The now-worthless Zimbabwean dollar
I grew up in the Church of Pius XII, the Latin Mass --whose "rote" responses and complex choreography I learned as a boy--and the Cold War. I thus remember a time when the Church was The One True Religion, and nobody inside it questioned it. In fact, this was its primary calling card.
One of the quite novel ways of thinking about the Church which came out of the blue with the Vatican Council, when I was in high school, was that we were "The People of God." So much cozier than the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Initially, this meant that the Roman Catholics were The People of God. Within ten minutes, that got extended...uh, made more inclusive...to the Orthodox and our more local "separated brethren" the Protestants...and well, you can imagine. It was the 60's and pretty soon everybody was The People of God. Everybody.
So now, whenever I hear a priest or theologian or pope use this phrase, I see an ideogram in my head, sorta like the ancient Mayan ones, and it means "gooey but completely empty egalitarian mush designed to lull me into feeling Kumbaya and buying some crapshit idea that's toxic."
It struck me as one of a myriad of transformations, both sacred and secular, where what began as a "new vision" of some kind of kinder, gentler more democratic POV turned into a cheap and empty nostrum used only for emotional manipulation. It's part of human nature to value what is rare and to disregard what is easily come by. So that now, with the Liberal and PoMo hegemony well nigh absolute, the ten-minute old values of the Sixties --equality uber alles-- have infected everything in sight. And what we have is not, of course, "equality" but, a la Nietzsche, a de-valuation of all values.
What was once a source of Catholic identity and self-confidence was dumped in favor of an image and idea now droned on about in emptying and graying churches and advertized in word and deed by His Loudmouthness, who presses Mother Europa and all her children to welcome with open arms the waves of savages invading her from the south, because after all, aren't we all The People of God?
In one lifetime to have gone from the majestic Eugenio Pacelli to Jorge Mario Bergoglio the leftist clown...and people think the West is not in decline, the One True Church of Christ along with it?