In his superb column in this week’s Scotland on Sunday, Gerald Warner responds to the Holy Father’s motu proprio.
The bishops of England and Wales tried furiously to prevent the liberalisation of access to the Traditional Mass, lobbying the Vatican against it, although they had recently approved the regular celebration of a Mass for homosexuals. On the eve of the publication of the Papal document, Bishop Kieran Conry, of Arundel and Brighton, said: “Any liberalisation of the use of the rite may prove seriously divisive. It could encourage those who want to turn the clock back throughout the Church.” So, a liberal opposes liberalisation – why are we not surprised?
As for turning the clock back throughout the Church, it is the only possible remedy for the crisis that has afflicted it since the Second Vatican Catastrophe. The Novus Ordo (New Order of Mass) was invented by Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, assisted by six Protestant pastors, after the Vatican Council. When this appalling confection was presented to the 1967 Synod of Bishops it was indignantly rejected. Yet two years later it was universally imposed. Bugnini described it in 1974 as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church”.
Strange language from a Catholic bishop; but there were stranger things to come. In July, 1975 Bugnini was abruptly sacked after Pope Paul VI was shown evidence he was a Freemason. Bugnini denied the fact, but when the register of Italian Freemasonry came to light in 1976, it recorded Bugnini as having been initiated on April 23, 1963, with the esoteric code name ‘Buan’. So, even during the Vatican Council, Bugnini was already under automatic excommunication for Masonic membership. What possessed Paul VI to sack the author of the New Mass, but retain his liturgy for universal use? At least this episode throws light on the handshake at the ‘kiss of peace’ in the new rite. […]
For 40 years frenzied efforts have been made to stamp out the Traditional Mass and yet it has flourished. It is now past the point where there is the remotest prospect of extinguishing it. As Pope Benedict said in his explanatory letter accompanying the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (“Of Supreme Pontiffs”), one of his reasons for freeing the Old Mass was the number of young people now flocking to it.
That is what the faded 1960s trendies who are now bishops and seminary rectors fear: the impossibility of maintaining a revolution that has burned itself out. The Second Vatican Council means as little to today’s youth as the Council of Chalcedon. Its elderly adherents are like dads dancing at the school disco. Many young people are seeking the mystical and the numinous. The Mass of All Time answers that need.
Within the past month the Vatican has issued two other documents: one restoring the requirement for a two-thirds majority at Papal conclaves, which rules out the future election of an extreme radical; and a reassertion of the doctrine that the Protestant sects cannot be recognised as ‘churches’. It will not damage ecumenism, because that died long ago. Its premise was that Rome must endlessly divest, while Canterbury ordained priestesses and moved ever further from Catholicism. [Ed.: bold mine.] When you see a Church of Scotland congregation praying the rosary you may believe ecumenism is a two-way process.
‘The Mass of All Time will outlive the Sixties revolutionaries‘, by Gerald Warner; Scotland on Sunday, 15 July 2007.