Sacrosanctum Concilium at 47: The Second Spirit of the Council

The Second Vatican Council was not implemented correctly, we hear. The “spirit of the 60s” (or is it the Age of Aquarius?) took over and somehow blinded everyone to what the council really meant. The liturgical reform, contrary to the directives of Sacrosanctum concilium, brought a rupture into the liturgical life of the Church. But Sacrosanctum concilium intended that any liturgical reform grow organically from what went before.

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, head of the Consilium that carried out the liturgical reform, is the handiest scapegoat. Almost singlehandedly did he wreck everything. If you want to be polemical, throw in words like “Freemason” or “Protestant” for good measure. Bugnini represents everything that is wrong with Catholic liturgy today. As Pope John Paul II’s biographer once wrote snidely to me, “Happy 12th Sunday in Bugnini Time.”

A sharp distinction is drawn between the spirit and the letter of Vatican II. The “spirit of the council” of the 1960s liberals (don’t forget to point out that they’re aging, in wheelchairs, or dead by now) is attacked for its unfaithfulness to the council. Ad fontes! Back to the real council! As a conservative friend once said to me about Vatican II, “The spirit killeth but the letter giveth life.”

Pope Benedict XVI, displaying a nuance missing in some of his loudest supporters, but still fudging the data in my view, contrasts a “hermeneutic of rupture” with a “hermeneutic of continuity.” The first is the damnable “spirit of the council” that the experts, contaminated by the spirit of the age, invented. The second – also but less frequently called the “hermeneutic of reform” – is the alternative now being pushed.

I propose that we call this “hermeneutic of continuity” by its rightful name. It is just one more “spirit of the council.” Despite its claims to go back to the letter of the council, this hermeneutic is clearly a product of our era. It could only have been produced by those who had a couple decades of negative liturgical experience under their belts. Bugnini made possible this “hermeneutic of continuity”: it is more about being anti-Bugnini than being pro-Sacrosanctum concilium.

We have, then, two spirits of the council: the First Spirit of the Council which allegedly broke the laws of organic growth by using human ingenuity to manufacture new rites and texts, and the Second Spirit of the Council which dislikes this manufactured product and longs for what got lost in the process.

The Second Spirit of the Council is seemingly based on a few selected passages from Sacrosanctum concilium. We’ve heard these phrases so often that we know them by heart. The principal ones are:

  • 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 liturgical services.”

These passages allegedly show that Bugnini and the reformers went beyond the council’s brief and failed to do what the council mandated.

But it is not difficult to cite other passages in Sacrosanctum concilium, and they are far more numerous, which suggest or justify far-reaching reforms. These passages are typically ignored or underemphasized by the Second Spirit of the Council. I will comment on but a sampling, limiting myself here to the introduction and chapter one of the liturgy constitution.

  • 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.” First, “restorations” are not always gentle. They can bring about greater or lesser changes from what went before. Second, this article seems to 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 massive 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.” The study of the liturgical history shows that very, 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 questioned as to their suitability.
  • 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 thoroughgoing 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 introducing a rupture.
  • 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.

So what did the council really intend? Here the reader might be expecting that I reveal the real meaning of Vatican II, the letter of it, above and beyond the first, second, or any other spirit of the council.

Nope. Not possible. I doubt that the fathers of Vatican II had a clear vision of a reformed liturgy in mind. I mean no disrespect when I say that, frankly, I think the bishops had no idea how the reforms would be carried out. Led by the Holy Spirit, they affirmed the liturgical tradition they knew and loved, and also affirmed a whole host of revolutionary principles, without knowing how all this would fit together.

The council left a wide berth for the implementation of the reform after the council. The liturgical reformer could have been much less revolutionary, or much more revolutionary, and still have fallen well within the mandate of the council.

As for those who do not approve of what the reformers did, it is their disapproval that gradually gave rise to the Second Spirit of the Council. I leave it to others to flesh out all the ways in which the Second Spirit of the Council could only have arisen since the 1980s, and how the Second Spirit bears marks typical of the late-twentieth century and early-twenty-first century church and society.

Fair is fair. If there can be a First Spirit, there can be a Second Spirit. Every era puts its stamp on the liturgy. But in the interest of accuracy, I propose that we be careful to call the currently ascendant liturgical agenda what it is: the Second Spirit of the Council.


  1. This seems to be an interpretation done in light of the First Spirit of the Council.

    An interpretation in light of what you call the “Second Spirit of the Council” would readily acknowledge that “to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ” would naturally mean to particularly foster whatever provisions that are included in the letter of the documents which could so promote unity. Notice that it doesn’t say “create whatever can promote union…”. You can only “foster” something which already exists. You will have to do better to convince the skeptical… 🙂

  2. >>sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.<<

    Father, I think you are right. The Council did give 'reform of the reform' people ammunition as well.

    I don't know Bugnini. Do you think it was his intent to eradicate Latin from the minds of the faithful[contravening the above SC quote] and, congruently, foster local liturgical idiosyncracies?

    1. Sorry, I can’t answer the questions as framed. Your first question presumes a self-apparent and unchanging meaning of SC 54, your second question presumes a self-apparent meaning as to what is an “idiosyncracy” is.

      Which is to say, you didn’t really grasp my post.


      1. Father>>Sorry, I can’t answer the questions as framed. Your first question presumes a self-apparent and unchanging meaning of SC 54, your second question presumes a self-apparent meaning as to what is an “idiosyncracy” is.

        Which is to say, you didn’t really grasp my post.<

        Father, I think I grasp the substance of your reply even less! 🙁

        As for 'idiosyncracy'.. how about e.g. the mirroring gestures of the faithful that go with 'and also with you' or the mandatory hand-holding during the Our Father [the latter certainly comes to us via AA — don't ask me how I know that!]?

        These idiosyncratic liturgical responses are done in America. I have not seen them in other countries I have visited….though I am certainly not that well traveled.

  3. Thanks, Fr. Ruff. Very interesting statement and accurate. A few comments (yes, I am biased towards the generation defined as the First Spirit of the Council):
    – agree that the bishops of VII (First Spirit) were not fearful of change; were trustful and hopeful that liturgy could organically develop without being tied to one, uniform expression; and willing to propose/live with priniciples that, as they were implemented, created what some call as “messy”
    – the second spirit is an interpretation by a small group which increasingly has become louder and louder. One significant difference between these two spirits – the first was part of an ecumencial council of over 2700 bishops; the second is a reaction that has what legitamcy in the face of an ecumenical council. In some respects, it is “Monday morning” quarterbacking; in some it is spiteful resentment; in some it is a desire to insert needed improvements.
    – church historians have always shown that there is resistance and downright dissent after every council. Trent was a reform council and yet its liturgical/sacramental changes were resisted by France for 50+ years (no implementation) until the period of the great saints – Vincent, Ignatius, Don Bosco, etc. In some cases it took over 100 hundred years for some regions to finally enact the last council
    – would suggest that this Second Spirit is a “reaction” based on a very limited picking and choosing that does not do justice to the council or the thousands of bishops/liturgists/theologians who had taught, developed, and researched the history of the church. Again, this reaction seems to be very narrow and based upon a questionable interpretation of a few sectioins of SC…..thus, would suggest that you see them stressing the “letter” rather than the “spirit”. Liturgy and church are not letter/law – it is the soul and spirit of the church. Would suggest that the Second Spirit turns things on its head so that you have: “People made for…

    1. +JMJ+

      the second spirit is an interpretation by a small group which increasingly has become louder and louder. … In some respects, it is “Monday morning” quarterbacking; in some it is spiteful resentment; in some it is a desire to insert needed improvements.

      The volume of its proponents is not part of its substance, though. You’re right that some advance it spitefully and others advance it in a spirit of improvement. But some who advance the first spirit advance it spitefully (towards “traditional Catholicism”) or in a spirit of improvement, so again, this is not part of the substance of the FS or the SS.

      And Monday morning quarterbacking is not necessarily bad: hindsight is still insight.

      there is resistance and downright dissent after every council

      So which is the resistance and which is the reception?

  4. cont……the liturgy or law; versus liturgy and law are made for the pilgrim people. Law, letters are tools; not the other way around.

    Finally, please study a good biography of Bugnini…some of the thoughts expressed here are both inaccurate and demeaning to a man who gave his life for the liturgy and church despite, at times, severe personal attacks; demeaning treatment by a few in the curia (Ottaviani). To say that he had an agenda to rid the church of latin is to say that you do not know this man.

    If you want someone to demonize – start with Ottaviani.

  5. +JMJ+

    “the First Spirit of the Council which allegedly broke the laws of organic growth by using human ingenuity to manufacture new rites and texts”

    I don’t agree with that diagnosis, because it implies that the “Second Spiriters” (let’s just call them the SS for short…) believes organic growth has nothing to do with human ingenuity or the composition of new rites and texts.

    And while the articles about Latin and Gregorian chant are important to the SS, we already know about them, and there’s more to their hermeneutic than those four. I don’t think you’ve shown how the other articles override or disqualify the articles the SS draw attention to. For example, I’ve said on multiple occasions here, that I think the use of Latin (per SC 36 & 54) is part of what the Council Fathers considered to be “active participation” by the faithful at Mass; others (as you state) see SC 36 & 54 at odds with “active participation”.

    You comment on the Firsties’ articles, but not at all on the SS articles. I’d like to see that as well.

    SC 1: Should the Roman Rite be made more like the Eastern Rites? Why? (The Eastern Rites did not appreciate the Latinization they were subjected to.) I’d like to know what Protestant liturgies were like before 1969. I would also be cautious, that making Catholic liturgies more palatable to non-Catholics might end up being misleading to them or injurious to the Catholic faith.

    SC 21 (“drawn up”): The Latin verb used here (and in SC 13) is ordinare which can mean “composed” or “adjusted” or “arranged” or “ordered”, which do not all have the connotation of “drawing up” anew. SC usually uses “conficiatur” (58, 63b, 68, 69, 80, 98, 101.1) in reference to new compositions, although it also uses “(in)struere” (38, 89b), “instituere” (38), “adhibenda” (71), “exarare” (77), and “haurire” (121).

    SC 23: I think “as far as possible” is important too.

  6. +JMJ+ (cont’d)

    SC 31 & 34: What does “rupture” mean in terms of the liturgical reform? Does it simply mean something new or different, or does it mean a way of bringing about that new or different thing?

    SC 34: I disagree with the generalization that the pre-Vatican II rites are necessarily unclear. Some of them were, to be sure, but we still use some of them unaltered. Similarly, the repetitions: not all were useless, and we still have some of those repetitions today.

    1. Rupture – you do hit at a key point. Depending upon who is doing the interpreting, rupture can be one person’s “organic development’ and another’s “damaging Innovation”.

      What I would suggest is that an interpretation has to look at the total history; the key principles and documents; and even the lives/purposes of key players who were involved.

      When I read/study the “reform of the reform”; IMO it fails on a number of the above thematic structures. In terms of history, it all too often starts with Vatican I or puts Trent in a context that has little to do with Trent’s evolution, development, or implementation. Key players appear to be left out or we get a partial and revisionist understanding of their lives ie. use of the term idiosyncratic – usually bits and pieces that then make a leap to what in some cases is pure fiction e.g. Bugnini.

      Rupture can be both/and; just as the status quo or even reactionary steps can be both/and. Sorry, but history will eventually decide this period.

  7. +JMJ+

    I like that SC quotes the liturgy itself (footnotes 1, 11, 12, 13, 26, 27, 32, 37).

    There are some articles of SC that I think are very important (and should not be claimed, I think, by one spirit more than the other):

    2: The “ordering” of the Church, and the significant role that the liturgy plays in her corporate life and in the lives of each of her members.

    7: The ways in which Christ is present in the Church.

    11, 14(3), 19: The importance of liturgical catechesis for the clergy and laity, as a pre-requisite for active and fruitful engagement in the liturgy.

    33: The (secondary) didactic nature of the liturgy, that the postures, gestures, actions, and prayers nourish our faith and raise our minds to God.

  8. Dear Jeffrey,

    In your analysis of the exact meaning of various articles of SC, especially regarding the precise meaning of Latin words/ terms chosen by the Fathers, I trust you are finding the Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II an indispensable source.

  9. Shouldn’t we name the “second spirit of the council” for what it really is: a revisionist, selective reading of council documents that is ungrounded in history, which its advocates use to emasculate the council and wish us into an imagined ideal yesteryear detached from culture and society?

    It seems irrational and false to me that the same pope Paul VI and bishops who had been at the council and who themselves were in charge of implementing the decisions of the council would somehow have misinterpreted their own decisions made in council.

    Don’t the “second spiriters” really think the council was a dreadful mistake, but they know they can’t say so without undermining their position completely and opening the floodgates to a free-for-all? So they look for all sorts of loopholes and rationalisations to bolster their dislike of the Vatican II Mass, like stating that the reform was hijacked after the council by Paul VI and his cronies.

    1. +JMJ+

      I don’t think Vatican II was a mistake.

      I do see a disconnect between SC’s articles concerning the use of Latin and Gregorian chant and Pope Paul VI’s homily on Nov. 26, 1969. Then again, he does say that the new Missal provides that the faithful know how to say/sing certain parts in Latin, and he expresses hope that Latin may flourish again…

      1. Thanks for the link to that address (not homily) of Paul VI, Jeffrey: if nothing else, it pretty much proves at least Paul VI considered the pre-Vatican II rites abrogated and replaced: nothing in the address allows any room for Summorum Pontificum or its attendant fairyland!

  10. I find it particularly helpful to remember that ALL the liturgical rites were to be reviewed, restored, and renewed by the direction of Vatican II. Think how much richer the celebration of all the sacraments has become, how many people can and do participate in the Liturgy of the Hours. Would the Second Spirit folks dump all that work as well?

    1. +JMJ+

      I think there were gains and losses (to various degrees) in the reform of the sacraments. I would not say we need a return to the unreformed rites, but I think we should look to see what may have been too hastily discarded.

  11. Thought experiment: where would the “reform of the reform” (Second Spirit) be if JPII and his curial choices (e.g. Ratzinger, etc.) and now B16 himself were not in positions of power/authority and pushing/developing this “hermeneutic”? Do you really think the reform of the reform would even be discussed today if different individuals/personalities had been in the curia during JPII’s time and someone other than B16 had been elected?

    Would suggest that the reform of the reform would barely be a blip on the church’s radar if Ratzinger/B16 had not had the roles/positions he had.

  12. Why try to invent a new (and inaccurate) term like “second spiriters” to describe these people? That’s not at all what they are.

    At the very opening of the Council, pronouncing Gaudet Mater Ecclesia on 11 October 1962, Blessed John XXIII called them for what they were then, are now, and always will be: PROPHETS OF DOOM.

  13. Thanks for a very fresh, creative and interesting post.

    That said, I think it may be too charitable, and that Chris Grady’s provocative counter may be on the right lines (if–as usual–a bit over the top).

    The fact that the ‘second spiriters’ would resist that title says something important. Once sane Christians–note, I’m a Jesuit, and there’s lots of this in our history–recognise that authoritative statements are in principle insufficient (however necessary) for Christian wisdom in particular circumstances, then they’re open to attack from others who claim the spiritual and moral high ground by denying the need for intelligent interpretation. And the fact that procedures of casuistry and application are, by their nature, hit and miss affairs, only increases this vulnerability.

    I agree with Anthony that the very existence of a ‘second Spirit of V2’ depends on Bugnini, and if the term helps us acknowledge this it will have served a purpose. But nevertheless, the sensible things that such people say can easily shade into ignorant fundamentalism (just as the ‘first Spirit’ can easily degenerate into laissez-faire anarchy). A phrase I’ve developed in teaching and pastoral care with young people over the last years is: ‘don’t let words like “orthodox” and “faithful” be cornered by those whose real agenda is rigidity, and who lack common sense and imagination’. Or: ‘there’s nothing so untraditional as a traditionalist’ (once attributed to Ronald Knox, but I’ve never found the reference).

    1. I agree that “rigidity” is a pastoral problem, we see this in the resistance to S. Pontificum and, not here but in some places, resisting the new and more accurate translation of the post Vatican II liturgies (Mass and Office).
      “Intelligent interpretation” of authoritative statements is a different kind of problem as presented here. One man’s “intelligent interpretation” may appear as “rigidity” to another man. It also is a recipe for doing nothing, after all, how can we ever know what the authors of a statement really meant? It can lead to a perpetual filibuster.

      1. JN, two questions, since the topic is SC and the Second Spirit:
        1. Do you believe that SC envisioned continued celebration with the 1962 missal such as S.P. allows?
        2. Do you believe the new translation grows organically from the current one?

      2. +JMJ+

        Fr. Anthony, in addition to Jack’s answer, I thought I’d share mine:

        1. I don’t think SC envisioned the older missal being used once the newer missal had achieved universal circulation. That said, Pope Paul VI allowed for the older missal’s continued use in some quarters. And, not to beat a dead horse, but I don’t think SC envisioned a laity to be generally incapable of and indignant to the use of Latin in the Order of the Mass.

        2. I don’t think the new translation “grows organically” from the current one, but I don’t think SC 23 considers that, unless you’re saying that a vernacular translation is a “new form adopted”. If that’s the case, shouldn’t the previous English translations (official and unofficial) have been consulted in the “drawing up” of the current translation? Indeed, is the current English translation an organic growth from, say, the 1965 text?

      3. 1. No, but it didn’t envision most of the pastoral provisions required by the “signs of the times”. I don’t see Extraordinary Ministers in SC either.
        2. No, I hope both find their origin in the official Latin since the vernacular is a concession from the normative Latin text anyway.

  14. There are many of us in the “hermeneutic of reform within continuity” who appreciate all that Vatican II taught and subsequent developments. As it pertains to the post Vatican II Mass, most of us appreciate the vernacular, the noble simplicity and the options or flexibility of this Mass. Certainly I have my own opinions about what a well celebrated OF Mass looks and feels like even with the variety of options that are available. I would appreciate knowing what those who feel the “hermeneutic of reform with continuity” is such a ghastly movement would see as the ideal OF Mass. Given the variety of options available in this celebration, all of which are valid or approved, what is it that those who advocate something else than reform within continuity would like to see, apart from the politics of the English vernacular?

  15. Okay, agreed, there is a “Second Spirit” of the Council. I submit, though, that it is untenable to believe that this Second Spirit is to be compared in any way as an equal to the First Spirit of the Council, which–-let’s call it what is–-is the spirit of Post-Modernism.

    Post-Modernism is unprecedented in the history of Western culture. And this goes far far beyond the Catholic Church.

    It’s funny, I recently heard some politician in Washington proclaim in an NPR segment that there was a need for a “reform of the reform” of economic policy (I believe it was) that was first reformed in U.S. government in the 1960’s! There weren’t just radical social reforms in the Catholic Church in the 1960’s! In this time we saw these sorts of “reforms” taking place all across the board in the West–“ruptures” in tradition like we’ve never seen in the course of the history of Western civilization. A desire to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. The “hermeneutic of discontinuity” is not something that is unique to Catholic liturgy.

    But most cultural analysts seem to think that we are now in a new historical period. Post-Modernism is over, but we don’t know what to call the new period yet. It is my generation, the Millennials, who are the driving force in this cultural movement. We are the ones that will have to deal with the effects of the excesses of the Boomer generation. We are the ones who have observed–indeed have experienced–the adverse effects of cultural ruptures inflicted by the Post-Modern zeitgeist in our own lives and our own formation, or lack thereof. We are the ones who will have to try to recover the treasures that were squandered by the previous spirit of the age. And I’m not only talking about the liturgy here, I’m talking in much broader cultural terms.

    ( . . . )

  16. ( . . . cont’d)

    Yes, there is another spirit of another age at play now. Call it what you will––we’ll see what art historians and history books call it in another hundred years perhaps. But let’s call it like it is: Post-Modernism is unprecedented in the entire history of Western civilization.

  17. Philip Endean (at number 21 above) wrote

    ‘there’s nothing so untraditional as a traditionalist’ (once attributed to Ronald Knox, but I’ve never found the reference).

    I haven’t found it either, but I think Jaroslav Pelikan’s comment is at least as good:

    Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. Tradition lives in conversation with the past, while remembering where we are and when we are and that it is we who have to decide. Traditionalism supposes that nothing should ever be done for the first time, so all that is needed to solve any problem is to arrive at the supposedly unanimous testimony of this homogenized tradition.

    (Cited here.)

  18. Does SC envision the continued use of the 1962 missal as SP now allows? Well, wouldn’t one have to use the “hermeneutic” of rigidity that was in place in the Church prior to the end of the Council where authority was to be followed and there would be very little wiggle room? Things were very black and white back then and the exercise of Church authority was too. The rank and file clergy and laity had to tow the line. This mentality about rigid authority existed well into 1968 at least. Certainly SC called for the reform of the 1962 missal and other liturgies of the Church. Did this document actually abrogate all other forms? I don’t think so, one would have to show that by a direct quote from SC. But perhaps an argument could be made that Paul VI did abrogate the old when he promulgated the revised missal. Of the various levels of papal teachings, is SP invalid in light of Pope Paul VI’s request that the new missal be followed beginning with Advent of 1969? Or did he PVI believe if an option were allowed, that it would split the Church and many would not rigidly follow the new Liturgy and retain the old if given the flexibility of choosing? And isn’t that thinking really the pre-Vatican II way of looking at things? Thus hasn’t Pope Benedict fearlessly approached a pastoral decision without fear because he’s not a pre-Vatican II rigid pope? I think his interview in “Light of the World” shows just how pastoral he is on many levels and not so rigid as others might attribute to him.

    1. Though, Father, you should consider whether and how pre-1962 editions of the Tridentine Missal were “abrogated”. What was the practice? In 1962, was it licit to use the 1947 edition of the Missal as a general matter? Yea or nay, under what reasoning?

      SP does appear to abrogate the use of any pre-1962 editions of the Missal.

      1. Karl, what is this with abrogating? Sure some are, some aren’t. Who has the authority? Paul VI had his authority, previous popes had theirs. Pope Benedict has decided otherwise with the 1962 version only and the other rites of that period. So there is a rupture with a pastoral position or a point of discipline. But is there a rupture with truth? with revealed doctrine? What I find interesting is the fact that the Second Vatican Council was a pastoral council, not a doctrinaire council, yet everyone who wants rupture from truth, not discipline or pastoral sensibilities wants to impose Vatican II in a rigid, pre-conciliar way. How odd!

      2. Fr Allan

        I guess thank you for not answering my questions. That says something.

        I don’t see how having successive editions of the Missal be considered to supersede previous editions of the Missal would be “rigid” anymore than having the sun rise each morning rigidly marks a new day. But it’s an interesting, if ultimately unpersuasive, rhetorical gambit. Because, under your theory, the new translations will not supersede prior translations unless they are specifically abrogated.

        Also Vatican II did deal in doctrine. Quite a bit of doctrine. One can deal in doctrine, and even dogma, without anathemas. And the Council did indeed do that, even if it *also* had pastoral purposes. This is a conjunctive, not disjunctive, thing.

      3. Karl, some Catholics, evidently the more progressive element are opposed to the rupture of this line of missals once abrogated coming back again. Not all Catholics, even traditional minded ones who oppose reform that ruptures from revealed truth think that way, so don’t box us in. thanks.

      4. Fr McDonald, I have no problem in principle with a variety of rites within the Western Church. My objection, as I’ve stated many times before, is that the 1962 Missal is essentially unreformed. I see it as a fruitless exercise in nostalgia. One of my spiritual directors cautioned me about the dangers of nostalgia, of dwelling on the past, of hiding there from present responsibilities, of refusing to engage God’s challenges today.

        “But I find God in the Latin Mass,” some say. And I believe them. I also believe my late father found God on the golf course, as he often said half-jokingly.

        Perhaps Pope Benedict can appeal to papal authority as a way out of Liam’s conundrum. No wonder the introduction to SP was as long as it was.

      5. Vatican II certainly did deal with doctrine, Karl, though in a language different to Trent or Vatican I.

        As Fr O’Malley’s lecture demonstrates, Vatican II was both a ‘dogmatic council’ and a ‘pastoral council’. Trent, as well, was a ‘pastoral council’.

        Some who would set Vatican II aside — Fr McDonald, I’m not saying this is the case with you — try to write it off as a ‘pastoral council’ with no dogmatic force. That is simply a misreading of Vatican II and of the nature of Church councils.

        That lecture, by the way, is well worth listening to.

  19. Father – to my point above. Your long comment makes the point… have focused on the actions of Paul VI only – what about the rest of our history; councils; former Roman Missals… will find that in every case the council and that specific pope formulated a new Roman Missal and suppressed what had been in place.

    You have to take the complete, total, and comprehensive history into account in order to reach conclusions.

    Paul VI suppressed the pre-Vatican II MR just as the tradition of the church had always done. My earlier point about the reform of the reform is that you take one event, one personality, one document that emerged 40 years after the council and Paul VI and you begin to plant what he may or may not have intended. Valid history works on actual events; not mind reading.

    So, now you are using SP and B16 as if they are “revolutionary” documents that bridge a gap between pre-VII and now in a brave and new way. Thus, B16 is acting in a non-traditional & pastoral way.

    Let’s explore that – if JPII or B16 are actually pastorally concerned about those who are unable to accept the post VII MR, then why not given permission as Paul VI did – temporary, limited, and for a small group of people. Would suggest that SP is truly a “rupture” but not in a positive sense. It has opened up ecclesiology and our liturgy in such a way that what we see is polarization, liturgy wars, etc. and the pre-VII MR is more and more picked up by a young generation. Is that really good?
    Example – in our diocese the bishop recently started and bought a church and declared a TLM parish. So, a diocese that is short priests, parishes, schools has just spent $1 million on a small parish – is this really for the common good of the diocese? Reminds me of the 19th and early 20th century when we had national parishes. Example – in Peoria, IL at the same intersection you had three catholic parishes and two schools – German, Irish, & Polish. It took decades to educate and implement a parish that merged/blended all three – these were 3rd-4th generation ethnic groups – does it really make sense in a very small town to have this type of “division” for lack of a better term.

    1. Bill, liturgy wars have been going on since 1969 if not before and thus the rigid fear that Paul VI had about undermining Church authority by allowing a pluralism of rites for the Latin Rite was tied into what he was already experiencing in terms of the anti-institutional, anti-authority of the secular and religious culture of the day. Personally, I don’t see the two rites side by side as a rupture any more than I see the various other rites of the Latin Rite as a threat to the unity of the Latin Rite or even the emergence of the Anglican Use Rite. The more the merrier. And quite frankly I agree with Cardinal Ratzinger when he wrote that there is more unity between a Latin OF Mass celebrated ad orientem and the EF Mass then there is between the various creative approaches to the OF when compared side by side.
      You presume that all who are into the hermeneutic of reform within continuity are opposed to all rupture. I don’t think you can attribute that to Pope Benedict or the vast majority of traditional minded Catholics today. Certainly we are in favor of more pastoral flexibility, from condoms to Liturgy! But a separate case would be someone who is psychologically rigid and that has very little to do with theology although the rigidity may manifest itself in being doctrinaire.

  20. Second Spirit is a generous term. As individuals implement (first Spirit) or shout (second) we can concede that human failures smudged or human skills burnished either of these, largely within local contexts–there’s goes that relativity again.

    Every council had its post-conciliar resistance movement, and I’m inclined to label that the hermeneutic of obstruction. If numerous post-conciliar/contemporary musicians have honored and utilized chant, I really want to hear the scholar Joseph Ratzinger and/or his followers concede the historical point on obstruction, then enter into a discernment from there.

    It also must be conceded that after the Council, liturgy in the US entered into a period of refinement. Again, not every community enjoyed it. Some pastors managed to turn the clock back in some clumsy way. You can’t blame Bugnini for my organist friend who was fired on 30-minutes notice in 1984.

    In my view, the critique of so-called rupture strays dangerously close to idolatry. If there was a way to satisfy Matthew 28:16-20 by turning the celebration of Mass on its ear, clearly we should do it. The peripherals of the earthly liturgy are at the service of the mission of the Church. Christ’s mission does not exist to align with human-manufactured rituals.

    1. Isn’t a large part of the mission of the Church to celebrate the liturgy, the most concrete way Christ is manifested in the world? If not, please define what you think the Church’s mission is. My guess is the difference of opinion on that point is fundamental to our various specific disagreements.

  21. But this is the first lay revolt of substance concerning the liturgy. Thos who would put this at JP2 or B16’s feet have not been paying attention. There a two distinct movements that share some goals. There are those who look at the pandora’s box opened at Vatican II and see only mischief. Most have thrown in their lots fwith the SSPX. I count myself among those who grew up with mostly reformed Masses and the modern practices such as lumping all parish life into the Mass and an abuse of the ideal of “noble simplicity” that trended to the childish. After experiencing the pre-Vatican II Mass, enough of us cried “foul”. We experienced an unapologetically Catholic liturgy for the first time. At least it sure seemed that way. Agree with our positions or not, you must acknowledge our discontent. We are a minority (now) to be sure, but remember that most Catholics have no strong positions. People who care are always minorities.

    1. Michael, I agree. We need to acknowledge the discontent that some feel with watered-down worship, liberties taken with texts and rubrics, and a loss of sense of the sacred.

      What I don’t understand is why it’s not possible to acknowledge these errors and address them without constructing a whole narrative of the sinister and the misguided: Bugnini the Masonic villain, the horrid translation of 1973, hippie priests, clown masses … the entire Church going to hell until the heroic trads came along and, led by JP2 and even more by B16, put us back onto the right track, back to the Mass of all ages that didn’t change between the Last Supper and 1968. Get rid of communion in the hand, female altar servers and Mass facing the people, and we will be back to an age of innocence. Men will be men, women will be women, priests will wear cassocks and bishops will smite dissidents.

      It’s an utterly ahistorical narrative, a fiction. It doesn’t work today, because it never did work.

      We can have reform without nostalgia for a nonexistent past. Ecclesia semper reformanda est. And yes, I know that the phrase has Protestant origins, but it’s true all the same.

      1. I see your point here and would only add that SP simply added to the diversity present in the Latin Church. There is no reason to fear or even to be dismissive of it.

      2. I would argue that the picture of traditionalists offered in your post is a grossly inaccurate caricature that does as much good for the Church as “Masonic Villain/Clown Mass” rants do.

        I find there is a lack of desire to try and understand traditionalists or other people who like the EF or more “traditional” OF Masses. It always seems to boil down to the dismissive charge of “nostalgia.”

      3. Jack, for roughly 50 Sundays a year I attend or serve an OF Mass that most people would read as highly ‘traditional’: entirely sung, all in Latin except for the scripture readings, homily and prayers of the people, incense, bells, candles, plainsong and traditional music. I value our Latin Mass in part because it allows me to worship in a bodily, physical, sensuous manner – bowing, kneeling, hearing the bells and music, smelling the incense – it isn’t purely cerebral, listening and responding to read texts.

        This in a parish that is very much ‘Vatican II’, and that also has a family Mass with hymns, quiet said Masses, a yoof Mass with guitars and whatnot, and, most recently, a gospel choir. But there is no trace of militancy or chippiness about our Latin Mass, it’s simply what we’ve done for many years. There is no theme of ‘restoring Catholic identity brick by brick’, no sense that we are fighting the forces of liturgical evil by celebrating in this way, no pitting the old against the young. Our Latin Mass congregation, as best as I can tell, ranges from the young to the old. There are families with children, seniors, singles, students. We sell – and our people read — The Tablet (liberal) as well as The Catholic Herald (conservative).

        I am not saying all this to boast, or to claim that our parish is in any way ideal – far from that. I do think we have demonstrated that it is possible to value tradition without constructing the silly narrative that was sketched in the opening post. If ‘nostalgia’ is the wrong description for this, then I withdraw it. But the narrative is out there, and I think it’s a toxic one.

    2. I wonder if we can admit that there is much nostalgia for the 1970’s and the zeitgeist of that age present in our liturgical establishment today. In fact, there is probably much more danger of liturgical sentimentality from that time due to the fact that there are so many people working for the Church today who were active in the liturgical apostolate then, it was their youth and may have been some of their most productive years. Sentimentality then may be part of the reason that the current efforts of reform are opposed.

      1. This may be so, but I don’t see it in practice. I see lots and lots of young people getting involved in the Church – as youth leaders, catechists, servants of the homeless, medics, volunteers. None of them seem nostalgic for the 1970s, or, for that matter, for the 1950s.

        This is another bit of the toxic narrative that simply doesn’t square with the facts I see on the ground – and I’ll cheerfully admit that my view is partial. The story goes like this: there are ‘aging hippies’ who took over the liturgy the 70s, and are clinging desperately to kumbaya songs, felt banners and burlap albs. They hate Latin. As they roll away in their wheelchairs, the aging hippies are being replaced by dynamic young people who, almost unanimously, want the extraordinary form of Mass and high expressions of piety. Sometimes the story goes on: the oldies all contracepted and aborted so that they didn’t have many children, while the dynamic traditionalist youth are enthusiastic adherents to Humanae Vitae and have big families. The future is theirs.

        This isn’t much of a caricature. As I have ranted on this blog more than once, Fr Zuhlsdorf speaks of ‘the biological solution’ to problems of liturgy.

        The narrative is counterfactual. Consider this guy. Check the picture. Aging hippie, right? But I first encountered him at a Latin Mass, which he sang with a truly beautiful voice and clear understanding of every word and phrase. He was loved by young and old.

        I’ll withdraw nostalgia as a charge against the traditionalists. But it won’t stick to the liberals, either.

  22. • SC 1 lists, among several aims of the council, “to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ.”
    Vague, making no specific requirement in a liturgical form. It can be seen as a call for more unity among Catholics, to the contrary, the continuity passages in SC cited here are highly specific: SC 34, 56, & 116.

    • 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 is another vague generality because it posits no requirement that anything be changed at all. Just that it be done better.
    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.”
    It also suggests that many things introduced after 1965 may be subject to discard.
    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.” This seems to foreshadow LA to me.

    SC 23: “As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions must be carefully avoided.” This would seem to be an attempt to prevent the problems that have developed since the council. Kneeling for the EP in one diocese and standing in the other is contrary to the council.
    • SC 31: “The revision of the liturgical books must carefully attend to the provision of rubrics also for the people’s parts.. It would seem to show that the council fathers wanted to extend the rubrics mentioning servers to the people.

    1. +JMJ+

      Re SC 31: The servers’ rubrics are not “universal”, by which I mean they are not always apropos to the congregation. The congregation certainly is not processing in, ringing bells at the elevations, moving the Missal from one side of the altar to another, etc. So it’s not just a matter of “extend[ing] the rubrics mentioning servers to the people.” There are some gestures, postures, and responses in common between the servers and the congregation, of course, but I think SC 31 is more about acknowledge the role/participation which belongs to the congregation as an “actor” in the liturgy.

    2. Jack,

      Perhaps you know that many of the people involved in drafting and writing SC also wrote extensive commentaries on it in the years after the Council. I would encourage you to read this literature because, in general, your comments are uninformed. In case after case you’re stretching to reach the most unlikely, even absurd interpretations in order to justify the opinion you already held.

      Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my main point, which you seem to misunderstand. I was not suggesting that SC clearly gave only one way and that is what got implemented. Several of your points are that it could have been implemented another way. As I wrote, they could have implemented a lot of thing to be more revolutionary, or less. They made a judgment, based on their consultation with all the experts, based on the judgment of the needs of the church, and then the proper authorities approved it. Therefore – and this is the point – it is false for people (I call them the Second Spirit) to claim that they’re going back to the real meaning of the Council.


      1. Should we forever be bound to what those at the council foresaw or intended? Or can the documents be reexamined to fit the needs of our time and things done that nobody in 1963 would have thought of?

        A good example of this would be SP. SP solves the persistent post conciliar problem of what to do with new people discovering the old Latin Mass since the old missal was never really abrogated in practice. Of course there was likely no intention to let the 1962 missal continue, but it was and I doubt they would have foreseen new generations finding it to be a relevant form of worship in the 21st Century (charges of nostalgia don’t really ring true, and seem to be founded on wishful thinking more than anything else).

        I’m less of the mind that Vatican II was “hijacked” and more of the mind that its implementation was in many ways a product of its time with consequences that could not be foreseen. I still like to compare the liturgical renewal (the “first spirit”) to the urban renewal of the same period – they sought to remedy very real problems that had occurred in the “traditional” cities that everyone lived in, but in the process created new problems they never could have known about. They weren’t “wrong” or evil or anything. “Second spiriters” are similar to the new urbanists, who seek to reestablish many of the traditional design principles rejected in the mid 20th Century so as to remedy some of these new problems.

      2. As the late Avery Dulles wrote so well, V2 draft writers commentaries are of limited application to a discussion of what SC says. It is only in what was inserted into SC, vetted and voted upon by the assembled Fathers (footnotes too) that matters when discussing what docs. state. We know that even Archbishop Lefebvre signed SC, it would be irrational to dream that the assembled Fathers had the same vision of SC or that they necessary majority would have approved something so seemingly mundane today as an all vernacular canon. Considering this, I fail to see why any one believer’s extrapolation from the text of SC are any less worthy than any other believer as long as the interpretation is grounded in the text, sustained by the Catholic tradition and falls within the norms promulgated by the Holy See in our own time.

        ISTM that the justification of opinions already held is well established both here and elsewhere. Comments like “uninformed” and “absurd” do serve as an able tool to stop a conversation.

        Lastly, when criticizing the pre-conciliar liturgy, even within the framework given in SC, we have to consider the very real and living unreformed eastern liturgies. Unless you deem them to be museum pieces it is important to read SC knowing what practices continue there. SC, does not seem to regard them as museum pieces, even celebrating them at the council. I know that SC is focused on the Latin Church but the criticisms of the pre-conciliar liturgy and other traditional practices often stated here are also criticisms of these unreformed Catholic liturgies. These rites also stand as a visible witness to the limitations inherent in the progressive interpretation of SC, it seems SP also serves that function within the Latin Church.

      3. It seems likely that, whether the reforms had been greater or lesser than they turned out to be, we would still have factions complaining about them from one side or the other. It’s the (fallen) nature of our world today, exacerbated by the instantaneous speed of communication.

        Puts me in mind of that great philosopher, Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”

  23. “I fail to see why any one believer’s extrapolation from the text of SC are any less worthy …”

    This is at the heart of the rationalist excess of the second spirit, and something of a betrayal of the deeper workings of the Church.

    It is a myth that post-conciliar liturgy was the work of any one person. Even in parishes, healthy liturgy is always a collaboration between the inspiration of God and the many gifts within the Body. SP is a classic case in which the Pauline tradition of Christianity has been denied: a pope ignoring the input of experienced bishops. And what have the fruits been? Resistance on the Good Friday prayers, a holocaust denier among the reconciled schismatics, and a focus on condoms and questions about Islam instead of a clear focus on the Gospel.

    The only people I’ve known to be serious about Vatican Ii are progressives, and the few thoughtful conservatives willing to engage the documents and the post-conciliar writings on liturgy.

    And as far as the internet goes, most second spirit bloggers are decidedly unwilling to engage either spirit or intellect in looking at the council and the Roman Rite.

    To respond to John Drake’s borrowed question, I’d say, sure, but when is the other side going to set aside its rose-colored glasses and put on some serious scholarly lenses?

    1. +JMJ+

      “instead of a clear focus on the Gospel.”

      Have you read any of his audiences, Angelus messages, and homilies? Maybe they just don’t get as much press and widespread attention as his comments about condoms.

      1. There’s no question Pope Benedict is a capable mystagogue. These texts are designed for those who already believe. The task of a bishop, especially the Bishop of Rome is evangelization–reaching out to non-believers. Why does Pope Benedict’s message always seem to get entangled? The Vatican has some expertise in communications (and no doubt it could get better_. So why do they and their cheerleaders get so hung up on blaming other people and further obscuring the Gospel?

  24. Sentimentality about the 1970s liturgy is the reason we oppose the new “reforms” — I know no one who feels such sentimentality — I myself would be more likely to get sentimental about Novenas to the SH and BVM or Benediction. Have we not said here a thousand times that we WANT reform of the English texts, along the lines of the 1998 proposals?

    Another wild rewriting of history occurs in the Pope’s new book — he says the Vatican II that made its way in the 1960s was that of the media not that of the texts of the Council Fathers. Could anything be further from the truth? No doubt he is thinking of Hans Kung…

    O’Malley is right. The “Council majority” in their size and sustained unanimity gave a clear direction that both the Church and the world understood and received with joy. Ratzinger has retreated into a stance of fear and anxiety.

  25. “Have you read any of his audiences, Angelus messages, and homilies? Maybe they just don’t get as much press and widespread attention as his comments about condoms.”

    His own newspaper highlighted the condoms remark, and his own spokesman clarified it. The Tablet interprets it as an opening toward a more reasonable and humane approach, such as ethicists like James Keenan have been advocating. The Catholic neocons are furious with the Pope for opening this door.

    Meanwhile, the world has given huge attention to Benedict on the Gospel — his Jesus book sold at least 20,000,000 copies. Yes, it focuses on the Gospel, but it is in many ways a blurred focus. It cuts the cord between the message of Jesus and Isaiah’s prophecy of peace — treating the latter as a delusion that history refuted. This shows a touch of Marcionism. The eschatological dimension of the Gospel is seriously diluted in Ratzinger’s book. And of course in its non-reception of contemporary biblical scholarship it overlooks resources that have made the figure of Jesus more human and living for many people.

  26. “since the old missal was never really abrogated in practice.”

    Actually, it was. What SP tries to make out is that it was never formally abrogated.

    1. As far as I know, the old missal has been allowed continuously since the promulgation of the new missal. There have been limitations attached to the celebration of the old Mass, to be sure, but if to abrogate means to abolish or disallow something, then it certainly wasn’t done in practice. At best, one could argue that the old Mass was officially limited in practice. There probably hasn’t been a day since 1969 that it hasn’t been celebrated with full Church approval somewhere.

      Allowing the old Mass to continue in the manner it was was a total mistake if the Church had wanted it to fall into disuse. They either should have created enough traditional options in the Novus Ordo and then disallowed the old Mass, or allowed it to continue on for anyone to use freely as an alternate rite (like some protestant groups did with their traditional thee-thou English rites, and like SP does today).

      1. The current issue of Worship has an article arguing quite persuasively that the 1962 Mass was abrogated. We have one statement after the one from Paul VI indicating that the old rite is not to remain in use. We have exceptions made (eg old priests) which clearly show that this is contrary to the norm of the universal Church. The article questions how that commission of cardinals could have come to the contrary decision – maybe there is some technicality in the wording one could point to, but clearly it was abrogated in the mind of Paul VI.

        Please note that in your second paragraph you’re basically disagreeing with the ecumenical council. Their judgment was that the liturgy in its current state could not continue and needed renewing. Period. If you have a different judgment, that’s fine, but at least we should be clear that you’re not “going back to the Council” on this point; you’re rejecting the Council.


      2. Fr. Ruff – I haven’t been speaking about formal abrogation, but rather the practical reality. If the old Missal was abrogated, then the abrogation has basically been ignored all these years. The old Mass was not suppressed completely in the 70s and only recently resurrected like, say, the Sarum rite would be if brought back, but has instead lived on in a limited way all these years. Regardless of intent or decrees, the old Mass has been a part of the Church continuously and hasn’t been abrogated in practice.

        Also, my second paragraph had nothing to do with the council, and I made no claims about “going back to the council.” I’m simply critiquing the way in which continued use of the old missal was handled after 1969. It sent out mixed signals. If the old missal was meant to die, then a more decisive action should have been taken to ensure it would, but right from the get go indults were granted and permissions were given to continue its use. Doing so would of course create the situation we have today of an ordinary and extraordinary form.

      3. If you are really saying this, Jack, then you must be admitting that the Missal was indeed formally abrogated (as Pierre Jounel demonstrated) but the traditionalists took no notice and perpetuated it. As Fr Michael Joncas has commented, in this context Summorum Pontificum was a reward for disobedience.

      4. How is following the system set up by the Church disobedience? The Church has never completely disallowed the old Mass as far as I know. There have been indults allowed since 1969 – most trads I know followed the rules concerning the indult, even when it meant not having the old Mass at all, or having to jump through hoops or travel long distances for it.

        SP is more a response to the indult system being abused by those who didn’t wish to allow the old Mass for those who desired it.

        BTW, I haven’t once commented on whether or not the Missal was formally abrogated, or argued one way or another about that topic.

  27. “SP simply added to the diversity present in the Latin Church. There is no reason to fear or even to be dismissive of it.”

    A huge number of young French priests, I am told, are devotees of SP. These young men are JP2 products, pious, clericalist. Is this a formula for the healthy growth of the Church and for its fulfilment of its mission as Lumen Gentium, bringing Gaudium et spem to our world?

    1. I don’t know any French priests. I do know, socialize, and collaborate with a good number of young American priests, seminarians, and college-age men seriously discerning the priesthood. It’s unclear to me what Joe means by “pious” (is this virtue something to be disprized?) but the men I have met certainly evince that gift of the Holy Spirit. In my experience, the charge of clericalism would be laughably off target.

      Of the men I’ve mentioned above, offhand I can think of at least fourteen who routinely participate in the X-Form of the Mass (according to their state of life — six being priests; others close to ordination, and still others years away from that prospect). Most are under 30 years old. None I believe is older than 40. In addition, I have recently been told of serious interest in more structured and traditional liturgical forms among the seminarians of the province of one of the largest and most respected international religious orders. It’s no use denying that they are the future.

      Of course, none of the men I’ve mentioned is old enough to remember the pre-conciliar liturgy. I am — but barely, and not with the coherence or clarity necessary to inspire nostalgia. I would not speak for others, but my own attraction for the X-Form (do not call it sentiment) derives from a spiritual hunger for continuity, transcendence, and (to imitate your Latinizing the case of borrowings from our other mother tongue) gravitatem.

      Joe, many young people claim to care deeply about the organic and traditional, and seeing these as a link to authenticity. They are suspicious of manufactured and genetically-reengineered products, evacuated of substance and pushed on them by elites. They are hip to the self-congratulation of Boomer moral vanity and self-obsession. Many have never encountered an institution that hasn’t failed them. I believe these are the future of the extraordinary form. It’s an enviable time to be young and Catholic.

  28. Revolutionary talk from Fr Allan: “the rigid fear that Paul VI had about undermining Church authority by allowing a pluralism of rites for the Latin Rite”.

    Let us talk as well of the rigid fear of Benedict XVI about allowing a pluralistic inculturation of liturgy in every country.

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