Friday, May 12, 2023

Announcing “Illusions of Reform: Responses to Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy”

As I’m sure most everyone remembers, between September and November 2022, Church Life Journal published a series of articles on the liturgical reform coauthored by Dr. John Cavadini, Dr. Mary Healy, and Fr. Thomas Weinandy [= CHW, brevitatis causa]. The series sparked much criticism of the authors’ perplexingly inadequate scholarship, grandiose generalizations, and pastoral callousness.

I’m delighted to announce today the release of Illusions of Reform: Responses to Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy in Defense of the Traditional Mass and the Faithful Who Attend It.

This volume gathers into one convenient place the best critiques of CHW, comprising the work of nine authors. The Table of Contents is as follows:

Preface by Peter Kwasniewski
Summary of the Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy Series

Part 1. Janet Smith’s Critique
1 • Sacrificing Beauty and Other Errors
2 • Misrepresentation of Mediator Dei, Sacrosanctum Concilium, and Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI
3 • The Genesis of the Novus Ordo and “Theological and Spiritual Flaws” of the TLM
4 • Unity, Charismatic Masses, and Africa
5 • Mischaracterization of the TLM, Then and Now

Part 2. Peter Kwasniewski’s Critique
6 • Unconvincing Propaganda against the Latin Mass
7 • Noble Patriarchs, Wayward Grandchildren: A More Realistic Appraisal of the Liturgical Movement
8 • Is the Laity’s Offering of the Mass a Postconciliar Rediscovery?
9 • Offspring of Arius in the Holy of Holies
10 • Was Liturgical Latin Introduced As, and Because It Was, the Vernacular?
11 • The Dubious Legacy of Leonardo’s Last Supper
12 • Games People Play with the Holy Spirit

Part 3. Additional Commentary
13 • Alexander Battista, “Church Life Journal Insults Eastern Liturgies with Amateur Scholarship”
14 • Fr. Samuel Keyes, “The Failures of Reform”
15 • Roland Millare, “Joseph Ratzinger and the New Liturgical Movement”
16 • Fr. Peter Miller, OSB, “Bible by the Pound: Would the Holy Spirit Agree that More Bible is Better at Mass?”
17 • Dom Alcuin Reid, OSB, “The One Thread by Which the Council Hangs”
18 • Joseph Shaw, “The Art of Missing the Point”

Epilogue by Gregory DiPippo
Select Bibliography

Alexander Battista writes on behalf of Eastern Christians; Fr. Samuel Keyes represents an Ordinariate point of view; Roland Millare writes as an expert on the liturgical thought of Joseph Ratzinger. Fr. Peter Miller's chapter, "Bible by the Pound: Would the Holy Spirit Agree that More Bible Is Better at Mass?" — a masterful and highly entertaining critique of the new lectionary and defense of the old one — has never been published before in any form, so it is available only in this collection.

In refuting CHW from many angles, Illusions of Reform ends up serving as a convenient guide to nearly all the common arguments given in favor of the Novus Ordo or against the TLM, as well as a compact summary of historically and theologically informed responses to them.

In 3 minutes this video sums up the reasons why this anthology is so important and, specifically, what readers will find in its pages:

Here is the cover plus a few photos (the text is crisper in real life; my beat-up pocket camera’s not great):

Illusions of Reform” (254 pages, 22 illustrations) may be ordered in paperback, hardcover, and ebook at the publisher's site, or, alternatively, the paperback and hardcover (but not the ebook) may be obtained from any Amazon outlet.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: