeed small. Let us pray for better - after all, fairytales are meant to have happy endings!