September 14-29, 2001
volume 12, no. 149

The Ottaviani Interventions

A Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae

Part Nine: Chapter Six and Seven

Chapter Six

    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 which 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]

    50. It has been presented as "The Canon of Hippolytus," but only a few traces of that original text remain in the new rite.
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 tranquillity 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]
      51. Gottesdienst no. 9 (14 May 1969).
        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]

      52. "Sacrosanctum Consilium," 116, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 4 December 1963. Translated in Documents on the Liturgy 1-131
    - 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.

    [Editor's Note: The cardinal's words ring true. Yes it is tragic. But we do have a choice. We can either continue in the morass and fruitless liturgy of the conciliar church brought on by modernists, marxists and progressive liberals who seek to please man, or we can return to the traditions that embody the One True Roman Catholic Church - the Church before the auto-demolition after Vatican II. Remember the Latin Mass - the Mass commanded by Pope Saint Pius V never be changed - has NEVER been abrogated. If your bishop or pastor tell you it was, you have permission to charitably tell him to his face he is a liar. Catholics have all the right in the world as decreed by Rome for all ages to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the Traditional Mass of St. Pius V. No priest needs permission to say this Mass. Through ordination he is commanded to say it. Challenge your priests, challenge your bishops. It is the only way you will find out the truth, the truths that Cardinal Ottaviani points out so clearly and which Pope Paul VI ignored. Pope John Paul II sought to make it more available, but his bishops have ignored Ecclesia Dei. The Pope has done nothing since 1988 and it was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who forced his hand then, realizing the terrible, devastating errors of the Novus Ordo Missae. The Holy Father has continued the charade and the grave error of promoting the New Mass as Catholic. It is not, it cannot be as Ottaviani Intervention proves for it is backed by solid Catholic doctrine. The same can never be said of the New Order of the Mass that has been perpetrated on a gullible population of neo-Catholics. The cardinal says you have a choice. What will yours be?]

    Chapter Seven

        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]

      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.
    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 which 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 which 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.

    Note: Bold added by editor for emphasis

    Next issue: Chapter Eight

    For the introduction and Cardinal Ottaviani's letter to Pope Paul VI on September 29, 1969, and the first eight installments of the Ottaviani Intervention, see Archives of the Ottaviani Intervention

    September 14-29, 2001
    volume 12, no. 149
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