Comment posted on Cathcon today. One of the all time best and most timely.
I was one of the many religious who left their monasteries, convents and religious houses in the confusion brought about in the wake of Vatican II. I was one year from making my final vows when our community life was turned upside down by all the nonsense foisted upon us in the name of liberty of spirit. I saw our daily community life and exercises turned into options rather than obligations. The members started doing their own thing instead of being present at the common exercises like morning and evening meditation. Community life as I has known it and been happy with for six year fell apart.
Laxity was the order of the day, and the timing of the evening meal was set according to what was good on the television. Community night prayers went out of the window and the only priest present at morning meditation with three of four lay brothers was the one saying the 7am Mass. Faced with this, I did not feel that I could in all conscience go forward to final vows. I did the right thing because had I stayed I would have had a major problem accepting the Novus Ordo Missae and all the excesses and abuses that went on in the name of experimental liturgy and ecumenism. On the day that I should have renewed my vows prior to final vows one year later, I left my monastery in the dark at 6am in a flood of tears. I didn’t want to go, but under the circumstances I could not stay. Looking around the UK now at the number of religious houses and seminaries that are either closed, communities moved to smaller premises, or just hanging on with a few elderly members, I remain unconvinced that Vatican II was the great success and renewal that we are constantly told it was. By their fruits shall you know them, and since Vatican II there has been a crop failure and a blight of religious vocations. Quite the contrary happened after the Council of Trent when there was an astonishing revival of priestly and religious vocations, reforms in relaxed religious communities, and a plethora or new religious orders and congregations. Trent produced a visible and palpable revival in the church the likes of which we are still waiting to see in the wake of Vatican II.