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The Council and the Eclipse of God – by Don Pietro Leone : Part 2 of CHAPTER VII –Man’s Cult of God - Sacrosanctum Concilium : a veritable modernist minefield
Rorate Caeli ^ | May 14, 2022 | Don Pietro Leone

Posted on 05/15/2022 3:44:52 PM PDT by ebb tide

The Council and the Eclipse of God – by Don Pietro Leone : Part 2 of CHAPTER VII –Man’s Cult of God - Sacrosanctum Concilium : a veritable modernist minefield

Don Pietro Leone continues to guide us through the modernist minefield of Sacrosanctum Concilium – The  Council’s document on the Reform of the Liturgy. 

This section, which is an excellent read, is incontrovertible in its refutations of conciliar conceits and not without humour.                                                                                                   



 The Council and the Eclipse of God


 Don Pietro Leone




4.      Liturgical Reform

We shall here consider:


a)     The Council’s Statement of Intent;

b)    The Scriptures;

c)     Intelligibility and Participation;

d)    Simplicity;

e)     Latin and the Vernacular;

f)      Participation in Particular;

g)     Inculturation.


Corollary: Veneration of the Saints.



a)      The Council’s Statement of Intent


i) ‘The sacred council has set out to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian lives of the faithful, to adapt more closely to the needs of our age…’ (SC 1) [1];


ii) ‘In order that sound tradition be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress… care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing’ (SC 23);


In texts (i) and (ii), as also in texts d (i) and d (ii) below, a mandate is given for permanently evolving liturgical change in conformity with the spirit of the modern age [2].


iii) ‘… the sacred council declares that the church… wishes to preserve them [all lawfully recognised rites] in the future and foster them in every way. The council also desires that where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigour to meet present-day circumstances and needs.’ (SC 4)


Now since revision is a form of change, text (iii) in effect proposes that the rites should be both preserved and changed, which is a contradiction in terms [3]. 


The principal motives given in SC for liturgical reform are the greater use of the Scriptures, intelligibility, and participation. The intent of SC is to achieve both intelligibility and participation principally by the simplification of words and gestures, and by the use of the vernacular; participation is to be achieved also by accommodating the liturgy to given communities and cultures.



b)     The Scriptures


The importance that the Council accords to the Holy Scriptures at the cost of Tradition [4] and in the Mass in particular [5], explains why it should wish to increase its rôle in the Mass.


i) ‘Although the sacred liturgy is principally the worship of the divine majesty, it likewise contains much instruction for the faithful…’ (SC 33)


As Michael Davis remarks, little will subsequently be heard of the worship of the Divine Majesty, much, by contrast, of the instruction of the faithful, namely by the Scriptures. As he incisively points out, Protestant and Catholic worship differ essentially inasmuch as the former is centered on the written word, and the latter on the Incarnate Word. In this text the Council is, then, toying with Protestant liturgical notions.


ii) ‘The treasures of the bible are to be opened up more lavishly, so that a richer fare may be provided at the table of God’s word.’ (SC 51)


This text suggests that a more extensive use of the Scriptures in the Mass will procure a greater spiritual profit for the people. The fact is, though, that the scriptural texts used in the Old Rite provide all the doctrine necessary for the faithful to know for the purposes of their spiritual good; furthermore the more frequent (annual) repetition of such doctrine enables them better to assimilate it.  


Dom Guéranger notes moreover in the ‘Liturgical Institutions’ [6] how the ‘anti-liturgical sect’ favors the use of the Scriptures in the liturgy in order to ‘facilitate making the word of God say all that they want it to say and manipulating it at will.’ His words are prophetic for the Novus Ordo Missae where the criterion for choosing new Scriptural passages (and for excising passages from existing passages) was the portrayal of a new and more ‘positive’ Catholicism where doctrines such as those concerning Hell and Judgment were hardly any more to appear [7].



c)      Intelligibility and Participation


‘The Christian people, as far as is possible, should be able to understand them easily [the texts and rites] and take part in them in a celebration which is full, active and the community’s own’ (SC 21).


We again observe the influence of the Liturgical movement, this time in the furtherance of ‘active participation’. We concede that any public action needs to be intelligible and participated, but the question here at issue is what kind of intelligibility and participation is required.


If, as is the case, the Mass makes present the Holy Sacrifice of Mount Calvary, then it will have an inherent mystery and sacrality which will need:


-           to be expressed in the rite;

-         to be made intelligible by adequate instruction (as the Council and Catechism of Trent     indeed disposed);

-           to be participated in, above all spiritually.


If, by contrast, according to the Protestant heresy and as the Council texts and the liturgical reformers insinuate, the Mass is only a community meal with sermon where the minister is placed on the same level as the people, then there will be no inherent mystery, and no need to express, to teach it, or to participate in it, but rather everything should be clear and accessible to every-one.


Let us imagine a family that had emigrated to America, the members of which were accustomed to celebrate their birthdays with a meal and speeches, but also with certain rituals in their own language which after a few generations hardly any-one understood any more. For such a family it would be reasonable to do away with the rituals so that all its members could understand, and participate in, everything at the celebration. But clearly such a scenario cannot serve as a model for the liturgical reform.       



d)       Simplicity


i) ‘… Elements subject to change… ought to be changed… if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become less suitable…’ (SC 21)


ii) ‘ … rites are to be simplified… Duplications made with the passage of time are to be omitted, as are less useful additions. Other parts which were lost through the vicissitudes of history are to be restored…’ (SC 50).


iii) ‘The rites should radiate a noble simplicity. They should be short, clear, and free from useless repetition. They should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation’ (SC 34).


Here change is advocated by an appeal to the ideal of simplicity and to a return to an alleged original purity. In reply it should be said that a given action has simplicity when it contains no more than what is necessary for its proper accomplishment. But who could claim that that action which is the Roman Rite, arguably established by no less a Person than Our Lord Himself, contains more than what is necessary for its proper accomplishment? Where are the ‘useless repetitions’? Where is the lack of ‘nobility’? Where the lack of ‘clarity’?


Again, if St. Pius V codified the Mass in the 16th century with the express intention of returning to its sources, and it had thereafter remained intact up to the time of the Council, what ‘intrusions’ or ‘duplications’ could there possibly have been? What ‘parts lost’? As Dom Guéranger writes (ibid.), the ‘anti-liturgical heretics’ claim that they ‘only want the primitive, and they pretend to go to the cradle of Christian institutions. To this end they prune, they efface, they cut away; everything falls under their blows, and while one is waiting to see the original purity of the divine cult re-appear, one finds oneself encumbered with new formulae dating from only the night before…’


The motivation of the reformers in their appeal to simplicity and to the past is in fact their ‘hatred of Tradition as found in the formulae used in divine worship’: their desire for ‘the abolition of actions and formulae of mystical signification…’ (ibid.).


Michael Davies notes how wide a scope for change was given by introducing as the criteria for reform principles of ‘simplifying’, avoiding ‘useless repetitions’, changing what is ‘out of harmony with’ or ‘less suitable for’ the liturgy. He comments on the new liturgy: ‘The very dreary repetitions which have been introduced in the Responsorial Psalm and the Bidding Prayers [8] are presumably useful – although precisely what they are useful for must remain a mystery’.


He asks in regard to the disposition that the new rites ‘should be within the people’s powers of comprehension’: ‘What is meant here by the word ‘people’? University graduates, the illiterate, or those in the middle?’ [9]. ‘The people’ is of course nothing other than a front for the Revolutionaries to carry out their own audacious programs [10].



e)      Latin and the Vernacular


i) ‘The use of the Latin language… is to be preserved (servetur) in the Latin rites. But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it…’ (SC 36).


ii) ‘A suitable place may be allotted to the vernacular in Masses which are celebrated with the people… Nevertheless care must be taken to ensure that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them’ (SC 54).


iii) The church recognises Gregorian chant as especially native to the Roman liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. Other kinds of music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded…’ (SC 116)


Pope John XXIII, as can be understood by his speech at the end of the first session, as well as Archbishop Dwyer and Cardinal Heenan, did not believe that the Mass, and particularly the Canon, would be entirely stripped of the Latin language, and as late as 1965 the Consilium was still assuring national hierarchies that permission for a vernacular Canon would never be given[11]. No such thing had indeed been explicitly provided for by the Council, but texts (i) - (iii) paved the way for it by the equal favour they showed for Latin and the vernacular.


Latin is suitable to the Mass because it is a sacred, immutable, traditional language, and, up to the time of the liturgical reform, also universal - both geographically, that is to say in its extension over the whole globe, and temporally in reaching back to the early Church. In its universality it was in addition a principle of unity for all faithful attending this Rite, both in space and time.


‘Hatred for the Latin language is innate to the heart of all enemies of Rome’, writes Dom Guéranger (ibid.) ‘…They recognize it as the bond of Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. They consider it the most efficient weapon of the Papacy…’


In regard to the pretention to simplify the Mass by bringing it back to its original purity, and the pretension to introduce the vernacular, we quote the following text of Pope Pius VI (Auctorem Fidei of 1794) in condemnation of the intent of the Council of Pistoia: ‘to recall [the liturgy] to a greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language, by uttering it in a loud voice, as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church, has emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated – rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable to the charge of heretics against it.’



f)       Participation in particular


i) ‘In the restoration and development of the sacred liturgy the full and active participation by all the people is the paramount concern, for it is the primary, indeed the indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit…’ (SC 14).


Now to present congregational participation as of ‘paramount concern’ text (i) is to shift the focus of the Mass from the divine victim to the congregation, from the cult of God to the cult of man. At the same time it provides a mandate for unlimited liturgical change, change moreover not even desired by the people but only by the liturgical ‘experts’ [12]. 


ii) ‘To develop active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalms, antiphons, hymns, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes…’ (SC 30);


iii) ‘… every diocese… should have commissions for sacred music and sacred art.’ (SC 46)


Since the Mass is presented by the Council less as a mystical sacrifice than as a celebration, participation in it becomes more physical than spiritual, and more intensively vocal than before. With the Council opening up to the vernacular and to a large variety of communities and cultures; with the general invitation to an unspecified active participation; and with every diocese responsible from now on for their own music and art, we see what immense possibilities for art were introduced into the churches, what a great diversity of liturgical activity, music, and chant became available for the Mass, and what unlimited license for change.


But no attempt was made by Rome in the Council to limit potential abuses in this field; no attempt to recall the dispositions of St. Pius X on chant in particular [13] : ‘… Gregorian Chant… is the chant proper to the Roman Church… Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model of sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: The more closely a composition for Church approaches in its movement, inspiration, and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple’. He adds that classical polyphony ‘admirably agrees’ with Gregorian Chant, and forbids vernacular chant for solemn liturgy.


It is not necessary and would also be tedious to list the abuses in art, music, chant and ‘active participation’ which we have witnessed in these dark, post-conciliar years, and which are the logical conclusion of such extravagant dispositions.



g)      Inculturation


i) ‘… the church does not wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not affect the faith or the well-being of the entire community. Rather does it cultivate and foster the qualities and talents of the various races and nations. Anything in people’s way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error the church studies with sympathy, and if possible preserves intact. It sometimes even admits such things into the liturgy itself, provided they harmonise with its true and authentic spirit…’ (SC 37).


Michael Davies remarks[14]: ‘In practical terms this has meant unrestricted pluriformity with one exception – and in this case the most rigid uniformity is very much de rigueur, a uniformity which is rigid in not admitting the Mass of St. Pius V into the liturgy. This would appear to be the one thing in the way of life of so many Catholic peoples that is so bound up with superstition and error that it cannot be admitted to the liturgy.’


ii) ‘Provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved, provision shall be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions and peoples, especially in mission countries…’ (SC 38).


Michael Davies [15] points to the vagueness of the words ‘substantial unity’ which would require subsequent interpretation from the reformers, and the word ‘especially’ allowing for change even outside mission countries: words which would give the reformers considerable liberty to change the Mass.


iii) ‘In some places and circumstances however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed…’ (SC 40).


We note the wide ambit of the changes envisaged by the Council. Already in text (i) the Church admits into the liturgy things it finds in other races and nations which are ‘not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error’; in certain circumstances, however, cf. text (iii), it is prepared to go even further. Does this mean that it may also admit such things when they are indeed ‘indissolubly bound up with superstition and error’? Michael Davies [16] quotes a letter of 1965 from the head of the liturgy Consilium, Cardinal Lercaro, imploring all Bishops of the world to stem the tide of unauthorized liturgical adaptations, just as the Council of King Edward VI had attempted to curb the innovations following the introduction of Cranmer’s liturgy. And yet neither the Consilium nor the Royal Council took much or any action at all against the innovators.


Now the enterprise of ‘inculturation’ of the Rite of Mass consists of adapting it (that is changing it to some extent) to accommodate it to indigenous cults. And yet it should be said that a cult must conform to reality. This is eminently true of the Old Roman Rite of Mass where the words, language, music and gestures of celebrant and people, the silence, genuflections, kneeling, folded hands, downcast eyes, conform perfectly to reality and create that spirit and atmosphere of sacrality, reverence, humility, self-immolation, adoration and mystery, which alone is appropriate to the Sacrifice of Mount Calvary and to the reception of the most Sacred Body of the Divine and Immaculate Lamb. Indeed the words of the celebrant even make this very sacrifice present.


Indigenous cults, by contrast, do not conform to reality in their worship in general, but being pagan, they conform to falsehood and idolatry; nor do they conform to the reality of the Mass in particular. They do not aim to render present the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary or to enable people to attend it with suitable dispositions. The words that they use, the language, the music, the gestures, are appropriate to their own rite but not to the rite of the Holy Mass. For this reason inculturation must be branded at the very least as infelicitous. It is condemned by St. Pius X [17] as the evolutionary Modernist concept of accommodation of worship ‘to the manners and customs of peoples.’


It may be argued that the Church has always built upon pagan foundations, whether architectural, as in the Cathedral of Syracuse, formerly a Greek temple, or spiritual, as in the 16th century Missions to China, where the Venerable Father Matteo Ricci SJ, relying on an ancient Chinese tradition, preached God as the ‘Lord of Heaven’. And yet the Church in such cases, far from inculturation, was seeking out elements of beauty and natural truth in pagan cultures as starting-points for a thoroughgoing evangelization: to transform and elevate such elements to a supernatural plane, establishing Herself in all Her sovereign self-assurance and Immaculate Glory as the source of all light and goodness in the world.


Here the Council, as in so many of its teachings, emasculates the Faith as a gesture of putative Charity towards non-Catholics: in this place towards the Pagans, in other places to Protestants, Jews, Communists, and so on. The fundamental error once again consists in giving priority to the Order of the Good over the Order of the True.



Corollary:  The Veneration of the Saints


We proceed briefly to examine some of the changes proposed to the veneration of the Saints.


i) ‘… the accounts of the martyrdoms or lives of the saints are to be made historically accurate’ (SC 92).


ii) ‘Hymns are to be restored to their original form… Whatever smacks of mythology… is to be removed or changed.’ (SC 93).


iii) Other celebrations, unless they be truly of the greatest importance, shall not have precedence over Sunday, which is the foundation and kernel of the entire liturgical year.’ (SC 106).


iv) ‘… the Proper of the Seasons must be given due precedence over the feasts of the saints…’ (SC 108).


v) ‘…the celebration of many of them [the saints] should be consigned to particular churches, nations or religious families. Only those should be extended to the universal church which commemorate saints of truly universal importance.’ (SC 111).


In this section we see the Council distancing itself from the traditional veneration of the saints. A critical spirit is encouraged in regard to hagiography and hymns; the feasts of the saints are to be reduced in number. The critical spirit concords with the ‘historical-critical method’ applied by the Modernists to the Holy Scriptures, Church History, and recommended by Alfred Loisy for ‘Catholicism in general’ [18]. The reduction of the saints’ feasts, by contrast, concords with the Lutheran heresy of Solus Christus.


The New Rite of Mass offers ample evidence of how the latter program was executed: in the suppression of saints’ days on Sundays and in general, in the elimination of their octaves, of Introits and Graduals from their feast days, of Epistles and Gospels, as well as in the permission it granted to substitute the Gospels proper to saints’ days with the mechanical sequential re-iteration of the four Gospels.



Conclusion to Chapter 7


The Council of Trent teaches that the Holy Mass is a real and proper sacrifice. This is a dogma of Faith, which it defines in the following words: ‘If any-one were to say that in the Mass a real and proper sacrifice is not offered to God, Anathema sit [19]. In the above section we have seen how the sacrificial nature of the Mass is obscured in favor of the heretical vision of the Mass as a community assembly with prayer, commemorative meal, and scriptural readings: an event demanding simplicity, the vernacular, active participation, and readily adaptable to indigenous cultures. The sacrificial nature of the Mass is also obscured by the absence of all mention of transubstantiation, the act by which the sacrifice is rendered present. Descriptions of the Mass that fail to mention this act are condemned by Pope Pius VI  [20] as ‘pernicious, prejudicial to the exposition of the truth of the Catholic Faith concerning the dogma of transubstantiation, and favoring heretics.’ In the corollary we have seen how the changes mandated for the veneration of the saints and for the other sacraments also correspond to Protestant heresy [21].


We have explained above that the fundamental error of Protestantism is its subjectivism: its placing of the self, of man, in the center of all things, but to do this in the Holy Mass is clearly to substitute man for God. This amounts to self-deifying atheism in its liturgical form, as was to become evident in the years subsequent to the Council in the phenomenon of the New Rite of Mass [22]. 




[1] see also SC 62 quoted under the section on the Sacraments below, regarding their adaptation to ‘present-day needs’, and SC 88 on the divine office.

[2] MD pjc, pp.240-44

[3] we have seen a similar contradiction in the previous chapter, section C on the religious life, where change under the name of ‘adaptation’ is presented as a part of a ‘return’ to sources and to primitive inspirations 

[4] in chapter 3 above

[5] in chapter 7 below

[6] 1840, vol. I chapter 4

[7] We show this and other infelicitous consequences of the scriptural changes in our book ‘The Destruction of the Roman Rite

[8] ‘Prayers of the Faithful’

[9] MD pjc 245

[10] see Father Denis Fahey, ‘The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World’ ch.5. The ‘people’ in fact neither desired, nor played important roles in, any revolution, social or liturgical, whether in France, Russia, or the Church.

[11] MD pjc, p. 223-4, 227

[12] MD pjc ch.16, pp.236-40

[13] Tra le sollecitudini of 1903, a mere 60 years previously

[14] MD pjc p. 245

[15] MD pjc p. 246

[16] MD pjc p. 246-9

[17] Pascendi Gregis s. 26

[18] RdM p.4

[19] Trent S. XXII C. 1

[20] Auctorem Fidei, 1794

[21] The new rites will indeed all be strongly imbued with Protestantism, as well as by a spirit of unfounded optimism. The priest ‘promotes love and joy’; marriage is ‘for spousal romance and happiness’; the new Mass is ‘a celebration or memorial meal’; the new baptism and confirmation ‘effectively deny the struggle between good and evil’; the new extreme unction ‘changes the focus from preparing the soul for the next life, to healing the body or relieving suffering in this life’; the new confession ‘shifts responsibility from personal to collective guilt and even allows the possibility that God is partly responsible for our disordered behavior. In brief, the new rites teach that we are no longer struggling with our fallen nature in a fallen world where Satan has powerful influence. The new rites teach the Protestant doctrine that Christ fixed the problem of fallen human nature once and for all, and we are now evolving to perfection. In the new rites, progress is assured. The new rites have great faith in the goodness of man and boundless optimism for mankind’s future. Life is beautiful, and we simply need to celebrate that fact.’ (Lex Orandi op.cit., p.190).

[22] see our conclusion to The Destruction of the Roman Rite, op.cit.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: apostasy; modernists; vcii

1 posted on 05/15/2022 3:44:52 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: Al Hitan; Fedora; irishjuggler; Jaded; JoeFromSidney; kalee; markomalley; miele man; Mrs. Don-o; ...


2 posted on 05/15/2022 3:45:49 PM PDT by ebb tide (Where are the good fruits of the Second Vatican Council? Anyone?)
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To: ebb tide

HOMOSEXUALITY and pedophilia are the only other mysteries they seek to mainstream in the churches.

3 posted on 05/15/2022 7:49:07 PM PDT by Jumper ( )
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