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Between September and November 2022, Church Life Journal published a series of articles on liturgical reform, coauthored by Drs. John Cavadini, Mary Healy, and Thomas Weinandy. With its rosy view of the Liturgical Movement, its caricature of the Catholic faithful prior to Vatican II, its forensically questionable affirmation of Sacrosanctum Concilium’s paternity of the Novus Ordo (not to mention its solemn chrismation of both by the Holy Spirit), and its severe rejection of the “Tridentine movement,” the series sparked ample criticism of the authors’ perplexingly inadequate scholarship, grandiose generalizations, and pastoral callousness.


Because the innovationist and anti-traditionalist arguments of Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy are perpetually recycled in seminaries and degree programs around the world—the “commonplaces” of countless bulletins, homilies, blogs, and workshops—the appearance of the series offers a providential opportunity to present Catholic counterarguments. This handy book makes a persuasive case in favor of immemorial tradition against yesterday’s novelties at a time when a growing number of priests and faithful are longing for the sacred and the authentic.


After an initial careful summary of the Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy series, Illusions of Reform gathers the critiques of nine authors: in Part 1, Dr. Janet Smith’s own five-part series; in Part 2, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s rejoinders on several major issues; in Part 3, further responses by Alexander Battista, representing the point of view of Eastern Catholics; Fr. Samuel Keyes, a priest of the Anglican Ordinariate; Roland Millare, an expert on Joseph Ratzinger; Fr. Peter Miller and Dom Alcuin Reid, liturgically knowledgeable Benedictine monks; and Dr. Joseph Shaw, president of the International Una Voce Foundation. An epilogue by Gregory DiPippo and a select bibliography round out the volume.

Illusions of Reform

SKU: 010978196071107621GBYW1MDEAJBN7N5KC9DH
  • Osjusti Press

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