See EDITOR'S NOTE for an explanation of this work.
"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