How was Bugnini able to make such sweeping changes? In part because none of the popes he served were liturgists. Bugnini changed so many things that John’s successor, Paul VI, sometimes did not know the latest directives. The pope once questioned the vestments set out for him by his staff, saying they were the wrong color, only to be told he had eliminated the week-long celebration of Pentecost and could not wear the corresponding red garments for Mass. The pope’s master of ceremonies then witnessed Paul VI break down in tears.
It’s really no wonder Catholic conservatives go off on Bishop Trautman. The people-are-stupid complaint seems to be their home turf. American Catholics voted for Obama: they were ignorant. Two-thousand Catholic bishops adopted the vernacular in the 60’s: they didn’t know better. The pope gets sad over the end of the Pentecost Octave: he wasn’t a liturgist.