Jimmy Mac sent this link on Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith’s foreword in a new book on liturgy. He added his own title, “They just won’t give up.” No, I don’t think they will. Archbishop Ranjith doesn’t have a very good grasp of history or the intent of the Second Vatican Council. Many, many council bishops rejected the pre-conciliar shenanigans of the curia, who wanted a quick-in, quick-out rubber stamp of their authority of modernism.
Why are the curia modernists? How are they not? It’s all about power and control, and you don’t see anything like them in the Scriptures or Patristics or Orthodox Christianity. Holy Orders is deacons, priests, and bishops. It is not about cardinals, secretaries, and dignitaries.
Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of “active participation.”
Um, no, archbishop.
Vatican II, as its critics are fond of pointing out, wasn’t a true dogmatic council. And in spirit, this is true. It left work to be completed by bishops in consultation with clergy and laity in churches around the world. In the sense it did not give the curia a blueprint for control, then yes, there were things the secretaries, dignitaries, and some cardinals did not envision.
Archbishop Ranjith could have joined us on this web site for our perusal of every significant conciliar and post-conciliar document. If you were reading along, you have one on the CDWDS Secretary, because it’s pretty plain he didn’t read Sacrosanctum Concilium 30:
To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.
It seems that many Vatican II critics seem content to just repeat the same myths. Like telling scary bedtime stories to your kids: eventually they think twice about sticking their foot over the edge. But Catholics–laity and prelates alike–need to grow up. Growing up means facing the truth. And the truth is that every “not-contemplated” development he lists were approved by almost every bishop in the world in the years following the council. And others, such as the “giving up” on chant, was well underway before Vatican II. Had Sacrosanctum Concilium been written in 1870, or better yet, 1563, then the treasury of Roman musical style may well have saved and permitted to evolve in far different ways. Anathemas and infallibility were higher priorities for Rome than music and art. Go figure.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see and hear these guys discuss liturgy not in the forewords of each others’ books, but with people who have a different grasp of the events and follow-up of the council?