A correspondent forwards the following:
Another problem for which Vatican II was responsible is what one might call the gentrification of Catholic culture. The fact that Europe’s working classes had largely abandoned Catholicism by the late 1950s enabled Vatican II to concentrate on constructing an essentially middle-class model of what it is to be Catholc. A new middle-class elite had arisen in the Church which rejected what it took to be the over-sentimentalized and essentially peasant approach to Catholicism which had marked the faith of previous generations. Now the demand was for a “rational” approach to Catholicism which would appeal to the intellect rather than the senses. This gave rise to an overly verbalized presentation of the faith with concomitant ideas of “active participation” in the liturgy including reading in public by the laity at Mass and what seemed like endless preparations for baptism, marriage and the other sacraments.
The practice of Catholicism became verbose. Within the English speaking world this meant domination by the linguistic dysfunctionalism of contemporary American society where nothing is to be left unarticulated.
This was coupled with what one might term the professionalization of Catholicism. Rather than taking their place in civil society and being a leaven for Christianity in the workplace, committed lay people increasingly sought jobs in the institutional Church. — Fr. Oliver Rafferty, S.J. “How the Middle Classes Captured the Irish Church” (UK Catholic Herald, 16 May, 2008)
It’s a good point, Vatican II as a coup d’etat by certified experts, followed by the takeover of the Church by middle management and people with master’s degrees in something or other.