Liturgical Time Bombs
in Vatican II: Excerpts
The Destruction of Catholic Faith 
Through Changes in Catholic Worship 
by Michael Davies

Published on the Web with Permission of the Author.

The Abolition of Latin

One apparently insurmountable obstacle to the revolution which the time bombs in the CSL were intended to initiate was the use of Latin in the liturgy. While the Latin language remained the norm, there could in fact be no revolution. The Latin language has been, as Dom Gueranger warned in his Liturgical Institutions (Vol. 1, ch. IV, 1840), a principal target of the liturgical heretics:

       Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the heart of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond of Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit . . . We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory.
    Prophetic words indeed! The virtual abolition of the Latin language from the Roman Rite was not only not intended by the Council Fathers, but the possibility of this happening as a result of the CSL would not have been taken seriously by them had anyone suggested it. In this respect, at least, it could seem that they had made their intentions explicit. Article 36 states:
        1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
       2. But [and what an important "but" this is!] since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This extension will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
     3. It is for the competent territorial authority mentioned in Article 22.2 to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used according to these norms; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever the procedure seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions employing the same language.
Other conditions are also laid down, but the key points are contained here.

   Another aspect of Article 36 which upholds the continued use of Latin has been pointed out by Professor Louis Salleron. Not only does Article 36 state specifically that Latin "is to be retained in the Latin rites" (in ritibus latinis servetur: the jussive subjunctive servetur denotes a command), but it can also be said to denote this in a negative manner. For had the three paragraphs which have been cited intended that the vernacular should become the norm, writes Professor Salleron, "the construction of the text would have been reversed. We would have read something like this: 'The use of vernacular languages will be introduced into the Latin rite . . . ' and any exceptions or reservations in favor of the Latin language would then have been listed." [Salleron, pp. 19-20.]

   This observation is reinforced by the instruction in Article 36.3 stating that the competent territorial authority can decide whether and to what extent the vernacular is to be used, in accordance with the norms laid down. The use of the word "whether" makes it quite clear that the vernacular need never be used at all. Similarly, Article 116 states:

      The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as proper to  the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. Other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Article 30.
    A good deal more could be written on this topic-----but to little purpose. Perhaps Latin, Gregorian chant and polyphony have all but vanished from the generality of churches because they were considered obstacles to the active participation of the people, which the CSL had decreed should take priority over all else.

Results of the Liturgical Reforms

   God forbid, warned Cardinal Heenan, that the periti should take control of the commissions established after the Council to interpret it to the world. But this is precisely what happened! The liberals had constructed the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as a weapon with which to initiate a revolution, and the Council Fathers had placed this weapon in the hands of the revolutionaries who had forged it. Archbishop R. J. Dwyer of Portland, Oregon observed, with the benefit of hindsight, that the great mistake of the Council Fathers was "to allow the implementation of the Constitution to fall into the hands of men who were either unscrupulous or incompetent. This is the so-called 'Liturgical Establishment,' a Sacred Cow which acts more like a White Elephant as it tramples the shards of a shattered liturgy with ponderous abandon." [The Tidings, July 9, 1971.]

   Cardinal Heenan was present in the Sistine Chapel for Father Bugnini's demonstration of his newly concocted experimental rite of Mass in 1967 (Missa Normativa), and he was dismayed by what he witnessed. He commented:

At home it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.  [This is an extract from the complete text of his intervention given to me by the Cardinal.]
      The Cardinal proved to be a true prophet. In 1976, a report on the state of Catholicism in the once flourishing archdiocese of Liverpool admitted that in many of its churches the congregations consisted mainly of primary school children, middle-aged, and elderly parishioners. "A vast number of young people between the ages of 15 and 25 have decided that Sunday Mass, as it is offered up in most parishes, has nothing to offer them." [The Tablet, February 21, 1976.] Cardinal Heenan's prophecy was also confirmed in Article 69 of the working paper provided for the 1999 synod of European bishops in Rome. Commenting on the responses received from bishops in the pre-synodal survey, it stated:
         Certain responses mention somewhat problematic situations. In many countries of the West, liturgical celebrations are frequented almost exclusively by children and older people, especially women. The young and middle-aged are few in number. Such a situation runs the risk of projecting an image of a Church which is only for the elderly, women and children.
      Comment is hardly necessary! Closed churches and plunging congregations are the undeniable fruit of the liturgical revolution. Detailed statistics illustrating the collapse in Mass attendance in the Western World are provided in Appendix II.

     The traditional liturgy which formed the basis of popular piety was swept away in a mindless craze for novelty and ecumenical convergence.  . . .


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