23 March 2019

Liturgy and Vatican II: what did they think they were voting for?

Vaggagini says somewhere "Three tendencies were manifested: some wanted no concessions to the vernacular; some wanted permission to say everything in the vernacular for all who wanted it; some wanted to maintain the basic principle of Latin, but also to open the door noticeably to the vernacular tongue." (The text of Sacrosanctum Concilium at para 54 actually reflects this stage of understanding very closely.) The last group, he said, were by far the largest. So, if you put that together, you clearly find that the overwhelming majority of the Council Fathers wanted at least to preserve a basically Latin Liturgy. And thought they were voting for this!

All but four bishops voted finally for the draft text: and those four lonely dissenters did  not  include Archbishop Lefebvre. He and his friends were happy with what they had voted for; with what they imagined they would get.

So how did we end up with the practical disappearance of Latin in less than a decade? And a radical deformation of the Roman Rite?

A friend once left a comment advancing the hypothesis that the Council, if anything, attempted to put the brakes on the radical slide into innovation which had been begun, on his own initiative, by Venerable Pius XII. I think there could be something in that. How about this as a summary of a possible narrative:
Over the decades, an international network of professional Liturgical Experts had grown up who were mostly not particularly marked by precise or original scholarship but maintained a close network of meetings, conferences, and journals. After the Council, they soon came to dominate the Diocesan Liturgical Committees which the Bishops set up, and then the liturgical bureaucracies created by the Episcopal Conferences. Bishops felt that they themselves didn't really know about Liturgy and were glad to be able to leave it to The Experts.

You remember the hoohaa that started up when Joseph Ratzinger began to write about Liturgy: "But he's not an expert in Liturgy". They meant: he's not one of us and he hasn't participated in our conferences and our journals and our international common agendas.


B flat said...

Your commenter friend indeed had a useful insight. But he is mistaken in putting the initiative with Pius XII.
As you sketch the narrative "over the decades" they traceably stretch back to the beginning of the century, and Pius X's reform of the Divine Office.
These predatory "liturgists" were working hard outside and within Rome where Modernism was like leprosy but Liturgical studies offered a relatively safe haven. So much has been attained by them during and after the Council, through practised political manoeuvring, sleight of hand, and dissimulation, the producuct of which we obediently accepted in Faith, but subsequently rejected by declining to go to church. We came for bread and they gave us a stone. They should have read a little of English history, and the uprising of non-liturgists against "Christmas games".

Christopher Boegel said...

The Kasper-McCarrick-Bugnini Cult simply exploited the opportunity created by the cobbling of "spirit of V2 ambiguous language" into Sacrosanctum Consilium (SC), and did whatever they pleased.

Kasper has publicly stated that he and his co-cultists made sure that the language of the V2 documents was packed with ambiguity, for the very purpose of doing whatever they pleased.

And so they did.

Which just goes to show that for the Kasper cult, what "the council fathers thought" doesn't matter one single iota.

Because for the Kasper cult, every event is an opportunity to betray scripture and tradition, whether by suffocating the orthodox or promoting the heterodox and heretical.

Et Expecto said...

I think, Father, that the character of Anatole Bugnini was a strong influencing factor. The book, The Rhine flows into the Tiber, chronicles the events in some detail.

Gillineau said...

Amen. And so with our 'handed-down' constitution which is now being destroyed by barely-read experts with ideas, the better to consolidate power in their sticky little Oxbridge mitts.

peregrinusto said...

May I presume to contact you via your blog, Father.

Like you, I am not very adept at negotiating the web to find contact info.

I am writing with a view to securing your support for THE PSALM 44 (43) INITIATIVE which is simply ask priests to come together in prayer for Cardinal Pell. Please review the brief summary of this initiative:

The Psalm 44 (43) Initiative - Mass offerings for Cardinal Pell
We are asking the assistance of Catholic priests around the world with a project that came in prayer while offering the daily office and, in particular, while praying Psalm 44.

Psalm 44. Deus, auribus.

1 WE have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us * what thou hast done in their time of old:
2 How thou hast driven out the heathen with thy hand, and planted our fathers in; * how thou hast destroyed the nations, and made thy people to flourish.
3 For they gat not the land in possession through their own sword, * neither was it their own arm that helped them;
4 But thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance; * because thou hadst a favour unto them.
5 Thou art my King, O God; * send help unto Jacob.
6 Through thee will we overthrow our enemies, * and in thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
7 For I will not trust in my bow, * it is not my sword that shall help me;
8 But it is thou that savest us from our enemies, * and puttest them to confusion that hate us . . . . (Coverdale Version)

Priests are asked to offer one Mass each week on behalf of Cardinal Pell while he is incarcerated and forbidden to celebrate Mass. In addition we ask that each priest send a Mass card and message of support to the Cardinal. I

Of course lay people may also offer their Mass intentions for Cardinal Pell and send him a note of support.

A wave of Mass offerings and mail going to the Cardinal can be a great spiritual grace for all of us during these very dark days.

Since the Cardinal has no access to electronic media, please mail (via Royal Mail or national mail systems) send your Mass cards and messages to the following address -- Australian law requires that mail be delivered under penalty of felony.

George Cardinal Pell,
Melbourne Assessment Prison,
317-353 Spencer St.,
West Melbourne, VIC 3003

E sapelion said...

I recall a step by step introduction of the vernacular. I do not know whether Rome said this was optional, but dioceses seemed to impose uniformity. It is possible that this was a mindset requiring uniformity, or it might be a fear (probably well founded) that some parish priests would absolutely resist change while others would abandon Latin completely. Some dioceses certainly banned the use of Latin (e.g. Baltimore). There were also changes to the rubrics, which did not impinge on the congregation much.
All this before the promulgation of the new rite, which was not permitted in England (as far as I know) until it had been translated into English.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. It is a truth unacknowledged publicly by The Catholic Church that it is due solely to The Holy Holocaust that the world continues in its existence.

Said otherwise, if the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass ceased, the world would come to an end owing to the incalculable amount of sin by man that would cause God to smite man with vengeance were the Holy Holocaust and the sacramental shedding of blood not exist to appease His anger.

The single holiest action on earth at any time is The Holy Holocaust and from The Bishop of Rome to the local Bishop of almost any fateful Catholic on earth there is not one by whose action a man would think - Yeah, he gets it.

ABS literally can not understand the indifference to this existential truth.

For those happy faithful who read you, it would be good for them to consider buying their favorite priest a quality gift for Father's Day - Maundy Thursday - or to take them out to a restaurant in Kensington for a meal of roast lamb and some quality wine after Easter.

It is not the POTUS, it is not the Secretary General of The United Nations, it is not the Prime Minister of any country nor is it the most intelligent scientist alive whose job/vocation is the most important and most crucial vocation on earth; it is the Priest through whom Jesus works.

Happy Father's Day in advance, Father. ABS hopes some faithful Catholic takes you and your Bride out for dinner and drinks.

Pax tecum

Dan Hayes said...

A determined cadre with a predetermined agenda will always win against an inchoate opposition, whether in the Bolshevik Revolution or the post Vatican II maelstrom.

Paul Hellyer said...

Here, here.

John Patrick said...

"Bishops felt that they themselves didn't really know about Liturgy and were glad to be able to leave it to The Experts."

Funny, I always thought the liturgy was the principal function of the Bishop.

Maybe back in the day before Bishops started to see themselves as the CEOs of an NGO primarily involved in "social justice" initiatives.

PM said...

Too many of the bishops where I live on those days were narrow-minded bureaucrats who had never had a time though in their lives and we're utterly lacking in liturgical sensibility. Has anything changed, one wonders?