“The next Pope will have to restore all the liturgical books and banish from Catholic churches their unseemly parody, in whose realization notorious modernists and heretics collaborated.”
June 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Viganò has given a new interview, this time to Abbé Claude Barthe, a French expert of the liturgy and a great supporter of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum allowing the traditional Latin Mass to flourish in the Church. The interview dwells on liturgical questions, the Second Vatican Council, as well as the Society of St. Pius X.
Abbé Barthe, who authored numerous books on the traditional liturgy of the Church, had a year ago entered into a supportive, public discussion with Archbishop Viganò after the latter had started publicly to criticize the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath. This new interview is a sort of a follow-up of that discussion, and these two clergymen also differ on some points. As Abbé Barthe puts it, Viganò “agreed to answer our questions on the theme of the new liturgy and in a rather astonishing way (astonishing even to ourselves as he goes after a process of the ‘reform of the reform’, a process which we support).” Barthe adds that he is “very glad to offer our readers this interview, as we believe it serves the debate and promotes reflection.” He presents the interview in the journal Res Novae in French, Italian, and English.
The English translation of this new interview has been made by Diane Montagna for Arouca Press. Arouca Press is soon going to publish a book edited by me with Archbishop Viganò’s criticisms of the Council, the liturgical reform, as well as the message of Fatima. The book will also include the responses of other clergymen and laymen to his criticisms of the Council.
As our readers will see, Archbishop Viganò once more finds strong words of criticism of the Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) as well as the Novus Ordo Mass (promulgated in 1969). He states that “we must be very clear that the Second Vatican Council was conceived as a revolutionary event.” He goes on to say that “if Vatican II was a revolutionary act, both in the way it was conducted and in the documents it promulgated, it is logical and legitimate to think that its liturgy is also affected by this ideological approach.”
When commenting on Pope Benedict XVI’s attempts at restoring the traditional liturgy (which was effectively suppressed after 1969) and the movement referred to above by Abbé Barthe as the “reform of the reform”, Viganò concludes that these attempts were defective:
I believe that behind these attempts, which seem to be motivated by pious intentions, lies a fact that none of these prelates [Pope Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah] dare confess: the failure of the Council and even more so of its liturgy. Returning to the ancient rite and definitively archiving the squalor of the Novus Ordo would require great humility, because those who would like to save it from shipwreck today were yesterday among the most enthusiastic supporters of the liturgical reform, and of Vatican II with it.
That is to say, Archbishop Viganò rejects the idea of the “reform of the reform” (further making changes to existing rites), but rather proposes a return to the old liturgy and its faith.
In another field of the liturgical debate, the archbishop also adds new comments, that is to say about the first grave changes of the liturgy made under Pope Pius XII by Annibale Bugnini: the change of the rite of Holy Week in 1955. “Archbishop Annibale Bugnini,” Viganò writes, “was one of the collaborators in the drafting of the Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae instauratus promulgated during the pontificate of Pius XII. The serious deformations of the new Missal are in nuce [essentially] contained in the rite of Holy Week, demonstrating that the demolition plan had already begun.”
Last, but not least, the Italian prelate also comments on the situation of the Society of St. Pius X with regard to its relationship with the Vatican. Unlike with the Franciscans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who had been more and more inclined to embrace the traditional liturgy and whose order has been essentially destroyed by Pope Francis, the SSPX still has a certain institutional independence from the Vatican. For Viganò, this seems to be a positive thing in light of the current papacy:
With regard to the Society of St. Pius X, we are witnessing a more subtle maneuver: Bergoglio maintains “good neighborly” relations, and while recognizing certain prerogatives of its Superiors — thus demonstrating that he considers them living members of the Church — on the other hand he may want to barter their complete canonical regularization for an acceptance of the “conciliar magisterium.” It is clear that this is an insidious trap: once an agreement is signed with the Holy See, the independence which the Society enjoys in virtue of its position of not being completely regular would be lost, and with it, its economic independence. Let us not forget that the Society has assets and resources that guarantee sustenance and security for its members. At a time when the Vatican is experiencing a serious financial crisis, those assets are certainly enticing to many, as we have seen in other cases, starting with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and the persecution of Father Mannelli.