Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, Part XVII

Monday 5 November 1962

Mass in the Maronite rite. This example of Eastern liturgies will influence the Council far more than speeches. It is, in itself, a demonstration of an adaptation of the liturgy for the people.

Cardinal Confalonieri made clear what had been the contributions of the Central Commission and of the sub-commission de Emendationibus [on amendments – the Sub-commission on Amendments had been made responsible for revising the preparatory schemas in accordance with the wishes expressed by the Central Preparatory Commission.] in order, seemingly, to scotch the argument of those who were appealing to the wishes of the Central Commission.

(I was told later that this was intended as a reply to Cardinal Ottaviani, who had invoked the authority of the Central Commission. It was an Italian Monsignor from the Secretariat of State, Mgr. Luigi Valentini, who told me this.)

The Martyrology, being one of the liturgical books, must, like them, recognosci [be revised].

Cardinal McIntyre (mumbled presentation): against the vernacular (except for the reading of the Epistle and Gospel by a priest other than the celebrant). ‘Summus Pontifex locutus est’ [The Supreme Pontiff has spoken].

Surban, Philippines: there have already been many changes. ‘Redeatur ad primam et originalem missam’ [We should return to the early and original form of the Mass]: Christ celebrated facing the people and out loud, in the vernacular. And Christ’s actual words should be inserted into the Mass: ‘Ego sum vitis vera . . . Ut sint unum’ [I am the true vine . . . That they may all be one . . . ]. An ecumenical rite! A Missa Orbis [Mass for the World]! This would be a seed of unity!

László, Austria: No. 37: the reform has begun and in accordance with the norms that are invoked today in order to continue it. Let it continue! Let us have the fortitudo apostolica [apostolic courage] for that.

Ferrari Monopolitanus (Italy). The schema is attractive on account of its doctrinal discretion and pastoral concern. Add to it a brief formulation of the dogmatic basis for the participation of the faithful in the sacrifice. No. 37: between a low Mass and a high Mass, there should be a form better adapted to the COMMUNITY, and its participation.

Fares (Italy): Bear in mind the Council of Trent! Do not touch the Canon! No. 42: Change nothing; No. 44: concelebration above all for those living in community.

Bandeira (Brazil): No. 37: do not touch the Roman rite which was instituted by St Peter himself!

Another Brazilian said he no longer wished to speak.

Cousineau (Haiti): No. 44: it is in accordance with what Cardinal Léger said as regards the communitarian aspect, sacrificial unity. No. 37: St Joseph should be mentioned every time there is a reference to Mary.

Jenny: concerning No. 37: the obscurity is due to the removal of the Preparatory Commission’s declaration: it is not clear what is meant by the changes envisaged. He gave a list of the principal points (he was listened to very attentively).

Archbishop of Rwanda: The Liturgy of the Word should teach all doctrine. Introduce biblical texts covering the whole history of salvation. No. 42: delete ‘sublato fidei periculo’ [danger to the faith having been removed], which is offensive to Christ and to those who follow him in this. No. 44: supports Cardinal Léger. Make it clear that each concelebrant may receive a stipend. …

I went to the WC and, for the first time, had a coffee at the bar. There I saw Cullmann and the two Brothers from Taizé, and also Mgr Leclercq and Mgr Rolland. When I returned, the Benedictine Abbot General, Gut, was speaking in favor of Communion under both kinds.

Bishop of Nankin: in favor of lingua vernacula in omnibus partibus missae celebratae pro populo [the vernacular in all parts of the Mass celebrated for the people] (Sundays and feastdays), incluso canone [including the Canon]. He was speaking on behalf of two thirds of humanity.

Bekkers: speaking in the name of the bishops of Holland and of Indonesia. Communion under both kinds is an authentic extension of the liturgical movement. Concelebration is in accordance with the nature of the Sacrament and in the interests of ecumenism.

Bishop from Chile, in the name of the episcopal conference comprising thirty-five bishops. The Liturgy of the Word! Use of the vernacular at least for the sections that include instruction. We have met together, the Pope has said, in order to introduce ‘opportunas mutationes’ [appropriate changes]. It is a unique opportunity. We should not forget the words Misereor super turbam [I have compassion on the crowd (Mk 8:2)].

Seitz (Vietnam), Full agreement to Nos. 42 and 44. For the people in his area, who are very communitarian, attached to centuries-old rites, and who reject Latin on the one hand and successions of private Masses on the other, he asks: ‘ut aperiatur porta . . . ut divulgetur Evangelium Dei’ [that the door be opened . . . that God’s Good News be proclaimed]; agrees with Cardinal Léger and Mgr Bekkers.

Thomas Muldoon: need for theological precision in the statements in chapter 2 of the proemium, where there is confusion between sacrament and sacrifice: clarify the relationship between the Mass and the Cross. Explain the word ‘repraesentare’ [represent]. Do not speak of the offering of the lay people. The faithful do not offer! Communion under both kinds: suggested a new formulation, without changing the basic meaning.

Georges Xenopulos (the name is Greek, but his pronunciation of Latin was typically and entirely Italian). He raised difficulties over communion under both kinds, whether one drinks from the chalice: then the question of hygiene, lipstick . . . or . . . He is thinking of the communion of hundreds of people . . .

The President, Cardinal Liénart, cut him off: he was not ad rem [to the point]. He did not seem to understand the catastrophe that had happened to him.

Msgr. Théas (listened to with great attention). IN FAVOR of concelebration: basing his reasoning on the situation in Lourdes. He has already asked the Holy See for it several times for solemn occasions and has always received the reply non expedire [it is not expedient]. Asks for it to be possible to receive Communion on Easter Day even if one has received Communion at the Vigil.

Bishop from Ecuador in the name of other bishops: 1) abrogate the Mass pro populo [for the people]; 2) in cases of necessity, allow the bishop to authorize priests to binate on weekdays.

Archbishop of Barcelona: No. 39: homily. So that, over a few years, one will have covered the whole of Christian doctrine (richer passages from the Bible). That would remove some of the reasons for the use of the vernacular. No. 42: against communion under both kinds, because the faithful would believe that it imparts more grace . . .  Moreover, since the principle to follow is that of simplicity, leave things as they are! No. 44: against concelebration, because there would not be enough priests left to provide Masses for the faithful!

Joseph D’Avack(?) this will be the last. So, while he was talking in a very strong Italian accent, the Fathers were tidying away their things in preparation for leaving. Fr. Gillon thinks that all this smacks of Protestantism. What world does he live in?

Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, pp. 144-148. The 1100-page book can be purchased from Liturgical Press. Pray Tell ran the previous installment of the journal of Yves Congar last Sunday.

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