| Chapter Four |
THE "NEW MASS"
See EDITOR'S NOTE for an explanation of this work.
I. The "Communion"
So much having been said, little imagination is required to anticipate what the devisers of the "New religion" want the Communion of their "mass" to be. After the merry-making of the Rite of Peace, everyone should be in a jovial enough mood to share a little "supper" as a sign of their freshly renewed affection and a kind of "memorial" of their chummy get-together. "Communion" in the "New Mass" is nothing more than a restoration of the ancient agape, the love-feast. In the very early days of the Church, it was a meal which followed the celebration of the Mass. St. Paul mentions it only to scold the people for their use of it to desecrate the Mass.
"When you come therefore together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord's supper. For every one taketh beforehand his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry and another is drunk. What, have you not houses to eat and to drink it? Or despise ye the church of God: and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not." Corinthians II: 20-22
What would this "Great Lion of God" say about the goings-on in "Catholic" churches today?
May I call your attention at this point to Pope Paul VI's "decree" Missale Romanum (Appendix II to come in May). Truly it is one of the most curious writings in the annals of the Papacy. And it is appropriate that we take notice of it here. This "decree" should be read carefully, for it is a classic example of "Pauline" circumlocution and eel-like ambiguity. You will notice throughout, for instance, the Pope nowhere clearly and dogmatically delineates the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Sacrifice, and, more particularly, that of the Blessed Eucharist. On the contrary, by a studied effort, he chooses his words so that they are easily susceptible of a Protestant interpretation. Presumably, Protestant minister do read this "decree." If so, they find nothing in the present day official understanding of the Church concerning the "mass" which prohibits their participation in it.
The Pope speaks of the three principal parts of the Mass, the Offertory, the Consecration, and the Communion, only to indicate that the "reform" has required their "simplification."
Also to be eliminated are elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, above all in the rites of offering the bread and wine, and in those of the breaking of the bread and of communion (Appendix II Par. 7).
The Offertory, as we have seen, has been suppressed.
Now, how many Catholics know that the term "the breaking of the bread" (the "Fractio Panis") is a scriptural phrase which the early Christians used to refer to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? (Acts 2:42). But you must realize that no Protestant thinks of the term in that way. The unavoidable question is, why does Pope Paul use this expression to refer to the Consecration, since among Catholics it is by no means a normal way of speaking of it. He pretends that this expression is quite familiar to us, but it is not, anymore than it is natural for us to refer to each other as "brothers and sisters."
Now read the following excerpt from Pope Paul VI's Missale Romanum:
All this (he says) is wisely ordered in such a way that there is develop[ed more and more among the faithful a "hunger for the Word of God" (Amos 8:11), which, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, leads the people of the New Covenant to the perfect unity of the Church. We are fully confident that both priests and faithful will prepare their hearts more devoutly and together at the Lord's Supper, meditating more profoundly on Sacred Scripture, and at the same time they will nourish themselves more day by day with the words of the Lord. It will follow then that according to the wishes of the perpetual source of spiritual life, an instrument of prime value for transmitting Christian doctrine, and finally the center of all theology. (Appendix II, Par. 10).
This is from a comparatively long explanation of how the Sacred Scriptures have been given a great prominence in the "New Mass." I ask you to take careful note:
- First, the imagery which we Catholics normally associate with the reception of the Body of Our Lord is used throughout in connection with our hearing of the reading of the Scriptures.
- Second, Holy Communion is given the Protestant terminology, the "Lord's Supper."
- Third, not the reception of the Blessed Eucharist but the hearing of the word of God "leads the people of the New Covenant to the unity of the Church" (typical Protestant biblical phraseology).
- Fourth, the reception of Holy Communion I intertwined with the listening to the word of God, which occurs during the early part of the "mass."
- Fifth, the reception of the Eucharist is strictly communal-no mention of the personal union of the soul with its Spouse and King. (The community, in case it needs to be said, cannot receive Sacraments, only its members; but further, you should be a member of the Mystical Body of Christ to do so).
- Sixth, the community, having shared the "Lord's Supper," will nourish themselves, not on the Body of Christ, but "with the words of the Lord!"
- Seventh, again, as if to identify the words of Christ with the Word in the Flesh, the Pope says, the Sacred Scriptures, not the Blessed Eucharist will be "a perpetual source of the spiritual life."
- Eighth, nowhere in all this discussion about the Holy Scriptures does the Pope warn that its interpretation is strictly subject to the divine Magisterium of the Church, and understandably enough. No Protestant would hear of such a thing!
There is not a line in all this writing that is heretical, you understand. Yet, with such words as these, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter, whose patronal namesake is the "Apostle of the Gentiles," the spiritual sovereign of the world introduces his Revolutionary Instrument. For this incredible "decree" stands in the same place in the Novus Ordo Missae as Quo Primum does in the Missale Romanum.
- Next: Chapter Four The "New Mass" - Part Eleven "Ecumenism"
- Previous: Chapter Four - The "New Mass" - Part Nine The Rite of Peace