An odd claim from Bishop Slattery

In this week’s National Catholic Register, the article “Bishop Slattery on Prayer, the Mass and New Vocations” has the bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma saying this:

The bishops who were the fathers of the council from the United States came home and made changes too quickly. They shouldn’t have viewed the old liturgy, what we call the Tridentine Mass or Missal of Pope John XXIII, as something that needed to be fixed. Nothing was broken. There was an attitude that we had to implement Vatican II in a way that radically affects the liturgy.

What we lost in a short period of time was continuity. The new liturgy should be clearly identifiable as the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church.

Yup, he really said that nothing was broken in the “Tridentine” (pre-Vatican II) Mass and nothing needing fixing!

The “continuity” ideology is in full swing now. As we see above, its proponents do not shy away from making patently false and manifestly absurd statements.

Any respectable attempt to interpret Sacrosanctum concilium, the liturgy constitution of the Second Vatican Council, must take into account both its statements calling for continuity and preservation and its statements calling for reform and change (aka “fixing”).

For those like Bishop Slattery who want to emphasize continuity with the past, here are the most notable continuity/preservation statements of Sacrosanctum concilium [SC] to appeal to:

  • SC 23: “There must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.”
  • SC 36: “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.”
  • SC 54: “Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.”
  • SC 116: “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy; therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgcal services.”

But unfortunately for the bishop, there are numerous statements in SC clearly calling for liturgical reform and change :

  • SC 1 lists, among several aims of the council, “to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ.” “Whatever” could in principle include liturgical adaptations making our rites more similar to those of Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and the various Protestant churches.
  • SC 14: “In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else.” This article could mean that active participation (however that is understood) is more important than preserving Latin or Gregorian chant or tradition. In principle the door is opened to ritual changes if that is thought better for achieving the highest goal of active participation.
  • SC 21: “The liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it.” Liturgical history shows that very little of the words and rites of the liturgy is of divine institution, and the larger part by far grew up in the course of the centuries. The council did not say that everything not divinely instituted should be changed. But in principle any of the human elements of the liturgy are candidates for change.
  • SC 21: “In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.” The wording suggests thorough-going change of the texts and rites – they are to be “drawn up” according to the criteria given.
  • SC 23: “As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions must be carefully avoided.” This article suggests that there will at time be differences between rites in adjacent regions when it states that the differences should not be “notable.” This can only mean that the Roman rite will not necessarily be uniform in all the regions of the world.
  • SC 31: “The revision of the liturgical books must carefully attend to the provision of rubrics also for the people’s parts.” Considering that the pre-Vatican II order of Mass had not one single rubric regarding the people, it is difficult to see how the “careful provision” of such rubrics could be anything but a rupture with the past.
  • SC 34: “The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.” The rites of the pre-Vatican II liturgy are anything short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions. It is difficult to see how SC 34 could be carried out in continuity with the preconciliar liturgy or without bringing in noticeable changes.
  • SC 38: “Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved.” The call is for unity, not uniformity, and the door is left open to local variations.

Back in 1963, the fathers of the Second Vatican Council were clear: the church’s venerable old liturgy needed fixing.

awr

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151 comments

  1. It seems to me that there is, indeed, a difference between changing something in order to try a new, different way of doing the liturgy on the one hand and fixing a liturgy that is ostensibly broken on the other. Why is the bishop’s statement so controversial to you, Father Ruff? Change is not only for fixing things that are broken; it’s also for trying new things in different situations. It seems to me, and I think to the bishop as well, that the Council was about the Church finding ways to adapt to a new mission (engaging with modern society), and not about calling the old ways broken as though people were doing something wrong. If you aren’t fond of Father Z calling the new translation of the Roman Missal the “corrected version,” it’s probably because you take offense to the previous version being made to seem broken, when it seems to you that it worked quite well. It seems that the proper way to view these things is that there is a season. I’m sure that the hippie stuff related to some previous generation(s) pretty well, but the times, as they say, are a’changin’. There is nothing manifestly nonsensical about that view, even if you disagree with it.

  2. Talk about missing the point.

    He’s discussing an attitude towards the liturgy and you’re talking about whether there should have been changes at all. He’s not denying that there should have been changes.

    Indeed, changes to the liturgy were well under way by the *convening* of the Second Vatican Council… heck, decades before the convening of the Second Vatican Council.

    The 1960 reforms of the rite for Solemn Mass, the sung Mass becoming more like the Solemn Mass, the restoration of Gregorian chant, the revised divine office, greater emphasis on the liturgical year in the reforms to clear the Sundays of the year of non-Sunday observances and the abolition of votive offices, the new Holy Week rites (like them or not).

    It’s like if I went to my doctor and said my knees hurt and the difference between the doctor saying “lose weight and do strengthening exercises” or “use this wheelchair all the time.”

      1. Of course he said what he said. That’s tautology! But you’re misunderstanding the meaning of what he said.

        A lot of people have spent a lot of time developing these views. You owe it to them to try to understand them.

      2. He said that nothing was broke and needed fixing. I took that to mean that he thought nothing was broke and needed fixing.
        awr

      3. Note that he also said “The bishops who were the fathers of the council from the United States came home and made changes too quickly.”

        This statement is not consistent with a position that there should have been no changes.

      4. I sure wonder, then, why he said that nothing is broke and nothing needs fixing.

        I also wonder whether you care to take up that statement… and admit that it’s a bad statement

        But after one more round, I’m willing to give up.

        awr

      5. I also wonder whether you care to take up that statement… and admit that it’s a bad statement

        It’s clear to me what he meant. Apparently it was not ideally clear, since youre having trouble understanding it. But I don’t think you’re doing your best to understand what he said in the interview rather than playing “gotcha”. When someone says something that appears to us to be nonsensical, the right first reaction is not to shout that they’re saying something that nonsensical, it’s to consider that, since people don’t usually say nonsensical things, we have likely misunderstood or they have failed to communicate it entirely clearly, but don’t hold a nonsensical position.

        As I said at the beginning, the issue is one of attitude. Change can be desireable even when something is not “broken.” If I replace the tar shingle roof of my house with slate because it’s prettier and more durable, a better roof, it doesn’t mean that the roof was broken and now it’s fixed.

      6. “If I replace the tar shingle roof of my house with slate because it’s prettier and more durable, a better roof, it doesn’t mean that the roof was broken and now it’s fixed.”

        But if the bishop means something like this, he then has to contend with the other statement: “There are to be no innovations unless the Church genuinely requires them.” If such changes as were made under the authority of Pope Paul VI were made because they were “desirable” rather than because they were thought to be GENUINELY REQUIRED for the good of the church, then Paul VI was unfaithful to SC. This very serious charge would put Bishop Slattery in some trouble, I would think.

      7. Rita, if you want to defend the changes that were made, you’re going to have to read “genuinely required” in a looser sense that includes desireable changes.

        It’s going to be hard to justify the Consilium’s every decision under a standard that “GENUINELY REQUIRED for the good of the church” excludes “desireable.”

        It was “GENUINELY REQUIRED for the good of the church” that the deacon now makes a profound bow to the priest after incensing him rather than a head bow? It was “GENUINELY REQUIRED for the good of the church” that the faithful strike their breast once when saying “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” rather than three times as had been done formerly?

      8. Sam, I see what you mean. Maybe the question is whether every change ought to be seen as an innovation. Perhaps some changes are not properly speaking innovations at all, but amendments or improvements to existing forms. Nevertheless, I think it’s possible to argue that all of the items you’ve listed are in fact “genuinely required” because they are instantiations of larger issues that needed to be addressed. The devil is in the details, though, and this is an area where reasonable people could have come to different conclusions, I grant you that.

      9. S.J.H. “When someone says something that appears to us to be nonsensical, the right first reaction is not to shout that they’re saying something that nonsensical, it’s to consider that, since people don’t usually say nonsensical things, we have likely misunderstood or they have failed to communicate it entirely clearly, but don’t hold a nonsensical position.”

        Not content merely to be dogmatic and doctrinaire in your views in a manner which does not persuade, you are also attempting to tell the rest of us what the right first action in a situation is. That is arrogance in essence and proof positive that yes, indeed, some people to hold nonsensical positions.

  3. The rites of the pre-Vatican II liturgy are anything short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions. It is difficult to see how SC 34 could be carried out in continuity with the preconciliar liturgy or without bringing in noticeable changes.

    Is it your experience from celebrating the 1962 rites that they are encumbered by useless repetitions?

    This is not my experience with participating in the 1962 rites (even with the customary back interpolation of pre-1960 elements).

    Remember that much repition had already been cleared out by the 1960 reforms. Gradualist reforms that might have “stuck” better if they hadn’t been undercut by the radical reforms that followed.

    This can only mean that the Roman rite will not necessarily be uniform in all the regions of the world.

    The Roman rite was already not uniform in all regions of the world.

    Considering that the pre-Vatican II order of Mass had not one single rubric regarding the people, it is difficult to see how the “careful provision” of such rubrics could be anything but a rupture with the past.

    It would seem to depend on what the rubrics did, wouldn’t it? If they codified existing practice, that wouldn’t seem to be a rupture. And this statement is only true in the first place because you limit it to the “order of Mass”. There was plenty in the Code of Canon Law and other liturgical law–both written and customary–about how the faitful were to participate at Mass.

    1. Then why did the fathers of V2 see a need to state that the rites should be “short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions”??

      Your dogged determination to re-interpret what texts say is quite amazing.

      awr

      1. Then why did the fathers of V2 see a need to state that the rites should be “short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions”??

        It’s fairly obvious that they wrote that because they thought that the rites should be short, clear, and unemcumbered by useless repetitions.

        Figuring out how long is too long, how unclear is too unclear and which repitions are useless is a very difficult question. It’s a hard question. It requires some engagement with the pre-Vatican II rites as well (and as rites, not texts.) One that Bishop Slattery has apparently grappled with and come to different conclusions about than you.

        But since, as you note above “Liturgical history shows that very little of the words and rites of the liturgy is of divine institution” and therefore, according to SC 21, mutable, that’s OK and we can change it! Surely you of all people don’t think that the Roman liturgical authorities never err.

    2. The Roman Rite was ALREADY not uniform! 🙂 ROFLOL! So the thinking of the Council was that we already had as much adaptation as was needed? I see. So hey, the fathers of the council didn’t need to fight so hard over articles 37-40 — we were already there!! And Varietates legitimae, what a superfluous document! Somebody should have told Pope John Paul II that the Roman Rite was already not uniform in the period immediately before the Council. Silly, silly Pope John Paul II, thinking that the implementation of 37-40 was a big deal!! Oh, this is too hilarious. Sam, you don’t really mean this. You must mean something else. Please clarify. I respect you too much to take this statement as representing your thought on the matter.

      Back to the bishop. His comments seem either disingenuous or ignorant of history. Doesn’t he know about the liturgical reforms of Pius XII? Doesn’t he know about the commission established in 1948 to revise all the rites, and how their work was shelved because a Council was coming and Pope John XXIII wanted to have a thorough reform of the liturgy take into account the wishes of the fathers of the Council? How can he approve of the 1962 rite, as I suppose he does, and then say with a straight face that nothing needed to change? Reforms of Holy Week – hello? There was already a reform on, before the Council, as Sam correctly notes.

      No, really, if one accepts Pius XII’s reforms of the 1950s and the modifications that went into 1962, you can’t at the same time say *nothing* in the old liturgy needed to change… You can say not as much needed to change as was changed, you can say changes came too fast, you can say the changes didn’t conform to the principles of the reform, but you can’t say changes were not needed. Unless what is meant is that in 1962 we reached the crystalization of the liturgy and had perfectly achieved everything in the line of reform. Nice try, Bishop Slattery, but that position is not defensible.

  4. Bishop Slattery is correct about the loss of continuity. How that continuity should be maintained is the debate.

    I have heard forecast from others that there will be a combination of the two rites: the ordinary (post-VCII missal) and the extra-ordinary (John XXIII missal), and that Pope Benedict’s permissions to more widely celebrate the extra-ordinary form is a step in that direction.

    Whatever the case may be, I think that many of my people in the pews think that we are currently separated-if not divorced-from what came before.

    1. “I have heard forecast from others that there will be a combination of the two rites”

      Just rumor, innuendo and gossip. Won’t happen.

      I’m proud of the fact that we parse over every single sentence and argue over some of the words used in the translations. Review what happened when the cup was eliminated in Phoenix and Madison, a small issue in only two dioceses . Even in Madison Morlino is apparently reconsidering . He even acknowledged that his decision was first reported on the blogosphere and that he needed to submit a letter to his priests’ to explain his decision, apparently because the heat was on him.

      If there is an attempt to combine the two rites and eliminate ad populum or eliminate most of the vernacular there would be mass chaos and probably schism. The translation battle would look like a pillow fight.
      No pope wants his legacy to include schism.

  5. The Irish people, in their wisdom, have elected a poet,
    Michael D Higgins as their next President.
    Why didn’t Vox Clara have the sense to include a poetic voice in their number?
    Chris McDonnell UK

  6. Jonathan – experts in liturgy and biblical studies would define and interpret “continuity” in a totally different way than you are using it or the way Bishop Slattery is using it.

    Some context on this specific bishop (who belongs in the same category as Olmsted, Morlino, Burke, et alii) –
    – he has been on a “jag” about the need for all liturgies to be “ad orientem” – that is how he does liturgy at his cathedral. If you read his “rag” his explanation for this is not really based upon objective research; not based upon liturgical history; etc. It is an emotional reaction
    – remember last year, Slattery was the stand in for Hoyos in DC for a TLM celebration (his idea of the “perfect” liturgy that is continuous)

    http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/dc-liturgy-cappa-magna-glorious-music-latin-glitches

    – Slattery likes to dress up for TLM using the Cappa Magna, etc.

    It continues to amuse me how folks such as Slattery (who never attended Vatican II) can provide us with exactly what the 2400+ bishops thought and did during those four sessions years ago.

    Also, quoting and using Fr. Z as an expert on anything is very problematic. What he knows about Vatican II wouldn’t get a passing grade at most US theology schools.

    1. Some context on this specific bishop (who belongs in the same category as Olmsted, Morlino, Burke, et alii) –
      – he has been on a “jag” about the need for all liturgies to be “ad orientem” – that is how he does liturgy at his cathedral. If you read his “rag” his explanation for this is not really based upon objective research; not based upon liturgical history; etc. It is an emotional reaction

      Did you read the interview?

      He writes that “Most of the time, I say Mass facing the people when I travel around the diocese or when I have a large number of priests concelebrating, because it works better that way,” and, that he, “let[s] the priests think about it, pray about it, study it, and then look at their churches and see if it’s feasible to do.”

      Celebrating facing the people “because it works out better” and letting priests decide whether to do it based on “feasibl[ity]” is hardly compatible with his holding a view that there is a “need for all liturgies to be ‘ad orientem.’”

      1. This is the same Bishop who several years ago wanted to assign a Society of St. Peter priest to a not-so-small rural parish. He went there to explain to the people how it would be really good for them to celebrate what at that time was the indult Latin Mass. The people responded with a clear “no thanks!” Many priests of the diocese saw this action as yet another indicator that the good bishop was losing his grip. It was around that time that the diocese was celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. The joke that circulated widely was, “That’s funny…..a 25 year old diocese with a 9th century bishop”!

  7. Father, I’m afraid you and those like Bp. Slattery will be like the proverbial “ships passing in the night” with posts like these. While I am familiar with your takes on SC from reading your book, it would be more fruitful for the purpose of dialogue to cross reference your interpretations to documents or council interventions.

    For example, at first read (without appropriate citations), you are overreaching in your first bullet point. “to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ.” “Whatever” could in principle include liturgical adaptations making our rites more similar to those of Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and the various Protestant churches. To someone growing up outside the Church like myself, the reading of the original passage suggests catechesis and ecumenical dialogue as the chief ways or promoting understanding. Your reading could be extended ad absurdum to justify minimizing teaching on the Real Presence (as understood by Catholics) or on the Communion of Saints, etc.

    I think it would be a fantastic topic for a long post a la Paul Ford’s on similar topics, which are always thought-provoking and well supported by references.

    1. “Could. ” Need not, but could. That’s all.

      Many of my bullet points have citations calling for change. Others, such as the first one, show that the Council left open the possibilities for change without directly calling for it. I take this to mean that the Consilium had a fair amount of leeway, and that the work they did of reforming the liturgy was within the Council’s brief and not a betrayal of it.

      In fact, Protestants were involved in being consultants to Consilium. Whether their presence contributed to the Mass of Paul VI being similar to Protestant and Anglican rites in places seems very probable to me.
      awr

      1. Father Anthony: yes, I understand you were not making a definitive statement.

        While I don’t agree totally with +Slattery, I think it’s fair to say that perhaps (mandate or not) the Consilium went further than many who voted for SC intended. If, hypothetically speaking, a council father expected that the liturgical revision would allow much broader provision for the vernacular, along with minor pruning, he would be very surprised at the addition of the new Eucharistic Prayers, new options (and location) for the Kyrie and Confiteor, etc. I know these were all things discussed in great depth before the 1960’s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them were clueless… There was, of course, no way to “vote” on the Consilium’s changes…unless you were Paul VI!

        I am aware of the Protestants involved with the Consilium. This is one of the more interesting aspects of its operation, and something I thought it interesting that you brought up. I think many in the more traditionalist camp would not argue with Protestant involvement if it were for the purposes of translation (i.e., incorporating the best of the Anglican prayerbook tradition). However, if that involvement extended to actual revision of rites to make them less controversial to Protestants, that would be another matter.

        Whether or not we like to deal with that sort of question, I think it’s an important one to ask in our attempts to divine (pardon!) exactly how far the mandate of SC extended. I think it’s also a question that can make the “hermeneutics dialogue” productive.

      2. I believe that those present from other Christian Churches at the meetings of the Consilium were observers, not consultants.

        According to Archbishop Bugnini:

        “What was the role of the observers at the Consilium? Simply to ‘observe’. Their attitude at the meetings of the Consilium was one of great reserve and unobtrusiveness. They never took part in the discussions, never asked to speak.

        They were the first to arrive at the meetings, the last to leave the hall. They were always affable, polite, sparing of words, and ready to engage in a friendly way in any conversation that might be requested.

        Only on one occasion did the Consilium decide to ask for the views of the observers as a group. This was during the discussion of the problem of cycles of readings in the celebration of the Eucharist. The question here was whether, having opted for a three-year cycle of readings, the Consilium should retain the one found in the Roman Missal or develop an entire new three-year cycle from scratch.” The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948 — 1975, pages 200-201.

        There were five observers in all, including Brother Max Thurian, subprior of the Taize’ Community.

      3. The definition of “continuity” in these discussions and arguments seems to be quite vague. In fact, it seems to be used by some to mean “no change except to a rubric or two”. It would be nice if people agreed on a working definition fo what constitutes “continuity” and how much can a rite be changed before something is not deemed “continuous”.

        For example, Fr. Ruff, I don’t see SC 31 as rupture but as a form of continuity – adding in the people’s parts (as was done in many places of the 1965 Order, within a structure recognizable as 1962, for example) .

        But for the articles you cite – I think that’s where the confusion comes in and the Concilium leaves itself open to the charge of not sticking to the intent of the Council Fathers because the Acts of the Council show explanations of wording at variance with later interpretation. For example, the wish of some Fathers in the middle, who were open to reform but wanted the Canon to remain intact, and an explicit statement inserted to that effect, was denied on the grounds that that was already covered in a statement such as “due care being taken to preserve their substance”. This is some sleight of hand because later “substance” is interpreted very narrowly by the Concilium, thus leaving everything, including the Canon, open to change.

        I don’t think that the Concilium carried out the Council’s wishes – even though in many of the schema, the words of the Constitution are quoted to provide justification. (This is independent of whether I think the changes should have been made – I just think that it wasn’t what the Fathers foresaw). In the first place, some of the Fathers did not want change as is evident from a reading of the Acta of the Council, and they weren’t all just stodgy Curialists. And then there was a broad segment in the middle whose ideas for change are mostly dealing with the Order of the Mass and nothing such as what came afterward.

      4. In fact, going strictly by the “declarationes” that were set before the Council Fathers to explain the intention of what would become article 50, the vote was for things like:

        The separation of the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist – the former being carried out at the chair rather than the altar
        Fewer signs of the cross, genuflections, etc.
        Shortening of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar
        “Offertory” procession, revision of the offertory prayers
        Reciting the “Secret” prayer aloud, as well as the Embolism.
        Restructuring the Sign of Peace and the Fraction
        Using a shorter form for the distribution of Communion
        Mass with only a deacon and no subdeacon
        Most of these were carried out with the Instruction Inter Oecumenici and the revised Ordo Missae of 1965. I think it’s possible for these to be interpreted as “continuity” in the sense that they bear a strong link to the 1962 order, and so people who argue that the 1965 changes to the Mass are what the Council wanted and nothing much after, have a point in their favour.
        Re: Anglican and other Protestant input – I don’t think they actually had that much input. Unless one of the periti was consulting them privately – which is entirely possible given liturgical interchange – by the time they came of board in 1966, the basic new Order of the Mass had been broadly ironed out as regarded the main structural changes. On the hand, it seems that several Fathers, including some from South-east Asia, proposed changes for devotional reasons, such as moving the Gloria after Communion, quite unaware that this was the liturgical structure of the Anglican books (or rather, some of the books of the Communion)

      5. I’d guess it’s a common typo… the document is Sacrosanctum Concilium, the group is the Consilium..

        BTW, Joshua, what resource on the Acts of Vatican II do you use? I’ve seen a Latin text and a German translation (I don’t own either); I’m curious which you have, or if you have another resource.

  8. Though it might surprise him, I sort of kind of agree with SJH here. I think the bishop said something that at first sounds nonsensical (or at least counter-factual), and thus is not really likely what he meant to say. Clearly the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council thought that the liturgy needed some degree of fixing. The charitable read of what Bp. Slattery said is that he meant to say that the preconciliar liturgy was not so broken that changes should have been made willy-nilly, in a panic to patch things up.

    Of course, that’s not what he said. What he said was, in fact, that the pre-conciliar liturgy needed no fixing whatsoever. The chief problem with this statement, aside from its falseness in terms of what SC says, is that there are a number of people out there who hold exactly this position. So his misspeaking is giving aid and comfort to a segment in the Church who really does believe that the Council was wrong to propose any reform of liturgy.

    One would think a bishop would be more careful in his public statements.

  9. Problem with a bishop saying that:

    “The new liturgy should be clearly identifiable as the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church.”

    is that to most RCs under the age of 45, the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church is as alien to them as the would be the liturgies of a different religion.

    No – I actually take that back. Most RCs under the age of 45 would find that the liturgies of the Anglicans and Lutherans are more familiar to them than the pre-Vatican II Church.

    That’s probably what the Pope is afraid of.

  10. Samuel J. Howard :
    As I said at the beginning, the issue is one of attitude. Change can be desireable even when something is not “broken.” If I replace the tar shingle roof of my house with slate because it’s prettier and more durable, a better roof, it doesn’t mean that the roof was broken and now it’s fixed.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    How’d you like to come home and find a new roof on your house and be told that it was replaced because this roof is prettier, more durable, and better. And regardless of whether you think it’s prettier or not, your only option is to get used to it?

  11. The statement: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” is a rather meaningless statement. In the first place, many things in the Pre-Vatican II liturgy were clearly broken. In the second place, even if something isn’t broken, we have a moral responsibility to make things better. Poor Bishop, he comes up with some real goodies every once in a while.

  12. It’s time to take Bishop Slattery’s claim — a self-serving statement meant to advance a cause and made with reckless disregard of the truth — and call it by the term defined in a Princeton philosophy professor’s monograph:

    press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html

    1. Indeed. I don’t think it’s designed to advance a cause so much as designed to get publicity in his fan base, btw. (This is not a syndrome unique to bishops on the right, lest anyone were thinking I thought it was. It’s a syndrome that besets all people in power where fawning is part of the culture of power.)

  13. Poor Bishop Slattery. And I suppose he feels he was chosen by the Holy Spirit. Again, power and politics at their worst. Just like it was at the time Jesus lived the Gospel here on earth. So many of these are the 2011-2012 versions of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Think about it! They think, do and say the same things the Pharisees and Sadducees did. They have the same personalities.

      1. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to find a bishop disputing key points in the Ten Commandments in their attitude and policy toward those who have been sexually abused by clergy.

        Conservatives are no less (or more) likely to stumble theologically or morally.

  14. All the more reason why the ambiguous language and clauses in SC which often contradict each other, need to be reviewed and explained in a definitive fashion. I have never seen such parsing of words when it comes to Vat II texts in order to interpret everything under the sun. Henry, I think your comments are well said and grounded. And the Bishops ratified the Schemata. Not all the verbage came directly from each and every one of their individual mouths as if they spoke for the whole Church with the same sentence over 2400 times. That should be kept in mind. Sufficient time was probably not given or the rites and reactions of people studied before changes were forced upon many a people.

  15. I think it is quite true to say that many of the bishops present at Vatican II did not envisage some of the reforms which followed the Council.

    To take just one area, yes, they talked about the vernacular and could imagine a limited use of it. However, it was only when they discovered how beneficial it was for their people and their people’s spirituality and engagement in the liturgy (and quite possible their own too) that they started to press for an increased use of the vernacular, and eventually for a totally vernacular liturgy.

    They had not envisaged this at the time of the Council itself, but they learnt very rapidly from experience because they were true pastors of their people. The changes were not forced upon them, nor upon their people. They sensed the needs and reactions of their people, and they requested these changes accordingly. If this is not organic growth, what on earth is?

    Mutatis mutandis, the same is true of other liturgical reforms in rites and praxis which followed.

    It is completely false to claim that nothing needed fixing. Others have already demonstrated this. But it is also equally false to claim that the reforms which followed were imposed on the Church against the will of the bishops. Anyone who doubts this has only to read the documentary evidence provided in Bugnini and Marini. They asked for these reforms themselves, even though they had not dreamed of them a few years earlier.

    1. Are you stating that every parish was given a choice of the 1962 Missal or the 70 Novus Ordo Missal ? That both Masses existed on the Mass schedule after November, circa 1971? That the new Missal was not imposed on any Priests, Bishops or lay people? How does Marcel Lefevbre fit into all this? How did the Agatha Christie indult come about? Why did members of my own family and many, many others fall away from the Church with the simple statement “Everything Changed”. That would indicate not everyone wanted or liked it. Doesn’t Missale Romanum state that from a certain date forward only the new Missal would be used? And an extension letter for some areas? If this is not imposition then I don’t know what is. Discussing the merits of such an imposition is one thing, but stating that it did not happen is another. There were many visible and outspoken people and much written on the impostion itself. No doubt the vernacular helped numerous people but there were many who were content and loved the liturgy the way it was. Hence the instructions in Ecclesia Dei and alter Summorum Pontificum.

      1. Not trying to make too much of a point here, just a few reactions, offered meekly and sincerely, for the sake of discussion.

        “Why did members of my own family and many, many others fall away from the Church…” An excellent question not as simply answered as some might think.

        “That would indicate not everyone wanted or liked it.” Which means what it means.

        “Doesn’t Missale Romanum state that from a certain date forward only the new Missal would be used?” So, the old rite was indeed abrogated?

        “Discussing the merits of such an imposition is one thing, but stating that it did not happen is another.” Indeed, but we must always remember that the Church is not a democracy, as many have pointed out.

        “No doubt the vernacular helped numerous people but there were many who were content and loved the liturgy the way it was.” This is true.

        “Hence the instructions in Ecclesia Dei and alter Summorum Pontificum.” The Church is more generous than she owes to be, which is a good thing. The same should hold true if the revised liturgy were ever taken away (which is not forseen, although it, too, is certainly subject to revision).

  16. “It is completely false to claim that nothing needed fixing.”

    Too true. Even the 2000 edition of the GIRM concedes the 1570 Missal was incomplete and imperfect:

    “(T)he liturgical norms of the Council of Trent have certainly been completed and perfected in many particulars by those of the Second Vatican Council, which has carried into effect the efforts to bring the faithful closer to the Sacred Liturgy … ” (15)

    The 1962 Missal and its predecessors no doubt brought many people to holiness and a deep liturgical spirituality. But the unreformed rite is wholly inadequate for the Church.

  17. Bp. Slattery is not right that “nothing was broken”. Yes, many Catholics loved the Tridentine liturgy and were very saddened by the interim changes and the 1970 missal. However, a passionate love for a liturgy does not render it faultless or sufficient to bind a rite of the Church together.

    The changes that are now indelibly associated with the the reforms were already staple tropes in liturgical academia well before the 1964 instruction. The 1970 reforms incorporated the most popular academic reforms into a coherent rite. I am convinced that if the reforms stopped at 1965, experimental Masses would have nevertheless evolved into something akin to the modern reformed rite. These Masses would have become de facto in certain areas, and lead to strife and even schism. Better, then, to codify the inevitable progressive liturgical developments within an orthodox theological framework. Paul VI dodged schism by including an optional Confiteor and Roman Canon, as well as the Orate Fratres. I am convinced that if the Concilium got its way and dropped more than it did, open schisms such as the Lefebvrists would have gained much greater traction.

    OT: I often shake my fist and say: if the Byzantine liturgy survived demolition, why didn’t ours? Then again, the Roman rite has encountered centuries of philosophical agnosticisms, national laicizations, the rise of the nation state and republic, and interaction with Protestant churches. The unique “western experience” has led, inevitably, to a modern reformed liturgy tailored to the development of Western Christianity. This is not necessarily the same past of the Byzantine Christian peoples.

  18. Since the conversation has expanded into the subject of how the changes in the Mass were received, here are some statistics from the 1967 Harris Survey on Catholics’ Views of their Church.

    Question: There have been a number of changes to simplify or modernize Church services over the past few years, such as conducting the services in English, dropping rosary devotions, and other changes. All in all, as far as you are personally concerned, do you think these changes have been for the better, for the worse, or don’t make much difference one way of the other?

    67.8% For the better
    13.3% For the worse
    13.2% No difference
    5.7% Not sure

    Breaking this down by frequency of Mass attendance, the more often people attend Mass, the more likely they are to say: “For the better.”

    63.5% for occasional attenders
    68.2% for regular Sunday/Holyday attenders
    69.7% for regular attenders who occasionally go daily
    78.8% for regular attenders who regularly go daily

    Keeping in mind that those who said “For the worse” were responding not just to Mass changes, but also other things such as movement away from rosary devotions, the top negative explanations were:

    9.0% rosary-related (We should have rosary devotions/rosary is a large part of the service)
    5.7% Mass-related (The Latin Mass meant more to me/Latin was more peaceful and tranquil)

    Only 1.0% responded that changes were “too much too fast.”

    On the positive side, the top explanations were:

    48.8% understanding-related (Mass in English is easier to understand/makes it clearer/easier to follow the Mass now/simplifies the service)
    23.6% participation-related (People can participate more now/more meaningful/you are more a part of it)

    1. Of course, the Novus Ordo didn’t exist in 1967 yet – these people were reacting to the modifications being made to the 1962 Missal. It would seem that the (milder/interim) reform of the Tridentine Mass was very well received. Those who regret the loss of Latin could have been easily accommodated at that point since the Mass was still substantially similar to that of 1962 and would have just needed to be celebrated in a “traditional” manner.

      Have there been any studies done to indicate that the 1970 Missal has been a major boon to the Church rather than an unnecessary source of division? The bigger lectionary likely could be proven to have been a major positive development, but that’s something that probably could have been applied to the older Missal too.

      1. JW,

        Do you really think that things like the rearrangement of the communion rite or the new offertory prayers would have substantially changed the responses to the survey? Are there other changes with the 1970 Missal that you think would have led to a more negative response? The big changes that people who lived through them always mention to me — the vernacular and the priest facing the people — had already occurred by 1967.

      2. The subdeacon hadn’t been eliminated yet, if I remember correctly, that’s a fairly large change. And, I think at that point, some of the rulings that would break the continuity with the old rite (e.g. the ruling that you could no longer incense the gifts at the offertory in the old way) hadn’t yet been published. So there were many places where continuity would have been possible that were later forbidden. I’m not sure we’d seen the complete revolution in Church music at that point yet. There are presumably other changes as well.

        Calendar and lectionary changes would also come later I think? (I’m working from memory here, not books, so please not to have people jump all over me.)

        And of course, this reaction isn’t just to the rite itself, but also to how it was being celebrated, as folks are fond of reminding “traditionalists”.

      3. i seriously doubt the elimination of the subdeacon and the shift in censing rubrics would have had a material effect on the survey. Most people went to Low Mass most of the time, where these things were not at issue (High Mass being commonly considered a penance for the late sleepers…).

        Calendar and lectionary changes did indeed come later. I remember those changes very well, and – this is anecdotal and I here insert all the ritual caveats about anecdotal recollection – remember them mostly being welcomed – the calendar shifts were confusing at times (especially the shift of Holy Family, or Christ the King, for example, but those were relatively new observances in the scheme of things; by contrast the suppression of pre-Lent was received well, as it seems to never have made much sense to people in the pews), but not negatively received. Some people did miss the veils in what was formerly known as Passiontide, though, not that their absence was mandated, but there was confusion that took a couple of decades to resolve.

        Much more noticeable was the end of mandatory year-round Friday abstinence, and very especially the dramatic shift in the Lenten fasting regime. My father kept the old Lenten fast for about a decade thereafter, but I have to say he stuck out very much in this regard; people were widely nearly gleeful to have less occasions for mortal sin.

        The really big bombshell was Humanae Vitae.

      4. the calendar shifts were confusing at times (especially the shift of Holy Family, or Christ the King, for example, but those were relatively new observances in the scheme of things

        But St. Christopher, St. Nicholas, St. George, etc. weren’t that new! People were still talking about the “demotion” of St. Christopher when I became Catholic a quarter century later (with no prospect for a Summorum Pontificum on the horizon).

      5. Sam

        St Nicholas remained in the US calendar; St George, for obvious reasons, was not popular with a lot of US Catholics who were dominated by the Irish (I realize St George had a certain popularity with Portuguese, Ligurian and Bavarian Catholics, but they were overwhelmed by the Irish).

        I remember the St Christopher thing. However, it should be noted that sanctoral calendar prunings and shifts were a fairly regular episodic event in the Roman rite.

      6. Fritz Bauerschmidt :

        JW,
        Do you really think that things like the rearrangement of the communion rite or the new offertory prayers would have substantially changed the responses to the survey? Are there other changes with the 1970 Missal that you think would have led to a more negative response? The big changes that people who lived through them always mention to me — the vernacular and the priest facing the people — had already occurred by 1967.

        I don’t think the new missal would have changed the results for most people, but that was sort of my point. The most welcome changes associated with Vatican II have little to do with the 1970 Missal (vernacular, “facing the people,” etc), which makes me wonder what about it justifies the division it continues to cause (even if those who preferred the older rite are a minority).

      7. The deletion of Septuagesimatide (Pre-Lent) and Passiontide were very significant moves, even if the changes were not noticed by many of the faithful. The commencement of some Lenten disciplines on the ninth Sunday before Easter in the EF is shared with the Byzantine liturgy, which still celebrates a preparatory season. An old Roman tradition shared with our Eastern brothers and sisters was swept away in 1970 in the name of an idealized Advent-Lent dichotomy.

        The deletion of Passiontide was less dramatic, even if this season was also of venerable standing. Tridentine Passiontide, and especially the Office, contains significant anti-Jewish and/or anti-Semitic themes, even if implicit. The Gospel of Passion Sunday, John 8 :48-59, while illustrative of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son through the name of the LORD, has historically fomented ill will towards the Jewish people. Even so, Passiontide could have been retained with modifications and substitutions in the name of human justice and reconciliation. The EF movement likewise can retain Passiontide, but should remove offensive passages and perhaps glean substitutes from the OF Fifth Week of Lent. Wholesale destruction of seasons, however, is not necessarily the best balance between human justice and liturgical continuity.

      8. #68 by Karl Liam Saur on November 1, 2011 – 12:57 pm

        Thank you Karl for the article. To the contrary, I do believe that the loss of Septuagesimatide did affect people in the pews, even if its deletion was not one of the most visible and controversial reforms. Any deletion of a liturgical season will, even on a subconscious level, change the tenor of the liturgical year.

        In your article, you rightly mention that the minor penitential nature of Pre-Lent eventually dropped out of Western Christian lay culture. I cannot contest that raucous street parties and pancake flipping are indicative of anything but vestigial aspects of the season.

        And yet I maintain: “So what?” Who cares what people do? We are sinners in need of the cleansing of baptism and renewal through confession. The liturgy of the Church should never conform to the desires of any one age. We are only obliged to correct the portions of the liturgy that have violated human justice, i.e. passages that have demeaned or incited violence towards other religious groups. Outside of this moral imperative, we are but mere custodians of a liturgy richly sewn with centuries of additions which add texture and gravity to the Sacrifice and Banquet despite our unknowing.

        The great failure of the postmodern liturgical project is the notion that “pastoral liturgy” means a fully didactic and semiotic “transparent” liturgy. Why did the Mass have to stoop to our intellect? Rather, we should forever aspire to know the Mass better, even if we die still confounded by its complexity. I am a traditional Catholic because I choose to “rise to the Mass”, rather than ask it to condescend in the name of “pastoral need.” True pastoral care is the encouragement of wonderment and intellectual growth within timeless ritual.

      9. Jordan

        One problem with that approach is that it assumes there is a purpose to be divined in the complexity. Which is not necessarily so and seems more to be an invitation to post-hoc projection. Which, btw, one can do with any ritual, including the one the Church commended to us after Vatican II. I don’t set a lot of store by the notional in matters liturgical, precisely because I devoted a great deal of time and effort to a certain level of mastery of it, and I realized it is more busywork for the intellect disguised as spiritual edification. YMMV.

        If I would have a criticism of the suppression of pre-Lent is that it has yet to fully achieve it’s intended purpose: a fuller appreciation of Eastertide as the liturgical summit of the year. And that is mostly a function of enduring pragmatism and legalism in Catholic liturgical culture.

  19. It would be better for those who (rightly) criticize the 1970 Missal to stop going on about how it isn’t what Vatican II intended (the Concillium had the authority to do what it did), and instead ask whether it was actually the best way to implement the council’s reforms.

    I also think people should not treat the 1962 Mass as if it were perfect – I think even many traditionalists feel there are problems with the 1962 Mass that could use “fixing.” The more I live with the 1962 Missal, the more I see its problems and why the bishops sought to reform it. However, the more I live with it, the more I see that the 1962 Missal really didn’t need to be totally replaced by a new missal. I think every positive fruit produced by the 1970 Missal could have been just as easily achieved by a much milder reform that was more obviously connected to the older rite.

    1. Good Evening, Jack. I think you raise good points here. I have a question. Do you think the so-called “1964 Missal” accomplished pretty-much what was called for, save perhaps for a revised lectionary, etc.? I myself have held this position, but always like to see what others think on this subject. It’s mostly an academic question I suppose, but still one that interests me. Your thoughts? Thanks!

      1. “Do you think the so-called “1964 Missal” accomplished pretty-much what was called for, save perhaps for a revised lectionary, etc.?”

        Yes, I think it pretty much did accomplish what the council called for. I would probably go a bit further and include most of the other changes that were allowed up to 1969 or so.

        We could have had the best of both worlds – a missal with greater flexibility that could have accommodated the needs/desires of progressives while still being grounded enough in the established liturgical tradition that it could easily appeal to traditionalists if celebrated in Latin/ad orientem.

  20. Jack,

    Sorry, but the data don’t support your position. Parishioner responses to the 1983 Notre Dame Study of Catholic Parish Life show even less dissatisfaction with the way Mass was being celebrated in their parishes.

    1. I assume that the survey was taken after Mass attendance numbers fell. So basically who was left after the new Rite was intoduced. Perhaps a more accurate survey would have been to contact those who left their parishes in the early 70’s and ask them the same questions. Although I am sure it was not their intention, the Concilium, by drafting an entirely new Missal cast aside one group of people for another with different attitudes, likes, and sensativities. And later someone polled the “new” group.

  21. Regarding what needed to be fixed – not in the liturgy, but in the broader sense: Cardinal Gilroy was asked upon his return to Sydney from the Council, “Your Eminence, what is the greatest problem facing the Church today?” With his customary broad smile, he replied, “Mortal sin.”

  22. To use as a criterion, “what I like and what I don’t like” is only emotional. I liked the Latin chants. They were and are beautiful. Is that the main criterion for Liturgy though? If that is the case, then the person in power always gets to decide and we are left to follow his/her emotional likes and dislikes. The Church is not a democracy but it is also not a dictatorship nor is it a boys club. Our prayer needs to be intelligent and pure. It all becomes very relative. A bishop or liturgical director can say, I like it and it becomes the rule. What an awful situation!

  23. By all accounts I have ever heard, the post-Vatican II changes were imposed in a pretty ruthless fashion, without regard for the sensitivities of the faithful. Those who dared voice their unhappiness were ridiculed, ostracised and bullied. Many left the Church as for them, the Church was a dufferent rekligion to that with which they had grown up.
    They may have beenb misguided, but pastoral sensitivity seems to have been totallty lacking.
    ThThe Roman liturgy seemed to have been destroyed. The use even in the modern rite of Latin, Gregorian chant, etc, was almost non-existent. Small wonder that people were traumatised. The majority I know were satisfied, but would it have been so hard to permit, on a limited basis perhaps, access to the older rite? This was certainly not done outside England before 1984, and even after then, very few bishops were accommodating. Thankfully, these rites are now making a minor comeback in many places. Nonetheless, it is sad to think of those older folk who did not live to see the return of the Mass they loved, and in many cases died saddened and alienated from the Church. I am convinced that had the newer liturgy borne closwer resemblance to the older forms of the Roman Rite – at least in some places and occasions – by retention of ad orientem worship, Latin, etc, many ordinarypeople would have felt less alienated and cut off from their heritage. Buit of course, to the liturgical buereaucrats and experts, ordinary people don’t matter. Granted, the vernacular liturgyu suits most people, but why the sheer hatred of the old, which is witnessed? Why the refusal to allow people the Mass their ancestors used? Why is something once held so sacred, now the most forbidden and “dirty” of things? The one rite that could dhat could now be safely forbidden? Fortunately, attitudes are changing, but there is still a hartred of the Extraordinary Form, a determination to crush it, that seems so wrong. Small wonder traditionalists lash out so often!

    1. I’ll leave aside for now your tendency to attribute to lots and lots of people what were the concerns of a rather small minority, and comment instead on your ecclesiological critique:

      You’ve given us a very sharp critique of authoritarian, top-down, monarchical, non-consultative, absolutist exercise of authority. It sounds like you want more consultation, accountability, shared power, and the like. You sound like a left-wing liberal!

      Common ground? 🙂

      awr

      1. Exactly Fr. Ruff!
        There are plenty of “CCC’s out there!
        CCC= Conservative Cafeteria Catholics.
        They just don’t like to admit it.

      2. Your post makes me wonder if many self-identified liberals in the Church would truly want those things, since “more consultation, accountability, shared power, and the like” would almost certainly have resulted in the older rite being freed up decades earlier than it was.

      3. Jack

        I have no problem with freedom of ritual use (noting that the problem goes back to Pope Pius V’s centralized decision to freeze the rite in amber; and I will also note that a number of traditionalists have acknowledged that origin of the problem). So long as it’s driven from the pews, rather than the desires of the clerics. For many years I’ve recommended that the preconciliar use be at least initially available on a deanery basis to gauge what the true need is out there, rather than presuppose it too much in one direction or the other.

        There are lots of liturgical progressives who’ve embraced freedom of ritual use. They might, however, have significant issues with the use of ritual as a shibboleth. And they also might want a clear acknowledgement by traditionalists of the anomalous situation of ignoring conciliar prescriptions concerning the liturgy….

      4. I think there needs to be an acknowledgment that if the liturgy could go in a progressive direction not foreseen at the time of the council, then it may also go in a more traditional direction not foreseen at the time if the good of God’s people demands it (even if it is a minority of them). If directives concerning Latin and chant can be trumped by the idea of “active participation,” so too should other directives if the older Missal facilitates that participation in a segment of the Catholic population (and it most certainly does).

        Also, Traditionalists are not the only people who use ritual as a shibboleth.

      5. Jack

        “Traditionalists are not the only people who use ritual as a shibboleth.”

        Indeed. My progressive confreres have for many years borne my critiques on that score. How often do you call out your confreres for the same?

  24. Michael Podrebarac :
    “Discussing the merits of such an imposition is one thing, but stating that it did not happen is another.” Indeed, but we must always remember that the Church is not a democracy, as many have pointed out.

    Maybe this proves that for certain non-dogmatic issues, the church should be a democracy?

    1. For certain matters, indeed. At the very least the principle of subsidiarity ought to be respected. Rome really need not unneccesarily control everything.

  25. I’ve enjoyed reading the back and forth here…until I remind myself that I live in the Diocese of Tulsa. The church of Vatican II is my faith experience and love. Catholic life here is a real challenge.

  26. What we lost in a short period of time was continuity. The new liturgy should be clearly identifiable as the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church.

    Continuity was there, except for the people who were concerned with subdeacons and incense. The efforts for full participation were made so that people would more completely understand the Eucharist as coming from and going towards Christ. For most people, this meant abandoning the idea that the Eucharist was just about following arcane rubrics.

    The bishops at the Council knew what was broken. For 20 to 50 years the streets of Europe were strewn with crumbling walls and dead bodies while Christians fought one another. The legacy of the Prince of Peace seemed to be a sword, and not the sword he promised. The Church needed to make the face of Christ a beacon of light and hope, not something hidden under crowds of functionaries and clouds of incense.

    1. Thank you for this, Jim. You’ve said it well, and named something that hasn’t been acknowledged in the discussion to date. Bravo.

      1. I would like to add something along these lines: modern readers, especially Americans (for whom World War I was not nearly as negatively consequential as it was for the other imperial belligerents), do not often grasp how the idea of sticking to traditional ways utterly lost credibility around the developed world after the first phase of the 75-year era of the World Wars (I, II, and Cold). (The movie, The White Ribbon, offers an evocatively haunting prelude to this experience.) The experience of totalitarian revolution and reaction in the interwar periods did not suffice to endear tradition any more to many.

  27. No matter what Liturgy is used, the Liturgy is for people who are broken, some in the worse ways possible. While the sexual abuse of minors by trusted church officials is not something isolated to the post-Vatican II Church, it is there and the revised Liturgy didn’t do much to fix that or make some priests less likely to abuse.

    So I’d be cautious about the effects of revision on the behavior of people lay or ordained.

    We may have “fixed” the Liturgy after Vatican II but our sense of sin and division “may” have become anesthetized. I don’t think that the reformed liturgy if implemented properly would create a “happy-go-lucky” Church oblivious to personal and social sin, but a “broken” way of implementing these reforms just might do it.

    It seems to me that the two things bishop Slattery was saying wasn’t broken in the pre-Vatican II Church was Latin and Ad Orientem. One could still have all the reforms of the Mass and implement at least some Latin and ad orientem and have just enough continuity by doing so without changing anything else that the reformed Mass is.
    Now, would the form of the Mass no matter how progressive or traditional fix broken people? No, but our hope expressed in whatever form of the Liturgy there is in the East and the West is that God can and will fix us with our cooperation.

  28. Michael, if there was even a hint that this all was led by the Spirit, it would be wonderful. Even if it were something we did not like. The politics, the take overs are not the context in which the Holy Spirit works. Jockying for position is not a climate where the Holy Spirit can be found. It is not a matter of democracy. The Church is not a dictatorship. Sin was in the process. It is not wrong to accuse bishops and cardinals of sin. Where was prayer in all of this? How did Vox Clara get the leadership? So often we are accused. What about them?

    1. Oh, please don’t misunderstand me. My “democracy” comment was a reaction to those so-called “real” Catholics who are always telling us that the Church is not a democracy. I have NO problem with collegiality, subsidiarity and a level of democratic process especially in disciplinary matters. The democratic process itself should not be considered alien to the Church; after all, bishops vote at councils to determine outcomes, and cardinals vote for popes. I altogether concur that the present climate of power-jockeying, wherever it exists, must impede the Holy Spirit’s work a great deal. Sorry that my point was poorly made above. Keep the faith! 🙂

  29. “It seems to me that the two things bishop Slattery was saying wasn’t broken in the pre-Vatican II Church was Latin and Ad Orientem. One could still have all the reforms of the Mass and implement at least some Latin and ad orientem and have just enough continuity by doing so without changing anything else that the reformed Mass is.”

    Now, bishop Slattery might think that but most do not. Vernacular and ad populum were the most visible changes made, without those changes it’s still the old Tridentine Mass with just window dressing.

    Vernacular and ad populum are the two changes that made full and active participation possible. You were able to see it all and understand it all.

    If bishop Slattery is so unhappy why doesn’t he just ask to be assigned as a bishop in the priestly fraternity of St. Peter or go over to the Anglican Ordinarite, they have ad orientem and some latin. But many bristle, myself included, with historical revisionism.

    1. without [vernacular and ad populum] it’s still the old Tridentine Mass with just window dressing.

      That’s a rather bold opinion! It sounds like the substance of the reformed Roman Rite is the direction the priest faces and the fact that he doesn’t speak Latin. The Council Fathers spent a lot of words if those two changes were all that were necessary to “[make] full and active participation possible,” especially since they never came right out and said “the priest should face the people.”

      Having been to a Mass in the reformed Roman Rite in which Latin has been employed alongside the vernacular, and in which the priest faced ad orientem for the Eucharistic Prayer, I can say that full and active participation is possible under such conditions.

      I’ve made this sort of comment on PTB before. I believe the Council Fathers were of the mind that “active participation” can coincide with Latin, chant, etc., which is the reason they mentioned those things in Sac. Conc. Building upon the definition of “active participation” found in documents from popes Pius X-XII (and reiterated in 1967!), they felt the faithful could actively participate via these traditional elements of the Roman liturgy (thus maintaining continuity, not only within the liturgy itself, but within the Church’s view towards participation).

      1. I stated that ad populum and the vernacular were the most visible changes made. Ask 10 Catholics what were the two most impressive changes made and they will tell you ad populum and vernacular, not necessarily using those terms but that is what they mean.
        And yes, Jeff you’ve stated ” I believe the Council Fathers were of the mind that “active participation” can coincide with Latin, chant, etc.,” but that is just your opinion, and a smokescreen because what those in the revisionist stripe forget it that they then deferred the final decision to the bishops committees, in the case of latin, to decide how much latin was to be required if any. They came back with none was required.

        It’s incredible to me how much historical revisionism there is out there.
        If you can have full and active participation w/ latin and ad orientem then more power to you, go to an EF mass. Only about 7% of catholics now attend an Ef on a regular basis, the other 93% prefer it as it is. If you think parishoners before VII were fully participating you don’t have a clue. I was there, people prayed their holy cards, some slept and my uncle used the time to clip his fingernails. The only time most people paid attention was when the consecration bells rang to let you know “something was happening”.

        So much for active participation.

        Again, if bishop Slattery is so unhappy then transfer within the Roman Rite, no need to make dishonest statements.

        Lastly, this business about continuity is silly. The Tridentine mass was a messy cobbled together work. Some miss the prayer at the foot of the altar and lament its loss as an example of discontinuity. Well, the prayer at the foot of the altar was officially added in the 16th century. Take away all the repetitions and the other unnecessary frill added on over the years and you get the Vatican II mass. No discontinuity at all unless you count the missing window dressing. But then there is the Ef for those who miss the satin and lace.

      2. “Some miss the prayer at the foot of the altar and lament its loss as an example of discontinuity. Well, the prayer at the foot of the altar was officially added in the 16th century.”

        Out of curiosity, what (relatively) immediately pre-16th century work is the basis for this statement?

        “Take away all the repetitions and the other unnecessary frill added on over the years and you get the Vatican II mass. ”

        But isn’t that the problem? Even the ‘Vatican II mass’ doesn’t reflect what was there before the additions over the years (say, based on Ordo Romanus I) because of changes made for a variety of reasons. Otherwise, we’d have to jettison the new Eucharistic Prayers, greetings, etc., etc. If one isn’t going back to a prototype, then doesn’t the amount you deviate from it via add-ons become subjective, and someone else will probably have a different conclusion as to whether an add-on of 1965-70 is better than a 10th, 11th, 16th, etc. century add on.

        And if we are going back to the golden era before additions, where does one stop? 7th century? 4th century deductive reconstruction? Something based off Justin Martyr’s outline?

      3. that is just your opinion, and a smokescreen

        Perhaps others use it as a smokescreen, but I do not. I am grateful for the inclusion of the vernacular in the Mass; and while I would prefer the use of ad orientem posture in the Mass, it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

        Latin may not be required, but does that change the decree of the Second Vatican Council that “steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them” (SC 54)? That comes in the middle of the list of decrees so that “the sacrifice of the Mass […] may become pastorally efficacious to the fullest degree.”

        If you can have full and active participation w/ latin and ad orientem then more power to you, go to an EF mass.

        Thank you for the invitation. I have been to a half-dozen or so Masses in the Extraordinary Form, but the vast majority of liturgical experience is with our Ordinary Form. And while I thank you for the invitation, I don’t think the EF should be the only place a Catholic should be able to find ad orientem and Latin.

        If you think parishoners before VII were fully participating you don’t have a clue.

        I don’t think ALL parishioners were fully participating before V2, just like I don’t think ALL parishioners are fully participating after V2. But I do think that full and active participation is not prevented by A.O. and Latin.

        The Tridentine mass was a messy cobbled together work.

        Some might the same about the OF. The Alleluia is omitted if not sung… or is it? The two-/three-year lectionary cycles don’t always mesh well with the propers. (cf. Todd Flowerday) There’s a disconnect between the Gradual and Missal. (cf. Jeffrey Tucker) We don’t even know when the Christmas season ends! (cf. Karl and Paul)

      4. To answer your question Joshua, where would I go back to? I personally would like the Eucharist at the time it was first codified around the time of Nicaea when the Eucharistic prayers were all ad lib by the presider. You’re lucky I wasn’t part of the reform. I would have moved it back to Justin Martyr.
        Furthermore, just because something is part of the Roman Rite for a long time doesn’t justify it remaining. Sac. Con. makes it clear that repetition and additions over the centuries that make these parts redundant are to be eliminated.

        And finally, I won’t try to revise history or read minds like bp Slattery and say that Oh, changes were made, have been that way since 1970 but that is not what they really meant! Give me a break.

    2. Dale, with all due respect, your second post here is so full of conjecture (supposedly in response to Jeffrey’s conjecture!) that I don’t know where to start!

      And yes, Jeff you’ve stated ” I believe the Council Fathers were of the mind that “active participation” can coincide with Latin, chant, etc.,” but that is just your opinion, and a smokescreen because what those in the revisionist stripe forget it that they then deferred the final decision to the bishops committees, in the case of latin, to decide how much latin was to be required if any. They came back with none was required.

      Don’t forget that what you state above was the trajectory of the Liturgical Movement for quite some time. Bishops and priests DID want Latin and vernacular to coexist (look at Parsch, Hellriegel, etc.) You’d need to provide proof to justify your opinion above.

      If you think parishoners before VII were fully participating you don’t have a clue. I was there, people prayed their holy cards, some slept and my uncle used the time to clip his fingernails. The only time most people paid attention was when the consecration bells rang to let you know “something was happening”.

      It’s not really fair to compare the worst of the old situation to the supposed best of the new. I can assure you, as I have been in front of the parish preparing them for the new translation, that many people refuse to look at their worship aids and generally will not respond at all. They also often will not sing unless it is something immediately familiar to them. Is that openness to the Holy Spirit’s action in the Mass? I think not! I wish this were just a few people, but it’s really a solid 20-30% that I can see from my perch in the loft!

      The Tridentine mass was a messy cobbled together work.

      The same could be said about the reformed Mass, as it was put together (for better or worse!) by a committee!

      1. I apologize: I started writing this before Jeffrey’s response! Sorry for the duplications! One last challenge, Dale: you can’t really say that “Take away all the repetitions and the other unnecessary frill added on over the years and you get the Vatican II mass.” There were certainly a lot of additions in the 1970 Missal. Offertory prayers (new to the Roman Rite)? Penitential Rite added to Mass? New lectionary that is more-or-less freely composed? Rearrangement of gradual-alleluia to responsorial psalm (second reading) alleluia? Multiplicity of Eucharistic Prayers? One can argue that the NO is more cohesive, but there are many things that were added to the NO. I’m not arguing merits here, but it’s disingenuous to argue that the NO was simply cutting away additions to the EF: Gelineau even said that was not the case!

      2. Bruce states: “Bishops and priests DID want Latin and vernacular to coexist (look at Parsch, Hellriegel, etc.) You’d need to provide proof to justify your opinion above.”

        Ok, here it is.
        Rather than Parch et al lets look at S.C.
        “2:14 In the restoration…pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it..”,

        So let me zealously respond 🙂

        21….For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may BUT OUGHT TO BE CHANGED with the passage of time (Latin is NOT divinely instituted so… ought to be changed)
        36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
        BUT..
        2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, THE LIMITS OF ITS EMPLOYMENT MAY BE EXTENDED.
        it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and TO WHAT EXTENT, the vernacular language is to be used..their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See.

        Hmmm.. 36:1 AND 36.2, I find those in the roll back VII group love to quote 36:1 but have amnesia when it comes to 36:2…
        You see its those words “BUT may be extended..”. and “To What Extent” The limits of its employment (vernacular) may be extended and to WHAT EXTENT….

        In other words the employment of latin and the EXTENT of employment of vernacular are to be determined by the competent ecclesiastical authorities… in other words the extent ie: lots of latin, some latin or no latin will be determined. It was determined, no requirement for any latin and was approved by the holy see. To state that they didn’t know there would be a limit on the extent, that there must be some inclusion and that somehow latin was incorrectly axed is revisionism.

      3. Oh Bruce, you also state: “It’s not really fair to compare the worst of the old situation to the supposed best of the new.”

        Sorry but it wasn’t the worst of the old situation, rather it was the NORM.

      4. Dale, I know the passages of SC that you quote. However, your are making an assumption of point 21 that is not in the text. “Ought to be changed” could apply to anything, not necessarily a language of worship. I am just commenting (as AWR and others have with other documents) that they should be read in context. Whether we like it or not, the scholars like Guardini, Parsch, Jungmann, were “the context”. Your “magisterium of Rodriguez” is the interpretive vehicle of point 21: I’m just suggesting that you read it in the context of those who INSPIRED point 21.

        In any case, I’m not trying for a “Latin battle”: many traditionalists even at the council were in favor of the vernacular. I am, however, looking for a perceptive answer of my other questions above.

        Regarding what you considered the “norm” of the old Mass, you might consider that the problem then is the same as it is now: catechesis. Yes, some changes were necessary for the Mass. However, the same problems that had people praying devotions during Mass before are the same ones that have them not paying attention to a Mass in their native tongue now!

        If you’d like to dialogue, please support your interpretation of SC with some sources other than your opinion.

      5. Sorry Bruce, I don’t agree at all with what you have said.

        S.C. says what is says, period.

        Just another case of trying to reinterpret it to fit your own agenda there Bruce. You’d make a great spinmaster for the Obama administration.
        It says what it says. I’ll just stick w/ what S.C. states clearly THAT IT WAS UP TO THE COMPETENT AUTHORITIES TO INTERPRET IT. THEY DID AND THE HOLY SEE APPROVED IT AND THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE. And that is the PROOF that we have what was intended.
        Too bad you and your little band don’t like it but to quote Bl JPII “It is what it is”.
        You can pull out your old stuffy sources you want but the FACT is that we have what we have because that is what the competant authorities have given us. I’ll stick w/ them.
        We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

        ps “Your “magisterium of Rodriguez…” resorting to low brow comments, I guess I must have hit a nerve.

      6. DDR, wasn’t trying to give you a “low hit”: it’s just that anything in life is open to interpretation. You’ve chosen to interpret SC 21 in the way that you like, thus the “magisterium” comment. I was simply encouraging you to look at those who inspired SC (named above.) If it came off in a mean way, that wasn’t my intention.

        I don’t think an “outcome” is an “intent”: if that were the case, then we should all be perfectly happy with the new 2010 missal, since “it is what it is”.

      7. Bruce we will have to agree to disagree on this one.
        I prefer to look at what SC stated, the statements “But”, “May be extended” and to “What extent” are all straight forward and easily understood by reasonable people and are without spin. I think they fully understood those terms and put into place, at that time, what they felt they meant. I will not 45 years later say well, they’ve been hoodwinked and what we have now is not what they wanted us to have. Some have even had the audacity to say we have been worshiping all wrong the past 40 years and this is how we should be doing it correctly!
        Pax.
        Pax.

      8. Dr. Dale, I have two questions for you, then:

        1. How, and to what extent, is “the use of the Latin language […] preserved in the Latin rites”?

        2. What is your opinion on SC 54.2: “Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.”

      9. That’s easy Jeff, it’s all about that little coordinating conjunction “BUT” at the start of 36.2…
        36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
        36.2. BUT since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, THE LIMITS OF ITS EMPLOYMENT MAY BE EXTENDED.
        it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and TO WHAT EXTENT, the vernacular language is to be used..their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See.

        The language is simple. Initially there was a desire to have latin remain in force BUT they would leave it up to the competent ecclesiastical
        “authorities” to decide the “extent” and “limit it’s employment”. The “authorities” did and determined that because of the great acceptance of vernacular that there were to be no mandated parts in latin. THEY, not us, determined the “Extent” and THEY, not us “Limited it”.
        That is my opinion. We’re just armchair talking heads 45 years later pontificating on it.

        I prefer to believe that the “competent authorities” decided and it was approved by the Holy See, so we have what they gave us. No conspiracy theories.

        Unless of course the authorities had it wrong, the committees had it wrong, the bishops had it wrong, the holy see had it wrong and Pope PVI when he signed on had it wrong.

        We are all reasonable people. Like I told Bruce, “we’ll just have to agree to disagree”.
        Despite the heat we’re all faithful Catholics who love Christ and His church. It’s good to see that so many take the church so seriously that we’re willing to have a good “give and take” on this (even though I think you and Bruce are all wet 🙂 )

      10. Dr. Dale, so if I understand you rightly, you’re saying that because the limits of the vernacular were eventually extended to cover the whole liturgy, the use of the Latin language in the Latin rites is no longer to be preserved? (Is that what the “Particular law remaining in force” is in reference to, the law at the time, which might change, and thus no longer be in force?)

        But although the use of the vernacular has been lawfully extended to the whole liturgy, what becomes of SC 54.2? I don’t think you fully addressed that second question of mine.

        It expressly states that the faithful should ALSO be able to make certain responses in Latin. So not only should they be taught to make the responses in their vernacular, but also in Latin. Would you agree?

      11. Jeff, are you trying to trick me?
        You forgot 54.3

        54.2 …..steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin …

        54.3 ****And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed.

        What is article 40?
        40. In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties. Wherefore:

        1) The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, must, in this matter, carefully and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and culture of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship. Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary should when be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be introduced.

        The “competent authorities” did just that, made the changes, submitted them to the Apostolic See, and received their consent and Pope Paul VI signed on.

        It all boils down to the “Competent Authorities” given the authority by S.C. to make changes, submit them to the Apostolic see for approval then approved by the pope. I will not second guess the authorities.

      12. No, Dr. Dale, I’m not trying to trick you, I’m trying to get answers to questions.

        I do not see how the permission for the use of the vernacular throughout the whole liturgy overrides or negates the decree that nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful know certain responses in Latin as well.

        More to the point, SC 54.2 was in the mind of Paul VI when he sent out the chant repertoire Iubilate Deo (along with the letter Voluntari Obsequens) in 1974. It was referenced in the 1994 instruction on Sacrosanctum Concilium Varietates Legitimae (footnote 84 on paragraph 40). And it is re-iterated in the present-day GIRM, article 41, which says that the faithful should know how to sing certain prayers of the Order of Mass (like the Our Father) in Latin to simple melodies.

        All of this took place after permission for the vernacular had been established throughout the whole of the Eucharistic liturgy.

        Let me summarize my claim this way: the decree in SC 54.2 does not forbid the use of the vernacular, nor does it impede SC 36 or SC 40 or even SC 54.3; it simply says that in addition to the vernacular, the faithful should be able to make certain responses in Latin. It’s a both/and situation, not an either/or.

      13. Jeff, I think it’s clear.

        Because the authorities were given permission to decide the extent of latin.
        It’s that simple.
        The “authorities” were given the responsibility to determine how much latin was to be mandated in S.C. and they concluded that none was mandated. Period. Finished. Why attempt to read something into it that isn’t there?

        If some OF masses are said in latin then of course those who like attending them on a regular basis should be able to respond in latin. But if Mass is completely in the vernacular then no, we don’t need to be able to respond in latin.
        Cardinal Arinze once stated that he loved saying the OF Mass in latin. He was asked were there any problems w/ the responses. He looked puzzled and stated that of course he wouldn’t say Mass in latin if the worshipers didn’t know latin but rather in their vernacular.

        So a reasonable approach is if one attends a latin OF Mass on a regular basis then they should be able to respond in latin. If the OF Mass is in vernacular then it is a no brainer, it’s not necessary.

        As I said the authorities of the time decided this and I won’t second guess them or their intent 45 yrs later.

        I’m done with this, you may have the last word (although I’m sure you will have it anyhow 🙂 )

  30. The good bishop seems to be reading into the document something that was not there to begin with. It seems like he has a particular agenda and that he is twisting the words of the document to accommodate his liturgical proclivities.

  31. Jeffrey Pinyan :
    No, Dr. Dale, I’m not trying to trick you, I’m trying to get answers to questions.
    I do not see how the permission for the use of the vernacular throughout the whole liturgy overrides or negates the decree that nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful know certain responses in Latin as well.
    More to the point, SC 54.2 was in the mind of Paul VI when he sent out the chant repertoire Iubilate Deo (along with the letter Voluntari Obsequens) in 1974. It was referenced in the 1994 instruction on Sacrosanctum Concilium Varietates Legitimae (footnote 84 on paragraph 40). And it is re-iterated in the present-day GIRM, article 41, which says that the faithful should know how to sing certain prayers of the Order of Mass (like the Our Father) in Latin to simple melodies.
    All of this took place after permission for the vernacular had been established throughout the whole of the Eucharistic liturgy.

    Let me summarize my claim this way: the decree in SC 54.2 does not forbid the use of the vernacular, nor does it impede SC 36 or SC 40 or even SC 54.3; it simply says that in addition to the vernacular, the faithful should be able to make certain responses in Latin. It’s a both/and situation, not an either/or.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    This is the correct interpretation of the reading of SC and its subsequent documents. And how many of us have been afforded in our Parishes the opportunity to learn the Latin…

  32. JP & MP – you don’t get it. Any good historian will tell you that good history depends upon the ability of the writer to be unbiased; to use primary resources and the experience of those who lived in that time period. Not sure you are able to do that – your tendency is to start with your own convictions, arguments, etc.

    To be fair in analysis, you start with the liturgical principles of SC and the total context. Realize that in 1963 context, any liturgical change was “revolutionary” – that SC was the first adopted/approved document of VII. Within that context and if you read Komanchak or any good history of Vatican II, you would realize that SC was comprised of any number of specific sections that ran the gamut from latin to vernacular; from chant to hymnody. We also know that there were “politics” in these discussions and what you see in SC is the result of much discussion, jockeying of positions and values. You have to make a distinction between the directives, principles of SC and the later organic development into actual liturgical experiences.

    What we do know is that the overwhelming majority of bishops agreed with the direction and principles. Two things followed that:

    – first, the principles gave conferences direction to form, develop, and organically expand liturgical changes (yes, there is the principle of unintended consequences) as Dale has clearly articulated;
    – as awr and others have more than once stated, the bishops then went home and began to implement these directives. It quickly became evident to most conferences that the people of God wanted vernacular and saw it as a significant enhancement to their communities and spirituality. (Was this intended by every voting bishop? Of course not.)

    So, is every “numbered article” in SC of equal value? No. Just because bishops’ and the people of God’s experience led them to support enculturation and vernacular, so folks may say they want to preserve Gregorian chant, etc. but that needs to be analyzed and understood properly. Don’t think most folks would tell you that Gregorian chant is as important as vernacular.

    Like Dale, sure your tried and true MO will now be to find some little used quote and nit pick.

    1. You have to make a distinction between the directives, principles of SC and the later organic development into actual liturgical experiences. […] Is every “numbered article” in SC of equal value? No.

      Bill, SC 54.2 is in the middle of the list of explicit decrees (ea quae sequuntur decernit in the Latin) on increasing the pastoral effectiveness of the celebration of the Mass: SC 50-58.

      I suspect someone would have called “foul!” if SC 51 was interpreted in such a way that the Lectionary (however else it was modified) stayed a one-year cycle, since SC 51’s language strongly implies the possibility of increasing the length of the cycle. That’s the sort of legerdemain I see (perhaps wrongly) by the avoidance of SC 54.2. I’d love to get my hands on the Acts of the Council to see what went into the wording of SC 54.

      I stand by the historical facts I mentioned earlier, e.g., that Paul VI delivered a booklet of simple Latin chant to all the bishops “to facilitate the observance of the recommendation of the Second Vatican Council [SC 54.2]”, “a new service for the Church in the domain of liturgical renewal”; that the 1994 instruction on Sac. Conc. referred to SC 54.2; that the GIRM (from the 70’s and from today) referred to SC 54.2.

      I don’t see how one can read Vol. Obs. and not come away with the understanding that, despite the complete use of the vernacular allowed in the rites, the faithful should ALSO know a few simple Latin responses.

      And although speaking up about this might result, once again, in me being derided as the self-appointed Pray Tell comments police, I am continually offended by your classification of my comments as nit-picking. This is not the first time I’ve mentioned this to you, but you continue to belittle my earnest attempts at conversation with your slight. I will remain resolute in my efforts to fairly and politely engage you and all other commenters here.

    2. “Realize that in 1963 context, any liturgical change was “revolutionary””

      I find this exceptionally difficult to believe, considering Pius XII and John XXIII both made major changes to the usus antiquor. Pius XII changed the rites of Holy Week substantially in 1955 while also making changes to the Pentecost vigil, and John XXIII made two important changes to the Canon reflected in the 1962 missal (deletion of perfidis; addition of St Joseph). Liturgical changes within the decade before Vatican Council II? Shurely shome mishtake?

      Perhaps Mr Pinyan and Mr Powers are not the only ones who are capable of bias…

      1. deletion of perfidis;

        This was a change on the Good Friday prayers, not the Canon, but the point stands.

        There were also of course the 1960 Code of Rubrics changes, not to mention the rather dramatic musical changes of the early 20th century.

  33. I have to agree with Jeffrey on this one. I don’t find it inconsistent with a liturgy that is normally entirely in the vernacular being seasoned with a generous portion of Latin (even Greek) during Lent. Even folks for whom Latin might as well be Russian sing the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei with as much devotion as Gather Us In. It’s lovely and inspiring.

    1. Why only Lent? More joyful feasts can be greatly enriched by Latin. I attended an early morning Mass for All Saints because my work kept me from going to the later EF and OF Masses. There were no musicians, so most of the Mass was recited save for the Alleluia and Agnus Dei. The Agnus Dei was sung in Latin by the congregation and it was quite beautiful. There are a couple churches locally that use the Latin Agnus Dei as a default for when there are no muscicians and it works wonderfully.

      If someone is a practicing Catholic for ten years, they will likely attend 500-600 Masses if they only go on obligatory days. Anyone who feels there isn’t enough time to fulfill SC’s recommendations about retaining Latin and making it known to the people is kidding himself. Especially since the Latin used in the Mass ordinary is fairly easy and really rather repetitive.

  34. Jack – I agree. Obviously, I did not express my point well enough. If you read my comment, I am talking about “directions” in general. The tendency to continue to read these numbers as black and white or all and nothing misses the point.

    I strongly encourage folks to do what you have said – it is using good liturgical skills for both/and – vernacular and latin/chant, etc. It is art – a balance. Never said either/or.

    The earlier discussion was about how literal to read these sections and I agree with Dale’s summation.

  35. See, it’s happening already. Do you believe this Bill???

    If we progressives give a little bit on latin then see what happens.
    First Jeff states we should know a few responses in latin,
    Then Jack F. proceeds to a “generous portion of latin in Lent”
    Then Jack W. proceeds to ask, “Why only Lent?” So I guess we get latin all the time.
    Therein lies their agenda.
    Listen folks. There is a latin ordinary form of the Mass. I suggest if you want latin then go to it. It’s available if you love latin that much. Or maybe you don’t love latin all that much but want to anger everybody else?
    Latin responses were were tried at the conservative Cathedral of St. Jude in St. Pete FL back in the late 1970’s and was a disaster, people complained bitterly. So around 1980 they brought the Tridentine Mass back in the small chapel only. Now everybody is happy, vernacular in the cathedral, latin in the chapel. And an occasional latin OF.
    Now no more wars.
    Leave the vernacular OF alone please.

    1. And therein lies part of the problem.

      Most progressives don’t mind if traditional Catholics want to use Latin or use more traditional or more exactly translated liturgies, as long as we can use the words that we’ve been using, some of us for our entire lives.

      But, many traditional Catholics seem to feel that their traditional version of liturgy is somehow diluted or made less meaningful, unless all Catholics are using the traditional words.

      1. They can go to a Latin OF mass, it’s just that simple.
        If 90% are happy with a completely vernacular Mass and 10% aren’t then why disrupt the 90% to pacify the 10% when they already have available and can go to an ordinary form Mass in latin. So why don’t they? Because they have an agenda to slowly eliminate vernacular.
        In a blogosphere everyone can vent but make no mistake about it, in the REAL WORLD the majority are happy w/ what we have.

      2. Because they have an agenda to slowly eliminate vernacular.

        The least you could do, then, is to ask whether myself, or Jack W., or anyone else, belongs to the 10% whose agenda is the elimination of the vernacular.

        I don’t.

      3. They can go to a Latin OF mass, it’s just that simple.

        There are, for example, zero regularly scheduled Latin OF Masses in New York City.

        I went on purpose to the one in Baltimore when I was visiting that city and parts of it (e.g. the creed) were done in English because, according to the celebrant said, no one knows Latin anyways.

      4. “They can go to a Latin OF mass, it’s just that simple.”

        Ha ha ha! Good joke! Oh, wait, you’re being serious? Never mind then… 🙂

        I would go to a Latin OF Mass on a regular basis, if I could. The fact I can’t because there are none in my diocese (to the best of my knowledge–it’s a small diocese, and I’ve looked hard) seems to pass supposedly “pastoral” folks by.

      5. Sam and Matt, no latin OF Masses???

        Then I would call the chancery and ask for one.
        Give ’em hell and demand one.
        Good Lord Sam don’t you run a blog in NY, don’t you have any pull? I’d go to St. Patrick’s and shake Dolan’s hand and not let go until big boy tells you where and when one is available.

        And YES I would assist you in your request if I was in your diocese. The latin OF mass has been available since around 1980?

        Even in my small diocese there are latin OF Masses, albeit not on a regular basis but they are made available. YOU GOTTA ASK! Get cracking.

      6. Jeff, nowhere did I state either you, Matt or the two Jacks are part of that 10%. But they are out there. In my fairly conservative church our priest received a letter from a parishoner who said that the novus ordo was wrong, latin should be used, the reforms are evil etc. He read it to us after his homily and there were mutterings of disgust and I think some laughs. He went on to say that there were those who want to remove women from the sanctuary, eliminate EO ministers of communion, return latin and rebuild the altar rail. He said when that happens that will be the last time he will say Mass. Parishoners applauded him, this in my church, conservative, occasionally the choir chants in latin and will sing Panis Angelicus, a cappella in latin (which I don’t mind incidentally) for the communion song. So make no mistake about it they are out there, just visit some of the other sites….

        Oh, I do know latin responses from my altar boy days from the Introibo ad altare Dei… ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam…….. onward.
        But I NEVER use them.
        No need to, God understands my prayers and responses in english.

        Bona nox!

    2. There is a latin ordinary form of the Mass. I suggest if you want latin then go to it.

      You can continue to say that, but I will continue to point to Voluntati Obsequens (1974), Varietates Legitimae (1994), and the GIRM (1970 and today) that all address (in a positive manner) the inclusion of Latin in an all-vernacular liturgy.

      Do I demand Latin all the time? No, I don’t. It would be nice to have regularly, though, not only during a penitential season (as if Latin is a penance). Does that mean every week? No, it doesn’t.

    3. “Then Jack W. proceeds to ask, “Why only Lent?” So I guess we get latin all the time.”

      No, that isn’t what I said, or even implied. Please support your wild conclusions with things I actually said.

    4. Dale & JP – give it up…..SC lays out principles for good liturgy. It is an art that requires balance, poetry, musical sense and feelings. To dwindle down to measuring how many or how much latin or vernacular we have makes the liturgy a playground for those who “count” & “report” – how utterly ridiculous.

      Find these comments to reveal more about a lack of good liturgical sense and defensiveness, if not anger – over what – imaginary hurts & injuries from the distant past? Who decides how much? Every other season; every other Sunday – really does miss the whole point of SC and liturgy. It is both/and using good liturgical sense and judgment. To live at either extreme misunderstands our liturgical tradition.

    5. “Leave the vernacular OF alone please.”

      What a Tridentine attitude! Leave the Mass alone, you say? Goodness me, if we ignored a sizeable minority back in the 1960s who said the same thing, what makes that same attitude mainstream today?

      😉

  36. continued…
    There is international contempt for this new translation, and it’s completely in english!

    Any attempt to start forcing parishoners to respond in latin will be met with utter contempt. I asked a few individuals what they thought about responding in latin and I was given the “are you crazy” look and is that nut Donohue pushing this?

    You think this translation brouhaha is bad, try forcing latin responses and see what happens. The competant authorities have decided what we have regardless of how you try to spin it and it’s been this way for almost 45 years. Get real.

    1. “The competant authorities have decided what we have regardless of how you try to spin it and it’s been this way for almost 45 years. Get real.”

      1) Competent authorities in the future could, in theory, decide we have Mass entirely in Latin again, with little or no vernacular. I doubt very much you would be on their side if they did so.

      2) 45 years is not exactly a long time, now, is it?

      1. Don’t argue about the future, we’re talking in the present. We could have women priests in the future too but I’m not going to speculate about the future.

    2. Actually, one of the largest parishes in our diocese started using the Agnus Dei in Latin, set to an old tune, on an occasional basis and it was picked up by the congregation rather quickly. They’re still using it and it’s no longer occasional now. It’s one of the things that the laypeople sing the most confidently and the best. It’s quite pretty.

  37. I *hate* the changes.
    Vehemently.
    Passionately.

    after 30 years as a lay music minister, and as a eucharistic minister, I am so angry about these changes that I consider leaving the church.

    I have served in churches where the latest music sung was from the 11th century. And there are no people in them.

    Our children do not speak latin – and we do not wish them to.

    Language, lives, breathes, and grows and by that has meaning in the lives of its speakers.
    Latin *does not*.

    The new requirements requires removing whole realms of beautiful music – and limits choices to a few pieces.

    Dear God!
    During pentacost the Holy Spirit came – and the faithful were heard preaching in every language known to man – and now we are so parochial as to believe that *LATIN* has special meaning? Not aramaic, hebrew, or greek – but LATIN?

    We have problems with missions, with debt, with sex scandals – with evangilization to muslims – and the church wants to tinker with.. LANGUAGE?

    We are charged with going forth and making believers of all nations. Hard to do if you’re talking to them in LATIN.

    1. Sorry, but if you’re laic, you are not a Eucharistic minister. You are an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

      By the way, I do wish my children to speak Latin.

    2. PSST. Jon Michal,
      The new translations aren’t in Latin. They’re in English. That’s why they’re called translations.

  38. It seems that the question is really whaht the bishop meant by the word ‘fixing’.
    In any case, wasn’t he proven right? Because the EF has been officially accepted, alongside the OF ‘unfixed’.
    It also sounded like kind of an off the cuff comment, not one that was intended to be analyzed for weeks, which we are doing here.

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