Traditional Mass

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here's an amazing report from Rome on who and why the Holy Mass was changed back in the 60's:

The End of One Mystery...
And the beginning of another

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

"Lacrimae rerum." ("The tears of things.") —Virgil, The Aeneid (Book 1, line 462)
The Aeneid is an epic poem written in Latin by Virgil, one of Rome's most distinguished poets, in the first century BC. In these lines, the Trojan prince Aeneas, son of Anchises, weeping, gazes at one of the murals found in a Carthaginian temple, which depicts battles of the Trojan War and the deaths of his friends and countrymen, and says "sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt."Translated this means, "These are tears for events and mortal things (sufferings) touch the soul." As he stands there, Aeneas is overcome by the futility of warfare and waste of human life. The burden man has to bear, ever-present frailty and suffering, defines the essence of human experience. A translation by the classicist Robert Fagles renders the quote this way: "The world is a world of tears, and the burdens of mortality touch the heart." 
Jeremiah's Lament
Before telling more about my conversation with the monsignor indicated to me by Cardinal Gagnon as he lay dying, I think it is right that I should continue, for a moment, with my Roman journal.
This evening, an unusually cool one for this time of year, and so very pleasant, I went to Vespers in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by Sunday evening Mass.
Both the Vespers and Mass were at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, which is in that part of the basilica directly behind the main altar and beneath the great golden window depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit, visible at the very back of this wide-angle image. (photo)
During Mass, there was a choir of 46 children from Moscow, called the Poliot Choir, who sang beautifully in Latin and in Russian. (The connections and contacts between Rome and Russia continue to intensify.)
During the Mass, the first reading was from Jeremiah (23:1-6):
"Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD...
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.
I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow...
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.

And the Gospel reading included this passage, from Mark (6:30-34):

"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things."
Cardinal Angelo Comastri (photo), the Italian prelate in charge of St. Peter's Basilica (I have interviewed him about ways to restore a greater sense of prayer throughout the basilica, while keeping it open for visitors) then delivered a powerful homily.
"I have been thinking about the prophet Jeremiah quite a bit in the past few days," Comastri said. "He was born in 650 BC, about a century after Isaiah. He was by nature a timid man, reserved. But he lived in a turbulent time, the time of the destruction of the Jewish temple, the glory of Israel, in 586 BC. He suffered very much. He lived to see his beloved city destroyed and his people taken into captivity.
"For 25 years before this happened, he cried out to the Jews to put down their idols and fulfill their destiny as his Chosen People — to do justice, and become the living Temple of God.
"Il vero tempio siete voi!" Comastri cried out, citing Jeremiah. "You are the true Temple! And in your idolatries, in your worship of things which are nothingnesses, the true Temple of God, your hearts, has already been destroyed! And it is no wonder that the Temple of stone then falls as well..."

Astronomers by the Lake

Earlier this week, on Thursday, I had the opportunity to go out to Castel Gandolfo and visit some Jesuit friends at the Specola Vaticana — the Vatican Observatory — refounded in 1891 by Pope Leo XIII in an effort to show that the faith and true science were not incompatible.
For nearly a century, the Specola has been housed inside the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo itself.
In fact, the Jesuit community of astronomers there had free access to the castle roof — where the telescope is — and the Pope did not!
But starting just two weeks ago, all this has changed: the Jesuit community has been moved to the other end of the Vatican Gardens.
So I went out on what was more or less a "farewell" visit to the castle, as I don't know when I will have a chance to visit there again. (Photo, a view of Lake Albano from the castle roof.)
The Jesuits astronomers have a long history at the Vatican.
Ancient records tell us that Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) commissioned his architect, Mascherino, to build a 73-meter high tower in the Vatican along the via delle Fondamenta. This tower, known as the Torre dei Venti(Tower of the Winds) is still standing.
Inside the tower, also called the Gregorian Tower or the Gregorian Observatory, there is a very interesting room which contains a meridian line constructed by the leading  mathematician of the age, the Dominican Father Ignazio Danti.
A hole is located in the south wall at a height of about 5 meters and the artist placed it right in the mouth of a genie blowing wind (photoshowing the beam of light).
A ray of sunlight passing through this hole falls on the floor across which there is a long marble strip, placed north-south, whose center opens up into a circle.
The meridian line is inserted along this marble strip. One of the markings corresponds to the spot where the sun's rays strike on the spring and fall equinoxes.
By observing this meridian, Gregory XIII is said to have come to the personal realization of the absolute need for the reform of the calendar which had already been undertaken "because on March 21 the bright solar image fell on the meridian line at a distance of 60 centimeters from the point cut into the floor to indicate the true equinox."

The Briefcase Left Behind (continued)
I began my conversation with the monsignor indicated to me by Cardinal Gagnon asw he lay dying with the simple fact of Gagnon's passing in August of 2007.
We spoke in Italian. The conversation took place in the fall of 2007.
"I was sorry to hear of Cardinal Gagnon's passing," I said.
"Yes, so was I," the monsignor said. "He was a great servant of the Church. He suffered a great deal."
"I knew him," I said. "He was always helpful to me, especially when I was beginning."
"He was a kind man."

And then we began our usual conversation, on the state of the Church, the latest news in the Vatican, and so forth. Our conversation turned naturally to the publication on July 7, 2007, of themotu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which promoted wider use of the old rite of the Mass.
"I'm confused," I said.

"Why?" he said.
"The whole thing," I said. "What happened at the Second Vatican Council, the Constitution on the Liturgy, the Commission established to revise the Mass, Monsignor Bugnini... And now, 40 years later, we seem to be still in a state of confusion. It seems like all the things we held sacred — all the things we loved — have been trampled upon."
"You are too gloomy," he said, waving his hand dismissively. "Yes, things have been trampled upon, but the essential remains. Don't lose heart."
"Does the essential remain?" I asked. "Look around. We have some who don't care about any traditions at all, they look at the 'old Church' as narrow and guilt-ridden, and they will do anything not to go back. And we have many traditionalists who seem to focus solely on externals — it sometimes seems an idolatry of the ritual..."
"I don't see it that black-and-white," the monsignor said. "You are leaving out all the individuals, all their acts of sacrifice, their good humor, their prayer. You have fallen into a trap. In the fight over truth, don't forget grace. Remember, there is God, the Holy Spirit, Mary..."

"But why do so many seem not to care?"
"Some are thoughtless. Some are persuaded the Church should be changed. Some just flow with the tide. Some are motivated by money. And then there are those who serve other masters. That was the case with Bugnini..."
I was startled. Not because of what he said, because it is an old allegation, but because of the way he said it, as if it was something settled, beyond discussion.

"Of course, I have heard that," I said, "but why do you say it so bluntly, as if it were certain? I thought it was just an allegation?"
"It is certain," he said. "At least, as certain as anything can be in this world. He went to a meeting in the Secretariat of State, with his briefcase. It was in 1975. Later that evening, when everyone had gone home, a monsignor found the briefcase Bugnini had left behind. The monsignor decided to open it to see who the owner was. And when he opened it, he found letters inside addressed to Bugnini, as to a brother, from the Grand Master of Italian Freemasonry..."
"But could those letters have been forgeries?" I asked. "Could someone have opened the briefcase, seen it was Bugnini's, and then slipped these false documents inside, to frame him?"
"Well, theoretically, I suppose, that is possible. [Note to readers: Bugnini himself always said the allegations were false, that he was never a freemason, and that the charges were made against him by disgruntled conservatives who opposed the work he had done on the liturgy.] But Paul VI, at least, didn't think so. When the evidence was brought to him, he came to the conclusion that Bugnini needed to be removed immediately from his post. Bugnini was made the papal nuncio in Iran. After more than 25 years as the head of the liturgical reform, he was abruptly fired and sent to a country where there are hardly any Catholics at all. It was a type of banishment.
"That is very sad," I said.
"No," he said, "it is very human... And today, 35 years later, it is in the past. It is something we can do nothing about."
"But if this is really true," I said, "then Paul VI may have approved of the new Mass under 'false pretences,' as it were. Wouldn't that raise questions about the entire liturgical reform? And why, then, did Paul VI not go back to the drawing board, if he believed what you say was true?"
(For more on the letters in the briefcase, see:

The Monsignor Sums Up 
"Look," the monsignor said, "no matter how many defeats the Church suffers, no matter how many betrayals, there is always hope..."
"But the losses are so great," I said, "it is as if the link between our time and the past has been severed..."
"No!" He looked fiercely at me. "You yourself are evidence that it has not been severed. And so am I. And I tell you, that even were you to fall, and betray the faith, and even were I to fall, and even if all around us were to fall, still, the Church will not be defeated. She will prevail. Non praevalebunt!"
And I looked at him and marveled at his faith.
And I still had not asked him about the Gagnon dossier...
(More to come...)
Note: In coming weeks, I will include more interviews on the liturgy, on the Third Secret of Fatima, on the New World Order, on the Vatican Secret Archives, and more analysis and reflection. If you would like to support my work, I would be grateful. This "newflash" will remain free, but I would appreciate help from those of you who have the means to support the work. Could you consider a donation of $25, $50 or even $100? My Blog is scheduled to debut this summer, and it will be interactive, so readers can post questions and comments — and criticisms! Our new website has been under construction since the beginning of the year, and will debut soon, with a large photo gallery, all back issues, and an online edition of Inside the Vatican. We will continue to invest to try to bring insight and truth. If you can, please support our work. —Robert Moynihan)


Additional (But Not Exhaustive or Complete) Background Material
Here is an article that appeared in Catholic News Service in December 2007; in this report, based on a book by Bugnini's secretary, Piero Marini, now an archbishop (and the man who was for many years the master of papal liturgies, under John Paul II) the "fall" of Bugnini is depicted as the result of curial opposition to his reforms, and there is no mention of these allegations or of any "lost briefcase":
Archbishop's book tells of battles over control of liturgical reform

By John Thavis

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY, December 19, 2007 (CNS) -- In a new book, a Vatican archbishop has chronicled the birth pangs of the liturgical reform generated by the Second Vatican Council and warned of a Roman Curia tendency to return to a "preconciliar mindset."

The book, A Challenging Reform, was written by Archbishop Piero Marini, who recently ended a 20-year tenure as papal liturgist. His Vatican career began in 1965 in the office charged with implementing liturgical renewal.

Archbishop Marini recounted the rise of a decentralized and dynamic reform movement in the 1960s and its "curialization" in the 1970s by Vatican officials afraid of losing control.

Many of the hard-won liturgical changes were accompanied by tensions and disagreements inside the Vatican's central bureaucracy, he said.

The archbishop's book, published by Liturgical Press, was scheduled for presentation Dec. 14 in London, where the author was being honored at a reception hosted by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

The book offered an unusual look behind the scenes at the Vatican, beginning with the Second Vatican Council's approval in 1963 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which launched an extensive revision of Catholic worship.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI established the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, an international body that operated with considerable independence from existing Roman Curia offices.

From the beginning, Archbishop Marini wrote, the consilium's efforts met with resistance from traditionalist Curia members, who tried to curb the reform by "opposing real liturgical change and maintaining the status quo."

In 1969, the consilium was transformed into the Congregation for Divine Worship. Just six years later, the worship congregation was disbanded under growing criticism from other Vatican offices.

"This was probably one of the first signs of a tendency to return to a preconciliar mindset that has for years now characterized the Curia's approach," Archbishop Marini said in the book's conclusion.

"As more and more time passes since the Second Vatican Council, an event charged with such hope and desire for renewal, its distinctive contributions seem to be increasingly questioned," he said.

The book focuses in large part on Italian Father Annibale Bugnini, secretary of the consilium and its driving force. As a young priest, Archbishop Marini worked closely with Father Bugnini and at one point was his personal secretary.

Under Father Bugnini, the consilium reflected the liturgical ideas and enthusiasm of local churches, rather than the more cautious approach of Rome, the book said.

Thanks in part to Pope Paul's strategic support, the consilium managed to introduce a succession of significant changes in the liturgy, despite initial efforts by the Vatican's Congregation for Rites to block or delay the reforms, Archbishop Marini said.

He said the Roman Curia's opposition took many forms: official and open disagreement, scathing articles published under pseudonyms, newsletters or pamphlets circulated among the hierarchy, and private meetings.

Hostility sometimes was based on hearsay. When the consilium conducted closed-door liturgical experiments in a chapel near the Vatican, rumors flew around Rome that "unimaginable heresies" were in preparation, the archbishop said.

Father Bugnini remained the central figure of the reform movement, and when Pope Paul made him secretary of the newly established Congregation for Divine Worship in 1969 -- the year the new Mass was promulgated -- it seemed like a moment of triumph. The new congregation's primary task was to promote and safeguard the Vatican II reforms.

But with the higher profile of the reformers, the Curia attacks became even stronger, the book said. One pamphlet circulated at the Vatican contended that in the new Mass "the existence of division and schism is officially recognized." Two Curia cardinals wrote to the pope and said the reforms showed an "alarming divergence" from Catholic theology.

Although the reforms continued and Father Bugnini was made an archbishop, his position gradually weakened -- partly because his own "single-mindedness, even stubbornness" had alienated others in the Roman Curia, Archbishop Marini said.

While Archbishop Bugnini was on vacation in 1975, the book said, several private meetings sealed his fate. Shortly afterward, the Congregation for Divine Worship was disbanded and Archbishop Bugnini was sent to Iran as apostolic pro-nuncio.

With these changes, Archbishop Marini said, "the distinctive style of the consilium was gradually absorbed into the more traditional style proper to the Roman Curia."

The archbishop said the difficult history of liturgical reform reflects "the prophetic vision" of Pope Paul as well as the limitations of his pontificate.

Archbishop Marini, 65, was the master of papal liturgical ceremonies from 1987 until last October, when Pope Benedict XVI named him president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

And here is another article on the matter, by the late Michael Davies, a British Catholic layman whom I came to know; he labored mightily for decades to explain, and restore, the old Mass:
Annibale Bugnini: The Main Author of the Novus Ordo

By Michael Davies 

 “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants.”  —Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, main author of the New Mass, L'Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who died in Rome on 3 July 1982, was described in an obituary inThe Times as "one of the most unusual figures in the Vatican's diplomatic service." It would be more than euphemistic to describe the Archbishop's career as simply "unusual". There can be no doubt at all that the entire ethos of Catholicism within the Roman Rite has been changed profoundly by the liturgical revolution which has followed the Second Vatican Council.

As Father Kenneth Baker, SJ, remarked in his editorial in the February 1979 issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review: "We have been overwhelmed with changes in the Church at all levels, but it is the liturgical revolution which touches all of us intimately and immediately."

Commentators from every shade of theological opinion have argued that we have undergone a revolution rather than a reform since the Council. Professor Peter L. Berger, a Lutheran sociologist, insists that no other term will do, adding: "If a thoroughly malicious sociologist, bent on injuring the Catholic community as much as possible had been an adviser to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job."

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand expressed himself in even more forthright terms: "Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better."

Major Conquest
Archbishop Bugnini was the most influential figure in the implementation of this liturgical revolution, which he described in 1974 as "a major conquest of the Catholic Church." The Archbishop was born in Civitella de Lego, Italy, in 1912. He was ordained into the Congregation for the Missions (Vincentians) in 1936, did parish work for ten years, in 1947 he became active in the field of specialized liturgical studies, was appointed Secretary to Pope Pius Xll's Commission for Liturgical Reform in 1948, a Consultor to the Sacred Congregation of Rites in 1956; and in 1957 he was appointed Professor of Sacred Liturgy in the Lateran University.

In 1960 Father Bugnini was placed in a position which enabled him to exert a decisive influence on the future of the Catholic Liturgy: he was appointed Secretary to the Preparatory Commission for the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. He was the moving spirit behind the drafting of the preparatory schema, the draft document which was to be placed before the Council Fathers for discussion. It was referred to as the "Bugnini schema" by his admirers, and was accepted by a plenary session of the Liturgical Preparatory Commission in a vote taken on 13 January 1962.

The Liturgy Constitution for which the Council Fathers eventually voted was substantially identical to the draft schema which Father Bugnini had steered successfully through the Preparatory Commission in the face of considerable misgivings on the part of Cardinal Gaetano Cicognani, President of the Commission.

The First Exile

Within a few weeks of Father Bugnini's triumph his supporters were stunned when he was summarily dismissed from his chair at the Lateran University and from the secretaryship of the Liturgical Preparatory Commission. In his posthumous La Riforma Liturgica, Archbishop Bugnini blames Cardinal Arcadio Larraona for this action, which, he claims, was unjust and based on unsubstantiated allegations. "The first exile of P. Bugnini" he commented, (p. 41).

The dismissal of a figure as influential as Father Bugnini could not have taken place without the approval of Pope John XXIII, and, although the reasons have never been disclosed, they must have been of a very serious nature. Father Bugnini was the only secretary of a preparatory commission who was not confirmed as secretary of the conciliar commission. Cardinals Lercaro and Bea intervened with the Pope on his behalf, without success.

The Liturgy Constitution, based loosely on the Bugnini schema, contained much generalized and, in places ambiguous terminology. Those who had the power to interpret it were certain to have considerable scope for reading their own ideas into the conciliar text. Cardinal Heenan of Westminster mentioned in his autobiography A Crown of Thorns that the Council Fathers were given the opportunity of discussing only general principles:

"Subsequent changes were more radical than those intended by Pope John and the bishops who passed the decree on the Liturgy. His sermon at the end of the first session shows that Pope John did not suspect what was being planned by the liturgical experts." The Cardinal could hardly have been more explicit.

The experts (periti) who had drafted the text intended to use the ambiguous terminology they had inserted in a manner that the Pope and the Bishops did not even suspect. The English Cardinal warned the Council Fathers of the manner in which the periti could draft texts capable "of both an orthodox and modernistic interpretation." He told them that he feared the periti, and dreaded the possibility of their obtaining the power to interpret the Council to the world. "God forbid that this should happen!" he exclaimed, but happen it did.

On 26 June 1966 The Tablet reported the creation of five commissions to interpret and implement the Council's decrees. The members of these commissions were, the report stated, chosen "for the most part from the ranks the Council periti".

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was the first document passed by the Council Fathers (4 December 1963), and the commission to implement it (the Consilium) had been established in 1964.

Triumphant Return

In a gesture which it is very hard to understand, Pope Paul Vl appointed to the key post of Secretary the very man his predecessor had dismissed from the same position on the Preparatory Commission, Father Annibale Bugnini. Father Bugnini was now in a unique and powerful position to interpret the Liturgy Constitution in precisely the manner he had intended when he masterminded its drafting.

In theory, the Consilium was no more than an advisory body, and the reforms it devised had to be approved by the appropriate Roman Congregation. In his Apostolic Constitution, Sacrum Rituum Congregatio (8 May 1969), Pope Paul Vl ended the existence of the Consilium as a separate body and incorporated it into the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. Father Bugnini was appointed Secretary to the Congregation, and became more powerful than ever. He was now in the most influential position possible to consolidate and extend the revolution behind which he had been the moving spirit and principle of continuity. Nominal heads of the Consilium and congregations came and went, Cardinals LercaroGutTaberaKnox, but Father Bugnini always remained. His services were rewarded by his consecration as an Archbishop in 1972.

Second Exile

In 1974 he felt able to make his celebrated boast that the reform of the liturgy had been a "major conquest of the Catholic Church". He also announced in the same year that his reform was about to enter into its final stage: "The adaptation or 'incarnation' of the Roman form of the liturgy into the usages and mentality of each individual Church." In India this "incarnation" has reached the extent of making the Mass in some centers appear more reminiscent of Hindu rites than the Christian Sacrifice.

Then, in July 1975, at the very moment when his power had reached its zenith, Archbishop Bugnini was summarily dismissed from his post to the dismay of liberal Catholics throughout the world. Not only was he dismissed but his entire Congregation was dissolved and merged with the Congregation for the Sacraments.

Desmond O'Grady expressed the outrage felt by liberals when he wrote in the 30 August 1972 issue of The Tablet: "Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who as Secretary of the abolished Congregation for Divine Worship, was the key figure in the Church's liturgical reform, is not a member of the new congregation. Nor, despite his lengthy experience, was he consulted in the planning of it. He heard of its creation while on holiday in Fiuggi ... the abrupt way in which this was done does not augur well for the Bugnini line of encouragement for reform in collaboration with local hierarchies ... Mgr Bugnini conceived the next ten years' work as concerned principally with the incorporation of local usages into the liturgy ... He represented the continuity of the post-conciliar liturgical reform."

The 15 January 1976 issue of L'Osservatore Romano announced that Archbishop Bugnini had been appointed Apostolic Pro Nuncio in Iran. This was his second and final exile.

Conspirator Or Victim?

Rumours soon began to circulate that the Archbishop had been exiled to Iran because the Pope had been given evidence proving him to be a Freemason. This accusation was made public in April 1976 by Tito Casini, one of Italy's leading Catholic writers. The accusation was repeated in other journals, and gained credence as the months passed and the Vatican did not intervene to deny the allegations. (Of course, whether or not Archbishop Bugnini was a Freemason, in a sense, is a side issue compared with the central issue - the nature and purpose of his liturgical innovations.)

As I wished to comment on the allegation in my book Pope John's Council, I made a very careful investigation of the facts, and I published them in that book and in far greater detail in Chapter XXIV of its sequel, Pope Paul's New Mass, where all the necessary documentation to substantiate this article is available. This prompted a somewhat violent attack upon me by the Archbishop in a letter published in the May issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, in which he claimed that I was a calumniator, and that I had colleagues who were "calumniators by profession".

I found this attack rather surprising as I alleged no more in Pope John's Council than Archbishop Bugnini subsequently admitted in La Riforma Liturgica. I have never claimed to have proof that Archbishop Bugnini was a Freemason. What I have claimed is that Pope Paul Vl dismissed him because he believed him to be a Freemason - the distinction is an important one. It is possible that the evidence was not genuine and that the Pope was deceived.


The sequence of events was as follows. A Roman priest of the very highest reputation came into possession of what he considered to be evidence proving Mgr Bugnini to be a Mason. He had this information placed in the hands of Pope Paul Vl by a cardinal, with a warning that if action were not taken at once he would be bound in conscience to make the matter public. The dismissal and exile of the Archbishop followed.

In La Riforma Liturgica, Mgr Bugnini states that he has never known for certain what induced the Pope to take such a drastic and unexpected decision, even after "having understandably knocked at a good many doors at all levels in the distressing situation that prevailed" (p. 100). He did discover that a very high-ranking cardinal, who was not at all enthusiastic about the liturgical reform, disclosed the existence of a 'dossier', which he himself had seen (or placed) on the Pope's desk, bringing evidence to support the affiliation of Mgr Bugnini to Freemasonry (p. 101). This is precisely what I stated in my book, and I have not gone beyond these facts. I will thus repeat that Pope Paul Vl dismissed Archbishop Bugnini because he believed him to be a Mason.


The question which then arises is whether the Archbishop was a conspirator or the victim of a conspiracy. He was adamant that it was the latter: "The disclosure was made in great secrecy, but it was known that the rumor was already circulating in the Curia. It was an absurdity, a pernicious slander. This time, in order to attack the purity of the liturgical reform, they tried morally to tarnish the purity of the secretary of the reform" (p.101-102).

Archbishop Bugnini wrote a letter to the Pope on 22 October 1975 denying any involvement with Freemasonry, or any knowledge of its nature or its aims. The Pope did not reply. This is of some significance in view of their close and frequent collaboration from 1964. The great personal esteem that the Pope had felt for the Archbishop is proved by his decision to appoint him as Secretary to the Consilium, and later to the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, despite the action taken against him during the previous pontificate.


It is also very significant that the Vatican has never given any reason for the dismissal of Archbishop Bugnini, despite the sensation it caused, and it has never denied the allegations of Masonic affiliation. If no such affiliation had been involved in Mgr Bugnini's dismissal, it would have been outrageous on the part of the Vatican to allow the charge to be made in public without saying so much as a word to exonerate the Archbishop.

I was able to establish contact with the priest who had arranged for the "Bugnini dossier" to be placed into the hands of Pope Paul Vl, and I urged him to make the evidence public. He replied: "I regret that I am unable to comply with your request. The secret which must surround the denunciation (in consequence of which Mgr Bugnini had to go!) is top secret and such it has to remain. For many reasons. The single fact that the above mentioned Monsignore was immediately dismissed from his post is sufficient. This means that the arguments were more than convincing."

I very much regret that the question of Mgr Bugnini's possible Masonic affiliation was ever raised as it tends to distract attention from the liturgical revolution which he masterminded. The important question is not whether Mgr Bugnini was a Mason but whether the manner in which Mass is celebrated in most parishes today truly raises the minds and hearts of the faithful up to almighty God more effectively than did the pre-conciliar celebrations. The traditional Mass of the Roman Rite is, as Father Faber expressed it, "the most beautiful thing this side of heaven." The very idea that men of the second half of the twentieth century could replace it with something better, is, as Dietrich von Hildebrand has remarked, ludicrous.

Liturgy Destroyed

The liturgical heritage of the Roman Rite may well be the most precious treasure of our entire Western civilization, something to be cherished and preserved for future generations. The Liturgy Constitution of the Second Vatican Council stated that: "In faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity, that she wishes to preserve them in future and foster them in every way."

How has this command of the Council been obeyed? The answer can be obtained from FatherJoseph Gelineau SJ, a Council peritus, and an enthusiastic proponent of the post-conciliar revolution. In his book Demain la liturgie, he stated with commendable honesty, concerning the Mass as most Catholics know it today: "To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed." Even Archbishop Bugnini would have found it difficult to explain how something can be preserved and fostered by destroying it.



“Whether Archbishop Bugnini was a Freemason would seem to be an academic question ("What Went Wrong?", Inside the Vatican, June-July 1996). For if we are to accept the testimony of Archbishop Malula of Kinshasa, Zaire, reported by Abbot Boniface Luykx ("The Bitter Struggle,"Inside the Vatican, May 1996, pp. 16-19), Bugnini had adopted the ideology of secular humanism, which even falls short of the tame Deism professed by the brethren of the Lodge. However, I have it on good authority that Bugnini's abrupt dismissal was indeed prompted by incontrovertible evidence that he was a member of the Lodge. A priest who was a longtime personal friend of Pope Paul VI was informed, by a Freemason whom he had reconciled with the Church, that Bugnini was a member of the same lodge, whose date of initiation and code name he could provide.” (Reverend Father G.H. Duggan, S.M.)

“In 1972 Pope Paul created Bugnini Titular Archbishop of Dioclentia. In 1975, however, the Archbishop left his briefcase behind in a conference room, where it was found and inspected by the Dominican Friar charged with restoring the room to order. In search only of the identity of the case's owner, the Dominican found, according to Piers Compton, documents whose "signatures and place of origin showed that they came from dignitaries of secret societies in Rome" (The Broken Cross, p. 61). The letters were addressed to "Brother Bugnini." […] Bugnini was appointed the Apostolic pro-Nuncio to Iran, and repeatedly denied that he had Freemasonic affiliations. When the Italian Register came to light in 1976, however, it showed his April 23, 1963 initiation date and number, and gave his code name as 'Buan.'” (Carey J. Winters)

“An internationally known churchman of unimpeachable integrity has also told me that he heard the account of the discovery of the evidence against Bugnini directly from the Roman priest who found it in a briefcase which Bugnini had inadvertently left in a Vatican conference room after a meeting.” (Reverend Father Brian Harrison O.S., Rome, Italy)
"Archbishop Bugnini was a consultant in the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, and in the Sacred Congregation of Holy Rites.  He was also the chairman of the Concilium which drafted the Novus Ordo Missae.  Archbishop Annibale Bugnini was a freemason, initiated into the Masonic Lodge on April 23, 1963 (Masonic Register of Italy dated 1976). Monsignor Bugnini was removed from his office in the Vatican when it became public that he was a Mason." (Most Asked Questions About The Society Of Saint Pius X (Angelus Press, 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO), p. 26.)

“To fight against papacy is a social necessity and constitutes the constant duty of freemasonry.” (Masonic International Congress held in Brussels 1904, page 132 of the report)

 Pope Leo XIII: “Let us, therefore, expose Freemasonry as the enemy of God, of the Church and of our Motherland.” (Letter to the Italian people, December 8, 1892)

 Leo XII: “They have exposed their contempt for authority, their hatred of Sovereignty, their attacks against the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the very existence of God: They openly vaunt their materialism as well as their codes and statutes which explain their plans and efforts in order to overthrow the legitimate Heads of State and completely destroy the Church.” (Encyclical Quo Graviora)
These are the words written around the base of the cupola above the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica:

Tu es Petrus
et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam
et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam.
Et tibi dabo claves regni cælorum.

You are Peter,
And upon this Rock I will build My Church:
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

(Matthew 16:18-19)


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