THE LITURGICAL REFORM (continued)
Two Superiors General had the courage to speak out. One of them asked Fr. Bugnini: “Is this an active participation, that is a bodily participation, that is to say with vocal prayers, or is it a spiritual participation? In any case you have so much spoken of the participation of the faithful that it seems you can no longer justify Mass celebrated without the faithful. Your entire Mass has been fabricated around the participation of the faithful. We, Benedictines, celebrate our Masses without the assistance of the faithful. Does this mean that we must discontinue our private Masses, since we do not have faithful to participate in them?"
I repeat to you exactly that which Fr. Bugnini said. I have it still in my ears, so much did it strike me: “To speak truthfully we didn't think of that," he said!
Afterwards another arose and said: "Reverend Father, you have said that we will suppress this and we will suppress that, that we will replace this thing by that and always by shorter prayers. I have the impression that your new Mass could be said in ten or twelve minutes or at the most a quarter of an hour. This is not reasonable. This is not respectful towards such an act of the Church." Well, this is what he replied: "We can always add something." Is this for real? I heard it myself. If somebody had told me the story I would perhaps have doubted it, but I heard it myself.
Afterwards, at the time at which this Normative Mass began to be put into practice, I was so disgusted that we met with some priests and theologians in a small meeting. From it came the “Brief Critical Study,” which was taken to Cardinal Ottaviani. I presided that small meeting. We said to ourselves: “We must go and find the Cardinals. We cannot allow this to happen without reacting."
So I myself went to find the Secretary of State, Cardinal Cicognani, and I said to him: “Your Eminence, you are not going to allow this to get through, are you? It's not possible. What is this New Mass? It is a revolution in the Church, a revolution in the Liturgy."
Cardinal Cicognani, who was the Secretary of State of Pope Paul VI, placed his head between his hands and said to me: "Oh Your Grace, I know well. I am in full agreement with you; but what can I do? Fr. Bugnini goes in to the office of the Holy Father and makes him sign what he wants." It was the Cardinal Secretary of State who told me this! Therefore the Secretary of State, the number two person in the Church after the Pope himself, was placed in a position of inferiority with respect to Fr. Bugnini. He could enter into the Pope's office when he wanted and make him sign what he wanted.
This can explain why Pope Paul VI signed texts that he had not read. He told Cardinal Journet that he had done this. Cardinal Journet was a deep thinker, Professor at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and a great theologian. When Cardinal Journet saw the definition of the Mass in the instruction, which precedes the Novus Ordo, he said: ”This definition of the Mass is unacceptable; I must go to Rome to see the Pope." He went and he said: “Holy Father you cannot allow this definition. It is heretical. You cannot leave your signature on a document like this." The Holy Father replied to him (Cardinal Journet did not tell me himself but he told someone who repeated it to me): ”Well, to speak truthfully I did not read it. I signed it without reading it." Evidently, if Fr. Bugnini had such an influence on him it's quite possible. He must have said to the Holy Father: ”You can sign it". "But did you look it over carefully". ”Yes, you can go ahead and sign it." And he signed.
But this document did not go through the Holy Office. I know this because Cardinal Seper himself told me that he was absent when the Novus Ordo was published and that it did not pass by the Holy Office. Hence it is indeed Fr. Bugnini who obtained the Pope's signature and who perhaps constrained him. We do not know, but he had without a doubt an extraordinary influence over the Holy Father.
A third fact, of which I was myself the witness, with respect to Fr. Bugnini is also astonishing. When permission was about to be give for Communion in the hand (what a horrible thing!), I said to myself that I could not sit by without saying anything. I must go and see Cardinal Gut -a Swiss -who was Prefect of the Congregation for Worship. I therefore went to Rome, where Cardinal Gut received me in a very friendly way and immediately said to me: "I'm going to make my second-in- charge, Archbishop Antonini, come that he also might hear what you have to say."
As we spoke I said: "Listen, you who are responsible for the Congregation for Worship, are you going to approve this decree which authorizes Communion in the hand? Just think of all the sacrileges, which it is going to cause. Just think of the lack of respect for the Holy Eucharist, which is going to spread throughout the entire Church. You cannot possibly allow such a thing to happen. Already priests are beginning to give Communion in this manner. It must be stopped immediately. And with this New Mass they always take the shortest canon, that is the second one, which is very brief"
At this, Cardinal Gut said to Archbishop Antonini, "See, I told you this would happen and that priests would take the shortest canon so as to go more quickly and finish the Mass more quickly."
Afterwards Cardinal Gut said to me: "Your Grace, if one were to ask my opinion (when he said "one" he was speaking of the Pope, since nobody was over him except the Pope), but I'm not certain it is asked of me (don't forget that he was Prefect for the Congregation for Worship and was responsible for everything which was related to Worship and to the Liturgy!), but if the Pope were to ask for it, I would place myself on my knees, Your Grace, before the Pope and I would say to him: 'Holy Father do not do this; do not sign this decree.' I would cast myself on my knees, Your Grace. But I do not know that I will be asked. For it is not I who command here."
This I heard with my own ears. He was making allusion to Bugnini, who was the third in the Congregation for Worship. There was first of all Cardinal Gut, then Archbishop Antonini and then Fr. Bugnini, President of the Liturgical Commission. You ought to have heard that! Alas, you can now understand my attitude when I am told; you are a dissident and disobedient rebel.