On Innovations in the Church
The Angelus - March 1979

On Innovations in the Church
Edited by Dr. Mary Buckalew

The Conciliar Church Speaks:

Paul VI

"Since that time [of St. Gregory the Great] there has grown and spread among the Christian people the liturgical renewal which...seems to show the signs of God's providence in the present time, a salvific action of the Holy Spirit in His Church. This renewal has also shown clearly that the formulas of the Roman Missal ought to be revised and enriched .... updating the Roman Missal for the present-day mentality.

The recent Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in promulgating the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, established the bases for the general revision of the Roman Missal....

Let us show now, in broad lines, the new composition of the Roman Missal ....

The major innovation concerns the Eucharistic Prayer. It in the Roman Rite, the first part of this Prayer, the Preface, has preserved diverse formulation in the course of the centuries, the second part on the contrary, called 'Canon of the Action,' took on an unchangeable form during the 4th and 5th centuries. . . . we have decided to add three new Canons to this prayer. In this way the different aspects of the mystery of salvation will be emphasized and they will procure richer themes for the thanksgiving. . . .

Concerning the rite of the Mass, 'the rites are to be simplified, while due care is taken to preserve their substance' [II Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy]. Also to be eliminated are 'elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage' [ibid.], above all in the rites of offering the bread and wine, and in those of the breaking of the bread and of communion.

Also, 'other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the earlier norm of the holy Fathers' [ibid.]: for example the homily, the 'common prayer' or 'prayer of the faithful,' the penitential rite or act of reconciliation with God and with the brothers, at the beginning of the Mass, where its proper emphasis is restored.

All this is wisely ordered in such a way that there is developed more and more among the faithful a 'hunger for the Word of God,' which, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, leads the people of the New Covenant to the perfect unity of the Church....

In this revision of the Roman Missal, in addition to the three changes mentioned above, namely, the Eucharistic Prayer, the Rite for the Mass and the Biblical Readings, other parts also have been reviewed and considerably modified. . . ."

(Paul VI, Missale Romanum, April 3, 1969.)

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini

". . . [to prepare the reform], theologians, exegetes, liturgists, pastoralists, sociologists, jurists from all over the world set to work, proceeding concurrently among the whole front of the liturgy.

The implementation of [the] first phase [Latin into vernacular] was received everywhere with joy and much hope. The choral response of the faithful took the place of the 'inert, dumb' congregations, from the immense cathedrals to humble country churches. And in the liturgy, now understood, the people saw one of the most evident fruits of the Council.

But this first impact made it even more evident that it could not but be the first step. The new liturgical form, in fact, had left intact the structure of the rites, now seen to be more clearly unsuited to the spiritual requirements of the faithful.

And then the second phase: the reform of the liturgical books....

First Holy Orders (1968), restored under the wise and reliable guidance of D. Bernardo Botte. Then, in 1969, marriage, the baptism of children, funerals. The same year saw the publication of the new arrangement of the readings of Mass, a remarkable monument of scientific research and pastoral sagacity.

In 1970, preceded by the new eucharistic anaphoras, three euchological pearls of great value, there appeared the restored Roman Missal, with the main structures as solid as granite, light in spiritual inspiration, with formulas inspired by the golden age of liturgy, which it closed.

The heart of the liturgy, the renewed Mass was welcomed with joy and enthusiasm, and in a short time it went into practice among the Christian people, to the evident advantage of the community of the faithful.

Sporadically, however, there were some perplexities and uncertainties, which are not completely dispelled today. Here, too, there were conflicting views: some people dreamed of a return to the 'Mass of St. Pius V,' others said that the reforms made in the rite were few in number, disappointing and lacking in bite.

The truth is that neither side had personal experience ... of the unsuspected riches and beauty contained in the new Missal.

The missal was followed by the publication of other rites of the Sacraments and Sacramentals. Then, in 1971, there appeared the four volumes of the 'Liturgy of the Hours,' a marvellous achievement. . . .

It is not necessary to recall individually the other achievements carried out in the 'decade.' Almost the whole field of divine worship has now been renewed.

Nor is it possible to recall the 'connective' work carried out in the same period to prepare, accompany and follow the reform in the various sectors. The Enchiridion Liturgicum, about to be published, gathers 178 documents which marked, at different levels, the stages of the orderly proceeding of this radiant march. Periodically, they were made known and outlines by Notitiae, the monthly which, coming into being as a modest mouthpiece of the reform, is now the organ of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, always awaited with understandable and justifiable eagerness.

Work is proceeding apace everywhere: from the commissions of the great linguistic areas, to the humble workshops of missionary centres. The work is being carried out with touching zeal and love. Missionaries and laymen, diocesan and religious priests, united by the same ideal and urged on by the same 'passion,' are busily engaged in order to give their brothers a liturgy faithful to the sources and beautiful from the literary point of view.

All this marvelous implementation of initiatives is a reliable promise, a secure hope for a more enlightened, and convinced Christianity, and for the burgeoning of a new spring of faith and holiness for the Church....

...the face of prayer has been renewed, has been made 'purer, more genuine, nearer to the sources of truth and grace, more suitable to become the spiritual patrimony of the people of God' (Paul VI)...."

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, then Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship,
"Renewal and Participating ion the Mystery of Christ: Progress Noted Then Years after the Liturgical Constitution,"
L 'Osservatore Romano, February 7, 1974.

The Roman Catholic Church Teaches:

"A great and evidently divine example that should be meditated upon and recalled again and again by every true Catholic is given by those blessed persons who, like the seven-branched candlestick radiating the sevenfold light of the Holy Spirit, manifested to posterity the clearest formula for the way in which the rashness of profane novelty, with all its boastful display of errors, is to be crushed from now on by the authority of sacred tradition. This method, to be sure, is not at all new. It has been an established custom in the Church that the more devout a person is, the more prompt he is to oppose innovations.

"[color=#7101d]I cannot help wondering about such madness in certain people, the dreadful impiety of their blinded minds, their insatiable lust for error that they are not content with the traditional rule of faith [/color]as once and for all received from antiquity, but are driven to seek another novelty daily. They are possessed by a permanent desire to change religion, to add something and to take something away—as though the dogma were not divine, so that it has to be revealed only once. But they take it for a merely human institution, which cannot be perfected except by constant emendations, rather, by constant corrections.

". . . once there is a beginning of mixing the new with the old, foreign ideas with genuine, and profane elements with sacred, this habit will creep in everywhere, without check. At the end, nothing in the Church will be left untouched, unimpaired, unhurt and unstained. Where formerly there was the sanctuary of chaste and uncorrupted truth, there will be a brothel of impious and filthy errors.

"It is, therefore, an indispensable obligation for all Catholics who are eager to prove that they are true sons of Holy Mother Church to adhere to the holy faith of the holy fathers, to preserve it, to die for it, and, on the other hand, to detest the profane novelties of profane men, to dread them, to harass and attack them."

(St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitories, 6, 21, 23. 5th century.)

". . . pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect. It is pride which fills Modernists with that self-assurance by which they consider themselves and pose as the rule for all. It is pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge . . . and which . . . leads them to embrace and to devise novelties even of the most absurd kind . . . ."

(St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, 40.)

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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