Presaging a Revolution
Thomas A. Droleskey
[This article appeared, under the title "Going to the Heart of the Revolution," at TrueRestoration.com in two parts yesterday and today. It was solicited by Mr. Stephen Heiner, the editor of the True Restoration site. As I am indeed preparing a book on the subject matter of this article, Holy Week presented itself as an excellent opportunity to offer some comments on the harm of the preconciliar liturgical changes.
[I want to thank Father Ronald Ringrose, who uses the pre-1956 Missal at Saint Athanasius Church in Vienna, Virginia, for taking the time to review the article's first two drafts and making important comments and suggestions. I also want to thank Father Lawrence C. Smith for his own comments and reflections. Father Patrick Perez, who has spoken at length on this subject, is convalescing from a fall. However, he has been given a copy of the article for his review.]
“And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” (Mt. 21:9)
Holy Week began with First Vespers for Sunday this past Saturday evening, April 8, 2006. We are now in the midst of the most solemn week of the year, the week in which we enter deep into the mystery of God’s ineffable love for us by paying back in His Sacred Humanity the blood debt of our sins that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God.. The entirety of the Church’s liturgical calendar points to and proceeds from the events of Our Lord’s Paschal Triduum. Holy Week.
The ceremonies for Holy Week are some of the oldest parts of the Church’s liturgy, which is why it is important to understand how the attack upon the integrity of the liturgy of Holy Week was an important part of the attempt by the likes of then Father Ferdinando Antonelli, O.F.M. and Father Annibale Bugnini, C.M., to introduce major changes into the that liturgy so as to accustom Catholics for change and novelty as an ordinary fact of the liturgical life of the Church. The effort to destroy the integrity of the Holy Week liturgy was part of the “gradualism” of those who had coopted the Liturgical Movement and made it the vessel of their plan to Protestantize Catholic worship and doctrine.
One of the best places to find food for spiritual thought and an excellent description of the purity of the unreconstructed Holy Week ceremonies as they were codified in the Missale Romanum issued by Pope Saint Pius V in 1570 is Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year. A careful review of Dom Prosper Gueranger’s narrative will reveal how much was changed fifty years ago this year, when the “restored” Holy Week that had been approved by Pope Pius XII in November of 1955 was first offered, and why it is necessary for Catholics to seek the restoration of Missale Romanum issued by Pope Saint Pius V, who forbade any alterations whatsoever. Consider these telling words in Quo Primum:
“We likewise declare and ordain that no one whatsoever is to be forced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force. . . . Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this letter or heedlessly to venture to go contrary to this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone, however, presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”
Father Ronald Ringrose, the pastor Saint Athanasius Church in Vienna, Virginia, noted to me in early October of 2005 that the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V represented the zenith of the legitimate organic development of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, which is why Pope Saint Pius V closed off the possibility of any future changes in the Mass (other than the addition of new feast days and the proper parts of the Mass for those feast days). One cannot fully appreciate the truth of this position unless he experiences on a daily basis the beauty and the fullness of the Mass as offered before the changes inspired by Ferdinando Antonelli and Annibale Bugnini–and their revolutionary cohorts–in 1955 and in the six years that followed prior to the issuance of Missal of Pope John XXIII in 1961, which is commonly referred to as “the 1962 Missal.”
What am I talking about? Among many other things, which will be spelled out in a book on this subject that I intend to write reasonably soon, the fullness of the Mass of Pope Saint Pius V contains the following elements missing or changed considerably in the Missal of Pope John XXIII:
1) The rich array of octaves, fifteen in total, that extended the joy and solemnity of various important feasts in the Church’s liturgical year. Among the octaves, which were of various ranks, eliminated were those for the Feasts of: a) Corpus Christi; b) the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; c) the Epiphany; d) Saints Peter and Paul; e) All Saints; the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven; f) the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven; g) the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady; h) Saint Stephen; I) Saint Lawrence; j) Saint John the Evangelist; k) the Holy Innocents. A octave commemorates a particular feast over the course of eight days. A privileged octave takes precedence over all any liturgical celebration. An explanation of the other octaves and their particular histories will be provided in the book that is being written on the subject of the fullness of the pre-1956 Missal.
2) The mandatory use of second and third collects on ferial days and on the feasts of saints with the rank of semi-double and below, thereby giving God greater honor and glory and petitioning Him for the fullness of His graces upon the Church Militant and for the relief of the Poor Souls in the Church Suffering.
3) The commemoration of saints on the Sundays of the year, an indication of the fact that the friends of God who have been raised to the altars should be always on our minds and invoked in our prayers.
4) The celebration of the feast days of the saints as the Mass of the day even during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, demonstrating Holy Mother Church’s desire to honor the saints and to give her children some moments of joy during their journeys in the desert of prayer, penance and fasting.
5) The observance of the Vigil Masses for the significant feast days. Vigils (such as those for the Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Pentecost, the Epiphany, the Apostles). Vigils were times of mandatory penance and fasting. Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of the Little Flower, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, stressed the importance of the Vigil days with their five daughters. Suppressing Vigil Masses was an important means of eliminating the numbers of days of penance and fasting the liturgical calendar. This bias is reflected very clear in Paragraph 15 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal:
“Thus, there have been changes of some expressions bearing on the evaluation and use of the good things of the earth and of allusions to a particular form of outward penance belonging to another age in the history of the Church.”
Who says that “outward penance” belongs to “another age in the history of the Church?” Revolutionaries, that’s who. Revolutionaries who hated the concept of penance and fasting. Revolutionaries who used the suppression of the Vigils to relax the Church’s ancient discipline in anticipation of her great feasts.
6) The reading of the Gospel of the feria as the Last Gospel of the day when feast days are celebrated in Advent and Lent.
7) A liturgical calendar that was stable and predictable, reflecting, indeed, Pope Pius XII’s very own warnings about dramatic changes in the dates on which feast days would be celebrated.
8) The recitation of the Confiteor prior to the faithful’s reception of Holy Communion.
9) The celebration of the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church, in Paschaltide on the Wednesday of the Third Week in Easter, not on May 1 as the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker
10) The recitation of the Confiteor prior to the faithful’s reception of Holy Communion
11) Liturgies in Holy Week that maintained ancient Church usage and emphasized the role of the priest in each of their various component parts.
As we are in Holy Week, it is useful to discuss, if ever so briefly, the fact that changes in the Holy Week liturgies to Pope Pius XII by Fathers Antonelli and Bugnini were represented to the Holy Father to be the “restoration” of a primitive set of liturgies when they were no such thing at all. The very antiquarianism (the projecting back onto the past one’s revolutionary schemes for the present and the future) condemned by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei in 1947 emerged triumphant because the Holy Father was deceived by men he trusted. Scholarship has now proved that the antiquarian claims made to Pope Pius XII were just as false as the claims made by Annibale Bugnini about the origin of the various component parts of the Novus Ordo Missae.
Here are some of the principal changes in the Holy Week liturgies. These changes will be discussed in much more detail in my forthcoming book on this subject. One will see how these changes led directly to the Novus Ordo Missae:
1) Generally speaking, the faithful got accustomed to seeing the priest face them during significant parts of the Holy Week liturgies. The priest faced the people as he Blessed the Palms and recited the last prayer following the Procession on Palm Sunday, doing so also to bless the Baptismal water on Holy Saturday.
2) Palm Sunday saw significant changes: One Collect is prayed instead of seven. What is referred to as the Fore-Mass of the Blessing of the Palms in the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V was eliminated entirely. Also eliminated was the Gloria Laus ceremony at the door of the church. And, once again presaging the Novus Ordo Missae, brevity caused the Passion account according to Saint Matthew to be shortened, liminating the Anointing at Bethany and the Last Supper.
3) The Passion accounts according to Saints Mark and Luke in the Masses for Tuesday and Wednesday in Holy Week, respectively, were shortened, once again eliminating the Last Supper. This mania for "shortening" the liturgy is the very spirit that resulted in the Novus Ordo Missae, and it is the very spirit that prompted a pastor on Long Island, Monsignor Charles "Bud" Ribaudo, to tell his parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in North Merrick, New York, on a Good Friday in the 1980s to sit down for the reading of the Passion account according to Saint John. "You'll be much more comfortable," Monsignor Ribaudo told his people, who had gotten used to the "comforts" of "simplified" liturgies. It's not such a great leap from the spirit that motivated the 1956 Holy Week changes to the spirit that gave us the Novus Ordo Missae, is it?
4) The Last Gospel was suppressed for Holy Week, a foreshadowing of its total suppression in the Ordo Missae of 1965.
5) The Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday was abolished, replaced with a Communion Service. Communion was distributed to the faithful on Good Friday, a practice condemned by Pope Saint Pius X.
6) The role of the subdeacon was reduced and many of his functions were assumed by the deacon (the Levate on Good Friday). The choir and the priest replaced the subdeacon for the singing of the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday.
7) Proper parts of the Mass (the Lessons, the Epistle, the Passion) are read by ministers with the priest sitting down. Once again the elements of the Novus Ordo Missae are in place. True, the priest is not sitting in front of the tabernacle. However, he is sitting off to the side, inert and passive
8) Changes in phraseology, always a modus operandi of revolutionaries, became common. The Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics on Good Friday became the Prayer for “Church Unity.” Ecumenism, which was one of the chief motivating factors of Fathers Antonelli and Bugnini, was at work even in the pontificate of Pope Pius XII.
9) As a concession to the false god of democracy, the ancient prayer for the emperor was replaced with a prayer for those governing the republic. Dignitatis Humanae, call your office.
10) The Pater Noster is recited by everyone, including the faithful, on Good Friday. This changed was founded in Antonelli and Bugnini’s desire to promote the “active participation” of the faithful during Mass, which received greater impetus from the extension of the “dialogue Mass” in 1958.
11) The use of the vernacular was permitted at various points, including the renewal of baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil Mass.
12) The number of prophecies during the Easter Vigil Mass was reduced from twelve to four, a sign of the “simplification of the rites.” The Easter Exultet was also changed. A great deal of the history of salvation that is reviewed in the twelve prophecies is therefore lost to those who assist at the Bugnini Easter Vigil Mass.
13) The rubrics for the lighting of the Easter fire during the Easter Vigil Mass are entirely different than in the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V. The Easter Candle is lit during the singing of the Exultet in the fullness of the Mass of Tradition, not after the blessing of the Easter fire as the case in the Holy Week liturgy planned by Fathers Antonelli and Bugnini.
Some will object that the changes implemented between 1956 and 1962 were “necessary” to “simplify” rites that had become complex. Well, Pope Saint Pius V did not consider the rites complex. Diligent, well-formed priests were able to follow the rites codified by Pope Saint Pius V without a problem for nearly four hundred years, producing abundant fruit for the good of souls and right order in the Church. Pope Saint Pius V forbade alterations in the Missal he promulgated in 1570. Period.
Others will object that it is wrong to question changes authorized by such a holy man as Pope Pius XII and were accepted by a genuine hero of the Catholic Faith, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X. The holiness of Pope Pius XII and the heroism of Archbishop Lefebvre are not put into question at all by examining the scholarship that has been amassed in the recent decades about the true intentions of the liturgical revolutionaries, led in particular by Fathers Antonelli and Bugnini, who made false representations to Pope Pius XII, who the liturgical principles he outlined in Mediator Dei that were contradicted by the changes he authorized between November of 1955 and the time he died on October 9, 1958.
These are among the principles Pope Pius XII outlined in Mediator Dei:
The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days -- which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation -- to other dates; those, finally, who delete from the prayerbooks approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.
The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth. In spite of this, the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites may be of much advantage to the people. But the Apostolic See alone is empowered to grant this permission. It is forbidden, therefore, to take any action whatever of this nature without having requested and obtained such consent, since the sacred liturgy, as We have said, is entirely subject to the discretion and approval of the Holy See.
The same reasoning holds in the case of some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately. The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. The more recent liturgical rites likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world. They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of man.
Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.
Clearly no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas by the Church, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit with abundant fruit for souls, because it pleases him to hark back to the old formulas. No more can any Catholic in his right senses repudiate existing legislation of the Church to revert to prescriptions based on the earliest sources of canon law. Just as obviously unwise and mistaken is the zeal of one who in matters liturgical would go back to the rites and usage of antiquity, discarding the new patterns introduced by disposition of divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstances and situation.
This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "deposit of faith" committed to her charge by her divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn. For perverse designs and ventures of this sort tend to paralyze and weaken that process of sanctification by which the sacred liturgy directs the sons of adoption to their Heavenly Father of their souls' salvation.
Thus, it is to criticize no one person or no decision made by any prelate to look at the necessity of adhering the fullness of the Missale Romanum as it was issued by Pope Saint Pius V in 1570. We know more now than thirty or forty years ago. Just as some people saw the harm of the Novus Ordo while others did not, some priests who wanted to do something to cleave to Tradition saw the harm of the preconciliar liturgical changes while others did not. Men were doing the best they could under unprecedented circumstances in the history of the Church to decide how to act.
Yet others will object that to raise this issue is to “divide” traditional Catholics unnecessarily and/or to show one’s “sedevacantist” tendencies. Well, do not those who adhere to and defend the Novus Ordo Missae make the same charge about traditionalism in general, that raising any questions about the new Mass is, in se, divisive and unnecessary?
While it is true that the “nine” priests of the Society of Saint Pius X who raised the issue of maintaining the pre-1956 are associated with sedevacantism to one degree or another (some hold it to be a legitimate theological opinion without making a definitive judgment, which belongs to the Church alone; others have made a firm declaration that the conciliar popes are antipopes), the arguments they have made about the pre-conciliar liturgical changes cannot be dismissed on the basis of an ad hominem attack. Excellent work has been done on this matter by each of the “nine” in the past twenty-three years. An article of the then Father Daniel Dolan in The Roman Catholic in 1983 spelled out the issues in a great deal of detail. The statement of the “nine,” which was published in The Roman Catholic that same year, 1983, makes some very good points on matters of liturgy and discipline. And Father Francesco Ricossa’s article, “The Liturgical Revolution,” on the Catholic Restoration website is irrefutable. One cannot dismiss this work simply because those who have undertaken it have come to conclusions that are not within the competency of anyone other than a future pope or council to determine and declare. The work stands on its own merits.
That having been noted, however, one does not have to be a sedevacantist to reach these same conclusions. Father Patrick Perez, the pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Garden Grove, California, who is calumniated endlessly by a few priests within the Society of Saint Pius X as a sedevacantist, prays audibly for Pope Benedict XVI in the second collect for the Pope in those matters where said collect must or is permitted to be offered. Sedevacantists do not accept his ordination to the priesthood at the hands of Alfons Cardinal Stickler as valid because they do not accept Cardinal Stickler’s own episcopal consecration. Having been ordained as a member of a community, the Institute of Christ the King, that was founded originally to use the full Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V, Father Perez has a deep appreciation for and a masterful grasp of the history of the development of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and the necessity of cleaving to the fullness of the Mass of Tradition without any concessions to the work of Antonelli and Bugnini. He has taught Fathers Lawrence C. Smith and Paul Sretenovic the importance of the fullness of the Missale Romanum, which is why each offers the Mass according to the rubrics in place before the changes announced in November of 1955 were implemented in 1956.
The aforementioned Father Ronald Ringrose came to a decision, after much study and reflection, in 1997 that he had to use the pre-1956 Missal. He explained this very carefully to his parishioners, distributing them a list of reasons why he made his decision. His explanation included a careful listing of the revolutionary changes that had taken place between 1955 and 1961. That list was most helpful in the composition of this article. Father Ringrose, who is a very sober and precise theologian, is not a sedevacantist. He works closely with the Society of Saint Pius X. He came to the conclusion that God was due the fullness of the worship that had been codified in perpetuity by Pope Saint Pius V.
The charge of “sedevacantist leanings” against those who promote and/or use the pre-1956 Missal is, therefore, an emotional red herring. After all, it is not infrequently the case that diocesan priests ordained in the new rite are asked, although not required, by the Society of Saint Pius X to undergo a conditional re-ordination, which is an explicit expression of a doubt concerning the validity of the new rite of priestly ordination. This is a position shared by the sedevacantist communities. Does this make the Society of Saint Pius X sedevacantist? No more than studying the importance and desiring to attach oneself to the fullness of the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V makes one a sedevacantist.
It must also be noted that many priests in the Society of Saint Pius X do not follow strictly the 1961 Missal. That is, it is the practice in most of the Society’s chapels, at least here in the United States, that the “second” Confiteor, the one that is prayed by the altar servers before the administration of Holy Communion to the faithful, is recited even though it was abolished in the 1961 Missal issued by Pope John XXIII. Furthermore, most priests of the Society do not face the people at the blessing of the palms on Palm Sunday, as is required by the Holy Week rubrics that went into effect fifty years ago this year. Thus, there is not a complete and total rejection within the Society of Saint Pius X of the fullness of the Missale Romanum issued by Pope Saint Pius V. The Church calls for a strict adherence to the rites of whatever Missal is being used. The Society has chosen to “mix and match” rites from the pre-1956 Missal with the 1961 Missal, thereby arrogating unto itself a decision that is left to the Church itself.
Indeed, one of the chief and most justifiable criticisms of many of the indult offerings of the Mass of Tradition is the incorporation of rubrics from the Ordo Missae of 1965 and even the Novus Ordo Missae itself. Pope John Paul II had specifically forbade such “mixing of the rites” in his 1988 Ecclesia Dei motu proprio. Nevertheless, the first President of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Paul Augustin Cardinal Mayer, O.S.B., granted permission for the use of the readings from the Novus Ordo Lectionary for Sunday Masses at the request of some American bishops. The distribution of Communion in the hand is not an uncommon feature in some indult Masses. A priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Monsignor George Graham, recently inserted the General Intercessions of the Faithful into an indult offering of the Traditional Mass at the former Saint Pius X Preparatory Seminary in Uniondale, New York. The faithful at the weekly indult Mass at Epiphany Cathedral in Sioux City, Iowa, were for many years denied their right to kneel for the reception of Holy Communion.
Without condemning a single soul in the Society of Saint Pius X, it is a little ironic that the Society has arrogated unto itself the right to change rubrics codified into the 1961 Missal while criticizing quite rightly the inroads of the Novus Ordo Missae into so many indult Masses. As much as the Society of Saint Pius X is to be admired and applauded for its strong defense of the Catholic Faith, the institution that God has provided to force the Vatican to pay attention to traditional Catholics, it is not the Church. It does not have the authority to incorporate rubrics from one Missal into another. There are, obviously, elements of the pre-1956 Missal that appeal to the Society, which is why those of us who are raising this issue hope that there will be an openness on the part of its good bishops and priests to considering a further study of cleaving to the fullness of what Pope Saint Pius V had mandated to be used in perpetuity.
Additionally, there is a modest degree of interest in the pre-1956 Missal among seminarians and priests within the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. More than one priest in that community has told me that he would love to use the pre-1956 Missal. It is also my understanding that there are some priests in the Institute of Christ the King who adhere to the Missal for which that community was founded to offer before Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei mandated the use of the 1961 Missal. Thus, the charge of sedevacantism made by some in the Society of Saint Pius X has less to do with who is a sedevacantist than with the fact that there was one priest in the Society of Saint Pius X who refused a direct order from Archbishop Lefebvre to accept an assignment in a parish that used the 1961 Missal, prompting eight other priests to stand with him against the Archbishop. The irony of this is that, according to at least one priest who had been a member of the Society, the late Archbishop regretted his decision to use the 1961 Missal and was considering shortly before his death a return to the pre-1956 Missal.
To study the importance of seeing how the pre-conciliar liturgical changes were meant to lead to Novus Ordo Missae itself is not to state that there is anything inherently heretical in those changes. Even the now Bishop Daniel Dolan admitted that in his 1983 article on the pre-conciliar liturgical changes. Father Perez has noted this in various talks he has given on the subject, stating that no one should boycott Mass offered according to the 1961 Missal issued by Pope John XXIII or think ill of the Society of Saint Pius X for using it. To raise this issue is to encourage traditional Catholics to look at the patrimony that was taken away by the liturgical revolutionaries, led by Fathers Antonelli and Bugnini, who were doing the work of many of their comrades, such as Dom Lambert Beaudoin, and to recognize the beauty and the perfection that is found in the fullness of the Mass of the ages that was codified in perpetuity by a canonized pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Saint Pius V.
Fathers Antonelli and Bugnini had no way of knowing for sure that their “first shot across the bow” in 1955 would lead to what they wanted, the destruction of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. They had no way of knowing that an ecumenical council of the Church would be called to “salvage” their pet project, ecumenism. They were doing what they could under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII to push their agenda under their false pretenses and misrepresentations. The scholarship that has been done in the past decades should prompt an honest soul to see how the cumulative effect of the changes wrought first in 1955 resulted in things that could not be seen clearly even in the 1970s.
Father Patrick Perez noted at the Catholic Family News conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 30, 2005, that the Church in her human elements is suffering from the “curse of Quo Primum,” as he termed it. That is, the inability to see the problems with pre-conciliar liturgical changes is itself part of the larger blindness and Diabolical Disorientation that clouds the minds of so many Catholics in these times of almost unprecedented ecclesiastical disarray. We must pray, therefore, that more and more priests and laity will come to study these issues, which is why I am preparing a book on this subject, which will be presented to the bishops and the priests of each traditional community, no matter where said community stands in the confederation of warring tribes that make up the traditional movement, for their review and comment before its publication.
Pope Paul VI’s own words prove that the changes of the 1950s were meant to lead to the Novus Ordo. This is what he wrote when he issued the Novus Ordo in 1969:
“Since the beginning of this liturgical renewal, it has also become clear that the formularies of the Roman Missal had to be revised and enriched. A beginning was made by Pius XII in the restoration of the Easter Vigil and Holy Week services; he thus took the first step toward adapting the Roman Missal to the contemporary mentality.”
The “contemporary mentality” is what has devastated the Faith, has it not?
As one who did not experience the fullness of Holy Week until just last year, at age fifty-four (the “reformed” Holy Week went into effect when I was just four years and five months old), I can attest that the differences between what was in place before 1956 and what is used in the 1961 Missal are as stark as the differences between 1961 and 1969. If you have an opportunity to avail yourselves of the oases provided by Fathers Perez, Sretenovic, Smith, and Ringrose, among others, this Holy Week, please do so. You will want to turn your clocks back for the rest of your lives.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Pope Saint Leo the Great, pray for us.
Pope Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.
Pope Saint Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint John Fisher, pray for us.
Saint Edmund Campion, pray for us.
Saint Peter Canisius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Louis Grignon de Montfort, pray for us.
Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Giuseppe Maria Tomasi, pray for us.
Saint Padre Pio, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.