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venerdì 2 settembre 2011

The Second Vatican Council has responsibility for the degeneration of the liturgy?

Luckily for me, I'm not directly affected by this problem but a man who kindly read my reflections, sometimes he asks me some questions like this and, I think, it'is courtesy to respond him.

I will do it in a very frank manner  with the intention to respect anyone.

It's known as, a front to some distortions of the Catholic worship, the actual Pope has wished two kinds of remedies:

- The first removes any kind of ban to the so-called "Tridentine" liturgy . In the general mentality this liturgy is called as "pre-counciliar". But this liturgy was celebrated in the council and, for some time, even after it;

- The second remedy is to offer the so-called "hermeneutic of continuity": the Second Vatican Council must be read in continuity with tradition, then this also concerns the liturgy; the Council has no responsibility for innovation and even less degeneration of the liturgy. This is what it'is said by placing a fixed point not to discuss more.

I do not know how, but when I see these things, I think that, in history, other times someone has tried to shut the mouths and stop the minds imposing an interpretation that then, as these does not correspond to reality, opened up other problems worse. (See, for example, the case of Monotheletism where, at some point, the Byzantine emperor ordered to not talk about it more without to offer a real solution to the dogmatic dispute).

Even for this, I think totally different!

The division "will of the Council - will of the post-conciliar reformers" seem to be a wall that divides aseptically two historical moments, as if, between the previous and subsequent, there is no relationship. Is it possible? Is it historically justified? I do not think at all, especially since that the one, who says this, does not put forward any evidence that supports the claim!

Personally I find this division very fictional, functional, to save the Council's decree, the moral authority of a council, but deeply unfair towards institutions, persons involved and of the story, as actually took place.

About this, curiously, two opposite "parties" agree completely:

- The radical reformers (who scream treason of the Council for the attemps of catholic restoration by the Vatican in recent years);

 - The traditionalists "lefebvrians" (screaming responsibility to the Council for the dogmatic and liturgical abuses and eresies in the Catholic world).

Both parties, through different perspectives, see the historical continuity between the Council and the post-conciliar period, not walls, interruptions, aseptic divisions. Although these divisions seem me very dangerous for a healthy reasoning because they are purely ideological. The piece that they pose is worse than the disease they want to heal.

How should one read it?

You can support the dichotomous division between a "good" council and a post-conciliar "evil" period, as the Vatican suggested us?

As you know, the Second Vatican Council, in its liturgical constitution do not speak about a reform, perhaps not even glimpse it. The council insists, rather, that the traditions may be fostered and promoted and presented in a way that is pastorally fruitful in the present-day to the man (this is the synthesis of Sacrosanctum Concilium).

For no remain in a vacuous theory we must ask: who were the makers and players of the Second Vatican Council?
Answer: the bishops and the pope!

Now, the majority of the bishops was not thinking and not imagined the liturgical reform that happened (good or bad) but they put their minds and their hearts to the pope and his entourage, knowing that, then something would be born. The proof is the fact that almost everyone accepted the liturgical reforms after the Council, although, before, they not even imagined all of this. A relative minority of bishops, including the pope himself, pressed to achieve those reforms. They, therefore, are the true authors. Both these authors and those who endorse them, simply can not be disrupted by the Second Vatican Council with artificial reasoning!

The pope delegated to a committee the reform of liturgical rites and the project of a "new" Mass. The delegation does not remove the responsibility of the pope; he continues to be  more than ever at the center of these events.

Paul VI, in doing so, not only appealed to his papal authority, but he supported himself to the Council giving it the will of changement that he personally carried. And he did not stop there: he gave to the council the same mentality with which those changes were made. Also in the same direction he solemnly forbade the use of the "tridentine" missal.

We have all the documents that testify these facts and now we can not - for convenience - not to say that was so, saying that the council had other intentions, since the fundamental authority of it (including pope Paul VI) had very different ideas. If we insist in the opposite direction, then we must admit that the pope was a usurper, a traitor of the Council.

In fact, I am of the opinion that Paul VI was the real soul of the Second Vatican Council and, if
we want to understand the Council, we must observed pope Paul VI in its best moments, but also in his naivety and in his falls.

Then, we can not build an historia ad usum Delphini because history is evident and no authority, not even the highest on earth even a pope, has the power to change it or blind the reason denying this evidence!

The fruit of the liturgical commission, commissioned by the pope, was a ritual that, in too many points, resembles an anglican "Mass". When Paul VI saw that the man to whom he had given blind trust (the famous Msgr. Bugnini, chairman of the committee) had taken the job in a radical way by implementing a reform that opened the door to liturgies "too Protestant" he was frightened and sent him as nuncio in Tehran for the rest of his life.
Perhaps Paul VI would not have done so if two cardinals, Bacci and Ottaviani, had not caused a sensation and scandal with a famous open letter in which they denounced the protestantization of the Roman Missal ...

However, the new liturgical creation remained, without some excessive element. The pope did not think to correct it further: it was his creation!

This kind of mass is very close to the anglican rites and it'is an inclined plane, leaning on wich one slips imperceptibly into a way of praying and an protestant or anglican atmosphere.

I ask: how could, a man, claim to be Catholic when he still has a cult almost identical to that of an Anglican? The biggest difference is almost exclusively the liturgical commemoration of the pope, but the ethos of the liturgy is almost equivalent ...

This is not, perhaps, unconsciously deceive oneself?

Let me explain better by a paradoxical example, but certainly not far from reality: a Catholic
church where the cult is almost like a Protestant Supper, with the commemoration of the pope, can still be said truly Catholic? I am sure not, even if this church has support and sympathy of the local bishop and is in full communion with Rome!



It's so because some things are before and above human authorities. The tradition (even the liturgical tradition) is superior to the people and, even, directs people. In fact, in a traditional context, the highest authority in the Church keep it and serve it living it; they are not the owners or handlers. Reversing the order of these things is very dangerous and may invalidate the Church to a purely secular event, as we see it often ...

To understand this, you need to travel, observe the lutheran liturgy, sometimes more noble and solemn of a catholic liturgy, attend the anglican worship and, well, the traditional catholic and byzantine rites.

The atmosphere of a "Tridentine" liturgy  (to which I have not necessarily marked preference) is certainly much closer to the byzantine because, here, the symbolic forms are still respected, not obscured or distorted, as in those cases where individuals can freely choose.

The so-called "Rite of Paul VI", however, introduces some subjectivist principles that exist -
seeing them or not - in the name of pastoral conveniences. This tends to create a permanent disfigurement to the symbol and to the sense of tradition, sense for which is the liturgy that changes us, not us, we change the liturgy.

The post-conciliar liturgical problems are, then, the catalysts of dogmatic, spiritual and ecclesiological "nodes". All this opens up so many threads on which, at this moment, I do not
want to go.

If the Council, then the bishops who were present in this event, did not have any relation with the liturgy of Paul VI, and no relationship with certain inevitable drift of the reformed liturgy, they should be the first against all this. They should have said, both individually and together: "We are against all this, we witness that the Second Vatican Council did not want this!" The pope, then, was to support them.

This, or a part of this, has happened?
Not only  this not happen (except some isolated cases, condemned and despised by all, and  this reinforces my reading) but the bishops themselves have been promoters (and partly still are) of liturgical abuses in the name of Vatican II.

Paul VI, torn between traditionalists and innovators, expressed distrust against excesses, but he defended with nails and teeth his liturgical creature structurally inclined towards abuses.

In this, he was a man very contradictory and ambivalent.

I'm sorry that this contradicts strongly the attempt, written in very good faith, by many Catholics and by the current pope, to show a "good council" aseptically divided and alien to a bad situations.

It's the circumstance to say: contra factum non valet argumentum!

It follows that, even if not directly, the Council has had connection with some liturgical alterations in recent years and this can not be denied, since the overwhelming majority of those same bishops who participated at the Council did nothing to prevent the alteration, but even, often encouraged it actively or tacitly.

The Council must be understood not only by his writings - it'is too easy, so we say what we want and it's pure ideology! - but, above all, by its people and its actors!

I believe we must hope in God, in order that so many situations, difficult and sadly ill, can turn into a healthy return to the tradition.

At the present, however, the road is very long since it seems that the latent lutheran soul  float, here and there, in too many areas of the Catholic world ...

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