How the Best Attacks against the Traditional Latin Mass Fail

My article “Twelve Reasons Not to Prefer the Novus Ordo” was greeted with a barrage of snide remarks, flustered dismissals, relativistic claims about “tastes,” and soberly framed objections. As a philosopher and theologian, I care little for empty rhetoric, but I care very much about rational objections, which deserve a response. I have seen every one of these objections, multiple times, on Facebook and in comment boxes.

The author of the article to which you responded said only that he liked X, Y, and Z about the Ordinary Form (O.F.); he never criticized the Extraordinary Form (E.F.). But you, in responding, defended the E.F. and attacked the O.F. You weren’t being fair to the author’s intention.

If a person says, “Here are 12 things I like about the O.F.,” and nearly every one of them differs from the longstanding practice of the Church prior to Paul VI’s reform, then it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that the E.F. is flawed in those respects. If it is a perfection of the Novus Ordo to be more “accessible,” more “flexible,” more “simple,” more chock-full of Scripture, and so forth, and if these things are lacking in the traditional Latin Mass, which, on the contrary, is remote, inflexible, complex, bound to a more concise ancient cycle of readings, then to that extent the latter is defective. If, on the contrary, the usus antiquior is actually superior in those very respects, then it would be irrational to like the Novus Ordo for its defects [1].

More tellingly, the approach “what I like about liturgy” sets us in the wrong posture toward it. A number of points made by the author might (might) be valid if the Mass were principally about us. The sign that it is not “about us” is that a priest is ordained to offer sacrifice, not to preside over a Bible study or host communal meals. A reading group or a supper club leaves all kinds of room for what the given guests (or hosts!) might like better, what might attract, what might tantalize, please, evangelize, retain. Sacrifice doesn’t care a whit what others think of it; it just is what it is, and does what it does. The liturgical reformers rejected the primacy of sacrifice by seeking to abolish or minimize the “private Mass,” such as once rose up from countless altars throughout Christendom, and by modifying the ordination rite and other liturgical texts to downplay as much as possible the idea of the priest as an agent of sacrifice, which they argued was pagan and Jewish, not Christian.

Devout Novus Ordo Catholics will make critical remarks on the TLM like: “I just can’t understand the Latin,” “I think it’s too ornate,” or “The people who attend are too stoic throughout.” At the heart of everything they have said is “I”; it’s about their own preferences. Former generations knew how to mortify this self-centeredness – how to subordinate it to a heritage, a common good, a tradition seen as taking precedence. Even as John the Baptist testified that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30), we, too, must “decenter” from ourselves and “recenter” on the mysteries of Christ.

Traditionalists may like and love everything about the usus antiquior or we may not, but that is beside the point. We are committed to the traditional faith the truth of Christ, the treasury of the Church handed down to us, and we strive to conform our minds, hearts, likes and dislikes, to that. We are perfectly consistent, then, in objecting not only to liturgical Prometheanism, but also to doctrinal deviations like Amoris Laetitia’s opening to communion for “remarried” Catholics and the death penalty change to the Catechism.

The liberals who hijacked the Council, the professional liturgists who designed the Novus Ordo, and Pope Paul VI himself were brought up on the usus antiquior that you so highly praise. Obviously, they didn’t think it was so great if they all agreed to swap it out for something else.

Here I would like to quote Dr. Alice von Hildebrand from a 2001 interview:

The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church. It was my husband who gave me this insight about the Mass. The problem that ushered in the present crisis was not the traditional Mass. The problem was that priests who offered it had already lost the sense of the supernatural and the transcendent. They rushed through the prayers, they mumbled and didn’t enunciate them. That is a sign that they had brought to the Mass their growing secularism. The ancient Mass does not abide irreverence, and that was why so many priests were just as happy to see it go. [2]

In my book Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness, I comment on this response as follows:

Liturgical decadence, deviation, and disorder are, like the natural tendency of entropy, a downhill walk for fallen man. Left to himself, left without the guidance of the tradition willed by the Holy Spirit and the example of many saints who have shown us how to walk the often grueling uphill path of fidelity, fallen man will make liturgy conform to his own whims and wants, his own programs and purposes – something easier, and more damaging. It is the uphill climb, prepared for by self-discipline, that leads to the magnificent vista, the glimpse of a vast and humbling beauty that can only come from the mind of the Creator. “Hate not laborious works, nor husbandry ordained by the Most High. Number not thyself among the multitude of the disorderly” (Sir. 7:16-17).

Let us not beat around the bush: the old liturgical rites, if they are to be done in a truly prayerful and edifying way, require discipline, mortification, serious study and practice, keen attentiveness, great piety, and a deep interior life. Any priest who could rush through them (which happened “back then,” as we all know, and still happens occasionally today) or who was ready to chuck them out the window had already lost his faith and his commitment to the virtue of religion. In Newman’s terms, he had notional assent, not real assent.

It was therefore hardly surprising that such men would want a radical simplification that released them from what had become onerous burdens and meaningless rituals. They wanted a drive-through Mass and a lunchable picnic of psalms. They wanted to “get busy” with the “real work” of “helping the people,” spreading a pure and simple Christian message that whiffed of Marx and Freud. The energetic implementers of the Council promoted a vision of Christianity that was all outwardness and no inwardness, all action and no contemplation, all reform and no formality, all up-to-date and never timeless, privileging the homely over the solemn, the casual over the hieratic. In short, the Novus Ordo enshrined a certain generation’s impiety, activism, and worldliness.

Those who were expressly modernist and revolutionary in their intentions (and there were many such) hated the traditional Latin Mass not because of incense, chant, or Latin, which they were willing to harness on occasion for their own purposes, but because its every prayer, gesture, ceremony, and rubric enshrines the Catholic Faith in its premodern and antimodern audacity.

All this proves that something had gone wrong before the Council, and on that bigger topic, there are several compelling theories. But we can see that there were also many who were deeply devoted to the liturgy – the best authors of the Liturgical Movement prove it, when they write with such fervor and insight about the life of worship they lived – and there is absolutely no reason to think the same liturgy would not have continued to be learned, loved, prayed, and passed down by Catholics serious in their faith. The reform was imposed on the Church from above, by ideologues with bright ideas; it was not clamored for by the faithful.

You and others write about the Extraordinary Form through rose-colored glasses, as if “in the old days” it was everywhere offered piously and edifyingly. But this was far from true.

As my quotation from Alice von Hildebrand indicates, I don’t deny that there were abuses. Abuse of the good is always possible for fallen human beings. A ten- or fifteen-minute rapidly mumbled Low Mass was the sort of problem one encountered before the Council. Do such abuses mean that the solution was to reconceive the liturgy “from the ground up”? No. That’s not a Catholic way of thinking about anything, especially the liturgy we receive from our forefathers. The original Liturgical Movement had the right idea: educate Catholics in their heritage, and help them to take hold of it.

The apostles’ liturgy was far simpler than the Latin Mass, and said in Aramaic or Greek. Why do you insist that Catholics today use an elaborate medieval Latin liturgy? We should imitate what the apostles did.

One who makes this surprisingly common objection is adopting a Protestant notion of the Mass as a re-enactment of the Last Supper in the simple gathering of disciples to read Scripture and break bread, which obscures what it really is: the offering of the sacrifice of Christ within the living community of His Body, the Church. Like Mary, who “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk. 2:19; 2:51), the Church too, treasuring up and pondering the sacred mysteries, elaborated their celebration according to the wisdom given to her from above. Christ promised His apostles: “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth” (Jn. 16:13). The development of the divine liturgy over the millennia – from Abel’s offering to Melchisedek’s bread and wine, from Hebrew sacrifices to apostolic eucharistia, from the age of monasticism and medieval cathedral chapters through Baroque splendor – is nothing other than the preparation, reception, and explication of the truth given to us in Christ and fully blossoming in the life of His Bride: “Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do” (Jn. 14:12).

Christian worship is not a stage re-enactment of Passover fellowship or time-travel to some chosen favorite century, but a living whole, built up slowly over time by lovers of God and cherished by the Church, who hands down the same liturgical rites from age to age, augmented with new beauties inspired by God to be in harmony with what is already there. As it develops into the full expression of its essence, the liturgy achieves greater definition and perfection in its secondary elements. This is why its rate of change slows down as time goes on, and what is added, though valuable, is small in comparison to the body of rites, chants, texts, and ceremonies already in place.

This is what liturgical tradition means: we do not reinvent our worship by leaping over centuries of faith and devotion; we do not produce new anaphoras because we think we need some more variety; we do not cast off the cycle of readings hallowed by well over 1,000 years of consistent use and replace them with an altogether new cycle compiled by a group of scholars; we do not make optional the magnificent antiphons that are flesh and bone of the Roman rite; and so forth. Protestants invent liturgy, but Catholics receive it.

It is therefore not only a bad idea, but contrary to the Church’s faith in Divine Providence and in the governance of the Holy Spirit to reject major elements of the Latin Church’s liturgical tradition and to replace them with a combination of artificial archaeologisms and novelties, as was manifestly done in the 1960s and 1970s. The massive rupture from the preceding liturgical tradition, which extends to every aspect and detail of the liturgical rites, cannot be papered over with platitudes. It is a gaping wound in the Body of Christ [3]. For, as St. Vincent of Lérins maintains:

The principle of piety admits of only one attitude: namely, that everything be transferred to the sons in the same spirit of faith in which it was accepted by the fathers; that religion should not lead us whither we want to go, but that we must follow whither it leads; and that it is proper to Christian modesty and earnestness not to transfer to postery one’s own ideas, but to preserve those received from one’s ancestors. (Commonitorium, ch. 6)

It may be worth adding that the primacy of Latin in the Roman Church was solemnly stated by Pope John XXIII in the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia of 1962, which has never been rescinded. Conversely, the notion that liturgy ought to be in the vernacular was condemned at the Council of Trent and in Pius VI’s Auctorem Fidei. This does not mean that liturgy may never be in the vernacular, but only that no one may argue that it must be or even should be. To hold that the Roman Church was mistaken to keep her rites in Latin is a condemned opinion.

You object to “antiquarianism” – going back to earlier centuries to recover lost elements in the liturgy – but the very form of liturgy you are trying to revive is something that belongs to a former time, so aren’t you guilty of the same thing?

The recovery of the usus antiquior does not constitute a form of antiquarianism for two basic reasons.

First, it has never ceased to be celebrated. Even when Paul VI attempted to replace it, a minority of clergy, at first the elderly and later new priests, and finally whole religious communities, continued to use the old missal or made use of both missals. Consequently, the usus antiquior embodies an unbroken living tradition, so ancient we cannot even specify precisely when and how it emerged [4]. The new Mass, in contrast, has an exact birthday: April 3, 1969. It will shortly be fifty, and boy, how it is showing its age.

Second, it is understandable that over the centuries, certain practices will be modified or lost, due to the pressures of a period of time or a new emphasis. Thus, communion in the hand was gradually replaced by communion on the tongue, which was seen to be a more reverent and safer way to receive the Lord’s Body, the worship of which was intensifying. It is a form of antiquarianism to try to reactivate those lost elements many centuries after they have perished. But the liturgy as a whole is not something that can be modified or lost, except by an abusive exercise of power [5]. Hence, the usus antiquior has the right of primogeniture and the right of possession and cannot ever be excluded from the life of the Church. It also happens to be more relevant to the needs of modern Catholics.

Your position implies that nothing in the Ordinary Form is an improvement over the preceding liturgy. Indeed, you even seem to reject it altogether.

I used to think there were some improvements in the Novus Ordo. For instance, I thought it was good to have more prefaces, more readings, and more flexibility for what may be sung (in other words, you can sing the Ordinary without the Propers or vice versa, enabling more chant to be used, instead of an “all-or-nothing” approach). But the devil’s in the details. As one examines these things more carefully, and most importantly, as one gains experience with both rites, one comes to see many flaws in these supposed “improvements” [6]. Unfortunately, few have the patience or the opportunity to compare the rites, to see what was changed and why, so superficial assumptions tend to rule the day.

Apart from a handful of meager details [7], I see nothing in the Novus Ordo that represents an improvement on the Latin rite that came before it and has a pedigree of centuries and millennia. In general, the Novus Ordo is a dumbed down ritual, with a lot of specialist scholars’ pet ideas thrown in  and a huge amount of verbiage. The results are as could be expected: many Catholics walked away in disgust at the desacralization of worship, and those who stayed or have come along later have absorbed from it flawed notions of what liturgy even is – and that, on the basis of what Vatican II said about liturgy in the first part of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which reads like a theological exposition of Solemn High Mass, not of the Consilium’s Missa normativa.

The Novus Ordo Missae is sacramentally valid (the same may be said for the other sacramental rites), but after that, the whole experiment in modernization is a disappointment, not to say a scandal, once you get to know the riches of the usus antiquior. And I am not talking only about the Mass. The old rites of Baptism, of Confirmation, of Penance, of Matrimony, of Extreme Unction, and above all of Holy Orders are far superior to their “reformed” versions, from every angle of examination: ascetical-mystical, doctrinal, moral, aesthetic. Even the breviary of St. Pius X, which has its problems, is outstandingly better than the Liturgy of the Minutes, I mean Hours [8].

I do not reject the new liturgy. It is the Church’s own tradition that repudiates it as a stranger. Validity the sacramental rites must have, since Our Lord would not deprive His people of access to grace; a functional licitness they have as well. But none of this touches the question of the authenticity of a rite in the line of its own historical development from apostolic roots, or the profound questions of fittingness that surround the enactment of any liturgy. Paul VI engaged his authority to impose a new liturgy on the Church, and in doing so, he abused that authority as well as the People of God.

At this point in time, shouldn’t we be working to improve the celebration of the Ordinary Form? After all, it is the rite that 99% of Catholics pray in, and we should do what we can to correct its abuses and elevate its dignity.

In a way, yes, in a way, no. Undoubtedly, it is good for Catholics to be exposed to Gregorian chant; to hear some Latin; to see the priest facing eastward; to see beautiful vestments, smell incense, and hear the jangling of bells; to kneel before the Word made flesh and receive Him on the tongue.

But let’s not kid ourselves: the Reform of the Reform (ROTR) cannot succeed.

Each time an official effort to implement the ROTR acquires steam, it runs off the tracks. Benedict XVI abandoned the flock in the midst of the first serious effort to improve the postconciliar liturgical wasteland. Cardinal Sarah has been slapped down repeatedly by the Vatican for his modest proposals to make the Novus Ordo look like a Catholic liturgy. Pope Francis celebrates Mass in such a ho-hum way that he might as well be the high priest of corporate bureaucracy. Islands of Oratorians intrepidly celebrate “the rite of Michael Napier,” inventing a good deal to plug in the gaps of the Pauline missal, but they stand at the margins, resolutely detached. Within the mainstream Church, there is a level of mediocrity that keeps asserting itself, like a gravitational force – a Missa normativa that is neither egregiously abusive nor characterized by anything noble, whether “noble simplicity” or its often forgotten counterpart, “noble beauty” [9]. Apart from unexpected redheads, this is the genetic type to which offspring continually revert.

It is clear, in addition, that Paul VI did not have a “high” and “traditional” Novus Ordo in mind when he promulgated the new missal. In his general audience of November 26, 1969, he calmly praised the glories of Latin and Gregorian chant before proceeding to explain that the Church was asking the faithful to sacrifice them forever for the sake of winning over Modern Man. So those who are busy dressing up the Novus Ordo like the Infant of Prague may display a sort of tragic heroism, but they are working against the clear intentions of the judge who imposed this ball and chain upon us.

On a more practical level, the priest who, inspired by Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy and other such inspirational reading, tries to elevate the Novus Ordo – which generally means enriching it ad libitum with elements already hardwired into the usus antiquior – is going to generate opposition within the flock, and soon enough, complaints will find their way to his bishop. In nine out of ten cases, the visionary pastor will be called on the carpet and warned off his boat-rocking ways or, sooner or later, moved to another church, while his replacement will come in and undo most of his reforms. I’ve seen this and heard about it countless times. It is perhaps the #1 cause of trauma among the Catholic faithful who are still attached to the Pauline liturgy.

It would take not just one outstanding pope, but several in a row, and several turnovers of the worldwide episcopacy, before the Novus Ordo could look, as a rule, like Catholic liturgy in continuity with the preceding 1,500 years of the Church’s worship. Meanwhile, the souls of the faithful are pulled this way and that, according to the temperamental whims of pastors, bishops, and popes, and one’s children absorb the lesson that Catholic liturgy is more or less the plaything of the most powerful person in control at any moment.

Moreover, the Reform of the Reform should not succeed, because it only masks the fact that the reformed liturgy is itself the fundamental problem, not merely “how it’s done ” [10]. This is above all true for the priest. The laity can schlep along Soviet-style with their weekly service, but the priest is the one who has been most grievously deprived of nourishment by the Bauhaus Pauline Mass [11].

The reality, I’m afraid, is this: the O.F. and E.F. cannot ultimately sit peacefully next to each other because their principles are incompatible. The most serious defenders of the O.F. – scholars like Fr. Pierre-Marie Gy, Msgr. Kevin Irwin, Fr. Patrick Regan, Massimo Faggioli, Andrea Grillo, and almost anyone who writes for PrayTell – are quite clear that the new rites represent a new theological vision born of Vatican II, one that largely repudiates the Tridentine legacy. As Cardinal Lercaro, a major player in the liturgical reform, stated, without expecting to be contradicted: “The historical period that we call Tridentine is closed” [12].

There can be an uneasy truce, but the things in themselves tend in opposite directions, as we would expect, since they have contrary origins. The usus antiquior comes to us by tradition – it long pre-existed the first time an official edition of it was papally promulgated in 1570. The Novus Ordo is the creation ex nihilo of papal power, in 1969. Like a sort of parody of Melchisedek, it hath neither father nor mother, but continueth interminably. Never in the history of the Church had there been a new missal; there had only ever been new editions of the same old missal. And it does no good pretending the two are in continuity: the content is far too different, not only in the texts (orations, antiphons, readings, offertories, anaphoras, etc.), but in the gestures and ceremonies as well. Everywhere there is extensive and profound divergence [13].

So great is the difference that priests who discover the old Mass find it powerfully transformative for their priesthood, even after having celebrated the Novus Ordo devoutly for many years [14]. Therefore, the priest who loves Christ, the Church, his own soul, and the souls of his flock should learn and then lean upon a Mass that will delight him with “marrow and fatness” (Ps. 62:6), if only as a restful pause in the ever uphill effort, always slightly dodgy and idiosyncratic, to clothe a naked waif that stripped of its devotional and theological garments.

* * *

This whole back-and-forth is premised on unrealistic comparisons. Mainstreamers who like the “smells and bells” will contrast their ROTR Novus Ordo – which is as rare as hen’s teeth, constituting perhaps 1% of the Catholic world – with a 1950s speed-muttered Low Mass of Baby-Boomer lore, which basically doesn’t exist anymore in 2019. To be fair, rad trads often do the same when they compare a Solemn High Mass in a Baroque cathedral with a clown mass on a card table. Neither of those is commonplace, either.

What few people seem willing to do is to compare the “median Mass” – that is, what you will typically find on a Sunday: the traditional Missa cantata versus the Novus Ordo in Anytown, USA. The former has chant and other sacred music, uses only properly vested male ministers, retains the Roman Canon, distributes holy communion to kneeling faithful on the tongue, etc. The latter is valid; has horrible music, altar girls, EMHCs, and lay lectors; uses a fabricated canon; and gives communion in the hand to people standing in a queue.

In this comparison, we win big time. Call it the “Pepsi Challenge” for liturgy: go to a Missa cantata and go to a random Sunday Novus Ordo. Then report back to us, online reader. Tell us we’re wrong.

The lay faithful who attend only the Novus Ordo, or who may have seen a Low Mass once or twice, are at a huge disadvantage. When they read arguments presented by traditionalists, they feel that Catholicism is being attacked, or their personal fidelity, or the holiness of the Eucharist. But none of this is so. Many Catholics are admirably faithful to what they have been given, little enough though it be, and the Lord, Who is truly, really, substantially present even in a Mass that sins against His liturgical Providence, can still sanctify their souls. But the “spirit of Vatican II,” and the liturgical reform that perfectly embodied it, has deprived them of much of the historical and theological content of Catholicism and left them with a shell, a simulacrum, a substitute.

The Novus Ordo, even at its best, is still a starvation diet compared with the riches in the preconciliar liturgical tradition. God can sanctify prisoners in jail fed on stale crusts and standing water, but this is not the manner in which He would sanctify most of us. “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10), says Our Lord, and this applies also to liturgical life.

If the longed for renewal of the Church is ever to begin in earnest, Catholics must come to grips with this tragedy of rupture and suppression, yet without giving way to anger or despondency, and with a resolve to seek and to find the fullness of the Faith. In no other way can the Bride of Christ be rescued from the mud and grime that mar her earthly beauty.


[1] The sentiment “I like the fact that the O.F. is all these things” is difficult, if not impossible, to separate from the judgment “I dislike the fact that the E.F. is none of these things” – and from the wish that somehow its “defects” could be overcome in some future revision of it. Thus, we have an Oratorian recently opining that the old Mass should be available in the vernacular to make it better conform to Chalcedonian doctrine (!); we have a priest providing us with a lengthy list of “improvements” to be imported from the O.F. to the E.F.; we have advocates of “pastoral liturgy,” late-hatched offspring of Jungmann, substituting spoken vernacular readings for chanted Latin ones at High Mass, while also violating the symbolic directionality of the lesson and Gospel by reading them versus populum – and then accusing those who follow the tradition of “elitism” and “aestheticism”; and on and on it goes, the merry-go-round of “moderns know better” that leaves a bloody mess on the operating floor. I have responded to such flare-ups of tinkeritis in a number of places – e.g., here, here, and here.

[2] “Present at the Demolition: An Interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand,” The Latin Mass, Summer 2001, accessed at http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_2001_su_hildebran.html, January 11, 2017.

[3] For a fuller statement of the problem, see my lecture “Reverence is Not Enough: On the Importance of Tradition,” which became chapter 2 of my book Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (Angelico, 2017).

[4] There is reason to believe that the liturgy in Rome was translated from Greek to Latin in the 4th century under Pope Damasus I (366-384), but the information we possess is sketchy. Henry Sire comments: “We should notice also that the spirit of the new vernacular was the opposite of that in which the vulgarisers of the 1960s did their work. Damasus himself was a fine Latinist, and he took care to write the prayers of the liturgy in a style that looked to the standards of the Roman rhetorical tradition. The Roman Canon, most of whose text as we have it took shape at this time, may be assumed to be his composition; the same is true of the Collects, which, like the Canon itself, reflect the fine cadences of classical prose style. Conventions of pagan prayer that go back to Virgil and to Homer find an echo in the Christian prayers, and, in his care to dignify the language of worship, Damasus sometimes substituted an old pagan word for the familiar Christian term. His Latin liturgy was thus an elevated vernacular, one that deliberately made use of archaism to express the sanctities of worship. The result of his artistry has been to give us, in the traditional rite of the Mass, a distinguished expression of the last age of ancient civilisation” (Phoenix from the Ashes [Kettering, OH: Angelico, 2015], 266).

[5] This is why traditionalists are consistent when they also reject Pius XII’s spurious reinvention of Holy Week.

[6] For instance, on the Prefaces, see here for a general treatment and here for a case study.

[7] One example would be the restoration of a suitable number of readings to the Easter Vigil, which readings had been barbarically cut down to four in Pius XII’s assault on Holy Week. On the one hand, the Novus Ordo makes the full set of readings optional (as it does so many things), and, on the other hand, there was no defect in the readings prior to Pius XII. So it was a “solution” to a problem that had been created by the lust for liturgical reform. Put it this way: the more people tinkered with the pre-Pauline liturgy, the more problems they created for themselves, and to these “problems” the Pauline liturgy seemed a solution. But it was perhaps the most outstanding case in history of a cure worse than the disease.

[8] On the Pius X breviary, see this interview with Bishop Schneider; an excellent summary of its peculiarities may be found here and here.

[9] This phrase is used in Sacrosanctum Concilium 124.

[10] We can see this in the way the orations of the Mass were heavily altered or deleted, so that the lex credendi of the faithful would itself be changed. There are countless examples. It may suffice to offer a few: herehereherehere, here, and here.

[11] I have gone into this in more detail here, here, here, and here, for starters. A somber thought: What Paul VI put into motion during and after Vatican II was as effective in emptying the monasteries and convents of the world as what Henry VIII did to those of England.

[12] See Yves Chiron, Annibale Bugnini: Reformer of the Liturgy, trans. John Pepino (Brooklyn: Angelico Press, 2018), 119.

[13] To anticipate another objection: yes, the reformers got much of their raw material from old sacramentaries that had long since fallen out of use in the form in which they are found in manuscript, but they rarely stopped there: they gleefully redacted almost every line to bring it into conformity with their own theories about what “modern man” needed to hear. They could not even take up ancient sources without bowdlerizing and innovating. What hubris! What myopia!

[14] Of the many testimonies, one might start with this set of four.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email