Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Council Fathers in Support of Latin: Correcting a Narrative Bias [UPDATED]

The manipulation or distortion of truth should be opposed wherever it crops up, no matter what the source. For, as it says in a verse of Psalm 62 traditionally recited at Sunday Lauds: “The king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall glory; for the mouths of liars will be stopped” — a verse that was, incidentally, expunged from Paul VI’s Liturgy of the Hours.

Anyone who has taken any trouble at all to study the history of the Second Vatican Council knows that it was an exceedingly complex event, with many currents of thoughts, extremely sharp disagreements among individuals and factions, and crafty manipulators behind the scenes, as one learns from eyewitnesses (e.g., Wiltgen, Lefebvre, Congar, de Lubac) and historians (e.g., De Mattei). It was no simple triumphal march of progressivism over the graves of obscurantists, as much as the victors wish they could rewrite the narrative by conveniently glossing over or dismissing the actual debates in the aula and the final texts of the documents, in which a conservative or traditional viewpoint is often reflected.

This is not to say that the documents are unproblematic; fifty years of hermeneutical battles have sufficiently demonstrated the contrary. It is merely to say that the popular narrative of the Council as a “new Pentecost” driven forward by a nearly unanimous groundswell of support for innovation and modernization is far indeed from the variegated and uneasy truth of things. The documents were compromises, no doubt about it; the liberals did plan to leave them behind as soon as possible, like lower stages of a Saturn V aiming for the moon; the traditional elements in the documents are, by now, almost completely buried and forgotten; the Church is plentifully reaping the destructive results of rupture and discontinuity. All this is true. But it still gives us no carte blanche for rewriting the Council itself, unless we wish to be among those whose mouths will be stopped.

Therefore, it is surprising, to say the least, to find a recent document making such claims as the following:
The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.
          The Latin Church was aware of the attendant sacrifice involved in the partial loss of liturgical Latin, which had been in use throughout the world over the course of centuries. However it willingly opened the door so that these versions, as part of the rites themselves, might become the voice of the Church celebrating the divine mysteries along with the Latin language.
          At the same time, especially given the various clearly expressed views of the Council Fathers with regard to the use of the vernacular language in the liturgy, the Church was aware of the difficulties that might present themselves in this regard.
          The goal of the translation of liturgical texts and of biblical texts for the Liturgy of the Word is to announce the word of salvation to the faithful in obedience to the faith and to express the prayer of the Church to the Lord.  For this purpose it is necessary to communicate to a given people using its own language all that the Church intended to communicate to other people through the Latin language.
How curiously unlike what one discovers poring through the great big volumes that contain the speeches of the Council Fathers — all those religious superiors, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals who spoke day after day in the opening session in 1962!

When reading their speeches on the liturgy schema, one is struck by how often they return to the subject of Latin. Even after repeated requests by the moderators to stop talking about it, the subject kept popping up. Almost every speaker had an opinion and wanted to share it (each making his remarks, of course, in Latin—for the Council was the last great event at which one could sense vividly the glorious unity of a global, multi-racial Church communicating in a common mother tongue that belonged to no imperial power; this we lost as a punishment for the new tower of Babel we attempted to construct in the 1960s). Yes, it is true that a number of Council Fathers spoke out strongly in favor of greatly increasing the role of the vernacular; but they were a minority. There were many more who admitted that its use should be expanded in certain situations, while not displacing the customary Latin; and there were many besides who adamantly reaffirmed the primacy of Latin due to qualities frequently acknowledged by the Magisterium of the Church, such as its antiquity, longevity, stability, and universality.

One of the experts sitting at the Council, soaking it all in, plotting his way through the maze of opinions and endless evening gatherings, was the Jesuit theologian Henri de Lubac. He was later to acquire a reputation for conservatism, but that was only against the backdrop of the insanity that would follow. When the Council opened, he was widely seen as a progressive, even a modernist, for his laudatory book on the pseudo-mystic Teilhard de Chardin. De Lubac has left us a precious historical document, the Vatican Council Notebooks, in which he wrote down detailed notes about his experiences each day at and around the Council. The very fact that de Lubac’s progressivism inclined him to pay less attention to the boring conservatives and more attention to the exciting young Turks makes it all the more striking that he records so many (but not all of the) conciliar speeches in favor of Latin. In other words, since we know he is not attempting to push a pro-Latin agenda—if anything, the contrary is true—his testimony reliably indicates the depth of thought and sentiment on behalf of Latin among the Council Fathers. As we shall see, too, many of the Council Fathers vividly anticipated the curse of too much liturgical variety and diversity of adaptation, and pleaded in favor of liturgical unity against decentralization and the fragmentation of decisions. Their warnings went unheeded.

With this brief background to the Notebooks, let us bring before our eyes some of what de Lubac heard and recorded. (Numbers in parentheses refer to pages in the first volume of the Ignatius Press edition of Vatican Council Notebooks. I do not give the dates of the speeches here, which may be found by consulting the book; the first excerpt is from the gathering of October 23, 1962, and the last from that of November 13. De Lubac does not italicize the Latin phrases that he sprinkles throughout.)

Archbishop Armando Farès of Catanzaro and Squillace observed that this text is intended to be the “magna charta”; so it is necessary to explain the connection “inter fidem et liturgiam” [between faith and liturgy] and to pay careful attention to liturgical unity for the sake of the unity of the faith. “Sit una lingua, sc. latina” [Let there be one language, namely, Latin]. (176–77)

Cardinal Ruffini made 12 criticisms. … “Cautissime procedendum est” [it is necessary to proceed with the greatest caution {in regard to the question of Latin}]; there is great danger here, and it is not in conformity with the teachings of Pius XII. (178)

Card. Feltin: Latin remains the language of the Church. … We must extend the concessions that have already been made by the popes for the use of the vernacular languages. He suggested that we keep the missa solemnis in Latin as well as the essential formulas of the sacraments. (178)

Cardinal James L. McIntyre (Los Angeles): words of praise for Latin. It is a thing “plus quam humanum” [more than human]. He appealed to history. To attack the Latin language is in some way to impugn the immutability of dogmas. Latin is not only necessary from the ecclesiastical point of view, it is so from the scientific and civil points of view. It is the Catholic language: Protestants do not use it. “Missa debet remanere ut est” [the Mass must remain as it is]. (178–79)

Cardinal John D’Alton (Armagh, Ireland). … “Placet omnino quod dicitur de lingua latina” [I entirely approve of what has been said of the Latin language], the language of the Church; but we must resist those who would like to eliminate Latin altogether. That would cause confusion. (179)

Card. Juan Landázuri Ricketts (Lima, Peru): “in genere placet” [the schema pleases me in general]. Let us take care, however, not to favor variety too much. (179)

Card. Bacci. … The people will not understand any more in the vernacular than in Latin, because we are dealing here with mysterious things … Besides, it is enough that catechesis is in the vernacular. … Danger of disputes, of nationalism, especially in bilingual (Canada, Belgium) or trilingual (Switzerland) countries, to the great detriment of the Church. For the sacraments, one could permit some parts in the vernacular language, “probante tamen Sancta Sede” [with the Holy See’s approval, however]. Matters this serious should not be left to the bishops’ conferences. Otherwise, “magna diversitas et confusio” [great diversity and confusion], as already exists today. (184)

Alex. Gonçalves do Amara (Uberaba, Brazil): … The Mass and sacraments should be kept in Latin; the Epistle and the Gospel in the vernacular. (186)

Pietro Parente, assessor of the Holy Office. … Her acts prove that the Church is not immobile, as she is accused of being. But it is necessary to proceed “cum maxime cautela” [with the greatest caution] … Be careful of the “pericula versionum” [dangers of translation]. (186–87)

Dino Staffa, archbishop of Caesarea (Palestine), secretary of the Congregation for Studies. … To admit in principle the use of the vernacular languages is a serious matter, for it will not be possible to stop at half-measures. There is a great risk for the faith and for discipline.—At a time when the world is moving toward unity, will the Church move in the direction of diversity? … “Lingua latina integre servetur in missa” [Let Latin be preserved in full in the Mass]. (187)

Cardinal Siri. … It is necessary to soften art. 20, on adaptations; we must stave off the danger of a multiplicity of forms and deviations. … No. 24, on Latin: caute procedendum [let us proceed with caution]: let us abide by “Veterum sapientia.” (191)

Bishop M.J. Flores of Barbastro (Spain). … No. 24 [on introducing vernacular]: we should mistrust those who dare everything; beware, here as everywhere, of the “intolerantia auctoritatis” [intolerance of authority]; beware of troublemakers. Flores applied the prayer of Saint Isidore recited at the beginning of every session: that we not let ourselves be diverted from truth and justice by love for our national languages. The Ecclesia must be “una in fide, una in liturgia, una in caritate” [one in faith, one in liturgy, one in charity]. (192)

The auxiliary of Burgos (Spain) [Demetrio Mansilla Reoyo]: … No. 24: without Latin, the Mass will be even less understood. The Fathers at Trent had to react against variety; “fructus ex historia capiamus” [Let us gather the fruits of history]. (194)

[Vittorio Maria] Costantini, a Franciscan bishop: vernacular languages are constantly changing. Comments in the vernacular are sufficient. And the liturgy in the vernacular languages will not suffice to bring back our separated brethren. (194)

[Benedikt] Reetz, Benedictine abbot of Beuron. He is for an “usus moderatus linguae vulgaris” [a moderate usage of the vernacular], but he would not wish Gregorian chant to be condemned to death; he does not believe it is necessary for everyone to understand everything; the other day, I only understood one word of the Greek Mass: Amen; and yet it was of spiritual benefit. (195)

K.J. Calewaert, bishop of Gand … Latin is the best sign of unity; in conferences, pilgrimages, international meetings, it is necessary that everyone be able to chant together the Gloria, the Credo, the Salve Regina … The vernacular can be allowed for the sacraments. (195)

Dom Jean Prou, Abbot of Solesmes. … As for no. 24, it is dangerous: there is a risk of no longer being able to go back. It would be necessary to place strict limits on this [extension of the vernacular]. (195–96)

Bishop [Luigi Carlo] Borromeo (Italy): let Latin be kept, even for the sacraments. (197)

Anicet Fernández, O.P., master general: Major concordia esset si duae quaestiones distinguerentur: (a) major libertas in usu linguarum vernacularum: resp.: affirmative; (b) utrum omnes sacerdotes debeant cognoscere linguam latinam: affirmative, nam: lingua latina possidet (jus a longo tempore)—est lingua officialis—in lingua latina continentur immensi thesauri sapientiae christianae. [There would be greater agreement if two questions had been distinguished: (a) a greater freedom in the use of the vernacular languages. Response: yes. (b) Must all priests know Latin? Yes, because Latin is in place (and has been so for a long time already), it is the official language, immense treasures of Christian wisdom are contained in the Latin language.] (199)

Zacharias Rolim de Moura, bishop of Cajazeiras (Brazil). … We must avoid the multiplication of local rites. A speech in defense of Latin. Let there be no excessive innovations or exaggerations against the venerabiles traditiones [venerable traditions]. (200–1)

Joseph Melas, bishop of Nuoro (Italy): Let Latin be preserved and recommended, ut ex omni lingua et natione … latine loquantur [so that people of every language and every nation may speak Latin]. Do not scandalize the faithful by innovations. (202)

A Franciscan missionary bishop (India) [Albert Conrad De Vito]. Against the use of vernacular languages. … The divine mysteries are diminished by the use of vernacular languages. (202–3)

Another Brazilian [Carlos Eduardo de Sabóia Bandeira Melo]. Experience shows that great confusion has arisen in the last few years. Hodie lingua, cras aliud… [Today language {is changing}, tomorrow {it will be} another thing]. And the laity claim to know better than the clergy. There is no one who is incapable of understanding the Latin Mass, after some explanation. … Let us not grant anything to the bishops’ conferences: the bishop is master in his diocese; nullum moderamen, nulla jurisdictio inter episcopum et Romanum Pontificem [No intermediate body, no jurisdiction between the bishop and the Roman Pontiff]. (203)

Bishop Antonio Santin of Tireste … There is no piety or dignity in a liturgy in the vernacular language. … “Non amore novi procedamus!” [Let us not proceed from a love of novelty!] (209)

Joseph Battaglia, bishop of Faenza (Italy). … At no. 24, lingua latina “diligenter et cum amore servetur. S. Pontifex luculenter demonstravit nexum inter Ecclesiam et linguam latinam.” [Let Latin be preserved zealously and with love. The Supreme Pontiff has amply demonstrated the link between the Church and Latin.] All the children of the Church must hear the voice of their Mother, the same voice. Latin, sign of unity. Adjuro vos… [I implore you.] (209)

Archbishop Enrico Nicodemo of Bari (Italy). … Now he recommended Latin to us. (210)

A Brazilian bishop [Salomão Ferraz]. It is necessary to introduce the vernacular a little more; let this be permitted, sed nulli implacabiliter impositum [but not imposed in an implacable manner]. In the solemn offices, lingua latina adhibenda, ut officialis [Latin must be employed, as the official language]. … Do not abandon the exterior traditions, even in the vestments. (211)

An Italian bishop [Biagio D’Agostino]. … Without doubt Latin non est de essentia fidei [is not of the essence of the faith], sed: una fides, unum baptisma, una liturgia [but: {let us have} one faith, one baptism, one liturgy]. To say “catholicus sum” [I am Catholic] is to say “civis romanus sum” [I am a Roman citizen]. Let the West preserve Latin. (212)

J. B. Peruzzo, archbishop of Agrigente. Multa audivi contra sacram traditionem. Haec verba cause mihi fuerunt anxietatis et timoris. [I have heard many things against sacred tradition. Those words were for me a cause of anguish and fear.] … All those who want to diminish Latin always invoke the same reason: so that the people will understand and participate better. That is what the Augsburg Confession demanded. Now, quid evenit [What was the outcome]? Actus separationis a Sancta Matre Ecclesia [An act of separation from Holy Mother Church]. Separatio a lingua latina, per quandam inexplicabilem rationem, fere semper, etiam cum permissu Summi Pontificis [The abandonment of Latin, for some inexplicable reason, almost always, even with the permission of the Supreme Pontiff], ends up in absolute separation. (212–13)

Archbishop Peruzzo mentions the Augsburg Confession, a profession of faith written by Philip Melancthon in 1530 to present the fundamental articles of Lutheranism. In its article 24, we read: “All the ceremonies [of the Mass] must serve principally for the instruction of the people in what is necessary for them to know concerning Christ.”

Continuing with the Council Fathers:

Cardinal Spellman. Maxima prudentia et circumspectio est necessaria. De liturgismo exaggerato vitando. No. 27: cur ordinem missae recognoscere? Attendamus, ne minuatur reverentia erga SS. Sacramentum. [Very great prudence and circumspection are necessary. We must avoid an exaggerated ‘liturgism’. Why revise the ritual of the Mass? Let us be careful not to diminish reverence toward the Most Holy Sacrament.] Beware of magna confusio [great confusion]! (213)

Cardinal Godfrey, archbishop of London … No. 42: not too much of the vernacular language; risk of error in matters of faith; and if the choice is left to the bishops, erit maxima confusio [there will be great confusion]. (217)

Card. Ottaviani—no. 37: Si oportet sic recognoscere Ordinem Missae, quid manebit? Haec res sanctissima non debet mutari [If we must revise the ritual of the Mass in this way, what will remain of it? This most holy thing must not be changed] at every generation. … There is an appeal [in the schema] to the authority of Pius XII; but there is no mention of his speech to the international liturgy congress, where he said: “The Church has the grave duty to maintain firmly the unconditional usage of Latin, sine ulla remissione [without any relaxation].” (218)

Bishop Dwyer of Leeds (England): no. 37 is not clear. If every nation can change things, “non erit recognitio, sed potius destructio” [There will not be a revision, but rather, a destruction]. (220)

A Spanish bishop [Ramón Iglesias Navarri]. No change should be made to the Mass without very grave reasons. (225)

A Chinese bishop (Formosa?) [Petrus Pao-Zin Tou]. Several people are trying to introduce some beautiful novelties. Canon missae idem debet ramenere ubique terrarum, etiam quoad linguam, exceptis Pater noster et Agnus Dei [The canon of the Mass must remain the same everywhere on earth, even in what concerns the language, with the exception of the Our Father and the Lamb of God]. Ante et post canonem [before and after the Canon], preserve the ceremonies, but in various languages. (229)

Armand Farès, archbishop of Catanzaro and Squillace (Italy). Be mindful of the Council of Trent. At no. 37, do not exaggerate active participation. Ne tangatur canon missae; cf. Trent: canon est ab omni errore purum [Let the canon of the Mass not be touched; cf. Trent: the canon is free from all error]. No. 42 {on communion under both species}: no; we must not arouse the miratio populi [astonishment of the people], etc. (235–36)

Sabóia Bandeira, bishop of Palmas (Brazil). p. 177: Omnino debet remanere sicuti est. [{The Roman rite} must remain altogether as it is.] … If we touch that, everyone will propose his own change, etc. (236)

Archbishop Modrego y Casaus of Barcelona. … If the homily is well done, no need for the vernacular language at Mass. (239)

Similar points were raised when the Council Fathers discussed the Divine Office. Again, there were some in favor of dropping Latin altogether, a larger number who wanted a blend of or a choice between Latin and the vernacular (e.g., Frings, Léger, Döpfner); and a number of “hard-liners” who basically said: The Office has been in Latin and should remain in Latin, and the clergy just have to put their minds to learning it and doing it. A sampling:

Cardinal Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, patriarch of Lisbon: … In general law, lingua latina a clericis servari debet, quia in officio sacerdo est tanquam vox Ecclesiae. [Latin must be retained by the clerics, for in the Office the priest is, so to speak, the voice of the Church.] (258)

Cardinal Étienne Wyszyński (Warsaw). Let the emendatio not go too far: Servanda sunt monumenta antiquissimae traditionis [We must preserve these monuments of the most ancient tradition]. … Lingua latina conservanda videtur in breviario [It seems that Latin must be retained in the breviary]. A number of beautiful texts cannot be well translated. If we yield on this point, priests will lose the habit of Latin to an ever greater degree. In the name of the 64 Polish bishops: let us refrain from shortening the breviary too much (some applause) and let us keep the Latin. (258)

Cardinal William Godfrey, archbishop of Westminster. … If, in some regions, Latin is no longer much used or esteemed, that is not a reason for abandoning its use in the office: on the contrary, we must make an effort to restore it. Do not give a signum debilitatis [sign of weakness]. (259)

Card. Ant. Bacci. … Liturgical Latin is easy; the bishops have a serious obligation to take the necessary measures {in its favor}. (261)

Bishop Franić (Split, Yugoslavia). Let us not shorten the office any more. … Keep the Latin. (262)

Bishop Luigi Carli of Segni. Do not shorten the breviary: it should rather be augmented. … Therefore followed a full-scale assault on the use of the vernacular. (268–69)

Bishop Victor Costantini of Sessa Aurunca (Italy), against the vernacular. (269)

Archbishop Pierre Ngo-dinh-Thuc of Hué (Vietnam). In the name of the bishops of Vietnam. This schema proposes so many innovations that nothing of the Roman ritual will remain; this could be very harmful. De aspectu sociali, multi Patres exagerant [On the social aspect, a number of the Fathers are exaggerating]: among us, for a long time, this social aspect has been very intensive; but we still value individual piety. So much freedom requested for adaptations! In this, too, there is danger. Latin has always been the language of a minority: so the situation is not new: it has brought about unity; it must do so still. (278)

A Polish titular bishop [Franciszek Jop]. … Lingua latina magni pretii est [the Latin language is of great value]; it must remain; it is linked to the birth of our nation; the first history of Poland is in Latin, etc. … Against the growth of the powers of the episcopal conferences. (284)

What we see in de Lubac’s summaries of these interventions is just how lively was the desire of many Council Fathers to see Latin remain unimpaired in its majestic role as a source and symbol of Catholic unity and as the traditional vesture in which the sacred rites were clothed, so that they could remain the common possession of Holy Mother Church instead of the sport and prey of various national episcopacies and their linguistic and cultural agendas.

As hackneyed as the saying may be, perhaps we may be excused for invoking it: The more things change, the more they stay the same. The hopes and fears of the Council Fathers speak with exactitude to our current situation. Their repeated protests against the supposed magnum principium and its corollary of decentralization remain a matter of historical record that no one can alter.


It occurs to me that, given the trend of the above quotations, it would be helpful to include in this article the sections of the definitive text of Sacrosanctum Concilium that correspond to the points discussed by the Council Fathers above. It will be immediately obvious that the perspective of the pro-Latin Fathers was enshrined in the text (as even Bugnini admitted), while not, of course, excluding some introduction of the vernacular, a point on which almost no one disagreed. We might say, in retrospect, that some of the following language was meant to placate the conservatives while paving the way for a revolutionary agenda, but whatever the case may be, the pro-Latin Fathers did vote in favor of the final version of the text, evidently believing their concerns to have been adequately reflected therein.

     36. §1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
     §2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
     §3. These norms being observed, 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; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
     §4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above. 
     54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and “the common prayer,” but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to the norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution.
Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them. And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed.
     63. Because of the use of the mother tongue in the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals can often be of considerable help to the people, this use is to be extended according to the following norms:
     a) The vernacular language may be used in administering the sacraments and sacramentals, according to the norm of Art. 36.
     b) In harmony with the new edition of the Roman Ritual, particular rituals shall be prepared without delay by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, §2, of this Constitution. These rituals, which are to be adapted, also as regards the language employed, to the needs of the different regions, are to be reviewed by the Apostolic See and then introduced into the regions for which they have been prepared. But in drawing up these rituals or particular collections of rites, the instructions prefixed to the individual rites the Roman Ritual, whether they be pastoral and rubrical or whether they have special social import, shall not be omitted. 
      101. §1. In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office. But in individual cases the ordinary has the power of granting the use of a vernacular translation to those clerics for whom the use of Latin constitutes a grave obstacle to their praying the office properly. The vernacular version, however, must be one that is drawn up according to the provision of Art. 36.
     §2. The competent superior has the power to grant the use of the vernacular in the celebration of the divine office, even in choir, to nuns and to members of institutes dedicated to acquiring perfection, both men who are not clerics and women. The version, however, must be one that is approved.
     §3. Any cleric bound to the divine office fulfills his obligation if he prays the office in the vernacular together with a group of the faithful or with those mentioned in 52 above provided that the text of the translation is approved.
     113. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.
     As regards the language to be used, the provisions of Art. 36 are to be observed; for the Mass, Art. 54; for the sacraments, Art. 63; for the divine office, Art. 101.
     114. The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care. Choirs must be diligently promoted, especially in cathedral churches; but bishops and other pastors of souls must be at pains to ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly theirs, as laid down in Art. 28 and 30.
     116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given chief place in liturgical services.
     But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations [by chant’s chief place], so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.
I take it as a given that Gregorian chant here means what everyone understood it to mean in 1963, namely, Latin plainchant. Moreover, if the treasury of sacred music is to be preserved, this must be referring to the great body of Latin music already in existence prior to 1963; the fostering would include new compositions in Latin and the vernacular.

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