America Magazine: Bp. Trautman reviews “A Challenging Reform” of Piero Marini

In America Magazine His Excellency Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of Erie, has reacted to the book that came out over the name of H.E. Piero Marini, the former papal MC, probably ghost written by others.  To this day there is no Italian edition.

Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.

 

A Challenging Reform By Archbishop Piero Marini in book

Consilium Versus Curia
By Donald W. Trautman | APRIL 14, 2008
A Challenging Reform
By Archbishop Piero Marini
Liturgical Press. 205p $15.95

Archbishop Piero Marini served as the leading liturgist of the Holy See for 25 years. As master of papal liturgical ceremonies and as secretary/confidant to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the chief architect of the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council, Marini now presents the inside story of the fierce struggle fought within the Vatican to implement the liturgical restoration overwhelmingly approved by the council fathers. Written with firsthand knowledge, A Challenging Reform details the Curia’s opposition and its tactics to reverse the direction set by the “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.”

Carefully documented, critically analyzed and candidly presented, Marini’s book reflects a historical memory [and also highly subjective] of the clashes and conflicts between the anti-reformists and reformists over the interpretation and implementation of the liturgy constitution. Edited by three well-known liturgical and linguistic scholars—Mark Francis, C.S.V., John Page and Keith Pecklers, S.J.A Challenging Reform is the best single-volume overview of the beginning of the liturgical reform. [I would agree... but not, perhaps, for the same reasons as His Excellency.] The first six chapters are devoted to the formative period of the liturgical restoration. The seventh chapter examines the developments after this initial reform (1965-80). The appendix contains the text of seven pivotal documents that are valuable resources for understanding the context of the reform.

To assist in implementing the “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” Pope Paul VI established a group known as the Consilium. It was international, competent, collegial and productive: it generated reformed liturgical texts. But the Consilium met immediate opposition from the Congregation for Rites. As Marini notes:

    The Consilium and the Congregation for Rites championed two different perspectives. The Consilium remained true to its mission in support of a liturgy open to renewal. [And here is the point championed in the book... - play sinister music here...: ] The Congregation for Rites was still firmly anchored to a limited tradition since the Council of Trent and not in favor of the broad innovations desired by the Council.

The suspicion and stress encountered by the Consilium [poor things] in interacting with the congregation point out [and with the following you can tell where H.E. comes down.] a basic failure in ecclesiology that persists to this day: a collegial mindset versus a Curial mindset. [Notice the assumption that these two must automatically be in conflict... might we say... there was a rupture?] This was clearly evident at the very beginning of the liturgical reform, when there was strong, strident curial opposition to the conciliar endorsement of the vernacular. [Note what he said "opposition to the endorsement"] The Congregation for Rites sought to limit its use and to deny bishops’ conferences the right to approve vernacular texts. [In the next sentence H.E. admits that the SCR was not opposed to all use of the vernacular.  The real reason for the SCR's opposition stemmed from the a desire to check the real motive of those involved with the Consilium, especially its Secretary Annibale Bugnini, that is, to strip the curia of power - especially the SCR which had some time before removed Bugnini from his teaching post at the Pontifical Lateran University - diminish the role of the Pope and curia in favor of local conferences of bishops (which would also have diminished the authority of bishops as individuals!).  Many of the things the Consilium forwarded were motivated, and strongly so, by a desire to decentralize.  This is where Bp. Trautman's self-interest comes into play: he doesn't want Rome to be able to shape and approve the new translation of the Missale Romanum. He has advocated resistance to the norms for translation in Liturgicam authenticam.  He is pretty much still fighting the fight of Annibale Bugnini.] The congregation opposed the use of the vernacular for prefaces and eucharistic prayers. Only with the endorsement of Pope Paul VI did the views of the Consilium finally prevail.

The Consilium also experienced a frontal attack from the Curia, with the unprecedented public opposition of Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci. Their statements reveal the re-trenchments so embedded in the Curia of that time. Marini’s book fosters in the reader a new esteem for the liturgical re-formers [To an extent, I agree.  As I read this book I too marveled at the sheer brilliance of men like Bugnini to manipulate the circumstances, map out a strategy to use the Council, still in session, as a hammer against the SCR, bring the Pope over to his views and then work with tenacious energy and great speed to move from meeting to meeting, memo to draft to document... even sending things to the printers before they had gotten final approval.  Truly amazing.] and their efforts to make the liturgy more responsive to pastoral concerns and biblical sources. They paid a personal price for their efforts, but they gave new liturgical life to the universal church.  [And the Church has paid a terrible price along with them.]

Archbishop Marini has rendered a great service to the contemporary church and succeeding generations by documenting so clearly the birth pains of the liturgical reform of Vatican II.  [While I don't believe Marini wrote the book (he was clearly deeply involved), I agree that this volume is truly invaluable.] He takes us behind the scenes, showing the role played by Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro and the Rev. (later Archbishop) Bugnini in fighting against efforts of the Congregation for Rites to derail the reform. [Or perhaps, check the imprudent rush based on and unhealthy ideology?] For example, even though the council had restored concelebration in the Western church for wider use, the congregation was still restricting the number of concelebrants and insisting on the use of a metal straw, excluding drinking directly from the chalice. [Remember: the issue that was fought out was over who gets to determine how concelebration was going to be handled: concelebration became a weapon in Bugnini's war on the Curia.]

[And now you get a sense of what the old Second Nocturn of the Breviary was like... ] Thanks to Marini’s book, we now appreciate all the more something we often take for granted: the restoration of the vernacular, “noble simplicity” in the rites, concelebration and reformed liturgical books (Roman Missal, Roman Pontifical, Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgy of the Hours). He gives us a deeper appreciation of the enormous work that led to “full, conscious and active participation”—the prayer of the faithful, the rediscovery of the priesthood of all the faithful, the Novus Ordo and the recognition of various liturgical ministries entrusted to the laity.  [Not that we have seen many positive fruits but... who knows.... now that we have also the old Mass as another option, perhaps some of these other things hoped for by the Council will blossom as well.]

All this did not happen without painstaking research and scholarly study, much dialogue and debate, and always countless meetings. [Truly... people who know how to run meetings and control procedure wield great power.] This rich liturgical legacy of Vatican II has nourished the church’s worship [and emptied our churches and seminaries?] for almost 40 years.

[play sinister music again...] But are we seeing signs today of retrenchment, a return to a liturgical practice and piety from before Vatican II? [I love the way these are couched as rhetorical questions.] Do we see signs of a preconciliar mentality, a Curial ecclesiology, [Ooooo...] influencing the liturgy? Are there parallels between the first days of the renewal and the present time? Marini’s book is a wake-up call to contemporary Catholics to sustain the liturgical achievements [In other words to fight against Pope Benedict and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei] of the Second Vatican Council so that the past does not repeat itself[His Excellency seems to want a rupture with the past, rather than continuity.] Will we learn that lesson of history and imitate those who fought so tirelessly to preserve and hand on the principles of the “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy”?

When the Curia attempted to limit the liturgical reform, there was decisive and strong reaction from episcopal conferences [because they wanted power!] and national liturgical commissions, especially from the French. Analyzing this, Marini writes: “Even during this initial phase of reform, the liturgy was no longer an exclusive preserve of the Roman Curia but belonged to the Church.” That remains the goal for the liturgy today. We are indebted to Archbishop Marini for his chronicle of the events that brought about what is perhaps the most fundamental liturgical reform in the history of the Western church.  [I agree.  We owe the authors of this book a debt.  After reading this clear, well written book, you will have very few doubts about what the post-Conciliar liturgical reform as forwarded by the Consilium, and those who cling to its vision, was all about.]

The Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, bishop of Erie, Pa., is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy.

A most useful review!  Thank you, Your Excellency! 

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28 Responses to America Magazine: Bp. Trautman reviews “A Challenging Reform” of Piero Marini

  1. I would love to ask his Excellency exactly what is an example of post-conciliar piety:

    1) No one in line for Saturday confessions?
    2) Mass attendance whenever the mood suits?
    3) Rampant usage of artificial birth control?
    4) Leaving church right after Communion?
    5) Communion in the hand?
    6) Standing for Communion?
    7) Modernistic-looking Churches?
    8) Lousy vernacular translations?
    9) Hootenanny choirs?
    10) Daily Mass attendance in the single digits?

    If someone could point out what an example of post-conciliar piety is I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. Gerard says:

    Fr. Z,

    This letter seems to be part and parcel of the attitude demonstrated by progressives prior to, during and after the council.

    Atila Sinke Guimareas in his massive 11 volume study, “Eli, Eli,Lama Sabachtani” (of which the books published so far are “In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, Desire to Destroy vols. 1 & 2 and “Will He Find Faith?”) presents a rock solid case that this was not anything else but a consensus of opinions and deliberate plans full of malice intended to destroy the Catholic faith and replace it with modernist liberalism.

    At what point are Catholics going to stop being so coy with enemies that are within the Church? Why aren’t their efforts to deal with them directly like Pope St. Pius X did?

    I find the politeness and refusal to take a Church “Militant” stand while the Bride of Christ is assaulted by appointed Shepherds to be a cause of despair.

  3. Pope Evaristus, Martyr says:

    Whether you are an environmentalist Nazi, a pro-abort, or a heretic, you always have to erect an evil straw man to beat down. Notice that Bishop Trautman’s review does the same thing. He said to himself, “What can I erect as an enemy that will resonate with our people?” He chose the “evil Curial power” !!!!

    He deserves to be censured for this article, when he puts forth his hellish invective about the SACRED MOVEMENT of our holy Pope.

  4. Daniel Muller says:

    Very telling “review.”

  5. TJM says:

    Yes, indeed, Bishop Trautman, the French episcopacy was extremely vocal in matters liturgical. And what did they accomplish? Virtually empty Churches. It
    appears that the little bit of life still left in the French Church is found in parishes and religious houses which celebrate the TLM. Congratulations
    French bishops on a job well done. An open question to Bishop Trautman: is this the kind of “success” you had hoped for in the US? Tom

  6. dominic1962 says:

    Looks like a bunch of minimalist neo-Gallicans got a hold of the liturgy “reform” and are stil trying their hardest to destroy the Roman Rite. It is no suprise that the French would be so angry about the freeing of the old Roman Mass-they only grudgingly accepted it after numerous attempts to set up their own liturgies. What was the point of having their own liturgies? To assert their independence from Rome and the Curia. Now with the NO, they can have their own liturgires while using the Roman liturgy. No messy confrontations with Rome over their own missals, they just have to get creative with all the options in the NO.

    This is the legacy of the neo-neo-Gallicans-empty churches and rampant loss of faith and Catholic practice. How can this possibly be seen as a invigorated Church? Are we dealing with people who are really that blind or are they just unwilling to say that the emperor has no clothes? Liturgical minimalism and rationalism, forced destruction of piety and the arts that supported it, downplaying of “hard” doctrines, etc., is simply not Catholic.

  7. TNCath says:

    Fr. Z: “A most useful review!”

    Indeed! It also makes one wonder (and hope) who might be reading this blog from “Vatican City State, Europe (a la Fr. Z’s “Where Are You” posting”).

    Bishop Trautman wrote: “Analyzing this, Marini writes: ‘Even during this initial phase of reform, the liturgy was no longer an exclusive preserve of the Roman Curia but belonged to the Church.’ That remains the goal for the liturgy today.”

    Of course, when he says “the Church,” does he really means the bishops’ conferences, who seem motivated to keep organizations like the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions alive to dictate what they believe is good liturgy. Is this part of Bishop Trautman’s idea to create an “American Curia”?

  8. Paul Waddington says:

    When one reads a review of a book of this nature, one expects to find a critical assessment by a person who is prepared to weigh the merits and shortcomings of the book. No such thing from the Most Rev Donald W Trautman. It is about the most biassed analysis that it would be possible to invent.

    For H E Piero Marini and his supporters, there is only adulation: for everyone else, there is scorn.

    May God in his goodness bring the people of the Diocese of Erie a new bishop.

    Richard Hargreaves.

  9. In his book on the reform,Archbishop Bugnini no less says that when the discussion came up to permit the saying of the Canon in the verncular,not a few of bishops even on the concilium,considered it to be a betrayal of the Second Vatican Council

  10. Virgil says:

    I have to disagree with both +Trautman and Fr Z, who believe this book to be well written and valuable, albeit for different reasons. I found it EXTREMELY POOR IN STYLE, and really quite POINTLESS IN THE EXTREME.

    Marini and the editors go on AD NAUSEUM about the back-biting and plotting between the CUria and the Consilium. Frankly, it was no more interesting than reading the instant messaging going on between two teenage girls.

    I read the book, because I wanted to understand WHAT WERE THE REAL ISSUES of contention between these two groups of people? The book never really says! Marini will ramble for three pages about how Bugnini managed to change the Curia’s plan for “nine subheadings” into the Consilium’s plan for “eight subheadings and a footnote.” But he never tells us what the subheadings and footnotes were, or why they were important.

    Can someone recommend a decent book that covers the same time period, but that actually details what the discussions were about?

  11. Virgil: It wasn’t supposed to be a novel. It is supposed to be informative, along the lines of Bugnini’s Reform of the Liturgy.

  12. dad29 says:

    Not only power, Fr. Z.

    Money.

    Those translations (and the rights thereto) migrated the copyright income from Rome to other places…

  13. Pope Saint Pius X – Pray for us!
    Saint Michael The Archangel – Defend us!

    “But are we seeing signs today of retrenchment, a return to a liturgical practice and piety from before Vatican II?”

    I sure hope so! Lets all be REAL Catholics instead of “American Protestant Catholics” like Bugnini & Trautman and a LEGION of others want us to be.

    REAL Catholics…
    Go to Mass on EVERY Sunday and ALL HOLY DAYS.
    Confess all mortal Sins before RECEIVING Communion.
    Pray EVERY day
    Know the TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH and can ACCURATELY explain it to others.
    Keep the penitential practices of the Church, and know them.
    READ the HOLY BIBLE (a Catholic Version) often.
    PRAY THE ROSARY OFTEN
    Do not reject Catholic books just because they were printed before 1965.
    Do not reject a Catholic Teaching just for being PRE-VATICAN II.
    ARE NOT CAFETERIA CATHOLICS!

  14. frcd says:

    Fr. Z:

    As a priest, I have to ask: why is not the text:

    “Only with the endorsement of Pope Paul VI did the views of the Consilium finally prevail.”

    not also in bold? This blog calls the faithful to listen to the mind of the Pope, even to notice subtle cues from seemingly small decisions. I agree and endorse that. Why do we not call the faithful to follow the same for our Pope Paul?

    Respectfully,

  15. Tridentine: Such zeal, “..but American Protestant Catholics” like Bugnini ??

  16. frcd: As a priest, I have to ask

    Why do you have to ask that “as a priest”?  Is that sort of question a “priest” question?  o{]:¬)

    why is not the text: “Only with the endorsement… not also in bold?”

    1) It is no secret that Paul VI signed off on things.  It is not so well-known how he was induced to do so. That is the far more important point, especially regarding this particular book.

    2) Paul VI, Supreme Pontiff though he was, was not the one actually carrying out the work of the Consilium.

    3) I think some would question whether Paul VI actually was given a clear idea what was being done, why, and what he was signing.

    That said, I urge every priest out there, when celebrating the Novus Ordo, nevertheless to …

     

  17. Fr. Wade says:

    Good question frcd. I can understand small organic changes in the Liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that makes sense. However, I am still trying to understand how we went from the 1962 Liturgy to the Mass of Paul VI. The scale of the development seems revolutionary rather than organic. The Missale Romanum 3rd edition, even if celebrated with the mind of the Church is different than the 1962 Liturgy. I am not saying that it is invalid only that it is different and some of the differences do not seem to have been generated by the Holy Spirit We believe as Catholics that our Liturgy is rooted in Jesus and the Apostles and handed down from generation to generation guided by the Holy Spirit. How then could a committee create a NEW Mass? I have read some of the history, so I think I understand what happened. But, I do not understand the why? What would posses someone or a group of someones to say I am going to remake the Mass. It sort of reminds one of Benedict’s book The Spirit Of The Liturgy where the Israelites decided to fashion their own Liturgy (the cult of the golden calf). Just the changes found in the prayers of consecration are astounding. And the really strange thing is that most of the formation in the Seminaries for the past 40 years taught as though Vatican II was indeed a break with past. Thank God for our Holy Father. I offer a Mass for him every week. I think I am moving more to a position as put forth by Fr. Pietro Cantoni. “The Church, in the face of the old rite, came to recognize, as in other analogous cases (for example, the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood), it wasn’t certain that it had the faculty to proceed. This does not indicate in any way an undue limitation on the power of the Church, but only the recognition that liturgical custom, orthodox and immemorial, constitutes one of the expressions of its very sacra potestas.”

  18. frcd says:

    Thanks for the responses, I appreciate the insights. Currently, my parish community (and myself)are struggling with the questions and responses well represented here.

    Last week, 3 years after my ordination, for the first time in my 42 year old life, I participated and/or witnessed an Extraordinary Rite Mass. It was indeed beautiful, in the way that all masses are beautiful, but perhaps “only more so.”

    Please add my voice to that of Fr Wade’s remarks above:

    >>However, I am still trying to understand how we went from the 1962 Liturgy to the Mass of Paul VI… Just the changes found in the prayers of consecration are astounding. And the really strange thing is that most of the formation in the Seminaries for the past 40 years taught as though Vatican II was indeed a break with past.

  19. Stephen says:

    Fr. Wade:
    What limitations exist on the power of the Church? Is not one of these limitations tradition itself, in that anyone who deviates from tradition risks ultimately to place himself outside of the Church? This is the issue that remains to be addressed regardingn the second half of the 20th century, and it will probably have to be done in a later generation, as the wounds are still to raw (as evidenced by Msgr. Marini on the left, and the frustration on the right on reconciling PPVI and the Novus Ordo)

  20. frcd says:

    My last post was cut off half way, sorry.

    to continue:

    The Ordinary and the Extraordinary Rites, while sharing much in movement and spirit, are very different… Given Lex orandi, lex credendi, we seem to be praying differently, and I hesitate to say believing differently. I am in a word, confused. I strive to “think with the Church” and evangelize the people of God in the beauty of the Church and her recent and distant tradition.

    How do I/we do that when some much seems at odds?

    Fodder for much prayer!

    Thanks,

    Frcd

  21. Cory says:

    I knew the book was fruitless when I saw the name “Fr. Mark Francis.” My parish is run by his order, which ironically enough, was created to teach the faith. Guess something was lost along the way……

  22. Maureen says:

    Re: people who know how to run meetings

    Truly, an underappreciated skill. Some people manage to make change on a few things, win the war in the long run, but lose the battle in-between. (For example, Col. John R. Boyd and his Pentagon photocopy warriors. They got the Warthog and the F-15 built, and they changed the way people think about tactics and strategy. But they also torpedoed their careers in the process, and made huge huge swaths of Pentagon enemies.)

  23. Fr. Wade says:

    Frcd,
    I hear you and I think I can say I know how tough this can be for all of us in the Church. But when I celebrate the EF of the Mass the joy of my youth is renewed. I suspect that our Holy Father is striving to get the whole Church but especially Priests to see and offer the OF of the Mass through the lens of the EF. Many years down the road there will be only one expression of the Roman Rite. As St Paul tells us let us encourage each other while it is still today!
    AD DEUM QUI LAETIFICAT JUVENTUTEM MEAM

  24. P. Hagmann says:

    Pope Saint Pius X – Pray for us!
    Saint Michael The Archangel – Defend us!
    The Sacred Heart of Jesus – Have mercy on us!

    “But are we seeing signs today of retrenchment, a return to a liturgical practice and piety from before Vatican II?”

    I sure hope so! Lets all be GOOD Catholics instead of “American Protestant Catholics” like Bugnini & Trautman and a LEGION of others want us to be.

    GOOD Catholics…
    Go to Mass on EVERY Sunday and ALL HOLY DAYS.
    Confess all mortal Sins before RECEIVING Communion.
    Pray EVERY day
    Know the TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH and can ACCURATELY explain it to others.
    Keep the penitential practices of the Church, and know them.
    READ the HOLY BIBLE (a Catholic Version) often.
    PRAY THE ROSARY OFTEN
    Do not reject Catholic books just because they were printed before 1965.
    Do not reject a Catholic Teaching just for being PRE-VATICAN II.
    ARE NOT CAFETERIA CATHOLICS!

    Somehow my posts never make it on this site; it must be the “Bugnini-man”!

  25. Joseph says:

    Fr. Z,

    What is black and white and read all over?

    Not this thread!! — or so it would seem, for heaven’s sake.

    Tridentine: Such zeal, “..but American Protestant Catholics” like Bugnini ??

    Father, you need to adjust you bi-focals, or get a new lens prescription.

    Tridentine said “A.P.C. like Bugnini and Trautman WANT US TO BE. Not that they themselves are. C’mon..If your eyes are not too tired, read the black, dear Padre.

  26. They do say that imitation is most sincere form of flattery.
    Thanks P. Hagmann! Good additions and a little more P.C..

  27. Tridentine: Such zeal, “..but American Protestant Catholics” like Bugnini ??
    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf — 7 April 2008 @ 3:04 pm

    “Lets all be REAL Catholics instead of THE “American Protestant Catholics” Bugnini & Trautman and a LEGION of others want us to be.”

    Okay, it does not sound as well as I had hoped it would. I am obviously not a poet or skilled writer.
    Ironically, I am a printer by trade. Perhaps I am not a skilled at writing well, but can make it look really good on the printed page.

    My observation is that in the past few decades the USCCB seems to be separating us into a separate structure from Rome. Many of the guidelines and innovations for the Mass have a “protestant” feel and slant to them, and also many of the other documents. That is why I said “American Protestant Catholic”. Bishop Trautman is one of the worse offenders; he uses language as a weapon and an instrument of isolation and separation, the translation of the Missal for example. He and others are attempting to change and subvert doctrines of the Church with their translations. This does create in language and liturgy a separate American Catholic Church “How you worship is how you believe.” That is different from other parts of the Catholic Church. Bugnini was Italian but did use the same “tricks” that the liberals are using today to change the Church into something else. Before Vatican II the Heretics left the Church and started their own, Bugnini and his LEGION (the name of the demon from the Gospels) of liberals just stayed in the Church this time and sought to pervert it from within. We can certainly see the fruit of the council and the men like Bugnini & Trautman. As a former protestant heretic I have a great distaste for heresy and disunity as well as innovations and deviation from the rubrics of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in particular. So those two bishops and those like them are not favorites of mine. I am a strong believer in “Say The Black Do The Red” if only all priests were as zealous as you Father Z.

  28. Tridentine:THE “American…”

    Okay. Gotchya!