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Anibale Bugnini, prime architect of the Novus Ordo, also wanted to wreck the Rosary March 25, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Our Lady, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Spiritual Warfare.

But Paul VI would not let him.

Some time ago, my wife bought Bugnini’s gloating, bloated Reform of the Liturgy at a used book giveaway.  She read little bits, became totally disgusted by the man’s preening superiority, monumental ego, and his constant disdain for the 1500+ year old Roman Rite.  So, she put it down.  But, I picked it up the other day, and in just reading a little tiny bit, found in pp. 874-876 (Bugnini, he loved to talk) that the man who placed such enormous emphasis on “noble simplicity,” eliminating “useless repetitions” and “historical accretions,” also desired to utterly destroy the Rosary.  How did he plan on doing that?

First, he was going to limit the Our Father to once at the beginning of the Rosary. Gone would be the Pater Nosters at the beginning of each decade.  A “public version” of the Rosary would contain only one decade of Hail Marys/Ave Marias.  Not only did he have the incredible gumption to gut a prayer prayed by millions that the Tradition tells us was given directly to St. Dominic Guzman by the Blessed Mother Herself, but he was going to wreck the Hail Mary by removing the “non-biblical” parts. That is to say, everything from “Holy Mary Mother of God” on would be eliminated, so you’d be left with Hail Mary Full of Grace the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (the word Jesus at the end of this 2nd half of the Rosary would also be eliminated from most Hail Mary’s) and that’s it, 10 times, in the very hip and mod Rosary of Bugnini.  That’s not entirely true, Bugnini – intruding himself into the private prayer lives of billions of Catholics (over time) and modifying one of the cherished, sacred, and efficacious prayers the Church has ever had, if not THE most efficacious, would allow for ONE recitation of the Holy Mary Mother of God part in each decade. So very generous of him.

That “public Rosary” – the traditional Rosary having been such an aggravation to the protestants Bugnini did everything possible to appease (with no discernible success) – would have been utterly unrecognizable as the same prayer, as only one decade of the truncated Hail Mary above would be present, with the rest replaced by passages from Scripture, hymns (and you can guess what kind of happy clappy crap he would come up with), and excerpts from the writings of various modernist exegetes.

Paul VI was actually somewhat sympathetic to the whole notion, but felt that the umbrage of the faithful would be too great to bear.  Bugnini reported on p. 876 that Paul VI replied: “The faithful would conclude that ‘the Pope has changed the Rosary,’ and the psychological effect would be disastrous…”  Amazing that Paul VI would say that regarding the Rosary, but somehow did not see that he was doing exactly the same thing with regard to the Mass.

I am utterly, utterly stupified by the monumental arrogance it would take to say “Hmmm….. that prayer Catholics have been saying for 700+ years, it’s really deficient, and it certainly isn’t ‘ecumenical.’  It really needs to be updated and changed.”  Can you believe that?  Isn’t that simply incredible, that a mid-level Vatican functionary would arrogate to himself the right to change a timeless, glorious prayer?  He couldn’t even point to VII as cover in this case, as the Council never even remotely approached saying anything about attacking and wreckovating such constant prayer traditions.  Thank God.

For some reason, all the above makes me feel compelled to post the following:

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

Vice what it replaced:

Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this unspotted host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offenses, negligences, and for all here present: as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead, that it may avail both me and them for salvation unto everlasting life. Amen.

I don’t think Our Lady would have been pleased with Bugnini’s update.

I could post this 500 times, I love it so

I could post this 500 times, I love it so


1. skeinster - March 25, 2013

I never could pray the “Scriptural Rosary”, that attempt to sanitize the Rosary with Bible verses. with any success. The constant interruption of the next Scripture verse wrecked any possibility of coherent meditation.
But I even have a tough time with a corporate Rosary, for the same reason- the division of prayers.
I denounce myself.

But seriously- talk about missing the point. It’s not the number of prayers, it’s the meditations. Fewer prayers, less meditation.

tantamergo - March 25, 2013

Well, I would say, look, if the Rosary doesn’t move you, fine, do another prayer. If you want to make up an entirely different prayer, with Scripture and hymns or whatever, great. Just don’t call it the Rosary. It’s taken. It means something, very much, to millions. To me, it seemed like both an attempt to show that traditional Catholic piety was deficient, adn that ecumenism trumps all.

skeinster - March 26, 2013

I was being a bit facetious. I love the Rosary, but b/c it’s such a tried and true meditation. Just not a good multi-tasker- can’t listen for my cue and think about something else at the same time.

2. Socon or Bust » Anibale’s Other Attempt Wreckage - March 25, 2013

[…] …not as well known. […]

3. Richard - March 26, 2013

I received my first communion in the mid – 1970’s at a Catholic church that had a pastor who kept much of the traditions in place. There was one Mass at 9:15 am that was said in Latin every Sunday. We were given Rosaries around that time. Not long after that, I moved 1500 miles to Houston and I felt so much of the Catholic Mass was replaced with EME’s, folk music, the advent wreath, altar boys without robes, mediocre homilies, and no bells at the consecration. As an 8 year old, I was like “what happened?”

I also recall that when my mother sent me to confession (30 minutes before the Saturday evening Mass), it seemed like I was the only one there. By the time I got to high school, I seem to recall the pastor being available for confession before the Saturday night Mass on request, since I was an altar boy during that time.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I never really learned how to pray the Rosary until I was 27 years old. Some members of a Catholic Young Adult Group invited me one night to a Rosary and Potluck dinner, and I enjoyed it so much that I kept coming back.

My last year of college (early 1990’s) was also around the time I learned more about the teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The emphasis of the Real Presence seemed to have lost me growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. There are kids who go through CCD (and even kids who attended Catholic grade school and high school) who think it is only a symbol. The Real Presence is the main teaching that separates Catholics from our Protestant brothers and sisters. I am glad that several parishes now have Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hours.

4. Elizabeth - March 26, 2013

Even Paul VI thought it a bad idea to mess with the Rosary. Then along comes the “great” JPII, the lover of novelty……

As far as I could tell from the document he wrote when he initiated the luminous blah blahs, it was a SUGGESTION to those who felt it might help them. Not an official change to the Rosary. At least that’s what I got from the document. Try telling that to the average neo-conservative Rosary-praying woman when you lead on Thursdays with the Joyful Mystery. “Off With Her Head”!

5. Richard - March 26, 2013

I heard that there were some discussions during the sessions of Vatican II that one faction present wanted to eliminate daily Mass. I think Pope Paul VI put a stop to that too.

6. Michael P. Mc Crory - March 26, 2013

Quite shocking !
How can such stupid men rise to such great heights in our Church?
The Rosary is the prayer of miracles.
A step through the beautiful life of Jesus and His mother Mary.
It is always those who do not pray it that complain about it.
” You can not know what you don’t understand
And you can not love what you do not know.”

And you can not love what you do not know.”

7. Joan - March 26, 2013

tradition, not Tradition, holds that the Blessed Mother may have revealed the rosary to St. Dominic. That is not Church doctrine and never has been. Dominic introduced the rosary to the Church, that is undisputed. How he got it we don’t know for a fact. Catholics are not beholden to believe he did or did not receive it as a revelation. Furthermore, unlike the Divine Office for example, the rosary is a personal devotion. If the Luminous Mysteries enhance it for your prayer and meditation, use them. If not, don’t. Same with scriptural interruptions or any other prayerful variations.

skeinster - March 26, 2013

If you mean “spread the devotion of the Rosary”, by “introduced”, then okay. But he did not “invent” it, nor was it given to him by the Blessed Virgin. Research has determined that that story was made up out of whole cloth about 200 years after his death. Lovely as that event would have been, I think we do better not to foster the myth.
Excellent point on personal devotion- a fact we sometimes overlook in our zeal for the sanctification of ourselves and others.

8. Susan Pepino - March 26, 2013

Not that anything Bugnini did would surprise or shock me, but what is your source for this information. I would like to know. (not snark; sincere inquiry).

Warren Memlib - March 26, 2013

Proximately: CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA, “Bugnini’s Ghost: The New Mass meets The New Rosary” http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2003/features_may03.html

Ultimately, “from the horse’s mouth”: Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy (Collegeville, N: Liturgical Press, 1990), p. 876-877.

Susan Pepino - March 26, 2013

Thank you!

9. Mary - March 26, 2013

This is the same Bugnini who was key in removing veiling of women at Mass.

10. Chris - March 26, 2013

I thought that the rosary had some flexibility, for it is a private devotion, though probably one of the most venerable of private devotions. Compare, for example, the Dominican Rosary (the one most of us pray) and the Franciscan Crown, aka the Seraphic Rosary (with seven decades). It’s also interesting to look at the Brigittine Rosary, too (18 mysteries). There are others.

I guess what I’m getting at is this: the rosary is a devotion and devotions (like Stations) have variations that aren’t ruled by rubrics or Church law, unlike Liturgy (Mass and the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours), which has official rubrics in place. I may not like Bugnini’s rosary, but it is one of many — and I am free to ignore his approach.

On a related note, have you read anything about Bugnini and the Liturgy of the Hours? I know that Paul VI had something to do with the reform of it (and there is a reform of that reform going on now), but I wonder if Bugnini had any input.

11. Rod LaRocque - March 26, 2013

If the new pope wants to gain some traction with traditional Catholics he might start by making the luminous mysteries its own chaplet and restore the 150 ave’s to its rightful number corresponding to the psalms.

Elizabeth - March 28, 2013

I hope I’m wrong but I don’t have the sense that Pope Francis has his sights set on “gaining traction with traditional Catholics”. I pray I’m wrong.

12. Marietta - March 26, 2013

I just love that picture of the Incarnation! Thanks for posting it.

About the Ave Maria. You should check the EF Offertory for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The chant is called “Offertory Ave Maria” because it’s the Offertory Proper for that Sunday. It’s among the loveliest and oldest pieces of Gregorian chant ever written and I had the privilege of chanting it at our EF Mass for that particular Advent Sunday. But magnificent though it is, the Latin text ends with “fructus ventris tui.” Why no “Iesus?” Why no “Sancta Maria?”

I did a little research on it and it turned out that the Mass Propers are much older than St. Bernardine of Sienna, who promoted devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus. The Offertory Ave Maria was how the Hail Mary was in its original text.

My point: Bugnini must have been such a primitivist, he wanted everything down to the very bones, not understanding that bones without flesh can dry up and break. The Offertory Ave Maria survived in the EF, but I’m glad he and Pope Paul VI left the Rosary alone.

13. Marietta - March 26, 2013

Me again. Sorry, but one other thing.

If you read the then Cardinal Ratzinger’s book, “Feast of Faith,” you’ll find out that it was Pope Paul VI himself who composed (or helped write?) the Novus Ordo Offertory Prayers – not Bugnini.

Ratzinger said that strictly speaking, the Offertory part of the Mass needs no prayers at all, as it is all about preparation of the gifts – like setting up the vessels, candles and altar linens, along with the bread and wine.

So, he said, if the Mass were to go back to its original form, it would have no texts for the Offertory at all. And of course, there would be no hint of a misplaced Epiclesis (as in the old form) in that part of the Mass.

But Pope Paul VI would rather have some prayers at the Offertory, Ratzinger said. So Paul VI discarded the Tridentine Offertory prayer and replaced it with his own composition that he patterned after the Jewish table prayers.

14. Greg - March 26, 2013

Actually, I have found the Scriptural Rosary to be quite meaningful. It helps me understand the truths of Faith more clearly.

tantamergo - March 26, 2013

To deal with many comments, not replying directly to any one in particular, I would be careful to dismiss the origin of the Rosary as myth.
There have been a number of claims of biblical exegesis and historical and archeological research that were presented, during the 20th century in particular, as complete “scientific” fact, which later turned out to be false. Like the claim that St. Mark’s Gospel was really first, which became a dominant meme in biblical research in the middle 20th century, but which is now under more and more attack, with more evidence confirming that St. Matthew’s Gospel was first, which would just confirm what has always been held. And so it goes on many subjects. I’m not saying the claim about the origin of the Rosary is wrong, I am just saying one might want to be careful dismissing the traditional belief.

As to the “scriptural Rosary” and its benefits, that’s fine, I did not intend to cast aspersions at anyone’s practice, simply the desire to abrogate, in a sense, the Rosary as it has been practiced for centuries and its replacement, under the same name, with something radically different. The creation of a different set of prayers or meditations, called by a different name, is not a problem whatsoever, and if it bore great fruit then that would speak for itself, my problem was with the plan to try, by some means, to obliterate the traditional practice of the Rosary at least in public, and replace it with something radically different under the same name. As well as, at the same time, severely denigrating the traditional practice as “un-biblical” and intimating it is spiritually deficient. Several hundred Saints would tend to disagree.

I would add that there is an element in the Church that finds all this Marian business rather embarrassing, some of whom have quite the hostility towards what they feel is “excessive” Marian devotion. These individuals frequently mistake a devotion to Mary as a lessening in devotion to Jesus Christ, but the opposite is actually true in my experience. I stand with the great Moral Doctor of the Church St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, who argued very persuasively that great devotion to our Blessed Mother is morally necessary for sanctification, even salvation. Untold numbers of Saints have had tremendous devotions to the Blessed Mother, most usually through the Rosary. Why would anyone want to attempt to denigrate such an awesomely efficacious devotion, and at the same time try to replace it with something of unknown fruit? I think the great Alphonsus would be mortified at the thought. Not that Alphonsus’ views are doctrinal, but they are extremely practical- in my experience and opinion.

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