Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Bit On Liturgical Reform

If you're keeping up with the current series on liturgical reform, you'll note that the basic premise is that what the Council said and what was actually done are two radically different things. For more evidence of that, let's take a look at a Fr. Z entry from October of 2009. It recounts a conversation between Pope Paul VI and Fr. Louis Bouyer, who was a very prominent liturgist and member of the commission in charge of the conciliar implementation:

Father Louis Bouyer: I wrote to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, to tender my resignation as member of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform. The Holy Father sent for me at once (and the following conversation ensued):

Paul VI: Father, you are an unquestionable and unquestioned authority by your deep knowledge of the Church’s liturgy and Tradition, and a specialist in this field. I do not understand why you have sent me your resignation, whilst your presence, is more than precious, it is indispensable!

Father Bouyer: Most Holy Father, if I am a specialist in this field, I tell you very simply that I resign because I do not agree with the reforms you are imposing! Why do you take no notice of the remarks we send you, and why do you do the opposite?

Paul VI: But I don’t understand: I’m not imposing anything. I have never imposed anything in this field. I have complete trust in your competence and your propositions. It is you who are sending me proposals. When Fr. Bugnini comes to see me, he says: "Here is what the experts are asking for." And as you are an expert in this matter, I accept your judgement.

Father Bouyer: And meanwhile, when we have studied a question, and have chosen what we can propose to you, in conscience, Father Bugnini took our text, and, then said to us that, having consulted you: "The Holy Father wants you to introduce these changes into the liturgy." And since I don’t agree with your propositions, because they break with the Tradition of the Church, then I tender my resignation.

Paul VI: But not at all, Father, believe me, Father Bugnini tells me exactly the contrary: I have never refused a single one of your proposals. Father Bugnini came to find me and said: "The experts of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform asked for this and that". And since I am not a liturgical specialist, I tell you again, I have always accepted your judgement. I never said that to Monsignor Bugnini. I was deceived. Father Bugnini deceived me and deceived you.

Father Bouyer: That is, my dear friends, how the liturgical reform was done!

Yeah, I know. It wouldn't hold up in a court of law. If it is true, though, it would explain a whole lot as to how what the Council said wound up getting completely ignored or contradicted. And there's that Bugnini name again. For what it's worth, the above conversation allegedly took place in 1974. In July of 1975, the Congregation of Divine Worship (for which he acted as secretary) was dissolved as a separate Curial office. Six months after that, Archbishop Bugnini was shipped off to Iran as papal nuncio. This was a huge fall for Bugnini. Many are convinced that he was exposed as a Mason to Paul VI.

I'm not making any judgments on such things. I'm just saying that a lot of stuff would make more sense if that was the case.

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