AST WEEK we published an article which pointed out several errors made by Cardinal Cupich. His Excellency, in the spirit of dialogue, seems to have published a response to what we wrote. However, the good Cardinal seems be “deflecting”—in a somewhat clumsy manner—from the items we put forward. Therefore, perhaps we should begin a series of articles underscoring the important items Cardinal Cupich failed to address.
Indisputable Facts: The Second Vatican Council mandated—but did not oversee—a reform of the sacred liturgy. Many of the Council fathers had died by the time the 1970 Missal was released (more than half a decade later). The Second Vatican Council explicitly mandated important items which the reformers ignored. Full stop.
“Despising Everything” An indisputable expert vis-à-vis the 1960s liturgical reforms was Ferdinando Cardinal Antonelli, who was named “Secretary of the Conciliar Commission on the Liturgy” on 4 October 1962. The Cardinal’s words are worth pondering:
“The CONCILIUM is merely an assembly of people, many of them incompetent, and others well advanced on the road to novelty. The discussions are extremely hurried. Discussions are based on impressions and the voting is chaotic. […] Many of those who have influenced the reform […] have no love, and no veneration of that which has been handed down to us. They begin by despising everything that is actually there.”
The Most Severe Deficiency: Much has been written (by the reformers themselves) about the great haste which characterized much of their work. In the personal notes of Cardinal Antonelli, however, we see another deep concern of his: viz. the lack of theologians. On 25 July 1968, Antonelli noted:
“In the CONCILIUM, there are few Bishops with a specifically liturgical expertise, and very few are really theologians. The most acute deficiency in the CONCILIUM is the lack of theologians. In fact, it could be said that they had been excluded altogether, which is something dangerous. In the liturgy, every word and every gesture expresses an idea which is always a theological idea. […] And this has very serious consequences.”
“Every Word And Gesture” In the private diaries of Cardinal Antonelli, he says of Father Annibale Bugnini:
“I could say many things about this man. […] While I would like to be mistaken, I can say that his greatest lacuna was his lack of any theological training or sensibility. This was a grave defect and lacuna because in the liturgy, every word and every gesture expresses a theological idea. I have the impression that much has been conceded to the Protestant mentality, especially in matters regarding the sacraments.”
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
* Source of these quotations:
Father Nicola Giampietro’s Il cardinale Giuseppe Ferdinando Antonelli e gli sviluppi della riforma liturgica dal 1948 al 1970 (Pontifical Institute of Sacred Liturgy, 1996).