27 August 2015

Don't Mention The War!

It is a commonplace among those of us who have represented our country overseas that we, along with Americans and Canadians, don't mention the war in the presence of German colleagues, while colleagues from just about every other European country which took part in WWII mention it at the drop of a hat.  One's subtle circumlocutions are drowned out by, for example, otherwise affable Scandinavians telling Germans that this is where their boys took one hell of a beating (or some such).

Simili modo, we (the royal "we" perhaps, but I don't think it's just me) who worry about the Consilium prefer to separate ourselves from the "Of course you know, Bugnini was a freemason" crowd, preferring to worry about the consequences of what he did than what his putative motives might have been: yet somebody who was there, Louis Bouyer, whose memoirs have just been translated into English, doesn't feel the same need.  Here are four:

"Cardinal Lecaro ... was utterly incapable of resisting the manoeuvres of the mealy-mouthed scoundrel that the Neapolitan Vincentian, Bugnini, a man as bereft of culture as he was of basic honesty, soon revealed himself to be."

"Father Jungmann (an excellent historian of the Roman Missal-but who, in his entire life, had never celebrated a solemn Mass!)"

"Still, I cannot reread that improbable composition [He means Eucharistic Prayer II which he and a colleague had a couple of hours to "get right"] without recalling the Trastevere terrace where we had to put the finishing touches to our assignment"

"I shall only quote a bon mot Ratzinger whispered to me  after three quarters of an hour of Karl Rahner  making himself hoarse with a diatribe he had evidently composed for what Americans call 'televidiots' : 'Another monologue on dialogue!' Ratzinger finally sighed with a smile in my direction."


Left-footer said...

Thank you, Tony, for continuing to post so much that is worth reading. I must read the memoirs.

God bless!

Trisagion said...

The memoirs are a fantastic read - not least because of there candour and, frankly, bitchy comments. I sat down to read the book at 10.30am and, after a brief lunch, finished them before 4pm - and I'm an inveterate devotee of displacement activity when supposed to be reading.