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Pope Benedict’s “long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to coexist,
but to move toward a ‘common rite’ that is shaped by the mutual enrichment
of the two Mass forms...” – Cardinal Koch

Revised Traditional Missal Planned
for Next Summer in Rome?

The Principle of Gradualism • Toward A Hybrid Mass
By John Vennari

The Eponymous Flower posted a translation from the “usually well-informed” German Summorum Pontificum website ( about possible changes in the Tridentine Mass that are proposed by the Vatican for next summer.

According to the August 16 report, “a new edition of the Old Missal has so far progressed enough that it will be published next summer so that it can be used in 2013.” The key points of alteration:

• Allowance of the usage of new prefaces for all feasts, which correspond to the Novus Ordo prefaces;

• General allowance of the Traditional Mass to be celebrated "versus populum" [Mass facing the people];

• Permission to say the 'Liturgy of the Word' [the Mass up to and including the Creed] in the language of the people [which facilitates the use of the Cramner table];[1]

We already saw one of these proposals last year. The Pontifical Commission of Ecclesia Dei stated in a formal instruction of April 30, 2011: “New saints and certain of the new prefaces can and ought to be inserted into the 1962 Missal, according to provisions which will be indicated subsequently.”[2]

We appear to be entering a 1965-styled “transitional Mass” all over again; the principle of gradualism is at work once more. Yet no well-informed Catholic should find this surprising.

The proposed changes in liturgy go hand-in-glove with Pope Benedict’s “reform of the reform” as explained by Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Catholic News Service reported on May 14, 2011:

“Pope Benedict XVI's easing of restrictions on use of the 1962 Roman Missal, known as the Tridentine rite, is just the first step in a ‘reform of the reform’ in liturgy, the Vatican's top ecumenist said.

“The pope's long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to coexist, but to move toward a ‘common rite’ that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms...”[3]

Pope Benedict’s “reform of the reform” that seeks to save Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy is consistent with his approach to the Council in general, as we will demonstrate.

Yet the whole purpose of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy – as is clear from its true draftsmen – was to usher in a ecumenical Liturgical Revolution that had been in the works for decades.[4]

In 1966, Father Annibale Bugnini, a central architect of the New Mass, boasted that the purpose of Vatican II’s Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy was to usher in “the boldest and most fundamental liturgical reform of all times.”[5]

Benedict’s Claim: No Rupture, but Continuity

Throughout the years since Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI has been constant in his claim that the “correct” position for the Catholic is neither clinging to the Church prior to the Council that would dismiss all or part of Vatican II, nor the extreme liberal approach that sees Vatican II as a new “starting from zero”, but the Church of today. This is the Church in light of the Council that avoids these two “extremes”. For him, Sacred Tradition is not the center of gravity that must interpret all things, but Vatican II. For him, Vatican II represents no rupture with the past, but continuity.

By contrast the Traditional Catholic position holds the Catholic Faith taught “in the same meaning and in the same explanation”[6] throughout the centuries as the absolute criteria for Catholic Truth. Anything from Vatican II that fits this criterion may be regarded as true.[7] Anything that does not fit may be questioned. This was what we learned from Council Secretary Archbishop Felici.

At the end of Vatican II, the Council Fathers asked Archbishop (later-Cardinal) Felici for what theologians call the theological note of the Council. In other words, what is the status of the Vatican II documents?

Cardinal Felici replied, “We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters those which already have been the subject of dogmatic definitions in the past; as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations.”[8]

Thus, Cardinal Felici recognized that Vatican II contained novelties no Catholic is bound to accept. These novelties, such as ecumenism, religious liberty, and its new approach to Judaism (that implies Jews need not convert to Catholicism for salvation), are contrary to what the Church always taught, and have proved disastrous for the Church and for souls.

Pope Benedict, however, has always claimed, and continues to claim, that the Vatican II documents must be the center of gravity. Pope Benedict’s position about the centrality of Vatican II is consistent over the decades. He repeats this same point again and again. Yet too many well-meaning Catholics read into his words what they want to read, and falsely view him as a Pope of Tradition, or that he has now suddenly changed to a more traditionalist position. Sadly, this is not the case.

We will take a quick look at Joseph Ratzinger’s statements over a thirty year span, from 1975 to 2005. His approach to the Council is consistent, it does not change.


In 1975, then Father Ratzinger wrote, “It is impossible (for the Catholic) to take a position for Vatican II and against Trent or Vatican I. Whoever accepts Vatican II, as it is clearly expressed and understood itself, accepts the whole binding tradition of the Catholic Church, particularly also the two previous Councils. And that also applies to the so-called ‘progressivism’, at least in its extreme form.”

Second, said Father Ratzinger, “It is impossible to decide in favor of Trent and Vatican I, but against Vatican II. Whoever denies Vatican II denies the authority that upholds the other two councils and thereby detaches them from their foundation. And this applies to the so-called ‘traditionalism’, also in its extreme forms.”[9]

Ten years later, in the 1985 Ratzinger Report, Vittorio Messori explains that Cardinal Ratzinger repeatedly insists “it is not Vatican II and it’s documents that are problematic,” but these problems “lie in the manifold [bad] interpretation” of the documents.”[10] The Ratzinger Report’s chapter on the Council carries the subheading “Not Rupture, but Continuity”.[11]

We see here in 1985 the exact same theme Pope Benedict returns to in his famous December 22, 2005 speech against the “hermeneutic of rupture” in favor of a “hermeneutic of reform” and continuity. For now we repeat his words of 1985.

Cardinal Ratzinger said in 1985, “To defend the true tradition of the Church means to defend the Council.” Against any notion of rupture, “there is instead a continuity that allows neither a return to the past nor a flight forward… We must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow. And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without aberrations that distort them.”[12]

He places Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX among those who would “amputate” parts of the Council by reservation, and rejects this as unacceptable. [In fact, this is the crux of the present SSPX/Rome discussions.] Cardinal Ratzinger goes on to explain in 1985 that he must defend the “true” Council in an effort to undermine the SSPX position: “This places the further obligation upon us to show the true face of the Council; thus one will be able to cut the ground from under these false protests.”[13]

Cardinal Ratzinger also said in 1985 there can be “no restoration” in the sense of turning back prior to Vatican II. Rather, “by restoration” we must mean “the search for a new balance…”[14]

We can at least give credit to Cardinal Ratzinger for never changing his position. It is consistent throughout the years up to the present.

In October 1985, Archbishop Lefebvre submitted to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a document that contained thirty-nine doubts (dubia) concerning incongruities between Vatican II’s new doctrine on Religious Liberty and the consistent teaching of the Church from the past.

Rome replied to Archbishop Lefebvre’s Dubia with a fifty-page document that considered none of the doubts in particular. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office admitted that Vatican II’s doctrine of religious liberty was “incontestably a novelty”, but claimed it was the outcome of “doctrinal development of continuity.”[15]

Archbishop Lefebvre considered this response even more scandalous than the pan-religious prayer meeting at Assisi. “For it is one thing to perform a serious and scandalous act,” said the Archbishop, “but quite another thing to affirm false principles that in practice have disastrous consequences,” which is the practical overturning of the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the “pantheon of all religions”.[16]

Fast forward to 2005, we see the same theme of “no rupture, but continuity” in Pope Benedict’ now-famous Christmas speech of December 22, 2005. Here he lays out the program of his pontificate. Here he once again insists there has been a “hermeneutic [interpretation] of discontinuity and rupture” that has distorted the true Council. What we must have instead is the “hermeneutic of reform”, or “renewal in continuity” so that the Council is not “misunderstood.” Yet Pope Benedict spends a good part of this December speech praising the Council’s new approach to the world, its new approach to Religious Liberty, and its new approach to Judaism, which are rightly regarded as some of the most revolutionary aspects of Vatican II.[17 ]

Thus we see Pope Benedict’s consistent claim that there is no turning back regarding Vatican II, and that we must “search for a new balance” to establish a “renewal in continuity”. It is fair to deduce this as the thinking behind Benedict’s plan to create a “‘common rite’ that is shaped by the “mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms,” a new balance of the old and the new.

A Ten-Year Program of Gradualism?

As noted, Cardinal Koch revealed Pope Benedict’s “long-term plan” to “move toward a common rite.”

Another piece of evidence shows that Pope Benedict would favor a long period of gradualism to this Hybrid Mass. It comes from a letter written by Cardinal Ratzinger in 1999, in which the Cardinal agrees it would have been smarter for the period of liturgical change from the Tridentine to the Novus Ordo to have been a gradual process over ten years.

Fr. Matias Auge CMF, a veteran professor of liturgy in Rome, former consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and disciple of the reformers of the 1960's, published an exchange of letters that he had with then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the topic of the reform of the sacred liturgy.” In his February 18, 1999 letter to Fr. Auge, Cardinal Ratzinger said the following:

“…a considerable number of the Catholic faithful, especially those of French, English, and German nationality and language remain strongly attached to the old liturgy, and the Pope does not intend to repeat what happened in 1970 when the new liturgy was imposed in an extremely abrupt way, with a transition time of only six months,whereas the prestigious Liturgical Institute in Trier had rightly proposed a transition time of ten years (if I am not mistaken) for such an undertaking, one that touches in a vital way the heart of the Faith.”[18]

It is fair to surmise that Pope Benedict’s “move toward a ‘common rite’ that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms” may be rolled out within the framework of gradualism that could last ten years; getting traditional Catholics used to it little by little, so that the full alleged intention of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy can be realized.

Yet if we are to “return to the authentic texts of Vatican II,”[19] it is useful to ask: what is the true nature of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? We already have Archbishop Bugnini’s statement that it’s purpose was to usher in “the boldest and most fundamental liturgical reform of all times.”

Likewise, the following Protestant testimony is instructive, as it demonstrates the Schema itself as tinged with Protestant-friendly propositions. This should be no surprise, since Father Ratzinger in 1966 lauded the fact that the Council texts were drawn up to be open to the ecumenical orientation.[20]

Protestant Testimony...

for the rest, including quotes from a Protestant who is thrilled with Vatican II's Constitution on the Liturgy, go to:

[Image: lefebvre.jpg]Cardinal Ratzinger said in 1985 that he must present what he called the “true Council” in order to “cut the ground” from under objections against the Council from Archbishop Lefebvre and traditional Catholics. Yet the “true Council” texts, as Archbishop Lefebvre rightly warned in 1964 “have a spirit of rupture and suicide."
Disgusting. The Modernists just can't keep their filthy paws off the True Mass.
I wouldn't mind new prefaces for some of the new saints (I have St. Pio in mind). But the rest is troubling.
We should storm heaven with the prayers that this be false.
Can't leave well enough alone...
Sounds like the old liberal Fr. Ratzinger is still alive in his latest guise as Pope B. what I find saddest is that the Roman heretics instead of trying to reform the NO are trying to destroy the TLM. Satans minions at it again.

"Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of Anti-Christ" Our Lady
This was already discussed and is not news. (Universae Ecclesiae has been out for over a year now.) The current rumors are just that. Wait for something more than a rumor of a rumor before you waste time with all the speculation. CFN seems to be coming out early to try to frame the debate.

"A more important objection is of the practical order. Ought we really to be rearranging everything all over again? Nothing is more harmful to the liturgy than a constant activism, even if it seems to be for the sake of genuine renewal. "

- Josef Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy

(09-06-2012, 06:05 AM)The Dying Flutchman Wrote: [ -> ]"Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of Anti-Christ" Our Lady

Just so you know, that is a false quote.
"Allowance . . . General allowance . . . Permission . . . ."

The simple solution is to ignore it.
This is the logical conclusion of having two "forms."
Traditionalists need to be open to authentic reforms and to viewing the Council through the eyes of the Church. The idea that we'd just all go back to the 1962 Missal or the 1954 Missal is just pure fantasy. There has to be bridge between now and a future of a single restored Missal of the Roman Rite. Pope Benedict has made immense contributions to this cause. I believe the fear is unwarranted.

* * *

When, several years ago, someone proposed “a new liturgical movement” to insure that the two forms of liturgy did not diverge too much, and to show their inner convergence, several friends of the “old liturgy” expressed the fear that this was nothing other than a stratagem or ruse to eliminate the old liturgy entirely.

Such anxieties and fears must cease! If in the two forms of celebration the unity of the faith and the unicity of the mystery should appear clearly, that could only be a reason to rejoice and thank the Good Lord.

In the measure to which all of us believers live and act according to these motivations, we can also persuade the bishops that the presence of the old liturgy does not trouble or harm the unity of their diocese, but is rather a gift destined to build up the Body of Christ, of which we are the servants.

So, dear friends, I would like to encourage you not to lose patience — to keep trusting — and to find in the liturgy the force needed to give our witness to the Lord for our time.

... I wish to comment on that what concerns the unity of the Roman rite. This unity is not threatened by small communities using the indult, who are often treated as lepers, as people doing something indecent, even immoral. No, the unity of the Roman rite is threatened by the wild creativity, often encouraged by liturgists (in Germany, for instance, there is propaganda for the project Missale 2000, which presumes that the Missal of Paul VI has already been superseded). I repeat that which was said in my speech: the difference between the Missal of 1962 and the Mass faithfully celebrated according to the Missal of Paul VI is much smaller than the difference between the various, so-called ”creative” applications of the Missal of Paul VI. In this situation, the presence of the earlier Missal may become a bulwark against the numerous alterations of the liturgy and thus act as a support of the authentic reform. To oppose the Indult of 1984 (1988) in the name of the unity of the Roman rite, is – in my experience – an attitude far removed from reality. Besides, I am sorry that you did not perceive in my speech the invitation to the ”traditionalists” to be open to the Council and to reconcile themselves to it in the hope of overcoming one day the split between the two Missals.
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