In this week's Letters to the Editor column (July 31st print edition of The Remnant) there is a discussion of the conciliar popes and the Council. One writer points out that Pope John XXIII summoned the Italian bishops to the Roman Synod of 1959 as an anticipation of the Second Vatican council. In a massive reaffirmation of traditional practice, the pope solemnly confirmed the use of Latin, condemned all attempts at creativity on the part of the celebrant of Holy Mass, ordered Gregorian Chant, and forbade women entry to the altar area.
One wonders why Pope Francis makes no mention of any of this when he dubs himself the great 'Pope of Vatican II', condemning as neo-pelagian those who long for a return to pre-conciliar liturgical sanity in the Catholic Church.
Has Francis forgotten that, just one year later, in 1960, Pope John XXIII issued his Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, On Promoting the Study of Latin, as the Church's cultural and religious heritage and as its living language -- universal, immutable, and non-vernacular. He bound bishops to "be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, being eager for innovation, write against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See's will in this regard or interprets it falsely."
Pope John attributed a very special importance to this document, promulgating it with a solemnity unique in the history of the present century -- in person, in St. Peter's upon the Confession of St. Peter himself, and in the presence of the cardinals and of the Roman clergy.
Was Good Pope John also a "self-absorbed promethean neopelagian"?
Perhaps, given how things panned out, this may help explain the last words of the now canonized Pope John XXIII. On his deathbed, as reported by Jean Guitton, one of only two Catholic laymen to serve as a peritus at the Council (the other being Romano Amerio), Pope John cried out: "Stop the Council; stop the Council."
So, what really happened at Vatican II?
Look for Remnant TV’s new Remnant Forum to air Wednesday August 5: “Resisting the Second Vatican Council to its Face”
Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000. Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll)and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.