|| 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.
Cardinal Lercaro's letter did nothing to halt the spread of "arbitrary initiatives." Rome adopted the tactic of bringing illicit innovations to an end by making them licit and official. Communion was given in the hand illicitly-----let it be given in the hand officially! Communion was illicitly distributed by laymen-----then appoint laymen as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Those who considered that the essence of the Mass lies in its being a common meal began (not without logic) to receive Communion at more than one Mass on the same day-----then let this be permitted in many circumstances. Priests began illicitly using extempore prayers-----then let provision for extempore prayer be made within the official reform. Unofficial Eucharistic Prayers were composed-----then let three new Eucharistic Prayers be provided. The composition of unofficial Eucharistic prayers continued-----so add another five. Communion was given under both kinds at Sunday Mass in defiance of Vatican legislation-----the practice was legalized, and so now it could not be claimed that the law concerning Communion under both kinds was being defied. Liturgical law was broken by allowing female acolytes into the sanctuary. Female acolytes were legalized, so the law permitting only male acolytes was no longer being broken-----liturgical discipline had been restored!
The logic of this policy could not possibly be lost upon the unofficial innovators: let them introduce and spread their liturgical fantasies, and the Vatican would eventually legalize them. Even if Rome did not legalize the abuses, the possibility of action being taken against the unofficial innovators was remote in the extreme, particularly after the introduction of the New Mass in 1969. After that date, there were a few priests who "illicitly" continued to offer the Traditional Latin Mass, so those in the Vatican and elsewhere with a penchant for repression were able to find ample scope to indulge it by hounding these priests from their parishes.
Cardinal Lercaro's profession of "circumspection, a sense of responsibility, prudence and a true understanding of pastoral needs" takes on a very hollow ring now that the fruits of his official reform are available for anyone to see. These fruits were described in scathing but realistic terms by Monsignor Gamber:
As a final example of a time bomb in the text of the CSL-----it would become tedious to enumerate them all-----the point must be made that while stating that the regulation of the liturgy is a responsibility reserved to the Apostolic See (Article 22), local ecclesiastical authorities are positively encouraged to propose any "adaptations" they deem necessary. (Article 40). They are reminded of the limitations of their powers of initiative, but the possibility of these powers being extended is more than implicit. (Articles 22 and 36). This has resulted in the hierarchies of such countries as France and Holland making themselves, for practical purposes, the sole arbiters of what they will or will not allow-----which, again on a practical level, means that they will allow anything but the Traditional Latin Mass. The Indian bishops, under the guise of inculturation, have, in fact, been "Hinduizing" the Mass in their country. They have treated with contempt the anguished protests of the laity; appeals to Rome by the anguished laity have been ignored.