25 September 1969
Most Holy Father:
Having carefully examined and presented for the scrutiny of others the New
Order of Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) prepared by the experts of the Committee for
the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, and after
lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel obliged before God and Your Holiness to
set forth the following considerations:
1. The accompanying Critical Study is the work of a select group of
bishops, theologians, liturgists, and pastors of souls. Despite its brevity,
the study shows quite clearly that the Novus Ordo Missae--considering the new
elements widely susceptible to widely different interpretations which are
implied or taken for granted--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 22 of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of
the rite definitively fixed at that time erected an insurmountable barrier
against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery.
2. The pastoral reasons put forth to justify such a grave break, even if
such reasons could still hold good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do
not seem sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all
that is of perennial value finds only a minor place--if it subsists at
all--could well turn into a certainty the suspicion, already prevalent, alas
in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian
people can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of
doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. The recent reforms have
amply demonstrated that new changes in the liturgy could not be made without
leading to complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who already show
signs of restiveness and an indubitable lessening of their faith. Among the
best of the clergy, the result is an agonizing crisis of conscience,
numberless instances of which come to us daily.
3. We are certain that these considerations, prompted by what we hear from
the living voice of shepherds and the flock, cannot but find an echo in the
heart of Your Holiness, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual
needs of the children of the Church. The subjects for whose benefit a law is
made have always had the right, nay the duty, to ask the legislator to
abrogate the law, should it prove to be harmful.
At a time, therefore, when the purity of the faith and the unity of the
Church suffer cruel lacerations and still greater peril, daily and sorrowfully
echoed in the words of You, our common Father, we most earnestly beseech Your
Holiness not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse
to the integral and fruitful Missal of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your
Holiness, and so deeply venerated by the whole Catholic world.
A. Card. Ottaviani
A. Card. Bacci
The Critical Study of the New Order of Mass
5 June 1969
A Group of Roman Theologians
In October 1967, the Synod of Bishops which met in Rome was asked to pass
judgment on an experimental celebration of what was then called a
"standard" or "normative" Mass. This Mass, composed by the
Committee for Implementing the Constitutions on the Sacred Liturgy (Consilium),
aroused very serious misgivings among the bishops present. With 187 members
voting, the results revealed considerable opposition (43 Negative), many
substantial reservations (62 Affirmative with reservations) and four
abstentions. The international press spoke of the Synod's
"rejection" of the proposed Mass, while the progressive wing of the
religious press passed over the event in silence. A well-known periodical,
aimed at bishops and expressing their teaching, summed up the new rite in
"They wanted to make a clean slate of the whole theology of the Mass.
It ended up in substance quite close to the Protestant theology which
destroyed the sacrifice of the Mass."
Unfortunately, we now find that the same "standard Mass,
"identical in substance, has reappeared as the New Order of Mass (Novus
Ordo Missae) recently promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Missale
Romanum (3 April 1969). In the two years that have passed since the Synod,
moreover, it appears that the national bishops' conferences (at least as such)
have not been consulted on the matter. The Apostolic Constitution states that
the old Missal which St. Pius V promulgated on 19 July 1570--its greater part,
in fact, goes back to St. Gregory the Great and even remoter antiquity 
--was the standard for four centuries whenever priests of the Latin Rite
celebrated the Holy Sacrifice. The Constitution adds that this Missal, taken
to every corner of the earth, "has been an abundant source of spiritual
nourishment to so many people in their devotion to God." Yet this same
Constitution, which would definitively end the use of the old Missal, claims
that the present reform is necessary because "a deep interest in
fostering the liturgy has become widespread and strong among the Christian
people." It seems that the last claim contains a serious equivocation. If
the Christian people expressed anything at all, it was the desire (thanks to
the great St. Pius X) to discover the true and immortal treasures of the
liturgy. They never, absolutely never, asked that the liturgy be changed or
mutilated to make it easier to understand. What the faithful did want was a
better understanding of a unique and unchangeable liturgy--a liturgy they had
no desire to see changed. Catholics everywhere, priests and laymen alike,
loved and venerated the Roman Missal of St. Pius V. It is impossible to
understand how using this Missal, along with proper religious instruction,
could prevent the faithful from participating in the liturgy more fully or
understanding it more profoundly. It is likewise impossible to understand why
the old Missal, when its many outstanding merits are recognized, should now be
deemed unworthy to continue to nourish the liturgical piety of the faithful.
Since the "standard Mass" now reintroduced and reimposed as the New
Order of Mass was already rejected in substance at the Synod, since it was
never submitted to the collegial judgment of the national bishop's
conferences, and since the faithful (least of all in mission lands) never
asked for any reform of the Mass whatsoever, it is impossible to understand
the reasons for the new legislation-- legislation which overthrows a tradition
unchanged in the Church since the 4th and 5th centuries. Since there are no
reasons, therefore, for undertaking this reform, it appears devoid of any
rational grounds to justify it and make it acceptable to the Catholic people.
The Second Vatican Council did indeed ask that the Order of Mass "be
revised in a way that will bring out more clearly the intrinsic nature and
purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them." 
We shall now see to what extent the recently promulgated Ordo responds to the
Council's wishes--wishes now no more than a faint memory. A point-by-point
examination of the Novus Ordo reveals changes so great that they confirm the
judgment already made on the "standard Mass"--for on many points it
has much to gladden the heart of even the most modernist Protestant.
Let us begin with the definition of the Mass. In Article 7 of the General
Instruction which precedes the New Order of Mass, we discover the following
The Lord's Supper or Mass is the sacred assembly or congregation of the
people of God gathering together, with a priest presiding, to celebrate the
memorial of the Lord.  For this reason Christ's promise applies supremely
to a local gathering together of the Church: "Where two or three come
together in my name, there am I in their midst." (Mt. 18:20) 
The definition of the Mass is thus reduced to a "supper," a term
which the General Instruction constantly repeats.  The Instruction further
characterizes this "supper" as an assembly, presided over by a
priest and held as a memorial of the Lord to recall what He did on Holy
Thursday. None of this in the very least implies:
- The Real Presence - The reality of the Sacrifice - The sacramental
function of the priest who consecrates - The intrinsic value of the
Eucharistic Sacrifice independent of - the presence of the
In a word, the Instruction's definition implies none of the dogmatic values
which are essential to the Mass and which, taken together, provide its true
definition. Here, deliberately omitting these dogmatic values by "going
beyond them" amounts, at least in practice, to denying them.  The
second part of Article 7 makes this already serious equivocation even worse.
It states that Christ's promise, ( "Where two or three come together in
my name, there am I in their midst") applies to this assembly supremely.
Thus, the Instruction puts Christ's promise (which refers only to His
spiritual presence through grace) on the same qualitative level (save for
greater intensity) as the substantial and physical reality of the sacramental
Eucharistic sacrifice. The next Article of the Instruction divides the Mass
into a "Liturgy of the Word" and a "Liturgy of the
Eucharist," and adds that the "table of God's Word" and the
"table of Christ's Body" are prepared at Mass so that the faithful
may receive "instruction and food." As we will see later, this
statement improperly joins the two parts of the Mass, as thought they
possessed equal symbolic value. The Instruction uses many different names for
the Mass, such as:
- Action of Christ and the People of God. - Lord's Supper or Mass - Paschal
Banquet - Common participation in the Table of the Lord - Eucharistic Prayer -
Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharistic
All these expressions are acceptable when used relatively--but when used
separately and absolutely, as they are here, they must be completely rejected.
It is obvious that the Novus Ordo obsessively emphasizes "supper"
and "memorial," instead of the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of
the Cross. Even the phrase in the Instruction describing the Mass as a
"memorial of the Passion and Resurrection" is inexact. The Mass is
the memorial of the unique Sacrifice, redemptive in itself; whereas the
Resurrection is the fruit which follows from that sacrifice.  We shall see
later how such equivocations are repeated and reiterated both in the formula
for the Consecration and throughout the Novus Ordo as a whole.
We now turn to the ends or purposes of the Mass--what it accomplishes in
the supernatural order.
1. ULTIMATE PURPOSE. The ultimate purpose of the Mass is the sacrifice of
praise rendered to the Most Holy Trinity. This end conforms to the primary
purpose of the Incarnation, explicitly enunciated by Christ Himself:
"Coming into the world he saith: sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not,
but a body thou hast fitted me."  In the Novus Ordo, this purpose has
- From the Offertory, where the prayer "Receive, Holy Trinity, this
oblation" has been removed. - From the conclusion of Mass, where the
prayer honoring the Trinity, "May the Tribute of my Homage, Most Holy
Trinity" has been eliminated. - From the Preface, since the Preface of
the Most Holy Trinity, formerly used on all ordinary Sundays, will henceforth
be used only on the Feast of the most Holy Trinity.
2. ORDINARY PURPOSE. The ordinary purpose of the Mass is propitiatory
sacrifice--making satisfaction to God for sin. This end, too, has been
compromised. Instead of emphasizing remission for sins for the living and the
dead, the new rite stresses the nourishment and sanctification of those
present.  At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the Blessed Sacrament and
thus placed Himself in It as Victim, in order to unite Himself to us as
Victim. But this act of sacrificial immolation occurs before the Blessed
Sacrament is consumed and possesses beforehand full redemptive value in
relation to the bloody Sacrifice on Calvary. The proof for this is that people
who assist are not bound to receive Communion sacramentally. 
3. IMMANENT PURPOSE. The immanent purpose of the Mass is fundamentally that
of sacrifice. It is essential that the Sacrifice, whatever its nature, be
pleasing to God and accepted by Him. Because of original sin, however, no
sacrifice other than the Christ's Sacrifice can claim to be acceptable and
pleasing to God in its own right. The Novus Ordo alters the nature of the
sacrificial offering by turning it into a type of exchange of gifts between
God and man. Man brings the bread, and God turns it into "the bread of
life"; man brings the wine, and God turns it into "spiritual
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we
have this bread (or wine) to offer, fruit of the earth (vine) and work of
human hands, It will become for us the bread of life (spiritual drink). 
The expressions "bread of life" and "spiritual drink,"
of course, are utterly vague and could mean anything. Once again, we come up
against the same basic equivocation: According to the new definition of the
Mass, Christ is only spiritually present among His own; here, bread and wine
are only spiritually---and not substantially---changed.  In the
Preparation of the Gifts, a similar equivocal game was played. The old
Offertory contained two magnificent prayers, the "Deus qui humanae"
and the "Offerimus tibi":
- The first prayer, recited at the preparation of the chalice, begins:
"O God, by whom the dignity of human nature was wondrously established
and yet more wondrously restored." It recalled man's innocence before the
Fall of Adam and his ransom by the blood of Christ, and it summed up the whole
economy of the Sacrifice from Adam to the present day. - The second prayer,
which accompanies the offering of the chalice, embodies the idea of
propitiation for sin: it implores God for His mercy as it asks that the
offering may ascend with a sweet fragrance in the presence of Thy divine
majesty. Like the first prayer, it admirably stresses the economy of the
In the Novus Ordo, both these prayers have been eliminated. In the
Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, the repeated petitions to God that He accept
the Sacrifice have also been suppressed; thus, there is no longer any clear
distinction between divine and human sacrifice. Having removed the keystone,
the reformers had to put up scaffolding. Having suppressed the real purposes
of the Mass, they had to substitute fictitious purposes of their own. This
forced them to introduce actions stressing the union between priest and
faithful, or among the faithful themselves--and led to the ridiculous attempt
to superimpose offerings for the poor and for the Church on the offering of
the host to be immolated. The fundamental uniqueness of the Victim to be
sacrificed will thus be completely obliterated. Participation in the
immolation of Christ the Victim will turn into a philanthropists' meeting or a
We now consider the essence of the Sacrifice. The New Order of Mass no
longer explicitly expresses the mystery of the Cross. It is obscured, veiled,
imperceptible to the faithful.  Here are some of the main reasons:
1. THE MEANING OF THE TERM "EUCHARISTIC PRAYER." The meaning the
Novus Ordo assigns to the so-called "Eucharistic Prayer" is as
"The entire congregation joins itself to Christ in acknowledging the
great things God has done and in offering the sacrifice." 
Which sacrifice does this refer to? Who offers the sacrifice? No answer is
given to these questions. The definition the Instruction provides for the
"Eucharistic Prayer" reduces it to the following:
"The center and summit of the entire celebration begins: the
Eucharistic Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification." 
The effects of the prayer thus replace the causes. And of the causes,
moreover, not a single word is said. The explicit mention of the purpose of
the sacrificial offering, made in the old rite with the prayer "Receive,
Most Holy Trinity, This Oblation," has been suppressed--and replaced with
*nothing.* The change in the formula reveals the change in doctrine.
2. OBLITERATION OF THE ROLE OF THE REAL PRESENCE. The reason why the
Sacrifice is no longer explicitly mentioned is simple: the central role of the
Real Presence has been suppressed. It has been removed from the place it so
resplendently occupied in the old liturgy. In the General Instruction, the
Real Presence is mentioned just once--and that in a footnote which is the only
reference to the Council of Trent. Here again, the context is that of
nourishment.  The real and permanent presence of Christ in the
transubstantiated Species--Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity--is never alluded
to. The very word transubstantiation is completely ignored. The invocation of
the Holy Ghost in the Offertory--the prayer "Come, Thou
Sanctifier"--has likewise been suppressed, with its petition that He
descend upon the offering to accomplish the miracle of the Divine Presence
again, just as he once descended into the Virgin's womb. This suppression is
one more in a series of denials and degradations of the Real Presence, both
tacit and systematic. Finally, it is impossible to ignore how ritual gestures
and usages expressing faith in the Real Presence have been abolished or
changed. The Novus Ordo eliminates:
- Genuflections. No more than three remain for the priest, and (with
certain exceptions) one of the faithful at the moment of the Consecration -
Purification of the priest's fingers over the chalice - Preserving the
priest's fingers from all profane contact after the Consecration -
Purification of sacred vessels, which need not be done immediately nor made on
the corporal - Protecting the contents of the chalice with the pall - Gilding
for the interior of sacred vessels - Solemn consecration for movable altars -
Consecrated stones and relics of the saints in the movable altar or on the
"table" when Mass is celebrated outside a sacred place. (The latter
leads straight to "eucharistic dinners" in private houses.) - Three
cloths on the altar--reduced to one - Thanksgiving for the Eucharist made
kneeling, now replaced by the grotesque practice of the priest and people
sitting to make their thanksgiving--a logical enough accompaniment to
receiving Communion standing. - All the ancient prescriptions observed in the
case of a host which fell, which are now reduced to a single, nearly sarcastic
direction: "It is to be picked up reverently." 
All these suppressions only emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma
of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.
3. THE ROLE OF THE MAIN ALTAR. The altar is nearly always called the table:
 "...the altar or the Lord's table, which is the center of the whole
eucharistic liturgy..."  The altar must now be detached from the back
wall so that the priest can walk around it and celebrate Mass facing the
people.  The Instruction states that the altar should be at the center of
the assembled faithful, so that their attention is spontaneously drawn to it.
Comparing this Article with another, however, seems to exclude outright the
reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar where Mass is celebrated.
 This will signal an irreparable dichotomy between the presence of Christ
the High Priest in the priest celebrating the Mass and Christ's sacramental
Presence. Before, they were one and the same Presence. Before, they were one
and the same Presence.  The Instruction recommends that the Blessed
Sacrament now be kept in a place apart for private devotion--as though It were
some sort of relic. Thus, on entering a church, one's attention will be drawn
not to a tabernacle, but to a table stripped bare. Once again, private piety
is set up against liturgical piety, and altar is set up against altar. The
Instruction urges that hosts distributed for Communion be ones consecrated at
the same Mass. It also recommends consecrating a large wafer,  so that the
priest can share a part of it with the faithful. It is always the same
disparaging attitude towards both the tabernacle and every form of Eucharistic
piety outside of Mass. This constitutes a new and violent blow to faith that
the Real Presence continues as long as the consecrated Species remain. 
4. THE FORMULAS FOR THE CONSECRATION. The old formula for the Consecration
was a *sacramental* formula, properly speaking, and not merely a *narrative*.
This was shown above by three things:
A. The Text Employed. The Scripture text was not used word-for-word as the
formula for the Consecration in the old Missal. St. Paul's expression, the
"Mystery of Faith," was inserted into the text as an immediate
expression of the priest's faith in the mystery which the Church makes real
through the hierarchical priesthood.
B. Typography and Punctuation. In the old Missal, a period and a new
paragraph separated the words "Take ye all of this and eat" from the
words of the sacramental form, "This is My Body." The period and the
new paragraph marked the passage from a merely narrative mode to a
sacramental and affirmative mode which is proper to a true sacramental
action. The words of Consecration in the Roman Missal, moreover, were printed
in larger type in the center of the page. Often a different color ink was
used. All these things clearly detached the words from a merely historical
context, and combined to give the formula of Consecration a proper and
C. The Anamnesis. The Roman Missal added the words "As often as ye
shall do these things, ye shall do them in memory of Me" after the
formula of Consecration. This formula referred not merely to remembering
Christ or a past event, but to Christ acting in the here and now. It was an
invitation to recall not merely His Person or the Last Supper, but to do
what He did in the way that He did it. In the Novus Ordo, the words
of St. Paul, "Do this in memory of Me," will now replace the old
formula and be daily proclaimed in the vernacular everywhere. This will
inevitably cause hearers to concentrate on the remembrance of Christ as the
end of the Eucharistic action, rather than as its beginning. The idea of
commemoration will thus soon replace the idea of the Mass as a sacramental
action.  The General Instruction emphasizes the narrative mode further
when it describes the Consecration as the "Institution Narrative"
 and when it adds that, "in fulfillment of the command received from
Christ...the Church keeps his memorial."  All this, in short, changes
the modus significandi of the words of Consecration--how they show forth the
sacramental action taking place. The priest now pronounces the formulas for
Consecration as part of an historical narrative, rather than as Christ's
representative issuing the affirmative judgment "This is My Body."
 Furthermore, the people's Memorial Acclamation which immediately follows
the Consecration--"Your holy death, we proclaim, O Lord...until you
come"--introduces the same ambiguity about the Real Presence under the
guise of an allusion to the Last Judgment. Without so much as a pause, the
people proclaim their expectation of Christ at the end of time, just at the
moment when He is substantially present on the altar--as if Christ's
real coming will occur only at the end of time, rather than there on the altar
itself. The second optional Memorial Acclamation brings this out even more
"When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death,
Lord Jesus, until you come in glory."
The juxtaposition of entirely different realities--immolation and eating,
the Real Presence and Christ's Second Coming--brings ambiguity to a new
We now consider the question of who performs the Sacrifice. In the old
rite, these were, in order: Christ, the priest, the Church and the faithful.
1. The Role of the Faithful in the New Rite. In the New Mass, the role
attributed to the faithful is autonomous, absolute--and hence completely
false. This is obvious not only from the new definition of the Mass
("...the sacred assembly or congregation of the people gathering
together..."), but also from the General Instruction's observation that
the priest's opening Greeting is meant to convey to the assembled community
the presence of the Lord:
Then through his greeting the priest declares to the assembled community
that the Lord is present. This greeting and response express the mystery of
the gathered Church. 
Is this the true presence of Christ? Yes, but only a spiritual presence. A
mystery of the Church? Certainly--but only insofar as the assembly manifests
and asks for Christ's presence. This new notion is stressed over and over
- Obsessive references to the communal character of the Mass.  - The
unheard of distinction between "Mass with a Congregation" and
"Mass without a Congregation."  - The description of the Prayer
of the Faithful as a part of the Mass where "the people exercising their
priestly office, intercede for all humanity." 
The faithful's "priestly office is presented equivocally, as if it
were autonomous, by omitting to mention that it is subordinated to the priest,
who, as consecrated mediator, presents the people's petitions to God during
the Canon of the Mass.
The Novus Ordo's Eucharistic Prayer III addresses the following prayers to
From age to age you gather a people to yourself, so that from east
to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name.
The "so that" in the passage makes it appear that the people,
rather than the priest, are the indispensable element in the celebration.
Since it is never made clear, even here, who offers the sacrifice, the people
themselves appear as possessing autonomous priestly powers.  From this
step, it would not be surprising if, before long, the people were permitted to
join with the priest if pronouncing the words of Consecration. Indeed, in some
places this has already happened.
2. The Role of the Priest in the New Rite. The role of the priest is
minimized, changed, and falsified:
- In relation to the people, he is now a mere president or brother, rather
than the consecrated minister who celebrates Mass "in the person of
Christ." - In relation to the Church, the priest is now merely one member
among others, someone taken from the people. In its treatment of the
invocation to the Holy Ghost in the Eucharistic Prayer (the epiclesis), the
General Instruction attributes the petitions anonymously to the Church. 
The priest's part has vanished. - In the new Penitential Rite which begins the
mass, the Confiteor has now become collective; hence the priest is no longer
judge, witness and intercessor before God. It is logical therefore that he no
longer recites the prayer of absolution which followed it and has now been
suppressed. The priest is now "integrated" with his brothers; even
the altar boy who serves at a "Mass without a Congregation" calls
the priest "brother." - Formerly, the priest's Communion was
ritually distinct from the people's Communion. The Novus Ordo suppresses this
important distinction. This was the moment when Christ the Eternal High Priest
and the priest who acts in the person of Christ came together in closest union
and completed the Sacrifice. - Not a word is said, moreover, about the
priest's power as "sacrificer," his consecratory action or how as
intermediary he brings about the Eucharistic presence. he now appears to be
nothing more than a Protestant minister. - By abolishing or rendering optional
many of the priestly vestments--in some cases only an alb and stole are now
required  --the new rite obliterates the priest's conformity to Christ
even more. The priest is no longer clothed with Christ's virtues. He is now a
mere "graduate" with one or two tokens that barely separate him from
the crowd  --"a little more a man than the rest," to quote from
a modern Dominican's unintentionally humorous definition.  Here, as when
they set up altar against altar, the reformers separated that which was
united: the one Priesthood of Christ from the Word of God.
3. The Role of the Church in the New Rite. Finally, there is the Church's
position in relation to Christ. In only one instance--in its treatment of the
form of the Mass without a Congregation--does the General Instruction admit
that the Mass is "the action of Christ and the Church."  In the
case of Mass with a Congregation, however, the only object the Instruction
hints as it "remembering Christ" and sanctifying those present.
"The priest celebrant," it says, "...joins the people to
himself in offering the sacrifice through Christ in the Spirit to the
Father"  --instead of saying that the people join themselves to
Christ who offers Himself through the Holy Ghost to the Father. In this
context, the following points should likewise be noted:
- The many grave omissions of the phrase "through Christ Our
Lord," a formula which guarantees that God will hear the Church's prayers
in every age.  - An all-pervading "paschalism" --an obsessive
emphasis on Easter and the Resurrection--almost as if there were no other
aspects of the communication of grace, which, while quite different, are
nevertheless equally important. - The strange and dubious "eschatologism"
--a stress upon Christ's Second Coming and the end of time--whereby the
permanent and eternal reality of the communication of grace is reduced to
something within the bonds of time. We hear of a people of God on the march, a
pilgrim Church--a Church no longer Militant against the powers of
darkness, but one which, having lost its link with eternity, marches to a
future envisioned in purely temporal terms.
In Eucharistic Prayer IV the Church--as One, Holy, Catholic, and
Apostolic--is abased by eliminating the Roman Canon's petition for all
orthodox believers who keep the Catholic and Apostolic faith. These are now
merely all who seek you with a sincere heart. The Memento of the Dead in the
Canon, moreover, is offered not as before for those who are gone before us
with the sign of faith, but merely for those who have died in the peace of
Christ. To this group--with further detriment to the notion of the Church's
unity and visibility--Eucharistic Prayer IV adds the great crowd of "all
the dead whose faith is known to You alone." None of the three new
Eucharistic Prayers, moreover, alludes to a suffering state for those who have
died; none allows the priest to make special Mementos for the dead. All this
necessarily undermines faith in the propitiatory and redemptive nature of the
sacrifice.  Everywhere desacralizing omissions debase the mystery of the
Church. Above all, the Church's nature as a sacred hierarchy is disregarded.
The second part of the new collective Confiteor reduces the Angels and the
Saints to anonymity in the first part, in the person of St. Michael the
Archangel, they have disappeared as witnesses and judges.  In the Preface
for Eucharistic Prayer II--and this is unprecedented--the various angelic
hierarchies have disappeared. Also suppressed, in the third prayer of the old
Canon, is the memory of the holy Pontiffs and Martyrs on whom the Church in
Rome was founded; without a doubt, these were the saints who handed down the
apostolic tradition finally completed under Pope St. Gregory as the Roman
Mass. The prayer after the Our Father, the "Libera Nos," now
suppresses the mention of the Blessed Virgin, the holy apostles and all the
Saints; their intercession is thus no longer sought, even it times of danger.
Everywhere except in the Roman Canon, the Novus Ordo eliminates not only the
names of the Apostles Peter and Paul, founders of the Church in Rome, but also
the names of the other Apostles, the foundation and mark of the one and
universal Church. This intolerable omission, extending even to the three new
Eucharistic Prayers, compromises the unity of the Church. The New Order of
Mass further attacks the dogma of the Communion of Saints by suppressing the
blessing and the salutation "The Lord Be with You" when the priest
says Mass without a server. It also eliminates the "Ite Missa Est,"
even in Masses celebrated with a server.  The double Confiteor at the
beginning of the Mass showed how the priest, vested as Christ's minister and
bowing profoundly, acknowledged himself unworthy of both is sublime mission
and the "tremendous mystery" he was to enact. Then, in the prayer
"Take Away Our Sins," he acknowledged his unworthiness to enter the
Holy of Holies, recommending himself with the prayer "We Beseech Thee, O
Lord" to the merits and intercession of the martyrs whose relics were
enclosed in the altar. Both prayers have been suppressed. What was said
previously about elimination of the two-fold Confiteor and Communion rite is
equally relevant here. The outward setting of the Sacrifice, a sign of its
sacred character, has been profaned. See, for example, the new provisions for
celebrating Mass outside a church: a simple table, containing neither a
consecrated altar-stone nor relics and covered with a single cloth, is allowed
to suffice for an altar.  Here too, all we have said previously in regard
to the Real Presence applies--disassociation of the "banquet" and
the Sacrifice of the supper from the Real Presence itself.
The process of desacralization is made complete, thanks to the new and
grotesque procedure for the Offertory Procession, the reference to ordinary
(rather than unleavened) bread, and allowing servers (and even lay people,
when receiving Communion under both Species) to handle sacred vessels. 
then there is the distracting atmosphere created in the church: the ceaseless
comings and goings of priest, deacon, subdeacon, cantor, commentator--the
priest himself becomes a commentator, constantly encouraged to
"explain" what he is about to do-- of lectors (men and women), of
servers or laymen welcoming people at the door and escorting them to their
places, while others carry and sort offerings. And in an era of frenzy for a
"return to Scripture," we now find, in contradiction of both the Old
Testament and St. Paul, the presence of a "suitable woman" who for
the first time in the Church's history is authorized to proclaim the Scripture
readings and "perform other ministries outside the sanctuary." 
Finally, there is the mania for concelebration, which will ultimately destroy
the priest's Eucharistic piety by overshadowing the central figure of Christ,
sole priest and Victim, and by dissolving Him into the collective presence
presence of concelebrants. 
We have limited ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it
deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our
observations touch upon deviations which are typical. To prepare a complete
study of all the pitfalls, dangers, and psychologically and spiritually
destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics, or
instructions, would be a vast undertaking. We have taken no more than a
passing glance at the three new Eucharistic Prayers, since they have already
come in for repeated and authoritative criticism. The second gave immediate
scandal to the faithful due to its brevity.  Of Eucharistic Prayer II it
has well been said that a priest who no longer believed in either
Transubstantiation or the sacrificial character of the Mass could recite it
with perfect tranquillity of conscience, and that a Protestant minister,
moreover, could use it in his own celebrations just as well. The new Missal
was introduced in Rome as an "abundant resource for pastoral work,"
as "a text more pastoral than juridical," which national bishops'
conferences could adapt, according to circumstances, to the "spirit"
of different peoples. Section One of the new Congregation for Divine Worship,
moreover, will now be responsible "for the publication and *constant
revision* of liturgical books." This idea was echoed recently in the
official newsletter of the Liturgical Institutes of Germany, Switzerland and
- The Latin texts must now be translated into the languages of different
nations. - The "Roman style" must be adapted to the individuality of
each local Church. - That which was conceived in a timeless state must now be
transposed into the changing context of concrete situations, and into the
constant flux of the universal Church and its myriad congregations. 
The Apostolic Constitution itself, in promulgating the Novus Ordo Missae,
deals a deathblow to the Church's universal language when--contrary to the
express wish of the Second Vatican Council--it unequivocally states that
"in great diversity of languages, one [?] and the same prayer will
ascend, more fragrant than incense." The demise of Latin may therefore be
taken for granted, Gregorian chant--which Vatican II recognized as a
distinctive characteristic of the Roman liturgy, decreeing that it "be
given pride of place in liturgical services"  --will logically
follow, given, among other things, the freedom of choice permitted in choosing
texts for the Introit and the Gradual. From the outset, therefore, the new
rite was pluralistic and experimental, bound to time and place. Since unity of
worship has been shattered once and for all, what basis will exist for the
unity of the faith which accompanied it and which, we were told, was always to
be defended without compromise? It is obvious that the New Order of Mass has
no intention of presenting the Faith taught by the Council of Trent. But it is
to this Faith that the Catholic conscience is bound forever. Thus, with the
promulgation of the New Order of Mass, the true Catholic is faced with a
tragic need to choose.
The Apostolic Constitution explicitly mentions the riches of piety and
doctrine the Novus Ordo supposedly borrows from the Eastern Churches. But the
result is so removed from, and indeed opposed to the spirit of the Eastern
liturgies that it can only leave the faithful in those rites revolted and
horrified. What do these ecumenical borrowings amount to? Basically, to
introducing multiple texts for the Eucharistic Prayer (the anaphora)--none of
which approaches their Eastern counterparts' complexity or beauty--and to
permitting Communion Under Both Species and the use of deacons. Against this,
the New Order of Mass appears to have been deliberately shorn of every element
where the Roman liturgy came closest to the Eastern Rites.  At the same
time, by abandoning its unmistakable and immemorial Roman character, the Novus
Ordo cast off what was spiritually precious of its own. In place of this are
elements which bring the new rite closer to certain Protestant liturgies, not
even those closest to Catholicism. At the same time, these new elements
degrade the Roman liturgy and further alienate it from the East, as did the
reforms which preceded the Novus Ordo. In compensation, the new liturgy will
delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a
spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning
Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and
St. Pius V had the Roman Missal drawn up (as the present Apostolic
Constitution now recalls) as an instrument of unity among Catholics. In
conformity with the injunctions of the Council of Trent, the Missal was to
exclude all dangers, either to liturgical worship or to the faith itself, then
threatened by the Protestant Revolt. The grave situation fully justified--and
even rendered prophetic--the saintly Pontiff's solemn warning given in 1570 at
the end of the Bull promulgating his Missal:
Should anyone presume to tamper with this, let him know that he shall incur
the wrath of God Almighty and His holy Apostles Peter and Paul. 
When the Novus Ordo was presented at the Vatican Press Office, it was
impudently asserted that conditions which prompted the decrees of the Council
of Trent no longer exist. Not only do these decrees still apply today, but
conditions now are infinitely worse. It was precisely to repel those snares
which in every age threaten the pure Deposit of Faith,  that the Church,
under divine inspiration, set up dogmatic definitions and doctrinal
pronouncements as her defenses. These in turn immediately influenced her
worship, which became the most complete monument to her faith. Trying to
return this worship to the practices of Christian antiquity and recreating
artificially the original spontaneity of ancient times is to engage in that
"unhealthy archaeologism" Pius XII so roundly condemned.  It is,
moreover, to dismantle all the theological ramparts erected for the protection
of the rite and to take away all the beauty which enriched it for centuries.
 And all this at one of the most critical moments--if not the most
critical moment--in the Church's history! Today, division and schism are
officially acknowledged to exist not only outside the Church, but within her
as well.  The Church's unity is not only threatened, but has already been
tragically compromised.  Errors against the Faith are not merely
insinuated, but are--as has been likewise acknowledged--now forcibly imposed
through liturgical abuses and aberrations. To abandon a liturgical tradition
which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, 
and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties
it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division--a liturgy which
teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the
Catholic Faith--is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable
Corpus Domini 5 June 1969
DB: Denziger-Bannwart. "Enchrindion Symbolorum." 32nd edition.
Barcelona, Frieburg and Rome: Herder, 1957.
DOL: "Documents on the Liturgy, 1963-1979: Conciliar, Papal, and
Curial Texts." Translated, compiled, and arranged by the International
Committee on English in the Liturgy. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1982
GI: General Instruction on the Roman Missal. "Institutio Generalis
Missalis Romani." 1st edition, 6 April 1969. In Paul VI, "Missale
Romanum...Pauli VI Promulgatum: Ordo Missae," 12-76. 2nd edition. March
1970. Translated in DOL 1391-1731, with variants between 1975 "editio
typica altera" and 1st edition provided in footnotes.
PTL: "Papal Teachings: The Liturgy," selected and arranged by the
Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, translated by the Daughters of St. Paul.
Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1962.
SC: Vatican Council II. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy "Sacrosanctum
Consilium," 4 December 1963. Translated in DOL 1-131.
1. "The prayers of Our Canon are found in the treatise
"De Sacramentis" (4th, 5th centuries)...Our Mass goes back without
essential changes to the epoch in which it developed for the first time from
the most ancient common liturgy. It still preserves the fragrance of that
primitive liturgy, in times when Caesar governed the world and hoped to
extinguish the Christian faith' times when our forefathers would gather
together before dawn to sing a hymn to Christ as their God...There is not in
all Christendom a rite so venerable as that of the Roman Missal." (Rev.
Adrian Fortescue). "The Roman Canon, such as it is today, goes back to
St. Gregory the Great. Neither in East nor West is there any Eucharistic
prayer remaining in use today that can boast such antiquity. For the Roman
Church to throw it overboard would be tantamount, in the eyes not only of the
Orthodox, but also of the Anglicans and even Protestants having still to some
extent a sense of tradition, to a denial of all claim any more to be the true
Catholic Church." (Rev. Louis Bouyer)
2. SC 50, DOL 50.
3. A footnote in the Instruction refers us to two texts of
Vatican II. But nothing in the texts justifies the new definition, as it is
evident from the following: "Through the ministry of the bishop, God
consecrates priests...In exercising sacred functions they therefore act as the
ministers of him who in the liturgy continually fulfill his priestly office on
our behalf....By the celebration of Mass people sacramentally offer the
sacrifice of Christ." Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests "Presbyterum
Ordinis," 7 December 1965, Section 5, DOL 260. "For in the liturgy
God is speaking to his people and Christ is still proclaiming his Gospel. And
the people are responding to God both by song and prayer. Moreover, the
prayers addressed to God *by the priest,* who presides over the assembly *in
the person of Christ,* are said in the name of the entire holy people and of
all present." SC 33, DOL 33. One is at a loss to explain how the
Instruction's definition could have been drawn from these texts. We note too
how the new definition of the Mass alters what Vatican II laid down in
Presbyterum Ordinis Section 5: "The Eucharistic assembly is the center of
the congregation of the faithful." Since the center in the New Order of
the Mass has been fraudulently spirited away, the congregation has now usurped
4. GI 7, DOL 1937 fn.
5. GI 8, DOL 1398; GI 48, DOL 1438 fn. GI 55.d, DOL 1445
fin; GI 56, DOL 1446.
6. The Council of Trent reaffirms the Real Presence in the
following words: "To begin with, the holy council teaches and openly and
straightforwardly professes that in the blessed Sacrament of the Holy
Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus
Christ, true God and man, is truly, really and substantially contained under
the perceptible species of bread and wine." DB 874. Session 22 which
interests us directly in nine canons (DB 937a-956): 1) The Mass is not a mere
symbolic representation, but rather a true, visible sacrifice, instituted
"to re-present the bloody sacrifice which [Christ] accomplished on the
cross once and for all. It was to perpetuate his memory until the end of the
world. Its salutary strength was to be applied for the remission of the sins
that we daily commit." DB 938. 2) "Declaring himself constituted a
priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, [Our Lord] offered his
body and blood under the species of bread and wine to God the Father and he
gave his body and blood under the same species to the apostles to receive,
making them priests of the New Testament at that time...He ordered the
apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer this sacrifice when
he said, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' as the Catholic Church has always
understood and taught." DB 938. The celebrant, offerer and sacrificer is
the ordained priest, and not the people of God or the assembly: "If
anyone says that by the words, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' Christ did not
make the apostles priests, or that he did not decree that they and other
priests should offer his body and blood: let him be anathema." Canon 2,
DB 949. The Sacrifice of the Mass is a true propitiatory sacrifice, and not a
simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the cross: "If anyone says
that the Sacrifice of the Mass is merely an offering of praise and of
thanksgiving, or that it is a simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the
cross, and not propitiatory, or that it benefits only those who communicate;
and that it should not be offered for the living and the dead, for sins,
punishments, satisfaction, and other necessities: let him be anathema."
Canon 3, DB 950. Canon 6 should likewise be kept in mind: "If anyone says
that there are errors in the Canon of the Mass and that it should therefore be
done away with: let him be anathema." DB 953. Likewise Canon 8: "If
anyone says that Masses in which the priest alone communicates sacramentally
are illicit and should be done away with: let him be anathema." DB 955.
7. It is perhaps superfluous to recall that, if a single
defined dogma were denied, all dogma would fall ipso facto, insofar as the
principle of the infallibility of the supreme hierarchical magisterium,
whether conciliar or papal, would thereby be destroyed.
8. In light of the first prayer after the Consecration in
the Roman Canon (Unde et memores), the Ascension could also be added. The Unde
et memores, however, does not lump different realities together. It makes a
clear and fine distinction: "calling to mind...the blessed passion, and
also His rising from the dead and His glorious Ascension into Heaven."
9. Ps. 50:7-9, in Heb. 10:5.
10. GI 54, DOL 1444.
11. This shift of emphasis occurs in the three new
Eucharistic Prayers, which eliminate the Memento of the Dead and any mention
of souls suffering in Purgatory, to whom the propitiatory Sacrifice is
12. See "Mysterium Fidei," in which Paul VI
condemns the errors of symbolism together with the new theories of "transignification:
and "transfinalization": "...it is not allowable...to stress
the sign value of the sacrament as if the symbolism, which to be sure all
acknowledge in the Eucharist, expresses fully and exhaustively the meaning of
Christ's presence; or to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without
mentioning the marvelous changing of the whole substance of the bread into the
body and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood of Christ, as
stated by the Council of Trent, so that only what is called 'transignification'
or 'transfinalization' is involved." Encyclical "Mysterium Fidei"
on the doctrine and worship of the Eucharist, 3 September 1965, Section 11,
13. "Mysterium Fidei" amply denounces and condemns
introducing new formulas or expressions which, though occurring in texts of
the Fathers, the Councils, and the Church's magisterium, are used in a
univocal sense that is not subordinated to the substance of doctrine with
which they form an inseparable whole (e.g., "spiritual nourishment,"
"spiritual food," "spiritual drink," etc.): "Not only
the integrity of the faith, but also its proper mode of expression must be
safeguarded, lest, God forbid, by the careless use of words we introduce false
notions about the most sublime realities." He quotes St. Augustine:
" 'We, however, have the obligation to speak according to a definite
norm, lest the carelessness of our words give rise to impious ideas about the
very realities signified by these words.' " He continues: "We must
religiously respect the rule of terminology; after centuries of effort and
under the protection of the Holy Spirit the Church has established it and
confirmed it by the authority of councils; that norm often became the
watchword and the banner of orthodox belief. Let no one arbitrarily or under
the pretext of new science presume to change it...In like manner we must not
put up with anyone's personal wish to modify the formulas in which the Council
of Trent set forth the mystery of the Eucharist for belief." Sections 23,
24; DOL 1167-8.
14. Contradicting what Vatican II prescribed. (Cf. SC 48,
15. GI 54, DOL 1444.
16. GI 54, DOL 1444.
17. GI 241 fn. 69, DOL 1630.
18. GI 129, DOL 1629.
19. The Instruction recognizes the altar's primary function
only once: "At the altar, the sacrifice of the cross is made present
under sacramental signs." GI 259, DOL 1649. This single reference seems
insufficient to remove the equivocation resulting from the other, more
frequently used term.
20. GI 49, DOL 1489. Cf. GI 262, DOL 1652.
21. GI 262, DOL 1652.
22. GI 262, DOL 1652, and GI 276, DOL 1666. 23.
23. "To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate
two things which by their origin and nature should remain united." Pius
XII, "Allocution to the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy."
22 September 1956, PTL 817. See also Pius XII, Encyclical "Mediator
Dei," 20 November 1947, PTL 550, quoted below.
24. Rarely does the Novus Ordo use the word hostia. In
liturgical books this traditional term has a precise meaning:
"victim." Again we encounter a systematic attempt to emphasize only
"supper" and "food."
25. Following their customary practice of substituting one
thing for another, the reformers made Christ's presence in the proclaimed word
equal to the Real Presence. (See GI 7, 54; DOL 1397, 1444). But Christ's
presence when Scripture is proclaimed is of a different nature and has no
reality except when it is taking place (in usu). Christ's Real Presence in the
consecrated Host, on the other hand, is objective, permanent and independent
of the reception of the Sacrament. The formulae "God is speaking to his
people," and "Christ is present to the faithful through his own
word" (GI 33, DOL 1423) are typically Protestant. Strictly speaking, they
have no meaning, since God's presence in the word is mediated, bound to an
individual's spiritual act or condition, and only temporary. This formula
leads to a tragic error: the conclusion, expressed or implied, that the Real
Presence continues only as long as the Sacrament is in the process of being
used--received at Communion time, for instance--and that the Real Presence
ends when the use ends.
26. As the General Instruction describes it, the sacramental
action originated at the moment Our Lord gave the Apostles His Body and Blood
"to eat" under the appearances of bread and wine. The sacramental
action thus no longer consists in the consecratory action and the mystical
separation of the Body from the Blood--the very essence of Eucharistic
Sacrifice. See "Mediator Dei," esp. Part II, Chapter I, PTL 551, ff.
27. GI 55.d, DOL 1445 fn..
28. GI 55.d, DOL 1445.
29. As they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo, the
words of Consecration could be valid in virtue of the priest's intention. But
since their validity no longer comes from the force of the sacramental words
themselves (ex vi verborum)--or more precisely, from the meaning (modus
significandi) the old rite of the Mass gave to the formula--the words of
Consecration in the New Order of Mass could also not be valid. Will priests in
the near future, who receive no traditional formation and who rely on the
Novus Ordo for the intention of "doing what the Church does,"
validly consecrate at Mass? One may be allowed to doubt it.
30. Let it not be said, following the methods of Protestant
biblical scholarship, that these phrases being in the same Scriptural context.
The Church always avoided superimposing and juxtaposing the texts, precisely
in order to avoid confusing the different realities they express.
31. GI 28, DOL 1418
32. GI 74-152, DOL 1464-1542.
33. GI 209-231, DOL 1599-1621.
34. GI 45, DOL 1435.
35. Against the Lutherans and Calvinists who teach that all
Christians are priests and offerers of the Lord's Supper, see A. Tanquerey,
"Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae," (Paris, Tournai, Rome: Desclee,
1930), v. III: "Each and every priest is, strictly speaking, a secondary
minister of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Christ Himself is the principal
minister. The faithful offer *through the intermediary of the priest, but not
in a strict sense*." Cf. Council of Trent, Session 22, Canon 2, DB 949.
36. GI 55, DOL 1445.
37. GI 298, DOL 1688 fn..
38. We note in passing an unthinkable innovation which will
have disastrous psychological effects; employing *red* vestments on Good
Friday instead of black (GI 308.b, DOL 1698)--as if Good Friday were the
commemoration of just another martyr, instead of the day on which the whole
Church mourns for her Founder. (Cf. Mediator Dei, PTL 550, quoted below.)
39. Rev. A. M. Rouget, OP, speaking to the Dominican Sisters
of Bethany at Plessit-Chenet.
40. GI 4, DOL 1394. Cf. "Presbyterum Ordinis,"
Section 13, DOL 265.
41. GI 60, DOL 1450 fn.
42. See Jn. 14:13-16, 23-24.
43. In some translations of the Roman Canon, the phrase a
place of refreshment, light and peace was rendered as a simple state:
"blessedness, light, peace." What can be said then of the
disappearance of every explicit reference to the Church Suffering?
44. Amidst this flurry of omissions, only one element has
been added: the mention in the Confiteor of "what I have failed to
45. At the press conference introducing the Novus Ordo, Rev.
Joseph Lecuyer, CSSp, professing a purely rationalist faith, discussed
changing the priest's salutations in Mass without a Congregation from plural
to singular ("Pray, brother," for example, replaces "Pray,
brethren.") His reason was "so that there would be nothing [in the
Mass] which does not correspond with the truth."
46. GI Section 260, 265; DOL 1650, 1655.
47. GI 244.C, DOL 1634.
48. GI 70, DOL 1460, fn.
49. It now seems lawful for priest to receive Communion
under both species at a concelebration, even when they are obliged to
celebrate Mass alone before or after concelebrating.
50. It has been presented as "The Canon of Hippolytus,"
but only a few traces of that original text remain in the new rite.
51. Gottesdienst no. 9 (14 May 1969).
52. SC 116, DOL 116.
53. Consider the following elements found in the Byzantine
rite: lengthy and repeated penitential prayers; solemn vesting rites for the
celebrant and deacon; the preparation of the offerings at the "proscomidia,"
a complete rite in itself; repeated invocations, even in the prayers of
offering, to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints; invocations of the choirs of
Angels at the Gospel as "invisible concelebrants," while the choir
identifies itself with the angelic choirs in the "Cherubicon;" the
sanctuary screen (iconostasis) separating the sanctuary from the rest of the
church and the clergy from the people; the hidden Consecration, symbolizing
the divine mystery to which the entire liturgy alludes; the position of the
priest who celebrates facing God, and never facing the people; Communion given
always and only by the celebrant; the continual marks of adoration toward the
Sacred Species; the essentially contemplative attitude of the people. The fact
that these liturgies, even in their less solemn forms, last for over an hour
and are constantly defined as "awe-inspiring, unutterable...heavenly,
life-giving mysteries" speaks for itself. Finally, we note how in both
the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of St. Basil, the
concept of "supper" or "banquet" appears clearly
subordinate to the concept of sacrifice --just as it was in the Roman Mass.
54. Bull "Quo Primum," 13 July 1570. In Session 23
(Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist), the Council of Trent announced its
intention to "uproot completely the cockle of the damnable errors and
schism which in these fateful times of ours and enemy has sown (see Matt.
13:25) in the teaching of the faith about the Holy Eucharist and about the use
and worship of the Eucharist. In addition to his other purpose, our Saviour
left the Eucharist in his Church as a symbol of unity and love which he
desired to unify and unite all Christians." DB 873.
55. "Keep that which is committed to thy trust,
avoiding the profane novelties of words." (1 Tim. 6:20)
56. "Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to
return in spirit and affection to the sources of the Sacred Liturgy. For
research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins,
contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful
investigation of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion.
But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every
possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the
right path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form;
were he to want black excluded as a color for liturgical vestments; were he to
forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the
crucifix so designed that the Divine Redeemer's Body shows no trace of His
cruel sufferings...This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and
senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Synod of Pistoia gave rise. It
likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for
the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with
grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of
the "depositum fidei" committed to her charge by her Divine Founder,
had every right and reason to condemn." "Mediator Dei," I.5,
PTL 548, 549.
57. "Let us not deceive ourselves with the suggestion
that the Church, which has become great and majestic for the glory of God as a
magnificent temple of His, must be brought to its original and smallest
proportions, as though they were the only true ones, the only good ones."
Paul VI, Encyclical "Ecclesiam Suam," 6 August 1964.
58. "A practically schismatic ferment divides,
subdivides, splits the Church." Paul VI, Homily "In Coena Domini,"
3 April 1969.
59. "There are also among us those "schisms"
and "separations" which St. Paul sadly denounces in I
Corinthians." Paul VI, ibid.
60. It is well-known how Vatican II is now being repudiated
by the very men who once gloried in being its leaders. While the Pope declared
at the Council's end that it had changed nothing, these men came away
determined to "explode" the Council's teachings in the process of
actually applying it. Unfortunately the Holy See, with inexplicable haste,
approved and even seemingly encouraged through Consilium an ever-increasing
infidelity to the Council.. This infidelity went from changes in mere form
(Latin, Gregorian Chant, suppression of the ancient rites, etc.) all the way
to changes in substance which the Novus Ordo sanctions. To the disastrous
consequences we have attempted to point out here, we must add those which,
with an even greater effect psychologically, will affect the Church's
discipline and teaching authority by undermining the respect and docility owed
the Holy See.