Chapter Three Part Five|
THE GREAT SACRILEGE
D. The Act continued
Ignoring the law of Quo Primum, Pope Paul VI handed the Mass over to committees of "liturgists," "scholars," "translators," and Revolutionaries, that they might re-think, re-write, re-issue, and re-explain it? The net result is that now the "New Mass" has no definite form or meaning.
Let me ask you another question: Is not my contention the least damning of all? Were it not better for this "New Mass" not to be a Mass, that tit might be less offensive to God? After all, which is better to say: the Pope permits these profanations of a false 'mass' or of a true one? Which is the greater sin? In my judgment this Facsimile is nothing but a sacrilege. But because it pretends to be the Mass, I could not go into a church and perform the abominations which the Pope, the bishops, and many priests call it "modern" to condone. Could you? And if you could not, how is it different with them; are they not also mere men? For all his divinely-bestowed sovereignty, the Pope is still not God, you know.
Yes, I know it will be argued that the sacrileges are the exceptions and that they are not the "New Mass" itself. No, here is where you have failed to understand this clever Impiety. You have failed to notice that what you regard as sacrilegious is in no sense of the words really shocking or disturbing either to those who devised it, or for those who now enjoy it as the rite of their own liberation. If you understand the "New Mass" and the perverse thinking which produced it, you are in no way surprised that its appearance signaled and let loose in the churches every kind of frivolous and mad-cap antic, and that in the name of religion. Of its very nature, the "New Mass" "liberates" the "children of God" that they might make a game out of worship. It claims to be able to render holy and pleasing to God, "having the odor of sweetness," every crudity, every inanity, every indecency. It claims to have the power to dispense any brazen boor who favors it with his attendance from all faith, all rightness of heart, all humility, and every divine prescription. (No, the exceptions are the presently-reigning Pontiff, his cowed bishops, and their mousy priests, all of whom think it "kind" and "ecumenical" and "forbearing" to tolerate the many desecrations which the "Novus Ordo" of its very nature unleashes against itself, and - let it never be omitted - against the Truth Mass, which it mocks!)
Some may say, you are identifying the abuses with the "New Mass" itself. I am saying that the "New Mass" IS the abuse of the True Mass! I am saying that, with the jettisoning of both the law and the spirit of Quo Primum, by that very Act, the Pope has not only substituted something totally different from the Mass, but that it is of the very essence of the "New Mass" to permit every form of profanation, because the "New Mass" makes the good pleasure of the people its "liturgy."
Intrinsic to the very idea of the "New Mass" is that the people are more important than Christ the Savior, than His Sacrifice to His Heavenly Father, than the Church, His Bride. In the "New Religion" THE PEOPLE IS BAAL! Is it not they who must be entertained, accommodated, and emoted over? In the incessantly repeated phrase, "The People of God," it is the people who, in Marxist fashion, are being acclaimed - not God. They are misled who, in attempting to criticize the "New Mass," complain that the people have been made equal to the priest, or that the priest has been brought down to the level of the people. Oh no; rather, they have both been given the place of God!
Not until you accept this incredible fact will you be able to see the whole matter, clearly, as shocking and ghastly as it is. Again, its sheer incredibility blinds us to what is right before us. Only this fact explains why the "New Liturgy" requires the complete riddance of the True Mass, and all that pertains to it. It could never coexist with the True Mass since it is diametrically opposite. Consider, for instance, how it has been necessary to purge completely even the architecture and adornment of all the appointments of our churches. For they bespeak the nature of the True Mass, so different from the "New Mass." Step by step, the altar was dismantled, the tabernacle was relegated, the statues were removed, the stations were taken down, the communion rail was hauled out. Everything symbolic of the mysteries and the glories of the Faith had to be cleared away. In their fanaticism and ignorance, they who accomplished this pleaded that these things were either old-fashioned or poor art, or some such nonsense. This is not to defend cheap or manufactured or soulless art-pieces. Nor is it a condemnation of all art that is contemporary. It is, rather, the exposure of this Revolutionary belligerence towards all things Catholic.
Consider further how the priest now faces the people. He "presides" over their activities, and arranges that all be done for their pleasure and satisfaction. Yes, I know some will say, "You are going too far. You are talking about the most extreme cases." No, that is where you err. I am talking about those places where the "New Liturgy" has been truly understood and fully implemented. Your mistake is that you are thinking of those places where the priests and people have as yet failed to do so. They are nothing but foot-draggers, hold-outs; the priest there has somehow been able to compromise sufficiently so that he has kept his place, fended off the inevitable, while he has (somehow) kept his own conscience well-muzzled. Once he is gone, however, and he expects to be given his notice any day - all depends on the good pleasure of His Excellency, or his "associate-pastor," or the sisters, (now more to be feared than the wives of the sultan), or the parish council - "progress" will resume.
Where this has already happened, the true setting for the "Novus Ordo" can be observed. The new churches speak volumes. Everything is centered around the Table. The Eucharist - or what purports to be the Eucharist - is either shunted off to the side somewhere (another temporary arrangement), or is nowhere to be found (the final arrangement). The President's Chair, or the Episcopal throne, now occupies the highest and most prominent place, that place where the altar and tabernacle used to be. The "New Mass" contains no rubric which presumes or requires either.
Again, some may say, you are condemning the abuses and calling them the "New Liturgy." I am saying, what can you do about it? The "New Liturgy" permits, nay, inspires and encourages the abuses with its totally untraditionalist, ridiculous "options." It is contrary to the very idea of "ritual" that it be "optional." I am saying that with the discarding of the Missale Romanum, the Pope has undermined all authority, including his own, so that no one can prevent any and every form of sacrilege and impiety. By contradicting the idea that the Divine Liturgy was or can be fixed, he has taught that it cannot be: so, the "liturgy" now consists of anything any fool decides it to be. And if you think my logic not perfectly consistent, prove it! Let the bishops prove it; let them attempt to "regulate" the "New Liturgy;" let them begin to try to enforce Catholic Orthodoxy from their pulpits; let them try to tell their clergy what they may and may not do at their "mass." They have already found it impossible because the "New Liturgy" of its very nature makes it so.
Finally, you may say, "You are basing your whole argument on one decree of one Pope, Pope St. Pius V, which decree was not an ex cathedra statement, since, according to you, the doctrines articulated in the Mass were not defined by it, but by the Council of Trent before the reign of St. Pius." It is true, I am not saying that the decree was an ex cathedra definition; were I to say that, I would be contradicting my explanation of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, which I said, can only be exercised with regard to specific doctrinal or moral propositions; the rite of the Mass is not in this category. However, I am not basing my argument on one decree only, but on the constant Tradition of the Church before and after "Quo Primum," a document which merely enunciated this Tradition in unmistakable language. My argument is really based on all the documents of the Church which concern themselves with the Mass of the Roman Rite, for they know of no other and admit of no other Mass. There are no documents which go contrary to Quo Primum, if one excepts the decrees of the Second Vatican Council - a subject we must not get embroiled in here. It is not, therefore, a matter of choosing the teaching and law of one Pope and rejecting those of another. It is a matter of choosing the traditional teaching and incontrovertibly binding law of the entire Church against the "wishes" of one Pope, which have no validity as law whatsoever. (On this last point, more will be said later.)
Catholics will have to open their eyes to the simple fact that no Pope may abolish the Mass without denying his faith, without incurring the censures of the Council of Trent, and without giving greatest scandal. No matter if it be the Pope, he who commands that which is contrary to the teachings of Quo Primum, must be disobeyed; not to do so would be sinful.
The cancerous idea that any Pope may abrogate any and all the laws of the Church, and introduce an entirely new body of doctrine, a brand new code of morality, an all-new book or rules, and a totally new concept of the nature of the Church is so utterly preposterous, that I am at a loss how to combat it. The notion has to be the ultimate form of "legalism"! According to this way of thinking, at the accession of the successor or Pope Paul, none of us should be surprised nor raise objection if the new Pope discards the "Novus Ordo" and brings out a "mass" more to his liking. Should he die six months after his 'mass' has been inaugurated, his successor may come forth with yet another model. (Well, now!).
It will be observed, I am not attempting here to judge whether the 'consecration' of the "New Mass" is valid. Let us hope not, that it might be somewhat less sacrilegious. I presume all are aware that even should Transubstantiation take place, the "New Mass" would not for that reason be a worthy sacrifice, only a more terrible offense to the majesty and magnificence of God. In the True Mass the act of Transubstantiation provides the Sacrifice with its Victim and its Offerer, Who, in the rites which follow, yields Himself up to the Father in adoration and atonement, and then hands Himself over to such poor and needy souls as we to be their Food; in the "New Mass" Christ may or many not be present, while those whom He loves, despite all, gather round to celebrate their own penurious communalism and to take full advantage of His (temporary) tolerance of this Outrage. Notwithstanding much insistance from official quarters to the contrary, there is a high likelihood of the invalidity of this Sacrilege's "consecration rite." Part of the evidence is of course the fact that the Pope and all his army of "experts," "liturgists", and "theologians"- ably assisted by his bishops - have found the chemicals to sterilize their "missale" and our churches of all testimony to the need for or belief in the realities of the Unbloody Sacrifice and the Real Presence of Christ. At the same time, they have shown themselves totally incapable of and uninterested in proving that these essential mysteries have survived their mad antibioticism.
And yet, everything which has had to do with the jettisoning of the True Mass and the imposition of its Caricature has reeked of mendacity, of conspiracy, of high-handed and heavy-handed arbitrariness. There has been nothing Catholic about it, nothing holy or beneficial. Every form of specious argumentation has been attempted, every form of trickery, and subterfuge. Dishonest scholarship, "court" theologians, and mistranslations - you name it! We shall come across a few examples of such things as we proceed.
Simultaneously, nothing has been omitted for the "education" (read "indoctrination") of the people: officious editorials in official papers, Episcopal commissions, programs of instruction, seminars, "practice masses," filmed demonstrations, clergy conferences, lectures by "liturgists," timetables and deadlines, posters and cartoons. The "Catholic" publishing industry seems to have been saved from bankruptcy turning out new missals and missalettes, treatises and apologies, analyses and explanations, for the "New Mass," all doing their unconvincing utmost to tell how wonderful it all is, how timely, how inspired. And, as far as I can tell, there has not come forth so much as a single line of simple beauty in the vast welter of it.
It goes without saying that, with all the effort, installing the "New Mass" was still quite a feat, and yet, really simple in its approach, when you get to the bottom of it. Everyone had to be deluded into thinking that the "New Mass" is really nothing but the True Mass somewhat changed, that it is simply a new "version" of the Mass, a new "rite." It is named the "Novus Ordo Missae," the "New Arrangement of the Mass."
Next Issue: Chapter Three - part six
E. Pope Paul's Defense
For installments to date, see Archives of The Great Sacrilege
See INTRODUCTION for an explanation of this work.
THE GREAT SACRILEGE
by Fr. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.