permission to reprint this
defining work was personally granted by
Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J. in 2001.
Chapter Five


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


    Here I can do no better than quote at some length the redoubtable Abbe Georges de Nantes, writing in the June, 1970, issue of his The Catholic Counter-Reformation. After this quotation, I will summarize the most important points in his disclosure.

       I have here under my eyes, the photocopies kindly supplied to a friend from the Bishop's House at Nancy (France), and guaranteed to conform to the originals by Chancellor Dautrey, on the date of 13th May, 1970, and under the seal of this Bishopric.

       In this document, Paul VI cites his reform of the Mass within the continuity of the liturgical restoration of Pius XII and presents the new Ordo as a "revision" and an "enrichment" of the Roman Missa; and also as a "new arrangement of texts and rites, in such a way that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify."

       "The major innovation," according to his expression, is the introduction of new Canons (the Pope uses the word: Statuimus) which are presented as ancient, though they are in fact very modern; and the modification of the formula of Consecration itself, on the pretext of making them all identical: Jussimus… The term" mysterium fidei" is left out and placed within the context of an "acclamation", where it loses its original and full meaning. This rejection represents the work of very sinister influences.

       The innovations which are referred to as minor, are concerned with simplification, suppression, or restoration of prayers and rites, the changing round of the order of readings, and the very considerable modifications of the liturgical calendar.

       Paul VI then makes his concluding remarks-but here we must make a distinction between the Latin text and its so-called French translation. (Tr's note-the relevant passages of the English text, as published in the English edition of Oss. Rom. 8th May, 1969, are identical with the French and have been used here.) The Latin text, the photocopy of the original text printed on the Vatican printing press and dated June, has two paragraphs here. The French text, photocopied from Documentation Catholique, in which it is quoted as a translation emanating from the Vatican Press Bureau, contains three, the second of which is an invention pure and simple. (Author's italics). It does not exist in the Latin text, which alone is the authoritative one…

       In the first paragraph of this conclusion of his discourse he expresses his hope that the new Missal will be received by all as a sign and instrument of unity: "confidimus." It is through an unheard-of act of violence-abuse No. 1-that the "Press Bureau" (?) invented the false translation, which I am now going to read out to you: "In conclusion, we wish to give the force of law to all that we have set forth concerning the new Roman Missal." This conclusion, with its formally legislative tone, is a fabrication, inserted in the place where he had merely written, according to the faithful translation made by Abbe Dulac: "Concerning all that we have just set forth regarding the new Roman Missal, We are pleased here to end by drawing a conclusion." And this conclusion refers to the confidence that all will find again in this Missal their mutual unity. Whoever has transformed this "confidence" into a "Law" has lied (Author's italics).

       Having made such a good start, and while they were about it, they invented a second paragraph which does not exist at all in the original Latin text, as photocopied by your Bishop's House, which I have here under my eyes. (Again the English text is identical with the French-Tr's note.) Here then is the fraud: "We order that the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect November 30th of this year, the first Sunday of Advent." This is the essence of the text and it is a forgery. (Author's italics).

       The last paragraph, if you read it as the third in the French or Italian (or English) text, does indeed give the impression of wishing to impose an obligation even if the subject-matter, and the precise extent, of this obligation are left indeterminate. This is what it says: "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." Read in the context of the original Latin text, that is to say, freed from the encumbrance of the two forged texts preceding it, these simple words cannot be placed in comparison with detailed instructions and concessions, firm, and intended to last in perpetuity. Here we have a simple statement of the wishes of Paul VI, a directive bereft of any indication that would imply a strict obligation, and one which is not accompanied by any threat of sanctions. The definite obligation of having to follow the new Ordo, which is supposedly contained in the Apostolic Constitution, springs therefore from two sentences, of which the one is an invention pure and simple and the other one contains a manifest mistranslation of the authentic text. The forged text issued by the "Press Bureau" imposes an obligation: that is as much as to say that the true text imposes nothing of the kind. That was the thing to be proved! The Constitution Missale Romanum, in its authentic Latin text, does not impose an obligation. Paul VI does not impose an obligation to follow his Ordo Missae!

       However, a communication I received yesterday made me think that Msgr. Pirolley (the Bishop of Nancy), though himself deceived in the first place, has now been put on his guard. I have here a second photo-copy, handed out from (the) Bishop's House to another member of the diocese, of the famous text of the Pope's which is obliging the whole world to follow his new Mass. Well - they had more sense this time and, with the help of paste and scissors, they have produced a photocopy, in both Latin and French, of the last of these paragraphs alone - the two preceding ones have disappeared! We may well quote La Rochefoucauld when he said that "hypocrisy was (sic) a compliment paid by vice to virtue" Here is (the) Bishop's House at Nancy tacitly acknowledging the crime committed in Rome! This is a memorable date indeed!

       …There is nothing that can validly annul the Bull of St. Pius V. Paul VI, in his Constitution, does not formally abrogate it, (Author's italics) and if he takes the risk, together with those who embrace his reform, of incurring the wrath of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, we still have to admit that he is not obliging anyone to follow him into this peril. He does no more than to express a simple and indefinite wish, together with the hope that all may find spontaneously a common unity in the practice of the new reformed form of worship." 60

      60. The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century. No. 5, June, 1970. R. P. Georges de Nantes, Editor. Maison Saint-Joseph-10 Saint-Patres-les-Vaudes, France. Pp. 9-10.

   I am aware that the above quotation is difficult reading. The information it contains, however, has more than just historic significance, so it must be shown as clearly as possible what the passage says.

    On the 3rd of April, 1969, the Pope presented his "New Missal." The Apostolic Constitution, Missale Romanum is the text of the address he gave on that occasion. It has the same relationship to the "Novus Ordo Missae" as the Quo Primum has to St. Pius V's Missale Romanum. What I intend doing is first show the complete Latin text of the crucial conclusory paragraphs of the decree, then point out the sentence which was deliberately mistranslated, and finally indicate the fabricated insertion. You will see what remains of the "decree."

    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!"     Let us once more read the authentic text of his proclamation as I have quoted it. Does it not seem as if Paul VI were almost painfully aware that the yes of all Christendom (and uncounted generations yet to be born) are upon him and will ever after remember his taking this reckless step? Does it not seem he cannot bring himself to do it with that spirit which befits so tremendous an Act? Notice how glancingly he accomplishes his dreadful task of voiding (if that were possible) the acts of literally generations of Popes:

       …notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors, and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation. (Italics mine). (Appendix II, Par. 15).

    You see, Paul VI admits that the ordinances of his Predecessors deserve to be explained away. One which deserves "particular mention and derogation" is St. Pius V's Quo Primum of course. Is it for want of courage or for want of reasons that he does not do so? Surely it is not for want of time.

    Ever since the issuance of Paul VI's Missale Romanum, even after the disclosure of foul play in its translation and publication, which, needless to say, without reference to anything else, renders it indefensible and unenforcible, and therefore completely null and void. Pope Paul himself has proceeded, not as if he had imposed a law, but only as if he had asked his people to accept his "New Mass" and had been surprised and saddened by the resulting outcry. Never has he invoked his own "decree" as if it were an irrevocable law; he seems barely to refer to it.

    In view of all that has been said, it would seem unnecessary to prove that Paul VI's "decree" Missale Romanum can in no sense of the word be considered a valid and binding law. However, it may be of some use to present the matter a bit more academically. I will therefore list the requisites for the imposition of a law and show wherein Paul VI's is deficient:

1. Concerning the object of the law: The legislator must have province over the matters in question. The Pope and the Pope alone may legislate on liturgical matters in the Church. Not even he, however, may change the Form of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.63 63. Cf. "Has the Church the Right." Patrick Henry Omlor. Athanasius Press, Reno, Nevada, 1969. His attempt to do so in the "Novus Ordo" renders his "decree" Missale Romanum null and void. Further, and much more important, the Pope does have supreme jurisdiction over all religious matters, but he may not command anyone to sin. Due to its intrinsic heterodoxy, the "New Mass" is not only a denial of many of the doctrines of the Faith, but it is also an act of sacrilege. This is the main cause for the complete nullity of this present law.

2. Concerning the subjects of the law: The legislator must have jurisdiction over those who would be bound by the law and indicate in the law itself to whom it applies. There is in this "decree" no indication as to who is bound to obey it.

3. Concerning the relationship of the new law with the old laws: The legislator must have the right to abrogate previously existing laws which are contrary to the law he wishes to pass. He must officially abrogate these laws before he can impose his own. Paul VI has not abrogated the decree of Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum, nor any other laws which concern the True Mass. In his "decree," Missale Romanum, he speaks thusly: "notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors, and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation." Nothing here clearly indicates that all previous liturgical laws will no longer be in effect.

4. Concerning the language of the law: The legislator must impose the law as law. That is, the language used must make it clear that a law is being imposed. As we have just seen, the words used by the Pope concerning the acceptance of the "New Mass" are "volumus" and "confidimus," both of which verbs can be translated as "we wish". These words can in no wise be understood to impose a law.

5. Concerning the time of the effectiveness of the law: The legislator must indicate when the law will go into effect. As we have seen, the sentence in the "decree," Missale Romanum, which contains a specific date is a forgery. The "decree" itself assigns no date for the acceptance of the "New Mass."

6. Concerning the enforcement of the law: The legislator must indicate what penalties will be incurred by those who break the law. No such penalties are indicated in the "decree" of Pope Paul.

    As can easily be seen, in the issuance of the "law" which introduced the "New Mass," NONE of the requisites for the promulgation of a valid law was fulfilled! Indeed, so patently and so completely null is this decree that it is surprising someone has not brought it forth as evidence that Pope Paul is a prisoner in the Vatican, trying through the issuance of such a preposterous proclamation to signal to the outside world that he is not a free agent and that no one should take it seriously. How I would that this is proof could be found! To the very best of my knowledge, there is no chance of such a discovery being made.

    Consequently, the bishops, who seemed to have been in a fog since they left to attend the Second Vatican Council, have no power whatsoever to enforce the "decree." And they have had much too little difficulty doing so, because of the misguided docility and poor theology of their clergy. Where any priest has refused to accept the "New Mass," his superiors have found themselves in a terrible quandary. They have deemed it necessary to make some kind of "arrangement;" usually they have confined the non-conformist to saying Holy Mass privately.

    Thus, the whole thing reveals itself with a glare. The priest is not censured, nor excommunicated for heresy, nor suspended for disobedience, which would seem logical. To the extent the "arrangement" can be made to look respectable, the priest is given an assignment which takes into consideration his "condition;" he remains in "good standing", is allowed to minister to the people according to the other laws of the Church and his own conscience, and is treated most kindly (generally). It is as if he were convalescing from something, while the deeply concerned doctors keep consulting for a cure. But, one thing is necessary: he must be withdrawn from the public view when he offers the "pestiferious Mass" - to use Luther's phrase. Thus this priest becomes, like a martyr, the most fortunate of all his confreres; he is granted the inestimable privilege, which has become so rare, of offering the True Mass. The Priest, suddenly and unexpectedly, and beyond all his deserts, finds himself rejoicing that he has been "accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus!" (Acts 5:41)

    Obviously, then, as Abbe de Nantes has commented, it is not such a priest who is guilty of anything; it is the True Mass (and the people, no doubt, for wanting it back)! The True Mass is being "quarantined," as something vile, dangerous, and catching. It must be suppressed, gotten out of sight, that the people may forget it, that they may stop clamoring for it-the ignorant unwashed "that knoweth not the Law" (Jn. 7:49). They are revisionist!

    The bishops (many of whom continue to say the "Old Mass" in their private chapels, for reasons of devotion, no doubt-they feel so comfortable with their trusty, old Missale, "illegal" as such a thing is) thus find themselves caught in the middle. They live in terror lest one of their Revolutionary priests will succeed in maneuvering them into an incident which might get back to Rome. At the same time, they find themselves naked before the ubiquitous, noisome knot of diehards among their flocks, who fixedly behold them in open and stolid opposition to centuries of Tradition (toward which they could not bow often and deeply enough at the Second Vatican Council). They open their Missales to run head-on into St. Pius V, Clement VII, Urban VIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, and John XXIII, the letters of whose editions of the Missale they must page through each time they wish to use it and whom they now publicly disown. They turn the pages to the names of one magnificent saint after another, who became such, by their own admission, through the Holy Mass, but whose virtue has become too irrelevant to celebrate anymore - it must be "memorialized."

      • Next: Chapter Six The Burden - Part One - The Burden of the Priest

      • Previous: Chapter Four - The "New Mass" - The Language of the "New Mass"

      The Great Sacrilege by Father James F. Wathen