Why did we have Reform 1?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Something I've always been worried about is the long-term future of the so-called "Reform of the Reform". Let's face the facts: people were all too happy to abandon Latin and what little chant they were doing. The "Reform of the Reform" is, in many ways, about returning those wrongfully removed aspects of Latin and chant to the liturgy. But do they really have staying power? Let me share the following conclusions I've come to about the pre-conciliar situation:

    -Chant and Latin were tolerated, not valued. I recall just this weekend arguing with an old lady who said "I played organ for the old Masses. I hated the Sanctus and Agnus dei and we were all glad to get rid of them!"
    -Catechesis sucked. My mother was raised mostly before the council and has no clue even about what Adoration is. The biggest opponents to fixing the liturgy are always those who lived under the old Mass.
    -Musical standards were low. "On this Day, O Beautiful Mother". 'nuff said.
    -Pragmatism, as today, ruled. The Low Masses were the best attended and lasted a short time. Now my mother's family always attended the High Mass. And many others did. But by and large, people wanted to get their fasts and Mass attendance out of the way.
    -3 or 4 generations have been raised with the idea that liturgy is something to be altered at the whim of the powers that be. And that works against us.

    Agree or disagree, the fact remains that SOMETHING allowed Reform #1 to happen and I don't think it was freemasons or demons living in kitchens or liberal priests forcing their ideas on abused masses. So my question is, at least as far as music, what's keeping chant in place once our authoritative German Pope is gone? In 80 years, when the last of Generation Y is in the ground, what's to stop the new group of young people from saying "hey, this Latin stuff is horrible! Let's ditch it!" If we don't do things right, I'd suggest that may be the scenario.

    The #1 thing I stress is understanding. I know most people over 50 can tell you what the words to the Sanctus or Agnus Dei are. But VERY few can tell you so much as what the "Dei" means. So make sure your congregation isn't just rattling off Latin for the sake of some Romaphile. In my opinion, this is the true value of vernacular. I never had any problem or scandal with learning Latin in high school choir because "Sanctus sanctus sanctus" is just the "Holy Holy Holy" I had heard for 16 years of my life. Keep both Latin and English settings of the Mass programmed from time to time and the congregation has no excuse for not knowing them. Bulletin translations are also a must.

    So what do you think? Bring back Latin and it will stick on its own or do we have a lot of work to do to make sure that our restoration of the liturgy doesn't fall away in another century?
  • Lawrence
    Posts: 123
    Gavin, you raise many good points, and I find myself agreeing with them far more than I wish I did.

    But there is one thing working in our favor: The young people want the REAL THING. They want chant. They want Palestrina, Byrd, and Mozart. Young grumps like me want nothing to do with "On this day..." or the Rossini Propers, or the St. Gregory Hymnal, for that matter (which was actually an improvement over others, believe it or not).

    As I see it, there are two major obstacles in the way of the would-be trailblazers:

    --The attitudes of those who have some memory of the pre-conciliar liturgy, whether they loved it or hated it. The ones that loved it, by and large, loved the sappy hymns and the 15 minute Low Mass. The ones that hated it hated it, and
    we've moved on to the future, thank you very much, as epitomized in the 1970's, the days of aquarius, etc. etc.

    --Resources and knowledge are lacking on the part of those that want to do it right. The learning curve is steep. Those of us who are capable of making a contribution need to find those who want to learn the fullness of the tradition (i.e., the sung liturgy) and help them out.

    In many ways, I think even with the motu proprio we still need to wait a few generations until we can really clear out the cobwebs from the mid-20th century. In the meantime, we need to keep working.

    And yet.....

    I still worry that Pragmatists lurk in sufficient numbers to squelch the whole thing.
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    Vous vous imaginez le sort un peu malheureux de ces villages près du front lors d'une guerre: Je me demande si ce n'est pas les mêmes têtes qui accueillent tantôt l'un, tantôt l'autre des adversaires comme "libérateur". Et ils ont toujours raison, d'une certaine manière. C'est toujours le nouveau gagnant qui libère de l'ancien occupant, même s'il s'agit de l'occupant d'avant. On espère toujours un peu plus du nouvel occupant que de l'ancien. Il est toujours porteur de plus d'espoir que l'autre.
    En matière de chant religieux, l'annonce du renouveau par Vatican II a suscité plein d'espoir. Enfin libéré du joug grégorien. Mais qui viendra nous libérer du joug des cantiques des années 80? En France, les recueils de chants de Gouzes? Le recueil du renouveau charismatique (avec son classeur extensible... fusées à vision longue)? Le retour à l'ancien rite?

    A vrai dire, en matière liturgique, pas besoin, pas utile de se camper en front de guerre. A mesure que les adeptes des liturgies d'après le concile ont condamné et interdit (il n'y a pas d'autres mots pour dire certaines attitudes) ceux qui restaient attachés aux anciens rites, ils étaient loin de l'esprit du concile qui ne prêchait pas les différences, mais les complémentarités, non pas les oppositions, mais le (bien) commun, non pas la condamnation, mais l'accueil réciproque. En même temps: quelle attitude prendre par rapport à ceux qui ont besoin de condamner les nouveaux rites pour mettre en pleine valeur leur ancien rite?
    Il ne faut jamais oublier que les noms que porte dans la tradition le mauvais malin, c'est diabolos (diviseur, séparateur, dispersateur, perturbateur) et satanos (accusateur). Là où règne l'esprit d'accusation et l'esprit de division, l'odeur de souffre vous donne la nausée.
  • Babelfish translation ( I know it isn't perfect) of Jevoro's post...

    You think the a little unhappy fate of these villages close to the face at the time of a war: I wonder whether in fact the same heads accomodate sometimes one, sometimes the other of the adversaries like "liberator". And they are right always, in a certain manner. It is always the new one gaining which releases from the former occupant, even if it acts of the occupant of front. It is hoped always a little more of the new occupant that the old one. It is always carrying of more than hope than the other. As regards hymn, the advertisement of the revival by the Vatican II caused full with hope. Finally released of the Gregorian yoke. But which will come to release us from the yoke of the canticles of the Eighties? In France, collections of songs of Gouzes? The collection of the charismatic revival (with its extensible sorter... fused with long vision)? The return to the old rite? To tell the truth, out of liturgical matter, not need, not useful to be camped in face of war. As the followers of the liturgies according to the council condemned and prohibited (there are not other words for saying certain attitudes) those which remained attached to the old rites, they were far from the spirit of the council which did not preach the differences, but the complementarities, not the oppositions, but it (well) common, not the judgment, but the reciprocal reception. At the same time: which attitude to take compared to those which need to condemn the new rites to put in full value their old rite? One never should forget but the names which in the bad tradition malignant one carries, they is twin wheels (divider, separator, dispersator, disturber) and satanos (accusing). Where reign the spirit of charge and the spirit of division, the odor of suffers gives you nausea
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    On this issue of people being all too happy to abandon the old Mass, I'm not so sure it is that easy. We have to remember that the older people who are hanging around our parishes--the people who are the witnesses to the old days we never experienced--are the survivors, the people who made it through the most turbulent years of liturgical upheaval on record. There is a reason they survived and others didn't, so I think we have to remember that we are getting a biased opinion here. Had you thought of that? Many, many, many Catholics just left, demoralized and upset. We don't hear from them. And we know this is true based on the statistics, which are pretty reliable. What used to be 85% weekly attendance collapsed to something like 20% -- and the recent Pew study we cannot dismiss. It turns out that Catholics have been leaving in droves for decades. I raise this point only to say that we should be cautious about forming a history of the old days based on contemporary reports. The fact is that the people who hated the change in 1970 the most probably were not survivors. They left and now they are silent.

    Gavin, you know what makes me especially suspicious that this was not a welcome change? The manner in which it was imposed -- not as a choice but as a mandatory thing, while the old form was effectively banned. Would this really be required if people were so anxious to dump the old forms? I don't think so.

    Now, I raise these points to give you some things to think about. It took me years to realize some of these issues, and I'm curious as to whether you have thought about them. I don't think most people give any consideration to the casualties of the reform.
  • Darcy
    Posts: 73
    My understanding and belief is that Vatican II arose because of the problems mentioned above with catechesis and worship, the stagnation of people's faith. The lay people were not drawn into a living faith that would translate into a zeal for evangelization, and the fruits of their mechanical practices were their falling away from the Church, or not raising their children with a love of the Catholic Faith. This is why Sacrosanctum Concillium called for a reform of the liturgy. The Holy Spirit is the reason for reform 1, but people with agendas twisted the intention and manipulated the liturgy for their own ends. The power they had to do this seems unnatural, but as a friend of mine always points out, lay people are sheep, they follow where the shepherd leads, for better or worse. If their pastor latched onto the age of aquarius style Mass, then they would follow blindly. But remember, things happen very slowly in the Church. After every ecumenical council, there has been at least a century of upheaval and turmoil before things settled into what the council set out to do. You could say that the liturgy is still in a period of reform that began following Vatican II, and perhaps it is just now that it is starting to come into its own. Gregorian Chant was not a given pre-Vatican II. Witness Justine Ward's mission. If Gregorian Chant is about to come into regular practice in the Mass, and is done so with explanation and catechesis and leadership by well-formed priests, then I suspect it will be far better than it ever was in the past. Lay people have never before had this chance to enjoy the beauty of chant and understand its significance to the liturgy. More importantly, I doubt there was ever such an abundance of information on radio, internet, books, etc. that lay people can readily access that will bring them into full personal contact with the reason we do liturgy in the first place, the Source and Summit of our life, the Eucharist. It's exciting to be a part of this reform as it seems to be finally coming to fruition. But there's still lots of work to be done.
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    Thanks for the translation, Janet, but not BAD tradition, mauvais malin: bad malignant.
    Out of liturgical matter? Isn't it the contrary: In the liturgical matter, no need to warcamp up.
  • Some very astute questions here! I believe we liturgical musicians need to
    remember that teaching is a major part of our vocation. In those places where
    dedicated priests and musicians went out of their way to teach, truly life-changing liturgies were offered up. Start with your kinders, with the simpler
    chants, have a long-range plan. Play games with them on translation, show
    similar words in English, Spanish, etc. Work with them on simple solfege. But
    never "talk down" to them either verbally or musically. Children are drawn to
    true beauty, until we adults teach them otherwise. My wife relates the story
    of a toddler, who would literally dance to Mozart, until his father started replacing Mozart with Contemporary Christian Music. Two books that will give you a "shot in the arm"- "Martin B. Hellriegel: Pastoral Liturgist" by Noel Hackmann Barrett and Dr. Marva Dawn's "Reaching Out Without Dumbing-Down."
    The work of Pueri Cantores & RSCM in America is extremely encouraging. And
    remember the words of Msgr. Hellriegel: "Teach the children well; and they
    will teach their parents. (And eventually, their own children!)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Mikey L:

    I think you understand what I mean. Perhaps our ultimate problem isn't people who "don't want to learn" (in itself a fallacy) Latin, but rather pragmatism. And I don't think there IS a way around that. I think you're close enough to my age that we can claim to be in the same generation. It seems to me that among us there's a much greater tendency to take religion seriously. I would point to the atheists: we don't have people who just don't want to go to church on Sundays. We have people who have intense hatred for religious practice. Fundamentalism is growing among young protestants. The mainlines are shrinking. And we all know how the younger generations are drawn to the Tridentine Mass and reverent Ordinary Form Masses because we are and we see it. People in our age group have no time for the post-conciliar "I'm ok, you're ok, we are church" attitude. Nor do they have time for the "Go to Mass on every Sunday, arrive before the priest reads the Gospel and leave as soon as he communes" attitude of the pre-conciliar times. But I suppose I have to wonder how that will carry on to our children and grandchildren. Are we just reintroducing something that will become an unloved burden?

    Jeff, I do tend to ignore reports of scandalized Catholics returning home to their fainting couches never to return to church again after hearing Fr. Giuseppe O'Malley speak the horrible English words "This is My Body". Maybe in the bad catechesis of the early 20th century laymen thought that the Church had just died or something. But my guess would be something more along the lines that priests just started saying "you don't have to come to Mass anymore," so pragmatic American Catholics stopped coming to Mass. I can't count how many times I was taught growing up that in the 60s the Church proclaimed that Mass attendance was no longer obligatory.

    If people did love Latin so much that they had to abandon the Latin rite (irony intended) when the priest stopped using the language, I have no pity for them but contempt. They stood by and let a great treasure and tradition be removed for 40 years and did nothing. It's like that "horror story" we recently saw of the priest whose order banned the EF Mass. Of course everyone said "where will we go to a reverent Mass now?" Heaven forbid people should put their resources at work for the OF! The people who could have been a positive force in the Church weren't. Admittedly, these were the days where one did NOT question a priest, but still something could have been done. What we're left with is the reality of vernacular winning the day and chant going from rare to non-existent. That was allowed to happen. What's stopping it from happening again if we succeed in restoring these things?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Gavin, I agree that they shouldn't have left but there was more going on than just vernacularization. There was an unleashing of amazing and shocking things everywhere. You can read about this in the archives of Pastoral Music, e.g. the Hootenanny Mass etc. The cultural revolution of the period invaded the Church. No question about that. I've read stories of people in ethnic parishes chaining themselves to pews in protest,and also fleeing in droves. I've spoken to older priests who regard this as the most difficult period of their whole lives. What they believed was permanent was one day just gone.

    I don't blame the people who left, in some way. I recall a story of an Orthodox parish not too far from here that was bitterly divided and nearly broken because the priest did or did not say a SINGLE PHRASE from their liturgy. People get very upset about these things. Not so much any more in the Catholic world but when a Mass has been in placed largely unchanged for 1000 years, you can't expect everyone to just salute and obey when it is upended in a series of months.

    Indeed, and I wish I could remember where I read this, the sequence of events might be interesting. I've read that the first New Mass was actually tried out in Canada, and its emptied the parish completely, and the people started attending the old Mass down the street. This scenario played itself out in several locations, until the Reform 1 people realized that they had to do an all or nothing thing and cartelize the liturgical structure. The new Mass had to be forced else it would fail.

    Does anyone know where I might have read that?

    Gavin, I really don't know the answers here, and I'm really happy to look at all evidence, as painful as it might be.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Thanks Gavin for bringing this out as a thread. And a real 'flashpoint' it is. Every time I hear the term 'liturgy wars'
    I go weak in the knees. How did we get to this place?

    The other day a theologian priest I met suggested I read a textbook on Church history he used when he was teaching
    at a local Catholic university. Now I'm no history major but the author sure slanted that book toward 'and that's
    why we needed Vat 2.' Then I heard a series of parish talks on the Eucharist (aka The Liturgy). In the handout was this summary of Church history:

    I. 1st Century: Jesus is risen; the first Christians, all jews continued to go to the Temple for morning prayer, once a week had a communal meal. Informal ritual, not yet set but a separation between their meal and the Eucharist. In
    many ways resembled synagogue service in time of Christ.

    II. Second Century: Now called Eucharist instead of "breaking of Bread." Morning prayer service joined to Eucharist.
    215 AD Eucharist of St. Hippolytus, beginning of Mass strucutre: Four essentials: 1) offering of bread and wine;
    2) prayer of thanksgiving; 3) bread broken; 4) distributed (the meal). Minimum of ceremonies & ritual; standing, kneeling, kiss of peace from Jewish worship. Vestments from street clothes of the day.

    III. 313, Edict of Toleration by Constantine: Church, now legal entity, above ground; great growth, Eucharist in large basilicas; liturgical embellishment: incense used, rich vestments, processions, rich vessels (chalices). By 4th century, detailed accounts of how to celebrate Mass. Separate liturgies developed in Antioch, Rome, Alexandria from common Jerusalem source, later Ambrosian liturgy in Milan; Gallican liturgy in Galu; Mozabaric in Toledo, Spain for Christian Arabs. Thus fro 4th to 8th centuries much variety but common source and core Eucharist. By 8th century the Roman rite gined ascendancy with Byzantine rites in the East.

    IV. Middle Ages: Tumultuous political situation from fall of Roman Empire and barbarian invasions. Church was sole civilizing force. Separation between clergy and laity and between the high clergy in the big towns and the ill-educated poor priests in countryside who worked during week to support themselves; private Eucharistic devotions arose (pilgrimages, Corpus Christi processions, adoration of the host in rich monstrance, piety of "the gaze", i.e., belief that gazing on the raised host at consecration of the Mass a person wouldn't grow old or would be healed, thus people would go from Mass to Mass just to see host raised!). People stopped receiving the Eucharist thus church law to receive once a year; Mass became distant from the people by rood screen in huge cathedrals separating people from altar (in the East the iconostasis, screen with painted icons). Result: total loss of people's participation. Communion of wine also ceased.

    V. Reformation, 1517: Problem was that Catholic Church was not delivering the spiritual. Also problem of "Mass priests": at Wittenberg four parish priests but more than 50 priests who said Masses for stipends, generally ignorant, memorized the Latin, said rote masses. Luther rebelled against sale of indulgences. The Reformers rejected the traditional liturgy; the penitential rite; bishops and the priesthood (priesthood of all baptized so no need for ordination of a sacrificing priest by bishops); most rejected the real presence, Mass only a remembrance (Zwingli).

    VI. Council of Trent, 1545-1563: Reaction to the Protestant attack. Church reform; Mass of Pius V, 1570,established the Latin Mass used up to 1968. Churches built to face the East where sun rose; priest faced wall and tabernacle; only 3 sacred languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew). Most people couldn't read or write.

    VII. 20th Century: Liturgical Movement: Begun in Benedictine monasteries of Europe; scholars recovered liturgy of the early church. Goal became participation of the laity and the vernacular. Change was resisted by Vatican II accomplished their goals. Eucharistic litugy of Pope Paul VI in 1970 replaced Pius V Mass with all the changes we experience today. Perhaps something was lost -- sense of mystery -- but we have gained much, especially frequent communion, full participation, and reality of community.

    Sorry to be so long winded here but there's got to be a few things missing in this description.

    My point is: We can talk about what the 'little old ladies' are saying after Mass & what the young people 'really' want but how do be address (tell me if I'm wrong) a revisionist approach to Church history. Or do we? Perhaps instead of continuing the 'wars', can we come up with some way to see many points of view at the same time & say it's ok (aka politics...which is a reality, not a dirty word).

    Believe me, I do not mean to 'dis' Gavin or Lawrence (sorry Jevorot...no french here...can anyone translate?).
    I hear everything you are saying. But maybe there's a bigger elephant in the room & a terrific dissertation topic for some lucky young person.

    What I need right now is some 'serious' scholarship.

    P.S. Heard this remark the other day: "I'm neither for the left wing nor the right wing. I'm for the whole bird."
  • Dear Gavin,

    On several other blogs, I have read the above post (with words changed). You seem to have a vendetta against the Pre-Conciliar Church. I have read posts (from older folks and younger folks) offering you concrete evidence to the contrary of what you state above. None of this seems to matter to you. You have formed a certain idea of "how the Church was," and no amount of evidence or testimony to the contrary can change your mind. You are very sure about the state of each and every Catholic Church before the Council. I suppose you are free to have this opinion, since it is a free country.

    But my advice to you is this: move on! Forget about how bad you believe the Church was before Vatican II. That was 60 years ago. I understand that you think things were very bad, nuns were very mean, no one knew his Faith, everyone hated Latin, etc. etc. etc. I get it.

    But I am suggesting that you need to move on. Do something positive for the future.

    Stop dwelling on what you imagine the Church must have been like, in spite of what others have testified (people who, like your mother, were also there).

    I really feel like too much time is wasted dwelling on the past, and people's conceptions of what it was like. Let us move forward! Let us exert our energies to make a difference for the future! We have a LOT of work to do! The Church is facing a crisis the likes of which it has never seen.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    While I was writing I missed a lot of discussion. (I'll catch up). Tx.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Gavin, think about reading "Iota Unum" if you truly want to understand what has happened to the faith (and its liturgy). It is by no means an easy read. I am in process of reading now. Attacks on the faith have been consistent since Jesus left the earth, but believe me, the decisive undercurrent of the attack on the faith from within the church began long before Vatican II but, in a sense, culminated at that moment in time. As some people like to say, it was the bringing down of the Berlin Wall.

    I have been studying this since 1992 and have read a library of books on the subject already. But knowing what happened and doing something that will make a difference today are two completely different things. For my part, I am composing the age old prayers in latin and then I let the 'stones cry out' (my silicon based computer unit') for everyone to hear.
  • Cantor
    Posts: 84
    The same sharp declines in attendance that Catholics experienced were paralleled by similar phenomena in Protestant churches, and I believe also in Jewish services as well.

    One thing I would add to Gavin’s point that has been touched on here is that most people did not know the liturgy very well prior to V2. I would bet that former altar boys were among those most resistant to the liturgical changes because these were men who had gotten some liturgical catechesis as children. The V2 CSL is part of a continuum of 20th-century Church documents whose intent was to correct the problem of the laity’s unfamiliarity with the liturgy.

    Jeffrey’s point is well-taken, too, that the people who opine about this now are the “survivors”. There are others in the pews on Sundays who didn’t take as kindly to the changes. There were others who left.

    It can probably be agreed upon by all, though, that the 1960s-1980s were a time of too much change coming too fast.

    Can we restore Latin to its proper place in the liturgy? I think we can, if we start with the multilingual parishes, and if the efforts are coordinated at a diocesan level.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    And Jules, you consistently believe the pre-conciliar Church was perfect and without problems. My stance is based on logic: why have a council if everything was so wonderful? I've run into a grand total of one Catholic who had much positive to say about his upbringing before the council. I own copies of the St. Gregory Hymnal, (old) St. Basil Hymnal, and many other Catholic hymnals of the preconciliar era. My church has stashes of them that the choir would use, as well as tons of old Polish hymns and other "hymns for Low Mass" from the old days. # of polyphony? 0. # of copies of chant books? 0. The only church library I've EVER seen with chant books is a bunch of Roman Graduals purchased AFTER the council. This is what logical people refer to as "evidence". Catholicism in Michigan is not much different from Catholicism anywhere else in this country: it is based on immigrant populations. So this would tend to bring down the idea of Michigan pre-conciliar Catholicism as unique. You also have serious problems if you can't accept a description of a generalized description of the state of American Catholicism during a few decades AS a description of the state of American Catholicism during those few decades. You seem to consistently twist my words to mean that I am saying every individual in every parish in America (if not every country!) was a low-Massing, non-singing, Latin-hating, priest-obeying nitwit. No, it's not twisting my words, it's just pulling accusations out of thin air. I see through it and I'm sure everyone else does as well. Your treating me as an enemy because I don't share your view of history is not an appropriate way to treat someone striving for the same goals as you on a CHRISTIAN board.

    You and those who defend the old days as an immaculate period to be returned to still have not dealt with the title of this post, namely why was Latin abandoned? And what's to prevent our re-introduction of it being treated as another "fad"? These are the issues to be addressed, not whether or not my history of the pre-conciliar Church is at all accurate. I'm interested in doing positive work, but that involves making sure my work sticks.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Francis, I'm interested to check out the book once I read your review of it. Let us know how it is when you're done!
  • Again, I'm not sure that any amount of evidence that could change your mind.

    I could cite hundreds of examples to disprove things you are saying, but it has already been done on the other boards.

    Just for one example, I know of MANY instances where the Liber Usualis copies were tossed out, gotten rid of, etc. That is why you do not see them, Gavin. The library in the conservatory I attended actually has about 30 copies, all discarded from Churches. I have a priest friend who has a large collection of them. He got them all in the tumultuous years, when everything was tossed out in the garbage. I know of a monastery that put them all in the VERY high attic, where no one wants to go. But I went there and found treasures beyond measure, all IMPROPERLY stored, in the humidity, the elements, etc. They replaced all these sacred books with trendy, liberal garbage. Even to this day, those books, altar cards, vestments, sacred gold vessels, Liber Usualis copies, etc. etc. are in that attic, being destroyed by the elements.

    You do not see them, Gavin, because they were gotten rid of. I even know of one priest who told me about his "liberal" rector. His rector took it upon himself in the late 1960's to destroy about 90 FULL sets of vestments (maniples, tunicles, stoles, dalmatics, etc.) This was in Ohio. He made the comment to my friend priest, "I had to burn those Chasubles, because I was afraid lay people might see them on the landfill." ! ! ! ! What a comment! Lay people knew that was wrong, but the rector didn't (or did he?)! Again, you don't see certain things because they were destroyed. Libers were destroyed with much more virulence than St. Greg' Hymnal.

    I could go on, but this has already been done on the other boards.
  • "Mozabaric in Toledo, Spain for Christian Arabs."

    Yikes! That is so wrong. The Mozarabic Rite was a pre-Trent Spanish Rite centered in Toledo. It was allowed to continue by the Moors who conquered most of Spain. The Rite was for Christian Spaniards (well, mostly Visigoths). In fact it was ditched when the Christians returned in the 11th Century, except for a single chapel in Toledo.

    I also do believe that we need to look ahead. Catechesis in many pre-concilliar parishes was pretty dreadful. The first thing that my older musicians mention when I talk about chant is there Catholic school experience. They remember that they were told that all Chinese babies were going to hell and things of that nature. OTOH my wife who went to Catholic school in the 1970s knows nothing about how the liturgy works or what the Catechism is based on. She just remembers "Jesus loves you."

    Even though I study music of the past, I wouldn't want to live there. I'm quite certain that Masses did not sound like the great CDs I have of Renaissance polyphony. Also, as I look through the chapter acts of Spanish cathedrals, I see the daily issues that come from human frailty. I guess that's what we really need. A loving approach to reform that sells that reform for the long run.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Wow, JVN. That is very sad, indeed.

    I learned the Mass in latin as an altar boy, and I think I celebrated it a few times as an altar boy, it is very hard to remember, but not many before it was taken from us. And that is the only way to describe it... taken.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Yes, that Liber story is true. I've heard many people give 1st hand accounts.

    Gavin, I really do want to thank you for bringing this up. It prompted lots of thought on my part.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,033
    Jules and Gavin -

    Perhaps you're both right?

    There were certainly problems, and also certainly good things which were subsequently discarded. i The people I speak to say that, on the one hand, there was a definite movement for chant and better liturgy and music, but also that this same movement had a long way to go against many of the problems that people here have mentioned. If this is all sounding familiar, it should, since we are in a similar situation now. So it's important, as Gavin says to understand what went on back then so that the good things have a better chance of "sticking" this time around.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    I read the first part of this discussion and then went off to work on a project for a few hours. I came back and everyone's all over the map on this discussion.

    I was there when the Novus Ordo was implemented and it was like someone dropping a bomb in the sanctuary. Everyone believed that the liturgical reforms that were already underway were going to continue after the Council. Basically that reform was shanghaied and everything was turned upside down. And the upheaval lasted for years. Sure, some folks stuck it out - and some made careers out of the change as well.

    But the ones we never hear from are those who left - and I agree with Jeffrey on that. I don't mean the folks who ended up in the Orthodox Churches or denominations. No, the ones who left or reduced their attendance to family occasions and finally their own funerals. Whatever their individual reasons, an overarching cause for many was the collapse of what has seemed unchangeable and certain. Not just the liturgy, but doctrine, devotions, all the visual symbols, nuns and priests defecting in every direction - everything was just flying out the window. The "zeitgeist" was part of this, as anyone who lived through those heady days of the late 1960s. Everywhere you looked it was "out with the old and in with the new." When many people saw "the new," they voted with their feet. And what's worse, many of those who stayed were happy those stick-in-the-mud sourpusses had left.

    Arguing the merits of 1955 vs. 1965 vs. 1975, etc. won't get us anywhere. What is needed is enormous amounts of catechesis, patience, and persistence. Some parishes will make (or have already made) great progress quickly. In other places, the impoverishment of worship and music, combined with a large dose of Pelagianism and Protestantism, will made this like swimming in molasses. Oh, and prayer wouldn't hurt either.
  • I can offer one valid reason for the reform, if you're interested- the "heady" liturgies I experienced at one of THE ground zeroes of American reform, Saint Francis de Sales Cathedral in Oakland, California in 1970 (as a professional bassist at first) opened my heart and soul to the inherent beauty within the act and construct of "ritual." And that personal epiphany led this un-churched, but spiritually thirsty, young man into full communion with the Church founded by Jesus the Christ and our Lord.
    Now, unlike perhaps too many who got stuck on the revelry and hoopla, I entered into a personal journey, even dialectic to systematically (with joy) discover the treasuries hidden in each vein of the gold mines of our liturgical culture over these four decades. Being both a natural musician from childhood to a deeply schooled and degreed musician as an adult I've been provided the intuition, wisdom and discretion to "know" when I'm encountering "good versus bad" art. This formation has enabled me, in all humility, to avoid prejudice and bias when encountering new (to me) works of music that purport to be worthy for liturgical and/or sacred performance. But, in addition, as the dialectic has moved along from FEL to NALR to NPM to ACDA to CMAA, I have benefited by the intercourse with many wise practicioners who've unveiled the inestimable vault of musical tradition that is pre-eminent among all others. And though I've been leading chant and polyphony for nearly forty years as a DM professionally, I now understand WHY those native forms feel so viscerally necessary to uphold as the Church remains moving in time.
    But, all that said, those liturgies in those heady days in Oakland got this boy to want to go to Mass! Imagine that. And I grew up next to a convent for many years before ever setting foot into a Catholic church. I'll bet few of my cradle catholic playmates of the fifties and sixties have the zeal and yearning for "liturgy" that my wife and I still have, despite all the "wars" that wage on within.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    I think that perhaps too much of the credit/blame here for the changes around the time of Vatican II is assigned in a vacuum. There were and are enormous pressures that had nothing to do with whether or not Fr. O”Malley was the very model of a modern major clerical.

    Society was in unprecedented change. There was the cold war and people had concerns about living to the next day, let alone an afterlife.. There was television, and people expected to be entertained all the time. People were more mobile than before and had choices in religion, church, even time of day to attend that they had not had before.

    There was a diminished sense of responsibility – everything is somebody else’s fault so I can do no wrong and don’t need any God to sort it out. We were in the Atomic Age, Space Age, Computer Age, Age of Aquarius … why were we steeped in old stuff? We were global villagers so learning languages finally meant something to Americans, but certainly not dead languages.

    When Lawrence says The young people want the REAL THING. They want chant. They want Palestrina, Byrd, and Mozart. I hope he’s right, but I doubt it. There are young people who do, but not even close to a majority. Some want it because it’s different. In a month there will be something even more new. That’s probably why the Pope mentioned a need for long-term groups to be the backbone of any Extraordinary Form. (Any doubters? The CD Chant came out 14 years ago, rose swiftly to be a top seller, but has had no lasting effect on contemporary music.)

    On the other hand, Lawrence is quite right when he says it will take generations to change the course of the Church, and there are many who will battle for control of its direction. It has taken not forty years but two thousand years to get where we are today.

    If we believe in the Holy Spirit, we have no reason to fear for the future. If we don’t, we have no reason to care.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,204
    "Any doubters? The CD Chant came out 14 years ago, rose swiftly to be a top seller, but has had no lasting effect on contemporary music."

    And rightly so. The CD wasn't an attempt to return chant to "pride of place," it was a marketing stunt. It sold more because of its novelty than its spiritual impact, or at least its Christian impact. I know a lot of "new age" types who used it as "whole-earth meditation" music. They didn't know, or even care what they were hearing!

    What the young people returning to the Church today want is authenticity. They want the genuine article, the genuine Faith, something uniquely reverent and spiritual. They DON'T want slick marketing and packaging. Those Spanish monks may have had good intentions, but we all know which road is paved with good intentions. They had the right idea, but it reaped the wrong result. Tracks from that CD were set to Euro-trash techno-pop drum tracks and played in dance bars, for heaven sake! Is this what the well-meaning monks intended? NO!

    Brick by brick folks, brick by brick. We must FIGHT! We must keep the FAITH!!

    Gavin, Satan wants us to loose hope, to believe the lies, the scorn, the ridicule, the stories. Forget it all. Keep your eyes on the ball.

    It took the powers of the Evil One 40+ years to get us where we are, with willing accomplices in the Council to help, but we've got him on the run!!!! Gregorian chant used properly, The EF and OF (in Latin), a return to deep devotion to Mary, devotion to the Eucharist; he can't stand this stuff, and he'll do everything he can to fill you with doubt, hate, rage, the whole nine yards to derail the effort, to fill you with the very doubt you're expressing, to convince us that it's not worth it, it's not going right, it's not worth doing anymore. Don't buy into it, any quicker than those crystal-fondling new age types bought the Chant CD because of its "holistic powers."

    Keep the Faith!!!
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    Who ist Fr Guiseppo O'Malley? What is Aquarius?

    For french reading people about our question about Pre/postconciliarism: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/proliturgia/Informations.htm (the article from 15.03.2008 Denis Crouan must be the author)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    I am old enough to remember what happened after Vatican II. Granted, I am in a largely Protestant area to begin with, so things may have been different elsewhere. Although I do work in a Roman Catholic Church, being a Byzantine Catholic often gives me the perception that I was outside looking through a window at all that happened. Yes, there were those at the Council who were less than Orthodox and seized the chance to push their agendas. However, the U.S. bishops returned home and largely abdicated their responsibilities for right order in the liturgy. It was kind of intoxicating to be one of the "new" and liberated people and to do things that were really "with it." However, there was a huge power vacuum at the very top. Paul VI was weak and vacillating and did little to enforce the rules. Maybe he couldn't, but in any case, he didn't. Add to this a culture in upheaval, and it's clear in retrospect that the inmates took over the asylum. However, I don't remember pre-Vatican II days to be golden. The music was often trite and the 25-minute low mass was not uncommon. Having come from a tradition where vernacular liturgies are the norm, I think the Latin Church did the wrong thing by not providing decent vernacular liturgies - for example, in low masses. The Church could have managed the changes and controlled the final product instead of turning it over to "experts" who wanted to eliminate the Latin mass. However, I don't see the EF replacing vernacular liturgies in the future. At most, I think we will continue to have both forms, which will hopefully result in the standards being raised for the Ordinary Form. In other words, I am not waiting for the "golden age" to return. I work from where I am with what I have, and make improvements over time. I suspect that's what most of us are doing.
  • Palestrina
    Posts: 385
    Gavin, I agree with much of what you say, but I don't really think it's possible to write a historic description of the Old Roman Rite and its music that fits everybody's experiences of it comfortably. I agree that it is possible that music in many places was poorly understood and poorly done. I find myself, asking, however, whether this is related to the particular culture associated with that place. Is it not conceivable, for instance, that if Low Mass prevailed in Ireland, it did so initially out of neccessity (a long and beautifully sung Mass would have attracted the attention of the authorities and resulted in persecution and maybe even death for those Catholics)? Attach to that origin of the prevalence of Low Mass the steadfastness of the Irish in keeping their faith, and you may conclude that Low Mass became a significant part of Irish Catholic cultural identity, such that there may have been resistance to moving away from something that may, in that particular culture, have been identified with adhering to the "Faith of our Fathers." The question I would then ask is - How did the experience of music at Mass differ for a Catholic in a country where Catholicism was allowed to be practiced without fear of persecution e.g. Italy, Poland etc? I think there are a LOT of factors we need to consider, and I think they're not all uniform from place to place.

    I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I think that there are many cultural and historical explanations for some of what happened before Vatican II.

    I also think that we need to be open to understanding where the programs of Sacred Music was well developed, and how this came about. How, for instance, did St. Pius X have his entire parish singing Gregorian Chant Masses, when still a humble priest? What happened in the places that Jules van Nuffel remembers? I'd certainly like to know more about these.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Jevoro - I'm sorry for the "Americanisms".

    Father O'Malley was a movie character played by Bing Crosby in Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St Mary's (1945). Fr. O'Malley was a near-perfect priest, and the gentle movies were tremendous award winners in the post-war years.

    The Age of Aquarius was a song/album by the rock group The Fifth Dimension released in 1969. It too was a product of its time, though I think far better than most.
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    Thanks for the american translationsservices. Acculturation is realy a must... Inculturation, Deculturation. :-)
    How could it work that some parishes well devellopped their music?
    French people speaks of "l'exemple vocal ou musical": the forgiving musical example of the voice. That's why the documents makes it so terrible important that priests put the congregation in a musical fit by singing the dialogues and so on.
    DM's have their responsability in their example too... and that's it. Quality works for his own.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    No doubt much of this has been said, between my initial reading of the thread, and my getting back online to post.
    That's all right, I am not a slave to fears of redundancy...

    "Let's face the facts: people were all too happy to abandon Latin and what little chant they were doing."

    That is not a "fact," Gavin, it is a description of SOME places, which you, and most of us, know ONLYBT HEARSAY. Some people were, some people weren't. I don't know, it may even be correct to say "MOST people were all too happy to abandon Latin" but you really should try to qualify these sweeping statements in some way.

    "Pragmatism, as today, ruled." True.

    "Catechesis sucked...Musical standards were low." And....? As you yourself said of that other matter but neglected to admit on this subject, "AS TODAY."

    "the fact remains that SOMETHING allowed Reform #1 to happen "
    Yes, firstly, the fact that is was NEEDED, as, shock of all shocks in this postlapsarian world, Things Weren't Perfect.
    And secondly, (this is what allowed it to happen so BADLY,) in this postlapsarian world, People Aren't Perfect.
    The timing of the Council, (NOT of the reform, per se, because despite the blather of many, history did not begin with the Council, the reform was on-going.,) may have been a perfect storm of bad reform, because of the glamorization of opposition to all authority, the rise of the idolization of youth (which springs from the post-war years,) a generally ugly period in popular aesthetics.
    And then there was Humane Vitae...
    At a time when the Church (and society,) were in a state of great flux, the Church came out with a Hard Saying.
    Plenty left over the thing itself, but I suggest that it is possible that as many if not more left not as a result of the encyclical but as a result of the open defiance of the Magisterium, in the form of this encyclical, by those persons the PIP thought were bound to uphold it.
    It surely must have seemed to the faithful but undereducated observer as if everything was up for grabs.
    And if priests and bishops could go their own way on something as important as THAT, and since the PIPs could SEE that priests were going their own way on the liturgy, many PIPs decided to go their own way on EVERYTING -- and that is protestantism.

    "My stance is based on logic: why have a council if everything was so wonderful?"
    For someone who is old enough to have lived through the marketing debacle of New Coke, your asking this surprises me. Wonderfulness is open to improvement. Fixing what ain't broke is a cliché, killing the goose that laid golden eggs to see if there were more inside is a fabled human weakness.
    (Way off topic, I doubt I am the only one here to have had an experience such as asking someone to oil a squeaky hinge and returning to find the door on the floor, the components of the hinge scattered about, a Pella catalogue being pored over, and a new lock assembly being badly installed.)
    So surely no one argues that the execution of the Sacred Liturgy had always and everywhere attained perfection.
    I believe a primary improvement the Council was intended to produce was, besides increasing the PIPs understanding of and participation in the liturgies, the bringing of our separated brethren and sistren back into the One Holy Catholic And Apostolic...
    Our failure to achieve that aim on any great scale, and our remarkable ability to along the way achieve some horrendous unintended consequences does not invalidate the original aim. (SO I split an infinitive, sue me...)

    "You and those who defend the old days as an immaculate period to be returned to still have not dealt with the title of this post,"
    Who are these people?

    "still have not dealt with the title of this post, namely why was Latin abandoned?"
    Actually, the title of the post was about reform, not Latin, per se.... is Latin what you really wanted to address?
    But I can answer in 3 words: Pragmatism, Inertia and Sloth.

    "And what's to prevent our re-introduction of it being treated as another 'fad'?"
    Our educating those who suggest such a silly thing. Never allowing anyone the opportunity to treat it as such by not trying to have your own way, trying to have the CHURCH'S way, and demonstrating with documentary evidence that that is what it is.
    I can give a very specific example -- I was in a parish once that was doing something that was a minor liturgical abuse. After it was brought to their attention, TPTB decided to clean it up, via announcements, bulletin inserts and preaching.
    Unfortunately, the director of liturgy and the pastor decided to use the opportunity to introduce a pet project of theirs that, although licit, was NOT a requirement of the rubrics, so these two matters, one having to do with universal rubrics and one the personal whim of a few people were tied together in the minds of the PIP. They were both, as far as anyone who didn't research the matter (which the PIP can't be expected to do,) of equal weight, and just a matter of doing it "Father's way."

    When I press for something in my music ministry, I SCRUPULOUSLY never press for my personal preference. You spend your capital on more important things.
    For instance, when I took my present job I kept some settings of the Ordinary that the PIPs like which I abhor because my line in the sand for that battle was settings of the Ordinary that play fast and loose with the text.

    And finally,
    "So my question is, at least as far as music, what's keeping chant in place once our authoritative German Pope is gone? In 80 years, when the last of Generation Y is in the ground, what's to stop the new group of young people from saying 'hey, this Latin stuff is horrible! Let's ditch it!' "

    And the answer is nothing, nothing at all.
    We are not called to succeed, we are called to try (whatever Yoda's advice to young Skywalker.)
    We will never have utter, final, lasting, immutable perfection in ANY endeavor in this world.
    In this world, sometimes the bad guys win, sometimes treasures are lost forever, the poor (of taste) we will always have with us, heroes are slain and the cowboy doesn't always get the girl by the fade-out. (I have it on good authority from someone old enough to know, that in any movie shown to Adam and Eve in Eden, the cowboy DID get the girl. After they relocated, not so much...)

    Save the Liturgy, Save the World!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    OK... I am still thinking this through, but here is the gist of it from my present perspective.

    I believe the Church (and the Tridientine liturgy) as it stood in the mid 1900's never needed reform, was never supposed to undergo any reform, was never 'out of date' and is as true and pristine today in its 'true' form as it was then and will always be. It embodies timelessness and represents the perfection of God's action through Holy Mother Church in what we know as the Most Wonderful Holy Sacrifice and the Sacraments. What WE have done as the frail human element of the church, is lost track of where exactly we have put her so to speak! It's kind of like loosing your keys to your car in the midst of the mess in your house. You amass things, things, things, move them around, and all of a sudden you realize, 'O my Gosh! What the heck did I do with my keys!' Well, I see the vatican as having set the keys to the kingdom down somewhere in the vatican, and by golly, they just can't seem to find them in the mess! Then of course there are the robbers and the villains who are always after taking them altogether who have created even more of an embarrasement to boot.

    (sidenote: Latin doesn't make The Holy Sacrfice or the Sacraments perfect--Christ does, and He does that in co-operation with the OHCAAC. Latin just happens to be what WE have 'perfected' within the liturgy over 2,000 years, along with all its trappings (chant, rubrics, vestments, etc.) In another 2,000 years from now, we MIGHT have a pretty good version of the NO per se, but I figure I can either enjoy the old or help bring in the new. The Vatican clearly gives each individual that choice and the right to discriminate between them at this point in time.

    What we were 'given' in the 60's (in many of our views) was a fabrication of someone elses (and a very few elses that you could count on one hand--and I would even dare say, some protestants) personal HOPE of what they would have liked the Mass to become. This is why I see the NO as an 'abberation'. Let's be clear about the definition of the word abberation as I apply it here, because I would never EVER say that the Holy Sacrfice of God is in any way tainted. I would only put forth that it is the flaw of humanity that has caused a slight distortion to such a perfect work of the Almighty.

    Merriam-Webster offers us these definitions of the word 'abberation': failure of a mirror, refracting surface, or lens to produce exact point-to-point correspondence between an object and its image : unsoundness or disorder of the mind : a small periodic change of apparent position in celestial bodies due to the combined effect of the motion of light and the motion of the observer. (I really think this last one is the closest description.)

    So, to use a metaphor, it seems that the lens of the church, the NO and the result of 'the reform' is somewhat smudged or distorted at the moment until it is brought into focus. Fortunately, our Mother (church) has allowed us to simultaneously gaze through the refined spectacle found in the EF of antiquity. She continues to 'magnify the Lord' in the full array of her longstanding accoutrements found in the latin rite--one of which happens to be the chant and the polyphony of the masters, saints and genius of our heritage. Thank God for that! (and our Blessed Mother Mary who is the great Protectress of our faith, keeps us under the cover of her Patrocinium, O may she be ever honored!)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756
    As loyal Catholics, our starting point must be that reform was necessary - the Council said so. Also, the idea that the exact form of the Liturgy at a particular point in time was the best of all possible worlds doesn't stand scrutiny. Liturgy and liturgical practice have developed over the centuries, just like theology, in accordance with the needs of time and place and our developing understanding of the deposit of the faith. So the discussion should be focussed on what the Council documents and Fathers meant, and the extent to which post-conciliar events reflected or departed from it. From this perspective, the question "Why did we have Reform 1?" is an interesting one. Let's just make sure we understand it before attempting an answer.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    This is a quote I read on http://www.catholicintl.com/

    As for "accepting the legitimate liturgical reforms determined by the Holy See," yes, we should all recognize the authority of the Holy See to make such reforms, but we should also recognize that the Holy See has allowed the dissemination of the Traditional Latin Mass, and thus the Holy See has give us two options to fulfil our Mass obligations. These two options require the faithful to make a value judgment on which Mass is better for them and their posterity, for the Holy See implicitly requires them to make such a decision. That being the case, the faithful can indeed show their preference for the Traditional Latin Mass, and they can do so by pointing out the flaws of the Novus Ordo. They can make such value judgment based on Canon Law 212, 2-3 which the Holy See issued to them.

    For clarity I will post the references to Canon Law

    Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

    §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

    §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756
    I suspect the underlying problem here is one of unnecessary polarisation, caused by the excesses of post-Conciliar interpretation of the the "spirit of the Council". Those excesses represent a missed opportunity to reform bad practice and consider gradual development of the liturgy as it then stood.

    The Holy Father is to be commended for improving access to the EF. It's equally right to consider this a much-delayed return to the point at which we can properly consider liturgical development. Only now it's complicated by two forms of the Rite, and the difficulty of persuading people to come out of their trenches.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Well, Ian, I was "in the trenches" only when I was a young boy. Then the army of the new regime came and swept me away. They formed and trained me to be one of their musical apprentices. I personally was asked to craft and execute new things in deference to the 'spirit of the Council' and for the cause of the NO for many years, unfortunately, cloaked in naivety, as so many of us did who did not know the truth. We (my colleagues and I) investigated every nuance of novelty like chemists in an experimental laboratory and threw them all at the 'wall' of the Church. We were the puritans of oecumenical thought. For myself, I tragically lost the core of my faith at a very deep level for many years. Even the highest level of liturgical commissions worked with me and encouraged and officially approved my own works which included my own renditions (abberations) incluing a full scale "Requiem Mass" to be utilized on an international scale which almost found its way into Carnegie Hall. Thank God, He brought me to my senses!

    There is no polarisation. The church simply remained unmoved, and the excesses of post-Conciliar interpretation simply moved away from her into the shadows where no one sees clearly what they are doing or where they are going. I know. I was one of the souls who lived in that shadow. The church remained the rock and the light, unwavering through it all.

    There really is no 'bad practice' to reform except for those that deviate from the actual prescriptions of the church in her liturgical books. Its all there, pristine and clear, mystically and profoundly realized by the Church. I have no need to add or alter anything as a composer, organist, choir director or musician. I now offer my own compositional works freely only if they accentuate and uphold her longstanding and time honored traditions. Otherwise, they are nothing but works for meditation or an oratory or concert hall.

    No, we did not miss any of the opportunities to infect a reform. We tried it all. We have exhausted every creative novelty that we can muster in 40 years, and none of them are worth the paper they were printed on. (We should have saved the trees for heat.)

    The only complication I can see is that the NO and her camp are quickly realizing that they are wearing no clothes as the light of the truth and the ancient liturgy grows brighter in the days to come. For those who are found naked, they had better run to the trenches so as not to be embarrased!
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756
    I'm sorry to say this, Francis, but you seem to have missed the point. It's precisely because an increasing number of Catholics have, like you, recognised the excesses of the last forty years for what they are that we can now look back and ask Gavin's question, and consider its relevance to today. That involves exploration of the issues that motivated the Liturgical Movement well before it was hijacked by the trendies, and which had such an impact on the thinking of the Council. We have good precedence for this in the thinking of the Holy Father, who places himself squarely within the movement of reform, as opposed to that of disruption.

    If, on the other hand, the disillusionment of those previously committed to post-Conciliar fads leads them to an attachment to some mythical, never-changing golden age, without any attempt to understand the historical development of the Church's mind and practice, then they are in danger of exchanging one ill-thought enthusiasm for another. And that's the kind of approach that got us into the mess we're in today.

    ps I'm sorry if this oversteps the mark. I gather from previous threads that you make a living from computing, so:

    if (subject.SignificanceType == SignificanceType.EMOTIVE) { difficult = true; } // :-)

    God Bless,

  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Ian, before I respond to your post, can you point me to the exact text in the Christmas message to which you are referring? Thanks! (BTW... have you read Iota Unum?)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756

    The address needs to be taken in its entirety, but I would suggest that the following excerpts of the English translation are relevant:

    Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult?

    Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or - as we would say today - on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application. The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face to face and quarrelled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit.

    On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call "a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture"; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the "hermeneutic of reform", of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.


    The hermeneutic of discontinuity is countered by the hermeneutic of reform, as it was presented first by Pope John XXIII in his Speech inaugurating the Council on 11 October 1962 and later by Pope Paul VI in his Discourse for the Council's conclusion on 7 December 1965.

    Here I shall cite only John XXIII's well-known words, which unequivocally express this hermeneutic when he says that the Council wishes "to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion". And he continues: "Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us...". It is necessary that "adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness..." be presented in "faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another...", retaining the same meaning and message (The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., p. 715).

    It is clear that this commitment to expressing a specific truth in a new way demands new thinking on this truth and a new and vital relationship with it; it is also clear that new words can only develop if they come from an informed understanding of the truth expressed, and on the other hand, that a reflection on faith also requires that this faith be lived. In this regard, the programme that Pope John XXIII proposed was extremely demanding, indeed, just as the synthesis of fidelity and dynamic is demanding.

    What marvellous concision and balance!

    In passing, I wish Fr Tim Finigan had named his blog "The hermeneutic of reform" , as that would have let his exemplar's ideas speak for themselves.

    Best wishes,


    ps no, I haven't read Iota Unum. I remember the reviews, but it was another book I didn't get round to ordering. Perhaps I will now.

    pps: your turn now; it's close to Monday morning over here!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697

    Here I shall cite only John XXIII's well-known words, which unequivocally express this hermeneutic when he says that the Council wishes "to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion". And he continues: "Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us...". It is necessary that "adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness..." be presented in "faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another...", retaining the same meaning and message (The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., p. 715).

    Here I would put forth the writing of Romano Amerio who has composed a most scholarly work on the matters of Vatican II. I will put forth a critique of the statement above, and then a digression to the events prefiguring the council itself which was held in the synod which produced the decree Veterum Sapientia.

    "Anyone studing the matter is confronted at this point with an unexpected obstacle. When it comes to a Pope's words, the official text which has the status of expressing his thoughts is as a rule the Latin alone. No translation has this authoirty unless it has been recognized as official. That is why the Osservatore Romano always states that a private translation is being given when it prints its Italian translation after the Latin text. Given the fact, however, that the latin text is the work of a group of translators working on a text originally drawn up by the Pope in Italian, it would seem legitimate to appeal to the original wording, where that is known, and to take that as a criterion for interpreting the Latin. One would thus reverse the authority of the two texts, giving preference to the Italian version, which is in fact the original, rather than to the official Latin, which is in fact a translation. Philologically this reversal is legitimate, but canonically it is not, becasue it is the policy of the Apostolic See that its thought is contained in the Latin wording alone.

    Now, the discrpancies between the Latin text of the opening speech and its Italian version are such as to change its meaning. It also happens that in subsequent theological writing the Italian, rather than the official Latin, has been followed. The discrepancy is so great that we seem to be presented with a paraphrase rather than a translation. The original says the following: "Oportet ut haec doctrina certa et immutabilis cui fidele obsequium est praestandum, ea ratione pervestigetur et exponatur quam tempora postulant." Translated, it is appropriate that this certain and unchangeable doctrine, to which faithful loyalty must be shown, should be examined and expounded in the manner which the times demand." The Italian tanslation carried by the Osservatore Romano of 12 October 1962, and subsequently reproduced in all the Italian editions of the council texts, reads: "Anche questa pero studiata ed esposta attraverso le forme dell'indagine e della formulazione letteraria del pensiero moderno." The French version likewise says: "La doctrine doit etre etudiee et exposee suivant les methodes de rechereche et de presentation dont use la pensee moderne."

    The differences between the original and the translations are inescapable. it is one thing to say that a new consideration and exposition of the perennial Catholic doctrine should be carried out in a manner appropriate to the times (a broad and all embracing idea); and quite another that it should be carried out following contemporary methods of thought, that is contemporary philosophy. For example: it is one thing to present Catholic doctrine in a manner appropriate to the citeriorita peculiar to the contemporary state of mind, and quite another that it should be considered and expounded following that same mentality. For the approach to the modern mentality to be made correctly, one should not adopt the methods, let us say, of marxist analysys or existentialist phenomenology, but rather, formulate the Catholic opposition to the modern mentality in the most effective manner.

    In short, the question here is the one the Pope passes to the following section, "how to repress error." First, the difference of meaning arising from the discrepancy in the translations witnesses to the loss of that accuracy which used to characterize the Curia in the drawing up of its documents. Second, the difference in meaniing resurfaced in the Pope's subsequent addresses, as he quoted his words of 11 October sometimes in Latin and sometimes in translation. Third, the variant contained in the translations, which was soon spread about to the detriment of the Latin version and made the basis of discussion on the subject, contradicts the original, whereas the translations agree among themselves. This agreement gives ground for speculating that there may have been an attempt, whether spontaneous or organized, to give the speech a modernizing meaning which may not have been in the Pope's mind.

    The passage in the speech which distinguishes between the unchangeable substance of Catholic teaching and the changeability of its expressions, gives rise to the same uncertainty. The offical text reads as follows: "Est enim aliud ipsum depositum fidei, seu veritates, quae veneranda doctrina notra continentur, aliud modus quo eaedem enentiantur, eodem tamen sensu eademque sententia. Huic quippe mod plurimum tribeuendum est, et patientia si opus fuerit, in eo elaborandum, scilicet eae inducendae erunt rationes res exponendo, quae cum magisterio, cuius indoles praesertim pastoralis est, magis contruant." The Italian translation reads: "Altra e la sostanza dell'antica dottrina del "depositum fidei" e altra e la formulazione del suo rivestimento, ed e di quiesto che devesi con pazienza tener gran conto, tutto misurando nella forma e proporzione di un magistero a carattere prevalentemente pastorale."

    The divergence is so great as to admit of only two hypotheses: either the Italian translator was attempting a paraphrase, or the translation is in fact the original text. If the Italian is the original, it must have appeared convoluted and imprecise (what in fact is "the formulation of its clothing"?) so that the Latin translator tried to gather its general sense and, being dominated by traditional ideas, failed to notice how great a novelty the original version contained. What is very noticeable is the omission of the words "eodem tamen sensu eademque sententia" which are an implicit quotation of a classic text of St. Vincent of Lerins, and which are bound up with the Catholic understanding of the relation between the truth to be believed and the forumla in which it is expressed."

    Let us digress to an earlier historical event to make the point further, again taken from Romanos observations concerning the even more stunning account of the Synod and the decree Veterum Sapientia which was to be the grand outline in preparation for the event of the Council.

    Apart from the comparison between the final documents and those first propsed [the Synod] three principal facts make the paradoxical outcome of the council apparent: the falseness of the forecasts made by the Pope and others who prepared it; the fruitlessness of the Roman synod called by John XXIII as an anticipation of it; and the almost immediate nullification of the decree Veterum Sapientia, which was meant to forshadow the cultural cast of the post-conciliar Church.

    Pope John intended the council to be a great act of renewal and functional adaptation for the Church and thought he had adequately prepared it to be such, but nonetheless cherished the propsect that it would all be over within a few months... ...(see other historical councils). In fact the council opened on 11 October 1962 and closed on 8 December 1965, thus lasting intermittently for three years. All expectations were overthrown because of the aborting of the council which had been prepared, and the successive elaboration of another quite different council which generated itself.

    The Roman synod was planned and summoned by John XXIII as a solemn forerunner of the larger gathering, which it was meant to prefigure and anticipate. The Pope himself said precisely that, to the clergy and faithful of Rome in a allocution of 29 June 1960. Because of that intention, the synod's importance was universally recognized as extending beyond the diocese of Rome to the whole Catholic world. Its importance was compared to that which the provincial synods held by St. Charles Borromeo had had with respect to the Council of Trent. New life was given to the old saying that the whole Catholic world should wish to model itself on the Church of Rome. The fact that the Pope immediately ordered the texts of the Roman synod to be translated into Italian and all the prinicpal languages, also makes it clear that in his mind it was intended to play an important exemplary role.

    The texts of the Roman synod promulgated on 25, 26 and 27 January 1960 constitutes a complete reversion of the Church to its proper nature; we mean not merely to its supernatural essence (that can never be lost) but to its historical nature, a returning of the institution to its principles, as Machiavelli put it.

    The synod in fact proposed a vigorous restoration at every level of ecclesial life. The discipline of the clergy was modeled on the traditional pattern formulated at the Council of Trent, and based on two principles which had always been accepted and practiced. The first is that of the peculiar character of the person consecrated to God, supernaturally enabled to do Christ's work, and thus clearly separated from the laity (sacred means separate). The second, which follows from the first, is that of an ascetical education and a sacrificial life, which is the differentiating mark of the clergy as a body, though individuals can take up an ascetical life in the lay state. The synod therefore prescribed for the clergy a whole style of behavior quite distinct from that of the laymen. That style demands ecclesiastical dress, sobriety in diet, the avoiding of public entertainments and a flight from profane things. The distinct character of the clergy's cultural formation was also reaffirmed, and the outlines were given of the system which the Pope solemnly sanctioned the year after in Veterum Sapientia. The Pope also ordered that the Catechism of the Council of Trent should be republished, but the order was ignored. It was not until 1981 that, by private initiative, a translation was published in Italy.

    The liturgical legislation of the synod is no less significant: the use of Latin is solemnly confirmed, all attempts at creativity on the part of the celbrant, which would reduce the liturgical action of the Church to the level of a simple exercise of private piety, are condemned. The need to baptize infants as soon as possible is empnasized, a tabernacle in the traditional form and position is prescribed, Gregorian Chant is ordered, newly composed popular songs are submitted to the approval of the bishop, all appearances of worldliness is forbidden in the churches by a general prohibition of such things as the giving of concerts and performances, the selling of pictures or printed matter, the giving of free rein to photographers and the lighting of candles by all and sundry (one ought to get the priest to doo it). The ancient sacred rigor is re-established regarding sacred spaces, forbidding women entry to the altar area. Lastly, altars facing the congregation are to be allowed only by way of an exception, which it is up to the diocesan bishop to make.

    Anybody can see that this massive reaffirmation of traditional discipline, which the synod wanted, was contradicted and negated in almost every detail by the effects of the council. And so the Roman synod, which was to have been an exemplary foreshadowing of the council, fell within a few years into the Erebus of oblivion, and is indeed tanquam non fuerit. [As if it had never been] As an instance of this nullification I may say that having searched for the texts of the Roman syond in diocesan curias and archives, I could not find them there and had to get them from secular public libraries."

    These passages comprise about two pages taken from that of 786 in total found in Romanos scholarly treatise on the study of changes in the Catholic Church. I have read 100 pages so far. Very bluntly, it seems to me that the 'spirit of the council' simply hijacked the Church from within itself by itself, much the same way the Magicicada Septendecim which is burried for 17 years in the ground sheds its outer skin only to live for few weeks before it returns to that one and the same suspended state, the ground from which it emerged. The grand error of the council, is that the newly emerged organsim is looking back at its shell (its own accidents formulated through history and reality) in complete denial that it was its own self within that shell that actually permitted its short lived reformation.

    Ian, I would rather compose music than to have this discussion. I have come back to the center from the shadows, and no amount of dialogue is going to change that fact, nor dissolve a single iota of the latin rite, language or its supernatural presence on the face of the earth.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756

    You write that that the 'spirit of the council' simply hijacked the Church. So far so good - that's a theme that The Holy Father has touched on in criticism of those who, after the Council, presumed to make radical change that it hadn't mandated. However, you then go on to suggest that the Council itself was in error: The grand error of the council .... Do you really mean this?


  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Make sure that you understand what I am saying. The grand error is only in the way it perceives itself, and nothing else.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756

    I think I'll stop here. I've got that feeling of déjà vu all over again.

    best wishes,

  • francis
    Posts: 10,697


    I leave you with the words of Scheffczyk who wrote "The Church: Aspects of the Preconciliar Crisis and the Correct Interpretation of Vatican II" (Jaca Book, Como, 1998, with a presentation by Joseph Ratzinger), in which the hope is expressed that there will be a recovery of the "Catholic" meaning of the Church's reality, after the postconciliar crisis in this regard. The author has put his finger on the affliction of modern hermeneutics, in exactly these words: "Every interpreter and group seizes upon only that which corresponds to his preconceptions," and to those of the (conciliar) "majority."

    May I console your affliction with a nice new (post-conciliar) piece of musica sacra?
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    What would be such a postconciliar nice new piece?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Nihil Sub Sole Novum
    (Subtitled as per Ian's suggestion above, "Never-Changing Golden Age")

    The text will be:

    Nihil sub sole novum nec valet quisquam dicere ecce hoc recens est iam enim praecessit in saeculis quae fuerunt ante nos.

    I will score it for Electric Guitar, Gedeckt 8 and Voice
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    You have a predilection for Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) too???