Did six Protestant ministers at the 2nd Vatican Council really help design the Novus Ordo Mass?

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(Vatican II’s “Fantastic Six” didn’t really wear numbers)

Returning to the “myth” that Protestant observers did not contribute in creating the New Mass, to hold this position is to deny the obvious – not only in fact, but also in substance. In the first place, an ecumenical liturgy that would no longer offend Protestants was Fr. Annibale Bugnini’s intention from the get-go as he declared in 1965:

We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants… [my emphasis]

While we learn from the close confidant of Pope Paul VI, Jean Guitton:

The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic Liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy. There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or, at least to correct, or, at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass” [my emphasis][4].

To accomplish this ecumenical goal, the Consilium
enlisted the help of these Protestant observers:

  1. A. Raymond George (Methodist)
  2. Ronald Jaspar (Anglican)
  3. Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian)
  4. Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran)
  5. Eugene Brand (Lutheran)[5]
  6. Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).

Their contribution in creating the New Mass was immortalized in a picture taken of them during an audience with Pope Paul VI after thanking them for their assistance. The image was subsequently published in L’Osservatore Romano on April 23, 1970 with the title: “Commission Holds Final Meeting, Pope Commends Work of Consilium”.

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