Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why are we stuck in the 60's?

Fr. Ripperger: Hermeneutic of rupture dishonors the martyrs, saints

"If the Church is supposed to be so modern, then why are we still stuck in the 1960's? Why is the music from the 60's? Why are the vestments from the 60's? Why is the architecture still from the 60's?" So asks Fr. Chad Ripperger, F.S.S.P., in his talk on "Catholic Tradition and Liturgy". Fr. Ripperger makes three excellent points on the hermeneutic of rupture that I'd like to point out.

(1) An intentional break with Tradition is a form of impiety. It is impiety because it suggests that the spirituality of the great Saints, Martyrs and Doctors was somehow wrong, and by extension, that they were wrong. One cannot simultaneously venerate St. Dominic and at the same time denounce the Mass that fed Dominic's sanctity. All the saints perceived an attack on the Mass as an attack on them and on God directly. Thus, it is a form of impiety.

(2) An intentional break with Tradition is a sin against the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment enjoins us to honor our mothers and fathers, which Tradition and the Catechism apply to our superiors and spiritual fathers as well. This also applies to our forebearers, our "fathers" in the faith. By approving things that our forefathers would have never stood for, we dishonor the things they believed and died for. Athanasius has brought this up by pointing out that John Paul II's allowance of a Muslim ritual at the canonization of the Franciscan proto-martyrs dishonors them because they died for refusal to participate in the ritual. Thus, it is a sin against the fourth commandment.

(3) An intentional break with Tradition is a form of theft. Theft is taking what one has no right to take. The Tradition belongs to no one generation, but to the Church of all ages. When one breaks with Tradition, they rob the future generations of the heritage labored for and passed on by generations of the faithful, a robbery that nobody has the right to commit. Thus, a break with Tradition is a form of robbery.

I think Fr. Ripperger's points are very valid and help to demonstrate two things: that breaking with Catholic Tradition is no small thing, but is a matter of tremendous, even earth-shaking significance; and also that this generation (or rather, that of the 1960's) is amazingly arrogant to assume all of the powers to be able to simply cast off Tradition at a whim.


Anonymous said...


Is this talk of Fr. Ripperger's on that CD that Dave dropped off for us?

Boniface said...


Yes, this was on the Fr. Ripperger CD that Dave gave us.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Where might one find this cd of Father Ripperger?

Boniface said...

Rockin' Traddy -

I don't know...the ones we have in our parish were made for us personally by a guy who specializes in reproducing talks on disc. But you can check Fr Ripperger's site at

Boniface said...