Wherein Fr. Z rants and recommends a must read entry at NLM

The Council Fathers of Vatican II voted overwhelmingly to approve some few mandates that would result in a reform of the Roman Rite.

A body was assembled to implement that reform.  It was operated by radical ideologues who had their own ideas about what worship ought to be.  Guided by ideology and personal animus (in the case of Bugnini and the Congregation for Rites) Paul VI was manipulated, on the one hand, and the Consilium lied to, on the other, and sweeping changes were made to the Roman Rite that the Council Fathers never dreamed of, excepting the modernists from mainly northern Europe.

Peter Kwasniewski has a piece at NLM that is absolutely devastating regarding any claim that the Council and Council Fathers wanted an all vernacular (English) Mass.  Devastating.   He mounts up evidence that the expectation of the Council Fathers was that the Roman Canon, for example, remain in Latin.

The Council Fathers had mandated that Latin remain the language of worship, but that space could be given to the vernacular.   They mandated that no changes be made that weren’t organically consistent with the previous form.  They required that no changes by made that weren’t truly for the good of the people.

In each case, the expectations of the Council Fathers were thwarted.  Under the obscuring umbrella excuse of “the Council”, what we got what not what was voted on.   Latin was abandoned under false pretexts.  Massive changes that had nothing to do with the previous forms, total innovations, were interpolated and important, theologically founded elements were removed.  Entire Eucharistic Prayers that virtually no one even imagined about much less wanted were cobbled together and pasted in.

So much of this was accepted out of, it is possible to argue, a damaged sense of obedience.

Take a look at Peter’s entry at NLM and be amazed.  He did a huge amount of work.

Most of you are not going to read thoroughly everything Peter posts as his evidence that the Council Fathers expected that the Roman Canon be preserved in Latin.  It is overwhelming.  Just seeing it all laid out should clinch it.

We’ve been lied to for decades, to the unfathomable damage to our Catholic identity, the Church’s standing in the world, internal breakdowns and loss of moral capital like no other time in history.

Change how we pray and, over time, our beliefs change too.

Liturgy is Doctrine.

We are our Rites.

Save the liturgy.  Save the world.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Latin, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Pò sì jiù, Save The Liturgy - Save The World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. iPadre says:

    Peter and many others are a great gift to the Church in our time. Their extraordinary research will bear fruit. We may not live to see it, but it WILL bear fruit.

  2. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

    How astonishing and saddening – including that, so many were so willing to scrap so much Latin – if I am reading submissions correctly: e.g., vernacular Gloria, Credo, Introitus in “Missa solemi”. So much for chant? Or were translations set to chant perhaps intended (implicitly, by some)?

    Yet, as John Gerardi comments there “the thing that struck me was the assumption that the essential structure of the old Mass would be retained. Nobody was imagining multiple Eucharistic prayers, just the Canon. Bishops were assuming that the various parts of the old Mass might be in a different language, but would still be retained (Last Gospel, the offertory prayers, etc.).”

    And Cardinal Heenan (18th July 1968): “All that we can do is to see that there is at least one Latin Mass in every church on a Sunday.”

    What sustained impudence on the one hand and supineness on the other!

  3. maternalView says:

    Supposedly for our good, huh?

    Now there are even fewer people going to Mass.

    I know very little Latin but I am more engaged now at Mass by attending the TLM.

  4. Longinus says:

    I have before me the 1964 Roman Missal “cum Versionibus Lingua Anglica Exaratis” published with the approval of the US Bishop’s Conference.
    It has most of the people’s parts in English and all the priest’s parts in Latin. It follows the Tridintine Ordo for celebrations as well as the traditional lectionary in English. It is almost exactly what the bishops of the Council recommended.
    I was in seminary during the Vatican Council and this was the Mass we attended daily until 1970 when the Missal of Paul VI was dropped on us. No one knew that was coming since we all believed the Mass that was being celebrated until that point was what the Council mandated.

  5. Rob in Maine says:

    So where were these Bisops in the early 70’s? All dead? Why didn’t they raise a stink?

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    1. There is another reason why the Vatican II Council Fathers could not let the entire Mass be in the vernacular and it has perplexed me why this isn’t brought up more often. I would like to talk about another Council, for a moment. In Session XXII of the Council of Trent, specifically devoted to the Mass, we read:


    On not celebrating the Mass every where in the vulgar tongue; the mysteries of the Mass to be explained to the people.

    Although the mass contains great instruction for the faithful people, nevertheless, it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue. Wherefore, the ancient usage of each church, and the rite approved of by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being in each place retained; and, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, nor the little ones ask for bread, and there be none to break it unto them, the holy Synod charges pastors, and all who have the cure of souls, that they frequently, during the celebration of mass, expound either by themselves, or others, some portion of those things which are read at mass, and that, amongst the rest, they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on the Lord’s days and festivals.

    CANON IX.–If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.

    An anathema against a totally vernacular Mass is pretty strong stuff. The Vatican II Fathers could not be faithful toTrent and encourage a completely vernacular Mass without making the Council incur an anathema, which would prove that the Council was not an act of the Holy Spirit, since the Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself. Thus, the Council Fathers did NOT, indeed, could not mandate or even permit the Mass to go totally vernacular.

    Obviously, if logic means anything, the NO cannot be the expression of either Vatican II or Trent.

    2. As to whether or not Vatican II is valid, if it contains ambiguous language in its documents, then this is a peculiar situation, because ambiguity has no truth valuation and while ambiguity can have either a local or a global effect, it does not admit of verification. As such, these parts of the documents, to the extent that they are tainted by ambiguity (I have not made a study, but rely on the reportage of people such as Michael Davies), are neither valid nor invalid. There is no common phrase for this situation, but I suggest unvalid (even though it is an archaic use for invalid). I have spent about 25 years studying ambiguity and incongruity in texts as part of my study of humor theory and if ambiguity exists, then any decisions made within that ambiguity are not a matter of right and wrong, but of power, because the ambiguity prevents any judgments based on truth. It would be useful to compile where such ambiguity exists in the documents. Ambiguity is not the same as loose language. Many documents are sloppy, but not ambiguous. If the many Canon lawyers present among the bishops at Vatican II failed to recognize ambiguous language in the final documents, then this would be very bad. I am not an expert on Vatican II, so I can’t speak to how that might have happened, if it did.

    3. Speaking scientifically, the Mass is an emergent phenomenon. Emergent phenomena have to have continuity; yes, there can be symmetry breaking, but there has to be historical continuity in the trajectory. The NO did not emerge from the Tridentine Mass by dint of some pressure on a variable. It is a de novo construction based on what La Nouvelle Theologie posited as a resourcement of the earlier Masses. Now, if a mathematician makes a mistake in a proof, he doesn’t throw out the entire proof, but goes back to a reset point where he is sure the proof is valid and starts working forward from that point. The Tridentine Mass is, basically, a reset or restore point in the Church’s hard drive. The NO is like a Windows machine that hasn’t been defragged in years – accumulations and jumbles of partial data mixed together. The Vatican II Fathers wanted a few tweaks to the Tridentine Mass. They wanted an update, like going from Windows 10 to Windows 11. What they got was more akin to going from Windows 10 to Linux Mint 20.4. They are both good operating systems, but they do things in different ways.

    Speaking of math, if there were a survey of the bishops which supposedly started all of this and we are not allowed to see it, such that we can’t even be sure that it was an unbiased survey, then what any scientist would do if he can’t get a hold of the data is to run his own experiment. Indeed, ignore the bishops and do your own survey – a real one run by above board, unbiased researchers with impeccable credentials. Get the results and publish them with full transparency. I has a math professor in graduate school who said that he had a disagreement with a professor of a course he was taking. He said, “I didn’t argue with him, I went up to the board and wrote a proof.” A well-run survey on what the TLM goers really think (not, possibly, what the bishop merely thinks they think) would be a valuable contribution to the Church and if the truth is the guiding principle, then whatever it proves, one way or the other, helpful or hurtful to what TLM goers want, if everything is done with transparency, then we would know for sure. If the results contradicted the bishop survey, then rigor would be on the side of the independent unbiased survey and then it becomes a matter of truth vs. power. Right now, everyone is grousing and complaining. Do the work. Get the answer. Argue from a position of truth. When Pope Francis supported a child abuse in a Latin American country a few years ago (the details escape me), he was forced to backtrack when irrefutable evidence was presented. Now, the Pope may be right and the majority of TLM goers have opinions contrary to his; maybe he is wrong. We won’t know until there is irrefutable evidence, so don’t wait for the Vatican to act. Go get it yourself.

    The Pope can do what he wants (within moral reason), so he can suppress the Tridentine Mass, if he wants (although, not Latin and certain essential Mass elements – the Pope cannot supersede a Council on this issue). He doesn’t need a reason, even if he offers one. The Pope does not own the truth, however, so, if only for historical reasons, the disposition of the laity should be made known, so that one can know if the Pope is making an argument from his person or from facts.

    I am not worried. Within 100 years, there will have to be a return to Latin within the Mass because the NO Mass has high entropy, whereas the TLM has low entropy and high entropy systems tend to be unstable. Given the destabilization and demographic changes the world will experience within the next forty years, the Church will rediscover what the early Church already knew – when cultures break down and the dark ages approach the ability to focus the energy of the Church will be what keeps history going and the ability of the Church to focus its energies depends on having a unifying language and culture. The NO is a rich man’s Mass and could only be created by people who didn’t have a care for their future. It was created during the flush of high life styles during the post-War era. It was not meant to be a durable Mass. When the bad times come (and they are coming) the Church will be forced to act as it always should have. If you have read the Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov, we could be on the cusp of a Seldon Crisis, which will hem the Church in and force Her to act in the only way possible. Time will tell.

    The Chicken

  7. bakamama says:

    Ora pro nobis

  8. Littlemore says:

    Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.

  9. Not says:

    Interesting how they use the word Organic, as if that everything that is organic is good. Most poisons come from an organic substance.

  10. mattheusmei says:

    Firstly, let me say that I’ve not had the privilege of attending a Vetus Ordo Mass, I have observed and followed along thanks to the interwebs, youtube/vimeo and Fr. Z. Saying that, I have the utmost sympathy for those with devoted attachment to the V.O. As to the meat and potatoes of my comments as it relates to this post…

    Considering the havok that was done by so-called experts, I would love to see the “what if” had the reforms followed the actual mandates of the council. What would this Mass look like?

    I attend NO Mass in my small rural hometown and am grateful that one of the church’s in the city I work offers a NO Latin Mass which utilizes the Roman Canon only. It’s edifying and spiritually nourishing, I imagine the reform as envisioned by the council would appear like this mass with some exceptions, but would really like to hear from the folks in the know, with more of a handle on things.

    I can’t help but believe that the mutual enrichment that Benedict XVI hoped for from issuing Summorum Pontificum (and which I believe started bearing fruit – such as increased Latin in NO Mass, increased Ad Orientem worship) was laying the ground work to “Reform the Reform” to be more in line with what Vatican II actually meant in regards to liturgical reform. In this vein TC appears to have been issued too soon (if you will) and is stamping out these blossoms and blooms before they could take hold further a field (at least that’s what I’m getting from most of my reading).

  11. maternalView says:

    I attend a parish being forced to have a NO on the first Sunday of the month instead of the TLM. (They also already have 2 NO on Sundays.)
    It’s done entirely in Latin according to the 1970 books except for the readings, responsorial, & homily.
    Some people will do the people’s responses in Latin but mostly it’s the server or priest doing them. No shaking of hands. No arms raised up during the Our Father. It’s like a low Mass- mostly quiet. We’re done in 30 to 40 minutes depending on how many are there for communion and the length of the homily.

    It struck me as an abridged version of the TLM. It’s bearable compared to most NO in English around here. But it doesn’t make me any less desirous of the TLM. It’s like going to Olive Garden instead of a real Italian trattoria.

  12. TonyO says:

    While Pope Francis is the worst of the post-VII popes on this issue, Paul VI and JP II both failed miserably, and gigantically, on the “reform of the Mass”. Paul VI somehow put the Consilium in the hands of Bugnini, a man known not to be orthodox, and then accepted Bugnini’s end product instead of scrapping it with a declaration “But that’s not what the Council said” – which was the only just reaction. That’s major, major failure. JPII, knowing in 1979 how horribly the NO mass had been implemented, had all the power he needed to have to both (a) cracked down on abuses, and (b) implement a reform of the reform to undo at least SOME of the worst of Bugnini’s offenses. (Or he could have just wiped the slate clean and said “we’re going back to the TLM for a few years until we can get a proper reform mass figured out”.) Or he could have done roughly what Benedict did 28 years later and announced that the TLM had never been abrogated, and he could have allowed EVEN MORE latitude for priests to use TLM than Benedict gave. He took none of these reasonable actions, which is again a MAJOR failure.

    But the most blatant, most unjust of their actions (after the basic imposition of the NO itself) was to utterly, adamantly, remorselessly, and even cruelly sweep under the rug every comment from the faithful pointing out that “but this NO mass has no clothes” (i.e. that it DID NOT comply with VII said to do with the mass.) That is, it’s not merely that these popes didn’t support the traditionalists with a clearly enunciated right to have the old mass, its that they refused to even treat the issue of whether the NO followed VII as if it were a real point at all. They denied its standing as ANY sort of a point to be discussed, much less acted on.

    Francis is reaping the rewards of their intransigence on this: not only the faithful (mostly) don’t realize the underlying issue at all, but even the bishops cannot be made to face the issue as if it were real. Sure, Francis too is not granting the issue any validity, to his disgrace, but he has a college of bishops composed, perhaps 90%, of men who are eager to also not grant the issue any validity. Of course, Francis is also denying outright the truths that Benedict put into Summorum, as if mere repudiation counts as a counter-argument, so TC rests on quicksand as its foundation.

  13. JoHNewman says:


    “(W)hat if” had the reforms followed the actual mandates of the council. What would this Mass look like?”

    I highly recommend Dr. Stephen Bullivant’s article:

  14. Pingback: VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  15. mattheusmei says:


    Thank you for the link and quite the read. I’ve followed the Ordinariate since it’s inception, however like a TLM have not had the opportunity to participate (I should note there’s an Ordinariate parish within my state, only 3 hours away ).

    I have and do pray the UK Ordinariate’s Daily Office (I purchased mine from CTS link: https://www.ctsbooks.org/product/daily-office/). I find it a *huge improvement* over the LOTH, though I admit I’m a fan of the additional and diverse source of readings in the LOTH. Aside:: Ordinariate Evensong which is akin to a composite of Vespers and Compline with longer biblical readings and more psalms is, in my opinion, an admirable way to fulfill Sacrsanctum Concillium 100 – I emailed the USCCB about it considering they’re “updating” the LOTH, though I’m not holding my breath on any novel way to combine OOR, Vespers and Compline for corporate celebration.

  16. WVC says:


    I’ve attended one of the most reverent NO Masses possible save being in Latin (it was ad orientem, Communion received kneeling and on the tongue, no “sign of peace”, no Gather hymnal). However, the thing that still struck me is the complete and total lack of silence. It’s simply not a part of the ritual. Someone is ALWAYS making noise, whether it’s the priest or the congregation or the choir – there’s never any silence. The only time I’ve ever encountered silence is when the priest artificially inserts it into the rite by sitting on his chair after Communion is over and the choir has run out of music to sing.

  17. Orual says:

    @WVC, noise does not allow for God to speak in our hearts or allow us to contemplate the great miracle that just took place or reflect that our Divine King lives within us for a few minutes in a very special way after receiving Communion. The cynical side of me believes that was the intention of the noisy NO all along.

  18. Orual says:

    I love Latin and especially Gregorian chant, but I’m just as concerned, if not more, about the changes/deletions to the prayers of the TLM. I’d prefer the TLM said entirely in English if the prayers and integrity of the old Mass remained over a Novus Ordo said entirely in Latin. Some say the Anglican Use Rite is what it would be like, but I’ve never been to one so I can’t say for sure.

Comments are closed.