How would you feel if somebody burned down the National Gallery or the British Museum? Pick any great masterpiece - Michelangelo's...well anything by Michelangelo, Perugino's Crucifixion triptych, the Saint Chapelle, the beautiful perpendicular style church at Long Melford. If somebody took it upon themselves to corrupt or destroy these masterpieces, to take them apart piece by piece and reconstruct them according to their own fancies, how would you feel about the loss of the original masterpiece? Well this is how I feel about the fate of the Roman Liturgy at the hands of the Popes.
Last night I had a very extraordinary dream, and old Pius XII was in it. I asked him why...and he said, with a look of proud contempt which shook me: ''because I can.'' Popes are not above reproach, and it would go to my heart like draughts of good wine if more Catholics questioned not the Second Vatican Council and the changes in the aftermath of that Council (which had demonstrably little to do with the changes), but questioned the changes to the Sacred Liturgy under the direct supervision of Pius XII. It is my sincere belief that those changes were both utterly wrong and deeply pernicious.
So how do my readers feel?