[percy-l] Retaining My Amateur Status

Mike Frentz mfrentz_2 at comcast.net
Sun Feb 15 23:35:45 EST 2004


Also speaking as an amateur I'd like to make the following comment: I 
don't know of any changes in *theology*, per se, resulting from V2, 
only in the practice.  V2 has a very bad name in some circles, very 
good in others -- but both often for the wrong reasons -- primarily due 
to an overabundance of zeal in carrying out unjustified mandates 
corresponding to misinterpretations of the spirit and letter of the 
Council.  It was wrongly perceived as a license to do things that were 
never intended by the magisterium and we've still much cleanup to do as 
a result (especially among the misguided and woefully catechized 
apparatchik hangers-oners at the diocesan levels who continue to do 
more harm than good wrt effective catechesis, in my personal 

I believe that V2 was very good, timely, and *needed* in bringing the 
practice of the Church into the 20th century (e.g. the active role of 
the laity, especially given a high percentage of college-educated 
congregration compared with all previous generations), but that V2's 
continuing wide misinterpretation continues to cause problems.  EWTN is 
fixing some of this slowly (but surely among those that bother to watch 

One thing I've seen of late (and it was predicted to me by a priest 
four or five years ago at the Eucharistic Congress in Washington..) is 
that the new priests coming out of the seminary are *excellent* (4 for 
4, by my personal experience since that prediction).  These priests are 
anachronistically "traditional" (in the warped view of V2 
misinterpreters, I would guess), but are actually quite true to the 
*true* spirit of V2 IMHO -- i.e. they are "post-V2 priests", but 
well-catechized and quite effective in their apostolate.  Not at all 
allergic to (nor addicted to..) to Latin.  We're seeing turnarounds in 
vocations in our parish already due to this properly nurtured and 
well-kindled zeal.

As for Percy, you've got me on specifics -- I've never seen any 
indication in any of the things of his that I've read (for better or 
worse, only his nonfiction I'm ashamed to admit) that would indicate 
that he had heartburn with the essence of V2.  At the essence level, 
it's hard to object if your beliefs are orthodox.  V2 was beautiful.  
But separating the essence from the artifacts in this area is very 
problematic (your mileage may vary..).

Mike Frentz

P.S.  Karey, I saw your note.  I hope things are going well.  I'll try 
to regroup my thoughts and respond tomorrow.

On Feb 15, 2004, at 7:24 AM, marcus at loyno.edu wrote:

> Chuck,
> That's a good question!  You at least deserve to reclassify
> yourself into semi-pro status!
> I want to think about it for a couple of days before
> venturing any thought out answers.  Also, I'd like to hear
> some responses from others with other information.  But I do
> not recall WP ever being scornful about any V2 changes.
> Also, I'm not sure what a "true" V2 Catholic is, anymore
> than I am sure what a "true" pre-V2 Catholic was.
> Percy might have said he was a "bad Catholic" before V2 and
> remained a "bad Catholic" afterwards, meaning both
> ironically, of course, as a sidestep into a peculiar act of
> personal humility, and then, if it happened to be a Friday,
> head over to a restaurant on the Lake in Mandeville for a
> Jack Daniel's followed by some salad, good bread, and a
> plate of Trout Almondine.
> But this is all speculation.
> Marcus Smith
> ----- Original Message Follows -----
> From: chaslow53 at aol.com
> To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [percy-l] Retaining My Amateur Status
> Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 22:51:07 EST
>> Unlike many of you on this list, I neither knew Walker
>> Percy nor am able to  study his work for extended periods
>> in an academic setting.  I am what Kieran  Quinlan
>> characterized in The Last Catholic Novelist as a
>> nettlesome amateur, or  what the Victorians more kindly
>> called a "general reader."
>> Here is my observation, which leads to a question: WP
>> obviously was an  advocate of a pre-Vatican II theology,
>> both in terms of the articles of belief  themselves and in
>> the way that those articles were taught and held.  He
>> makes that  clear in essay after essay directly, and in
>> the novels indirectly.  His views  on dissenting clergy,
>> liberation theology, etc., expressed in the decades  after
>> the Vatican Council, could just as easily have been
>> regarded as common  before the Council.
>> The question, then, is this: is there any indication of
>> what he thought of  some of the day-to-day changes made
>> following the Council?  Was he sorry to see  the Latin
>> Mass go?  Did he rush to trade fish for hamburgers on
>> Friday?  Did  he abandon the Rosary or any other of those
>> devotional elements that were  widespread at the time of
>> his conversion but which are now much rarer?
>> Father Samway, in his biography, makes the very specific
>> assertion that WP  was a true Vatican II Catholic.  I just
>> haven't seen much evidence of it, and I  thought that
>> maybe others on the list could offer insight.
>> Thanks.  I would be grateful for any insight forwarded to
>> the list or any  private responses.  Apologies to any on
>> the list who are not particularly  interested in this type
>> of question.
>> Chuck Lowry
>> Brooklyn, New York
>> --
>> An archive of all list discussion is available at
>> http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy/hypermail
>> Visit the Walker Percy Project at
>> http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy
> --
> An archive of all list discussion is available at 
> http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy/hypermail
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

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