This was some time after the introduction of the vernacular Mass: initially that was a fairly straightforward translation of the Traditional Mass, the one we now refer to as the Extraordinary Form. (Indeed, that is the first Mass I can remember from my childhood, with the priest entering and starting the Mass with the words (in English) I will go up to the altar of God' and the servers responding: 'The God who gives joy to my youth.')
So by 1967 the Mass had been celebrated in English (at least sometimes) for a while. This, however, was the first sight of the wholesale revision of the Mass, and the Cardinal's words strike me as prophetic and worthy of reflection. He said:
Like all the bishops I offer my sincere thanks to the Consilium. Its members have worked well and have done their best. I cannot help wondering, however, if the Consilium as at present constituted can meet the needs of our times. For the liturgy is not primarily an academic or cultural question. It is above all a pastoral matter for it concerns the spiritual lives of our faithful. I do not know the names of the members of the Consilium or, even more important, the names of their consultors. But after studying the so called Normative Mass it was clear to me that few of them can have been parish priests. I cannot think that anyone with pastoral experience would have regarded the sung Mass as being of first importance.
At home it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel (a demonstration of the Normative Mass) we would soon he left with a congregation mostly of women and children. Our people love the Mass but it is Low Mass without psalm-singing and other musical embellishments to which they are chiefly attached. I humbly suggest that the Consilium look at its members and advisers to make sure that the number of those who live in seminaries and religious communities does not exceed the numbers of those with pastoral experience among the people in ordinary parishes.
Here are a few points which solely for the sake of time - since only five minutes are allowed for comments - must be put so shortly as to sound brusque.
1. The rule of prayer is the rule of faith. If there is to be more emphasis in the Mass on Bible readings than on Eucharistic prayer the faith of both clergy and people will be weakened.
2. There is more need than ever today to stress the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. No change in the Mass should he made which might seem to throw doubt on this doctrine.
3. Many bishops in this Synod have spoken of the need of coming to the rescue of the faithful grown restless and disturbed on account of too frequent changes in the Mass. I must therefore ask what attitude the Consilium will take to these warnings from the pastors of the Church? I confess in all seriousness that I am uneasy lest the liturgists say: "These bishops know nothing about liturgy." It would be tragic if after the bishops have gone home, no notice were to be taken of their opinions.
4. In my diocese of Westminster - and in several other English dioceses - the rule is that at least one Mass each Sunday must be celebrated in Latin. It would be a great help if the Consilium were to tell the whole Church how the Latin tongue can be preserved. If the Church is to remain truly the Catholic Church it is essential to keep a universal tongue.
(Quoted in Michael Davies: Pope Paul's New Mass).
It seems to me that the four points he raised were indeed prophetic - and prophecies which were ignored. We are still paying the price, and our Holy Father has his work cut out to turn the tide.
Remember him - and the late Cardinal Heenan - in your prayers.