Bugnini: “I am the liturgical reform!”

Our friends at Rorate have posted something worthy of your attention.

Bugnini: “I am the liturgical reform!“  [I can hear it.  Along the lines of "L'état, c'est moi!" he would have said "La riforma liturgica,sono IO!"]

Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB, former president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, a leading critic of Liturgiam Authenticam and Summorum Pontificum, and undisputed guru of the Philippine liturgical establishment, [He is the guru of "inculturation".] published “What, Then, Is Liturgy? Musings and Memoir” this year.

The book contains revealing snapshots of the behind-the-scenes of the liturgical reform under Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as extended reflections on the liturgy mixed with criticisms of the policies of the current Pontificate.

The book also contains Chupungco’s proposals for further changes to the Roman rite to continue what he sees as the unfinished agenda of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform. I [i.e., Rorate] intend to post various quotes of interest over the next several days.

From the Claretian Publications edition of the book, pp. 3-4:
After several decades of liturgical reform there are still contrasting opinions about what the council had really intended to achieve. I had the occasion to ask Fr. Cipriano Vagaggini, another mentor of mine and one of the framers of the Liturgy Constitution, what “substantial unity of the Roman rite” meant. The phrase is obscure, yet crucial to inculturation. His answer was quite revealing: “I asked the same question when we were drafting the Constitution but no one in the commission had an answer!” Strange indeed are the ways of the Spirit during the council and surely after the council. But if it is any consolation at all, tension can be considered an encouraging sign that people’s interest in the liturgy has not abated over the years. [Are you encouraged?] When Abbot Primate Benno Gut of the Benedictine Confederation established the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome in 1962, professors of theology, like prophets of doom, alerted him that liturgy [which liturgy?] was a fad that would not exceed their lifetime.

Annibale BugniniIn his posthumous book The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975 Annibale Bugnini keeps record of much opposition to the conciliar and postconciliar reform. Among the most antagonistic groups that he has identified the following clearly harbor a countercultural mentality. [Remember... Chupungco is the guru of "inculturation".  He wants to affirm cultural trends.] The first is Una Voce, an international group, for the defense of Latin, Gregorian chant, and sacred polyphony against the vernacular and modern music. The second are splinter groups that were often hostile to the liturgical changes being advanced by the Holy See.

Among them Bugnini names the American Catholic Traditionalist Movement and individuals like the Italian journalist Tito Casino, who in his book La tunica stracciata acidly attacked the use of the vernacular; Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Cardinal Antonio Bacci, who staunchly supported opposition to the new Missal because of its alleged “heretical”, “psychologically destructive,” and “Protestant” elements; and the French Abbe Georges de Nantes, who called for the ousting of Pope Paul VI, whom he accused of heresy, schism and scandal. Even some of the devout faithful that frequented the Mass were adverse to the use of the vernacular. In the Church of Sant’ Anselmo an elderly lady corrected me as I was offering her Holy Communion: Non dicitur ‘Il corpo di Cristo,’ sed ‘Corpus Christi’!” (In perfect Latin she bade me say “The Body of Christ” in Latin, not in Italian.)  [That is actually quite a blistering dress down, when you stop to think about it.]

Bugnini himself, then secretary to the Congregation of Divine Worship, was not spared. He was a systematic person who programmed the liturgical reform and courageously pushed its implementation against all oppositionI remember that in one of his visits to the Pontifical Liturgical Institute he declared, “I am the liturgical reform!” In more ways than one his self-assessment was correct. The postconciliar reform would not have progressed with giant steps had it not been for his dauntless spirit and tenacity.

To crown his liturgical accomplishments the Vatican promoted him to the rank of papal delegate to Iran, [Yah, right.  THAT was quite a promotion!  What an award for services rendered.] where he became famous in the secular world for successfully negotiating the release of American hostages.

Revealing.

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39 Responses to Bugnini: “I am the liturgical reform!”

  1. The book of Chupungco was actually the subject of our very own “blognic” here in Manila. Lots of ugly stuff in the book. I suggest you borrow one, don’t buy it. It will inspire Chupungco to write more rubbish, but it is very revealing as it will give you a picture of who Chupungco REALLY is as a priest and a liturgist. No wonder he is an honorary Lutheran. And he is proud of it!

  2. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Yes, thank goodness that the entire mass was translated into the vernacular. Otherwise poor, ignorant Italians would have no idea that corpus Christi means il corpo di Cristo.

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    Not so much Louis XIV as that wicked old man Frank Hague of Jersey City: “I AM THE LAW.”

  4. UncleBlobb says:

    I am resolving to look into Una Voce more – since they made number one on the list! :)

  5. kallman says:

    Pity Bugnini ever returned from Iran. An undoubted egomaniac and a suspected Freemason, agent of the Liturgical Movement who plotted the replacement of the Mass for many, many decades before V II. His detailed writings in defence of his actions and in criticism of his opponenets are indicative of a fanatic.

  6. Andy F. says:

    I wonder, since I haven’t read Buginini’s works or writings of the above author, how often they give credit to the Holy Spirit for this “movement.”

  7. moon1234 says:

    Movement usually brings to mind some other type of bodily function. Sort of puts the whole thing in perspective.

  8. jlmorrell says:

    The more I read about Bugnini and company the more I realize that they were egomaniacs. Of course, it always seemed to me that they would have been. What kind of arrogance does one have to have in order to throw out the Mass of Ages and fabricate a new one.

  9. I had hoped for comments which went beyond mere Bugnini bashing.

  10. Geremia says:

    Wow, I’m surprised I have never heard of Tito Casino nor Abbé Georges de Nantes.

  11. Sixupman says:

    The father of a friend of mine, a not very prosperous farmer, was the epitome of a true Catholic of his time. He was charitable to those who had met misfortune, when slaughtering animals, he gave some to poor families in the village, he saw that his children observed their duties and Sunday afternoon Benediction was normal. With the advent of the New Mass, he voiced that it was not the Mass and never went again until Requium. Defensible, I know not, but how will he be judged. He was not an intellectual, but he knew the truth when he saw it.

  12. joecct77 says:

    Pride goeth before the fall???

    In reading the above article, I am struck by the use of “I”. Isn’t Holy Mother Church supposed to be “we” and “us”??

    Personally, if they had stopped with 1965′s Missal, we’d all have been better off.

  13. Giles H says:

    joecct77,

    I’m not sure we’d all have been better off if we’d ended up with the ’65 ‘missal’. (As I understand it, this version of the Old Rite was merely the 1962 missal amended in the light of certain documents and instuctions from the Sacred Rites.) In fact, in puzzling over how the whole awful debacle came to pass, we may come to an understanding of the Pauline missal providentially ‘saving’ the Old Rite for future restoration, and in a way that mightn’t have been possible had the centrally directed rupture taken place. Aside from anything else, could we have arrived at a situation where there is so much solid scholarly appreciation for the theology/ecclesiology and beauty of the Old Rite?

  14. robtbrown says:

    I doubt that Abp Bugnini’s comments referred to Louis XIV’s “L’etat, c’est moi”. After all, B was Italian, not French. More likely, it referred to Pio Nono, who is said to have uttered “La tradizione sono io”. And so on the one hand, we have a pope saying that he is personifies Tradition, on the other, an Abp who says that he personifies liturgical revolution against that same Tradition. Of course, later B tried to get the toothpaste back in the tube by pointing the finger at others. “La riforma liturgica? erano gli altri.”

  15. wmeyer says:

    “The first is Una Voce, an international group, for the defense of Latin, Gregorian chant, and sacred polyphony against the vernacular and modern music.”

    What an odd thing to write. It seems to me that before Una Voce, these same aspects of the liturgy were declared essential, and given pride of place, in Sacrosanctum Concilium. So does that mean that the Council itself was antagonistic to the reforms these people desire?

  16. Flambeaux says:

    wmeyer,

    Yes.

  17. Clinton says:

    It’s interesting to compare the hubris of +Bugnini’s “I am the liturgical reform!” with the
    humility of our present Pope (long may he reign!). Yes, the Holy Father could in truth say “I am
    the liturgical reform!”. That the idea of this Pope saying such a thing is so absurd I believe
    speaks not only of his humility but also of his understanding of where +Bugnini failed.

    +Bugnini and his liturgical fellow travelers imposed changes by fiat, with little effort spent pre-
    paring the Church or explaining the rationale for reforms. The expectation was that all would
    do as the Consilium ordered, explanations were superfluous. Even Paul VI was blindsided, if
    the story of his surprise at the abolition of the Octave of Pentecost is true. Those who voiced
    reservations about the reforms were shamed and shouted down, venerable prelates included.
    The imposition of reforms was conducted from the top down, those who did not get with the
    program were demonized, ridiculed and frozen out. Consensus-building was not a priority.

    Contrast that approach to liturgical reform to that of our Pope. He leads by example. He
    patiently explains his proposals. He is unfailingly courteous, even with his most dishonest
    and irrational detractors. He loves his enemies, and endlessly seeks to engage with them, to
    help them see where they’re mistaken. (His endless patience and serenity I believe comes from his awareness that he has truth and reason and honesty behind him, leaving most of his opposition in possession of only cant, error and gas). He is the Pope of Christian Unity. It is
    because he is pouring himself out to build consensus regarding ‘reform of the reform’ that
    his Marshall Plan for the Church will outlast his pontificate, whereas the distortions
    +Bugnini & Co. engineered on the documents of Vatican II, please God, will not outlast that generation.

  18. ErnieB says:

    Having sat in a Worship Committee meeting last evening, I can say that Cardinal Bugnini crafted with great care the unraveling of the Holy Liturgy. The common man (and woman)(of this committee I was the only man outside the two priests) holds fast to all that was hastily thrown at them post Vatican II and will defend it to the bloody end. My inexperience in sound debate and ignorance of well founded arguments left me frustrated and stammering to explain my passion for the Mass done well….be it the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary. I could not even make clear that the Roman Rite is the Latin Rite in either form and both need to be celebrated with passion. The pastor (a Capuchin Franciscan) adamantly argued that Vatican II called for the venacular and celebration facing the people as well as other oddities. He went on to say Latin is a dead language and the “Latin Mass” is over “thank God”.
    Those of us who wish for Orthodoxy in the Roman Rite need to be better prepared to explain with soundness where things went astray. I realize, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, that you are very limited in time, but would you please help us to be better educated. Show us what to read that helps defend our Catholic heritage, The Holy Mass, and its organic development.
    My prayers are with you.
    Ernie Bragiel
    Freeport, Pa

  19. wmeyer says:

    Flambeaux, yes, I realize that, even they’re all supposedly staunch supporters of Vatican II. Any bets on how small a percentage have actually read the documents?

  20. wmeyer says:

    ErnieB,

    I recommend reading Pope Benedict’s Spirit of the Liturgy, for one. And the Vatican II documents, which I doubt many of them have read. For example, the issue of the vernacular appears as what I would call a loophole, in Sacrosanctum Concilium paragraphs 37-40. And if you read those in context, it appears that they were put in to allow for mission cultures where lack of cultural referents for Christian symbols would be a barrier to conversion. Therefore, some latitude was allowed in language and symbols. On the other hand, earlier in the document, it declares plainly that Latin remains the language of the liturgy, and that Gregorian chant holds pride of place in music.

  21. Joshua08 says:

    Ernie, just a pedantic point. +Bugnini was not a Cardinal. It is significant that he was never made one I think

  22. Henry Edwards says:

    We keep repeating that Sacrosanctium concilium said “Gregorian chant should be given pride of place”. But here are the original Latin and the accepted English translation of the pertinent paragraph:

    116. Ecclesia cantum gregorianum agnoscit ut liturgiae romanae proprium: qui ideo in actionibus liturgicis, ceteris paribus, principem locum obtineat.

    116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman Liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services?

    Does anyone see any “pride” in the Latin. Shouldn’t it be “first place” or “principal place” rather than “pride of place”. If so, does this illustrate the same kind of deliberately misleading translation in the documents of Vatican II that’s so familiar in the liturgy.

  23. wmeyer says:

    Henry,

    Good point. And it’s one of the chief motivations for me to learn Latin. I have seen a number of places in translations on the Vatican site where I am pretty confident that the meaning has been garbled somewhat.

    However, “first place” or “principal place” both mean that we should be hearing Gregorian chant, not Marty Haugen.

  24. albizzi says:

    Annibale Bugnini WAS a FREEMASON and Paul VI didn’t “promote” him but truly exiled him as nuncio in Iran because he was forced to do so before obvious and irrefutable proofs he was given by a priest who had found his satchel lost inadvertently somewhere in the Vatican.
    His name appears on the “Pecorelli list” of ecclesiastic freemasons that was published in 1978, together with those of Cardinals Marcinkus, Casaroli, Villot and others less known clerics.
    Pecorelli was mysteriously murdered some months later.
    This fact would make the new liturgy highly suspicious in everybody’s eyes.
    This exile was a mild sanction for an excommunicated man. One may wonder why Paul VI didn’t fired him in a remote monastery forever.

  25. ErnieB says:

    wmeyer @ 3:29pm
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have The Spirit of the Liturgy and an old edition of The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents. I agree that all of the documents must be taken in context. Unfortunately much of what is norm is woven very tightly into the American fabric even though the teachings were hasty and skewed. I also think, as a lay person lacking the education on the liturgy, that my opinions, as well as any others of like kind, would be valued as just that; my opinion and not the intent or Spirit of Vatican II even though Vatican II in context did not promulgate the current state of the Liturgy. The idea held fast by today’s American Catholic is their ownership of the Liturgy which is something claimed void pre Vatican II. Most people, nay, perhaps all, would be hard pressed to release ownership once it was gained.
    I would like to add that the GIRM and it’s interpretation will influence greatly the current state of affairs. Language has great nuances and barriers and one can read GIRM with varied interpretations given that its wording is guarded to avoid conflict.
    There is much to learn and admittedly is the only assurance. I further agree, wmeyer, that knowledge of Latin is or may be a prerequisite.

    Joshua089 @ 3:29pm
    My apologies. I failed to do my homework adequately. I appreciate your correction. Thank you.

    Ernie Bragiel
    Freeport, PA

  26. wmeyer says:

    ErnieB,

    You might also want to read What Went Wrong with Vatican II by the late Ralph McInerny, and Rhine Flows Into the Tiber by Ralph M. Wiltgen. Both are excellent, though not really instructional.

  27. ErnieB says:

    wmeyer @6:05pm
    Thanks again. I will add that to my list, but am trying to concentrate on instructional.
    I wanted to add before how the confusion can grow and become accepted practice. Take for instance GIRM Preamble art. 11 & 12. Article 12 in particular references Sacrosanctum Concilum 37 on use of the vernacular. GIRM states that the vernacular would be of advantage to the celebration of the Liturgy and went on to state that was granted by SC 37 and further approved by the Apostolic See and Leadership of Bishops for the better comprehension of the mystery celebrated. Further, the document (GIRM) was approved by the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Arinze; signed and dated March 17, 2003.
    wmeyer, is this not such example of skewing out of context SC 37 and elevating that teaching (GIRM 12) to almost law? Again, I cry out, perhaps too silently, for a better, holy celebration of the Ordinary Rite. This vagueness, no, this guarded language gives leniency in today’s Liturgy.
    wmeyer, peace to you.
    Ernie Bragiel
    Freeport, PA

  28. Clinton says:

    ErnieB, I think ‘Reform of the Reform?’ by Fr. Thomas Kocik (Ignatius Press) treats the issue
    well. I think it’s even discounted over at the IP website…

  29. Traductora says:

    I’ve arrived a bit late, but I just wanted to say that it wasn’t the language that was the problem with the “liturgical reform.” The old rite could have survived translation into the vernacular just fine; it already existed as such in missals, and there were places in the US (mostly in college areas) that used an approved translation to celebrate it in English. Eventually, had organic development been allowed, I suspect you would have had a form that was part vernacular and part Latin.

    The problem is that the Novus Ordo was an entirely different thing, and the vernacular was not the main problem with it.

  30. TJerome says:

    Traductora,

    I was around before the Council and actually lived on a University campus then, the University of Notre Dame to be exact. I never encountered nor ever heard of a vernacular Mass prior to the Council. I was wondering if you could point me to some evidence for that practice.

  31. catholicmidwest says:

    Bugnini negotiating with the ayatollah in Tehran…now there’s a confabulation in hell.

    Wmeyer,
    Yes, we have V2 thrown in our faces left and right, and most of the people tossing have never read it. I’m sick of it. I’ll listen to V2 chatter after I hear all the other councils quoted from at least once and not until…and I’m keeping track.

  32. Supertradmum says:

    I am teaching Logic to an advanced class in Argumentation, and I am afraid that many of the comments above would get a red circle for either “hasty generalization”, “argumentum ad hominem”, or “red herring”.

  33. Tradster says:

    Ernie B,
    I suggest you watch the two-part videos of Michael Voris’ “Weapons of MASS Destruction” at http://www.realcatholictv.com/cia/03Massdest.

  34. robtbrown says:

    I recommend reading Pope Benedict’s Spirit of the Liturgy, for one. And the Vatican II documents, which I doubt many of them have read. For example, the issue of the vernacular appears as what I would call a loophole, in Sacrosanctum Concilium paragraphs 37-40. And if you read those in context, it appears that they were put in to allow for mission cultures where lack of cultural referents for Christian symbols would be a barrier to conversion. Therefore, some latitude was allowed in language and symbols. On the other hand, earlier in the document, it declares plainly that Latin remains the language of the liturgy, and that Gregorian chant holds pride of place in music.
    wmeyer

    The same is true for the permanent diaconate–it was instituted for missionary lands that didn’t have regular access to a priest for Baptisms and Marriages. Of course, now it has become in the US little else than an opportunity for active participation as a lay ministry.

  35. wmeyer says:

    TJerome,

    If memory serves, one of the places where the vernacular was employed before V-II was Collegeville. I am struggling to recall a reference for that, however. If it comes to mind, I will post it. Searching on the Liturgical Movement may bring some insight, however.

  36. robtbrown says:

    Traductora says:

    I’ve arrived a bit late, but I just wanted to say that it wasn’t the language that was the problem with the “liturgical reform.” The old rite could have survived translation into the vernacular just fine; it already existed as such in missals, and there were places in the US (mostly in college areas) that used an approved translation to celebrate it in English. Eventually, had organic development been allowed, I suspect you would have had a form that was part vernacular and part Latin.

    The problem is that the Novus Ordo was an entirely different thing, and the vernacular was not the main problem with it.

    I completely disagree. The advantages of Latin were able set down by John XXIII in Veterum Sapientia. In fact, I think that if Latin liturgy ad orientem celebration had been retained but with the Novus Ordo, there would not have been the utter collapse of the Church after the Council.

  37. wmeyer says:

    TJerome,

    I am afraid that the reference I was remembering is from Alcuin Reid’s Organic Development of the Liturgy, a book I would not recommend to any but the most determined. It is dense in content, loaded with references, and more technical than most of us are ready to digest.

  38. HighMass says:

    robtbrown:

    I do remember the Holy Mass in the interim when it was said in Latin and English, infact still have the “yellow cards” that were distributed for proper english responses, almost identical to the “new translation”.

    Not being an authority or aid to Blessed John XXIII, one has to think it was never his intent for a “new Mass” or today’s N.O. Needless to say the progressives ran with everything after the council, causing alot of confusion in the Church.

    Fr. Z. said he hoped that this blog wouldn’t turn into Bugnini Bashing so will try and respect that.

    But think about it, Two Popes (actually three including Paul VI) sent him on his way (Bugnini) i.e. Pius XII, then Blessed John XXIII and finally Paul VI after the damage was done Bugnini was sent to the middle east……….Was he a Mason??? God is our judge……..Bugnini did a lifetime of damage the prediction was his Mass was going to last for 40 yrs or so……..and then re-invent the Mass all over again.

    Thank GOD for the return of the TLM and of COURSE our beloved Pope Benedict :)

  39. TJerome says:

    wmeyer, thanks.