|Pope Paul VI and part of the team that 'designed' the new Mass|
I do not know how many priests and nuns in Britain left their vocations in the wake of the changes but it ran into thousands. Many prospective vocations drifted away like snow on a hot shovel. The whole episode, for many years, was shambolic, I remember it well. Our Canon stood in the porch after Mass loudly proclaiming in a hectoring voice:
"It's exactly the same Mass you know". Except that it wasn't the same Mass you know.
On holiday in Dulverton, Somerset we went to Mass and a funny old choir sang the Tridentine Latin Mass in English to psalm like chants.
Guitars and washboards (Google the word skiffle if that puzzles you) made their way on to the sanctuaries and good, plainchant choirs were dismissed, not just the odd one here and there but hundreds of them (most parishes had a choir in those days). Kumbaya became the choral currency and Byrd and Purcell disappeared, despite the strictures placed on maintaining both Latin and Plainchant by Vatican II.
Father Oswald Baker of Downham Market took up cudgels and his parishioners (hundreds of them) backed him. They took over the church and maintained the status quo until the time came that 'they' got him out and he spent the rest of his days a sad, Sede Vacantist.
In France, Latin Mass loving Catholics took over and occupied (in good French fashion) St Nicolas du Chardonnay church and there they remain to this day as part of the Society of St Pius X.
Some of the great Catholic academics and Heads of Divinity in seminaries ran off with a woman in tow (this happened increasingly during the 60s and 70s - why remain celibate when the reasons for doing so have been flushed down the drain?) Some of them emigrated and ended up in Canada and Australia, holding folk Masses supported by their 'wives' and administering sliced bread and bottles of plonk in earthenware mugs to a sundry assortment of the unwashed. Others took to drink.
Purges began in the seminaries for anyone that had a hint of the 'Roman' about them. They were outed and then ousted. Most left but some more determined souls gritted their teeth and found a traditional base somewhere that enabled them to achieve their desire.
Father JohnTrigilio in the States writes of his seminary experience:
"If you wore a cassock you were a 'reactionary daughter of Trent'. If you wore women's underwear they'd make you seminarian of the year!
And the laity? They voted with their feet and left the faith by the hundred thousand. And most of the new wave of priests left within 5 years of being ordained and became probation officers and social workers, that was what they had been trained for.
We moved parishes along with a new job and were shocked (coming from a parish where the Novus Ordo was celebrated very reverently) to find 20 plus children swarming over the priest as he sat down to receive the Offertory gifts from a medley of what appeared to be emigres from the local Socialist Worker group.
Holy Communion was a scrum with lines of folk jostling for position and a team of Extraordinary Ministers distributing the Sacrament. We objected and asked the Canon to administer directly to those who wished to receive from the priest. he refused and, the following week read a statement from the pulpit to the effect that no one was to refuse Communion from an EM, in fact, it was our duty to receive from an EM!
The chaos continued until, thoroughly fed up with the liturgical capers and nonsensical direction from the pulpit (where Ghandi was held up as being the perfect role model for us to follow and we were told that we HAD to vote Labour), we snapped and went "dry" - alone and publicly branded as heretics by the curate who, within 6 months had run off with a mother of four.
That's a very brief snapshot of what it was like when the changes were implemented; and it all reverts back to the deprivation and banning of the Latin Mass - why do they hate it so?
Now, I believe that the Ordinary Form of Mass is valid and I believe that those who wish to attend this Mass are at perfect liberty to do so. But I would like those same rights applied to those of us who want the Extraordinary Form of Mass - parity, equality, fraternity!
Given the appalling state of today's Catholic Church in Britain I think the Bishops need to start making rapid moves in the right direction.
There is a definite mood of non acceptance of more crass liberalism by the orthodox
faithful. They have had enough, read the press, Andrew Brown, Ed West, Damian Thompson and others - it is now unacceptable to brand decent, God fearing people with the label of "Lefevbrist", "Right wing," "Fundamentalist". We are all Catholics; we have been over tolerant for over 40 years, enough is enough! Some of us want the Tridentine Latin Mass, is that bad? Is that evil? Is that fundamentalist? We also like the doctrinal truths that go with the Extraordinary Form, moral clarity - doctrinal certainty. Who would deny us that?
Apparently, the Bishops would.