As the new year begins, I’ll point to a new and interesting book about an infamous figure in the Church in the 20th century.
Annibale Bugnini: Reformer of the Liturgy by Yves Chiron.
This is the English translation of the French original.
The forward is by Alcuin Reid. Reid is very careful to point out Chiron’s objectivity. However, you can glean from the beginnings of the book that Bugnini – infamously controversial – while he wasn’t guilty of some things said about him – was a master manipulator of structures of power and we not above playing fast and loose with the truth.
Reid adds some information of his own, including an intriguing excerpt from Louis Bouyer about how Bugnini manipulated – even lied to – Paul VI and also the Consilium, telling each that the other was all for what (Bugnini’s agenda) was being proposed.
Reid includes a bit he learned from the late, great Card. Stickler about whether or not Bugnini really was a Freemason, often alleged about him.
“No,” the Cardinal replied, “it was something far worse.”
On the other hand, it seems that Bugnini tried to intervene in the case of Archbp. Lefebvre, arguing for greater patience from Paul VI. And, counter-intuitively, Bugnini argued for greater permissions for the use of the pre-Conciliar form of Mass, along the lines of the Heenan permission.
I look forward to drill farther into this book. I’m a couple chapters in, past his early life. It has already given me food for thought.
The truth is more interesting than useful rumors that can be used as weapons.