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The 1959 announcement of the future Second Vatican Council heralded an era of massive change in the Catholic Church. Archbishop Annibale Bugnini was the most influential man in changing how the Holy Mass is celebrated and understood.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Paul Murano tells us about a new documentary that's revealing the man behind the curtain. The creator of the documentary, Mass of the Ages, is announcing the release of its second episode.
Titled "A Perfect Storm," the episode discusses how the Italian priest (and later archbishop) Annibale Bugnini was the man who refashioned the Roman Liturgy.
Cameron O'Hearn, director, Mass of the Ages: "The history of the Liturgy is understood by students and really nerdy traditional Catholics. The 98% of practicing Catholics have no idea what happened."
The film reveals how Bugnini often used his position as secretary of various Vatican commissions to implement his own changes to the Mass. In 1963, the Second Vatican Council, in its first document, Sacrosanctum Concilium, called for a revision of the Roman rite.
But Bugnini's implementation of the document, with the blessing of Pope Paul VI, far exceeded the council's expressed intentions. Even though the document called for keeping Latin and Gregorian chant, both quickly disappeared from the Mass.
Priests began facing the people, a new cycle of readings was instituted and prayers were introduced that centered more on man than on God. Under Bugnini's influence, an era of liturgical experimentation was launched.
During the pontificate of Pope Francis, leftists began complaining about people — especially the young — favoring the Traditional Latin Mass over the newly fabricated Mass of 1970. Liberals ridiculed it as "a cult of toxic tradition," claiming it's "an instrument of oppression and a gathering point for Catholic fundamentalists."
In July 2021, Pope Francis released Traditionis Custodes — a document severely restricting the use of the TLM.
O'Hearn: "It forced everyone, by drawing a line in the sand, to say, 'Are you going to fight for this or not?'"
Episode two of Mass of the Ages will premiere on May 26. So far, screenings are scheduled for theaters in Dallas, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco. Copies will also be made available for screenings at parishes.
The first episode of Mass of the Ages has garnered over 1.1 million views on YouTube.