PODCAzT 93: 40 years ago… Paul VI on the eve of the Novus Ordo

We are coming up on the 40th Anniversary of the implementation of the Novus Ordo in the Latin Church.

Forty years ago on 30 Nov 1969 the Novus Ordo went into force.  It was the 1st Sunday of Advent.

Therefore, we welcome as our guest Pope Paul VI (+1978) who gave a General Audience 26 Nov 1969 address on the subject of the changes people were about to experience.

It is interesting to return to such a moment, in the face of the changes we are facing today with the reintegration of the older, traditional form of Holy Mass through the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and the change in the English translation of the Novus Ordo.

You will hear Paul Paul’s General Audience text along with my commentary. 

The pop music selections were all hits from 1969.   Their choice is also part of my commentary.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Paul Murnane says:

    Thanks, Father. I look forward to listening to this tonight.

  2. becket1 says:

    Thanks Father. Now I have to go and take a high blood pressure pill. Novus Ordo!.

  3. becket1 says:

    Shame Pope Benedict XVI can’t have a similar sermon. “Sorry everyone, this may be uneasy for most Catholics, but were requiring every parish to implement the 1962 Missal effective tommorrow. I know this will be hard. But Oh Well!!.

  4. Thank you for this. I find his quotes shocking to say the least. I could say more but I would sin against charity.

  5. Well, I’ll say one thing, he really didn’t seem to care one iota about the damage that he was about to inflict or the hurt and distress he was going to cause people.

  6. David: I disagree. I think he cared very much! I think he suffered with the decision.

  7. Yes, I have heard that, and perhaps I am being uncharitable. The quotes really got to me. Other than the new lectionary, was the 1965 Missal not everything asked for by the Council Fathers?

    So the question Father; Why did he do this?

  8. pberginjr says:

    Great post Fr. Z.

  9. Tom A. says:

    Ironically, I think he makes a better case for not changing the Mass than he makes for changing it.

  10. Tom A. says:

    Father Z,

    Perhaps you could tell us someday why the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome did not feel the Council called them to “restore” their liturgies.

  11. boko fittleworth says:

    I agree that he suffered with the decision. What I find interesting is that he recognized the impact of his decision, an impact that has been denied. Haven’t heard the podcast yet, but I’ve read the doc. Paul VI admits that we’d lose the Latin and the musical patrimony of the Church. He disagrees with the ROTRers in that respect. He realized just how novus the NO was. He made the trade-off, but didn’t deny it was a trade-off.

  12. This is the kind of thing that makes one tremble with rage.

    And yet…while I have a hard time buying the idea that this was Christ’s affirmative will, He clearly permitted it, or it wouldn’t have happened; and if it happened, it must have been for a reason. I read an interview with Alice von Hildebrand in Latin Mass Magazine (online) recently. She recounted how her husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand, discovered in the ’20s or ’30s that Catholics had lost their sense of the supernatural, and commented that the beauty of the Tridentine Mass served to “mask” this loss.

    So maybe it was necessary to rip away this “mask” in order to make Catholics face this failure of understanding, and so seek a remedy.

  13. But why? Why did he do it? Do we just go on to think that he was blackmailed or there was a conspiracy of masonic infiltration? Was he deceived? The whole history defies logic unless we just consider it to be simply diabolical.

  14. David: Relax. Breathe deeply. You will do better here.

  15. jlmorrell says:

    Fr Z, I loved the use of the music as a way to contrast the profane and sacred – very effective.

    The more I learn of Paul VI, the more I view him as a tragic figure. It’s almost as though he were in over his head sometimes. There were undoubtedly signs of supernatural protection during his pontificate (i.e. humanae vitae), but he seemed to struggle greatly with many of these decisions.

    One more note: My father was 21 in 1969. I couldn’t help but feel a great sadness for him and his generation as they had their patrimony stripped from them(even if some didn’t realize it or even favored it). It’s all very sad – I thank God that I didn’t have to live through the upheaval, as I can’t be entirely sure that I would have had the fortitude to endure.

    Anyway, Fr. Z, excellent podcast – quite thought provoking.

  16. Oleksander says:

    I think the Ordinary Form would is perfectly fine so long as it is:

    1. not so many options, everything be “option a” or the traditional option, Roman Canon as only eucharistic prayer

    2. real music

    3. ad orientem or since no American churches face east on purpose Ad Deum (is that right grammar?)

    4. said in any language except English (hopefully that will change soon)

    5. sung/chanted encouraged

    6. use the old calendar!!

    sigh if only…

  17. Oleksander: In other words… the more it is like the older form of Mass, the more acceptable it is?

  18. Mitchell NY says:

    Hearing this the first time is just the same as having read it several years ago in what it invokes in me. Ambiguity and lack of prudence. I think most obedience went out the newly thrown open windows around the mid to late 70’s when evidence showed this was perhaps not the best interpretation of the Council or pastoral approach and Pope Paul VI did nothing, or very little to immediately halt the failures. He appeared to have given up albeit a few comments such as “the Church is in a state of auto demolition” and the smoke of Satan entering the Vatican…However it went on and on, even into the next two Pontificates (one, only a month) and here we are. This is the legacy of the NO and one of its’ inherent flaws….It is so badly tainted and no wishing in the world can remove that. Suppression of the NO and replacement with the 1965 de facto Missal should take its’ place for vernacular services. It would bridge that continuity between old and new Missal the Holy Father so often speaks of and does not allow the two forms of Mass to appear at entirely different poles at which they do now. It certainly is much closer to the Tridentine Form and since they plan to move it that way anyway, most of the work is done for them…Could probably cut off a few years of translation work and printing issues since many of these Missals are around. I have mine. I do not think the majority of that obedience will will mind if Pope Paul is correct in his aspirations and it still is there. Or was that an unexpected loss too? Maybe a necessary one to implement the NO completely. What I see different is people went from private devotions in the old Mass to entertaining children, coloring books, computer games, texting for teens , to adults talking about Father’s sermon during Mass in the NO..Now you tell me, where were we better off? And more importantly where is God more pleased, with devotions or a text message saying “When is it over?…I think I said enough..

  19. BLC says:

    Fr. Z: In answer to your question to Oleksander, yes, the closer it is to the older form, the better it is (for me, at least.)

    I had someone ask me the same question, actually, after they asked me about what changes I’d make to the NO if I could!

  20. trad catholic mom says:

    I’ll remember to wear black that day.

  21. rinkevichjm says:

    So when it comes to the readings and gospel do you prefer the old lectionary or the new? I know you probably don’t care for the NAB translation, so if it was in the RSV-CE or DRC/CCD version which would is better?

    Personally I think the new lectionary is the reason Catholics know the bible better than Protestants…

  22. DCtrad says:

    [“Oleksander: In other words… the more it is like the older form of Mass, the more acceptable it is?”]-FR Z

    Yes father you nailed it!

    After these called reform of the reform is over (AKA overdue damage control). All it will have accomplished is make the new order more Catholic ie only one “FORM” will remain that which is not built “by the work of human hands” lol.
    Enough compromises already it is not obligatory to say that neither the council nor the mass that was its fruit came from the Holy Ghost. The council did not define anything. Second judge the tree by its fruits. Third anyone who knows his Catholic heritage and history can know in his heart the New Mass even in Latin in its prayer is radically profane compared to the Mass of the ages. The faith of our fathers shall endure.

  23. JonM says:

    I disagree. I think he cared very much! I think he suffered with the decision.


    I wasn’t not alive then (and am thankful for that). In retrospect we can see the result of that ‘Spirit’ that seemed to possess many a person. Lot of challenges. Of course it is very, very easy and tempting to blame the shepherd for the (sad) weirdness that we see today in places.

    In my judgment, was implementing a new mass a good idea?

    Um, no.

    But before we latch onto wild conspiracy theories, it behooves us to consider that people do make bad decisions with honest intentions. Let’s not forget that Pope Paul issued the critical teaching on contraception and his predictions were dead on. All the material I have read indicates that he was severely wounded by the open dissent on Humanae Vitae.

    It doesn’t help things to beat up on the Admiral of the fleet 40 years ago. Choices were made and serious consequences followed. Identifying the mistakes in Paul VI’s approach in a constructive manner, as Father allows us to do by listening to the podcast, and accordingly fixing things in the here and now are what we are called to do.

  24. catholicmidwest says:


    The great majority of catholics do *NOT* know the bible better than protestants!!!!

    Most catholics don’t even know that they only hear a small part of the scriptures in mass EVER. The texts used in mass are a special paraphrase which is somewhat evacuated and quite incomplete. None of the imprecatory psalms are read, nor are vast sections of the old and new testaments. IN addition, texts are usually read very poorly and often in a politically correct manner–ie. gender modified.

    Catholic scholars may well have the means of interpreting the scriptures more correctly than protestants, but the average pew sitter has little clue about scripture, having in their head only a few superficial ideas about what they’ve heard and some often repeated stories from homilies which may be appropriate or not.

  25. Geoffrey says:

    Bring on the “Novus Ordo” bashers! [Mark my words: I will delete from participation on this blog anyone who simply “bashes” or incites them to bash.]

    Let us be thankful to God that we have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, regardless what form or rite it is.

  26. WBBritton says:

    I loved that you chose to close the podcast with Sub tuum praesidium. Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us all.

  27. bwfackler says:

    Father Z,

    Perhaps you could tell us someday why the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome did not feel the Council called them to “restore” their liturgies.
    Comment by Tom A. — 16 November 2009 @ 8:57 pm ”

    they did. they just didnt do it so drastically and they did it much later in some cases. i believe the chaldeans just put out a new missal a few years ago “in the spirit of Vatican II”

  28. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Z:

    A masterful podcast. I was waiting for the words of Jimi Hendrix’ song “All Along the Watchtower”:

    “There must be some kind of way out of here
    said the joker to the thief
    There’s too much confusion
    I can’t get no relief”

    Pope Paul VI gets all the blame and bashing for the confusion and problems–too bad. He doesn’t deserve it. I have seen great spiritual good come from the simplification of the rites and the vernacular when celebrated by priests who understand the intention of the Church.

    As for those who were spiritually victimized by people who hijacked the Council and the liturgy, I can understand their rage and their incurable wound. But the need to eternally use the Council and Paul VI as favorite whipping boys does not produce any more fruits of holiness than the confusion caused by the usurpers.

  29. JFrater says:

    This podcast was repulsive, [LOL! I guess that’s a “no” vote!] and Father Z, I am beginning to think you are speaking from both sides of your mouth. You oppose the SSPX, [I oppose their separation from the Church.] you oppose those who comment here against the changes, [I am happy to have civil discussion.] charigng that change was bad but only insofar as it went too far (the new mass is okay as long as it suits *my* interpretation). What exactly is your agenda Father Zuhlsdorf? A legitimate question was asked by David in T.O. and instead of answering him you told him to calm down. Father, why can’t (or won’t) you answer his question? Rhetoric has its time and place; this is not it. [And your tone is a good example of why I wanted someone to calm down. This is a highly charged issue and discussion can quickly get out of hand.]

    The majority of commenters here are slavering over your use of the foul modern music you used in your podcast; the very same emotions were surely behind many of the changes – will over intellect. Father, would Saint John Vianney have done the same thing? There is no better example of a saintly priest, and you know that he was bitterly opposed to anything of the sort. [I think the reason for my use of that music was pretty clear. I also suggest that if you are so upset, you go read some other blog.]

  30. Gregory DiPippo says:

    His Holiness Pope Paul VI, General audience of November 19, 1969: (my translation from the Italian)

    “Therefore, the reform which is about to be promulgated corresponds to an authentic command of the Church; it is an act of obedience, it is an act of coherence of the Church with itself; it is a step forward of its authentic tradition; it is a demonstration of fidelity and vitality, to which we must all readily adhere. It is not an abuse (or ‘violation’). It is not a passing or optional experiment, it is not the improvisation of a dilettant. It is a law, thought out by authoritative devotees (or ‘experts’) of the sacred liturgy, long discussed and studied… This reform puts an end to the uncertainty, to the discussions (or ‘debates’), to the arbitrary abuses; it recalls us to the uniformity of rite and of feeling, which are proper to the Catholic Church…


  31. JFrater says:

    Fr_Sotelo said: “I have seen great spiritual good come from the simplification of the rites and the vernacular”, and “As for those who were spiritually victimized by people who hijacked the Council and the liturgy”

    Father Sotelo, do you realize that you are speaking in contradiction? The people who hijacked the council and liturgy are those who gave us the simplification of the rites and the vernacular. The council does not call for that – it asks that Latin remain in pride of place.

    There can be no doubt that Paul VI was one of those very usurpers. Father Z’s podcast (perhaps ironically) states that very thing. If you really think that the simplification and the vernacular has brought spiritual good, you are agreeing with those who have usurped the council (which requested the retention of Latin).

  32. JFrater says:

    Gregory DiPippo said (quoting Paul VI): “it recalls us to the uniformity of rite and of feeling, which are proper to the Catholic Church…”

    Ah – so that explains the folk Mass, the English Mass, the Spanish Mass, the Clown Mass, the Homosexual Mass, the Feminist Mass, and every Mass (except the Latin) which prevails in our parishes.

  33. PJ says:

    Poor Paul VI – I can see what he is getting at here, and I respect him for it. The active participation of the faithful at Mass is indeed much more important than the beauty of Gregorian chant, Latin and elaborate ritual.

    It’s just a pity that he thinks the latter needs to be sacrificed for the former.

    This seems like an excessively cerebral view of the human person. Surely our understanding at Mass is determined by so much more than words (as important as these are)? Humans get so much deep understanding from gestures, bodily language, art etc.

    In the words of Sacromentum Caritatis “the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself, celebrated well” (64) – so that the “ars celebrandi is the best way to ensure actuosa participatio” (38).

    It is not the case that the best catechesis on the Eucharist is simplistic & ambiguous words (translated badly).

    But I guess this is the benefit of that hindsight Father was talking about.

  34. PJ says:


    “If you really think that the simplification and the vernacular has brought spiritual good, you are agreeing with those who have usurped the council (which requested the retention of Latin).”

    Incorrect, surely? The council did require the retention of Latin (e.g. SC 36(1)), but it also thought some use of the vernacular could be useful too and help the faithful (SC 36(2)), yes?

  35. PJ says:


    “The people who hijacked the council and liturgy are those who gave us the simplification of the rites and the vernacular. The council does not call for that – it asks that Latin remain in pride of place.”

    Again, you seem to suggest that some simplification was not called for by the council – but please see SC 34, 50.

    That’s not to say the composers of the OF didn’t go too far.

  36. Fr_Sotelo says:


    First, you could use a more respectful tone toward Fr. Z and a little appreciation of the fact that there is nothing wrong with him presenting a serious topic with some levity.

    As far as me contradicting myself, I think that is all in your head. Pope Paul VI, the Curia, and the college of bishops cannot at the same time be the Magisterium, and also usurpers of the Magisterium. The usurpers are those who are not Magisterium, but pretend that they are, and hijack the Council and the liturgy for a hidden agenda apart from the intentions of the Magisterium.

    The council called for a thorough revision of the rites; it called for Latin having pride of place, but for vernacular in all those parts which correspond to the responses of the people; it again gave pride of place to chant, but also permitted the liturgy to be culturally adapted to the region (that would include the music of that culture), so that the liturgy could reflect other cultures besides that of Europe.

    Pope Paul VI, the Curia, and the college of bishops then implemented a Mass which contained these elements. The Mass has introductory rites, scripture lessons, homily, offertory, consecration, sacrifice, and Holy Communion. Insofar as most Catholics understand these riches and devout open their hearts to receive Christ in the Eucharist, there is spiritual benefit.

    It is unfortunate that Latin and chant were displaced, but presently the Church is trying to correct that error. It is terrible that abuse upon abuse followed, but presently the Church is trying to correct those as well.

    And as much as you may detest the Mass of Paul VI, you have no right to speak for the other billion members of the Catholic Church, most of whom do indeed believe they are receiving spiritual benefit and growing in holiness. I reject your premise of the Magisterium having no authority to revise the rites of the liturgy and sacraments. I reject it a priori. Therefore all your conclusions which follow which see “contradiction” in the “Mass of Paul VI” and “spiritual good” I reject as well.

  37. Oleksander says:


    “the more it is like the older form of Mass, the more acceptable it is?”

    Not necessarily, just more sacred with some historical continuity to ensure the Church doesn’t develop to extremes of two unrelated spiritualities – which from my observation it has in many places in USA.

    For example vernacular, the extra readings and expanded lectionary, concelebration, less intricate (i think that is right English word, hope spell check is right) rituals in the Ordinary Form, and not to mention laity responses I am perfectly fine with and support (support perhaps minus the simplification of rituals but that is what the Extraordinary Form is for I guess)

  38. luiz says:

    “I reject your premise of the Magisterium having no authority to revise the rites of the liturgy and sacraments.”

    Not to revise, but to demolish.

  39. Tom A. says:

    Perhaps Father or a reader could answer this question. Did not the Council of Trent forbid changes to the Mass??? If so, how did they get away with it and ignore a previous Council???

  40. chironomo says:

    Just finished listening to the PodcaZt…

    I knew of this address of Paul VI, but had never heard it in total. It poses more questions than it answers, but foremost in my mind is this: He justifies ALL of the changes and all of the loss of tradition and patrimony of art and language by appealing to the principle of “full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful” as it is stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium. In his own words, the achievement of this ideal of participation is more important than ALL of that tradition and heritage of the Christian faith up to that time.

    Other than just seeming to be wrong, I have to ask…If that is the case, than can the kind of participation that has developed possibly be what was intended, and if not…what kind of FCA participation were they thinking of? I cannot fathom that they thought that jettisoning the entire Latin patrimony of the Catholic Faith was worth the result of having perhaps half of the people unenthusiastically sing along with pop-style songs unrelated to the liturgy. Did they have something more meaningful in mind?

  41. darcy says:

    This text of Pope Paul VI’s general audience (which I never read before) brings a new dimension to the dialogue on liturgical renewal. My impression is that the Holy Father introduced a “Lent” of sacrifice and abstinence from Latin and Gregorian chant. It was designed to shake Catholics out of taking for granted what was happening at Mass, and being lazy in their own prayers. Maybe he felt the treasury of Latin and sacred music was being lost in mediocrity. Maybe he foresaw the revival of interest in authentic sacred music and a new love of the Latin language as fruits of this “Lent” 40 years down the road.

  42. Kimberly says:

    I don’t understand how the “New Mass” is part of organic growth. For almost 2000 years we have never “changed” only grown. Now, (1969) we have thrown out what has been nutured and aquired something, not just different, but NEW. Sorry, just venting.

  43. Monica Edith says:

    It’s thought provoking for me, a convert of only 10 years, to try to understand how I have a longing for the Traditional Mass, and a “link” to the Latin that seems within me to be a part of Natural Law. It’s innate, a part of my nature. And I love praying with the priest, All facing toward God. I’m appalled when I hear music that reminds me of a “round” of row row row your boat.

    Speaking as an “outsider” looking in, (I apologize for being presumptuous) I’m sad to say that upon hearing your podcast, Pope Paul rather reminds me of an indulgent mother who turned her beloved children loose in a candy store, then spends all night cleaning up the vomit. But God allowed this to happen for a reason. Perhaps, in part, because we so frequently do not appreciate what we have until it’s gone.

  44. haleype says:

    Definition of torpor:

    1. A state of mental or physical inactivity or insensibility. 2. Lethargy; apathy.

    Pope Paul VI evidently did not understand that many Catholics here in the USA benefited from a Missal that had the Latin and English translations of the Mass on the same or facing pages and to describe the people as being in a state of torpor is, IMHO, unfair. But as to whether the Novus Ordo Missae was being faithful to the demands of SC in its nearly full scale elimination of the “sacral” language of Latin and its relegation of Gregorian Chant to the dustbin is quite another story indeed. Are we engaged in a sacral act or a celebration of anthropocentrism? To put it more bluntly, are we worshiping God or Man?

    Then, there is the role of one Annabale Bugnini and the Protestant “Observers” at the Council and whether their collective influence had anything at all to do with the decision to go forward (some might say backward) with implementation of the Novus Ordo Missae. Personally, I believe Pope Paul VI was misguided when he said that it was the Will of Christ and the influnece of the Holy Spirit that was responsible for the reforms. But, only the Good Lord Himself will truly know the answer to that question. Thank God, Pope Benedict XVI seems intent on restoring the links to the past.

  45. chironomo says:


    That is an interpretation that should be given some serious thought. 40 years….Is it just a coincidence?

  46. irishgirl says:

    First time being able to listen to a podcast, Father Z-it was very interesting!

    I lived through those days, being 15 years old at that time. It was all rather bewildering.

    Your music choices were pretty cool; intriguing contrasts between the timeless tranquility and beauty of Gregorian chant, and the raucous [for that time, anyway] ‘music’ of the late 1960s! And it’s amusing to me now that I used to like them!

    And you have a nice ‘radio voice’, too….

  47. Darcy, Chironomo,

    Don’t forget this:

    “Forty years I have endured that generation, they are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know My ways!”

  48. patrick_f says:

    5th dimension in the beggining threw me off, as I was listening to this on my blackberry, which also has “Age of Aquarius” in its compliment of mp3’s. I kept clicking on it to play the right thing LOL

  49. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Thank you for posting the address. It is not something I had seen before, and helps to inform my understanding of those days.

    Several things come to mind. In Paragraph 14, Pope Paul VI states “let us bear this well in mind, for our counsel and our comfort: the Latin language will not thereby disappear. … it will remain … as the key to the patrimony of our religious, historical and human culture. If possible, it will reflourish in splendor.” He clearly sees Latin as the key to our understanding the Church. I can only imagine what he must have felt knowing he was abandoning the language. At least he saw the possiblity of a renaissance.

    In the following paragraph 15, Pope Pual declares that “if the rite is carried out as it ought to be, the spiritual aspect will be found to have greater richness. The greater simplicity of the ceremonies, the variety and abundance of scriptural texts, the joint acts of the ministers, the silences which will mark various deeper moments in the rite, will all help to bring this out.” I believe experience has borne out that a greater richness has not been produced in many cases.

    I cannot advocate a return to the exclusive use of the EF, but it clearly shows that the OF is in need of reform.

    I take comfort in the fact that our Nuptial Mass was in the Ordinary Form with the Introductory Rites and Liturgy of the Word in English, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Latin ad orientam.

  50. kenoshacath says:

    I agree with Trad Catholic Mom that November 30th should be a day of mourning. However, I believe that the TLM was allowed to be taken for a greater purpose. With the decline in spiritual growth, Our Lord left us to wander in the desert for 40 years. But now God has answered our humble prayers by giving us the Motu Proprio.

    We each are responsible for saving our own souls, and I found I personally could not do it well enough in the NO. It was 2006 Midnight Mass Christmas: I recognized the emptiness when the priest asked that we clap for the altar boys at the end of Mass. I was very saddened that they had lost a sense of the sacred. My conscience no longer allowed me to attend so we traveled 45 minutes to a TLM with our family weekly. There I could give proper honor and glory to God without distractions. THAT is what MY Lord deserves for as long as I can give it until my dying breath.

    Ask yourself: How can I best save my immortal soul? And those entrusted to my care?

    The devil is the master of confusion and deceit.

    Let us protect our minds and hearts through the daily recitation of the Rosary with our families.

  51. JosephMary says:

    Probably will not listen…
    Having long lived with the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II and the usurping of the liturgy, I can only think that this time forty years ago was a time of the beginning of our wandering in a ‘spiritual desert’. 40years, Lord!

    And still we are stuggling just to get a more authentic translation of what we have. There is Bp. Trautman who has added yeras to this process. More people will not come ‘to Eucharist’ he just said if these more authentic changes occur. Well plenty of people no longer came to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when the new liturgy was imposed. How many never returned to the Mass, how many went schismatic, how many just wandered away from ‘not being fed’?

    Save the liturgy, save the world, remember?

  52. Jack Hughes says:

    I agree with Oleksander that the closer the N.O is to the older form of Mass the better, I’m thankful that I’m able to get a lift most Sundays to the Nearest 1962 Mass. If it wasn’t for their irregular status I’d head over to the local SSPX Chapel like before you could say ‘ineffable’.

    PS Father just finnished listining to the Podcast, liked it very much especially the use of music.

  53. becket1 says:

    Father what you fail to mention in your podcast is that this “New Translation”, will not get rid of an abuse of “Extra-Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion”, which are really never needed about 98 percent of the time anyway. And altar girls!. They will still both be present, with or without a “New Translation”!. Same goes for priests not facing east!. I hope and pray that if I can’t a regular TLM in my area (Philadelphia Archdiocese/ Upper Bucks County), maybe I will get an Anglo-Catholic parish.

  54. becket1 says:

    I want to experience fully my Catholic traditions, before all was changed in the 60’s, before I die!.

  55. Frank H says:

    Becket1, I urge you to not be overly pessimistic. There are young, orthodox priests (and seminarians in the pipeline) who plan to slowly but steadily make such returns to traditional practice. A number of instances have been documented in this blog over the last couple of years. More shall surface!

  56. patrick_f says:

    I kind of get the feeling Pope Paul VI’s hands were tied …all through his address. There are the obvious jabs one takes when one cannot fully express his opinion (anyone that works in corporate america, knows what I mean).

    As Fr. Z points out there are obvious contradictions in the address, especially where at one point he refers to the liturgy, even the Novus ordo in great respect, and at another point he likens the process to abandoning everything, and the “annoyances”.

    In his eyes, he saw the sacrifice of 400+ years as “Necessary”. Now without seeming too “cooky” there have been others who have deemed sacrifice necessary, Nero, Hitler come to mind.

    Now I am not likening the Pope to Hitler. But what I am comparing is the deliberatness. Whenever one advocates destruction for complete renewal, one is bound to fail. Even in scripture, there isnt an “end of the world”, rather there is a “Reordering” (which as my scripture teacher taught me, is what the true meaning of Apocalypse is, but I digress).

    I think you can see from the address, that Paul was of the mindset that we had to completely start over, but, you also get the feeling the “gun was to his head”, so to speak. Again, I cant get over the contradictions and the obvious “Jabs” that are taken.

  57. becket1 says:

    There may be young orthodox priests in the pipeline, but they still have to do what the Bishop or Archbishop dictates. And if they dictate the New Mass to be said with all the new creations. Then they are required to do so, whether they are traditional or not. The Bishops and Archbishops will dictate if they are to start making returns to traditional practice or not. Go the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website, and see if you find one article or comment on the Extra-Ordinary Form. Good Luck!. Then you wonder why I am so pessimistic.

  58. patrick_f says:

    I think at the ArchDiocese/Diocese level, as far as communications, it gets politically complicated. Obviously there are probably “interests” who expect things worded a certain way.

  59. JonM says:

    LOL! Really. LOL!!

    Was working last night while listening, so I took another listen today. Father Z, your music cutting skills have me profusely laughing. I may require a herniorrhaphy.

    Juxtaposing the ‘innovations’ in music from the 60s and 70s against the Latin chant does more to illustrate the situation than pages of writing.

    Both the secular and religious songs from that heady time really do fade just into a noise. I do not understand much Latin, but the chant is obviously timeless and appeals far beyond this world.

  60. Father, I want to thank you for a very, very well done presentation. It was a professional job. It is too bad that the subject of the last forty years is so sorrowful.
    I don’t believe that the Church will ever be able to write the history of this time as the Church, aside from some small pockets of orthodoxy, lost the Faith.

  61. mattdiem says:

    Is Pope Benedict XVI going to be the last Pope who was raised, nurtured and formed with the Tridentine Mass?

    Of course in 500 years it could all be Tridentine again but….I sense a window or door is closing on the old paths and that all of that wisdom is going to fade away.

    Is Pope B16 a Napoleon without any Generals as Bartolucci claims?

    And it’s rainy outside today too!

  62. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Tom A:

    The Council of Trent actually wrote that the Church has power and authority to revise any of the sacraments. Session XXI, chapter II, of the Council of Trent states: “It furthermore declares that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain, or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places.”

    Paul VI did not demolish the sacraments. They still have their matter and form, and being promulgated by a Pope, they possess indefectibility in their validity and grace.

  63. MichaelJ says:

    Fr. Sotelo,

    Would you mind explaining what your cited quote from Trent actually means? Stating that the “Church has power and authority to revise any of the sacraments” seems rather broad and could logically include, I suppose, a future change to allow the ordination of women to the Priesthood. I do not think you meant this so could you please explain the difference between “dispensation” and “substance”?

  64. catholicmidwest says:

    “Pope Paul rather reminds me of an indulgent mother who turned her beloved children loose in a candy store, then spends all night cleaning up the vomit.”

    Monica Edith, this is a very good analogy for a layperson. I raised a couple of strong-willed sons and I agree, Halloween can turn into puke night and Christmas day can turn into hell-in-a-household if you don’t insist on some discipline with one’s kids and the sweets. My kids resented my insistence, but they respected me then (and now) for it. They have kids now, and guess what? They ration sweets over a period of days too, or they can’t stand their kids either. It’s funny to see them do it so well ;)

    And you said, “But God allowed this to happen for a reason. Perhaps, in part, because we so frequently do not appreciate what we have until it’s gone.”

    You know, God allows a lot of things to happen. He allowed the 3rd Reich; he allowed Stalin; he allowed Mao; he allows wars and heinous crimes to occur. We have free will and that should never be forgotten. The fact that we have free will doesn’t mean we need to go hog wild just because we can. And it doesn’t mean that expectations should be tossed out the window. People have real choices and getting rid of the expectations only makes the necessity of choosing more dramatic for some people with sloppy boundaries, thus resulting more extreme outcomes–outcomes that can damage all of us because no one acts in a vaccuum, EVER.

    There are a lot of human factors involved in listening to God, even for a priest, bishop or pope. One must always be sure they are listening to God before running off half cocked. There are classical tests for that, which the church well knows thanks to the writings of her doctors & saints. I’m always shocked how seldom those tests seem to be used amongst those who should know them best–starting with the bishops. What do they think they’re doing, exactly?

  65. catholicmidwest says:

    BTW, Monica Edith, I’m a convert too, of about 25 years now. The whole Vatican II event is perplexing to me too. But the stance and behavior exhibited around it (and allied topics) by other Catholics are also both just about as perplexing as the event to me. I’ve spent many years watching it in amazement (and being rather careful what I say as well because you can get blasted pretty good without warning just for standing in the vicinity — LOL).

  66. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Substance refers to the essential elements for a certain sacrament to be confected. In order to determine that, you have to turn to the Church’s documents and the accepted theological opinions. By Trent, it had already been determined that only men could be admitted to Holy Orders, so women priests could not be logically justified.

    As far as the actual rites which are used in dispensing or confecting sacraments, Trent is intentionally broad. “What things so ever it may judge” are profitable to the recipients and veneration of the sacraments. There is a very explicit desire to show that the sacraments are part of pastoral care. People are not like an inanimate rock. They are living beings with different needs in different “circumstances, times, and places.”

    One Pope and Council in the 16th century rightfully gives broad leeway that 500 years later, another Pope and Council may need to make changes in the pastoral care of administering sacraments. The Council of Trent fathers did not care for the Protestants dictating to them how the liturgy should be, and they wisely did not dictate and try to tie the hands of future council fathers.

    So for Paul VI, “what things soever” that are exoedient could mean changing to vernacular, shortening certain parts of Mass, expanding the Scripture options, allowing different kinds of music for different cultures, changing the gestures and postures, and making adjustments to the liturgical calendar, such as adding or taking away certain feasts.

  67. albizzi says:

    Some important questions:
    1/ Who said that the Latin mass was abolished and replaced by the NO? This was an awful abuse of power since Benedict recently said it wasn’t.
    2/ Was really Annibale Bugnini a freemason?
    a) If yes this well explains the Church misfortunes of the times being.
    b) If yes why did Pope Paul proceeded to implement the NO anyways?
    c) If not, why did Pope Paul dismiss Bugnini, sending him in a remote nunciature?

  68. Frank H says:

    For further enlightenment/aggravation on this topic, check out the book “Keep the Fire Burning: The Folk Mass Revolution” by Ken Canedo. He also has a related podcast series at http://www.kencanedo.com

  69. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Frank H:

    Ken Canedo worked in ministry to the deaf as a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the early 80’s. Then he was pastor for a parish for the deaf in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. I did not know he had left the priesthood. There are various ex-priests who are now “music ministers.” Interesting journey. From the altar to the choir loft.

    The whole folk ministry landscape is awash with ex-priests, some who are now ex-Catholic as well. I have heard the comment that “the whole image of sacrificial priesthood and confecting sacraments didn’t work for me anymore.” So, they want a normal life, with more freedom but still “churchy.”

    They go and work in Catholic communities where people are accepting of them and simply see ex-priests like divorced men. These lay people say, “It didn’t work out for them, but hey, they’re happy now outside the ministry, and that’s all right.” What a tragedy.

  70. asperges says:

    Perfect choice of background music. Peace and Love, man.. etc. Here was a Pope wholly out of his depth: he was influenced by the worst of advisers, including the true author of the NO, Bugnini, whose motives were highly questionable to say the least.

    The Church span out of control under this man: a tortured soul, Pius XII referred to him as “Our Hamlet.” I think he was like a desperate company Chief Executive who seemed to believe in his product, worked hard but nevertheless the firm still went bankrupt (or nearly did..). Like Paul VI himself, his discourse is a mass of contradictions and paradoxes. He sounds as though he had been well and truly brainwashed by ideas he must have known were high risk if not downright wrong.

    It is altogether in the nature of the man that he explains a forthcoming potential disaster, packs it round with comforting – even beautiful – reassertions of tradition, in which he undoubtedly believed, then abandoning them to the dustbin of eternity, launches the very thing he knows will set off a nuclear explosion in the Church.

    A tragic man who perhaps should never have been Pope, at least at that point in the Church’s history, his legacy has been a ghastly nightmare we are still waking up from. Time will not be kind to him, although he may deserve better. Only God knows.

  71. FrCharles says:

    I’m just getting around to listen to the PODCAzt now, having finished a day of bishop-watching. thanks, Fr. Z. I hope you don’t mind me linking the text of the audience for anyone else who wants to read along with you and practice his Italian: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/audiences/1969/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19691126_it.html

  72. AngelineOH says:

    Thank you for a very thought-provoking podcast. The musical selections truly spoke volumes. We have lost so much, and so few seem to know, or care.

    Please, God, banish “Eagle’s Wings” from the face of the earth…

  73. chcrix says:

    Comments still seem to be appearing on this so maybe somebody can enlighten me.

    Part 1. I graduated grade school in 1965, HS in 1969. As a grade schooler I was an altar boy maybe like 1963 to start. My career was mostly over by 1965 – after HS started I would “jump in” if the priest was serverless but I was not part of a regular schedule. I was trained in the latin responses. But – I never actually used the full set I was trained with. I KNOW this is true. From the time I started serving through my HS years the service was in continual flux with additions of vernacular, the “People’s Mass Book”, the new “Howard Johnson’s Style” church building, etc. (and especially ad nauseum).

    What was going on? Because they sure didn’t wait till 1969 to do all this. It was all done years before. Even before 1965, to my certain recollection. Were these changes all illicit? Renegade priests and bishops going off on their own?

    Part 2. As far as Pope Paul VI goes – this made me kind of sorry for him. But still one has to ask – Why didn’t he do something?

    There is a story about Pope Paul VI meeting a fameous liturgical expert. This expert (sorry his name escapes me at the moment) resigned from the liturgical commission charged with revising the liturgy. The story is that the expert resigned because he could not go along with the changes that M. Bugnini kept telling the commission the Pope wanted. During the meeting the Pope told the expert that HE was being told that the experts wanted the changes by M. Bugnini, and that they had both been deceived. I have been told by sources that I believe know what they are talking about that the story is true.

    My impression is that PVI was too weak to just fire a few people, announce a postponement of the final result and do the job correctly. Certainly his reflections on this reading show a man who is not more than half convinced that what he is doing is correct.

    But, because of my part 1 recollections it may also be that he felt the process had already spun out of control (maybe it had) and simply resigned himself to it.

  74. luiz says:

    “Paul VI did not demolish the sacraments. They still have their matter and form, and being promulgated by a Pope, they possess indefectibility in their validity and grace.”

    He didn’t demolish the sacraments, but the liturgical building. Of course the sacraments are still valid (and it may not be true… it depends upon the priest’s intention; it is not rare to find priests who belive the Mass is not a sacrifice anymore; in the old rite it would require an explicit act of the priest). The rite of the mass can’t be judged based only in the validity of the sacrament. Lex orandi, lex credendi. For ecumenical reasons, the defenses set up in the course of the centuries inspired by the Holy Spirit were deleted from the rite. It may remain valid, but it represents a step backwards in the progress of liturgy, an archeologism (“antiquarianism”). These are the words of Pope Pius XII: “But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device.” (MD §62) “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.” (MD §63) It seems obvious to me that (1) we can’t accept a fabricated rite, (2) (because of 1) the Church can’t make a new rite and (3) a new rite can’t be made “traditional” by a decree, because tradition, by definition, is something that we have received. A rite that is less catholic, in the sense that it silences many truths or make it difficult or ambiguous for one to comprehend them in the liturgy, works only for those who already know in a solid way the catholic doctrine. The many prayers added in the course of time were the expression of important truths of faith developed and emphasized by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is not natural to create a new rite (and even not permissible). Tradidi quod et accepi.

    I am not saying the new rite can’t produce saints or it is dangerous to the catholic people in itself. It is not intrinsically evil. What I say is that the new rite is silent on many important issues and this fact is in the origin of the crisis we face today. Because faith and liturgy are so close, we can’t change liturgy without changing the faith we profess. At the time of the Council, we were already facing a terrible crisis in the Church, religious ignorance being widespread among catholics. Without the defenses, heresy has entered the sacred place without control.

    There are, of course, many other aspects we should consider, but this is in my opinion the most important.

    I think that our century is the “Century of Silence”. We are called to be silent upon God, to be silent upon our Faith and, unfortunately, even the liturgy became silent. It is not invalid, it not heretical, but it is silent. In a time in which information is not controled, in which there is a lack of good priests and a collapse in the religious life, besides the massive attacks against the Holy Church, what could we expect of such a reform? If we look it alone, it seems harmless. It gives us this wrong impression. But in the actual context, it is a call for demolition. It is not pastoral.

    The ancient and venerable rite gives us safety. If there are people who can’t enjoy all the treasures hidden in the old mass, let us not blame the rite, but themselves. It is a problem of spirituality, not liturgy. We were (and are) in need of a reform of spirituality, a true renewal, a call for prayer, penance and sacrifice. If we can’t hear what the words say, that is not because they are not telling us the same things effectively, but because we don’t concentrate anymore, because we don’t listen to them!

    One of the goals of the reform was to obtain active participation. Was the rite uneffective in this sense? Of course not. These times are difficult and we need the Truth being proclaimed everywhere! People were becoming less and less conscious of what the rite expressed. Their faith was fading. Religious ignorance was growing. It is not possible to solve a catequetical problem changing liturgy. That called a (re)conversion of the catholic people, for them to burn in the fire of the love of God. Then each word, in latin, would become as bright as the sun: Introibo ad altare Dei…

  75. Melania says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for this and all your podcasts. I’ve been working my way through them slowly and learning a great deal plus enjoying your beautiful Latin readings. This new one has provided some added context for the sudden liturgical changes which were so confusing and disturbing for me at the time. I was in my teens.

  76. Clinton says:

    Thank you for that PODCAzt, Fr. Z. Fascinating.

    As has been pointed out earlier in this thread, Pope Paul VI was dead-on with Humanae Vitae. He issued that encyclical in spite of the
    (bad) advice of almost everyone around him. In so doing, he was scorned by the “with-it” world, ignored by many of the “hipper”
    Catholic laity, and openly mocked by the “groovier-than-thou” theologians and priests that *already* existed within the Church.
    Old-timers still speak with shock of how Hunanae Vitae was openly denounced from the pulpit in my parish back then.

    All of this dissent and the liturgical and spiritual vandalism that accompanied it in the decades after Vatican II was not perpetrated by
    Catholics who just showed up in 1969. No, these people were formed in their faith in the decades that preceded Vatican II. I recall
    leafing through old issues of Liturgical Arts Quarterly from the ’50’s and being astonished to see photos of experimental Masses
    celebrated facing the people, of Jesuits saying the Mass in street dress. Clearly, the itching for novelty and the breakdown of discipline
    that afflicted the Church since Vatican II has its roots in a failure that predated the Council.

    As Pope at the time, what to do? As his experience with Humaae Vitae showed, Paul VI had a prophetic grasp of the evil afoot in the
    times. More so than the overwhelming majority of his advisors, for they wanted either the opposing conclusion to be drawn or for the
    whole encyclical to be scrapped as “too controversial”. In short, to borrow mattdiem’s phrase from the 1:37pm post above, he was a
    Napoleon without any generals.

    Perhaps he saw that he was powerless to stop his beloved children who were already running loose in the candy store. Perhaps he
    knew that we were going to be cleaning up vomit for decades. (Thanks for the analogy, MonicaEdith. Too apt.) In the PODCAzt we
    hear him speak lovingly of the Church’s patrimony even as he places it in the attic and closes the door. Could it be he does this
    because he does not wish to see it covered in vomit? Did he realize that the madness of the times would pass–probably not in his
    lifetime– and another Pope could reopen the attic and bring out that patrimony for children that had had a chance to sober up?

    While it was a grievous loss that we were denied the EF Mass for so long, but it’s better than the alternative. Imagine if It had been
    subjected to incremental change by various committees for decades. Fiddled with and tweaked, it would be unrecognizable today
    and there would have been no way to return to tradition. Perhaps Paul VI, like good parents everywhere, was doing the right thing
    for his kids, even at the cost of their contempt.

  77. thomas tucker says:

    Absolutely fascinating, and I think it really shows what Paul VI was thinking.
    Going with the times, he really thought that modernizing the Mass was going to help the majority of Catholics understand it, love it, and live it better than ever.( In that decade, modernization seemed to be the best in every sphere.) Moreover, he probably did see that many Catholics at the time seemed to be not participating at Mass- not the ones who love the EF now, of course, but the average layman, and he thought that this would shake them out of it.
    Maybe it did, in a way. To be sure, there was a subsequent silly season, but it seems as if we are now emerging from that. And perhaps Bendict is correct that now the two forms will influence each other for the better.
    Wow- fascinating!
    Thanks, Father Zuhlsdorf.

  78. geoff jones says:

    I don’t want to disrespect Paul VI, but he seems to be saying that we are radically changing the mass because we need “change for its own sake.”

    Being able to look back, and in the way that the sons always condemn the generation of their fathers, his reasons seem to me thin and vacuous.

    Devout people I meet who grew up through the changes seem to me like battered wives. They won’t question the changes and show no interest in the EF, but it is like in a kind of “stand by your man” kind of a way.

  79. catholicmidwest says:


    There are a number of scenarios that could explain what Pope Paul VI did. Yours is a recounting of one of the most plausible. But with these things, there’s always a huge question that results–a show-stopper for explanatory purposes. With yours, one has to ask how close would this scenario would have been to “doing evil so that good might result” (unless PPVI was aware of something that we will never know which can’t be dismissed–but also can’t be assumed).

    Indeed, along with many Catholics, I cannot find an explanatory scenario for the actions of PPVI that doesn’t have huge questions accompanying it. (The same goes huge parts for Vatican II for that matter.)

    However, examining the rocky history of the church herself makes these things more understandable, if anything does. Very weird things can happen and have happened (Arianism etc)–the kinds of things we don’t think about in the 21st century–but they always come out right, given enough time. That’s the only real explanation I can find.

  80. Mike Morrow says:

    This is an excellent podcast!

    It was very painful to hear. It brought back all the bad memories that I had at age 17 of observing clearly the obviously disasterous course that the Church was taking, of watching the beautiful transform into a bizarre caricature clown-church. Terrible changes had begun in most parishes as early as late 1965. I lived through it until I’d had enough.

    If most of the clergy and faithful of that era had possessed the courage and integrity to disassociate from Newchurch, the termination of the tragic experiment would have started decades sooner. Most modern bishops are nothing if not politicians, in the worst sense. The people who voted with their feet cared more about principles than the apathetic or radical that remained.

    The most appropriate rock song that could have been used at the end of the podcast is “The End” by the Doors.

  81. Clinton: I think you’re right about Humanae Vitae. I believe that, as proof of the primacy and infallibility of Peter, it ranks with Clement VII’s refusal to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. In both cases, you had Popes who seemed to be rather in over their heads (Hillaire Belloc called Clement VII weak); in both cases, there was massive pressure on the Pope to do the wrong thing; in both cases, the Pope knew that to do the right thing would be an excuse for large-scale defections and rebellions (I can’t think that Paul VI did not see it coming); and in both cases, the Pope did the right thing anyway.

    This is all attributable, not to the men in question who occupied the Throne of Peter, but to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who may let the Church teeter on the brink of the abyss but will not let her fall in. For this reason, just as we should not revile Paul VI, I think we also need to be careful of giving him too much credit. We need to keep our eyes on the One who is really and ultimately in control, and works all things — even rotten things — to the good for those who love Him.

  82. jaykay says:

    I was going on 10 at the time and I seem to quite clearly remember that in my Diocese anyway (in Ireland) the “New Mass” as it was called didn’t actually come in until the first Sunday in New Year 1970. I do remember how much more packed the church was than usual (and it was always packed then) for the first “New Mass”. We were all equipped with our new missals, of course. I think that may have been why they delayed it slightly, for logistical reasons in order to get the new books printed and distributed, since everyone still used missals then. There were no Missalettes (horrible word) until a few years later.

    We kids had had to learn off by rote the people’s parts of the older “transitional” version since 1966 and knew that, come the time for school resuming after Christmas, we’d be doing it again, but in fact the “new” version didn’t contain that much change for the people’s parts since they retained the exact translations of the Gloria, Credo and Sanctus that had been intorduced in 1965/6, complete with thee’s and thou’s. This was the situation up till 1975 when the current awful translations came in… now happily to be redundant in the not-too-distant future!

  83. Frank H says:

    Fr_Sotelo, very interesting about Ken Canedo. I have listened to all his podcasts in this series, but haven’t yet read his book. Nowhere in the podcasts does he mention having been ordained. I had the impression he had attended seminary, but assumed he never was ordained. New Liturgical Movement has a terrific article/review of the book.


  84. MikeM says:

    The Novus Ordo is twice my age so my knowledge of pre-Vatican II realities is obviously pretty limited.

    Wasn’t Pope Paul VI right, though, that people really didn’t understand the Tridentine Mass, or at least, large parts of it?

    I have enjoyed the TLM when I’ve attended it, but, I a) understand Latin, and b) spend inordinate amounts of time reading about Catholicism, and I can certainly imagine where the “old Mass” would have been unapproachable for many. Also, from an evangelical perspective, use of the vernacular offers great opportunities to bring new people into the Church.

    It’s hard for me to view the NO Mass in a negative light since that’s the Mass I’ve grown up with, and that’s the primary Mass in which I’ve found the outpouring of Grace that God provides in the Eucharist. I just don’t understand why so many parishes decided to completely lose sight of any sort of sense for good presentation when the new missal was released.

    You don’t have to predate Vatican II to recognize that much of the new liturgical music is just bad music (and that’s leaving its theological correctness as a separate issue). And, even things like stained-glass windows have gone down hill. Why do so many new churches have those ugly formless half-hearted attempts at stained glass windows?

    I think there is some beauty in the simplicity (and yet richness) of the Novus Ordo, as Paul VI claimed. It can just be hard to find it when it’s celebrated poorly in an ugly building with corny music, a smudged wine glass in place of the chalice and a thoughtless homily that may or may not even remotely pertain to the week’s readings.

  85. chcrix says:


    “Wasn’t Pope Paul VI right, though, that people really didn’t understand the Tridentine Mass, or at least, large parts of it?”

    I don’t think so in general. Everyone in my recollection had missals. As a kid at the time my little missal had only the ordinary of the Mass and the Sundays (no feast days). So you didn’t really need to know Latin.

    I am sure some didn’t understand the mass or pay attention. But is that any less true with the Novus Ordo? Especially when the emphasis has switched from ‘sacrifice’ to ‘supper’ – something that is basically mistaken.

    “It can just be hard to find it when it’s celebrated poorly in an ugly building with corny music, a smudged wine glass in place of the chalice and a thoughtless homily that may or may not even remotely pertain to the week’s readings.”

    Dead on. And too many of us battle scarred veterans have seen entirely too much of that. The negative associations are hard to avoid.

    Now let me put a question to you. If at the end of say, next year the NO (which means something to you) was effectively abolished and you were treated with withering contempt because you wouldn’t get with the program how would you feel then? And how would you feel for the next 30-40 years after that as you were still treated condescendingly? How would you feel if there was no prospect of getting the kind of requiem mass for your Father that was the only one he liked and was attached to?

    I only say that to try and convey the experience I had to you.

    That is why I do not favor the abolition of the NO – even though I feel it brings little to the liturgical table. Nobody should have to put up with that.

  86. Mike Morrow says:

    “Wasn’t Pope Paul VI right, though, that people really didn’t understand the Tridentine Mass, or at least, large parts of it?”

    No. No. No! Completely the contrary. That is false perception from Newcurch propagandists.

    The Newchurch attitude has been from the first “Don’t worry…we’ll provide everything you need, you don’t even have to think. In fact, we’d rather you did not. Really!” In comparison, the pre-Vatican II Church required some intelligence, some *individual* thought and effort. Such efforts much more intimately involve and bind one to the liturgy. The Newchurch considers most people too stupid to be capable of that. The Newchuch radicals were correct that apathetic masses would easily conform to reduced expectations.

    A very obvious difference is that from early youth most Catholics in pre-Vatican II times had their own privately obtained missals with side-by-side Latin and vernacular translation. These missals were often used for a lifetime, and passed on. The most popular like the St. Joseph provided Latin and vernacular for Mass Commons and common prayer and hymns, but only the vernacular for most Propers. Better missals like the St. Andrews provided Latin for all the Propers as well. *Always* the vernacular was provided, regardless of missal version. There was *NO* excuse for lack of understanding of the liturgical proceedings.

    Today in Newchurch, one arrives empty and clueless, chats about the ball game and weather with others for a while, pulls from the pew rack a paper-bound telephone-book quality “missalet” and “hymnal” of the most gastly and appalling recently concocted “popular” vernacular caterwalling (save for the few classic Protestant hymns that are there with an embarrassed look on their face), while the lector or “celebrant” periodically calls out the page to be on.

    That’s really really an impressive achievement of popular involvement and understanding o the liturgy!

    Funny, all these naked emperors! Or are they novus ordo bishops?

  87. There were two audiences of Pope Paul VI in November of 1969 that EWTN has in English:

    Nov. 19, 1969 (titled “The Mass is the Same”).

    Nov. 26, 1969 (titled “Changes in Mass for Greater Apostolate”), which is what Fr. Z read.

    Read both.

  88. tecumseh says:

    More than 65% of the participants are participating fully on any given Sunday. They wash the car, they go for a drive, they have a pub lunch, the watch sports on the TV, they scour the fridge for some beer.

    They never go to mass. They are all Darwinists now. The Novus Ordo was the biggest disaster to hit this planet in the whole of the 20th century. Even Hiroshima was in better shape 20 years after the bomb than the church was 20 years after the Novus Ordo. The thing is, we had compassion on Hiroshima, we stopped after the bomb was dropped. The Novus Ordo suicide squads are STILL wreaking havoc.

  89. robtbrown says:

    Re the Church’s authority over the Substance of Sacraments:

    The rule is that the Church has the authority to the matter of the Sacrament unless it has been specified in Scripture. Thus, the priesthood, following Scripture, is limited to men.

    The Church has the authority to change the form of the matter without reservation.

  90. robtbrown says:

    One other point before I go to swim laps:

    A Sacramental Rite is not promulgated by the Magisterium. The Magisterium is the teaching office of the Church. Its role in promulgation of a Sacramental Rite is that of negative governance–it preserves the rite from direct heresy and assures its validity. It is no assurance that a rite (or part of it, e.g., the Offertory) will be more or less good.

    Permission for the vernacular is also not a function of the Magisterium.

  91. robtbrown says:

    The Church has the authority to change the form of the matter without reservation.
    Comment by robtbrown

    Should be “form of the Sacrament”.

  92. robtbrown says:

    One other other point:

    I can find nothing in the text of SC that links participatio actuosa with vernacular liturgy. If memory serves, however, there were certain VatII participants (e.g., Bp Zauner) who independently made that link. It is well known that JRatzinger does not.

    Further, any vernacular changes should have not included the participatory responses of the people (as in a dialog mass) because they were always the same.

  93. Wasn’t Pope Paul VI right, though, that people really didn’t understand the Tridentine Mass, or at least, large parts of it?

    MikeM, I think, on the contrary, that fewer of us understand the Mass than ever before.

  94. lacrossecath says:

    I thought maybe I’d catch a Polka Mass in there too….

    Very well done Father.

  95. lacrossecath says:

    I first started attending the TLM this year and now that I am used to the ritual, language and have a Missal to follow, I can safely say I understand the Mass much better(took a couple months, Sundays only). I can comprehend a priest tell me “good morning” during Mass, but that doesn’t mean he has helped me understand the Mass any better, in fact he muddies the waters.

  96. Fr. A.M. says:

    Thank you very much Father for your podcast. I have only been able to find a curtailed English translation of Pope Paul’s audience on)line : is it possible to obtain the full text anywhere on line ?

    God bless you.

  97. “The Age of Aquarius” by the Fifth Dimension…a blast from the past…and it DOES describe the “zeitgeist”, if you will, of these troubled, troubled times.
    We are living some forty years after all of this; this time of overly optimistic and utopian epic.
    I think of Archbishop Bugnini’s statement that “The man of 1968 is the fully evolved man” or something like that…T. de. Chardin goofiness. Guess he was wrong; REALLY wrong!
    Maybe I’m being too generous, here, but if Pope Paul VI actually saw and experienced the craziness this “reform”(I mean abuses, here) allowed, he would not be pleased…at all.
    We have the luxury of hindsight; although great minds such as D. von Hildebrand, Card. Ottiviani and others may have had a clear insight into what these changes would bring out, the present moment with Pope Benedict XVI, Msgr. Guido Marini, and others (including the new head of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments and Archbishop Burke) give us great hope and trust that God, is, in fact, leading us back to the proper worship “in spirit and truth”.

  98. nazareth priest: All the pop songs I used were hits in 1969.

    Could you find the Bugnini quote you mention?

  99. Dr. Eric says:

    Fr. Z,

    The only parts of the podcast that made me cringe were the “Gather Us In” and “On Eagles Wings.” I have to admit when I heard the record scratch and the chant of the “Sub Tuum Praesidium” I teared up a little as that prayer is easily becoming my favorite Marian prayer.

    I don’t mind the pop/rock songs as long as they aren’t too foul. I think that Side 2 of Abbey Road is the best Side 2 of any pop/rock album- too bad you played “Come Together” from Side 1 and “Get Back” from “Let It Be” (McCartney said “Let it Be”, the title track, was about his mother- this Catholic boy thinks the song is about more than just mother McCartney.)

  100. I don’t know. Maybe I am out of my league but I can’t see how the Novus Ordo is bad. I converted under the Novus Ordo from being a non Christian protestant (in that I was not baptized nor was anyone else at the protestant church that I grew up in) to being the truest sort of Christian, a Catholic. I found in the Mass, Novus Ordo that it was, a deep commitment to Christ and a connection to the sacred that just does not exist outside the church. When I went to study the Mass to know what was going on I found the Novus Ordo very rich.

    But still I have no love of English (strange since I am an English teacher with a Masters in Linguistics). I come from an ethnic group that does not speak English and I was forced to learn English to get along at school which I did not appreciate.

    We need to remember that English is one of those well developed languages which can be very clear when complex words are used and becomes very vague when simplified. English has a lot of things in it that are set in a grammatical way that native speakers understand intuitively but non native speakers have no way to understand. For instance how would a non native speaker of English interpret a sentence with a be verb plus a second verb in the infinitive? In the passive it would be easy but in the active we seem to have a problem. “He is to cook dinner.” Such a sentence while slightly out of place is non the less very common in English. When we simplify the English language we loose the ability to have English be understood by non native speakers and it would seem even by some native speakers as English begins to diverge in different countries.

    Now if we look at Latin we know that there were several forms of Latin that existed before the solidification of the Latin rite as we understand it. The Church did not embrace them all, but one specific form of Latin. Even among the Greeks, they did not embrace and adopt every version of Greek that existed, but one specific form that became the language of the church that was able to be shared by all. This is why the difference in the form of Syriac that is currently in use in the Church is such a same.

    The Latin of the Church is not the complicated high brow of Cicero and I would probably not love the Latin of the Church as much as I do if it were. It is a simpler form of the language that is more direct. But unlike English which becomes vague and ambiguous the simpler it gets, Latin does not do so. It retains the meaning it is meant to have. It is no wonder then that Latin, the Latin of the Church specifically, eventually replaced Syriac and Greek as the universal language of the Church wherein we write our laws. It is and should be our universal second language and it is accessible to all Christians on the planet. Latin is easier to remember, easier to lean and easier to pronounce than the two current most popular languages on the planet, English and Chinese.

    I have studies the 1962 rite and I believe I have tried to champion its cause where I live. Still I must say, even though I have never yet had the privilege of attending the extraordinary form I will have to say that I can see in it why people wanted some revisions. That’s not bad. Still, I can also see how the Novus Ordo as a replacement was a shock that seemed to be too much too fast. That does not make the Novus Ordo bad.

    I certainly would like to see the Novus Ordo revised to much more like the extraordinary form and I would like to see the extraordinary form revised to include more readings and the explicit prayer to the Holy Spirit. Not that I think we need to have that or that the rite is deficient in any way but it is good to have so let’s have it.

    I will say this though, for some reason I just can’t stand the part after the Pater Noster where everyone starts shaking hands. There is a kids room at my parish and it is no secret that the women in there talk through the entire mass. The only time they get a break from talking is to shake hands after the Pater Noster. Now I don’t know if they are talking about good things or bad things or if they are good Catholics or bad Catholics. I have no idea. However, they get so loud we can sometimes hear them, through the glass. Maybe what we need to so have everyone shake hands every five minutes so that they will continue to pay attention.

  101. Fr Z: Sorry for the long hiatus.
    I will look for that quote from Bugnini…can’t remember where I read it…

  102. robtbrown says:

    The Latin of the Church is not the complicated high brow of Cicero and I would probably not love the Latin of the Church as much as I do if it were. It is a simpler form of the language that is more direct.

    I assume you’re referring to the Liturgical Latin of the Church and the Gospels, which are much different from the Latin of Leo the Great and St Augustine. On the other hand, there are Epistles that seem to have preserved the Greek structure that are not easy to read.

    But unlike English which becomes vague and ambiguous the simpler it gets, Latin does not do so. It retains the meaning it is meant to have.

    Not so sure I agree with you. Church Latin has narrow the meanings for certain words, but in Latin in general this has not happened. For example, Church Latin has appropriated the word “gratia” to refer to a relation with God, but a Latinist not familiar with Church Latin would never think of it so.

    Ditto “Verbum” as a translation of Logos. The Greek word refers to the source and order of the cosmos–not so Verbum.

    It is no wonder then that Latin, the Latin of the Church specifically, eventually replaced Syriac and Greek as the universal language of the Church wherein we write our laws. It is and should be our universal second language and it is accessible to all Christians on the planet. Latin is easier to remember, easier to lean and easier to pronounce than the two current most popular languages on the planet, English and Chinese.
    comment by quomodocumque

    Latin was adopted by the Church because it was the language of Empire.

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