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- Promulgation of the 1962 Missal
- Bypassing of Bugnini
- Consequences of the Betrayal
- Liturgical renewal
Note on ‘Renewal and Liturgy'
Jack P. Oostveen,
St Francis of Assisi, 2020
Vatican II: Renewal and Liturgy
The report 'The Council: its Hijack, its Spirit and the Consequences’ did not refer to Vatican II in relation to 'renewal’ and 'liturgy’ explicitly, because these subjects are not really a part of the clue to understanding or analysing the fundamental problem. In fact, these subjects are serious side-effects arising from the rebellious spirit that had hijacked the Council. False interpretations of 'renewal’ and its exploitation by the 'Spirit of the Council’ have led to its effects being apparent in the entire Church.
Please consider the contents of Pope John XXIII’s January 25th, 1959 formal Announcement of the Council. After mentioning the 'Prince of Darkness’ he described his observation of a 'doom scenario' for the Church and the World . In this way he himself appears to be a 'prophet of doom’:
- "… which in reality have always led to fatal and sad divisions, to spiritual and moral decadence and to the ruin of nations".
Factually, this observation by Pope John XXIII is an unambiguous confirmation of Pope Pius XII’s Encyclical Humani Generis which contains a condemnation of the false theories of the New Theology .
Pope John XXIII continues his address by describing the principles needed to solve this 'doom scenario’ , after which he announced both the 'forgotten’ Synod for the City of Rome as well as the Second Vatican Council as ’'a twofold celebration’: a diocesan synod for the city, and an ecumenical council for the Universal Church in order to bring these principles in practice. These principles recall an affirmation of certain ancient forms of doctrine and a wise provision of ecclesiastical discipline. Pope John XXIII did not call for any change of doctrine, for any form of indifferentism, for any weakening of the Spirit nor for any relaxation of discipline, nothing of that at all. He stated clearly that it has been observed historically during an 'epoch of renewal’, these principles in practice yield fruits of extraordinary efficaciousness through clarity of thought, solidarity, religious unity and the living flame of Christian fervour.
To reiterate and emphasize; Pope John XXIII did not speak about any 'expectation of a renewal’in his announcement address; on the contrary, he only mentioned that historically during an 'epoch of renewal’ the principles stated above 'yielded fruits of extraordinary efficaciousness’. He clearly expected the spiritual fruits of the Holy Spirit after affirming 'certain ancient forms of doctrine and the wise provision of ecclesiastical discipline’. These spiritual fruits would contain 'clarity of thoughts, solidarity of religious unity, the living flame of Christian fervour even in regard to the wellbeing of life on earth’.
What specifically would Pope John XXIII have had in mind when he proposed these principles? Could that have been article 9 of the Encyclical Humani Generis from his predecessor . It seems that he obviously, had especially in mind the
- "because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths".
He intended to suppress 'the temptation and attraction to the advantages of a material order which modern technical progress — indifferent in itself — has increased and exalted’ within the Church, by means of doctrinal affirmations and a wise provision of ecclesiastical discipline. As a life-long diplomat he choose diplomatic methods to bring all parties involved together and allow them to discuss freely and peacefully, while giving the correct guidance and direction to these discussions for a deepening of the Truth. It is obvious then indeed, that he did so through his executive office of the Magisterium or the Holy Office over which he himself presided as Prefect. It is in this context we must view Pope John XXIII’s request for the entire Church to come forward with subjects to be resolved by the Council, and his installation of the preparatory commissions with members from all over the world and a wide range of theological schools to prepare resolutions through peaceful and free discussions. It was for reasons of diplomacy then that Pope John XXIII omitted disciplinary measures against theologians of the New Theology, to allow them the opportunity to discuss freely within these commissions. Evident from the quotes cited above, he does not support the view of the New Theology. This can also be concluded from his Encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram (June 28th, 1959), in which he condemned in harsh terms anyone who denies the revealed Truth or participates in the spread of lies or indifferences
Preparation of the Council
While Pope John XXIII was informed on a weekly basis about the progress of the preparatory work in written reports from the secretaries of the commissions, he also had a weekly meeting with Cardinal Ottaviani, secretary of the Holy Office and President of the Theological preparatory Commission. In addition, all preparatory documents not coming directly from the Theological Preparatory Commission had to pass through this Theological Commission for a check on doctrinal issues. Notably this procedure was opposed by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity.
Following completion of the preparatory work, and convinced about the effectiveness of help from the Holy Spirit, Pope John XXIII could finally say :
- "It has opposed decisively the materialistic ideologies which deny faith"
- "We then instituted the different preparatory organizations to which we entrusted the arduous task of drawing up the doctrinal and disciplinary projects, which we intend to submit to the Council. We finally have the joy of announcing that this intense work of study, to which the cardinals, bishops, prelates, theologians, canonists, and experts from all over the world have given their valuable contribution, is now nearing its end. Trusting therefore in the help of the Divine Redeemer, the Beginning and the End of all things, in the help of His most excellent Mother and of St. Joseph - to whom we entrusted from the very beginning such a great event - it seems to us that the time has come to convoke the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council".
Expectation and Betrayal
And, with this in mind Pope John XXIII indeed expected a speedy confirmation of the preparatory work by the Council itself, optimistically even within a few months, after which the spiritual fruits of the Council, inspired by the Holy Spirit would enrich the entire Church. In this way, one could speak about an 'expectation of the enrichment of the entire Church’ as spiritual fruits of the Council.More precisely Pope John XXII speaking about the anticipated spiritual benefits of the Council, would yield:
- "… an intense spiritual cultivation through a more abundant and happy production of beneficial and holy fruits in the sense of "Thy kingdom come" and in a fervor of more fecund parochial and diocesan life’".
This 'expectation of the enrichment of the entire Church’ through the Holy Spirit is a spiritual one that would have been the natural result of the carefully planned peaceful process of preparation for the Council as originally envisaged. This was to be manifest by a thorough and enlightened (by the Holy Spirit) search within the Truth of Divine revelation to deepen the doctrine, liturgical understanding, liturgical life and pastoral care of both the faithful and the clergy themselves. The ultimate objective of which is leading all to a more sanctified life. This is echoed in the words and mandate of Christ Himself; 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you’ (Math 6:33).
However, such diplomatic methods can only work well if everyone involved is of good will and honest intention. Clearly this was not the case as can be observed from what followed. Instead of a finishing touch and speedy confirmation of the preparatory work, the Council was hijacked by a rebellious spirit, now known as “Spirit of the Council", which had as its goal destruction and complete dismissal of all the careful preparatory work. This false spirit transformed the spiritual expectation and introduced an utterly different material one as stated clearly and warned against once again by Pope John XXIII in his convocation address: ‘ … the temptation and attraction to the advantages of a material order’. This is the false 'expectation of a (material) renewal’ for a better and greater well-being of the Church and the World, through a reform of the Body of the Church, its Doctrine, its Liturgy, its Pastoral Care and above all by making the Church more attractive to the world as the main objective of the Council. Although on the one hand from the careful and deliberate preparatory measures put in place by Pope John XXIII it can be concluded that he clearly disagreed with this rebellious spirit, he on the other hand promptly allowed this hijack. Any measures in place to prevent a rebellious outcome therefore failed, and were unfortunately completely insufficient to stop its progress
The objectives of these modernist or progressive and materialistic reforms were mostly defined through deliberately ambiguous, and therefore not easy to recognize, texts and so-called embryos (“nuces") placed into the Council documents. These objectives were designed to be carried out after the Council by the liberal fathers themselves. That made the changes and re-forms factually motivated by man-made objectives and therefore subject to material and fallible processes. That such materialistic objectives cannot by definition yield good fruits was also explicitly mentioned by the Pope in his convocation address when he warned of:
- "…the inspiration of him whom the Gospel calls the Prince of Darkness and whom Jesus Himself in His last discourse after the Supper called the prince of this world. This Prince of Darkness organizes the contradiction of and the battle against truth and welfare, the nefarious position which accentuates the division between those called by the genius of St. Augustine the two cities, and he keeps ever active the effort to confuse so as to deceive, if possible, also the elect and bring them to ruin’".
I hope that the above considerations on the subject of 'renewal’ will be helpful to substantiate my request for an act of reconciliation by the Pope and the Church with the Holy Spirit.
Promulgation of the 1962 Missal
In addition, please, consider also the following events and historical facts with regard to the 'Sacred Liturgy’, and especially the circumstances that led to the promulgation of the revised Latin Missal in 1962. These shed extra light on the irregularities taking place at this critical moment in the Church’s history.
Ten days after Pope John XXIII had authorized sending the final liturgical preparatory documents for Vatican II to the participating Bishops, he suddenly promulgated the completion of an ongoing reform of the Roman Liturgy, which resulted in publication of the 1962 revision of the Missale Romanum. Why did he suddenly do this?
Apparently, within these ten days it seems highly likely that the Pope had discovered betrayal by the executive commission tasked with addressing comments by the Central Preparatory Commission . Instead of completing their work, they had falsely replaced the changes inserted and approved by the Central Preparatory Commission with texts from the original draft document of the Liturgical Preparatory Commission. This illegally falsified version of the document was sent as having been approved by the Central Preparatory Commission to the Holy Father. This deceitful betrayal was certainly discovered by members of the Central Preparatory Commission after receiving the authorized document following its formal delivery to Pope John XXIII. It is obvious that these acts of deceit, subterfuge, contradiction and falsification so early in the Council can be nothing other than false fruits and manifestation of the work of the ‘Prince of Darkness', just as the Pope had himself explicitly warned of in his convocation address.
Bypassing of Bugnini
In addition to the unexpectedly prompt promulgation of the 1962 Roman Missal, as would not have been expected, Pope John XXIII also bypassed nominating Father Annibale Bugnini as secretary of the Liturgical Commission of the Council. Father Annibale Bugnini was the only secretary from all the Preparatory Commissions that did not become secretary of the corresponding Council Commission. Furthermore, he was also dismissed from teaching at the Papal University. These acts should have been clear evidence to the Council Fathers and all others involved, of the will and intention of the Holy Father regarding liturgical reform. It is also noteworthy to reflect on the Council discussions in which Cardinal Ottaviani explained this betrayal, by highlighting the differences between the published preparatory document and that which was actually approved by the Central Preparatory Commission. However, this revelation was apparently not pleasing to the 'spirit of the council’ as evidenced by the act of switching off Cardinal Ottaviani's microphone while he spoke.
Consequences of Betrayal
Once again, it can be concluded from the measures taken by Pope John XXIII himself that he disagreed with the falsified Preparatory Document on the Liturgy, however by not rejecting that document directly after discovering the betrayal, he factually accepted it, by which all other subsequent measures taken were insufficient to redress the error.
Finally, one must recall and consider the deliberate and explicit call by Father Annibale Bugnini to betray the Pope and the Council by introducing ambiguous embryo's (nuces), designed to obscure the real meanings which would be worked out afterwards . Once more recalling the prophetic words by Pope John XXIII in his Opening Address to the Council:
- '… they are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars'
One must ask what good could these betrayals bring forth? Apparently, instead of introducing 'certain ancient forms of doctrine and the wise provision of ecclesiastical discipline’ the liturgical reform actually carried out resulted in a relaxed discipline through its revised rubrics and has also weakened or even removed specific prayers from the Holy Mass . As an example, the deliberate removal of the direct reference to Original Sin in the Novus Ordo Offertory prayers, must be referrred too. Why was this done, one must ask? It has a clear and continuous denigratory effect on the daily experience of the ancient truism 'lex orandi, lex credendi’ of the priest and faithful. The same deliberate removal of 'Original Sin’ regarding 'human dignity’ can also be seen in the document 'Dignitatis Humanae’. Such explicit, conscious and deliberate removals can only be interpreted as a way to silence holy doctrine by actively taking it out of mind for the clergy and faithful in order to pave the way for novel and false theories. Evidently, these removals pleased the supporters of the New Theology and evolutionary thinkers very well.
Surely, any liturgical renewal without a spiritual renewal from the Holy Spirit will and cannot produce good fruits. That is precisely what we now clearly perceive in hindsight with the bad fruits we continue to reap due to rebellious 'Spirit of the Council' that hijacked the Council. The well correlated and continuing decline in numbers of Catholics, being baptised, attending Mass, number of religious and ordinations to the priesthood, in the predominantly traditionally Catholic regions of Europe with the exception eastern Europe and Northern America since Vatican II, which has resulted in a global shortage of priests, are clear evidence of this. To solve this lack of real spiritual renewal I hope you will be furthermore convinced that the need for reconciliation of the Church should be the first priority of the Pope and the Church.
Measures against the effects of the Allowances
As noted, Pope John XXIII on the one hand, unfortunately de-facto allowed the preparatory document on liturgy, both carried out by a rebellious spirit present among cardinals, bishops and theologians. While on the other hand for both aspects discussed and presented above (i.e. renewal and liturgy) he also showed that he did not agree by taking measures to protect the Council against these types of insurrectionary acts. His risk mitigation measures turned out to have been insufficient. How could that be after he had so thoroughly analysed the problem at hand in 1959 and put so much effort into preparing the Council, with the invocation and help of the Holy Spirit, to resolve the problem which he identified as follows in his announcement address: i.e.
- … an intense spiritual cultivation through a more abundant and happy production of beneficial and holy fruits in the sense of "Thy kingdom come" and in a fervor of more fecund parochial and diocesan life’.
Why wasn't that sincere reliance on and trust in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit sufficient to ensure the correct decisions were taken, instead of fully condoning these rebellious acts? How did the Pope get it so wrong?
Is it perhaps that the coincidence between the announcement of the council in 1959 and the instruction from Our Lady that the Pope should not open the third secret of Fatima before 1960, has a truly supernatural origin? In 1960, Pope John XXIII ignored the supernatural message from the Blessed Virgin regarding the general circumstances under which the council would take place, declaring that this message did not concern him.
Could this disobedience towards Our Lady by the Pope be the straightforward real root cause for what happened to the Council?
With these considerations in mind, I call on you (and us all) to form a united front with an urgent appeal to the Church, the Popes and the Bishops, to perform this urgently necessary act of reconciliation with the Holy Spirit. This is the supernatural key to solving the problems of the Church and the world :
- "Men are either with Him and His Church, and then they enjoy light, goodness, order, and peace. Or else they are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars.".
- “Announcement of the Second Vatican Council’, Saint Pope John XXIII (1959)
“… To crown misfortune for the ranks of the sons of God and the Holy Church there is added the temptation and attraction to the advantages of a material order which modern technical progress — indifferent in itself — increases and exalts. All this — we speak of this progress — while it distracts from the search for higher goods, weakens the energies of the spirit, leads to a relaxation of the structure of discipline and of the good ancient order, with serious prejudice to that which constituted the strength of the Church and her children against the errors which in reality, in the course of the history of Christianity, have always led to fatal and sad divisions, to spiritual and moral decadence and to the ruin of nations. …";
- “Encyclical Humani Generis :
- An unrestricted evolutionism which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, and which is used to eliminate all ideas of a personal God (HG 5);
- An existentialism that concerns itself only with the existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences (HG 6);
- A false historicism that only attributes value to the events of man’s life and overthrows the foundations of all truth and absolute law, both in philosophical speculations and in Christian dogmas (HG 7);
- An irenism that underestimates the ratio and disregards the Teaching Authority of the Church (HG 8);
- “Announcement of the Second Vatican Council’, Saint Pope John XXIII (1959),
“… a decided resolution to recall certain ancient forms of doctrinal affirmation and of wise provision of ecclesiastical discipline, which in the history of the Church in an epoch of renewal yielded fruits of extraordinary efficaciousness, through clarity of thought, through the solidarity of religious unity, through the living flame of Christian fervour in which we continue to see, even in regard to the well-being of life here on earth, abundant riches from "the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth" (Gen. 27:28).;
- “Encyclical Humani Generis , nr 9:
“Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instil it in hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand some theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths".
- “Convocation of the Second Vatican Council’, Saint Pope John XXIII (1961), [http://vatican2voice.org/91docs/ convoke.htm];
- “Convocation of the Second Vatican Council’, Saint Pope John XXIII (1961), [http://vatican2voice.org/91docs/ convoke.htm];
- “Annibale Bugnini, Reformer of the Liturgy’, Yves Chiron (2018), Angelico Press, ISBN 978-62138-411-3, page 83-85
- Ibid., page 82;
- “Die überlieferte Messe – Geschichte – Gestalt – Thelogie’: 2. aktualisierte Auflage, Carthusianus Verlag, ISBN 978-3-941862-12-8:
“ ... the prayers of the classic Rite contain and preserve many thoughts that have weakened or disappeared completely in the revised version, although they belongs to the Catholic faith -the Depositum Fidei - include: (1) renunciation of earthly and (2) the desire for the eternal, (3) the sovereignty of Christ over the world and society, (4) the fight against heresy and schism, (5) the conversion of unbelievers, (6) the need to return to the Catholic Church and the pure truth; (7) earnings (8) wonders (9) appearances of the saints (10) God's wrath against sin, and (11) he possibility of eternal damnation."
- “Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, Opening address of the Second Vatican Council (October 11th)’, Pope St. John XXIII (1962); [because the Vatican website does not provide an English translation of this Opening Address, the translation by http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/teach/v2open.htm has been used here and verified against the official Dutch translation https://www.rkdocumenten.nl/rkdocs/ index.php?mi=600&doc=126];