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

Part Four


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

D. The Act

      "And he (Elias) said: I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house, who have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and have followed Baalim." 3 Kings 18:18

    It the reader has begun to reach certain disturbing conclusions after having studied Pope St. Pius V's Apostolic Constitution, Quo Primum, let him, with prayer if necessary, steel himself to complete the task. Let him know that he is not the first person to arrive at them, however reluctantly. St. Pius, speaking with full consciousness of his authority, says in his decree that anyone who attempts to say Mass in a way which is radically different from that set forth in the Missale Romanum commits a very grave sin. Likewise, anyone who presumes to alter the "Missale" or to replace it, in order to have others say Mass thus differently commits a very grave sin. Such acts would be grievously sinful no matter who committed them because , of their nature, they would be totally antithetic to the True Mass and to the will of God, to Whom Mass is offered. These very things are what the presently-reigning Pope has done. He has begun to say Mass in a new way. He has thrown aside the Missale Romanum and put another book, called the Novus Ordo Missae, in its place, which book contains the formula for a completely new "mass". And he has informed the Catholics of the Roman Rite that the Old Mass is of no more use. From now on, he is saying, "This is your Mass" (cf. Exodus 32:4), speaking of a bureaucratically manufactured and recognizable Affair, which we now refer to (for want of a better name) as the "New Mass." Pope Paul VI has done exactly what Pope St. Pius said no one must ever do, what no one could ever do licitly, and what no one could ever do without most certainly inviting upon himself and all who take part in his sin the terrible "wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" (Quo Primum).

    Let me assure you that I know the magnitude of what I am accusing. Am I magnifying things? Look again, and see what St. Pius' decree says. For it says what it says, even if no one pays attention!

    The whole gigantic, sinful Act is before us all, no matter how reluctant we are to see it or to call it by its true name. Out of the great reverence for the Papacy and their love for any man whom Christ chooses to be His Vicar, all but a very, very few have refused to admit the truth, even to themselves: The presently-reigning Supreme Pontiff (Paul VI) has perpetrated a direct attack on the all-holy Mass; he has committed the great and unspeakable Sacrilege! With his painstaking gradualisms, with plotted procedure, in consort with men not even of the Faith, he has engineered (or allowed the engineering of) the piecemeal dismantlement of the True Mass in each of its parts; he has cloven the indivisible-which is butchery-and replaced it with a Contrivance a mere Shell and Charade.

    The Pope's Act is one of the great sins of all history, surpassing even those of Luther and Cranmer in its enormity, in its scandal, and in its infidelity, and rivaling those of Adam and Judas! From the day of the installation of the "New Mass," to this present one, the whole Church lies like a wounded animal, and the whole world watches in stunned disbelief. The disruption is complete. The churches are the scenes of countless, indescribable profanations, and the behavior of many Catholics, particularly many priests and religious, borders on total madness. At the sight of the appalling and ever-increasing disorder and immorality, many pious souls are unable to suppress the question which until this present era seemed mystically unreal: Could this be the time and could the so-called Novus Ordo Missae be that thing, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet in his Eighth Chapter?

        "And it (the Revolution) was magnified even unto the strength (True Mass) of Heaven (the Church); and it threw down of the strength (Mass) and of the stars (bishops) and trod upon them. And it was magnified even to the prince (the Pope) of the strength; and it took away from him the continual sacrifice (the Mass) and cast down the place of his sanctuary. And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins; and truth (the Faith) shall be cast down on the ground, and he shall do and shall prosper. And I heard one of the saints speaking, and one saint said to another, I know not to whom that was speaking: How long shall be the vision, concerning the continual sacrifice and the sin of desolation (the "New Mass") that is made; and the sanctuary and the strength be trodden under foot? And he said to him: Unto evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days; and the sanctuary shall be cleansed." Daniel 8: 10-14
   And could this namebearer of the Great Apostle be that mysterious personage spoken of by the far-seeing Eagle among the Evangelists:
        "And I saw a star fall from Heaven upon the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace; And the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit. And from the smoke of the it there came out locusts upon the earth. And power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power: And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads." Apocalypse 9: 1-4.
    Can it be that this Pope is the "star" fallen from the holiest Office which a man may hold in the Church ("Heaven"), and with the "key" of his "New Mass" have opened up the "pit" of Hell, from which now leap forth every sort of blasphemy, irreverence, and sacrilege? We are witnesses of it: what abomination has not been committed in one or another of the Lord's sanctuaries, where the Eternal High Priest was but recently wont to renew His perfect Oblation. And all in attendance would say, "My Lord and my God!" And at the sight of the almost total renunciation of the Faith on the part of the Hierarchy of the Church and the lamentable confusedness of the clergy, we cannot help wondering how it is that our much-offended God has not already loosed His Avenging Angel. How will the prophecies be fulfilled? When and how will this incredible epoch end?

    In order to accomplish the task of introducing the "Novus Ordo," the Pope found it necessary to proceed methodically, to engage in a Program of hypocritical deception. Before the final form of the Mimic-mass was unveiled (as if what we have now were the final form), Pope Paul stood by while his "liturgists" picked apart the Mass of the Saints. And with every step, he pacified and cajoled the faithful with words of piety and religiosity, sanctuarying himself the while with the inviolability of the august Papacy and the doctrine of papal Infallibility.

    Does this accusation shock you? That it should is understandable because it is against our every inclination to see any fault at all in the Pope. You are confronted with the plainly visible fact, however. The intrinsic wickedness of this Act is clearly epitomized in the "New Mass," which, so it is being preached, you must attend, at least every Sunday and holyday - while the True Mass has been made "illicit" (as if that were possible by any power on earth or under the earth).

    It was ever the scheme of the Revolution to do the incredible, so that those who make the accusation will never be believed. And this scheme is aided by the muddled thinking about Papal Infallibility on the part of most Catholics. Added to this, in what is referred to the "conservative camp", many have labored these last few years in an effort to circumvent the obvious and undeniable. Some have striven to find an excuse for the great Mockery, which is the "Novus Ordo;" others have felt bound to construct elaborate theories to exonerate or excommunicate or illegitimatize Pope Paul. Their ragged efforts have contributed to the creation of various persuasions and factions within the Church. But most of their theories satisfy their authors and a few others only, because parts were always left over. The "parts" were those Pope Paul himself played in bringing off this incredible Transplantation.

    Why is it necessary for anyone to theorize at all, so long as he keeps his catechism answers in mind? You and I are under no obligation to judge the conscience of Pope Paul VI, less perhaps his than that of any other human being. And the Act of abolishing the True Mass is too plainly visible for anyone to deny. To put it bluntly, as has happened in the past, a Pope has failed the Church. (Were such a thing not possible, we would never pray for him.) It is not ours to say how knowing or how guilty he is because we cannot know the state of his mind. I do not mean by this, however, to disparage his sanity, which seems unquestionable, and which it seems presumptuous to deny, as some have. I mean that we can judge only the material evil of the Act. This we can hardly keep from doing because, as I said above, the Thing is right here in front of us. That we must make a decision concerning it is a matter of our own faith and salvation.

    Does my accusation shock you, I ask again? Let me pose to you a further question: Does Pope Paul VI truly consider his "Novus Ordo" a Mass, or the Mass? If he does, why does he continue to permit every form of profanation of it? If, as is obviously the case, his bishops are either indifferent about or incapable of stopping its defilement, which is so rampant as to be one of its hallmarks, what is the Pope's excuse?

    Does His Holiness lack the authority to bring such profanations to a halt? If he has the authority to sweep away the laws of all other Popes, saying the while that he does so under the influence of the Holy Spirit and according to the "authentic traditions" of the Popes, does he not have the authority to order mere bishops to see that such abuses cease? (A brief note from his desk will incapacitate a bishop permanently!) Certainly not! Yet he has complained of them repeatedly, even in tears.

    Has he no idea what he might do about them? You could not make even yourself believe it! He has proved himself both shrewd and competent enough to do what no one would ever have dreamed possible; he has performed one of the most flagitious hoaxes of history - akin, terrible as it is to say, to the Black Mass. If the question of either its possibility or its permissibility had been posed to any Catholic theologian or historian or scholar, fifteen years ago, each would have said, unhesitatingly, the very thought of such a thing were itself a profanation toward the Mass and an affront to the Papacy. It was just this very wonderful veneration of both the Pope and the Mass on the part of all Catholics, great and small, that was exploited for the accomplishment of this sinister Act.

    The Pope has not done this single-handedly, of course. The Vatican in recent years has taken on the appearances of the Federal Government of the United States: one never knows who is really in power. For many years now, he who has authority in this country has had no power - if he values his life.) However, in the case of the danger of the least desecration of the Mass, Christ Himself would expect any Catholic to suffer torture and death rather than abet or aid it. More, he must endure anything rather than permit such an iniquity.

    No, you must admit it: This monstrous Transgression is the Pope's own, at least to the extent that what only the Pope could do, what he alone had to do that it be accomplished, that much he did. Those who wanted not renewal, but revolution in the Catholic Liturgy knew well they would require the services of the Pope, and Pope Paul's have been abundantly and (apparently) enthusiastically available. 24

    24. Giovanni Baptiste Montini was one of the most articulate advocates of liturgical reform before he became Pope. Evidence of this can be easily gathered. A noteworthy instance can be found in Worship, Vol. 33 No. 3, a pastoral letter of his entitled: "Liturgical Formation." Nothing would be made of this were it not so inexplicable how most of the people who were campaigning in what was called "The Liturgical Movement" in those days (1958) have long since become silent and are nowhere to be found. Pope Paul is one of the few remaining spokesmen who has not become disenchanted, proved too conservative, or become unwelcome among those who continue to formulate ideas and agitate for further "renewal," and who now seem to have things very much their way. The article referred to appears to be harmless enough. It is concerned with steps to be taken for the education of the people into the "liturgical renewal" that they might participate as an intelligent community in the sacred rites. The remarkable thing is that the methods suggested there by the brilliant (then) Archbishop of Milan have since been employed, not for the sake of the ancient Liturgy, but for the introduction of its preposterous Paradigm.

    And if my accusation does shock you, let me ask why. Is it not because accusing the Pope of such a misdeed seems to you more sacrilegious than what he has done to the Mass? If such be the case, could it possibly that the whole grand program for your subversion has had its debilitating effect on your own sense of value? Contrary to what you once believed, do you now accept the notion that the august Sacrifice of Christ, that mediatory act by which all the prayers of men are capitulated in ("gathered up into") the Sacrifice of the Cross, is subject to any shape, any value, and any meaning this Pope or anyone else pleases to give it?

   Ignoring the law of Quo Primum, Pope Paul VI handed the Mass over to committees of "liturgists," "scholars," "translators," and Revolutionaries, that they might re-think, re-write, re-issue, and re-explain it? The net result is that now the "New Mass" has no definite form or meaning.

    Let me ask you another question: Is not my contention the least damning of all? Were it not better for this "New Mass" not to be a Mass, that tit might be less offensive to God? After all, which is better to say: the Pope permits these profanations of a false 'mass' or of a true one? Which is the greater sin? In my judgment this Facsimile is nothing but a sacrilege. But because it pretends to be the Mass, I could not go into a church and perform the abominations which the Pope, the bishops, and many priests call it "modern" to condone. Could you? And if you could not, how is it different with them; are they not also mere men? For all his divinely-bestowed sovereignty, the Pope is still not God, you know.

    Yes, I know it will be argued that the sacrileges are the exceptions and that they are not the "New Mass" itself. No, here is where you have failed to understand this clever Impiety. You have failed to notice that what you regard as sacrilegious is in no sense of the words really shocking or disturbing either to those who devised it, or for those who now enjoy it as the rite of their own liberation. If you understand the "New Mass" and the perverse thinking which produced it, you are in no way surprised that its appearance signaled and let loose in the churches every kind of frivolous and mad-cap antic, and that in the name of religion. Of its very nature, the "New Mass" "liberates" the "children of God" that they might make a game out of worship. It claims to be able to render holy and pleasing to God, "having the odor of sweetness," every crudity, every inanity, every indecency. It claims to have the power to dispense any brazen boor who favors it with his attendance from all faith, all rightness of heart, all humility, and every divine prescription. (No, the exceptions are the presently-reigning Pontiff, his cowed bishops, and their mousy priests, all of whom think it "kind" and "ecumenical" and "forbearing" to tolerate the many desecrations which the "Novus Ordo" of its very nature unleashes against itself, and - let it never be omitted - against the Truth Mass, which it mocks!)

    Some may say, you are identifying the abuses with the "New Mass" itself. I am saying that the "New Mass" IS the abuse of the True Mass! I am saying that, with the jettisoning of both the law and the spirit of Quo Primum, by that very Act, the Pope has not only substituted something totally different from the Mass, but that it is of the very essence of the "New Mass" to permit every form of profanation, because the "New Mass" makes the good pleasure of the people its "liturgy."

   Intrinsic to the very idea of the "New Mass" is that the people are more important than Christ the Savior, than His Sacrifice to His Heavenly Father, than the Church, His Bride. In the "New Religion" THE PEOPLE IS BAAL! Is it not they who must be entertained, accommodated, and emoted over? In the incessantly repeated phrase, "The People of God," it is the people who, in Marxist fashion, are being acclaimed - not God. They are misled who, in attempting to criticize the "New Mass," complain that the people have been made equal to the priest, or that the priest has been brought down to the level of the people. Oh no; rather, they have both been given the place of God!

    Not until you accept this incredible fact will you be able to see the whole matter, clearly, as shocking and ghastly as it is. Again, its sheer incredibility blinds us to what is right before us. Only this fact explains why the "New Liturgy" requires the complete riddance of the True Mass, and all that pertains to it. It could never coexist with the True Mass since it is diametrically opposite. Consider, for instance, how it has been necessary to purge completely even the architecture and adornment of all the appointments of our churches. For they bespeak the nature of the True Mass, so different from the "New Mass." Step by step, the altar was dismantled, the tabernacle was relegated, the statues were removed, the stations were taken down, the communion rail was hauled out. Everything symbolic of the mysteries and the glories of the Faith had to be cleared away. In their fanaticism and ignorance, they who accomplished this pleaded that these things were either old-fashioned or poor art, or some such nonsense. This is not to defend cheap or manufactured or soulless art-pieces. Nor is it a condemnation of all art that is contemporary. It is, rather, the exposure of this Revolutionary belligerence towards all things Catholic.

    Consider further how the priest now faces the people. He "presides" over their activities, and arranges that all be done for their pleasure and satisfaction. Yes, I know some will say, "You are going too far. You are talking about the most extreme cases." No, that is where you err. I am talking about those places where the "New Liturgy" has been truly understood and fully implemented. Your mistake is that you are thinking of those places where the priests and people have as yet failed to do so. They are nothing but foot-draggers, hold-outs; the priest there has somehow been able to compromise sufficiently so that he has kept his place, fended off the inevitable, while he has (somehow) kept his own conscience well-muzzled. Once he is gone, however, and he expects to be given his notice any day - all depends on the good pleasure of His Excellency, or his "associate-pastor," or the sisters, (now more to be feared than the wives of the sultan), or the parish council - "progress" will resume.

    Where this has already happened, the true setting for the "Nouvs Ordo" can be observed. The new churches speak volumes. Everything is centered around the Table. The Eucharist - or what purports to be the Eucharist - is either shunted off to the side somewhere (another temporary arrangement), or is nowhere to be found (the final arrangement). The President's Chair, or the Episcopal throne, now occupies the highest and most prominent place, that place where the altar and tabernacle used to be. The "New Mass" contains no rubric which presumes or requires either.

    Again, some may say, you are condemning the abuses and calling them the "New Liturgy." I am saying, what can you do about it? The "New Liturgy" permits, nay, inspires and encourages the abuses with its totally untraditionalist, ridiculous "options." It is contrary to the very idea of "ritual" that it be "optional." I am saying that with the discarding of the Missale Romanum, the Pope has undermined all authority, including his own, so that no one can prevent any and every form of sacrilege and impiety. By contradicting the idea that the Divine Liturgy was or can be fixed, he has taught that it cannot be: so, the "liturgy" now consists of anything any fool decides it to be. And if you think my logic not perfectly consistent, prove it! Let the bishops prove it; let them attempt to "regulate" the "New Liturgy;" let them begin to try to enforce Catholic Orthodoxy from their pulpits; let them try to tell their clergy what they may and may not do at their "mass." They have already found it impossible because the "New Liturgy" of its very nature makes it so.

    Finally, you may say, "You are basing your whole argument on one decree of one Pope, Pope St. Pius V, which decree was not an ex cathedra statement, since, according to you, the doctrines articulated in the Mass were not defined by it, but by the Council of Trent before the reign of St. Pius." It is true, I am not saying that the decree was an ex cathedra definition; were I to say that, I would be contradicting my explanation of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, which I said, can only be exercised with regard to specific doctrinal or moral propositions; the rite of the Mass is not in this category. However, I am not basing my argument on one decree only, but on the constant Tradition of the Church before and after "Quo Primum," a document which merely enunciated this Tradition in unmistakable language. My argument is really based on all the documents of the Church which concern themselves with the Mass of the Roman Rite, for they know of no other and admit of no other Mass. There are no documents which go contrary to Quo Primum, if one excepts the decrees of the Second Vatican Council - a subject we must not get embroiled in here. It is not, therefore, a matter of choosing the teaching and law of one Pope and rejecting those of another. It is a matter of choosing the traditional teaching and incontrovertibly binding law of the entire Church against the "wishes" of one Pope, which have no validity as law whatsoever. (On this last point, more will be said later.)

    Catholics will have to open their eyes to the simple fact that no Pope may abolish the Mass without denying his faith, without incurring the censures of the Council of Trent, and without giving greatest scandal. No matter if it be the Pope, he who commands that which is contrary to the teachings of Quo Primum, must be disobeyed; not to do so would be sinful.

    The cancerous idea that any Pope may abrogate any and all the laws of the Church, and introduce an entirely new body of doctrine, a brand new code of morality, an all-new book or rules, and a totally new concept of the nature of the Church is so utterly preposterous, that I am at a loss how to combat it. The notion has to be the ultimate form of "legalism"! According to this way of thinking, at the accession of the successor or Pope Paul, none of us should be surprised nor raise objection if the new Pope discards the "Novus Ordo" and brings out a "mass" more to his liking. Should he die six months after his 'mass' has been inaugurated, his successor may come forth with yet another model. (Well, now!).

    It will be observed, I am not attempting here to judge whether the 'consecration' of the "New Mass" is valid. Let us hope not, that it might be somewhat less sacrilegious. I presume all are aware that even should Transubstantiation take place, the "New Mass" would not for that reason be a worthy sacrifice, only a more terrible offense to the majesty and magnificence of God. In the True Mass the act of Transubstantiation provides the Sacrifice with its Victim and its Offerer, Who, in the rites which follow, yields Himself up to the Father in adoration and atonement, and then hands Himself over to such poor and needy souls as we to be their Food; in the "New Mass" Christ may or many not be present, while those whom He loves, despite all, gather round to celebrate their own penurious communalism and to take full advantage of His (temporary) tolerance of this Outrage. Notwithstanding much insistance from official quarters to the contrary, there is a high likelihood of the invalidity of this Sacrilege's "consecration rite." Part of the evidence is of course the fact that the Pope and all his army of "experts," "liturgists", and "theologians"- ably assisted by his bishops - have found the chemicals to sterilize their "missale" and our churches of all testimony to the need for or belief in the realities of the Unbloody Sacrifice and the Real Presence of Christ. At the same time, they have shown themselves totally incapable of and uninterested in proving that these essential mysteries have survived their mad antibioticism.

    And yet, everything which has had to do with the jettisoning of the True Mass and the imposition of its Caricature has reeked of mendacity, of conspiracy, of high-handed and heavy-handed arbitrariness. There has been nothing Catholic about it, nothing holy or beneficial. Every form of specious argumentation has been attempted, every form of trickery, and subterfuge. Dishonest scholarship, "court" theologians, and mistranslations - you name it! We shall come across a few examples of such things as we proceed.

    Simultaneously, nothing has been omitted for the "education" (read "indoctrination") of the people: officious editorials in official papers, Episcopal commissions, programs of instruction, seminars, "practice masses," filmed demonstrations, clergy conferences, lectures by "liturgists," timetables and deadlines, posters and cartoons. The "Catholic" publishing industry seems to have been saved from bankruptcy turning out new missals and missalettes, treatises and apologies, analyses and explanations, for the "New Mass," all doing their unconvincing utmost to tell how wonderful it all is, how timely, how inspired. And, as far as I can tell, there has not come forth so much as a single line of simple beauty in the vast welter of it.

    It goes without saying that, with all the effort, installing the "New Mass" was still quite a feat, and yet, really simple in its approach, when you get to the bottom of it. Everyone had to be deluded into thinking that the "New Mass" is really nothing but the True Mass somewhat changed, that it is simply a new "version" of the Mass, a new "rite." It is named the "Novus Ordo Missae," the "New Arrangement of the Mass."

      • Next: Chapter Three The Great Sacrilege - Paul VI's Defense Part Five

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      The Great Sacrilege by Father James F. Wathen