- Pope Paul VI, Allocution to the Students of the Lombard Seminary (December 7, 1968) -- "Today the Church is going through a moment of disquiet. Some practice self-criticism, one would even say auto-demolition. It is like an inner, acute and complex disturbance such as no one could have expected after the Council...."
- Pope Paul VI, Sermon (June 29, 1972) -- "We believed that after the Council would come a day of sunshine in the history of the Church. But instead there has come a day of clouds and storms, and of darkness.... How did this come about? We will confide to you the thought that may be, we ourselves admit in free discussion, that may be unfounded, that is that there has been a power, an adversary power. Let us call him by his name: the devil. It is as if from some mysterious crack, no, it is not mysterious, from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God."
- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Preface to the French edition of Msgr. Klaus Gamber, Reform of the Roman Liturgy (La Réforme liturgique en question,1992) -- "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy.... The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it?), and the faithful continued to fall away from the Church in droves... In the end, we will all have to recognize that the new liturgical forms, well intentioned as they may have been at the beginning, did not provide the people with bread, but with stones."
- Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in Europa, Sec. 9 (June 28, 2003) -- "At the root of this loss of hope is an attempt to promote a vision of man apart from God and apart from Christ.... European culture gives the impression of 'silent apostasy' on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist."
- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Meditation on the Third Fall of Our Lord (Lent, 2005) -- "Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church?... What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!... Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat..."
- Pope Benedict XVI, Light of the World(2010) -- "... the decisive thing is that we enter into something that is much greater. That we can get out of ourselves, as it were, and into the wide open spaces. For the same reason, it is also very important that the liturgy itself not be tinkered with in some way.
"Liturgy, in truth, is an event by means of which we let ourselves be introduced into the expansive faith and prayer of the Church. This is the reason why the early Christians prayed facing east, in the direction of the rising sun, the symbol of the returning Christ. In so doing, they wanted to show that the whole world is on its way toward Christ and that he encompasses the whole world. This connection between heaven and earth is very important. It was no accident that ancient churches were built so that the sun would cast its light into the house of God ad a very precise moment.
"Nowadays we are rediscovering the importance of the interactions between the earth and the rest of the universe, and so it makes perfect sense that we should also relearn to recognize the cosmic character of the liturgy as well as its historical character which means recognizing that someone didn't just one day invent the liturgy, but that it has been growing organically since the time of Abraham. These kinds of elements from the earliest times are still present in the liturgy... My main reason for making the previous form more available was to preserve the internal continuity of Church history. We cannot say: Before everything was wrong, but now everything is right... The issue was internal reconciliation with our own past, the intrinsic continuity of faith and prayer in the Church."
Mass celebrated by Blessed Pope John XXIII
at St. Peter's, circa 1960