Conference given in Turin, Italy on March 24,
Translated from the French District's bulletin published on February 5,
to speak to you of a very serious novelty: the New Code of Canon Law. I had
not seen any necessity for a change. But if the law changes, the law
changes, and we must make use of it, for the Church can ask nothing evil
from her faithful.
when one reads this new code of Canon Law one discovers an entirely new
conception of the Church. It is easy to be aware of, since John Paul II
himself describes it in the apostolic constitution which introduces the new
follows that which constitutes the fundamental novelty of Vatican Council
II, in full continuity with the legislative tradition of the Church (this
is to deceive), especially in that which concerns ecclesiology, constitutes
also the novelty of the new Code.
the novelty of the conception of the Church according to the Council is
equally the novelty of the conception of the new Code of Canon Law.
this novelty? It is that there is no longer any difference between the
clergy and the laity. There is now just the faithful, nothing else, on
account of thedoctrine
according to which all the members of the people of God, according to the
mode which is proper to each, partake in the triple priestly, prophetic and
royal function of Jesus Christ. To this doctrine is likewise attached that
which concerns the duties and rights of the faithful and particularly the
laity, and finally the Church's involvement in ecumenism!
the definition of the Church (Canon 204):
faithful are those who, inasmuch as they are incorporated in Christ by
baptism are constituted as the people of God, and who for this reason,
having been made partakers in their manner in the priestly, prophetic and
royal functions of Christ, are called to exercise the mission that God
entrusted to the Church to accomplish in the world.
all faithful, members of the people of God, and we all therefore have
ministries! It is clearly said in the Code: all the faithful have
ministries. They therefore all have the responsibility to teach, to
sanctify and even to direct.
continue our commentary on this Canon 204:
been made partakers in their manner in the priestly, prophetic and royal
function of Christ, they are called to exercise the mission which God
entrusted to the Church to accomplish in the world, according to the
juridical condition proper to each one.
everyone without exception, without distinction between clergy and laity,
inasmuch as they are the people of God, has the responsibility of this
mission entrusted by Jesus Christ properly to the Church. There is no
longer any clergy. What, then, happens to the clergy?
It is as
if they said that it is no longer parents who have the responsibility to
give life to children but the family, or rather all the members of the
family: parents and children. This is exactly the same thing as saying
today that bishops, priests and laymen have all responsibility for the
mission of the Church. But who gives the graces to become a Catholic? How
does one become faithful? No one knows any more who has the responsibility
for what. It is consequently easy to understand that this is the ruin of
the priesthood and the laicization of the Church. Everything is oriented
towards the laymen, and little by little the sacred ministers disappear.
The minor orders and the subdiaconate have already disappeared. Now there
are married deacons, and little by little laymen take over the ministry of
the priests. This is precisely what Luther and the Protestants did,
laicizing the priesthood. It is consequently very serious.
quite openly explained in an article inL’Osservatore Romanoof March
of the laity in the new Code. The active function that the laity has been
called on to exercise since Vatican II by participating in the condition
and mission of the entire Church according to their particular vocation is
a doctrine which, in the context of the appearance of the concept of the
people of God has brought about a reevaluation of the laity, as much in the
foundation of the Church as for the active role they are called on to
develop in the building up of the Church.
the inspiration of the whole new Code of Canon Law. It is this definition
of the Church which is the poison which infects the new laws.
can be said for the Liturgy. There is a relationship between this new Code
of Canon Law and the entire liturgical reform, as Bugnini said in his bookThe
Fundamental Principles of the Changing of the Liturgy:
opened by the Council is destined to change radically the traditional liturgical
assembly in which, according to a custom dating back many centuries, the
liturgical service is almost exclusively accomplished by the clergy. The
people assist, but too much as a stranger and a dumb spectator.
How can one dare say that the faithful are present at the sacrifice of the
Mass as simply dumb spectators so as to change the Liturgy? How must the
faithful be active in the sacrifice of the Mass? By the body or
spiritually? Obviously spiritually. One can draw a great spiritual profit from
assisting at Mass in silence. It is, in effect, a mystery of our Faith. How
many have become saints in this silence of the true Mass!
long education will be necessary for the Liturgy to become an action of all
the people of God."Without a doubt. Then he adds that he is
speaking of"a substantial unity but not a uniformity. You must realize
that this is a true break with the past."
This past is the twenty centuries of prayer of the Church.
was the key man in the liturgical reform. I went to see Cardinal Cicognani
when this reform was published and I said to him: "Your Eminence, I
am not in agreement with this change. The Mass no longer has its mystical
and divine character." He replied: "Excellency, it is like
that. Bugnini can enter as he likes into the Ppope's office to make him
sign what he wants." This is what happened to the Secretariat of
State. This is how all these changes happened. They agreed on it
beforehand, and then obtained signatures for some changes, and then others,
and then others.
to Cardinal Gut:
Eminence, you are responsible for Divine Worship, and you accord permission
for the Blessed Sacrament to be received in the hand! They will know that
this was published with the agreement of the Prefect of the Congregation
for Divine Worship!
I do not even know if I will be asked for it to be done. You know, it is
not I who command. The boss is Bugnini. If the pope asks me what I think of
Communion in the hand, I will cast myself on my knees before him to ask him
not to do it.
then, how things happened at Rome: a simple signature on the bottom of a
decree and the Church is ruined by numerous sacrileges... The real presence
of Our Lord is ruined, for it is no longer respected. Then, nothing sacred
remains, as was seen at the large reunion at which the Pope was present,
where the Blessed Sacrament was passed around from hand to hand between
thousands of persons. Nobody genuflects anymore before the Blessed
Sacrament. How can they still believe that God is present there?
this same spirit which inspired the changing of the canon Law as that which
inspired the changes in the Liturgy: it is the people of God, the assembly,
which does everything. The same applies to the priest. He is a simple
president who has a ministry, as others have a ministry, in the midst of an
assembly. Our orientation towards God has likewise disappeared. This comes
from the protestants who say that eucharistic devotion (for them there is
neither Mass nor sacrifice: this would be blasphemy) is simply a movement
of God towards man, but not of man towards God to render Him glory, which
is nevertheless the first (latreutic) end of the Liturgy. This new state of
liturgical mind comes likewise from Vatican II: everything is for man. The
bishops and priest are at the service of man and the assembly. But where is
God then? In what is His glory sought? What will we do in heaven? For in
heaven "all is for the glory of God," which is exactly
what we ought to do here on earth. But all that is done away with, and
replaced by man. This is truly the ruin of all Catholic thought.
that the new Code of Canon Law permits a priest to give Communion to a
protestant. It is what they call eucharistic hospitality. These are
protestants who remain protestant and do not convert. This is directly
opposed to the Faith. For the Sacrament of the Eucharist is precisely the
sacrament of the unity of the Faith. To give Communion to a protestant is
to rupture the Faith and its unity.