Obscuring Scripture

News: Commentary
by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 8, 2022   

Censoring the readings in the Lectionary

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today!

There was typically just one reading and one gospel in the Roman rite before the 1960s. This was the norm throughout most of the liturgical year, barring certain feast days or penitential days.

During the Second Vatican Council, the bishops decided to add more Scripture, among other changes to the Mass. 

But while more readings were made available in the 1970 Novus Ordo Mass, some readings that were deemed "negative theology" were either omitted entirely or made optional.

Free clip from CHURCH MILITANT Premium

Here is one striking example from the book of Romans:

Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another; men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.

And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.

Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them. [Romans 1:24–32]

Although the council desired Catholics to hear more Scripture in the Mass, the engineers of the new Mass did not allow this reading in the new Lectionary.

Another example is a section from the First Epistle of St. Peter:

But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honor, glory, and power of God, and that which is His Spirit, resteth upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men's things.

But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God? And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? [1 Peter 4:13-18]

Just like in the Divine Office and the changing prayers of the Mass, the readings in the Lectionary were selected by the Consilium or "working group" to emphasize certain teachings while de-emphasizing others.

Between the Gospel of St. John and the book of Revelation, there are hundreds of Scripture verses that don't appear in the Lectionary. There is a common theme among them.

According to Abp. Annibale Bugnini, Pope Paul VI didn't have time to review the vast quantity of changes made to the Lectionary, noting it was impossible for him "to get a complete and detailed grasp" of it.

However, the pope wrote in a note, "But because of the confidence I have in the skilled and devout individuals who spent a long time compiling it, and because of the trust I owe to the Congregation for Divine Worship, which has examined and corrected it with such expert care, I gladly approve it in the name of the Lord."

To see more about this, watch the third episode of Reclaiming Tradition

 

Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.


We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on ChurchMilitant.com you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines