Monday, February 16, 2009

Graham Greene Deplored the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Changes


The following quote about Greene's preference for the Latin Mass is from Graham Greene's Catholic Imagination by Mark Bosco, S.J., Oxford University Press 2005:

Though he welcomed the ecumenical spirit of the Council and its consequent stress on faith and justice, his Catholic identity was much tested by his personal distaste for the vernacular liturgy. Greene felt there was a diminishment of the supreme power, aura, and aesthetic beauty that the liturgy had traditionally played in the imagination of Catholics. In this respect he agreed with other, more traditional English converts concerning the liturgical changes begun by Vatican II. In 1967 Greene was asked by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy to critique and offer suggestions on the translations of the Mass. He dutifully did so but expressed his profound disappointment if the Latin Mass were ever lost in the process. By 1971 Greene had signed with other Catholic artists and intellectuals an appeal sent to the Vatican, asking that the 'Tridentine Mass be preserved in both language and structure.' He complained in interviews about not being able to follow the vernacular Mass in the many places he traveled, his annoyance with the 'freedom given to priests to introduce endless prayers--for the astronauts or what have you,' and his grief over the abolition of the reading from John's Gospel that used to end the Tridentine liturgy....

Greene confessed in his last extended interview before his death that he still loved to attend the Mass in Latin, which his friend, the Spanish priest Father Leopoldo Duran, had his bishop's permission to say. p. 93, 94
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