[Editor's Note: The following was written by Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J. in 1971 and published by TAN Books. Fr. Wathen is a descendant of the Catholic pioneer families of the Wathens and Spaldings who immigrated to Maryland in the 1600's well before America was a republic. The Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church were passed down through the generations. Two of the many fruits of this family line were manifested in two devoted, luminary shepherds who served the Roman Catholic Church in America so faithfully.
One was Archbishop Martin J. Spalding, the seventh to head the first See in the United States. He was consecrated a bishop on September 10, 1847 as Coadjutor Bishop of Louisville and appointed by Pope Pius IX to head the Archdiocese of Baltimore on May 6, 1864 where he served until his death on February 7, 1872. He was also instrumental in helping establish the American College at Louvain and promoting the North American College in Rome as well as helping lay the foundations for an American Catholic University. He served on the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866 which produced the great Baltimore Catechism. He was also a Conciliar Father of the First Vatican Council in 1870, where he strongly supported the definition of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility.
Following him in the family was another prelate Bishop John Lancaster Spalding who was consecrated on May 1, 1877 as the first bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois where he served as a faithful, loving shepherd for thirty-one years until his retirement on September 11, 1908 because of mandatory age requirement. He was subsequently rewarded by Pope Saint Pius X the Titular Archbishopric of Scitopolis on October 14, 1908. He passed to his Heavenly reward two years and five days after the holy Pontiff, dying on August 25, 1916 during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XV. Bishop John Spalding was a prime mover for the establishment of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
The loyalties and love for the Church these men held are carried on today by Fr. Wathen who was one of the first to recognize the atrocities of the "New Mass" and its sure course of auto-demolition within the Church when most were buying the rhetoric from Rome sight unseen.
As you read this, consider it was written 30 years ago. Nothing of what he has written has changed since then, rather things have gotten worse, much worse. As you read this you'll note he is referring to the 'Holy Father' as Pope Paul VI for he was the Pontiff who not only perpetrated "The Great Sacrilege" on the Mystical Body of Christ" but also still pope at the time of the writing. We ask you to also consider how the present Pope John Paul II has done nothing to eradicate the grave errors of Paul VI and that, in and of itself, is an even greater tragedy for the 264th successor of Peter has allowed this "abomination of desolation" foretold in Matthew 24 and Daniel to continue, greatly enabling the adversary of God to capture more souls for perdition. We ask you to read this and pray, pray earnestly that you will see the light and demand of your bishops, your priests and of our Pope that they restore the "Tridentine Mass" - the Mass of All Ages - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of the Roman Rite so that souls may be fed, nourished and saved and vocations will again flourish in the tradition Fr. Wathen's families and countless other dedicated, selfless Catholics passed down. He has dedicated his defining work to Pope Saint Pius V, Guardian of the True Mass.
This work, which begins with this Introduction below, proves through Roman Catholic doctrine, documents, Sacred Scripture and Papal pronouncements, that
The "New Mass" - the Novus Ordo
and the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI...
- does not involve Papal Infallibility!
- changes the essence of Mysterium Fidei
- strays from the Truths, Traditions and Teachings of the Catholic Church.
- is called Novus Ordo - Initials N.O. the opposite of YES!
- is a new rite and thus anathema!
- is therefore illegal!
- is immoral, for it mocks the Holy Sacrifice by decreasing its importance.
- Therefore it is NOT Catholic!
- Therefore it is null and void!
- Therefore, if we believe the Council of Trent and the official documents of the Church, NO Mass at all!
- Therefore it is the 'abomination of desolation' in the temple!
- And therefore it is THE GREAT SACRILEGE!
the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum of Pope Saint Pius V is still in effect and the "Tridentine Mass" - the Latin Mass - the Mass of All Ages is the ONLY Mass of the Latin Rite - of the universal One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!
For thirty years Father Wathen has asked anyone to prove him wrong, to refute what he writes. For thirty years no one has been able to because what he writes is true and totally Catholic. That should give you an indication of how much Paul VI deceived mankind and faithful Catholics and clergy everywhere. Sadly, so sadly, the charade - the masquerade continues to this day.]
"After many days the word of the Lord came to Elias, in the third year,
Saying: Go and shew thyself to Achab, that I may give rain
Upon the face of the earth.
And Elias went to shew himself to Achab,
And there was a great famine in
3 Kings 18: 1-2
Even though most Catholics, including the Hierarchy and other members of the clergy, are either complacently ignorant of it, or are determined to ignore it, sooner or later the question of the "New Mass" will have to be dealt with. The presumption at present seems to be that, with time, those who oppose and/or reject it, and those priests who refuse to "say" the "New Mass," will finally come around, die off, or something. The "something" is that they will be joined by an ever-growing number whom God will raise up, if necessary, out of the stones. (Luke 3:18). This question is so basic to the Faith, that the Church cannot survive without its being answered. But, since the Church will surely survive, with or without the loyalty of any individual, it is those who do not face up to it who will die off sooner; the question itself will remain.
The question put simply is Why the "New Mass?" Coincident with it, in fact the same question put in another way is: What then is the situation with regard to the Traditional Latin Mass, the "Tridentine Mass," or the "Mass of St. Pius V," as it has come to be called.
Until this question is seriously considered by those who have the authority to influence the Church at large, those others who are concerned enough to realize the essential importance of it and the profound spiritual suffering, confusion, and strife which it has caused many be assisted by the argument of this little book. It is written mainly with priests in mind because it is they who offer the Holy Mass and it is upon them whom Christ Our Lord relies to provide the Holy Sacrifice for the people whom His Blood has redeemed. But, it is intended also as guidance for lay people. I know well how inexplicable the changes in the Mass are to most of them, and how they look for direction as to what they must do (if anything) about these changes.
The prevalent opinion is that, by his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of April 3, 1969, His Holiness Pope Paul VI established the Novus Ordo Missae to replace the Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite (and all intermediate versions). Consequently, to refuse to offer this "New Mass" is a serious violation of Church law. And to question it on doctrinal grounds is tantamount to questioning the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.
Every aspect of this opinion, however, is totally contrary to fact. There is no law which so binds the clergy. And to challenge the liceity and/or the validity and/or the Orthodoxy of the "New Mass" is in no way to question the aforementioned doctrine of Papal Infallibility.
And for the reason that there is no such law (which we shall prove in this work), those who have accepted the "New Mass" and discontinued saying the True Mass are breaking the existing laws, as are found in the Code of Canon Law ; they are violating their sacred priestly Oath, the Profession of Faith, (not to mention the Oath Against Modernism). It is they who have incurred the anathemas of the Council of Trent and come under the censure of the Apostolic Constitution of Quo Primum of St. Pius V. And it is they who are playing heretics by their effective denial of all those doctrines of the Faith which are given utterance in the "Tridentine Mass," but which have been deliberately and undeniably deleted in the "new formulation" of the Mass. It is they who, in the "New Mass," are making their own all the heterodox ambiguities with which it abounds. It is they who have accepted the corruptions of the Sacred Canon of the Mass, as well as the very possibly invalidating new version of the Consecration Prayer, introduced entirely gratuitously. This is true even if they still use the Latin, which few priests do. But their case becomes infinitely more tenuous with the use of the vernacular, which is known to be a garbled translation.
That so many morally upright anointed men of God - by far the vast majority throughout the world - could have been so easily brought to abandon their Mass, so venerable and so pure, and prostitute their personal faith, was not due to some strange and sinister hypnotic power, nor to their lack of theological knowledge, nor to the dreadful threats of a ruthless government. No. It was due to the Act by which Pope Paul VI introduced the "New Mass" with the "wish" that it be accepted, "as an instrument which bears witness to and which affirms the common unity of all." 1
1. Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI, Par. 13-Given here as Appendix II.
In this writing I intend to refute that main argument which was used to seduce and/or to goad priests into their practical apostasy, which is, that not to accept the "New Mass" at least borders on heresy, since it is to accuse the Pope of heresy, and thus, to deny his Infallibility.
For, the argument goes, to maintain that the Holy Father could issue a false mass, or one which might e invalid, or one which contains heresy, is most certainly the same as saying that he has violated his sacred prerogative of Infallibility; besides this, to refuse to have anything to do with the "New Mass" is a most serious act of disobedience, highly suggestive of contumely.
In this writing, the doctrine of Papal Infallibility will be discussed first, mainly in order to show that in issuing the "New Mass" Pope Paul VI did not make an "ex cathedra" definition. Conversely, we shall point out the various ways the Pope can be fallible, and we shall remind Catholics what their responsibility is if errors of the Pope jeopardize either their faith or their virtue.
This discussion will clear the ground for the main topic of the essay, which is the study of the so-called "new Mass." We shall begin by comparing the "New Mass" with the "Traditional" Catholic Mass, of which the former is said to be only a new version. First, we shall remind the reader of the place of the Holy Mass in the faith of all Catholics, then we shall refer to the Council of Trent and its teachings concerning the Holy Sacrifice. Next, we shall take note of the work of Pope St. Pius V in his revision of the Missal of the Roman Rite. This will bring us to a careful look at that Pope's decree Quo Primum, which imposed the Missale Romanum, the "old" Missal.
Only after all the foregoing shall we analyze the issuance of the Novus Ordo Missae, then take a long, hard look at the "New Mass" itself. We shall give special attention to the changes which have been made in the Form of Consecration. We shall come eventually to an investigation of Pope Paul's Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, for the sake of determining its binding force. (The reader should make a mental note of the fact that both Pope St. Pius V's Missal and Pope Paul VI's "decree" introducing his Missal" have the same title, i.e., Missale Romanum; we shall indicate carefully which we are referring to when we use the term.)
On the basis of our findings, it will be necessary to state unequivocally the inescapable moral challenge with which all those who love the Faith are now confronted. Lastly, as I am aware of the momentousness of the conclusions set forth in these pages, I shall offer all priests an opportunity to refute them.
Next Issue: Chapter Two - Papal Infallibility. Part one: Papal Authority
THE GREAT SACRILEGE
by Fr. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.