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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Bill Meyer

I wonder how many American Catholics ever read the Vatican II documents...

I'm doing that now, having decided that it's foolish, at best, to claim to hold an opinion on what they contain without actually knowing, firsthand, what is in them.

With all respect to the good Archbishop, however, I can certainly say that the change to the vernacular, wholesale, was slid in under appeal to a clause about "radical change" being needed in "certain cases". It was NOT envisioned as the norm. In fact, Sacrosanctum Concilium very specifically refers to a need to preserve traditions, and says that such changes as may be deemed necessary should derive "organically" from the traditional rites.

I'm afraid that the Archbishop is taking advantage, as have so many before him, of the widespread ignorance of the laity.


In my opinion, Archbishop Marini is trying to defend what can not (and should not) be defended. It is vox populi that His Holiness dislikes the innovations and abuses included in the Liturgy after the issuance of Paul VI Liturgy.

It is true that Summorum Pontificum looks forward to restore unity with the followers of Msgr. Lefevbre; however it also aims to make the Tridentine Mass widely known so the laity may want to recover the Tradition of the Latin Church (which was hidden from us for more than 40 years).

With all due respect, but if Archbishop Marini really means to follow the spirit of the Council then he should respect Sacrosanctum Concilium and give a more widespread use to the 1962 Missal of HH John XXIII.

Bill Meyer

Bernardo, the most honored section of Sacrosanctum Concilium is item 40:

40. In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties. (emphasis added)

That one phrase, which I believe was intended for regions in which literacy was close to zero, was instead pressed into service in North America, in service of the same folks who continue to practice birth control, and come to church on Easter and Christmas (only).


The pope's decree "does not intend to introduce modifications on the current Roman Missal or express a negative judgment on the liturgical reform desired by the council," he said.
This is true of the motu proprio. Before he was Pope he wrote, "A missal is not a book good for only 20 or 30 years; rather, it is situated in the great continuity of the history of the liturgy, in which there is always growth and purification, but not ruptures. To that extent, I am much more in favor of the stability of this missal than was he with whose name it is perhaps too much associated [Bugnini]." Cardinal Ratzinger, "The Spirit of the Liturgy or Fidelity to the Council: Response to Father Gy"

So he says in his introduction to the MP, "The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal."

I think we can see where the Holy Father is going with this. If people were asking Archbishop Marini if there would be sweeping changes due to the MP, he was right in saying no, there would not be. The Holy Father is saying he would like to see the missal as it has been given us, given a chance to be implemented in all its fullness.


I must caution, that many times we look at this through very provincial, very North American eyes. Where I am from, the now ordinary form - the one which is in ordinis, the norm - the post-Conciliar Mass I mean, was received enthusiastically. In my travels throughout Latin America there's no general desire to reestablish the Extraordinary Form wholesale. I observed the same thing in Korea and suspect that this is the case in most of Asia and Africa.

It appears to me that the ground, material fact is that the so-called novus ordo has made the Roman Rite accessible to billions who in many instances didn't bother before, thereby becoming a powerful missionary tool.

The pining for the restoration of the extraordinary form and the deep-seated hope that it will eventually displace the novus ordo appears to me almost a strictly Western, Anglo-European-American-Oceania phenomenon, a clear minority of the Catholic world.

In this context, the Pope's actions were indeed clearly a concession to schismatics in one hand, and a minority of loyal Catholics on the other with a particular pastoral need.

As a lover of both forms of the Roman Mass, I hope that the older use repristinates the newer one and that the new one quickly raises to the dignity and solemnity that the Council Fathers envisioned, and that both forms are held by Catholic faithful in the highest esteem together, receiving gratefully and fruitfully these gifts, these two forms of the single celebration of the central mysteries of the Catholic faith.

dee in the United States

We in the United States just loved Archbibishop Marini. He has such dignity;
was so loving and caring to John Paul II.
It was very evident that John Paul loved Piero as well.He should not have lost his job.He was just super.


In the UK government ministers pontificated upon the European Treaty, when debated in Parliament. It was then discovered taht some had never even read the document. It is also so with the documents of Vatican II and the diocesan hierarchies. The Novus Ordo did not come directly from Vatican II, but from other machinations - it is not efficaceous.


The Novus Ordo was indeed the work of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Bugnini. In fact, the former oversaw the work of the latter to the point of reviewing it in the most minute detail.
If the council fathers intended something other than what the Novus Ordo turned out to be in dioceses throughout the world, with many bishops claiming they didn't realize what they were voting for in the proceedings pertaining to the liturgy, who then was asleep at the switch in providing these liturgical disasters.
The admission of the bishops indicates something terribly dysfunctional took place forty years ago. With bishops clueless as to what the liturgy would be both in practice and in theory, this certainly was not the case with Pope Paul and Archbishop Bugnini.
The doctrine of liturgical "inculturation" the council fathers discussed at great length was accepted in the abstract, but few appeared to have been aware of the effects of its implementation worldwide.
Was it the Novus Ordo on paper that sounded the death knell to a conservative reform of the pre-Vatican II rite, or was the liturgy, once shaped and formed at the local level, what has led to the fierce arch conservative reaction such as the SSPX movement? Did Archbishop Bugnini and Pope Paul call for the removal of altar rails, the setting up of ironing board altars, make mandatory Mass "ad versus populum"? I don't think so,but conservatives continue to argue as if both men did indeed mandate these changes.
Make no mistake about it, Pope Benedict's "reform of the reform" is being used by arch conservatives to repudiate Vatican II, the Novus Ordo, and to return the Catholic world to a highly idealized, triumphal church of Baroque proportions. This romantic view of the church will ultimately fail. It is a church which is no more and can never be again.
The clash between the upholders of tradition and those who favor a flexible, growing, yet highly "protestantized" liturgy is on a collision course with Pope Benedict's Vatican. Ultimately leading to anathemas from Rome and eventual schism, or a retreat to the underground church of priestesses and clown masses performed by defrocked clergy.
If you want to understand the future of Catholicism, you must study world popular culture. Whether you like it or not, it will set the course for the church to take in the future, or the Church will deteriorate into the status of a carefully preserved museum exhibit. A Church under glass so to speak.
The cruel irony of it is this pope may well have to anathematize and perhaps excommunicate those "sedevacantists" who are outside the SSPX movement. Those who most loudly and ardently profess their allegiance to the Church's magisterium and to the pope himself.


informative posts for consideration.

Doug in Irving

The following observation by Timothy V. Vaverek of the Society of Catholic Liturgy offers a prudent observation:

"The time for quick fixes or packaged programs is over; so, too, for
the obsession with external elements, false dichotomies between the
“old” and “new,” and the resultant politicization of every liturgical
action. Liturgical renewal can take place only through a careful appropriation
of the tradition, a deep appreciation for the various elements
that contribute to the celebration, and a discerning judgment of how
the old and the new can be brought together in a fashion congruent
with the nature of the liturgy and the authority of the Church. An
interdisciplinary approach is essential. And it must exhibit a consistently
high caliber of expertise."


"Therefore let's look ahead and let's continue with enthusiasm the path undertaken by the council."

He's kidding, right? If not, Rome is in more trouble than ever!


I suppose that Archbishop Marini is what we could call a "traditionalist liberal". When he says that the liturgical reforms that he believes were called for by Vatican II are "irreversible", it proves that he is "traditionalist" in his liberalism. It is, in fact, this same abuse of authority that has led liberal bishops and priests to impose their liberalism unilaterally on the faithful, without regard for their sensibilities.

Ironically, it is not the proponents of the "reform of the reform" who are rigid: it is the proponents of a staunch, "irreversible" liberalism who are.

John Seiler

'Liturgical celebration cannot be separated from the life of the church, the archbishop said, and this means "the church of today, not the church of yesterday or of tomorrow." '

In the United States, the Novus Ordo "celebration" *is* "of yesterday" because it's frozen in the late 1960s Woodstock music and "hip" attitude imposed on Catholics back then, and maintained by aging Baby Boomer bishops, priests, and church mice. No wonder young people are fleeing the Church.

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