Friday, December 22, 2017


Pope Francis showing the way to he authentic renewal of the Ordinary Form of the Mass with His Holiness' trusted Master of Ceremonies catechizing the pontiff on the effective renewal:

    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.


John Nolan said...

Paul VI deserves canonization because he reiterated established teaching on birth control? And for getting rid of Bugnini only after the damage had been done? Do me a favour. The collapse of the Church happened under Montini's watch. He knew what he was doing, and no amount of hand-wringing after the event can exculpate him.

JP II was by any standards a great man, but his own abuse of the canonization process - the 'saint factory' - should have precluded him from sainthood.

Popes seeking prestige, or whatever, by canonizing their immediate predecessors is an abuse and is unprecedented. So Paul VI is in heaven because Bergoglio says he is. I don't believe it, and neither should anyone else. Intelligent pagan Romans didn't really believe that Nero and Caligula were gods.

However, they had a phrase which seems apposite for the present-day Church: Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.

rcg said...

And the first shall be last, John, as in the order of your hybrid quote.

Victor said...

Mr Nolan:
Although I agree with most of what you say, we are now finding out more and more about the deception that was put over Paul VI by Bugnini et al regarding the liturgy. Certainly Paul VI should have been more circumspect of the zeitgeist, but the goings on surrounding the council took a lot of his energy; by no means a "liturgist", he was easily manipulated by those who claimed to be liturgical experts.
Nevertheless, I too have problems seeing Paul VI as a canonised saint, especially since the Council, which he oversaw, became such a disaster.

Gene said...

Sainthood will soon come in boxes of Cracker Jacks.

TJM said...

Gene, LOL.

The destruction of the Roman Mass by Paul VI and his evil minions should earn him a very, very, long stay in purgatory. Sainthood? A total and utter joke.

GenXBen said...

"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. ...

Desmond O'Grady expressed the outrage felt by liberals when he wrote in the 30 August 1972 issue of The Tablet:"

How could Desmond O'Grady write in 1972 about a change that would happen in 1975? Talk about being prescient!

GenXBen said...

this seems relevant

Henry said...

"Of course anyone in heaven is a saint and since Blessed Paul VI was declared blessed--he's in heaven."

Is this an example of the sort of theology taught in that 1970s seminary you attended?

At any rate, the motivation for Paul VI's proposed canonization--and the reason he shouldn't be--is political, not spiritual. As Fr. Ruff says in his article on "The Politics of Promoting [he means Canonizing] Popes""

"The canonization of Pope Paul VI will be, it seems to me, a strong valorization of the liturgical reforms carried out by Annibale Bugnini immediately after the Second Vatican Council under Paul’s careful supervision and enthusiastic support. . . . If Paul VI is held up for veneration, so are his liturgical reforms."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry you sound like a 1970’s dissenting Vatholic who criticizes the pope on his infallible decree In elevating someone to sainthood!

Henry said...

Fr. McDonald, I was referring to the fact that canonists and theologians generally agree on the infallible character of a papal decree of canonization, whereas they generally deny the infallible character of papal decrees of beatification. Did your 1970 seminary not cover this distinction?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Actually, it was a priest who works in the Congregation for the cause of Saints who taught us this on my Roman Sabbatical in 2014.

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald, the Vatican's process for sainthood is pretty suspect these days, 3 popes in our lifetime being beatified or canonized? I'm surprised they haven't beatified Francis while he is living, Mark Thomas would love that. Leaving out Pius XI and Pius XII is a scandal in light of current practice. Pius XI who condemned Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, at great risk, and Pius XII who saved thousands of Jews and was named one of the righteous by Israel. Paul VI and his evil minions destroyed the Roman Mass and for that he qualifies for sainthood?