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Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One – Conference I, Part 2

Artists are the first in a culture to sense change. They see the small hints of coming storms long before they appear over the horizon. His first inclinations of changes in the Catholic Church began with the changes to the Holy Week rites under Pius XII. His deep faith and artistic sensibilities gave him pause. During the years of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) his suspicions turned into fear. He saw the rock begin to shake. It shook him too. He stopped writing. When asked why he no longer wrote, he replied that Vatican II knocked it out of him. If there was ever a clear link between the inspiration that the beauty and truth of the Catholic Faith provides to the artist, it was the loss of the great writer Evelyn Waugh and the deformity of the Catholic Church in the wake of the Council. He loathed the changes being made to the Latin Mass, years before the rise of the Novus Ordo Mass. He began to drink. He prayed that he would not fall into apostasy. He prayed to be spared witnessing the scourging of the Church. He died Easter Sunday 1966 after Mass and lunch with his family.

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