In a testimony filmed by the Certamen Youtube channel, Msgr. Vitus Huonder, former Bishop of Chur, explains how he retired to a school of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) after leaving the diocese for which he was the pastor, and how he has since evolved. The second episode is entitled: “Novus Ordo Missæ.”
The first part of this second episode begins with a strong affirmation: “The abandonment of Tradition is most painfully felt in the change of the rite of the holy sacrifice of the Mass.” Bishop Huonder observes that despite certain formulations of the Council, “we have been presented with a new and strongly modified rite, with an equally strongly modified theology of the Mass.”
The testimony continues: “the departure from the traditional Eucharistic faith became clear in 1969 with the apostolic constitution Missale Romanum … and with the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae.” The former Bishop of Chur then recalls the remarks made in the Brief Critical Examination, which, he says, “was not really taken seriously.”
A second part recalls what the Tridentine Mass represents and the text of the bull Quo primum of Pope Saint Pius V. The prelate deduces from this: “The traditional Roman liturgy is equivalent to a creed. Its substance must not be changed. Thus it cannot be banned.”
“Through his bull, Pius V didn’t create anything new. Rather, he affirms the legitimacy of the exercise of faith in this form of liturgy. He confirms the authenticity of this faith. Such a good can never be taken away from the faithful.”
A third part highlights the two means that have made it possible to put pressure on the faithful and the priests to brutally impose perfectly questionable reforms: obedience and the living magisterium. The first was designed in a “slavish way”, and allowed abuses of authority. The second was conceived as being able to dispose of Tradition while it is governed by it.
A fourth part finally is entitled “missing pietas,” that is, “a devotion and esteem, a respect for the past of the Church, for traditional teaching and practice.” Bishop Huonder continues: “Precisely the pietas was largely absent in the time of the Council and in the period after the Council,” with two consequences.
The first, the way they treated “the patrimony of the Church, the churches and church furnishings, sacred vestments, people who clung to Tradition, the priests who, for reasons of conscience wanted to remain faithful to the traditional liturgy!”
The second consequence was “the sort of mood in wide circles, a mood that led to looking down on the past with contempt, sarcasm, and smugness, without being afraid to disregard even the sacred and untouchable.” And to conclude: “After everything that has happened, one can ask oneself: was what happened a credible course of action? Was it determined by the pietas?”
Bishop Huonder speaks in German, but his testimony is subtitled in English. The second part is available online here.