A Fr Ruff has written, concerning Sacrosanctum Concilium, the liturgical Decree of Vatican II, that the Fathers "approved a major paradigm shift ... and then left open what the implications of that shift would be. No doubt many of the Fathers didn't yet have in mind all the possible implications of the paradigm shift".
I welcome this admission. It is a long-desired, much-needed, tiny step in the general direction of honesty. Not a very big step and not much of an example of honesty ... but a little something.
Not long ago I read yet another example of a common and quite disgraceful suggestio falsi: the suggestion that the whole post-Conciliar 'reform' had the overwhelmimg support of the universal episcopate "because only four Fathers voted against it". Of course only four bishops voted against SC, because the text itself gave no indication whatsoever of the radical character of the corruptions which very rapidly followed, once certain interests had got their hands on the levers of power.
The Fathers were taken for a ride.
Let me give just two examples.
(1) Does anybody seriously think that Lefebvre and Castro de Mayer and all the other 'conservative' members of the Coetus Internationalis Patrum would have stuck their signatures onto that document if they had been told that, in less than a decade, the Canon Romanus, the unique and ancient Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman Church and, for 1200 years, of nearly all of Latin Christendom, would have fallen into almost total disuse? That it would have been replaced, to all intents and purposes, by a very brief Prayer put together by two men over a caraffe of wine one evening at a bar in the Trastevere? That the text these two used as their basis would, half a century later, be recognised by both Catholic and non-Catholic scholars as having no connection with the Roman Church? That its consecratory theology is contrary to that of the Canon Romanus? And that Sacrosanctum Concilium, the document the Council Fathers were tricked into signing, would be flaunted around as a sufficient Conciliar Mandate for this outrageous, dishonest, and corrupt process?
(2) The paragraph in SC which deals with the rites of Ordination gives two extremely revealing instances of the sort of things the Fathers thought they were voting for. The only suggestions it gives for revising those rites are (a) that the Address by the Bishop to the People at the start of each ordination might be in the vernacular; and (b) that more than three bishops might lay hands on episcopal consecrands! Yes; I said might, and I said it twice.
Two such very minor, optional, alterations! Those were the sorts of tiny modifications going round in the minds of the Fathers.
What actually happened after the Council? The entire ancient Roman Prayer for making a bishop, marked by a theology we already find in the First Epistle of S Clement in the 90s A.D., was totally dumped and replaced by a highly dubious prayer of Oriental origin.
Knavery! Or, as a popular British comedian once said, "Infamy! They've got it In for me!"
The man responsible, Dom Bernard Botte, more or less admits (in his Memoire printed in English as From Silence to Participation) the outrageous nature of what he achieved. He concedes the impropriety implied in writing a new Prayer from scratch ("some amateurs could be found who would be willing to attempt it"). But ... what about just adopting the oriental Prayer? "My colleagues ... looked at me in disbelief ... they didn't believe it had the slightest chance of being accepted".
In other words, Botte's fellow committeemen most certainly did not believe that this proposal was simply a dutiful fulfilment of the mandate given them by the Council Fathers. Nor did Botte even suggest this to them.
Botte convinced them by playing the 'ecumenical card'.
Does the Conciliar document on Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, anywhere suggest that 'ecumenical considerations' are a sound reason for replacing ancient and extensive Roman formulae by dubious oriental texts? Is this a 'principle' sanctioned by Lefebvre and 'all but four' of the Fathers?
Back now to the passage I quoted at the start of this piece.
Ruff concludes it by writing: "No doubt many of the Fathers didn't yet have in mind all the possible implications of the paradigm shift. Nor did they need to".
"Nor did they need to"! In other words, Ruff is saying that the Fathers were induced to sign a blank cheque without realising that it could be filled in with a quite different sum of money from what they had in mind ... and that this sharp practice matters not one tiniest bit.
Suppose I want to buy a scarf for a friend. We don't know whether it will cost £20 or £50. So I give him an open cheque to buy it with.
If he goes off and uses the cheque to buy himself a flash new car for £50,000, he may not have broken the Law, but I shall think of him for ever more as one hell of a crook. Sorry; but I shall.
If that makes me judgemental and rigid and unbergoglian, fine. I can live with it.
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