August 23-26, 2001
volume 12, no. 145

The Ottaviani Interventions

A Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae

Part Five: Chapter Four first section

    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]

    14. Contradicting what Vatican II prescribed. (Cf. SC 48, DOL 48).
    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]

    15. GIRM 54, DOL 1444.
    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]
    16. Ibid
    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]

    17. GIRM 241 fn. 69, DOL 1630
    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]
    18. GIRM 129, DOL 1629.
    All these suppressions only emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.

Note: Bold added by editor for emphasis

Next issue: Chapter Four - second section

For the introduction and Cardinal Ottaviani's letter to Pope Paul VI on September 29, 1969, see Part One Introduction

August 23-26, 2001
volume 12, no. 145
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