“… [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
“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.”
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, 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.”
“Ottaviani Intervention” can be read in the following languages, too:
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.
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
A. Card. Bacci
Study of the New Order of Mass:
5 June 1969
A Group of Roman Theologians
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:
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 
--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."
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.
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:
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. 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)
The definition of the Mass is thus reduced to a
"supper," a term, which the General Instruction constantly repeats.
 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."
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. 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. 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.
We now turn to the ends or purposes of the
Mass--what it accomplishes in the supernatural order.
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." 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.
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. 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
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
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).
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.
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.
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. Here are some of 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."
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
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.
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. 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
- Genuflections. No more than three remain for
the priest, and (with certain exceptions) one of the faithful at the moment of
- Purification of the priest's fingers over the
- 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
- 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
- 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." 
All these suppressions only emphasize how
outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.
ROLE OF THE MAIN ALTAR. The altar is nearly always called the table: "...the altar or the Lord's table,
which is the center of the whole eucharistic liturgy..." The altar
must now be detached from the back wall so that the priest can walk around it
and celebrate Mass facing the people. 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. 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.
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, 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.
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:
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
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.
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. The General Instruction emphasizes the narrative mode further when
it describes the Consecration as the "Institution Narrative" and
when it adds that, "in fulfillment of the command received from Christ...the
Church keeps his memorial." 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."
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.
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.
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
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
- Obsessive references to the communal
character of the Mass.
- The unheard of distinction between "Mass
with a Congregation" and "Mass without a Congregation."
- 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."
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. 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.
Role of the Priest in the New Rite. The role of the priest is minimized, changed,
- 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.
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
--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 --"a little more a man
than the rest," to quote from a modern Dominican's unintentionally
humorous definition. 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.
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." 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" --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.
- 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
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.
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. 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. 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.  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. 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." 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
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. 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
- 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.
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" --will logically follow, given, among other
things, the freedom of choice permitted in choosing texts for the Introit and
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.
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. 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.
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:
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.
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, 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. 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. 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.
The Church's unity is not only threatened, but has already been tragically
compromised. 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, 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.
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
*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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.