24 The Second Vatican Council
pray together in Latin (Article 54). All lawfully acknowledged rites were to
be considered to be of equal authority and dignity, and were to be preserved
in the future (Article 4). The treasury of sacred music was to be preserved
and fostered (Article 114) and Gregorian Chant was to be given “pride of
place in liturgical services” (Article 116). There were to be no innovations
unless absolutely necessary for the good of the Church, and any new forms
adopted would have to grow organically from existing forms (Article 23).
People throughout the world became aware that things would change
somewhat, but they were unaware of the degree to which they would see
any change. Most did not concern themselves with such things, placing their
trust completely in the hands of their priests, bishops, and the Holy Father.
They trusted the Church. In retrospect, they trusted in specific individuals
who were betraying Christ and His Church. Very few, as we would see, really
knew their Faith.
A number of people with exceptional intellect or some spiritual insight
became alarmed as events unfolded; Dietrich von Hildebrand, Evelyn Waugh,
J.R.R. Tolkien, Fr. Gomar DePauw, Fr. Malachai Martin, John Senior, and
many others. In several cases, the agreed upon and carefully advanced
“schema” for the council documents were abandoned and radical or ambiguous
texts were advanced, leaving loopholes and vulnerabilities for a radical postc-
onciliar agenda. Radicals, convinced that fundamental change was necessary
and unable to see the collapse that would accompany any attempt to radicalize
the Church, pushed for the most abrupt implementation possible. Archbishop
Anibale Bugnini, who controlled the committee (consilium) responsible for
implementation of the revised liturgy, adhered to the radical view.
that he could not sell a wholesale revision of the prayers of the Church to
the majority by honest means, he cited Vatican II as the authority by which
the prayers of the Church would be radically revised.
In 1969, four years after the closure of the council, a new rite was intro-
duced. Its introduction to bewildered and confused Catholics was carried out
in such a careless and crass way that none of the key points of the Vatican II
Document on the Liturgy were observed. In violation of Article 36, the Latin
language was not preserved, but rather was quickly and abruptly replaced
by the vernacular. For English speaking Catholics that meant a seriously
and fundamentally flawed English translation that still, Anno Domini 2006,
Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975, translated by Matthew J.
O’Connell (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1990). It is best to let him speak for
himself. To get an idea of his disdain for Catholic heritage, see particularly the section on
Sacred Music and the Liturgy pp. 885-917.