Asked Questions About the Society of Saint Pius X
should Catholics have nothing to do with the Novus
A criticism of the "New Rite" cannot be a criticism of
the Mass in itself, for this is the very sacrifice of Our Lord bequeathed
to His Church, but it is an examination, whether it is a fit rite
for embodying and enacting this august Sacrifice.
It is difficult for those who have known nothing other than
the Novus Ordo Missae to understand of what they have been
deprived—and attending a "Latin Mass" often just seems
alien. To see clearly what it is all about, it is necessary to have
a clear understanding of the defined truths of our Faith on the
11-18 are some of them). Only in the light of these can the
"new rite" of Mass be evaluated.
WHAT IS THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE?
us answer this by looking at its four causes, as the philosophers
What are the ELEMENTS that make up the New Rite?
are Catholic—a priest, bread and wine, genuflections, signs of the
Cross, etc., but some are Protestant—a table, common-place
utensils, communion under both kinds and in the hand, etc.
Now, the Novus Ordo Missae assumes these heterodox elements
alongside the Catholic ones to form a LITURGY FOR A MODERNIST RELIGION
which would marry the Church and the world, Catholicism and Protestantism,
light and darkness. Indeed, the Novus Ordo Missae presents
- a meal
11). This is shown by its use of a table around which
the people of God gather to offer bread and wine (vs. Principle
18) and to communicate from rather common-place utensils,
often under both kinds (vs. Principle
15), and usually in the hand (vs. Principle
16). (Note too the almost complete deletion of references
- a narrative
of a past event (vs. Principle
12). This told out loud by the one presiding (vs. Principle
14), who recounts Our Lord's words as read in Scripture (rather
than pronouncing a sacramental formula) and who makes no pause
until he has shown the Host to the people.
- a community
gathering, (vs. Principle
13). Christ is perhaps considered to be morally present
but ignored in his Sacramental Presence (vs. Principles
16 and 17).
Notice also the numerous RUBRICAL CHANGES: the celebrant facing
the people from where the tabernacle was formerly kept.
- Just after
the consecration, all acclaim He "will come again."
- Sacred vessels
are no longer gilt.
- Sacred particles
are ignored (vs. Principle 15):
- the priest
no longer joins thumb and forefinger after the consecration,
- the vessels
are not purified as they used to be,
is most frequently given in the hand.
on the part of the priest and kneeling on the part of the faithful
are much reduced.
- The people
take over much of what the priest formerly did.
the Novus Ordo Missae defined itself this way:
Lord's Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the
people of God gathered together under the presidency of the priest
to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.1
What is the AIM of this Novus Ordo Missae as a Rite?
intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly
called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way
that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy...
there was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove,
or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic,
in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the
Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass....
I began work on this trilogy I was concerned at the extent to which
the Catholic liturgy was being Protestantized. The more detailed
my study of the Revolution, the more evident it has become that
it has by-passed Protestantism and its final goal is humanism?3
latter is a fair evaluation when one considers the changes implemented,
the results achieved, and the tendency of modern theology, even
papal theology (cf. QUESTION
WHO made up the Novus Ordo Missae?
is the invention of a liturgical commission, the Consilium, whose
guiding light was Fr. Annibale Bugnini (made an archbishop in 1972
for his services), and which also included six Protestant experts.
Fr. Bugnini (principal author of Vatican Us Sacrosanctum Concilium)
had his own ideas on popular involvement in the liturgy,4
and the Protestant advisors had their own heretical ideas on the
essence of the Mass.
the one on whose authority the Novus Ordo Missae was enforced
was Pope Paul VI, who "promulgated" it by his constitution
Missale Romanum (Apr. 3, 1969).
or did POPE PAUL VI really do so?
- In the original
version of Missale Romanum, signed by Pope Paul VI, no
mention was made either of anyone's being obliged to use the Novus
Ordo Missae or when such an obligation might begin.
of the constitution mistranslate cogere et efficere (i.e.,
to sum up and draw a conclusion) as to give force of law.
- The version
in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis has an added paragraph "enjoining"
the New Missal, but it is in the wrong tense, the past, and reads
praescripsimus (i.e.., which we have ordered) thereby referring
to a past obligation, and nothing, moreover, in Missalae Romanum
prescribes, but at most permits the use of the "New Rite."5
Can it be true
that Pope Paul VI wanted this Missal but that it was not properly
JUDGEMENT ON THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE
Judging the Novus Ordo Missae in itself, in its official
Latin form, Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote to Pope Paul VI:
Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking
departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated
in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent (Sept. 25, 1969).
Archbishop Lefebvre definitely agreed with them when he wrote:
Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the
liturgical rules,...is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism.
It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.7
dissimulation of Catholic elements and the pandering to Protestants
which are evident in the Novus Ordo Missae render it a danger
to our faith, and, as such, evil, given that it lacks the good which
the sacred rite of Mass ought to have.
By their fruits you shall know them:
were promised the Novus Ordo Missae would renew Catholic
fervor, inspire the young, draw back the lapsed and attract non-Catholics.
Who today can pretend that these things are its fruits? Together
with the Novus Ordo Missae did there not instead come a dramatic
decline in Mass attendance and vocations, an "identity crisis"
among priests, a slowing in the rate of conversions, and an acceleration
from the point of view of its fruits, the Novus Ordo Missae is
not a rite conducive to the flourishing of the Church's mission.
Does it follow from the apparent promulgation by the Popes that
the Novus Ordo Missae is truly Catholic?—No, for the indefectibility
of the Church does not prevent the Pope personally from promoting
defective and modernist rites in the Latin rite of the Church. Moreover,
the Novus Ordo Missae;
- is not forced
upon the Church, as the Traditional Latin Mass can always be said
- is not promulgated
regularly (cf., [vi] above),
- and does
not engage the Church's infallibility.8
THIS BEING SO, CAN IT BE SAID THAT THE NOVUS ORDOMISSAEIS INVALID?
does not necessarily follow from the above defects, as serious as
they might be, for only three things are required for validity:
matter, form, and intention.
the celebrant must intend to do what the Church does. The Novus
Ordo Missae will no longer in and of itself guarantee that the
celebrant has this intention. That will depend on his personal faith
(generally unknown to those assisting, but more and more doubtful
as the crisis in the Church is prolonged). Therefore, these Masses
can be of doubtful validity, and more so with time.
words of consecration, especially of the wine, have been tampered
with. Has the "substance of the sacrament" (cf, Pope Pius
XII quoted in Principle 5) been respected? This is even more of
a problem in Masses in the vernacular, where pro multis (for
many) is deliberately mistranslated as for all. Some
argue that this is of such importance as to render these Masses
invalid. Many deny it; but this change does add to the doubt.
the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot
oblige for one's Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist
at it are unaware of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation
and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of
its harm, does not have the right to participate. He could only
then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively
taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons (weddings,
Pope Paul VI, Institutio Generalis, §7, 1969 version.
Jean Guitton (Dec. 19, 1993) Apropos (17) p.8f [Christian
Order, Oct. 1994] Jean Guitton was an intimate friend of Pope
Paul VI. Paul VI had 116 of his books and had made marginal study
notes in 17 of these.
Pope Paul's New Mass, p.137 (cf., p.149), (see Appendix II).
La Riforma Liturgica, A. Bugnini, Centro Liturgico Vincenziano,
The Angelus, March 1997, p.35.
It is known, moreover, that Pope Paul VI signed the Institutio
Generalis without reading it and without ensuring that it had
been checked out by the Holy Office.
An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p.29 (Appendix II).
Let us remember that a Pope engages his infallibility not only when
teaching on faith or morals (or legislating on what is necessarily
connected with them) but when so doing with full pontifical authority
and definitively (cf., Vatican I [Dz 1839]). But as regards
the Novus Ordo Missae, Pope Paul VI has stated (Nov. 19,
1969) that: "...the rite and its related rubric are not in
themselves a dogmatic definition. They are capable of various theological
qualifications, depending on the liturgical context to which they
relate. They are gestures and terms relating to a lived and living
religious action which involves the ineffable mystery of God's presence;
it is an action that is not always carried out in the exact same
form, an action that only theological analysis can examine and express
in doctrinal formulas that are logically satisfying."
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