Rorate Caeli

Bugnini: "I am the liturgical reform!"

(Update: typo in last paragraph corrected. CAP.)
Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB, former president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, a leading critic of Liturgiam Authenticam and Summorum Pontificum, and undisputed guru of the Philippine liturgical establishment, published "What, Then, Is Liturgy? Musings and Memoir" this year. The book contains revealing snapshots of the behind-the-scenes of the liturgical reform under Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as extended reflections on the liturgy mixed with criticisms of the policies of the current Pontificate. The book also contains Chupungco's proposals for further changes to the Roman rite to continue what he sees as the unfinished agenda of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform. I intend to post various quotes of interest over the next several days.
From the Claretian Publications edition of the book, pp. 3-4:

After several decades of liturgical reform there are still contrasting opinions about what the council had really intended to achieve. I had the occasion to ask Fr. Cipriano Vagaggini, another mentor of mine and one of the framers of the Liturgy Constitution, what "substantial unity of the Roman rite" meant. The phrase is obscure, yet crucial to inculturation. His answer was quite revealing: "I asked the same question when we were drafting the Constitution but no one in the commission had an answer!" Strange indeed are the ways of the Spirit during the council and surely after the council. But if it is any consolation at all, tension can be considered an encouraging sign that people's interest in the liturgy has not abated over the years. When Abbot Primate Benno Gut of the Benedictine Confederation established the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome in 1962, professors of theology, like prophets of doom, alerted him that liturgy was a fad that would not exceed their lifetime.
In his posthumous book The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975 Annibale Bugnini keeps record of much opposition to the conciliar and postconciliar reform. Among the most antagonistic groups that he has identified the following clearly harbor a countercultural mentality. The first is Una Voce, an international group, for the defense of Latin, Gregorian chant, and sacred polyphony against the vernacular and modern music. The second are splinter groups that were often hostile to the liturgical changes being advanced by the Holy See. Among them Bugnini names the American Catholic Traditionalist Movement and individuals like the Italian journalist Tito Casino, who in his book La tunica stracciata acidly attacked the use of the vernacular; Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Cardinal Antonio Bacci, who staunchly supported opposition to the new Missal because of its alleged "heretical", "psychologically destructive," and "Protestant" elements; and the French Abbe Georges de Nantes, who called for the ousting of Pope Paul VI, whom he accused of heresy, schism and scandal. Even some of the devout faithful that frequented the Mass were adverse to the use of the vernacular. In the Church of Sant' Anselmo an elderly lady corrected me as I was offering her Holy Communion: "Non dicitur 'Il corpo di Cristo,' sed 'Corpus Christi'!" (In perfect Latin she bade me say "The Body of Christ" in Latin, not in Italian.)
(Brief CAP comment: isn't the Church supposed to be countercultural?)
Bugnini himself, then secretary to the Congregation of Divine Worship, was not spared. He was a systematic person who programmed the liturgical reform and courageously pushed its implementation against all opposition. I remember that in one of his visits to the Pontifical Liturgical Institute he declared, "I am the liturgical reform!" In more ways than one his self-assessment was correct. The postconciliar reform would not have progressed with giant steps had it not been for his dauntless spirit and tenacity. To crown his liturgical accomplishments the Vatican promoted him to the rank of papal delegate to Iran, where he became famous in the secular world for successfully negotiating the release of American hostages. (??? -- CAP)