The Decrees of Vatican II Compared
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Decree of Vatican II on the Liturgy

It should be obvious to any Catholic that the most remarkable aberrations which have occurred in the “Church of Vatican II” are in the field of liturgy. Looking back over the past two decades, one can see that the changes in the Mass and the sacraments which eventually invalidated them in the Vatican II Church, came about gradually and by methodical steps. The purpose of this present study is to determine what, more than anything else, was the catalyst of this tragic chain of events — what it was that opened the door of this sacrilegious “renewal.”

Many pseudo-conservatives have consistently absolved Vatican II’s “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” from any blame, but it is our contention that this decree was the major cause of the destruction of the Mass and the sacraments in the postconciliar Church. After but a quick perusal of this Constitution, written, like all the Vatican II decrees, in vague and confusing language, it seems only slightly dubious to the liberal mind of the average “Catholic” of today. But when one considers what has taken place since this decree was promulgated by Paul VI and executed by the apostate hierarchy and compares this with Pope Pius XII’s decree on the Sacred Liturgy, Mediator Dei (1947), one can have no doubt that the Vatican II decree was used as an instrument of transition from the true sacred liturgy to the false modern liturgy:

I. First, the decree opens the door to change:

P.4 The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be carefully and thoroughly revised... and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times.

P.21 [The new Church]... desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. [Note the term “restoration” instead of “renewal.”]

P.25 The liturgical books are to be revised as soon as possible; from various parts of the world, experts are to be employed and bishops are to be consulted. [Among the “experts” employed were the non-Catholic Joachim Jeremias and several Protestant “clerics.”]

P.33-34 Therefore, in the revision of the liturgy, the following general norms should be observed: The rites should be short, clear and unencumbered by useless repetitions... [the Rosary, the Last Gospel, litanies, the Leonine prayers, lengthy ceremonies, etc.]

P.38 ...the revision of liturgical books should allow for legitimate [?] variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands [e.g. Hindu “mass” in India].

P.50 The rite of the Mass is to be revised... elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded. [!] ...other elements... are now to be restored to the earlier norm of the holy Fathers. [This notion was condemned in Mediator Dei].

P.62 ...the rites of the sacraments and sacramentals (contain) certain features which have rendered their nature and purpose less clear to the people of today... the sacred Council decrees as follows concerning their revision: P.71 The rite of confirmation is to be revised... P.72 The rite and formulas for the sacrament of penance are to be revised... P.76 Both the ceremonies and texts of the ordination rites are to be revised. P.77 The marriage rite... is to be revised....

Revisions of the Office include such cutting remarks as: P.92 The accounts of martyrdom or the lives of the saints are to accord with the facts of history. [As if they were inaccurate before!] P.93 ...hymns are to be restored to their original form... whatever smacks of mythology... is to be removed or changed. [!] [Of course, the entire Office was immediately shortened considerably.]

II. Secondly, the way was cleared for the vernacular — a sure means of changing beliefs and introducing heresy:

P.21 Christian people... should be able to understand them [the rites] with ease... [In the true Church, there are such things as sacred mysteries.]

P.36 But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended.

III. Thirdly, particular innovations were introduced:

P.57 has seemed good to the Council to extend permission for concelebration... [Condemned by Pope Pius XII, it is now a common thing.]

P.81 The rite for the burial of the dead should evidence more clearly the paschal character of Christian death... this latter provision holds good also for the liturgical color to be used. [No more black vestments... the new liturgy of the Resurrection replaced the Requiem funeral Mass.]

P.50 ...the Mass is to be revised in such a way... that devout and active participation by the faithful can be more easily accomplished. [...facing the people, etc.]

IV. Fourthly, an external, empty form of piety was encouraged in direct contradiction to Mediator Dei:

P.28 In liturgical celebrations, whether as a minister or as one of the faithful, each person should perform his role by doing solely and totally what the nature of things and liturgical norms require of him. [i.e. They may not do more than what is required.]

V. Lastly, and of utmost importance, power to change the liturgy was placed in the hands of the liturgical commissions:

P.44 It is desirable that the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, #2, set up a liturgical commission, to be assisted by experts... including laymen [and, in fact, these commissions pulled most of the strings. Here is what they were permitted to do:]

P.36 It is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, #2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used....

P.40 The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, #2, must prudently consider which elements from the traditions and genius of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship.

P.44 Under the direction [or vice-versa, in truth] of the aforementioned territorial ecclesiastical authority, the commission is to regulate pastoral-liturgical action throughout the territory, and to promote studies and necessary experiments....

P.54 And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 [see above] of this Constitution is to be observed.

P.63 ...particular rituals (for the sacraments and sacramentals) are to be prepared as soon as possible by the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, #2... [in actuality, laymen and “experts” such as McManus, Diekman, etc.]

[To make a long story short, they were also given power to change marriage ceremonies (P.77); to change fasting laws (P.110); to admit musical instruments such as guitars, bongo drums, into church (P.120); and to change the materials and form of “sacred” furnishings and vestments (burlap, wrought iron - P.128). An appendix to the Constitution prescribes a completely mutilated Church calendar, changing or deleting many feastdays of the saints.]

Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Sacred Liturgy: Mediator Dei

It will be readily seen that Pope Pius XII condemned many of the changes which ensued from Vatican II, and that most of the statements quoted in the left column directly or indirectly oppose the teaching of this true Holy Father:

P.8 We observe with considerable anxiety and some misgiving, that elsewhere certain enthusiasts, overeager in their search for novelty, are straying beyond the path of sound doctrine and prudence. Not seldom, in fact, they interlaid their plans and hopes for a revival of the sacred liturgy with principles which compromise this holiest of causes in theory or practice, and sometimes even taint it with errors touching Catholic Faith and ascetical doctrine.

P.25 No less erroneous is the notion that it (the sacred liturgy) consists solely in a list of laws and prescriptions according to which the ecclesiastical hierarchy orders the sacred rites to be performed.

P.59-60 ...the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing law and rubrics, deserve severe reproof... We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of vernacular in the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice; those who transfer certain feastdays — which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation — to other dates... The use of the Latin language... is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth.

P.62 is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything [in the liturgy] to antiquity by every possible devise. [Compare this with P.50 (I) of the Vatican II decree.] Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the Divine Redeemer’s Body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings... [Remember that the Vatican II decree states that its purpose was to restore the liturgy. It also urged more concelebrations and over-emphasized the role of the people at Mass. Here is what Pope Pius XII wrote on this subject:]

P.83-84 Hence they [the liturgical innovators] assert that the people are possessed of a true priestly power, while the priest only acts in virtue of an office committed to him by the community [the “president” of the Novus Ordo]. Wherefore they look on the Eucharistic Sacrifice as a “concelebration” in the literal meaning of that term, and consider it more fitting that priests should “concelebrate” with the people present than that they should offer the Sacrifice privately when the people are absent. It is superfluous to explain how captious errors of this sort completely contradict the truths which we have just stated above, when teaching of the place of the priest in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.

Pope Pius XII urged in Mediator Dei that diocesan committees be formed to promote the liturgy, not to change it as the Vatican II commissions have done.

P.109 Let everything be done [by the committees] with due order and dignity, and let no one, not even a priest, make use of the sacred edifices according to his whim to try out experiments.

Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI
Mater Dei Seminary
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