FR. Z: The Consilium revisited

The Consilium revisited

CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULA — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 9:48 am

In my recent reading, I happened again on a passage from the slim but interesting volume that came out a couple years back under the name of the former long-time papal master of ceremonies, Archp. Piero Marini. That’s Piero Marini, not Guido Marini (the present MC).

The book, so far only in English I believe, was probably written largely by the Jesuit liturgist Keith Pecklers and Mark Francis, CSV.

The title is A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal, 1963-1975.

The Marini/Pecklers book purports to tell the story of the glorious work of the Consilium, the entity established during the Second Vatican Council to implement the liturgical reform mandated in Sacrosanctum Concilium. The Consilium was headed up by Annibale Bugnini and Card. Lercaro.

The authors set out to defend the work of the Consilium and Bugnini against the dangerous encroachment of Pope Benedict’s vision, and the retrograde force he is exerting on the Spirit of Vatican II.

In presenting their uplifiting story, the authors produce an unintended consequence: they expose clearly what the liturgical reforms were actually trying to accomplish.

But enough of that.

Here is the passage I wanted to share. Context: The Consilium has just just taken a major step in moving from an informally meeting group to an officially and formally established body. They have their first plenary session.

“They met in public to begin one of the greatest liturgical reforms in the history of the Western church. Unlike the reform after Trent, it was all the greater because it also dealt with doctrine.” (p. 46)

They succeeded. The work of the Consilium, in revising the Missale Romanum, did indeed change the Church’s doctrine. Change they way you pray and you change what you believe… and vice versa.

Change the liturgy, change the world.

Whether this was a good change or not is a matter of discussion.

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