Sunday, January 11, 2015


Msgr. Charles Pope's article If the Second Vatican Council Had Never Happened, Would We Still Have a New Mass? Quite Possibly has generated a lot of hell on traditionalist blogs. Louie Verrecchio has given the standard FSSPX/FSSP type response here, which does seem to lose sight of the greater picture and which separates the "liturgy" and the Mass (Holy Week, the Office etc being things of different importance from the grace machine that is the Mass). A more thoughtful reply came from the Maestro here. Commentators may be creating a false dichotomy between the Council and the liturgical overhaul. That the Council or evil Bunigni caused the Pauline Mass is a bit silly. They were the immediate causes, but hardly the prime cause. The Council and the reformed liturgy rather originated from the same genus of reform which had been lurking in the Vatican for some time. Dislike the Liturgia Horarum? The 1911 Commission wanted to turn the Office into, essentially, that and would have if not for the War to End All Wars. Discipline and the Vatican's politics underwent a quiet revolution from the start of the 20th century until 1958, when John XXIII ascended the Petrine chair. Those paying attention were less surprised when the new liturgy appeared in the 1960s. The person most discombobulated was the mother who attended a low Mass Sunday morning with her family, the young schoolboy in the diocesan pre-seminary, the elderly person whose daily Mass saw them through a life of work. In short, normal people unconcerned with Roman politics. We will cover the political origins of the reform movement in another article I have planned as a follow up to The Pre-Conciliar Church, but for now it suffices to say that the Council did not cause the new liturgy nor was a new liturgy inevitable on its own. They were two branches shooting from one trunk.


  1. Why no comments yet? Anyway...

    We, representatives of the small yet vocal minority of historically-informed, non-ultramontane, traditionally-minded Catholics, need some sort of "cheat sheet" of useful facts to enlighten Tradistanis. I propose an alphabetical system: A. Quo primum; B. Urban VIII's hymnody reforms; C. Pius X's breviary overhaul; D. Pius XII's Holy Week reforms; E. Pius XII's rubrical reforms; F. John XXIII's rubrical reforms; G. Sacrosanctum Concilium; H. Tinkering of the late 1960s; I. Novus ordo Missae; J. Paul VI's breviary reforms; K. Vatican-imposed translations, part 1; L. Summorum Pontificum; M. Vatican-imposed translations, part 2.

    I think this layout can be printed quite nicely on the back of a holy card, perhaps a nice sappy image of "The Little Flower" or the Infant of Prague. They can be discreetly placed in the vestibule's of SSPX and FSSP chapels. We must be sure to include the phrase: "The Most Beautiful Thing this Side of Heaven."

  2. It never fails to astound me that most Traditionalists ignore the fact that just about everyone involved with the Pauline reforms saw themselves as completing the work begun by Pius X. Some day, when time allows for more sober perspective, we will be able to critically view the reforms of the 20th century and evaluate their merits and weaknesses.