Monday, April 16, 2012

"What a pity the voice of the laity was not heard sooner"

Archbishop (by this time Cardinal) Heenan

That bootless lament comes from Archbishop Heenan of Liverpool, and the subject upon which His Excellency bewails the voice of the laity going unheard is the revision to the liturgy precipitated by Vatican 2.   It appears in a 1962 letter from Archbishop Heenan to Evelyn Waugh, commending Waugh's critique of the liturgical changes contained in "The Same Again, Please," which we blogged about here.

In the same letter, Archbishop Heenan goes on to observe:

"The real difficulty (I think) is that Continentals are twisting themselves inside out to make us look as like as possible to the Protestants.  How I wish we could persuade them (a large majority I fear) that to be at home  with our Mass and ceremonies is far more important than being right according to the books of liturgical antiquities."

Alas, the effort to persuade the Continentals (if it was even made) failed utterly.

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