Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, Part XIX

Thursday 8 November 1962

This morning, at St. Peter’s, a not very glorious end to the schema on the Liturgy. The discussion was brought to a close well before all those wishing to speak had done so. A decision of the Pope was read out stating that, in response to the request of four hundred bishops, St. Joseph was to be inserted into the Canon of the Mass, as from 8 December. It seems the French bishops were very unhappy about it. The Observers were appalled. The problem is not the fact of having put St. Joseph into the Canon: he is worth far more than Saints Chrysogonus and John and Paul, who may not even have existed. The problem is rather that, while the Council is in session, and when that Council is discussing the liturgy, the Pope, on his own authority, decides something (the appropriateness of which is at least questionable). Good John XXIII keeps on combining some lovely gestures with others that are regrettable or retrograde.

Wednesday 14 November 1962

I saw Cullmann for a moment. Every Tuesday, therefore yesterday, the Observers have a meeting organized by the Secretariat. It was I who was to speak yesterday about the priesthood. At the last minute, I was replaced by Fr. Kerrigan on tradition. Cullmann told me that it was very basic. He also spoke to me about St. Joseph. He was astonished that the Pope did that when the Council was actually discussing the liturgy. One of the Observers had said to him: You have written a Christology [Oscar Cullmann, Christologie du Nouveau Testament (Neuchâtel-Paris: Delachaux & Niestlé, 1958)]. What you need to do now is to write a Josephology! Cullmann replied: No point, it has already been done. I saw the book at the Gregorianum…

A rushed low Mass recited at top speed. Cardinal Tisserant, as President, did the same with the splendid Adsumus.

The President suggested that there should be a vote on the following two propositions: 1) approval of the guiding criteria for the schema De Liturgia; 2) and that the amendments be considered one by one after the work by the Commission. Repeating this in the five languages took a long time. The result, announced before the end of the Congregation, was as follows: out of 2,215 voters, 2,162 placet, 46 non placet, and 7 spoiled votes.

Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, pp. 165-6. 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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