Sunday, August 9, 2015

Blessed Paul VI and Novus Ordo in Latin

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A weak Paul VI a few weeks before his death


This week was the 37th anniversary of the death of Blessed Paul VI (6 August 1978). It is interesting to note the following account given by Fr. John Hardon S.J. concerning Paul VI and the Novus Ordo Missae

Pope Paul VI had become distressed by the abuses of the liturgy after Vatican II and was determined to have the Novus Ordo Mass said in Latin. Apparently he planned to issue some sort of direction to this effect. Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens got wind of what the Pope wanted to do and orchestrated a world wide response of bishops. Cardinal Suenens chose a day and on that day a majority of the world’s bishops telegrammed the Vatican protesting the Pope’s hoped for Latin requirement with threats to disobey.

This shows just how powerful Cardinal Suenens had become in the 1970s. This was mainly due to two reasons. Pope John XXIII had appointed him to a new Coordinating Committee that reviewed all the preparatory material of the Second Vatican Council and essentially set the agenda for the entire Council. Pope Paul VI, who succeeded Pope John XXIII in June 1963, made Cardinal Suenens one of the four moderators of the Council who presided over it.

That Blessed Paul VI was surrounded by people who had their own agenda as far as the Mass is concerned can be seen in “The Destruction of the Traditional Roman Rite”, where former FIUV President Michael Davis writes:

“What the experts had been planning was made clear on 24 October 1967 in the Sistine Chapel, when what was described as the Missa Normativa was celebrated before the Synod of Bishops by Father Annibale Bugnini himself, its chief architect. ….. The Missa Normativa was imposed on Catholics of the Roman Rite in 1969 as the Novus Ordo Missae, with a few changes, the most important of which was the restoration of the Roman Canon on the explicit instructions of Pope Paul VI.

Although he celebrated Mass in Italian in public, it is a known secret that Blessed Paul VI celebrated the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin, in his private chapel, every day.