Tuesday, August 23, 2022

An Opponent of Vatican II Passes Away

I am sure that by now, our readers have all seen that Rembert Weakland, the disgraced former archbishop of Milwaukee, passed away yesterday at the age of 95. There is certainly no need to rehearse the many reasons for his disgrace, which have been discussed more than sufficiently elsewhere. I urge all of our readers to offer the following prayer for his soul, in fulfillment of the duty of charity commanded to us by the Lord Himself.

“Deus, qui inter Apostolicos sacerdotes famulum tuum Rembertum pontificali fecisti dignitate vigere: praesta quaesumus: ut eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.
God, who among the Apostolic priests made Thy servant Rembert flourish by priestly dignity: grant, we beseech Thee: that he may also be joined unto their perpetual society. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“Today for me, tomorrow for you.” A marble engraving on the outside of the Roman church of Santa Maria di Orazione e Morte, the seat of a confraternity which offered constant prayers for the dead, and took care of the burial of indigent persons. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Livioandronico2013, CC BY-SA 4.0.
At the same time, I also urge all of our readers to read this column about him by Paul Likoudis from 2009, since unfortunately, it has of late become even more pertinent to the problem of the liturgy and liturgical reform than it was when it was first printed.
In recent months and years, it has become more and more fashionable for people, even at the highest levels of the Church hierarchy, to insistently repeat the falsehood that the post-Conciliar liturgy is the reform desired by Vatican II, as if their insisting could make it true. The career of Abp Weakland, who was a member of the Consilium ad exsequendam, is one of the innumerable things that demonstrates how false that idea is. To witness to that fact, Mr Likoudis brings in the testimony of an impeccable witness, Mons Richard Schuler, long-time pastor of the church of St Agnes in Minneapolis-St. Paul, whose good work is, I am sure, also well-known to our readers. Here are a few excerpts from the Monsignor, as quoted in the article; do click over to read the whole thing on the website of CatholicCulture.org.
“From the time Sacrosanctum concilium was released, Archabbot Weakland dissented. He especially could not give his assent to the use of Gregorian chant. As Msgr. Schuler noted: ‘A meeting was sponsored in Kansas City, Mo., November 29 to December, 1966, by the American Liturgical Conference. Opposition to the sixth chapter of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was voiced by Archabbot Weakland who said that ‘false liturgical orientation gave birth to what we call the treasury of sacred music, and false judgments perpetuated it.’ Those ‘false judgments’ seem to have been made by the fathers of the [Second Vatican] Council who ordered that the treasury of sacred music be preserved and fostered. . . .
This was the beginning of efforts that have continued over the past 20 years to undermine the intentions of the council fathers and the work of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae, founded by Pope Paul VI for the express purpose of implementing the directives of the Vatican Council in matters of liturgical music. Those who were unhappy with the role given to sacred music in the sixth chapter of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy have never ceased to oppose what the Church has ordered for sacred music in its liturgy.
They have by their actions set Church music back to a state far worse than when Pope St. Pius X began the work of reform in 1903. They have promoted their own ideas of what music and liturgy should be, but these fail to correspond to the decrees of the council or the documents that followed after the close of the council. A careful analysis of the legislation given for the universal Church and the reality as it is presently promoted in the United States exposes a considerable divergence between the two . . .
Since liturgy expresses belief, the importance of using it to diffuse errors is clear. Most Catholics know their Church and their faith chiefly through the Sunday Mass. When their worship is turned about, so will their very religion follow. When liturgy becomes entertainment, secularized and profaned, then its role as the expression of Catholic dogma is weakened and even lost for those who look to it for their spiritual sustenance, the ‘primary source of Catholic life,’ as Pope Pius X called it. ...
The results of the greatly advertised ‘changes’ introduced into the postconciliar Church by the modernist camp can be seen in the catastrophe we have witnessed in the closed schools, defections from the clergy, decayed religious life, fewer converts, a substantial drop in attendance at Sunday Mass, theologians who defy the Magisterium, fewer vocations to the priesthood, and the banality, profanity, and ineptitude of what is now promoted as liturgical music.’
... Msgr. Schuler’s essay, available online at www.musicasacra.com/pdf/chron.pdf, also details how Archabbot Weakland and his co-conspirators arrogantly and consistently defied clear instructions from the Holy See with regard to liturgical music and music programs, and even explicit commands to dissolve the organizations that were destroying the legacy of sacred music that began with Pope Pius X.”
Remember this when you are falsely accused of “going against Vatican II” because you love the traditional Roman Rite, and the fullness of our Catholic liturgical patrimony. It is not we who love these things who are opposed to Vatican II. Those who opposed Vatican II then were the creators and implementers of the reform; those who oppose it now are the defenders of their legacy.

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