In this letter addressed to Bishop Barron of the WORD ON FIRE ministry, Fr Cipolla rightly focuses on what the Mass has become since the Second Vatican Council and the mighty cultural pressures surrounding it. Was the Council more of a political contest than a religious one?
“A Response to Bp. Barron’s Criticism of Traditionalism”: You can’t Evangelize the Revolutionized World With a New Mass Locked in the 1960s Revolution — A Letter by Fr. Cipolla
Rorate Caeli, 10 March 202
Dear Bishop Barron:
I have written many Letters to the Editor in my lifetime to the New York Times and to the Wall Street Journal—bona fide credentials of my moderate and centrist persona—and now I feel compelled to write this letter to you to respond to your recent article called “The Evangelical Path of Word on Fire”. I am a Catholic priest, soon to be an octogenarian. It would seem more prudent at this time in my life to lay aside those things that threaten the peace and equanimity that one should strive for at this stage of my life. But alas, my Southern Italian genetic makeup does not make it easy to live a laid- back life at this time when I should give oneself over to contemplation and remembrance of things past.
I have followed your career in the Church for some years now, with a good deal of admiration for your stand against what you call liberal Catholicism. St. John Henry Newman, that great opponent of liberalism in religion, would approve of your battle against “beige Catholicism”. Your many instructional DVDs show clearly that you understand the important role of Beauty in the Catholic faith. You are obviously of man of real faith who loves the Church.
Your brief article refers to two types of Catholics that manifest themselves at this time and that you consider to be aberrant, for very different reasons, from your understanding of Catholicism , which you speak about as Evangelical Catholicism. The first is “liberal Catholicism”, which has predominated since the years after the Second Vatican Council. You describe this type of Catholicism as “culturally accommodating…unsure of itself..a Church that had allowed its distinctive colors to be muted and its sharp edges to be dulled.” You agree that, in the words of Cardinal George, that liberal Catholicism is “a spent project”.