Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Protestant Rebellion (Non serviam)


SINCE the year, 1883, when the Protestant world celebrated the fourth centenary of Martin Luther's birth at Eisleben, scholars who have made a special study of the religious revolt of the sixteenth century have accepted as an undeniable historical conclusion the existence of two Luthers—a Luther of fiction and a Luther of fact. As posterity and historical scholarship have done justice to Luther, by drawing a sharp line of demarcation between the ideal reformer of panegyric and romance and the real founder of Protestantism, so also have theologians, after a thorough and searching study of the spirit and principles underlying the Reformation, discovered that Lutheranism, far from being an unmixed blessing, contained the germs of Evangelicalism and Liberalism, and of that Rationalism which underlies all the aberrations of modern Philosophy and runs through all the developments of the Higher Criticism, until finally it has run to seed in Modernism—that strange conlectum omnium heresion, as Pius X well styled it, which in our own day has succeeded in destroying the very vitals of Protestantism, whose philosophical and theological foundations the sapping of intellect had long since undermined, because of its revolt against their inconsistencies and logical contradictions
It is a strange paradox indeed that the religious revolt of the sixteenth century, which set out ostensibly to vindicate the independence of intellect, and to free it from the yoke of all authority, should be declared to be responsible for all the religious indifference of to-day, and even to have contained in germ those philosophical systems which are loudest in their charge of incompetency against the conclusions of reason, and in their denial of any validity to intellectual knowledge, ever since the day that Immanuel Kant became the founder of modern philosophical criticism. And yet this is only what might have been expected from the very beginning. It is the principle of private judgment driven to its logical conclusions. Since all truth has one source, it is not possible to divorce reason from religion; to set up a false religion and then to look to reason to justify such a course, cannot but end disastrously for the new theology, whose conclusions at every turn must be established at the expense of logical consistency. So that the logical course for the reformers, and the one which history shows them to have adopted, since they were too proud to acknowledge their apostasy and go back to the bosom of the true Church, was to set up a perplexing and exasperating antinomy between faith and reason; to say that the former had no foundation in the latter, nay, that the dogmas of the one contradicted the conclusions of the other.
There was one way by which a rapprochement could be effected between erroneous religious principles and intellectual integrity, and Protestant theologians have adopted it, when they deny any intellectual basis whatsoever for their doctrines, and make emotionalism alone the bar before which they are forever summoning the religious instinct to justify itself; knowing that before the bar of right reason, their system stands condemned. There are those who would make modern philosophy responsible for the ruin of faith in intellectual circles among the contradictory sects into which Protestantism is dissolving from day to day. But perhaps a truer conception of Reformation theology would go to show that modern philosophical systems themselves are rather a result than a cause of the errors that make religion to-day outside the Catholic Church anything but an obsequium rationabile. The most prominent characteristic of modern philosophy is a doubting scepticism stamped indelibly upon its beginning by its founder, Réné Descartes. The intellectual movement that culminated in the Reformation theology, and developed into Reformation philosophy, began long before October of 1517. It takes its origin, not from Luther, or the Castle Church of Wittenberg, but from the Humanists who came forth from Constantinople after its fall in 1453.

Of course, the movement received a great impetus from the Reformation, whose proud boast was the overthrow of all authority in matters of religious belief, and the enthronement in its stead of the supremacy of individual thought. The systems of Descartes' successors differed not so much in kind as in degree. Immanuel Kant is probably the greatest thinker of modern philosophy. He is certainly the one of whom it is proudest; and yet his greatest contribution to philosophical thought is nothing but a grand act of despair in the capabilities of the human intellect, amounting in fact to a denial of the objective validity of knowledge. Though setting out, like many another reformer, with the best of intentions, it was the author of the Critique of Pure Reason who put the finishing touches to Cartesian doubt and Cartesian rationalism. Modern thought in its origin and development is thus sceptical and agnostic, and Immanuel Kant is its prophet; for he was the one great thinker that has left the deepest impress upon the writers that followed him. He was, in the words of Sabatier, the master mind that makes leaders of lesser calibre proud to boast of the fact that they have received their philosophic initiation and baptism from his Critique. When we speak then of modern thought, we mean systems of philosophy that are preponderantly rationalistic, and, when there is question of the supernatural, altogether agnostic. This is to say that modern thought is dominated and impregnated, colored and tainted, by the philosophy of Kant. Even the philosophical principles underlying the religious sentimentality of Schleiermacher presuppose the Critique of Practical Reason of the professor of Königsberg.
Our age is one of sceptical unbelief in every department of knowledge. Rules of human conduct are vicious because they are founded on false principles of destructive philosophies. Leo XIII, looking at the dangers that threatened modern society, civil and religious, saw the root of the evil in the pestilence of perverse opinions built on the shifting foundations of weak and shallow philosophy, and declared that all society would be much more tranquil and much safer if healthier teaching were given in universities and schools. “If anyone will look carefully at the bitterness of our times, and if he considers earnestly the cause of what is done in public and in private life, he will discover with certainty the prolific root of the evils which are now overwhelming us and which we greatly fear. He will find that the cause lies in the evil teaching about things human and divine that has come forth from the schools of philosophers. It has crept into all the orders of the state, and it has been received with the common applause of very many.” Were Leo living to-day, how true and how justified he would think his diagnosis of the maladies that are slowly disrupting the social fabric.
It remained for Leo's successor, Pius X, to proscribe in no uncertain terms the attempts that were being made to readjust Christianity to the mentality of the age, and to reinterpret its dogmas in terms of modern thought. As Newman aptly expressed it, “while believing revelation, there is a tendency to fuse and recast it, to tune it, as it were, to a different key, and to reset its harmonies.” The Catholic Church, because it is divine, and the pillar and ground of infallible truth, has come forth triumphant from the open and covert attacks of these insidious and erroneous teachings; but alas, what has become, for those outside its fold, of those doctrines of faith and morality once held sacred even by the reformers themselves! In the absence of any infallible authority in their churches, the influence of modern philosophy has captivated the minds of Protestant theologians, and with them religion has ceased to connote all that it has hitherto stood for in the minds of reasonable men. Not only supernatural religion, but even our natural knowledge of God and the consequences that spring from that knowledge, with regard to His rights and our duties toward Him, has been corrupted and destroyed. We search in vain among the writings of modern philosophers to find a place in their theories of knowledge for the God of Scholasticism.
The name is mentioned, indeed, but the orthodox signification is conspicuous by its absence. “The adherents of these various systems like to be called Monists, and they are wont to apply the name of God to their one reality, into which they profess to resolve all existence; but the true name for them is Atheists, and we must protest against the practice of giving to the Name of God a meaning distinct from that which it has hitherto borne, and even opposite to it, in all that gives to the idea of God its special value as the basis of moral conduct and obligation.”.” For if God does not exist, religion and morality are mere meaningless abstractions. Kant's influence then is clearly discernible in the groundwork of modern thought. It is rationalistic, because Kant was a rationalist. It denies the supernatural and poses as agnostic, because Kant was pleased to put the supernatural outside the pale of intellectual knowledge. Because Kant in his Lutheranistic pietism made religion a matter of personal inward experience independent of external authority, modern thought, impatient of the restraints of any control, appeals to the supreme tribunal of the inner consciousness as the sacred fountain whence emanates the pure stream of religion and morality undefiled. The human heart has thus become the Sinai whence is promulgated the new decalogue of sentimental liberalism.
It is easy to show that modern philosophy is proximately responsible for the decay of religious teaching in matters of faith and morals, for so Popes and Councils have taught us. But is it possible to prove that modern thought is itself an excrescence of Reformation theology, that darkens our understanding and weakens our will, and leaves in us a strong inclination to flippancy and shallowness when treating of the most sacred truths? Is this a result of the original sin of Martin Luther, what time he nailed his ninety-five theses to the doors of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, on that fateful eve of all Saints, 1517, when the novel doctrines of the Saxon monk put him at the head of that religious unrest which his ready comprehension had shown him to be swaying the contemporary world, as expressed in the unsettled currents of thought then prevalent in its intellectual centres?
The theology of present-day Protestantism, as championed by men like Dr. McConnell, calls for a complete divorce of religion from objective fact and grounds of intellect, and a founding of the whole edifice upon an emotional consciousness. It has no express intention of turning atheist any more than Kant had; but, like him, it is satisfied with the undogmatic and emotional piety inspired by Luther. Since even God Himself cannot be reached by intellect, and human nature cannot well get on without Him, we must believe in God for reasons of expediency and sentimentalism. Since modern philosophy knows no science of metaphysics, its psychology will not allow the modern theologian to say that God exists, a proposition that savors too much of the medieval science of being. Its credo in unum Deum is revised and modernized and brought abreast of the age into “Man cannot help wishing a God to be.” If to the subjectivism of Kant be added the humanism of Professor James, we have the foundations upon which is built the whole summa of Protestant theology, deducible with mathematical exactness from its primum verum—“Wanted, a God”. Each man's religion is just what he finds it expedient to believe. Man needs religion and creates it for himself accordingly. If it suits his interests to believe in it, it is so far forth good and true.
But other men may think otherwise, and so are free to believe otherwise also. Since even the expedient for the same individual is subject to change, so proportionately his beliefs and their object may change too. What was good and true yesterday may be bad and false tomorrow. Thus does dogma progress and regress; and truth, becoming identified with expediency of belief and a vague undefinable sentimentality, the will and emotions, not intellect, are made its judges. Emotional standards are especially the deciding factor in matters of supernatural beliefs; and the only test of experience to which it is legitimate to subject them is—How do they serve the account of the individual who in the security of his foggy and mystified pietism scorns to formulate any system of objective apologetics? Each must decide for himself, his religion, its foundations, origin, and genesis, in the introverted quiet of the sanctuary of his own soul, if he has a soul; and every age is supreme in deciding what are its own peculiar religious needs, and this conglomeration of individual tastes, in a given time, is the universal consciousness, to whose bidding the Church must conform its teachings and its practices, its dogmas and its morals, if it is to remain true to this Christian consciousness. That is the Court of final appeal and last resort for enlightened humanity, emancipated from the yoke of every authority, human and divine. Even the bondage of knowing the truth is forsaken for the freedom of doubt and denial and the inalienable liberty of wandering along the primrose paths of error, out of the beaten way that would make the mind conform itself to fixed and immovable standards of objective realities, in tending to the great goal of truth. Things are good and true because they are expedient, not expedient because they are true and good. This is Kantian subjectivism with a vengeance, for even Professor James owes much to the Kritik der praktischen Vernunft.
Scholasticism on the contrary would prove the truth of Christianity and all it stands for, by purely objective criteria. Religion, if you like, is a fact of human consciousness. It is a mere phenomenon of the human mind, if you only mean that men have thought about it, and have been elevated and purified for the thought of it. But if you go on to say that, because men have thought of it, and believed in it, and have lived it, they are its creators and its causes, you are assuming what, in the interest of historical and scientific truth, all sensible men must reject, namely, that our own dreaming and theorizing Egos are the creators of nature and the universe, and—pardon me for the blasphemy—the creators likewise of the God of nature and the divine authors of the supernatural itself.
The preconceived philosophical dogmas of Neo-Kantian philosophy will not allow the modern Protestant theologian intellectually to recognize things as they are in themselves, apart from the forms and impressions and creations of the human mind. His dogmatic bias makes him the measure of religious truth also, instead of making religious truth a God-given standard to which the human mind in its beliefs must conform itself. Even the great pagan Plato, more than two thousand years ago, taught “that God should be to us the measure of all things, much more than any man.” Religious sentiment and emotion, then, gives us divine realities that do not exist in themselves independently of the person who believes in them. The Deity is not external but immanent in man. We cannot raise our minds and hearts to God any more in the old sense. But we can do better, think our modern Aquinases—we can raise God in our hearts and minds! Revelation and dogma are the products of the vague indefinite cravings of human desires, not objective truths that satisfy the intellect and the heart, that conform themselves to them, but things which are summoned into existence or out of it, by the passing longings of human sentiment and emotions. If God has any objectivity or permanence apart from the modern Protestant theologian's notion of Him, He has it because these ravings about religious values lie latent in the tranquil sub-consciousness of the prospective believer. God is capable of being evolved at any moment, provided the aspirations of humanity are allowed to develop to their highest and their best.
How these theologians, some holding high ministerial office, in Protestant communions, can call themselves Theists and even Christians, while holding doctrines so contrary to every notion of orthodox religion, natural or revealed, passes ordinary comprehension. We are astonished to find men holding the rank of Dr. McConnell, asking in the pages of the North American Review, “if there is any way by which the religious man and the intelligent man, or rather the religion and the intelligence in man, can get together.” And he solves his difficulty by allowing one and the same individual mind to maintain its intellectual integrity with regard to the essentials of a religion, such as we have described it, and at the same time consistently to profess faith in the venerable creeds of Christianity! Would it not be a more honest position to admit outright that the impetus of the grand and glorious Reformation of the sixteenth century has fizzled out in philosophical infidelity in the twentieth? And now that the Protestant Churches are doing special honor this year to the founder of Protestantism, is it not strange that reflecting minds among them cannot see that it is Luther who is responsible for all this travesty of unreasoned religion, this eviscerated Christianity of modern times? All this liberal theology of to-day is only a revival of Lutheranism, because it was his Lutheranistic pietism that made Kant seek God through the practical reason, after he had dethroned him from his seat in the intellect proper.
Liberalism, in following Kant, is thus unconsciously imitating the example set by Luther. As long ago as 1852 the keen mind of Newman saw that it was Luther who had sown the seeds of the terrible religious indifference and widespread unbelief which exists in the modern world, and which has gone on increasing to such an alarming extent to our own day, under the baneful influence of egregious systems of idealistic philosophy. The following passage from the pen of the illustrious Cardinal, in the Idea of a University, fully substantiates our thesis. “In proportion as the Lutheran leaven spread, it became fashionable to say that faith was, not an acceptance of revealed doctrine, not an act of the intellect, but a feeling, an emotion, an affection, an appetency; and, as this view of faith obtained, so was the connection of Faith with Truth and Knowledge more and more either forgotten or denied. At length the identity of this (so-called) spirituality of heart and the virtue of Faith was acknowledged on all hands. Some men indeed disapproved the pietism in question, others admired it; but whether they admired or disapproved, both the one party and the other found themselves in agreement on the main point, viz. in considering that this really was in substance Religion, and nothing else; that Religion was based, not on argument, but on taste and sentiment, that nothing was objective, everything subjective in doctrine. . . . They learned to believe and to take it for granted, that Religion was nothing beyond a supply of the wants of human nature, not an external fact and a work of God.
There was, it appeared, a demand for religion, and therefore there was a supply; human nature could not do without religion, any more than it could do without bread; a supply was absolutely necessary, good or bad, and, as in the case of the articles of daily sustenance, an article which was really inferior was better than none at all. Thus religion was useful, venerable, beautiful, the sanction of order, the stay of government, the curb of self-will and self-indulgence, which the laws cannot reach: but, after all, on what was it based ? Why, that was a question delicate to ask, and imprudent to answer; but, if the truth must be spoken, however reluctantly, the long and short of the matter was this, that Religion was based on custom, on prejudice, on law, on education, on habit, on loyalty, on feudalism, on enlightened experience, on many, many things, but not at all on reason; reason was neither its warrant, nor its instrument, and science had as little connection with it as with the fashions of the seasons, or the state of the weather.” Over against this travesty of theology stands the rock-ribbed system of the Catholic Church, which, sinning neither by excess nor defect, holds that “the doctrine of our Saviour is indeed perfect in itself and has need of nothing, for as much as it is the power and the wisdom of God.”
Yet does it not despise the native dignity of the human intellect, but believes “that a rightly and wisely used system of philosophy is able in a certain measure to pave and to guard the road to the true faith, and is able also to prepare the minds of its followers in a fitting way for the receiving of revelation.” It knows full well that Greek philosophy does not make the faith more powerful, but still it knows that great and glorious truths can be gathered from human reason. It teaches that the philosophy of the schools “is an education leading to the Christian faith,” “a prelude and help to Christianity,” “a schoolmaster for the gospel.” Not confining speculation within the limits of the narrow circle of a mere theory of knowing, it does not make its metaphysics conterminous with psychology, even that caricature of a psychology that ignores or denies the existence of an immortal soul. With a true scientific imagination, it will not divorce knowledge from experience; it scorns to abandon for the mere poetic monistic idealism of the Neo-Kantians its well-balanced science of being, built on that sane and moderate dualism borrowed of Aristotle, which, while it exalts mind infinitely above matter, still has room for a real distinction between intellect and the world which it cognizes, and, being rationally theistic, between God and His creation. The higher unity of pantheism never charmed the true Scholastic. He made indeed the being of the contingent world analogous to the being of God, but infinitely below it.
The scholastic mind was ever bent on the bed-rock of being, not wasting its energies on mere forms of thought; but, accepting facts, it made a pronounced objectivity the most characteristic feature of its whole system of philosophy. It accepted as an axiomatic truth the invincible belief that man sees a world, which is no part of his own mind, nor yet a necessary shadow cast by the Creator outside His own infinity. This primary dictum of the philosophy of the Schools kept metaphysics and psychology distinct, a distinction altogether ignored by modern idealism, which confounds consciousness with all reality, making it the object, not the instrument, of its cognition; and thus it ends in a vulgar pantheism. Thus Scholasticism is able to establish triumphantly against all the specious arguments of sophistry the praeambula fidei—the immortality of the human soul, the existence of God. It shows that God excels in His own peculiar excellence, by the sum of all perfections, by an infinite wisdom from which nothing is hidden, and by a supreme justice, which no shadow of evil can touch. It proves that God is not only true, but the truth itself, incapable of deceiving or being deceived; and thus does human reason obtain for the word of God the fullest belief and authority.
Thus does this twin alliance of faith and reason, effected in the councils of Scholasticism, reject a separate peace with the foes of truth. Theology was partly divine and partly human. It is divine inasmuch as it came from heaven in revealed truths or principles which human reason developed as it proceeded f1om premise to conclusion, establishing beforehand, by its own unaided powers, the trustworthiness of the sources of knowledge whence came those truths that lay outside its own special sphere of inquiry, namely: those dogmas that belong exclusively to the higher science of theology, those mysteries of our holy faith which the human mind can neither demonstrate nor comprehend.
Distinct though the two sciences of philosophy and theology are in their formal objects, still are their conclusions ever in complete harmony, because since both spring from the same fountain of knowledge, it is essentially impossible for the God of nature and the supernatural ever to contradict Himself. Faith never contradicts reason, because it does not at all follow that because a mystery is incomprehensible to human reason, it must therefore be labeled a contradiction. Revelation enlarges the horizon of knowledge, and, accepting the limitations of human thought to lie within the bounds of the natural order of things, faith strengthens and supplements and becomes a complement of reason. Beyond the confines where human knowledge terminates, modern agnostic philosophy places the region of nescience, where no human thing can dwell; while the Scholastic, with the light of faith upon his soul and the word of God for a lamp to his feet, enters a new world, a land of promise made known by a higher knowledge revealed by God, to which assent is reasonably given, since the authority of its source has already been demonstrated—the authority of the infallible Godhead. Knowledge, for the Scholastic, is co-extensive with reality. As reality is the twofold realm of science and faith, the latter continuous with the former, assent to its dogmas is still radically reasonable; for belief must rest ultimately on the authority of God, and it is the unaided light of human reason which primarily must tell us that God cannot deceive or be deceived.
If our faith then is not to degenerate into a blind superstition, reason must furnish unaided the motives of credibility and establish beyond prudent doubt the preambles of supernatural faith. Scholasticism, unlike later systems of philosophy, then, does not seek refuge in any insoluble enigmas, any irreconcilable antinomies between faith and reason, but recognizes that revelation is eminently reasonable, and that reason is in a manner divine. This is the greatest triumph of the philosophy of the Schools, this constructive synthesis that clearly defines the provinces of philosophy and theology, while it shows perfect harmony between faith and science, between the human reason and the divine. Catholicity is the true champion of the claims of intellect, for even God Himself or His Church does not ask us to accept the truths of faith blindly, but, as a preliminary thereto, He wishes us to make full use of our reason. All He demands of us is that we trust those to whom He has given the requisite credentials.
Scholastic theology at all times has consequently insisted on the necessity of objective apologetics, and Catholics are the most rational of believers, because they will not rest their beliefs on merely subjective feelings, but only on the rock of objective and infallible criteria. Even the most profound mysteries of the faith, though anything but objectively evident, are not accepted until they have become evidently credible, by the application of standards of assent which are themselves objectively evident in their certainty, which is the ultimate criterion of certitude.
Liberal Protestantism on the contrary rejects reason for the sake of the religious sense. Their faith is only a blind groping after the unknowable that cannot be scientifically justified by reason, according to their own premises. For Catholics, as Pascal truly remarked, “faith is the highest act of reason,” and the Vatican Council itself teaches us that right reason demonstrates the foundations of faith. “If any person says that divine revelation cannot become credible by external signs, and that by internal experience alone or by private inspiration men are moved to faith, let him be anathema.” Relative immanence has its place in Catholic theology, we admit, and some modern Catholic apologists lay great stress on internal feelings and desires; but it is questionable whether this method is practical in scientific apologetics. Hence, Catholic theologians are extremely cautious about the emphasis placed on these methods as against the traditional and recognized proofs. As motives of belief, they must not receive undue prominence, especially if this is done at the expense of keeping external motives in the background. Without borrowing from Protestant apologetics, subjective states of mind cannot receive too much value in a scientific analysis of the motives of credibility. These should be at all times severely tested in the light of objective facts. It was fear of the light that cannot injure the truth, which made Luther take refuge in subjectivism.
Kant's subjective idealism, when applied to religion, we have seen develop into pantheism in the hands of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel; while Schleiermacher did not hesitate to make a mere subjective sentiment the very essence of religion, and the great and penetrating, but unscholastically trained, mind of Newman himself, while still a Protestant, thought it sound criticism to teach that popular feeling and moral instinct was sufficient ground for the reformers of the sixteenth century, in giving their assent to the belief that the Bible was truly the word of God. Psychological voluntarism and credulity may lead into any extravagance in religious states, apart from the restraint of constitutional checks and balances administered under the dry light and before the cold scientific cross-examination of the bar of intellect.
It must not be inferred from our thesis, however, that the assent of supernatural faith is no stronger than the natural motives of credibility warrant. For an act of supernatural faith there is need of divine grace to enlighten the understanding and strengthen the will. We are not dealing explicitly, however, with the act of faith in itself, so much as with the reasons that make the faith that is in us a reasonable service. Our quarrel is with liberal Protestantism, which after it broke with authority went on to ridicule the supernatural, and, calling itself rational, rejected the reasonable credentials demanded of orthodox Christianity; the while appealing to reason, and still inconsistently presuming to pass judgment on revelation and the supernatural and declaring unknowable everything that transcends the limits of reason, and gratuitously confining the limits of reason itself to knowledge of the phenomena of sensible things only.
The Catholic on the contrary examines the documents of his faith, and tests the value of the motives of his belief. Accepting the primary conceptions of the understanding, which are known immediately by the light of reason, such as first principles, he is certain he can acquire the knowledge of God. His reason, too, can establish God's holiness and veracity, and consequently the grounds for the reasonableness of faith in divine revelation, which is ultimately based on the infallible authority of God. This mode of procedure is eminently reasonable, and thus Catholicism is the real apotheosis of intellect; and Protestantism, while boastfully asserting the contrary, stands convicted in principle and in theory of being avowedly hostile to the independent rights of reason, preferring in the name of a false liberty, which is in reality license, the degrading freedom of being in error to the glorious bondage of knowing the truth.
~J. C. HARRINGTON., St. Paul, Minnesota.
Taken from The American Ecclesiastical Review, Volume 57; 1917.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


(128 West 37th Street, NYC)

The Church of the Holy Innocents will start its Forty Hours Devotion THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT.
First Day: The opening Mass will be this coming Friday, October 27, 2017 at 6PM, and it will be a Votive Mass of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
At the end of the opening Mass, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed, there will be a solemn Eucharistic procession inside the church, and the Pange lingua, the Litany of the Saints, and some other special psalms, versicles, and prayers will be chanted. 
Second Day: Then, on Saturday, October 28 at 1PM, we will have the traditional Votive Mass Pro Pace.
Third Day: The closing Mass will be on Sunday, October 29 at 10:30AM, which will also be the 1st class Feast of Christ the King. This closing Mass will be celebrated coram Sanctissimo (in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed throughout the entire Mass).
At the end of the closing Mass, the Litany of the Saints and other special psalms and prayers will be chanted and we will have another Procession of the Blessed Sacrament inside the church. This Procession will end with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Praises, and the recitation of the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
While in the Roman Catholic Church there are many Feasts and devotions throughout the year, the Forty Hours Devotion is always awaited and received with extreme joy. “Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,” according to Fr. Faber, “is the queen of all devotions. It is the central devotion of the Church. All others gather round it and group themselves there as satellites; for others celebrate His Mysteries; this is Himself.
The Forty Hours Devotion is surrounded with three special dimensions:
1) The protection from evil and temptation;
2) Reparation for our own sins and for the poor souls in purgatory; and
3) Deliverance from political, material and spiritual calamities. 
All these petitions (for ourselves, for our neighbors, and for the entire Church) are expressed in detail in the beautiful Litanies of the Saints that are chanted as part of the opening and the closing Masses for the Forty Hours.
The very active and vibrant Church of the Holy Innocents (NYC) is still the only parish in the entire Archdiocese of NY that has the Forty Hours Devotion in its traditional form. The Forty Hours Devotion was permanently established by Pope Clement VIII “in order that day and night the faithful might appease their Lord by prayer before the Blessed Sacrament solemnly exposed, imploring there His divine mercy.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why I Love the Traditional Mass!

Below is a nice article about why people love the Traditional Mass. And, of course, we cannot forget the famous reason given by Fr. Adrian Fortescue in his book The Mass:
"So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Cæsar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours."
That seems like a good enough reason for us!
P. Villanueva, ‘Mass in St. John Lateran in Rome’, early 20th century
P. Villanueva, ‘Mass in St. John Lateran in Rome’, early 20th century
Blogs  |  Oct. 16, 2017

Why I Love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass

“The People of God need to see priests and deacons behave in a way that is full of reverence and dignity, in order to help them to penetrate invisible things without unnecessary words or explanations.” —Pope St. John Paul II
“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.” —Pope Benedict XVI (regarding the Extraordinary Form of the Mass)
I confess. I am passionately orthodox and traditionally minded, and I'm tired of hiding it. I'm crawling out of my hideous little liturgical cave – just watch me. Just mention the words, “the universal tongue,” and I'm off sailing into the supernal skies, hunting for the closest Latin Mass, even if I have to call a helicopter ambulance so I can get there before the Gospel reading so I can receive Holy Communion most reverentially at the Communion rail. Just whip a golden-frilled chapel veil my way, and I'll swoon miserably. Show me a holy card of an eternal priest of Jesus Christ raising the sacred chalice to the heavens, facing ad orientem, and I'll need natural blood pressure supplement ASAP. Seriously!
The Latin Mass knocks my soul's socks off. Why? Well, now I know. For a decade, I've treasured the Latin Mass, but more recently, I've come to actual moral convictions about its redeeming place in the Church. It is re-surging with a wondrous energy and vivacity. In the 80s, there were fewer than ten locations in the United States where one could find a Latin Mass offered by a priest in good standing with Rome each Sunday. Now in 2017, there are reportedly more than 400 such places. In a recent article I wrote for the Dakota Catholic Action, I included a personal testimony of my journey:
Having just joined the Church, I was still learning basic Catholic teachings, getting the hang of praying the Rosary and starting to change my life for the better. I definitely wasn't overly familiar with Ecclesiastical Latin, and if you mentioned that a priest wore a “cassock” to me, I'd probably wonder why you were talking to me about his footwear. On a practical level, as I sat through the Latin Mass, I didn't understand what was going on. I was just a broken, searching  young person looking for a little peace and guidance in life, and yet, I instinctively knew a few things for certain. I knew that when I was at the Latin Mass, I was on “sacred ground”; I was in touch with the lifeblood of God's very heart. As I watched the priest offer the Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientem (“to the east”), I knew that Christ was radiantly alive in the world today, just waiting to take the sorrows and sins of us poor pilgrims upon Himself. I also knew that this divine liturgy brought solace to my soul in a unique, overpowering way – such as I had never felt before. As I attended the Latin Mass over and over, I began to sense that it was like a clandestine jewel of Christ the King, tucked away in the bosom of the Church; it had the capacity to bring a glimpse of Heaven to even the most pitiful of souls. And I began to see that in some beautiful way, God deems us, His creatures, worthy to walk on this “sacred ground”; to attend this Mass so akin to the praise of the celestial angels.
And, the truth is, I am surely not alone. Centuries of devout Catholic souls have cherished what we now call the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and, time and time again, found themselves fortified by its limpidity and inspired by its authenticity. At the height of a solemn High Mass, if you just keep your heart open, you will find yourself worshiping Almighty God with such purity – you will see that He is a God so omniscient and omnipotent that He is worthy of the same worship that centuries of Saints have offered to Him. As described on the website, latinmassmontana.org:
For this is the Mass that St. Gregory the Great inherited, developed, and solidified... This is the Mass that St. Louis IX, the crusader king of France, attended three times a day. This is the Mass that priests said secretly in England and Ireland during the dark days of persecution, and this is the Mass that Blessed Miguel Pro risked his life to celebrate before being captured and martyred by the Mexican government. This is the Mass that Blessed John Henry Newman said he would celebrate every waking moment of his life if he could. This is the Mass that Fr. Damien of Molokai celebrated with leprous hands in the church he had built and painted himself.
Like many devout Catholics, I've savored the Latin Mass from the moment I first encountered it, but now I have come to a point where I don't just savor it, I believe in it. I believe it is like the fantastical wellspring of water that sprang out of the rock that Moses struck to feed God's chosen people in the wilderness. I believe it is one of the ways that God is lending to rescue the Church at sea from battering winds of the culture of death. It makes a prodigious impression on the meek of the earth and it raises the brokenhearted to a place of healing. And I do believe it makes us free – free creatures that can worship God on high without an earthly care. It does not tie us down to the sensory demands that overly affective and cheaply emotional worship forms of worship tend to do. It pierces the soul with its ethereal radiance, and a genuine encounter with it will never be forgotten.
As Wyoming Catholic College professor Dr. Peter Kwasniewski writes in his book, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis:
This is the challenge that the traditional Roman liturgy makes to us again and again, in its prayers, its ceremonies, its calendar, and its ethos. It is not accommodated to our worldly compromises... It proclaims unequivocally the primacy of things heavenly and spiritual. It is the luminous expression of an ageless tradition of worship, as carried out by men and women who made this worship their primary work in life. As such, it does the opposite of pandering to us moderns; it confronts us with our need for radical conversion. The old Missal is the unwavering,   undying repository of the radical message of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God. Are we ready to hear this Gospel and take up the Cross?
Despite its seemingly radical edge, Pope Benedict's motu proprio is ardently supported by some of the Church's foremost liturgical experts.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is known to endorse both the Novus Ordo and the traditional Latin Mass. Last October, he notably, and with remarkable encouragement, addressed pilgrims who had traveled to Rome to celebrate Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Further, regarding the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, he once said, “Vatican II never asked us to reject the past and abandon the Mass of St. Pius V, which spawned many saints, nor discard Latin. But at the same time we must promote the liturgical reform sought by the Council itself.”  
In 2001, Pope St. John Paul II, in an address to the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said:
The People of God need to see priests and deacons behave in a way that is full of reverence and dignity, in order to help them to penetrate invisible things without unnecessary words or explanations. In the Roman Missal of Saint Pius V, as in several Eastern liturgies, there are very beautiful prayers through which the priest expresses the most profound sense of humility and reverence before the Sacred Mysteries: they reveal the very substance of the Liturgy."
So, this being said, who's on board?

Friday, October 13, 2017

100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and of the Miracle of the Sun

“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings He wants to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and for the conversion of sinners?”
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
“Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, for He is already too much offended!”
A physician, Dr. Almeida Garrett, testified [The Miracle of the Sun]:

Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations focused, and look at the sun on the other side I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gazes, and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled, nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes, or damaging the retina.
The testimony of Avelino de Almeida, editor-in-chief of O Seculo, Lisbon’s anticlerical and Masonic daily newspaper, is similar:

And then we witnessed a unique spectacle, an incredible spectacle, unbelievable if you did not witness it. From above the road we see the immense crowd turn towards the sun, which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It looked like a plate of dull silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. One might say that an eclipse had occurred.
Others also testified:

"It shook and trembled; it seemed like a wheel of fire." (Maria da Capelinha)

"The sun turned like a fire wheel, taking on all the colors of the rainbow." (Maria do Carmo)

"The sun took on all the colors of the rainbow. Everything assumed those same colors: our faces, our clothes, the earth itself." (Maria do Carmo).
The most terrifying aspect of the Miracle of the Sun then took place:

We suddenly heard a clamor, like a cry of anguish of that entire crowd. The sun, in fact, keeping its rapid movement of rotation, seemed to free itself from the firmament and, blood-red, to plunge towards the earth, threatening to crush us with its fiery mass. Those were some terrifying seconds." (Dr. Almeida Garrett)

"The sun began to dance and, at a certain moment, it appeared to detach itself from the firmament and to rush forward on us, like a fire wheel." (Alfredo da Silva Santos)

"Finally, the sun stopped and everybody breathed a sigh of relief " (Maria da Capelinha)

"From those thousands of mouths I heard shouts of joy and love to the Most Holy Virgin. And then I believed. I had the certainty of not having been the victim of a suggestion. I had seen the sun as I would never see it again." (Mario Godinho, an engineer).
Yet another astonishing aspect of the Miracle was that all of the thousands of people, most of whom were soaked to the bone and dirty from the mud, suddenly found that their clothes were dry and clean.

"The moment one would least expect it, our clothes were totally dry." (Maria do Carmo)

"My suit dried in an instant." (John Carreira)
The academician Marques da Cruz testified:

This enormous multitude was drenched, for it had rained unceasingly since dawn. But though this may appear incredible after the great miracle everyone felt comfortable, and found his garments quite dry, a subject of general wonder the truth of this fact has been guaranteed with the greatest sincerity by dozens and dozens of persons of absolute trustworthiness, whom I have known intimately from childhood, and who are still alive (1937), as well as by persons from various districts of the country who were present.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017



This coming Friday, October 13, after the 6PM Mass, the Church of the Holy Innocents will have devotions to Our Lady of Fatima (as it has had every 13th of the month) to commemorate the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. October 13th will also be the commemoration 6th apparition and of the 100th anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun.”
On that day, the Pastor of the parish, Fr. James Miara, will consecrate the parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the devotions to Our Lady of Fatima.
Additionally, those who have been preparing themselves for 33-days to make their Total Consecration to Our Lady will have the chance to do so.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The *Original* "Fraternal Correction" : Brief Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae (25 September 1969) Headed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci

“… [T]he Novus Ordo Missae--considering the new elements widely susceptible to widely different interpretations which are implied or taken for granted--represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent.”

“Among the best of the clergy, the result [of the Novus Ordo reforms] is an agonizing crisis of conscience, numberless instances of which come to us daily.”

“At a time, therefore, when the purity of the faith and the unity of the Church suffer cruel lacerations and still greater peril, daily and sorrowfully echoed in the words of You, our common Father, we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the integral and fruitful Missal of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness, and so deeply venerated by the whole Catholic world.”
“They [the Catholic faithful] never, absolutely never, asked that the liturgy be changed or mutilated to make it easier to understand. What the faithful did want was a better understanding of a unique and unchangeable liturgy--a liturgy they had no desire to see changed.”
“All these suppressions [of prayers and ceremonies in the Mass] only emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.”
“Once again, [due to separation of altar and tabernacle] private piety is set up against liturgical piety, and altar is set up against altar.”
“Everywhere desacralizing omissions debase the mystery of the Church. Above all, the Church's nature as a sacred hierarchy is disregarded. … Also suppressed, in the third prayer of the old Canon, is the memory of the holy Pontiffs and Martyrs on whom the Church in Rome was founded; without a doubt, these were the saints who handed down the apostolic tradition finally completed under Pope St. Gregory as the Roman Mass.”
It is obvious that the New Order of Mass has no intention of presenting the Faith taught by the Council of Trent. But it is to this Faith that the Catholic conscience is bound forever. Thus, with the promulgation of the New Order of Mass, the true Catholic is faced with a tragic need to choose.”
“To abandon a liturgical tradition, which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship,[60] and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division--a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error.”
The “Ottaviani Intervention” can be read in the following languages, too:

Cardinal Ottaviani was head of the Holy Office during the reign of Pope Pius XII. He, Cardinal Bacci, and a group of Roman theologians opposed many of the changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council, especially in the case of the later changes to Catholic liturgy. This opposition was not effective - Catholic liturgical practice changed throughout the world.

25 September 1969

Most Holy Father:

Having carefully examined and presented for the scrutiny of others the New Order of Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) prepared by the experts of the Committee for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel obliged before God and Your Holiness to set forth the following considerations:
1. The accompanying Critical Study is the work of a select group of bishops, theologians, liturgists, and pastors of souls. Despite its brevity, the study shows quite clearly that the Novus Ordo Missae--considering the new elements widely susceptible to widely different interpretations which are implied or taken for granted--represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery.
2. The pastoral reasons put forth to justify such a grave break, even if such reasons could still hold good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place--if it subsists at all--could well turn into a certainty the suspicion, already prevalent, alas in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. The recent reforms have amply demonstrated that new changes in the liturgy could not be made without leading to complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who already show signs of restiveness and an indubitable lessening of their faith. Among the best of the clergy, the result is an agonizing crisis of conscience, numberless instances of which come to us daily.
3. We are certain that these considerations, prompted by what we hear from the living voice of shepherds and the flock, cannot but find an echo in the heart of Your Holiness, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. The subjects for whose benefit a law is made have always had the right, nay the duty, to ask the legislator to abrogate the law, should it prove to be harmful.
At a time, therefore, when the purity of the faith and the unity of the Church suffer cruel lacerations and still greater peril, daily and sorrowfully echoed in the words of You, our common Father, we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the integral and fruitful Missal of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness, and so deeply venerated by the whole Catholic world.
A. Card. Ottaviani
A. Card. Bacci

The Critical Study of the New Order of Mass:
5 June 1969
A Group of Roman Theologians
Chapter 1:
In October 1967, the Synod of Bishops which met in Rome was asked to pass judgment on an experimental celebration of what was then called a "standard" or "normative" Mass. This Mass, composed by the Committee for Implementing the Constitutions on the Sacred Liturgy (Consilium), aroused very serious misgivings among the bishops present. With 187 members voting, the results revealed considerable opposition (43 Negative), many substantial reservations (62 Affirmative with reservations) and four abstentions. The international press spoke of the Synod's "rejection" of the proposed Mass, while the progressive wing of the religious press passed over the event in silence. A well-known periodical, aimed at bishops and expressing their teaching, summed up the new rite in these terms:
"They wanted to make a clean slate of the whole theology of the Mass. It ended up in substance quite close to the Protestant theology which destroyed the sacrifice of the Mass."
Unfortunately, we now find that the same "standard Mass, "identical in substance, has reappeared as the New Order of Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) recently promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (3 April 1969). In the two years that have passed since the Synod, moreover, it appears that the national bishops' conferences (at least as such) have not been consulted on the matter. The Apostolic Constitution states that the old Missal which St. Pius V promulgated on 19 July 1570--its greater part, in fact, goes back to St. Gregory the Great and even remoter antiquity [1] --was the standard for four centuries whenever priests of the Latin Rite celebrated the Holy Sacrifice. The Constitution adds that this Missal, taken to every corner of the earth, "has been an abundant source of spiritual nourishment to so many people in their devotion to God." Yet this same Constitution, which would definitively end the use of the old Missal, claims that the present reform is necessary because "a deep interest in fostering the liturgy has become widespread and strong among the Christian people." It seems that the last claim contains a serious equivocation. If the Christian people expressed anything at all, it was the desire (thanks to the great St. Pius X) to discover the true and immortal treasures of the liturgy. They never, absolutely never, asked that the liturgy be changed or mutilated to make it easier to understand. What the faithful did want was a better understanding of a unique and unchangeable liturgy--a liturgy they had no desire to see changed.
Catholics everywhere, priests and laymen alike, loved and venerated the Roman Missal of St. Pius V. It is impossible to understand how using this Missal, along with proper religious instruction, could prevent the faithful from participating in the liturgy more fully or understanding it more profoundly. It is likewise impossible to understand why the old Missal, when its many outstanding merits are recognized, should now be deemed unworthy to continue to nourish the liturgical piety of the faithful. Since the "standard Mass" now reintroduced and reimposed as the New Order of Mass was already rejected in substance at the Synod, since it was never submitted to the collegial judgment of the national bishop's conferences, and since the faithful (least of all in mission lands) never asked for any reform of the Mass whatsoever, it is impossible to understand the reasons for the new legislation-- legislation which overthrows a tradition unchanged in the Church since the 4th and 5th centuries.
Since there are no reasons, therefore, for undertaking this reform, it appears devoid of any rational grounds to justify it and make it acceptable to the Catholic people. The Second Vatican Council did indeed ask that the Order of Mass "be revised in a way that will bring out more clearly the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them."[2] We shall now see to what extent the recently promulgated Ordo responds to the Council's wishes--wishes now no more than a faint memory. A point-by-point examination of the Novus Ordo reveals changes so great that they confirm the judgment already made on the "standard Mass"--for on many points it has much to gladden the heart of even the most modernist Protestant.

Chapter 2:
Let us begin with the definition of the Mass. In Article 7 of the General Instruction which precedes the New Order of Mass, we discover the following definition:
The Lord's Supper or Mass is the sacred assembly or congregation of the people of God gathering together, with a priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.[3] For this reason Christ's promise applies supremely to a local gathering together of the Church: "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst." (Mt. 18:20)[4]
The definition of the Mass is thus reduced to a "supper," a term, which the General Instruction constantly repeats. [5] The Instruction further characterizes this "supper" as an assembly, presided over by a priest and held as a memorial of the Lord to recall what He did on Holy Thursday. None of this in the very least implies: - The Real Presence - The reality of the Sacrifice - The sacramental function of the priest who consecrates - The intrinsic value of the Eucharistic Sacrifice independent of - the presence of the "assembly."[6]
In a word, the Instruction's definition implies none of the dogmatic values, which are essential to the Mass and which, taken together, provide its true definition. Here, deliberately omitting these dogmatic values by "going beyond them" amounts, at least in practice, to denying them.[7] The second part of Article 7 makes this already serious equivocation even worse. It states that Christ's promise, ("Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst") applies to this assembly supremely. Thus, the Instruction puts Christ's promise (which refers only to His spiritual presence through grace) on the same qualitative level (save for greater intensity) as the substantial and physical reality of the sacramental Eucharistic sacrifice. The next Article of the Instruction divides the Mass into a "Liturgy of the Word" and a "Liturgy of the Eucharist," and adds that the "table of God's Word" and the "table of Christ's Body" are prepared at Mass so that the faithful may receive "instruction and food." As we will see later, this statement improperly joins the two parts of the Mass, as though they possessed equal symbolic value.
The Instruction uses many different names for the Mass, such as: - Action of Christ and the People of God. - Lord's Supper or Mass - Paschal Banquet - Common participation in the Table of the Lord - Eucharistic Prayer - Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharistic. All these expressions are acceptable when used relatively--but when used separately and absolutely, as they are here, they must be completely rejected. It is obvious that the Novus Ordo obsessively emphasizes "supper" and "memorial," instead of the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross. Even the phrase in the Instruction describing the Mass as a "memorial of the Passion and Resurrection" is inexact. The Mass is the memorial of the unique Sacrifice, redemptive in itself; whereas the Resurrection is the fruit, which follows from that sacrifice.[8] We shall see later how such equivocations are repeated and reiterated both in the formula for the Consecration and throughout the Novus Ordo as a whole.

Chapter 3:
We now turn to the ends or purposes of the Mass--what it accomplishes in the supernatural order.
1. ULTIMATE PURPOSE. The ultimate purpose of the Mass is the sacrifice of praise rendered to the Most Holy Trinity. This end conforms to the primary purpose of the Incarnation, explicitly enunciated by Christ Himself: "Coming into the world he saith: sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not, but a body thou hast fitted me."[9] In the Novus Ordo, this purpose has disappeared:

- From the Offertory, where the prayer "Receive, Holy Trinity, this oblation" has been removed.
- From the conclusion of Mass, where the prayer honoring the Trinity, "May the Tribute of my Homage, Most Holy Trinity" has been eliminated.
- From the Preface, since the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity, formerly used on all ordinary Sundays, will henceforth be used only on the Feast of the most Holy Trinity.
2. ORDINARY PURPOSE. The ordinary purpose of the Mass is propitiatory sacrifice--making satisfaction to God for sin. This end, too, has been compromised. Instead of emphasizing remission for sins for the living and the dead, the new rite stresses the nourishment and sanctification of those present.[10] At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the Blessed Sacrament and thus placed Himself in It as Victim, in order to unite Himself to us as Victim. But this act of sacrificial immolation occurs before the Blessed Sacrament is consumed and possesses beforehand full redemptive value in relation to the bloody Sacrifice on Calvary. The proof for this is that people who assist are not bound to receive Communion sacramentally.[11]
3. IMMANENT PURPOSE. The immanent purpose of the Mass is fundamentally that of sacrifice. It is essential that the Sacrifice, whatever its nature, be pleasing to God and accepted by Him. Because of original sin, however, no sacrifice other than the Christ's Sacrifice can claim to be acceptable and pleasing to God in its own right. The Novus Ordo alters the nature of the sacrificial offering by turning it into a type of exchange of gifts between God and man. Man brings the bread, and God turns it into "the bread of life"; man brings the wine, and God turns it into "spiritual drink":
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have this bread (or wine) to offer, fruit of the earth (vine) and work of human hands, It will become for us the bread of life (spiritual drink).[12]
The expressions "bread of life" and "spiritual drink," of course, are utterly vague and could mean anything. Once again, we come up against the same basic equivocation: According to the new definition of the Mass, Christ is only spiritually present among His own; here, bread and wine are only spiritually---and not substantially---changed.[13] In the Preparation of the Gifts, a similar equivocal game was played. The old Offertory contained two magnificent prayers, the "Deus qui humanae" and the "Offerimus tibi":
- The first prayer, recited at the preparation of the chalice, begins: "O God, by whom the dignity of human nature was wondrously established and yet more wondrously restored." It recalled man's innocence before the Fall of Adam and his ransom by the blood of Christ, and it summed up the whole economy of the Sacrifice from Adam to the present day.
- The second prayer, which accompanies the offering of the chalice, embodies the idea of propitiation for sin: it implores God for His mercy as it asks that the offering may ascend with a sweet fragrance in the presence of Thy divine majesty. Like the first prayer, it admirably stresses the economy of the Sacrifice.
In the Novus Ordo, both these prayers have been eliminated. In the Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, the repeated petitions to God that He accept the Sacrifice have also been suppressed; thus, there is no longer any clear distinction between divine and human sacrifice. Having removed the keystone, the reformers had to put up scaffolding. Having suppressed the real purposes of the Mass, they had to substitute fictitious purposes of their own. This forced them to introduce actions stressing the union between priest and faithful, or among the faithful themselves--and led to the ridiculous attempt to superimpose offerings for the poor and for the Church on the offering of the host to be immolated. The fundamental uniqueness of the Victim to be sacrificed will thus be completely obliterated. Participation in the immolation of Christ the Victim will turn into a philanthropists' meeting or a charity banquet.

Chapter 4:
We now consider the essence of the Sacrifice. The New Order of Mass no longer explicitly expresses the mystery of the Cross. It is obscured, veiled, imperceptible to the faithful.[14] Here are some of the main reasons:
1. THE MEANING OF THE TERM "EUCHARISTIC PRAYER." The meaning the Novus Ordo assigns to the so-called "Eucharistic Prayer" is as follows: "The entire congregation joins itself to Christ in acknowledging the great things God has done and in offering the sacrifice."[15]
Which sacrifice does this refer to? Who offers the sacrifice? No answer is given to these questions. The definition the Instruction provides for the "Eucharistic Prayer" reduces it to the following: "The center and summit of the entire celebration begins: the Eucharistic Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification."[16]
The effects of the prayer thus replace the causes. And of the causes, moreover, not a single word is said. The explicit mention of the purpose of the sacrificial offering, made in the old rite with the prayer "Receive, Most Holy Trinity, This Oblation," has been suppressed--and replaced with nothing. The change in the formula reveals the change in doctrine.
2. OBLITERATION OF THE ROLE OF THE REAL PRESENCE. The reason why the Sacrifice is no longer explicitly mentioned is simple: the central role of the Real Presence has been suppressed. It has been removed from the place it so resplendently occupied in the old liturgy. In the General Instruction, the Real Presence is mentioned just once--and that in a footnote which is the only reference to the Council of Trent. Here again, the context is that of nourishment.[17] The real and permanent presence of Christ in the transubstantiated Species--Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity--is never alluded to. The very word transubstantiation is completely ignored.
The invocation of the Holy Ghost in the Offertory--the prayer "Come, Thou Sanctifier"--has likewise been suppressed, with its petition that He descend upon the offering to accomplish the miracle of the Divine Presence again, just as he once descended into the Virgin's womb. This suppression is one more in a series of denials and degradations of the Real Presence, both tacit and systematic. Finally, it is impossible to ignore how ritual gestures and usages expressing faith in the Real Presence have been abolished or changed.
The Novus Ordo eliminates:
- Genuflections. No more than three remain for the priest, and (with certain exceptions) one of the faithful at the moment of the Consecration
- Purification of the priest's fingers over the chalice
- Preserving the priest's fingers from all profane contact after the Consecration
- Purification of sacred vessels, which need not be done immediately nor made on the corporal
- Protecting the contents of the chalice with the pall
- Gilding for the interior of sacred vessels
- Solemn consecration for movable altars
- Consecrated stones and relics of the saints in the movable altar or on the "table" when Mass is celebrated outside a sacred place. (The latter leads straight to "Eucharistic dinners" in private houses.)
- Three cloths on the altar--reduced to one
- Thanksgiving for the Eucharist made kneeling, now replaced by the grotesque practice of the priest and people sitting to make their thanksgiving--a logical enough accompaniment to receiving Communion standing.
- All the ancient prescriptions observed in the case of a host which fell, which are now reduced to a single, nearly sarcastic direction: "It is to be picked up reverently." [18]
All these suppressions only emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.
3. THE ROLE OF THE MAIN ALTAR. The altar is nearly always called the table:[19] "...the altar or the Lord's table, which is the center of the whole eucharistic liturgy..."[20] The altar must now be detached from the back wall so that the priest can walk around it and celebrate Mass facing the people.[21] The Instruction states that the altar should be at the center of the assembled faithful, so that their attention is spontaneously drawn to it. Comparing this Article with another, however, seems to exclude outright the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar where Mass is celebrated.[22] This will signal an irreparable dichotomy between the presence of Christ the High Priest in the priest celebrating the Mass and Christ's sacramental Presence. Before, they were one and the same Presence.[23]
The Instruction recommends that the Blessed Sacrament now be kept in a place apart for private devotion--as though It were some sort of relic. Thus, on entering a church, one's attention will be drawn not to a tabernacle, but to a table stripped bare. Once again, private piety is set up against liturgical piety, and altar is set up against altar. The Instruction urges that hosts distributed for Communion be ones consecrated at the same Mass. It also recommends consecrating a large wafer,[24] so that the priest can share a part of it with the faithful. It is always the same disparaging attitude towards both the tabernacle and every form of Eucharistic piety outside of Mass. This constitutes a new and violent blow to faith that the Real Presence continues as long as the consecrated Species remain.[25]
4. THE FORMULAS FOR THE CONSECRATION. The old formula for the Consecration was a "sacramental" formula, properly speaking, and not merely a "narrative". This was shown above by three things:
A. The Text Employed. The Scripture text was not used word-for-word as the formula for the Consecration in the old Missal. St. Paul's expression, the "Mystery of Faith," was inserted into the text as an immediate expression of the priest's faith in the mystery, which the Church makes real through the hierarchical priesthood.
B. Typography and Punctuation. In the old Missal, a period and a new paragraph separated the words "Take ye all of this and eat" from the words of the sacramental form, "This is My Body." The period and the new paragraph marked the passage from a merely "narrative" mode to a "sacramental" and "affirmative" mode, which is proper to a true sacramental action. The words of Consecration in the Roman Missal, moreover, were printed in larger type in the center of the page. Often a different color ink was used. All these things clearly detached the words from a merely historical context, and combined to give the formula of Consecration a proper and autonomous value.
C. The Anamnesis. The Roman Missal added the words "As often as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in memory of Me" after the formula of Consecration. This formula referred not merely to remembering Christ or a past event, but to Christ acting in the here and now. It was an invitation to recall not merely His Person or the Last Supper, but "to do" what He did "in the way" that He did it.
In the Novus Ordo, the words of St. Paul, "Do this in memory of Me," will now replace the old formula and be daily proclaimed in the vernacular everywhere. This will inevitably cause hearers to concentrate on the remembrance of Christ as the end of the Eucharistic action, rather than as its beginning. The idea of commemoration will thus soon replace the idea of the Mass as a sacramental action.[26] The General Instruction emphasizes the narrative mode further when it describes the Consecration as the "Institution Narrative"[27] and when it adds that, "in fulfillment of the command received from Christ...the Church keeps his memorial."[28] All this, in short, changes the modus significandi of the words of Consecration--how they show forth the sacramental action taking place.
The priest now pronounces the formulas for Consecration as part of an historical narrative, rather than as Christ's representative issuing the affirmative judgment "This is My Body."[29] Furthermore, the people's Memorial Acclamation which immediately follows the Consecration--"Your holy death, we proclaim, O Lord...until you come"--introduces the same ambiguity about the Real Presence under the guise of an allusion to the Last Judgment. Without so much as a pause, the people proclaim their expectation of Christ at the end of time, just at the moment when He is *substantially present* on the altar--as if Christ's real coming will occur only at the end of time, rather than there on the altar itself.
The second optional Memorial Acclamation brings this out even more strongly: "When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory." The juxtaposition of entirely different realities--immolation and eating, the Real Presence and Christ's Second Coming--brings ambiguity to a new height.[30]

Chapter 5:
We now consider the question of who performs the Sacrifice. In the old rite, these were, in order: Christ, the priest, the Church and the faithful.
1. The Role of the Faithful in the New Rite. In the New Mass, the role attributed to the faithful is autonomous, absolute--and hence completely false. This is obvious not only from the new definition of the Mass ("...the sacred assembly or congregation of the people gathering together..."), but also from the General Instruction's observation that the priest's opening Greeting is meant to convey to the assembled community the presence of the Lord: Then through his greeting the priest declares to the assembled community that the Lord is present. This greeting and response express the mystery of the gathered Church.[31]
Is this the true presence of Christ? Yes, but only a spiritual presence. A mystery of the Church? Certainly--but only insofar as the assembly manifests and asks for Christ's presence.
This new notion is stressed over and over again by:
- Obsessive references to the communal character of the Mass.[32]
- The unheard of distinction between "Mass with a Congregation" and "Mass without a Congregation."[33]
- The description of the Prayer of the Faithful as a part of the Mass where "the people exercising their priestly office, intercede for all humanity."[34]
The faithful's priestly office is presented equivocally, as if it were autonomous, by omitting to mention that it is subordinated to the priest, who, as consecrated mediator, presents the people's petitions to God during the Canon of the Mass. The Novus Ordo's Eucharistic Prayer III addresses the following prayers to the Lord: From age to age you gather a people to yourself, *so that* from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name. The "so that" in the passage makes it appear that the people, rather than the priest, are the indispensable element in the celebration. Since it is never made clear, even here, who offers the sacrifice, the people themselves appear as possessing autonomous priestly powers.[35] From this step, it would not be surprising if, before long, the people were permitted to join with the priest in pronouncing the words of Consecration. Indeed, in some places this has already happened.
2. The Role of the Priest in the New Rite. The role of the priest is minimized, changed, and falsified:
- In relation to the people, he is now a mere president or brother, rather than the consecrated minister who celebrates Mass "in the person of Christ."
- In relation to the Church, the priest is now merely one member among others, someone taken from the people. In its treatment of the invocation to the Holy Ghost in the Eucharistic Prayer (the epiclesis), the General Instruction attributes the petitions anonymously to the Church.[36] The priest's part has vanished.
- In the new Penitential Rite, which begins the mass, the Confiteor has now become collective; hence the priest is no longer judge, witness and intercessor before God. It is logical therefore, that he no longer recites the prayer of absolution, which followed it and has now been suppressed. The priest is now "integrated" with his brothers; even the altar boy who serves a "Mass without a Congregation" calls the priest "brother."
- Formerly, the priest's Communion was ritually distinct from the people's Communion. The Novus Ordo suppresses this important distinction. This was the moment when Christ the Eternal High Priest and the priest who acts in the person of Christ came together in closest union and completed the Sacrifice.
- Not a word is said, moreover, about the priest's power as "sacrificer," his consecratory action or how as intermediary he brings about the Eucharistic presence. He now appears to be nothing more than a Protestant minister.
- By abolishing or rendering optional many of the priestly vestments--in some cases only an Alb and stole are now required[37] --the new rite obliterates the priest's conformity to Christ even more. The priest is no longer clothed with Christ's virtues. He is now a mere "graduate" with one or two tokens that barely separate him from the crowd[38] --"a little more a man than the rest," to quote from a modern Dominican's unintentionally humorous definition.[39] Here, as when they set up altar against altar, the reformers separated that which was united: the one Priesthood of Christ from the Word of God.
3. The Role of the Church in the New Rite. Finally, there is the Church's position in relation to Christ. In only one instance--in its treatment of the form of the Mass without a Congregation--does the General Instruction admit that the Mass is "the action of Christ and the Church."[40] In the case of Mass with a Congregation, however, the only object the Instruction hints at is "remembering Christ" and sanctifying those present. "The priest celebrant," it says, "...joins the people to himself in offering the sacrifice through Christ in the Spirit to the Father"[41] --instead of saying that the people join themselves to Christ who offers Himself through the Holy Ghost to the Father.
In this context, the following points should likewise be noted:
- The many grave omissions of the phrase "through Christ Our Lord," a formula which guarantees that God will hear the Church's prayers in every age.[42]
- An all-pervading "paschalism" --an obsessive emphasis on Easter and the Resurrection--almost as if there were no other aspects of the communication of grace, which, while quite different, are nevertheless equally important.
- The strange and dubious "eschatologism" --a stress upon Christ's Second Coming and the end of time--whereby the permanent and eternal reality of the communication of grace is reduced to something within the bonds of time.
- We hear of a people of God on the march, a pilgrim Church--a Church no longer *Militant* against the powers of darkness, but one which, having lost its link with eternity, marches to a future envisioned in purely temporal terms.
In Eucharistic Prayer IV, the Church--as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic--is abased by eliminating the Roman Canon's petition for all orthodox believers who keep the Catholic and Apostolic faith. These are now merely "all who seek you with a sincere heart." The Memento of the Dead in the Canon, moreover, is offered not as before for those who are gone before us with the sign of faith, but merely for those who have died in the peace of Christ. To this group--with further detriment to the notion of the Church's unity and visibility--Eucharistic Prayer IV adds the great crowd of "all the dead whose faith is known to You alone."
None of the three new Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, alludes to a suffering state for those who have died; none allows the priest to make special Mementos for the dead. All this necessarily undermines faith in the propitiatory and redemptive nature of the sacrifice.[43] Everywhere desacralizing omissions debase the mystery of the Church. Above all, the Church's nature as a sacred hierarchy is disregarded. The second part of the new collective Confiteor reduces the Angels and the Saints to anonymity in the first part, in the person of St. Michael the Archangel, they have disappeared as witnesses and judges.[44] In the Preface for Eucharistic Prayer II--and this is unprecedented--the various angelic hierarchies have disappeared.
Also suppressed, in the third prayer of the old Canon, is the memory of the holy Pontiffs and Martyrs on whom the Church in Rome was founded; without a doubt, these were the saints who handed down the apostolic tradition finally completed under Pope St. Gregory as the Roman Mass. The prayer after the Our Father, the "Libera Nos," now suppresses the mention of the Blessed Virgin, the holy apostles and all the Saints; their intercession is thus no longer sought, even in times of danger. Everywhere except in the Roman Canon, the Novus Ordo eliminates not only the names of the Apostles Peter and Paul, founders of the Church in Rome, but also the names of the other Apostles, the foundation and mark of the one and universal Church. This intolerable omission, extending even to the three new Eucharistic Prayers, compromises the unity of the Church.
The New Order of Mass further attacks the dogma of the Communion of Saints by suppressing the blessing and the salutation "The Lord Be with You" when the priest says Mass without a server. It also eliminates the "Ite Missa Est," even in Masses celebrated with a server.[45] The double Confiteor at the beginning of the Mass showed how the priest, vested as Christ's minister and bowing profoundly, acknowledged himself unworthy of both his sublime mission and the "tremendous mystery" he was to enact. Then, in the prayer "Take away Our Sins," he acknowledged his unworthiness to enter the Holy of Holies, recommending himself with the prayer "We Beseech Thee, O Lord" to the merits and intercession of the martyrs whose relics were enclosed in the altar. Both prayers have been suppressed. What was said previously about elimination of the two-fold Confiteor and Communion rite is equally relevant here. The outward setting of the Sacrifice, a sign of its sacred character, has been profaned. See, for example, the new provisions for celebrating Mass outside a church: a simple table, containing neither a consecrated altar-stone nor relics and covered with a single cloth, is allowed to suffice for an altar. [46] Here too, all we have said previously in regard to the Real Presence applies--disassociation of the "banquet" and the Sacrifice of the supper from the Real Presence itself.
The process of desacralization is made complete, thanks to the new and grotesque procedure for the Offertory Procession, the reference to ordinary (rather than unleavened) bread, and allowing servers (and even lay people, when receiving Communion under both Species) to handle sacred vessels.[47] Then there is the distracting atmosphere created in the church: the ceaseless comings and goings of priest, deacon, subdeacon, cantor, commentator--the priest himself becomes a commentator, constantly encouraged to "explain" what he is about to do-- of lectors (men and women), of servers or laymen welcoming people at the door and escorting them to their places, while others carry and sort offerings. And in an era of frenzy for a "return to Scripture," we now find, in contradiction of both the Old Testament and St. Paul, the presence of a "suitable woman" who for the first time in the Church's history is authorized to proclaim the Scripture readings and "perform other ministries outside the sanctuary."[48] Finally, there is the mania for concelebration, which will ultimately destroy the priest's Eucharistic piety by overshadowing the central figure of Christ, sole priest and Victim, and by dissolving Him into the collective presence of concelebrants.[49]

Chapter 6:
We have limited ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our observations touch upon deviations that are typical. To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers, and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics, or instructions, would be a vast undertaking. We have taken no more than a passing glance at the three new Eucharistic Prayers, since they have already come in for repeated and authoritative criticism. The second gave immediate scandal to the faithful due to its brevity.[50] Of Eucharistic Prayer II it has well been said that a priest who no longer believed in either Transubstantiation or the sacrificial character of the Mass could recite it with perfect tranquility of conscience, and that a Protestant minister, moreover, could use it in his own celebrations just as well.
The new Missal was introduced in Rome as an "abundant resource for pastoral work," as "a text more pastoral than juridical," which national bishops' conferences could adapt, according to circumstances, to the "spirit" of different peoples. Section One of the new Congregation for Divine Worship, moreover, will now be responsible "for the publication and *constant revision* of liturgical books." This idea was echoed recently in the official newsletter of the Liturgical Institutes of Germany, Switzerland and Austria:
- The Latin texts must now be translated into the languages of different nations.
- The "Roman style" must be adapted to the individuality of each local Church.
- That which was conceived in a timeless state must now be transposed into the changing context of concrete situations, and into the constant flux of the universal Church and its myriad congregations.[51]
The Apostolic Constitution itself, in promulgating the Novus Ordo Missae, deals a deathblow to the Church's universal language when--contrary to the express wish of the Second Vatican Council--it unequivocally states that "in great diversity of languages, one [?] and the same prayer will ascend, more fragrant than incense." The demise of Latin may therefore be taken for granted, Gregorian chant--which Vatican II recognized as a distinctive characteristic of the Roman liturgy, decreeing that it "be given pride of place in liturgical services"[52] --will logically follow, given, among other things, the freedom of choice permitted in choosing texts for the Introit and the Gradual.
From the outset, therefore, the new rite was pluralistic and experimental, bound to time and place. Since unity of worship has been shattered once and for all, what basis will exist for the unity of the faith which accompanied it and which, we were told, was always to be defended without compromise? It is obvious that the New Order of Mass has no intention of presenting the Faith taught by the Council of Trent. But it is to this Faith that the Catholic conscience is bound forever. Thus, with the promulgation of the New Order of Mass, the true Catholic is faced with a tragic need to choose.

Chapter 7:
The Apostolic Constitution explicitly mentions the riches of piety and doctrine the Novus Ordo supposedly borrows from the Eastern Churches. But the result is so removed from, and indeed opposed to, the spirit of the Eastern liturgies that it can only leave the faithful in those rites revolted and horrified. What do these ecumenical borrowings amount to? Basically, to introducing multiple texts for the Eucharistic Prayer (the anaphora)--none of which approaches their Eastern counterparts' complexity or beauty--and to permitting Communion Under Both Species and the use of deacons. Against this, the New Order of Mass appears to have been deliberately shorn of every element where the Roman liturgy came closest to the Eastern Rites.[53] At the same time, by abandoning its unmistakable and immemorial Roman character, the Novus Ordo cast off what was spiritually precious of its own. In place of this are elements that bring the new rite closer to certain Protestant liturgies, not even those closest to Catholicism. At the same time, these new elements degrade the Roman liturgy and further alienate it from the East, as did the reforms that preceded the Novus Ordo. In compensation, the new liturgy will delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and discipline.

Chapter 8:
St. Pius V had the Roman Missal drawn up (as the present Apostolic Constitution now recalls) as an instrument of unity among Catholics. In conformity with the injunctions of the Council of Trent, the Missal was to exclude all dangers, either to liturgical worship or to the faith itself, then threatened by the Protestant Revolt. The grave situation fully justified--and even rendered prophetic--the saintly Pontiff's solemn warning given in 1570 at the end of the Bull promulgating his Missal:

Should anyone presume to tamper with this, let him know that he shall incur the wrath of God Almighty and His holy Apostles Peter and Paul.[54]
When the Novus Ordo was presented at the Vatican Press Office, it was impudently asserted that conditions that prompted the decrees of the Council of Trent no longer exist. Not only do these decrees still apply today, but conditions now are infinitely worse. It was precisely to repel those snares, which in every age threaten the pure Deposit of Faith,[55] that the Church, under divine inspiration, set up dogmatic definitions and doctrinal pronouncements as her defenses. These in turn immediately influenced her worship, which became the most complete monument to her faith. Trying to return this worship to the practices of Christian antiquity and recreating artificially the original spontaneity of ancient times is to engage in that "unhealthy archaeologism" Pius XII so roundly condemned.[56] It is, moreover, to dismantle all the theological ramparts erected for the protection of the rite and to take away all the beauty that enriched it for centuries.[57] And all this at one of the most critical moments--if not the most critical moment--in the Church's history!
Today, division and schism are officially acknowledged to exist not only outside the Church, but within her as well.[58] The Church's unity is not only threatened, but has already been tragically compromised.[59] Errors against the Faith are not merely insinuated, but are--as has been likewise acknowledged--now forcibly imposed through liturgical abuses and aberrations. To abandon a liturgical tradition, which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship,[60] and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division--a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith--is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error.
Corpus Domini 5 June 1969

*DB: Denziger-Bannwart. "Enchrindion Symbolorum." 32nd edition. Barcelona, Frieburg and Rome: Herder, 1957.
*DOL: "Documents on the Liturgy, 1963-1979: Conciliar, Papal, and Curial Texts." Translated, compiled, and arranged by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1982
*GI: General Instruction on the Roman Missal. "Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani." 1st edition, 6 April 1969. In Paul VI, "Missale Romanum...Pauli VI Promulgatum: Ordo Missae," 12-76. 2nd edition. March 1970. Translated in DOL 1391-1731, with variants between 1975 "editio typica altera" and 1st edition provided in footnotes.
*PTL: "Papal Teachings: The Liturgy," selected and arranged by the Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, translated by the Daughters of St. Paul. Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1962.
*SC: Vatican Council II. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy "Sacrosanctum Consilium," 4 December 1963. Translated in DOL 1-131.

1. "The prayers of Our Canon are found in the treatise "De Sacramentis" (4th, 5th centuries)...Our Mass goes back without essential changes to the epoch in which it developed for the first time from the most ancient common liturgy. It still preserves the fragrance of that primitive liturgy, in times when Caesar governed the world and hoped to extinguish the Christian faith' times when our forefathers would gather together before dawn to sing a hymn to Christ as their God...There is not in all Christendom a rite so venerable as that of the Roman Missal." (Rev. Adrian Fortescue). "The Roman Canon, such as it is today, goes back to St. Gregory the Great. Neither in East nor West is there any Eucharistic prayer remaining in use today that can boast such antiquity. For the Roman Church to throw it overboard would be tantamount, in the eyes not only of the Orthodox, but also of the Anglicans and even Protestants having still to some extent a sense of tradition, to a denial of all claim any more to be the true Catholic Church." (Rev. Louis Bouyer)
2. SC 50, DOL 50.
3. A footnote in the Instruction refers us to two texts of Vatican II. But nothing in the texts justifies the new definition, as it is evident from the following: "Through the ministry of the bishop, God consecrates priests...In exercising sacred functions they therefore act as the ministers of him who in the liturgy continually fulfill his priestly office on our behalf....By the celebration of Mass people sacramentally offer the sacrifice of Christ." Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests "Presbyterum Ordinis," 7 December 1965, Section 5, DOL 260. "For in the liturgy God is speaking to his people and Christ is still proclaiming his Gospel. And the people are responding to God both by song and prayer. Moreover, the prayers addressed to God "by the priest," who presides over the assembly "in the person of Christ," are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present." SC 33, DOL 33. One is at a loss to explain how the Instruction's definition could have been drawn from these texts. We note too how the new definition of the Mass alters what Vatican II laid down in Presbyterum Ordinis Section 5: "The Eucharistic assembly is the center of the congregation of the faithful." Since the center in the New Order of the Mass has been fraudulently spirited away, the congregation has now usurped its place.
4. GI 7, DOL 1937 fn.
5. GI 8, DOL 1398; GI 48, DOL 1438 fn. GI 55.d, DOL 1445 fin; GI 56, DOL 1446.
6. The Council of Trent reaffirms the Real Presence in the following words: "To begin with, the holy council teaches and openly and straightforwardly professes that in the blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really and substantially contained under the perceptible species of bread and wine." DB 874. Session 22 which interests us directly in nine canons (DB 937a-956): 1) The Mass is not a mere symbolic representation, but rather a true, visible sacrifice, instituted "to re-present the bloody sacrifice which [Christ] accomplished on the cross once and for all. It was to perpetuate his memory until the end of the world. Its salutary strength was to be applied for the remission of the sins that we daily commit." DB 938. 2) "Declaring himself constituted a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, [Our Lord] offered his body and blood under the species of bread and wine to God the Father and he gave his body and blood under the same species to the apostles to receive, making them priests of the New Testament at that time...He ordered the apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer this sacrifice when he said, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught." DB 938. The celebrant, offerer and sacrificer is the ordained priest, and not the people of God or the assembly: "If anyone says that by the words, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' Christ did not make the apostles priests, or that he did not decree that they and other priests should offer his body and blood: let him be anathema." Canon 2, DB 949. The Sacrifice of the Mass is a true propitiatory sacrifice, and not a simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the cross: "If anyone says that the Sacrifice of the Mass is merely an offering of praise and of thanksgiving, or that it is a simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the cross, and not propitiatory, or that it benefits only those who communicate; and that it should not be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfaction, and other necessities: let him be anathema." Canon 3, DB 950. Canon 6 should likewise be kept in mind: "If anyone says that there are errors in the Canon of the Mass and that it should therefore be done away with: let him be anathema." DB 953. Likewise Canon 8: "If anyone says that Masses in which the priest alone communicates sacramentally are illicit and should be done away with: let him be anathema." DB 955.
7. It is perhaps superfluous to recall that, if a single defined dogma were denied, all dogma would fall ipso facto, insofar as the principle of the infallibility of the supreme hierarchical magisterium, whether conciliar or papal, would thereby be destroyed.
8. In light of the first prayer after the Consecration in the Roman Canon (Unde et memores), the Ascension could also be added. The Unde et memores, however, does not lump different realities together. It makes a clear and fine distinction: "calling to mind...the blessed passion, and also His rising from the dead and His glorious Ascension into Heaven."
9. Ps. 50:7-9, in Heb. 10:5.
10. GI 54, DOL 1444.
11. This shift of emphasis occurs in the three new Eucharistic Prayers, which eliminate the Memento of the Dead and any mention of souls suffering in Purgatory, to whom the propitiatory Sacrifice is applied.
12. See "Mysterium Fidei," in which Paul VI condemns the errors of symbolism together with the new theories of "transignification: and "transfinalization": "...it is not allowable...to stress the sign value of the sacrament as if the symbolism, which to be sure all acknowledge in the Eucharist, expresses fully and exhaustively the meaning of Christ's presence; or to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning the marvelous changing of the whole substance of the bread into the body and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood of Christ, as stated by the Council of Trent, so that only what is called 'transignification' or 'transfinalization' is involved." Encyclical "Mysterium Fidei" on the doctrine and worship of the Eucharist, 3 September 1965, Section 11, DOL 1155.
13. "Mysterium Fidei" amply denounces and condemns introducing new formulas or expressions which, though occurring in texts of the Fathers, the Councils, and the Church's magisterium, are used in a univocal sense that is not subordinated to the substance of doctrine with which they form an inseparable whole (e.g., "spiritual nourishment," "spiritual food," "spiritual drink," etc.): "Not only the integrity of the faith, but also its proper mode of expression must be safeguarded, lest, God forbid, by the careless use of words we introduce false notions about the most sublime realities." He quotes St. Augustine: " 'We, however, have the obligation to speak according to a definite norm, lest the carelessness of our words give rise to impious ideas about the very realities signified by these words.' " He continues: "We must religiously respect the rule of terminology; after centuries of effort and under the protection of the Holy Spirit the Church has established it and confirmed it by the authority of councils; that norm often became the watchword and the banner of orthodox belief. Let no one arbitrarily or under the pretext of new science presume to change it...In like manner we must not put up with anyone's personal wish to modify the formulas in which the Council of Trent set forth the mystery of the Eucharist for belief." Sections 23, 24; DOL 1167-8.
14. Contradicting what Vatican II prescribed. (Cf. SC 48, DOL 48).
15. GI 54, DOL 1444.
16. GI 54, DOL 1444.
17. GI 241 fn. 69, DOL 1630.
18. GI 129, DOL 1629.
19. The Instruction recognizes the altar's primary function only once: "At the altar, the sacrifice of the cross is made present under sacramental signs." GI 259, DOL 1649. This single reference seems insufficient to remove the equivocation resulting from the other, more frequently used term.
20. GI 49, DOL 1489. Cf. GI 262, DOL 1652.
21. GI 262, DOL 1652.
22. GI 262, DOL 1652, and GI 276, DOL 1666. 23.
23. "To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united." Pius XII, "Allocution to the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy." 22 September 1956, PTL 817. See also Pius XII, Encyclical "Mediator Dei," 20 November 1947, PTL 550, quoted below.
24. Rarely does the Novus Ordo use the word hostia. In liturgical books this traditional term has a precise meaning: "victim." Again we encounter a systematic attempt to emphasize only "supper" and "food."
25. Following their customary practice of substituting one thing for another, the reformers made Christ's presence in the proclaimed word equal to the Real Presence. (See GI 7, 54; DOL 1397, 1444). But Christ's presence when Scripture is proclaimed is of a different nature and has no reality except when it is taking place (in usu). Christ's Real Presence in the consecrated Host, on the other hand, is objective, permanent and independent of the reception of the Sacrament. The formulae "God is speaking to his people," and "Christ is present to the faithful through his own word" (GI 33, DOL 1423) are typically Protestant. Strictly speaking, they have no meaning, since God's presence in the word is mediated, bound to an individual's spiritual act or condition, and only temporary. This formula leads to a tragic error: the conclusion, expressed or implied, that the Real Presence continues only as long as the Sacrament is in the process of being used--received at Communion time, for instance--and that the Real Presence ends when the use ends.
26. As the General Instruction describes it, the sacramental action originated at the moment Our Lord gave the Apostles His Body and Blood "to eat" under the appearances of bread and wine. The sacramental action thus no longer consists in the consecratory action and the mystical separation of the Body from the Blood--the very essence of Eucharistic Sacrifice. See "Mediator Dei," esp. Part II, Chapter I, PTL 551, ff.
27. GI 55.d, DOL 1445 fn..
28. GI 55.d, DOL 1445.
29. As they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo, the words of Consecration could be valid in virtue of the priest's intention. But since their validity no longer comes from the force of the sacramental words themselves (ex vi verborum)--or more precisely, from the meaning (modus significandi) the old rite of the Mass gave to the formula--the words of Consecration in the New Order of Mass could also not be valid. Will priests in the near future, who receive no traditional formation and who rely on the Novus Ordo for the intention of "doing what the Church does," validly consecrate at Mass? One may be allowed to doubt it.
30. Let it not be said, following the methods of Protestant biblical scholarship, that these phrases being in the same Scriptural context. The Church always avoided superimposing and juxtaposing the texts, precisely in order to avoid confusing the different realities they express.
31. GI 28, DOL 1418
32. GI 74-152, DOL 1464-1542.
33. GI 209-231, DOL 1599-1621.
34. GI 45, DOL 1435.
35. Against the Lutherans and Calvinists who teach that all Christians are priests and offerers of the Lord's Supper, see A. Tanquerey, "Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae," (Paris, Tournai, Rome: Desclee, 1930), v. III: "Each and every priest is, strictly speaking, a secondary minister of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Christ Himself is the principal minister. The faithful offer *through the intermediary of the priest, but not in a strict sense*." Cf. Council of Trent, Session 22, Canon 2, DB 949.
36. GI 55, DOL 1445.
37. GI 298, DOL 1688 fn.
38. We note in passing an unthinkable innovation which will have disastrous psychological effects; employing *red* vestments on Good Friday instead of black (GI 308.b, DOL 1698)--as if Good Friday were the commemoration of just another martyr, instead of the day on which the whole Church mourns for her Founder. (Cf. Mediator Dei, PTL 550, quoted below.)
39. Rev. A. M. Rouget, OP, speaking to the Dominican Sisters of Bethany at Plessit-Chenet.
40. GI 4, DOL 1394. Cf. "Presbyterum Ordinis," Section 13, DOL 265.
41. GI 60, DOL 1450 fn.
42. See Jn. 14:13-16, 23-24.
43. In some translations of the Roman Canon, the phrase a place of refreshment, light and peace was rendered as a simple state: "blessedness, light, peace." What can be said then of the disappearance of every explicit reference to the Church Suffering?
44. Amidst this flurry of omissions, only one element has been added: the mention in the Confiteor of "what I have failed to do."
45. At the press conference introducing the Novus Ordo, Rev. Joseph Lecuyer, CSSp, professing a purely rationalist faith, discussed changing the priest's salutations in Mass without a Congregation from plural to singular ("Pray, brother," for example, replaces "Pray, brethren.") His reason was "so that there would be nothing [in the Mass] which does not correspond with the truth."
46. GI Section 260, 265; DOL 1650, 1655.
47. GI 244.C, DOL 1634.
48. GI 70, DOL 1460, fn.
49. It now seems lawful for priest to receive Communion under both species at a concelebration, even when they are obliged to celebrate Mass alone before or after concelebrating.
50. It has been presented as "The Canon of Hippolytus," but only a few traces of that original text remain in the new rite.
51. Gottesdienst no. 9 (14 May 1969).
52. SC 116, DOL 116.
53. Consider the following elements found in the Byzantine rite: lengthy and repeated penitential prayers; solemn vesting rites for the celebrant and deacon; the preparation of the offerings at the "proscomidia," a complete rite in itself; repeated invocations, even in the prayers of offering, to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints; invocations of the choirs of Angels at the Gospel as "invisible concelebrants," while the choir identifies itself with the angelic choirs in the "Cherubicon;" the sanctuary screen (iconostasis) separating the sanctuary from the rest of the church and the clergy from the people; the hidden Consecration, symbolizing the divine mystery to which the entire liturgy alludes; the position of the priest who celebrates facing God, and never facing the people; Communion given always and only by the celebrant; the continual marks of adoration toward the Sacred Species; the essentially contemplative attitude of the people. The fact that these liturgies, even in their less solemn forms, last for over an hour and are constantly defined as "awe-inspiring, unutterable...heavenly, life-giving mysteries" speaks for itself. Finally, we note how in both the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of St. Basil, the concept of "supper" or "banquet" appears clearly subordinate to the concept of sacrifice --just as it was in the Roman Mass.
54. Bull "Quo Primum," 13 July 1570. In Session 23 (Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist), the Council of Trent announced its intention to "uproot completely the cockle of the damnable errors and schism which in these fateful times of ours and enemy has sown (see Matt. 13:25) in the teaching of the faith about the Holy Eucharist and about the use and worship of the Eucharist. In addition to his other purpose, our Saviour left the Eucharist in his Church as a symbol of unity and love which he desired to unify and unite all Christians." DB 873.
55. "Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words." (1 Tim. 6:20)
56. "Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the Sacred Liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the right path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the Divine Redeemer's Body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings...This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Synod of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "depositum fidei" committed to her charge by her Divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn." "Mediator Dei," I.5, PTL 548, 549.
57. "Let us not deceive ourselves with the suggestion that the Church, which has become great and majestic for the glory of God as a magnificent temple of His, must be brought to its original and smallest proportions, as though they were the only true ones, the only good ones." Paul VI, Encyclical "Ecclesiam Suam," 6 August 1964.
58. "A practically schismatic ferment divides, subdivides, splits the Church." Paul VI, Homily "In Coena Domini," 3 April 1969.
59. "There are also among us those "schisms" and "separations" which St. Paul sadly denounces in I Corinthians." Paul VI, ibid.
60. It is well-known how Vatican II is now being repudiated by the very men who once gloried in being its leaders. While the Pope declared at the Council's end that it had changed nothing, these men came away determined to "explode" the Council's teachings in the process of actually applying it. Unfortunately the Holy See, with inexplicable haste, approved and even seemingly encouraged through Consilium an ever-increasing infidelity to the Council.. This infidelity went from changes in mere form (Latin, Gregorian Chant, suppression of the ancient rites, etc.) all the way to changes in substance which the Novus Ordo sanctions. To the disastrous consequences we have attempted to point out here, we must add those which, with an even greater effect psychologically, will affect the Church's discipline and teaching authority by undermining the respect and docility owed the Holy See.