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Chapter Five


Part Two

    The following are the last three paragraphs as they appear in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which is the official organ of the Holy See:

       >Ad extremun, ex iis quae hactemus de novo Missali Romano exposuimus quiddam nunc cogere et efficere placet< Cum Decessor Noster St. Pius V principem Missalis Romani editionem promulgavit, illud veluti quoddam Unitatis liturgicae instrumentum idemque tamquam genuine religiosique cultus in Ecclesia monumentum christiano populo representavit.> Haud secus Nos, etsi, deprae scripto Concilii Vaticani II, in novum Missale legitimas varietates et aptationes ascivimus, nihilo tamen secus fore confidimus, ut hoc ipusum a christifidelibus quasi subsidium ad mutuam omnium unitatem testandam confirmadanque accipiatur, utpote cuius ope, in tot varietate linguarum, una eademque cunctorum precatio ad calestem Patrem, per summum Pontificem nostrum Jesus Christum, in Spiritu Sancto, quovis ture fragrantio ascendat.<

        >Quae Constitutione hac Nostra praescripsimus vigere incipent a die XXX proximi mensis Novembris hoc anno, id est a Dominica I Adventus.<

        Nostra haec autem statuta et praescripta nunc et in posterum firma et efficacia esse et fore volumnus, non obstantibus, quatenus opus sit, Constitutionibus et Ordinationibus Apostolicis a Dessoribus Nostris editis, ceterisque praescriptionibus Etiam peculiari mentione et derogotione dignis

        Datum etc.61 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 30 April 1969. Vol. 61, No. 4. pp. 221-22.

    The first sentence of the above, >"Ad extremum…placet,"< was deliberately mistranslated. It was immediately sent around the world. When attention was called to the error, no effort at all was made to set things right. Here are the two renderings:

    (Incorrect) - In conclusion, we wish to give the force of law to all that was have set forth concerning the new Roman Missal.

    (Correct) - Concerning all that we have just set forth regarding the new Roman Missal, We are pleased here to end by drawing a conclusion.

    Abbe de Nantes tells us that the middle paragraph, i.e., >Quae Constitutione…Adventus,"< was not in the original text of the Pope's announcement. It was altogether made up and inserted by members of the "Vatican Press Bureau." These people (or this person, whoever) found the Pontiff's words a bit weak, and so tried to "firm them up" a bit. It goes without saying that the inserted words have no binding force whatsoever-except that the Holy Father himself made no move to have them deleted and proceeded ever after as if they were his own. Here is the forgery:

        We order that the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect November 30th of this year (1969), the first Sunday of Lent.

    Now, the final paragraph:

        We wish that these our decrees and prescriptions may be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors, and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation.

    The internal evidence to support Abbe de Nantes' (and others') assertion is easy to see. In the inserted paragraph a specific date is given when the new "Missal" is to become official. But in the paragraph following it, which I quote below, the Pope says that his "decree" is to be considered "firm and effective now and in the future." But he neither mentions nor indicates any date at all; whereas, above a specific date is given. This insertion obviously has no continuity with its context.

    We have here, then, a clear case in which there is discovered the most perfidious and shameless chicanery in a matter than which nothing could be more sacred or important for the Church and the souls of the faithful, which, after it is brought to light, is ratified by the Pope (at least implicitly), enforced by the bishops, and completely ignored by the so-called theologians and scholars of the Church, not to mention the priests.

    We are left with two sentences which contain the Pope's directive concerning the "Novus Ordo." One occurs in the first of the three paragraphs quoted above. It begins, > "Haud secus Nos…" You will notice I emphasized the word, "confidimus," "We hope". The English is:

       While leaving room in the New Missal, according to the order of the Second Vatican Council, for legitimate variations and adaptations, we hope nevertheless that the Missal will be received the faithful as an instrument which bears witness to and which affirms the common unity of all. (etc.)

    The last paragraph has this translation. In it I have emphasized the word "volumus," "We wish":

       We wish that these our decrees and prescriptions may be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors, and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation.

    The point I am making is that, when the text is purged of its forgery and given its correct translation, we find that the whole weight of the document and the Act of abolishing the Mass and introducing its deceptive Semblance rests on two words "confidimus," "we hope", "we trust," "we have confidence that," "we wish, etc., and "volumus," "we wish," "we desire, "we would be pleased," etc. Two words of such thin-voiced wistfulness are supposed effectively to command, nay, force the whole Latin Church to forsake its most precious Treasure, the most essential means for our salvation, completely to forget over fifteen hundred years of tradition (figured most conservatively), to ignore the solemn promulgations, edicts, injunctions, instructions, and anathemas of most of the Successors of the Great Fisherman, to bury in silence the rapturous prayers and encomia inspired by it in the Saints of the West, and, without question or hesitation, to begin the performance of a bureaucratic Composition, whose real meaning and purpose have been the subject of the most resentful criticism and telling attacks since it first say the light of day. This truly is what our enemies may well describe as "popery" in the authentic sense of the word! As if our religion were nothing more than the dumb and servile fulfillment of the Pope's mere wishes, totally unrelated to morality, Revelation, history, law, or even plain common sense! If Satan could contrive a more effective way of exposing the lustrous Bride of Christ to ridicule and confusion, what could it possibly be?

    One obvious question is: Why did His Holiness not speak in tones similar to those of St. Pius? Why did he not proceed in this fashion: Explain where the Tridentine Mass was deficient and then show how the "Novus Ordo" has merely corrected these deficiencies-without changing any of the essentials thereof? He might next have solemnly curtailed the use of the old Missale Romanum, joining to this curtailment his own weighty anathemas to anyone who should do so thereafter. He might then have expounded in detail on the doctrinal "richness" of the "New Mass" by delineating clearly the Catholic Truth of its prayers and the reverence of its rites. Then he might have issued a solemn and unmistakable decretal, on the one hand, reasserting the agelessness and unalterableness of the dogmatic truths of Trent, which the "Novus Ordo" supposedly expresses so clearly, while, on the other, commanding all the clergy of the Roman Rite, "Cardinals not excluded," as of a certain date, to accept it and adhere to it minutely, under pain of most serious sin, lest they incur "The wrath of Almighty God and the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul!" Why - it is a perfectly valid question - was this not done? Why instead does the Pontiff, in presenting the world with a "New Mass," not explain how it has been possible to produce something even superior to that Mass of which Pope Urban VIII wrote:

       If there is anything divine among the possessions of men, which the citizens of Heaven might covet (were covetousness possible for them), it would certainly be the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, whose blessing is such that in it men possess a certain anticipation of Heaven while still on earth. How greatly must mortals strive that this most awesome privilege be guarded with due cult and reverence, and take care lest their negligence offend the eyes of the angels, who watch with envious adoration.62 62. Apostolic Constitution Si Quid Est of Pope Urban VIII from Missale Romanum. Desclee & Socii.

    Indeed, in speechless disbelief, one cannot help observing that Pope Paul's Missale Romanum is as different from Pope St. Pius's Quo Primum as the two things they bestow on the Church. And one can only comment, "For obvious reasons!"

Next Thursday: Chapter Five - part two The Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul VI, Missale Romanum

For installments to date, see Archives of The Great Sacrilege

See INTRODUCTION for an explanation of this work.

by Fr. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.
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