2004 May/Sacrosanctum Concilium

Sacrosanctum Concilium was the document on the liturgy promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. It was promulgated forty years ago. Now Rome wants us to celebrate this promulgation. But is it a reason to celebrate or to lament? It remains obvious to anyone who opens his eyes that the Church is in apostasy and in an absolute disaster in what’s left of the liturgy. Yet Rome continues to deny that Vatican II is guilty in anyway whatsoever.

The Pope asked the Congregation of Divine Worship to issue an instruction on certain “abuses” in regards to the Mass and the [Holy] Eucharist. At least he acknowledges that there are worldwide abuses. In fact this document, Redemptionis Sacramentum, issued on the 25th of March 2004, by this aforementioned congregation, speaks mainly of abuses and tries to propose some remedies. But, Vatican II remains innocent. The real problem, according to this document, is that Vatican II was not understood or not properly followed. The same is said by Bishop Piero Marini, Master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, in his document “Liturgy and Beauty.” (2 February 2004) Here is what he writes in the beginning of his document:

“Those like myself, who are no longer young, have had the chance to experience the changes brought by the Council in the post-conciliar liturgical reform. The liturgical books have been enhanced with an unprecedented richness of biblical and euchological texts; rubrics, gestures and movements have been simplified, the place of celebration more clearly defined; there have been changes in vestments, church furnishings, iconography, music and hymns. We have moved from a Roman Liturgy characterised by uniformity (one language and fixed rubrics), to a liturgy more adapted to the sensitivity of men and women today, one open to adaptation and to different cultures, the expression of a Church of communion which sees diversity not as an essentially negative element but as an opportunity for the enrichment of unity.”

At a press conference, given on the 2nd of April 2004, Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, stated the same: ” … the importance of an examination of conscience on the way in which the Catholic Church followed the directives of the conciliar document”. While wanting “to testify to the validity of the directives of the Council”, the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments wished, at the time of this international conference, which had brought together many cardinals, “to take initiatives to deal with the abuses which appeared, contrary to the wishes and the directives of the council andtheMagisterium, during these last forty years “.

“These reflections, ” he added, “should also be a help for those who, sometimes, are tempted to lose confidence in the Church because of real or supposed abuses, but also for those who introduce idiosyncrasies1 – sometimes regarded as inculturation – into the sacred liturgy, or who refuse in principle the directives of Vatican II.”

For Mgr. Sorrentino, secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship, the conference on the liturgy is also a program: “it clarifies new challenges which face the Church and touches on the liturgy of our time”. Much too often, he regretted, “Vatican II appears in the collective imagination with an exaggerated sense of innovation”. Underlining “the increasing need for contemplation” in modern society, impregnated “by the methods of Eastern meditation “.

There is no doubt that one who reads these different interventions, instructions and documents, is filled with confusion. At one moment the liturgy is proclaimed as something that belongs to God; “the liturgy is not a battlefield but worship given to God” (Card Arinze) and the next that it is man-centered. In his document, Liturgy and Beauty, Bishop Marini, speaking of the Papal liturgy, claims: “Among the guidelines for a future reform of the papal liturgy, experts advised that all “secular” customs should be abolished and that papal celebrations, still tied to Renaissance principles and ceremonies, should be adapted to the new liturgical legislation. “(§6) Now then secular customs should be abolished, but, the new liturgical legislation is secular Ato Z. It was Pope Paul VI himself who sought the secularisation of the liturgy “to appeal to the psychology of modern man.” Modern society, and the modern Church has indeed adopted “eastern methods of meditation”, but whose fault is that? Again, let us not dare accuse the Vatican II! But inculturation is the great desire of this reigning Pope who claims that he is faithfully following the directives of the Second Vatican Council. Eastern methods of meditations, that is, Hindu and Budhist methods, which are diabolical, will then necessarily come into the Church through the open door of inculturation. The Pope’s meeting in Assisi with all these religions puts its final stamp of approval on these innovations. “Exagerated sense of innovation”! “Idiosyncrasies, sometimes regarded as inculturation “? Please tell us exactly what is exagerated and what is not, and how is inculturation distinguished from idiosyncrasies? Only vague, confused and ambigous answers are available from the above mentioned documents.

It is then clear from their writings that they have no intention of returning to the true and holy God-centered liturgy. Nevertheless, they see their own reform crumbling. It is as though they are trying their very best to keep the broken pieces together. One need only read the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (available at the Vatican site), to see their efforts. But how can they hope that such a document can repair the damage when it itself is replete with ambiguities and even contradictions. The document tries to condemn different “abuses”, but one is never sure which “abuses” they are speaking of, nor what may be the remedies, (see paragraphs 169 – 171). What’s more, the document Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Second Vatican Council which is their teddy-bear, is the very cause of these abuses which they abhor. One may ask; …. do they really abhor these abuses, or is it simply Lenin’s technique of “two steps forward one step back? “