“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Prostestants.” - Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, main author of the New Mass, L'Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965
There are those who believe that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be canonized in the new year. Of course anyone in heaven is a saint and since Blessed Paul VI was declared blessed--he's in heaven. Canonization is simply the icing on the cake.
I do not have the same animus so many who comment on this blog have toward Paul VI. I think His Holiness was a victim of the exaggerated enthusiasm of the 1960's in all things secular (especially technological, and government's possibility of ending war and poverty as well as all things religious). Of course this is Original Sin rearing its ugly head again which is pride. Pride is the forbidden fruit.
Shortly after the Council and the revision of the Liturgy, Blessed Paul VI began to repent of his pride and the thought that we could accomplish all things and make a perfect Church and society.
Paul VI saw that things were out of control, the smoke of Satan had entered the Church through cracks in her foundation and the liturgy was in disarray and chaos in language, experimentation and the like were destructive forces as was the loss of Latin and most of REVERENCE! The gods of active participation, incessant lay ministries and the Mass a a meal rather than a sacrifice and the priest facing the congregation made the priest a cult celebrity eyeing all in front of him and sometimes with concupisence motivating it!
Thus by 1968, 50 years ago, Pope Paul laid the foundation of his sainthood, not with the liturgy, but with Humanae Vitae, a truly prophetic document that is more appreciated today than then. This encyclical made Pope Paul VI a "white" martyr for the Faith.
The liturgy and his reform of it, not so much--his downfall actually.
If Pope Paul VI had only ordered Bishop Bugnini to follow the letter of the document Sacrosanctum Concilium, Paul the VI could be canonized on that prophetic gesture, but alas.
But by 1975, so to be Saint Pope Paul VI, and this is the icing on the cake of his sainthood, fired Bishop Bugnini!
This is what Michael Davies writes about the protestantizing liturgist Bugnini:
In 1974 he felt able to make his celebrated boast that the reform of the liturgy had been a "major conquest of the Catholic Church". He also announced in the same year that his reform was about to enter into its final stage: "The adaptation or 'incarnation' of the Roman form of the liturgy into the usages and mentality of each individual Church." In India this "incarnation" has reached the extent of making the Mass in some centres appear more reminiscent of Hindu rites than the Christian Sacrifice.
Then, in July 1975, at the very moment when his power had reached its zenith, Archbishop Bugnini was summarily dismissed from his post to the dismay of liberal Catholics throughout the world. Not only was he dismissed but his entire Congregation was dissolved and merged with the Congregation for the Sacraments.
Desmond O'Grady expressed the outrage felt by liberals when he wrote in the 30 August 1972 issue of The Tablet: "Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who as Secretary of the abolished Congregation for Divine Worship, was the key figure in the Church's liturgical reform, is not a member of the new congregation. Nor, despite his lengthy experience, was he consulted in the planning of it. He heard of its creation while on holiday in Fiuggi ... the abrupt way in which this was done does not augur well for the Bugnini line of encouragement for reform in collaboration with local hierarchies ... Mgr Bugnini conceived the next ten years' work as concerned principally with the incorporation of local usages into the liturgy ... He represented the continuity of the post-conciliar liturgical reform."
The 15 January 1976 issue of L'Osservatore Romano announced that Archbishop Bugnini had been appointed Apostolic Pro Nuncio in Iran. This was his second and final exile.