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.

Instruction Overshadows Worship

Another time bomb is contained in Article 33: "Although the sacred liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine Majesty, it likewise contains abundant instruction for the faithful." Take careful note of the word "although." The essential nature of the liturgy as a solemn act of worship offered to the Eternal Father seems to be safeguarded-----but on a practical level, little more is heard of "the worship of the divine Majesty," but a great deal is heard about the "abundant instruction of the faithful." As was mentioned earlier, the tragedy of the Liturgical Movement was the fact that it would make this secondary aspect of the liturgy the primary aspect.

   For the Protestant, it is the written word of the Bible which is of paramount importance in worship; it is to receive this written word in readings and preaching and to respond by praising God in prayers and hymns that Protestants come together. On the other hand, the Catholic assists at Mass primarily by offering, adoring and then receiving the Incarnate Word Himself. Those wishing to change the Mass in the interests of ecumenical convergence have been able to utilize Article 33 to add considerable emphasis to the instructional part of the Mass, while the prominence given to the sacrifice has been considerably diminished. Xavier Rynne, who wrote for the New Yorker, notes with satisfaction that the CSL 

establishes the function of the Word of God in liturgical worship, placing the emphasis on Scripture as understood by modern biblical theology, and thereby furnishing a realistic bridge for a dialogue with the Protestant Churches whose worship has always been biblically rather than sacramentally orientated. [X. Rynne, The Second Session (London: Herder & Herder, 1964), p. 305.]
Rynne's conclusion conforms perfectly with what was explained on page 3 of this book: the tragedy of the Liturgical Movement was that it would make the pedagogical, or educative aspect of the liturgy the primary aspect.

   Article 34 of the CSL states that the reformed liturgy must be "distinguished by a noble simplicity." There is, needless to say, no attempt to explain precisely what constitutes "a noble simplicity." The liturgy must be "short"-----but how short? It must be "unencumbered by useless repetitions"-----but when does a repetition become useless? (The very dreary repetitions in the New Mass which have been introduced in the Responsorial Psalm and the Bidding Prayers [Prayer of the Faithful] are therefore presumably useful repetitions.) Article 34 also insists that the new rites must "be within the people's powers of comprehension." What is meant here by the word "people"? University graduates, the illiterate, or those in the middle? Must anything that anyone cannot comprehend be excluded? The latitude which this article gave to the Consilium hardly needs elaborating.

   Article 37 claims that "the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity on matters which do not involve the faith or the good of the whole community." It explains that anything in the way of life of various races and peoples that "is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she [the Church] studies with sympathy and, if possible, preserves intact. Sometimes, in fact, she admits such things into the liturgy itself, as long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit." In practical terms this has meant unrestricted pluriformity-----with one exception. And in this case the most rigid uniformity prevails in the overwhelming majority of dioceses in the Western world. This is the rigid uniformity of not allowing the Traditional Latin ("Tridentine") Mass codified by St. Pius V, despite the appeal to the bishops of the world by Pope John Paul ll in his motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" of July 11, 1988:

         To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition, I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask for the support of the bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church. . . . moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.
       The Holy Father could hardly have made his will more clear, but such is the lack of respect for the Pope by the overwhelming majority of the world's bishops-----and what can be described only too accurately as their hatred for tradition-----that Mass according to the Missal of 1962 (i.e., the Traditional Latin Mass, also called the Tridentine Mass) is permitted by them in far less than one per cent of Catholic parishes of the Roman Rite throughout the world; and even where the bishops authorize such celebrations, these are sometimes scheduled for an inconvenient location at an inconvenient time, and only once a month or once a quarter, and often not even on Sunday. In point of fact, according to the 1986 Commission of Cardinals set up to examine the working of the 1984 indult Quattuor abhinc annos, no priest of the Roman Rite needs permission to use the 1962 Missal when celebrating Mass in Latin.
[See Appendix III.]



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