A recent article by Fr. Thomas Kocik on the New Liturgical Movement website, Reforming the Irreformable?, is getting some well-deserved attention in traditional circles. (Do yourself a favor and read it in its entirety if you haven’t already.)
After outlining some examples of “the hack-job inflicted by Pope Paul VI’s Consilium,” Fr. Kocik writes, “The ‘reform of the reform’ is not realizable because the material discontinuity between the two forms of the Roman rite presently in use is much broader and much deeper than I had first imagined.”
I concur with these sentiments entirely.
I must respectfully disagree, however, with his suggestion, “What is needed is not a ‘reform of the reform’ but rather a cautious adaptation of the Tridentine liturgy in accordance with the principles laid down by Sacrosanctum Concilium.”
For one, the principals laid down by Sacrosanctum Concilium are most certainly a part of the problem. Right out of the gate, the Constitution opened the door for the “dumbing down” of the Roman Rite that followed.
This sacred Council desires… to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. (SC 1)
That’s right, the Council Fathers (some naively, others deliberately) made ecumenism one of, if not the, driving force behind the liturgical reforms. This is what the Consilium, with the approval of Pope Paul VI, leveraged as if it was their personal mandate to craft the protestantized product now known as the Novus Ordo Missae.
There are any number of other flaws in the Constitution that deserve mention, but I’ll limit myself to just one more.
The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation. (SC 34)
Though the phrase “noble simplicity” had been used well prior to the Council to describe the traditional Mass (yes, in all of its glorious, triumphalistsic, grandeur), the Council Fathers not only neglected to define it; they coupled it with the preposterous notion that mere mortals like us should be able to “comprehend” the mystical encounter with Christ that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
This is how we arrived at the simplistic, earthbound service that is inflicted upon the faithful week in and week out in parishes all over the world.
In spite of whatever sensible statements are contained therein (e.g., regarding the use of the Latin language, the value of Gregorian Chant, and the necessity of liturgical instruction as the gateway to active participation), Sacrosanctum Concilium is really nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing, juxtaposing traditional teaching alongside utter nonsense (a favorite tool of the neo-modernists).
Secondly, the idea of “a cautious adaptation of the Tridentine liturgy” given present circumstances is truly the stuff of nightmares.
In a different age, perhaps not, but does anyone really want to see what the current cast of characters in Rome would do to the traditional liturgy if given the chance? Surely the Devil would like nothing more.
If this were to actually happen, a day might come when some poor pope may feel compelled to proclaim “three forms of the one Roman Rite; the Ordinary, the Extraordinary, and the Hybridordinary.”
In any event, the highlight of Fr. Kocik’s article far outshines these points of disagreement as he states:
To draw the older and newer forms of the liturgy closer to each other would require much more movement on the part of the latter form, so much so that it seems more honest to speak of a gradual reversal of the reform (to the point where it once again connects with the liturgical tradition received by the Council) rather than a reform of it.
This is a very bold statement on the part of a parish priest living in this age of “crypto–Lefebvrian” witch hunts. As an ordinary layman, by contrast, I can restate with little fear of waterboarding (I think) essentially the same thing, but just a bit more directly:
The Missal of Paul VI must be abrogated entirely, and the sooner the better.
Yes, I can almost hear the chorus of protests swelling in the background already…
That’s crazy! The new Mass can’t be repealed as if it never existed!
Like Hell it can’t. We survived the Pauline offensive (albeit bloodied and battered); why not its undoing?
Should it be done virtually overnight as was the case when Pope Paul VI unleashed this single greatest liturgical assault the Church has ever had to endure?
No, for one thing, doing so would be almost as merciless. For another, it is far easier to go from enlightened to pedestrian than it is to travel in the opposite direction.
That said, the abrogation of the Novus Ordo could be accomplished in many places (like the United States) in just one year, at least in its initial phase; universally, in no more than three.
This would certainly require an intensive program of liturgical instruction, but there is no doubt that the Church has the financial resources to do it. Heck, many national episcopal conferences (like the USCCB) have the necessary means, if only they’d be willing to shift funding from such core activities as the Environmental Justice Program.
Of course, priests and seminarians in particular would need continued formation in order to move beyond merely speaking the Latin prayers of Holy Mass to actually knowing them, but what is most important at this juncture in salvation history is the suppression of the Novus Ordo and all of its anthropocentric trappings.
As the bitter experience of the last four decades amply demonstrates, the Lord who saw to it that the traditional liturgy endured (in spite of the best efforts of Venerable Paul VI) will freely provide the assistance of His grace when the abrogation of its supplanter is set in motion.
In other words, don’t underestimate the prolific outpouring of Divine assistance the Bride would receive upon rushing into the arms of her Bridegroom in such fashion.
I saw a Novus Ordo Mass on YouTube that was done in Latin, ad orientem, with traditional vestments, incense, Gregorian Chant, Communion at the rail, and it was beautiful! So there!
That’s fantastic; if you liked what you saw, you’re half-way home.
Missing from the new Mass, no matter how well it is done, are such invaluable liturgical treasures as the Offertory, the prayers at the foot of the altar, and others. (Fr. Kocik goes into more detail on this note.)
If a priest is willing to go through all of this just to fancy-up the Novus Ordo, why not celebrate the Mass in all of its integrity?
But the new Mass is the only one most people alive today have ever known, and some will refuse to make the transition, including many priests, creating a split in the Church!
This much is true, but such a painful experience as this must be understood for what it truly is; the demands of justice in action. Why on earth should we expect it to be painless?
But it would inflict real suffering on the innocent!
Of course it would. The Lord our God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation (cf Exodus 20:5); i.e., we can thank Pope Paul VI for the suffering, not the pope who one day, God please, cleans up his mess (and summarily halts his cause).
In any case, just as some poor souls following the virtual disappearance of the traditional Mass mistakenly believed (and not without reason) that the Holy Catholic Church that they loved so dearly had ceased to exist, so too would some folks who know no better react to the abrogation of the Novus Ordo as if an irreplaceable treasure had been lost.
In the end, the Just Judge is more than capable of sorting all of this out, if only we return to Him in fidelity.
I realize that you’re bound to your conscience with regard to criticizing the Second Vatican Council, but the reason why the good Father in his article suggested that the ancient Form of the Roman Rite be gradually modified according to the norms of Sacrosanctum Concilium is that it is far easier to repeal the edifice erected on top of Conciliar decrees and implement those decrees in a more sensible way than it is to repeal the Council itself. In fact, I don’t believe such a thing will ever happen. A Pope may come along one day who by his supreme authority repeals the Pauline reforms and gradually overturns nearly the entire course of development since the Council. That same Pope may clarify or even alter the Council itself. But I doubt any Pope will ever disrespect the Council Fathers to the point that he calls the documents ‘neo-modernism.’ It is actually preferable to think that St. Pius X was wrong in some limited respects than to disrespect an Ecumenical Council as neo-modernism and a wolf in sheeps clothing. Edit the Council? I say yes. Interpret it as conservatively as possible by weighting the Tradition heavily and applying it in as modest and sensible a way as possible? Absolutely. But call it a wolf in sheeps clothing and disparage it as neo-modernism? No. If you think you can do so and keep even loosely with the mind of the Church, you’re mistaken.
If one reads the original schemas that were developed for the council, which were summarily abandoned by the modernists, it becomes very clear that Vatican2 was hijacked and steered where it never should have gone. So repealing it would be no different than the way the Church dealt with the Arian crisis. One can either continue in error blindly hoping things will work out, or you can correct the error and right the ship. I for one vote for the latter. Pax.
Being that this council is nothing but a pastoral council, which defined no dogma, what part of it must I follow? Furthermore, the Council did not define the Mass, so VII itself wouldn’t need to be repealed for the traditional 1700 year old Mass to be the “ordinary” Mass once again.
Also, would you say the fallible propagation of the Novus Ordo abrogates Quas Primas which bound the Church to just one Mass, the Tridentine Mass of Pope St. Pius V?
I believe a better solution is this:
Reform the reform until it can be reformed no more, then use that as a stepping stone to elimante it. While its beiing reformed increase the usage of the TLM and someday, like the post here says, since they would look so similar, one might as well use the TLM instead. Stepping stones people, that is what Bugnini and the gang did starting in the 1940s.
The Novus Ordo not only should be abrogated for prudential reasons, but there is an argument to be made that it must be abrogated because of the apparent violation of Canon 13 of Session VII’s On the Sacraments in general from the Council of Trent, which forbids, by anathema, the mere proposition (let alone the act) of changing the “received and approved rites” “into other new ones” “by whichsoever pastor of the churches”. (A pastor is one who is charged with the “care of souls”, e.g., a parish priest is the pastor of his parish, a bishop is the chief pastor of his diocese, and the pope is the Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.)
As for Vatican II, it could be rejected by a future pope (or a council in union with him) in toto (as a whole) but not in omnibus (every part).
Vatican II could be rejected in toto because the Council never invoked the extraordinary magisterium (i.e. it was merely ‘pastoral’, no solemn definitions, no anathemas, etc.) and thus can only claim ordinary and universal magisterium to the extent that it agrees with what the Church has always taught (i.e. tradition). That is, to the extent that it strays from tradition, Vatican II loses its claim to even ordinary and universal magisterium. Nor does Vatican II need to formally contradict tradition; it could be condemned for merely conflating tradition with error (which is one of the major reasons the robber council of Pistoia was condemned by Pius VI in his bull Auctorem Fidei).
On the other hand, Vatican II could not be rejected in omnibus (every part) because there are parts that repeat what has been always taught, even if sometimes as cover for the introduction of some novelty.
But the new Mass is the only one most people alive today have ever known, and some will refuse to make the transition, including many priests, creating a split in the Church!
They’ve already pulled the rug from under the faithful for all the wrong reasons, when they introduced the novus ordo. I don’t know if this would happen in our lifetimes, since I don’t think there’s anybody in the church that will do such a thing, unless they make bishop Fellay pope, and there’s a better chance of Louie being elected pope than Fellay. Maybe this pope is in diapers now.
I’m so glad someone finally said what needs to be said. The Reform of the Reform is a sham. The Novus Ordo Missae should be abrogated and forever forbidden to be said by any Catholic cleric.
Joe, the Church cannot split. Schism means merely to “cut off” from the Greek word. So those who refuse and leave the Church are the ones at fault, not the Church.
I personally would love to see the Novus Ordo Missae abrogated and agree completely with Fr. Kocik’s contention that it departs too far from the pre-Conciliar liturgy to ever be properly reformed.
I also agree with Louie’s contention that who really wants to see what a new committee would do with the traditional Mass. I believe it was Dietrich von Hildebrand who noted that our age, which is an age of technology, not poetry, should have been triply careful with reforming the liturgy. But of course we ignored that and for some reason thought that we were just the age to completely overhaul a centuries old liturgy.
Further, I tend to think that once the liturgical reform passed into the hands of the liturgical committee all bets were off and what the Council Fathers *really* wanted or what Sacrosanctum Concilium *actually* called for was something of a moot point.
First, the document seems elastic enough to accommodate almost any change to the liturgy as long as it’s done for “pastoral” reasons. Second, who was to tell the liturgical committee they were going too far? Pope Paul VI? I think they essentially had carte blanche to do whatever they wanted to the liturgy, and they took full advantage of it.
Dom Alcuin Reid, in reviewing “The Development of Liturgical Reform” which is based on the diary and notes of a Cardinal who was involved in the reform (though not a progressive) and thus knew first hand what was actually going on in the liturgical commission, provides some interesting quotes from the Cardinal:
“I am not enthusiastic about this work. I am unhappy about how much the Commission has changed. It is merely an assembly of people, many of them incompetent, and others of them well advanced on the road to novelty. The discussions are extremely hurried. Discussions are based on impressions and the voting is chaotic. What is most displeasing is that the expositive Promemorias and the relative questions are drawn up in advanced terms and often in a very suggestive form. The direction is weak.”
As the Consilium’s work proceeded, Antonelli’s concerns about its competence, its predilection for innovation and its consuming haste, grew. After some years’ experience of the Consilium he wrote that the liturgical reform was becoming “more chaotic and deviant”, adding:
“That which is sad…however, is a fundamental datum, a mutual attitude, a pre-established position, namely, many of those who have influenced the reform…and others, have no love, and no veneration of that which has been handed down to us. They begin by despising everything that is actually there. This negative mentality is unjust and pernicious, and unfortunately, Paul VI tends a little to this side. They have all the best intentions, but with this mentality they have only been able to demolish and not to restore.”
Of course, none of this evidence particularly matters to a number of conservatives, who simply must defend the liturgical changes at all costs as if a liturgical committee is infallibly inspired by the Holy Spirit. The only criticisms allowed are those of abuses, and if only we got rid of the abuses we would have just a wonderful liturgy.
Well, thankfully, more work is being done to show that the actual motives of the committee and how they operated had literally nothing in common with the ultimate aims of liturgy, which is to provide a sense of reverence and awe in the worship of God.
Fr. Ripperger deals with the dangers of a hybrid mass from a philosophical standpoint: “For example, those who think that we need to have a new ritual other than the Novus Ordo, due to the inherent and associated difficulties it bears, often reject the idea of “reconnecting to tradition”(21) and assert that “we cannot go back.” These suffer from a Hegelian metaphysical influence(22). In other words, they don’t want the Mass of Pope St. Pius V (thesis), nor the Mass of Paul VI (antithesis) but a new Mass which is often referred to as a combination (synthesis) of elements of both rituals.” – http://www.faithfulanswers.com/modern-philosophy-and-the-liturgical-development/
Andrew, my first comments were actually quotes of what Louie wrote
Evil destroys both what’s without and within. This Judas Council, along with its poisonous fruits, will eventually go down. One way or another.
Only the Mass of All Time will renew the holiness in the Church. It is most fitting that All Catholics should receive Christ before whom every knee shall bow, in heaven, on earth and under the earth. The loss of what is sacred lead to ‘sacrilege’…..’clown masses’……..Miserere!
Is the communion of the Blood of Our Lord with the blood of the martyrs not worth to defend what we are heirs off? Is the God given Catholic Faith no longer ours?
Can one believe such ‘absurd’ that the holy Church could have kept intangible, eternal truths free of corruption for two thousand years if they were expressed in languages that are constantly evolving and which differ from one country and even from one region to another? Latin is a universal language, a dead language…..the best means of protecting the faith…….in using it, the liturgy forms us into a universal……Catholic, communion.
‘You’re hung up on the past! You can’t change your ways! You can’t move with times!…….
What did they gain from opening the Church to the world, from these evil innovations?……….How many of the faithful, how many young priests, how many bishops, have lost the faith since the introduction of these reforms! Exodus from the Church to every stripe of a sect…….Loss of millions of souls! Let those who have eyes SEE, and those who have ears HEAR!
……..”One day, the true solution will be to examine the Council teachings, to REJECT what is against Tradition, to maintain what conforms to the teachings of the Church……and to make CLEAR what is AMBIGUOUS”……….Fr. Schmidberger SSPX
In my opinion, Sacrosantum Concilium is not quite as big of a problem as it is often thought to be. I’ve been learning much lately that the roots of the liturgical crisis are much deeper than Vatican II, even originating from before Vatican II. The reform proposed by the Council could have been implemented in a way that was much more moderate than the one that actually resulted. I’m not saying that Sacrosantum is all good, but that it is a far less important cause of the crisis than it is made out to be. I think in some ways it was used to justify certain aspects of the reform, in other ways it would not have condoned it; and I’ve read the opinion (based firmly in the history of the reform) that it might even have had a slight moderating force on the reform. (Strange opinions, mine.)
There was never a necessity for liturgical reform: all they had to do was to allow Mass said in the vernacular according to the translations already in use in bi-lingual missas, IF all they wanted was more active participation and understanding of the liturgy….they chose rather to change the right, PRECISELY because they wanted an effeminate religion, NOT the religion that comes from Christ, but one which they could accomodate to their own incestuous clerical mafias, which alas, have nearly taken over the entire Hierarchy and clergy, throughout the world…with Nigeria perhaps an exception
As Michael Davies so masterfully articulated in “Cranmer’s Godly Order,” the Catholics of England in the 16th century who eventually became adherents to the Church of England had not intended to become Protestants. The constant change in Catholic devotional life and liturgical life eventually took its toll to a point that England awakened one day to find itself Protestant.
Most of the those in the pews of our churches have ceased to believe in the whole and entire Faith that is the Catholic Church. Like in 16th century England, the loss of correct catechesis, accompanied by a deformed liturgical life (both of which are necessities for Catholics to hold on to the Faith) over the course of 50 years have effectively left practical Protestants in the majority of the seats of most Catholic churches.
Fr. Kocik has done nothing more than recognize that the post-Conciliar Church hath not the necessary arsenal to wage the war against the complete secularization of Catholics today.
But the damage is done.Now is time for rebuilding.
Pope Benedict was right to separate the old from the new and forbid they be mixed. But he didn’t go far enough. Instead of calling them separate “forms”, he should have distinguished them as separate “rites, the Latin version retaining as “Latin Rite,” and the vernacular should have been the “Vernacular Rite.” That way, there should not be any question of which one being the “normative.”
Pope Pius V’s codification of the Old makes it almost impossible to be altered. On the other hand, the New is so open-ended, it has already spawned quite a number of versions, namely, the Charismatic Mass, the Healing Mass (apart from the Sacrament of the Anointing), the Catechumenical Mass, the Youth Mass, the Puppet Mass, and lately, the Tango Mass. Let it divide and subdivide to infinity until it’s reduced to mere powder and be blown away by the wind.
A very wise priest once told me that a holy priest, no matter how reverently he “celebrates” the N.O. Mass, can make this mass holy because the N.O. Mass is INTRINSICALLY NOT HOLY. The priest gets his holiness from the Mass not the other way around. The TLM does not depend on the holiness of the priest to be holy—it is INTRINSICALLY HOLY. There are no (or little?) graces from the New Order Mass and must be abrograted. Louie, you have it right!!
Well, to be quite honest, the Roman Liturgy of 1962 actually needs some reforms, and they are:
2) The Rubrics of the 1920 Editio Typica of the Roman Missal be incorporated as much as possible
3) The abbrogated vigils be restored.
4) The Good Friday Prayer be restored in its original form BUT retaining the other versions except the 1970 version as OPTIONS.
5) The Pre-1955 Holy Week be restored.
6) More Prefaces, Propers to new saints be added. Perhaps the troped Kyrie could be brought back in.
7) Some parts of the Papal Ceremonial be simplified in lesser settings in order to conform in the surroundings.
8) Some saints removed in the Roman Calendar be restored without question.
9) The Candlemas practice of wearing a purple cope, but at Mass wearing white Vestments be restored.
10) Folded Chasubles be brought back to use.
@Verbum: I think that it is really a better and more plausible solution. Let us do it by first restoring minor details, like the Last Gospel and the Leonine Prayers, then the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and the gestures of the Roman Canon. Let us first let them do it in the vernacular while the new seminarians being trained to learn Latin in preparation of our Liturgical Bomb. Ah yes! Our hearts’ dream indeed it is.
Oh, sorry about the numbering glitch, didn’t notice that while copying from my blog. Sorry.
This abrogation process will begin after ‘The Warning’. In the Era of Peace (Fatima), the Tridentine will be the Latin Rite Mass celebrated. Novus Ordo will be totally abrogated by then. The underground Remnant Church, starting soon when Bergoglio institutes the Abomination of Desolation (expect that before the end of 2014), will have to temporarily support Novus Ordo Masses until there is sufficient training. Of course there will be no altar girls or EMHCs or women on the altar (lectors, etc), and women will cover their heads. Kneeling for Holy Communion and reception on the tongue will be mandatory. No more sacrilegious in the hand reception.
Scrap it. Who has ever attended two NO masses that are the same anyway? Different priest, different mass, different parish, different Mass. How many times do some people sit while others stand, some people start singing while others start speaking. How many different ways and times can the altar be prepared during Mass? How giant can a host get? How many different overheads can used to change the ‘mood’ of the mass? How many times can the altar be moved aside for liturgical dance? Who has ever had even the sense of incense at an NO parish? How ugly can vestments become – this investigation seems to be ongoing. How many little girls does it take to change a light bulb? way fewer than it takes to help father out with two candles.
And the current Pope has the nerve to call people’s ‘attachment’ to the ‘old’ Mass, ‘fashion’!? how’s that for modernist black is white double-speak.
If little kids can learn the Old Latin Rite, shame on adults who are too lazy.
p.s. I would also like the confession room with its two chairs facing each other abrogated. I want a confessional and a grate.
Yes Mr. V. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say.
OMT. No need to commingle the Liturgical reform with VII. The N.O. can be abrogated for pastoral reasons just as it was promulgated for pastoral reasons. The experiment failed.
With respect to VII, since it defined no dogma, whatever novelties that arose from it are not binging on the Magisterium. And since the original schemas have survived, a future council (I propose the Council of Econe) can abrogate it in toto, and can pick up where the original schema authors left off. And you don’t need to hire Ernst Young to tell you that.
We shouldn’t be as nasty to others in the same vein as what was done to us. How about leaving a handful of indult Novus Ordo masses around that people have to spend 2-3 hours driving to in order to be pastorally sensitive to those who have developed a liturgical attachment to the Pauline mass?
As a priest who has offered the Tridentine Mass regularly for the last 16 years, I have never, and will never, understand the desire for more prefaces. I just don’t get it. JUDICA ME DEUS, I’m glad you’re not in charge..
I know Father Kocik, he is a good YOUNG solid priest and we need many more like him. Emphasis on the word young. I hate to say it, but maybe when the priests, and bishops and even popes from the Woodstock era pass into eternity, we might get our Church back (?)
Rodj – heheh turn the tables tell the truth
A wider use of the 1965 missal is the solution to the problem of transitioning more people into the tridentine mass. This must be accepted. I do not argue that the 1965 mass is superior to the 1962. I acknowledge it’s minor failings and minor differences. These minor differences between the ’65 and ’62 are easily correctable however, they are easily united into the same use. And that is the important feature of the 1965, it remains the tridentine rite. It has all the traditional readings of the one year lectionary, all the blessings etc.
The reason why the Mass and Missal of 1965 is important and can not be dismissed is that it allows a vernacular language tridentine mass to be conveniently possible and accepted by the average parish. The 1965 missal has latin and vernacular language side by side on everypage, there are several editions of it available with a different language next to the latin. This is the only solution to unite everybody under the old liturgy. I know for a fact that to try to impose 100% latin in the liturgy on all the roman rite parishes of the world, even within a few years is such an uphill battle that it is near impossible to succeed.
The use of languages besides latin is here to stay, especially for aspects of the ordinary and propers which people and a schola would sing. It is a pandora’s box that can not be closed. The sooner we all admit this the sooner we will have a healthier traditional roman catholic church again.
To prove that vernacular itself is not the enemy, one need only look at the eastern catholic (as well as eastern orthodox) liturgies which have used multiple liturgical languages over many centuries, including most recently english, with great succeess. Their liturgies are equally beautiful and equally traditional no matter what language is used. Language must not be a tool that modernists successfully use to destroy tradition. It is tool that must be used by those who support tradition as well. Thanks to the anglicans and the catholic church music association (musicasacra.com) has on it’s page excellent collections of english plainchant exist, collections which match the tridentine liturgy alone and not the novus ordo.
Revive ’65 !
Remember the 1965 by it’s very nature of emphasizing propers and continuity would also allow the gradual acceptance of a greater degree of latin as well. It would allow for at least some of the mass, such as the canon to be retained in latin everywhere. Whereas some parishes may be comfortable with exclusive use of latin, for those in which they are not as comfortable they can use another language instead. In their early years of the SSPX until 1974 most of the chapels used the 1965 missal. If it was good enough for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to transition into the 1962, it ought to be good enough for the rest of the church to transition to the 1962.