Wednesday 20 November 1963
Yet more explanations of the modi [amendments] and votes on Chapter II on the Liturgy. We are fed up with it! If they retain the same procedure of modi and votes, we will NEVER get to the end when it comes to the De Ecclesia [‘on the church’], and a minority of four hundred Fathers could block the text. That would present us with an unbearable Third Session.
Thursday 21 November 1963
Msgr. Marty told me that today the election of six new members for the Commissions would be proposed, four to be elected, and two to be chosen by the Pope. The purpose of the operation: to modify the make-up of the Commissions in line with the spirit of the Council. But that will also have the effect of weighing them down!!!
Mass in Croatian: it is the Roman Mass but in a Slav language. During this Mass, singing in unison by strong male voices, accompanied by the organ. These chants have a serious and somewhat nostalgic style. They are in the style of German choral singing, and it seems to me that the synthesis between Slavism and Romanism is matched by a synthesis between that itself and the Germanic sense of choral singing. It is at the same time very Balkan and very Central European. How deep and interesting the human being is everywhere!! How one, and yet how different. It wants to be itself, quite simply, to be what it conceives itself to be.
Felici announced that, in order to speed up the work of the Commissions, the Pope, in response to numerous requests, had raised the number of members of the Commissions to thirty. Thus, five new members will be needed, except for the Eastern congregation, which will have only three new members and the Secretariat twelve.
The Council will elect four members and the Pope will appoint one, except for the Liturgical Commission, which has finished its work.
The presidents of the episcopal conferences are to convene their conferences and indicate three names for each Commission (six for the Secretariat), who can be voted for in the General Congregation. To be submitted to the secretariat before Monday. These lists will be distributed to the Fathers on Wednesday and the election will take place on Thursday.
After these elections, the Pope will grant the Commissions the right to ELECT a new vice-president and a new secretary in addition to the existing ones.
A list was then read of the thirty-one names of those who have asked to speak, and have yet to be heard, on ecumenism in general. It will be impossible for them all to be heard!!!
Then yet another relatio [report] on the modi called for in the liturgy. What a bore! However, it is a question of things that are important: mother tongue in the sacraments and in the liturgy. I have not been much interested in the liturgical question at the Council, but one cannot do everything: I have not even got the time to READ all the post every day, and even less time in which to reply to it.
Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, pp. 436, 441-442. For previous posts in this series, simply enter “Congar” in the search box in the upper right. The 1100-page book can be purchased from Liturgical Press.