Having spent several hundred pages excoriating the French Revolution, Edmund Burke becomes at last ironically emollient:-

I do not deny that among an infinite number of acts of violence and folly, some good may have been done. They who destroy every thing certainly will remove some grievance. They who make everything new, have a chance that they may establish something beneficial.

When I read this, I couldn’t help thinking of Vatican II. Of course, there can never be a true revolution in the Church, since her constitution is divinely guaranteed. Still, they changed almost everything they could: the Vulgate, the rite of Mass, the rites of all the sacraments, the rites of all the sacramentals, the rite of exorcism, all the hours of the divine office, the code of canon law, the constitutions of all the religious orders, the rosary, the calendar. Among all these quasi-revolutionary acts, was anything good achieved? The only thing that comes immediately to my mind is the restoration of the authentic hymns in the breviary, undoing the classicizing revision of the 17th Century. However, the authentic hymns had always been maintained in the breviaries of religious orders, anyhow.

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