by Michael Davies


Cardinal Heenan's reference to "liturgical experts" is crucial if we are to understand the reason for the orgy of destruction in our sanctuaries which followed the Council. Those who exercised the greatest influence during Vatican Council II were not the Council Fathers, the three thousand bishops and heads of religious orders who had come to Rome from all over the world, but the expert advisers they brought with them, referred to in Latin as the periti. Bishop Lucey of Cork and Ross stated explicitly that the periti were the people with power. Cardinal Heenan warned that when the Council was over the periti were planning to use the Council documents in a manner which the Council Fathers had not envisaged. The documents were to be interpreted and implemented by commissions to be established after the Council. Cardinal Heenan warned against the danger of the periti taking control of these Commissions, thus gaining the power to interpret the Council to the world. "God forbid that this should happened," he cried, but happen it did.

The Commission established to implement the Liturgy Constitution was known as the Consilium, and it took the extraordinary step of asking six Protestants, six heretics, to advise them in drawing up their plans to reform the liturgy of the Mass which has been the principal object of Protestant hatred since the time of Martin Luther. These Protestants played a very active part in all the discussions on the reform of the liturgy as one of them confirmed in a letter to me.

The fact that the Liturgy Constitution did not mandate any changes in the sanctuary did not in the least daunt the pseudo-liturgists once the Council was over and the bishops had returned to their dioceses. A seemingly endless series of documents was generated, and is still being generated, by the vast liturgical bureaucracy that has proliferated since the Council.

1997 Michael Davies.

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Last modified 27th October, 1997, by David Joyce.