and the Second Vatican Council
Cardinal Heenan's reference to "liturgical experts" is crucial if we are to understand the reason for the orgy of destruction in our sanctuaries which followed the Council. Those who exercised the greatest influence during Vatican II were not the Council Fathers, the three thousand bishops and heads of religious orders who had come to Rome from all over the world, but the expert advisers they brought with them, referred to in Latin as the periti. Bishop Lucey of Cork and Ross stated explicitly that the periti were the people with power. [Catholic Standard (Dublin), October 17, 1973.] Cardinal Heenan warned that when the Council was over the periti were planning to use the Council documents in a manner which the Council Fathers had not envisaged. The documents were to be interpreted and implemented by commissions to be established after the Council. Cardinal Heenan warned against the danger of the periti taking control of these commissions, thus gaining the power to interpret the Council to the world. "God forbid that this should happen!" he cried-----but happen it did. [Ralph Wiltgen, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber (1967; rpt. Rockford, Illinois: TAN, 1985), p. 210.]
Article 128 of the Liturgy Constitution provides a typical example. It reads:
The commission established to implement the Liturgy Constitution was known as the Consilium, and it took the extraordinary step of asking six Protestants-----six heretics-----to advise them in drawing up their plans to reform the liturgy of the Mass, which has been the principal object of Protestant hatred since the time of Martin Luther. These Protestants played a very active part in all the discussions on the reform of the liturgy, as one of them confirmed in a letter to me. [Michael Davies, Pope Paul's New Mass (Angelus Press, 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, Missouri 64109, 1980), Appendix III.]
The fact that the Liturgy Constitution did not mandate any changes in the sanctuary did not in the least daunt the pseudo-liturgists once the Council was over and the bishops had returned to their dioceses. A seemingly endless series of documents was generated, and is still being generated, by the vast liturgical bureaucracy that has proliferated since the Council.
THE COUNCIL MISQUOTED BY THE
Where changes in the sanctuary are concerned, the first mention is found in the "Instruction on the Proper Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy" [Inter Oecumenici] published by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on September 26, 1964. This document is now generally referred to as the "First Instruction," as others were to follow. Paragraph 90 of this document reads:
It is this one word, "adapting," inserted into the First Instruction, thus misquoting the Liturgy Constitution, which forms the basis of the altar-smashers' mandate.
Having stated incorrectly that the Council authorized the adaptation of existing churches, the Instruction goes on in the very next paragraph, No. 91, to state:
On May 25, 1967, in the Instruction Eucharisticum
Mysterium published by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, it was
specifically that "In adapting churches, care will be taken not to
treasures of sacred art" [par. 24]. I well recollect reading in the
of a parish in southeast London an account of a
The next significant document is the "General Instruction on the Roman Missal," published in April of 1969. Article 262 of this Instruction, while purporting to quote Article 91 of the First Instruction, actually misquotes it. Article 262 reads:
We thus have the suggestion found in the First Instruction, "It is better for the high altar to be constructed away from the wall" ["Praestat ut altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiuncturn . . ."] misquoted by omitting "Praestat ut" ["It is better that"] so that it becomes an implied command: "Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum . . ." ["The high altar should be constructed away from the wall . . ."]. The Liturgy Constitution was thus misquoted in the First Instruction, and the First Instruction is misquoted in the General Instruction. However, despite this misquotation, by no possible stretch of the imagination can Article 262 of the General Instruction be interpreted as mandating the destruction of existing altars to make possible a celebration facing the people. Interpreted in the light of the authentic text of Article 124 of the Liturgy Constitution, it can only refer to the construction of altars in new churches, not the demolition of altars in existing churches.