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.

Legalizing Abuses!

 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:

       The liturgical reform, welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike, has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions-----a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests. Instead of the fruitful renewal of the liturgy, what we see is a destruction of the forms of the Mass which had developed organically during the course of many centuries. [Gamber, p. 9.]
    The time bombs inserted in the CSL have been exploded with a destructive power far beyond the extent that the revolutionaries who planted them there could have dared to hope. Their reverberations will continue to spread while there is anything left to which the name "official" can be attached. Father Bugnini was rewarded for his part in the reform with an Archbishop's mitre. He claimed in 1974-----and who could dispute his claim-----that "The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church, and it has ecumenical dimensions, since the other Churches and Christian denominations see in it not only something to be admired in itself, but equally as a sign of further progress to come." [Notitiae, No. 92, April 1974, p. 126.] As is always the case, every concession to revolutionaries is followed by new and more radical demands. It might have been imagined that by 1971 there had been enough variety and legitimate adaptation to suit everyone. Far from it! Writing in Concilium, Father Andrew Greeley, while deploring the "occasional madness" of the "underground" liturgy, considers the renewed liturgy to be "a creation of those who want in their liturgical experience more of what liturgical symbolism was originally intended to convey-----that is, intimate and intense friendship." Among the examples of "occasional madness" cited by Father Greeley are the "marijuana mass, mass with crackers and whisky used as the elements for consecration, teen-age masses with Coca Cola and hot dog buns." However, the basic position of the participants in underground Masses is, claims Father Greeley, "unanswerable." He claims that "the underground is a judgment on us for our failure to understand the implications of the symbolism of the Eucharist as a family meal. If we do not provide a family meal for an increasing number of Catholics, then they will provide one for themselves." [Concilium, February 1971, p. 66.] 
    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.


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