I will begin this post on a personal note.
Growing up in the city of Chicago, I still vividly remember the liturgical changes brought about by the “spirit of VII”. Our school days started with daily Mass, as was the case pre-VII. The change over in the liturgy occurred between my 5th and 6th grades.
The reason that I remember this vividly is that I always wanted to be an altar boy. At our parish, the rule was 6th grade. It probably had to do with age more than the grade level, but this is not relevant to the story. All the boys who wanted to be altar boys once 6th grade rolled around would attend a special class where we would learn the Mass and responses in Latin. The parish had a need for a large contingent since first mass was at 05:30 and each subsequent mass started 30 minutes later. However, there were always more candidates than slots, so the competition was intense. The school mass was the 7:30 Mass, after which our school day began.
The reason why there was a large competition for becoming an altar boy was that if you served one of the earlier Masses, you were excused from attending the school Mass at 07:30. Therefore, all the altar boys who served the earlier Masses would hang out at the local sandwich shop while the rest of the school was at the 07:30 Mass. For a 10 year old, that was the epitome of “Cool”. And this was more important than the tips the altar boys got from serving at weddings and funerals. An indication of how competitive the selection process was, I still recall getting caught reading the prayer cards during class. My 5th grade teacher was the last old time nun that I ever encountered. And I remember that this was probably the only time I did not get a punishment for doing something that I wasn’t supposed to be doing. But I digress….
The reason why I remember this so vividly, was that once 6th grade rolled around, all the altar boys were called in and were given the new order of Mass. Gone was everything from the Latin to the prayers at the foot of the altar. It was a real letdown. A traumatic experience that literally shattered my ideal childhood. The next year, my family moved to the suburbs, and what I experienced there was even more traumatic, in that the church didn’t even resemble a church. It looked more like a space ship than anything. Looking for an explanation of why all this was happening, I blamed it on the hippies. This being Chicago, a couple of years after 1968 and the Democratic convention, they were readily available boogey men. Besides, this new mass at the spaceship church had all those trappings. And the forced field trips to see the movies Godspell and JC Superstar just reinforced my notions that this was in fact the case.
Fast forward to today. In my mail box, I find an email with the attached link which I have embedded above. Before I go any further, I need to qualify what I will write below. I am a large admirer of Father Anthony Cekada. I do not share his views with respect to the papacy, in that I am what the S.V. would call a “Magistarium Sifter”. However, as a well formed Catholic, I can distinguish between objective facts and subjective opinions. Furthermore, I can
judge assess material for its objective value regardless of the subjective opinions of the source. Furthermore, I have also come across an excellent post on just this topic at the Mundabor website. (see here) Here is the relevant passage pertaining to just this type of situation:
Still, the fact remains: some of these Sedes are faithful Catholics who, whatever their errors, I believe far more pleasing to God than, say, 97% of Western Bishops. Some of them are, also, very good at explaining Catholic doctrine, and defending the Tridentine Mass. This is no surprise, as in many cases we are talking, whatever Voris & Co. May think, of very orthodox, high quality Catholics. Should we, therefore, link to their material, may the one or other Catholic blogger have asked ask?
I would answer that it depends on the actual situation, and of the weighing that we must make of whether the exposure to the good material is outweighed by the exposure to the bad one.
Therefore, I will leave it up to you dear reader whether the linked material met the “Mundabor threshold” for linking to material produced by S.V.’s
Now that was a long disclaimer.
With respect to the subject at hand, the reason that I am reproducing this material, besides that it is the best explanation of the cause of most of the problems within the Catholic Church today (IMHO), is that it supports a most excellent post on exactly this subject that appeared in on the Rorate Caeli blog a few months ago. (see here) This post dealt with the “creation” of the Eucharistic Prayer II. Here is the relevant passage:
The unbelievable scene is not unknown, it has been mentioned elsewhere before, but now confirmed in the published recollections of one of the two men involved: during the mad rush to have the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Mass of Paul VI) ready as soon as possible, the Consilium, the 1963-1970 organization charged with the upheaval and destruction of the Roman Rite under the guise of “reform” and under the control mostly of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, had reached a new level of ignominy in composing a new “canon”. The draft was so bad and dangerous that the new Eucharistic Prayer had to be rewritten in a hurry and at the last minute during a late-night meeting by two men in a Roman restaurant.
For one and a half millennium, the Canon of the Roman Mass had been almost completely unchanged (which is why it was called a Canon, a rule, unchanged and unique). Now, after the Council, and without a single mention in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), the Consilium decided to offer new Anaphoras as if they were ice cream flavors. The new “Eucharistic Prayers” were released in the fateful month of May 1968, while Western youth was on worldwide revolt (therefore, theoretically, for the 1965-1967 maimed version of the ancient Ordo Missae, but in truth preparing the way for the New Mass introduced in 1969). Why the rush? As with everything in the liturgical revolution, Bugnini and his minions knew they had to get everything done as fast as possible before they could be stopped by a dangerous wave of common sense. They won. And the Church got an aggressively-imposed new multiple-choice rite stuck in 1968.
The story of what would become the most popular of the new “Eucharistic Prayers” (Eucharistic Prayer II) is so insulting to the venerable Roman Rite that it beggars belief, and shows once again why the New Mass is the opposite of everything that is true and tested. It is a shallow committee-work of out-of-touch “experts” so proud and revolutionary that they thought they were entitled to pass judgment on the immemorial heritage of almost 2,000 years of organic development and sincere devotion of saints, priests and faithful, something so bizarre that wiser minds have called it “a banal on-the-spot product.”
Cardinal Ratzinger was right to call the New Mass thus, as Sandro Magister makes clear below (translation from his Italian-language blog) when speaking of the memoirs of Fr. Louis Bouyer, one of the (later much disappointed) consultants of the Consilium. The memoirs were recently published in France by Éditions du Cerf:
To understand the problems of the Church, one needs to go to the source. The source is not so much Vatican II, since the production of a simple Syllabus of Errors and subsequent “forced adherence” can rectify the problem very easily. The real problem is in the Lex Orandi. And it is this aspect of the “spirit of Vatican II”, that if understood properly and rectified, can “provide the rudder” to the Barque of St. Peter in a relatively short period of time.
And from what I observe occurring in modernist Rome, this is where the real battle between good and evil is being waged.