permission to reprint this
defining work has been granted by
Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J.
Chapter Four Part Four


C. The Changing of the Canon

    Since it is proper that holy things be administered in a holy way, and Since the Sacrifice (of the Mass) is the holiest of all things, the Catholic Church, in order that it be worthily and reverently offered and (clearly) recognized, has, over the course of many years instituted the Canon, so free of every error (Canon 6) that it contains nothing which is not redolent of greatest holiness and piety and which does not lift the minds of its offerers to God. For it is made up both of the words of the Lord Himself, and of the traditions of the Apostles, as well as the pious institution of saintly Pontiffs.

    Canon 6: If anyone says that the Canon of the Mass contains errors And therefore should be abrogated, let him be anathema. 3737. (Enchiridion Symbolorum. Cc. Trid. Sess XXII, Cap. 4, p. 409, No. 942.

    "Eucharistic Prayers, Form Number One" is still given the self-contradictory and false subtitle "The Roman Canon.' Being assured of our inertia and intellectual sleepiness, our manipulators enjoy treating us as utter dolts. The word "canon" means a rule, a ruler, a standard or measure, etc. It refers, therefore, to something fixed, unchangeable, and irreplaceable. The Canon of the Mass is, as it were, a criterion by which both the validity, the liceity, and indeed the excellence of the Consecration of the Mass are accomplished and to be adjudged. In the "Novus Ordo", "Eucharistic Prayer, Form Number One" is not the "Roman Canon" because it has been changed, or rather, mutilated, both in the Latin and in the translation. It is therefore a crooked rule. But calling it a "canon" is equivalent to saying: This is the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass; all other forms are ineffective, fraudulent, useless, unacceptable, forbidden-including the three which follow, namely, "Eucharistic Prayers, Forms Number Two, Three, and Four."

    As already mentioned, no matter how loosely Pope St. Pius V's caveat concerning tampering with the Missale Romanum might be interpreted, absolutely no case on the part of anyone can be found for laying hands on the Canon of the Mass. As P.H. Omlor has observed:

    On December 8, 1962 through the influences of the then nascent Robber Church, the Canon of the Mass, the ancient Roman Canon, was Officially destroyed. With the insertion of the name of St. Joseph Into it, a change which went into effect on that day, the "Canon" of The Mass ceased to be a canon.38 38. ("The Robber Church" (Part 2) P. H. Omlor, Interdum. Issue No. 7, May 31, 1971. p. 3
He quotes E. E. Escourt as saying:
    "The care taken to preserve the Canon in its original authentic form we learn from other writers. 'In ancient times,' says Muratori, 'although the liturgy in the Roman Mass was observed generally in the churches of Italy, France, Germany, Britain, and other countries, yet there was no small variety in their Missals; but this did not affect the substance of the mystery, or the chief and essential rites of the Mass. The difference ran in adding collects, sequences, and special feasts, which each Bishop might insert in his own missal. But to change the sacred words of the Canon was a crime.' By the laws of Charlemagne it was ordered that only men of full age should be employed to transcribe it; and the Councils of York and Oxford twelfth 39century decreed that the Archbishop should examine in every church whether there were errors or defects in the Canon, either by the faults of transcribers or the books being old. Always too, the Canon was written in different and larger characters than the rest, and sometimes in gold letters throughout, as an offering of reverence."39 39. Ibid p. 4)
    It was Pope John XXIII's unhappy distinction to be the first Pope to permit a variation in the Canon of the Roman Mass in over thirteen hundred years.38 38. "The Robber Church" (Part 2.) P. H. Omlor. Interdum. Issue No. 7, May 31, 1971, p. 3. This was a blameworthy blunder and a violation of a most sacrosanct tradition. Pope Paul VI first introduced three so-called "Eucharistic Prayers" alongside the Canon (which might be used as alternatives to it), and then ALTERED the Form of the Consecration of wine. This Act must be regarded as a transgression of maximum proportions. Independent of all other essentially related acts; it was a grievous and damnable sin and sacrilege!

    So momentous a thing was it for the Canon to be changed, that we must know why it was done. The reasons given, such as the need for variety, the advantage of accentuating various aspects of the Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist, etc., were pure verbiage. Why, for instance, should a priest need variety in the offering of the most sacred prayer of which a human being is capable? What he needs, obviously, is sanctity, and a deep insight into the meaning of this ineffable Rite. And if there is to be a number of these "Eucharistic Prayers", why should there be only four; why not five, or ten, or a hundred? It has been observed that many priests recite only one of the four all the time. Others, taking their cue from the "Novus Ordo", no doubt, make up their own. If there is any good in mere variety, Leaving each priest to fashion his own liturgy is the surest way to get it. No, there is a surer way yet, for other priests have hit upon it-letting members of their "audience" formulate the prayers, extemporaneously. This is really keen.

    So completely contrary to law as well as to every tradition and liturgical principle is the tampering with the Sacred Canon, that we are bound to be altogether suspicious of the changes which were introduced. The presumption must be that they were inspired by malice, deceit, and faithlessness. Pope St. Pius V would surely say the same thing. Since there is absolutely no good reason for the change, since nothing good has (or can) come from it, and since its perpetrators have persistently ignored all questions and objections and criticism, the very worst intentions on their part must be presumed.

    The worst possible intention discernible for what has been done to the Canon is the desire to destroy the Mass itself. And, surely enough, the more carefully one studies what has been done, the clearer it becomes that this was the exact intention.

    It goes without saying that, such being the case, defect of intention in the rite itself can hardly be denied.40 40. The requisites for the valid celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are four: a) minister; the celebrant must be a validly ordained priest; b) intention: the celebrant must have the intention of doing what the Church does; c) matter: the elements of the Mass must be wheaten bread and grape wine, made without additives; d) form: the proper Form (words) of Consecration must be used. These requisites must be considered to make up the substance of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. According to the Council of Trent, these requirements cannot be altered by anyone, not even the Church itself, since they were established by Christ. (Cf. Enchiridion Symbolorum. Cc. Trid: Sess. XXI. Cap. 2, No. 1728, p. 405. And those priests who have no other INTENTION than that expressed by the "Novus Ordo" certainly do not effect the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine! It should be remembered that the Church presumes invalidity wherever serious irregularities are present. The "Novus Ordo" is an irregularity of colossal proportions from beginning to end. Let me remind you, the matter at issue here is not some mundane ephemerality, but the infinitely Holy Mass and Blessed Eucharist. The power of Transubstantiation is after all the power of Christ. It is not to be imagined that He exercises it unless all requisites are present.

    There can be no denying that the creators of the "new Mass" took the greatest pains to alter as much as possible the entire ritual of the Mass, without being too obvious about it-though one wonders how much more obvious they could have been. It is hard to believe that anyone who studies the "New Mass" with eyes clear could come to any other conclusion than that beneath all the pretended fervor for renewal was a spirit of diabolical hatred for everything Catholic, and particularly for the Holy Mass, the most Catholic of all things. Such hatred could hardly be free from the fiercest compulsion to bring both our religion and the Mass to total ridicule, degradation, and ruination.

    The vicious determination of the plotters to nullify the sacrificial intention of the True Mass and the reality of Transubstantiation is painfully obvious. The acceptableness of the "New Mass": to those who certainly do not believe in these essential mysteries should be proof enough. The reason that such notions as these seem extreme to most people is that they have never bestirred themselves concerning the matter. If Catholicism had ever been dependent for its survival on such lethargic souls as theirs, it would never have endured the first attempt at its subversion, nor its first persecution; nor would the Church in the future emerge from its present stupor, as surely it will.

Next Issue: Chapter Four - part five C. The Changing of the Canon

For installments to date, see Archives of The Great Sacrilege

See INTRODUCTION for an explanation of this work.

Your email:
Your name:
E-mail it  to:

by Fr. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.
Return to Homeport