In the application of the liturgical reform, what appears terribly serious to me is above all the fundamental principle which it is following – to desacralize the service of God as far as possible (just the opposite is what is needed: to sacralize as far as possible the offering of the people who take part.)   This is an attack on the divine Transcendence, since the Christian people come to know the divine Transcendence through the sensible signs of the Liturgy.  […]

The second thing that is needed, it seems to me, and it is key, is to ask that the behaviour shown toward the Eucharist, and the reserved sacrament, should be what is required by the faith.  I find it shocking that the attention of the faithful should be directed to the celebrant alone, and not at the same time and by the same movement to the living God present among us in the tabernacle.  They tell me that the tabernacle is a late invention (16th or 17th century, I’m not sure).  This is a strange objection from people who are so keen on novelty and progress – what matters is to see whether it is in itself a good thing and a real progress.

[…] The third thing that seems necessary to me relates to the French translation of the ordinary of the Mass.  It has something unacceptable in it: the words ‘of the same nature’ in the Creed, instead of ‘consubstantial’.  A man with his own, individual nature, is of the same specific nature as another man with his own individual nature, a lion and another lion, likewise.  So, taken literally, this (semi-Arian) expression, óf the same nature doesn’t teach us the Trinity, but tritheism […]  I am astonished at the docility with which, by obedience, the Little Brothers [of Jesus] recite this creed in French without any trouble.  I would rather die than allow the words ‘of the same nature as’ to come out of my mouth.


There is a fourth thing which seems necessary to me, but which it is probably pointless to hope for, and this is the manner of speaking or reciting.   At Mass, with the Little Brothers, the priest and the others recite recto tono, and that by itself helps to elevate things and give them some dignity, and to make the French bearable.  But everywhere else, people use the tone of common conversation, the tone of voice in which you say ‘pass me a glass’, or ‘I read in the paper this morning’.  It’s a horrible thing when the human voice is used this way in a church

(from a letter to Charles Journet, 8th August, 1966).