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62 Antiphon 16.1 (2012) Book Reviews Anthony Cekada Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI West Chester, Ohio: Philothea Press, 2010 468 pp. Paperback. $24.95 I have long been in Father Cekada’s debt, for it was his booklet The Problems with the Prayers of the Modern Mass that alerted me almost twenty years ago to the significant theological difference between the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Roman Missals. Work of Human Hands is by no means so succinct a publication. It is a substantial attempt to demonstrate profound theological rupture between the two, and more. It deserves serious attention. Some will dismiss this study because Father Cekada is canonically irregular and a sedevacantist. While these are more than regrettable, ad hominem realities are not sufficient to dismiss this carefully argued and well-researched work. We must attend to his arguments on their merits. The principal thesis is that the Mass of Paul VI “destroys Catholic doctrine in the minds of the faithful, and in particular, Catholic doctrine concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priesthood and the Real Presence,” and that it “permits or prescribes grave irreverence ” (7). His secondary thesis is that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid. His practical conclusion is that a Catholic “may not merely prefer the old rite to the new; he must also reject the new rite in its entirety. The faith obliges him to do so” (2). These strong, even extreme, positions may themselves repel readers; but again, they must be examined. Work of Human Hands seeks to lay an historical foundation for these theses, examining the liturgical movement of the twentieth century and the work of liturgical reform from 1948 to 1969. Unfortunately , this history is not dispassionate. It makes the mistake of repeating the all-too-frequent shrill cries of “Modernism” that abound in Father Didier Bonneterre’s slim work, The Liturgical Movement, which I have reviewed elsewhere as “not a study that reaches a conclusion, but a conclusion which seeks the support of a study.” That is not to say that those at whom the finger is pointed ought not to be scrutinized. Dom Lambert Beauduin certainly inaugurated the pastoral liturgical movement, but anyone who studies his seminal work Liturgy the Life of the Church can see that this was both sound and traditional. Beauduin’s ideas developed, yes, and he became a suspect ecumenist, certainly, but there is no evidence that he con- 63 Book Reviews spired towards or would have been happy with the missal of Paul VI. The influence of the Jesuit scholar Joseph Jungmann – expounded very well here – is certainly crucial. Louis Bouyer’s liturgical theology was definitely different from the prevailing twentieth-century scholasticism , but that does not mean that it is necessarily Modernist or heretical: theological development is possible so long as it does not deny truths of the faith. Father Annibale Bugnini is pivotal, of course. But the idea that prevails here and elsewhere, that he held the reins of power in all liturgical reform from 1948 onward, carefully manipulating and conspiring towards the goal of the new Mass, is false. Bugnini was an activist and opportunist, certainly. However, as Monsignor Giampietro’s study of Cardinal Antonelli’s liturgical role, The Development of the Liturgical Reform [reviewed in Antiphon 14.3 (2010)], demonstrates, Bugnini was by no means the principal or sole architect of the liturgical reforms of Pius XII. His moment came later, in 1963, when his friend, Cardinal Montini, became Pope Paul VI and rehabilitated him, naming him secretary of the commission to implement the Second Vatican Council ’s liturgical reform. This singular opportunity and their frequent personal collaboration is what brought about the Mass of Paul VI. It must be said that the author’s veneration of Pius XII, and his exoneration of him from any responsibility for the liturgical reforms of the 1950s, is excessive. The fact is that we do not know the extent of Pius XII’s personal enthusiasm for, or involvement in, their realization . We do know, however, that they were enacted on his authority. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, for better...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-9933
Print ISSN
1543-9925
Pages
pp. 62-65
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-16
Open Access
No
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