Irony wears a papal tiara
  • I'm presently slogging through the 900+ page The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948 -1975 by Fr. Annibale Bugnini, the principal architect of the liturgical reform.

    In amongst many other comments, I found this, from a speech given by Pope Paul VI (October 1968).to the members of the Consilium, the group charged with bringing the reform of the whole of the liturgy to fruition.

    Fr. Bungini's introduction:

    At one point in his address the Pope referred to tendencies that were a cause of 'anxiety and pain.'



    The Holy Father's text ("We" is the Holy Father, speaking of himself).

    We refer, first of all, to the attitude of those who receive with bad grace whatever comes from ecclesiastical authority or is lawfully commanded. This results at times even in conferences of bishops going too far on their own initiative in liturgical matters. Another result is arbitrary experimentation and the introduction of rites that are flagrantly in conflict with the norms established by the Church. Anyone can see that this way of acting not only scandalizes the conscience of the faithful, but does harm tot eh orderly accomplishment of liturgical reform, which demands of all concerned prudence, vigilance, and above all discipline.

    A cause of even greater worry is the behavior of those who contend that liturgical worship should be stripped of its sacred character and who therefore erroneously believe that no sacred objects or ornaments should be used, but that objects of common, everyday use should be substituted. Their own rashness leads some so far that they do not spare the sacred place of celebration. Such notions, we must insist, not only distort the genuine nature of the liturgy, but the true meaning of the Catholic religion.

    In simplifying the liturgical rites, formularies and actions, there must be care not to go further than necessary and not to neglect the importance to be given to liturgical 'signs.' That would open the way to weakening the power and effectiveness of the liturgy. To remove from the sacred rites whatever today seems repetitive, obsolete, or pointless is one thing; it is something else to strip the liturgy of the signs and splendor that, if kept within their proper bounds, are needed for the Christian people to perceive rightly the hidden realities and truths concealed under the veil of external rites.
  • The question remains begged - why didn't Paul and his successors do something about the abuses they intuited or observed? Why didn't they marshal their authority and call the offenders to account? Why didn't they forbid all that was done in the council's name for which, actually, no authority at all existed, and why didn't they command the doing of those things for which conciliar authority did exist? The straits in which the Church finds itself today are lain nowhere else but at the feet of those bishops and clerics who came home from the council and lied about what the council said, and at the feet of 'The Vatican', of 'Rome', and the popes who did absolutely nothing to hinder or correct them.
    Thanked by 1BGP
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,837
    I suspect that ecumenism had much to do with it. The Consilium group did not write Unitatis Redintegratio: the Council did. The Consilium group, to the best of my knowledge, was charged by the Council, with Pope Paul VI at its head, with re-designing the liturgy to reflect the ideas of ecumenism set forth in UR. The result was that permission was given for the outward appearance of the Mass to change drastically, depending on the judgment of local bishops. The Mass was allowed to look as Protestant or Catholic as the local bishop saw fit, all in the name of this "new ecumenism." Because permission was already given in the documents drawn up by the Consilium group, and approved by the Council, it appeared as if Rome didn't need to be consulted before these changes could take effect, even though the Church didn't give permission for everything that was changed, including the use of the vernacular beyond certain circumstances. So bishops used their judgment, and made decisions independently of the Holy See.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,485
    eclipsed. the church is in eclipse.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,023
    Nah.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,404
    Paul VI was in over his head and was, I think, a weak and vacillating pope. He rarely stood up to anyone, and even when he did, he explained it all away and minimized it. I think, however, some blame has to be laid at the feet of John XXIII. He rashly called that council without adequate preparation. I have read a statement somewhere that Pius XII noted it would take years of preparation for a council and I think he said 25 years. It seems to me the hierarchy was infected with Modernism as were many of the lower level clergy. Call it a series of unfortunate events - apologies to Lemony Snicket.

    I remember many thinking how wonderful the Protestants were, that we had been condemning them unfairly for centuries, and that our ecumenism would make them want to join with us and become more Catholic. The opposite occurred. They never wanted to be part of us and we lost people to them.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,211
    Charles--your narrative is not exactly correct. John XXIII had lots of stuff well-prepared in advance, but a clique of Rhine-bishops (names still quite familiar as rebels) subverted the process. At the very beginning of the Council, they voted to rip up all the prepatory documents and begin again from the top.

    We're living with that today.

    But yes, Paul VI was a weakling. On the other hand, read Mgr. Hayburn's book and you'll learn that Bishops and priests have been ignoring Popes and Roman documents on the liturgy for about 2,000 years.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,404
    True, but I think John did not have any idea of who his enemies were. He was a bit naive on that.

    Another thought I have held for some time. RCIA. I see every week Protestants who have come through RCIA with their Protestantism nearly intact. They may believe in the real presence, but have no clue as to what it means to be Catholic. Can there be CINOs, Catholics in Name Only or Converts in Name Only?
  • rarty
    Posts: 72
    Reading about the liturgical reforms of the 50s-70s is, on the whole, certainly dis-edifying—especially the oft-times milquetoast leadership of Pope Paul VI.

    But knowing what the reformers wanted to do with the Mass and Office, I am more thankful that what resulted, however different, could be described as modest in comparison with the wishes of the revolutionaries.

    (And, before separating out new Catholics with derogatory and vicious labels, I posit that the much larger proportion of those that are content with utterly dis-edifying lives and frankly heretical beliefs are the real fruits of the (so-called) protestantization of the liturgy. And it is much more difficult (and uncertain) to re-gain the faith after abandoning it. It is much more destructive for long-time 'Catholics' to openly disparage the faith than for new Catholics to not have mastered it yet.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,404
    And it is much more difficult (and uncertain) to re-gain the faith after abandoning it. It is much more destructive for long-time 'Catholics' to openly disparage the faith than for new Catholics to not have mastered it yet.)


    Yes, but... When those "new Catholics" move into the diaconate and other such positions and preach Protestant theology, there is a real problem. I have seen good and bad RCIA programs, but there seem to be no uniform standards and the quality varies from place to place.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,298
    ...new Catholics with derogatory and vicious labels
    One solution to Charles' problem might be to start opening the doors to cafeteria converts.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 429
    Why not? We have a nation full of 'Cafeteria Catholics' who were born into the faith. The cafeteria converts wouldn't even be noticeable!
    Thanked by 2CharlesW rarty
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,404
    They might be the ones who don't like Beagle's Wings.
    Thanked by 1bhcordova
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,211
    Catholics in Name Only


    Millions of 'em. Those would be Catholics using artificial birth control--just for starters.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,023
    Well, actually, the Church itself doesn't see even grave sin and those who commit them quite that political way. Bad Catholics =/= CINO.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,211
    Well, OK. Martin Luther remains Catholic, too.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,023
    Well, in the Church's eyes, an excommunicated Catholic is still a Catholic. Just excommunicated with removal of censure reserved. It's not a subtle point. If excommunication made you a non-Catholic, the Church would lose jurisdiction over you. (The Inquisition had no jurisdiction over non-Catholics, for example.)

    The CINO idea is a borrowing from the American political world. It doesn't transfer well to the Church. "Bad Catholic" is closer to a Roman way of thinking: you may be a bad member of the family excluded from its table for now, but you are still of the family. Because the Church doesn't lose hope for reconciliation. And writing off that hope is to despair, which is not virtuous, however rationalized.