Extract of a Conference Given by the Archbishop Lefebvre
Concerning the Illicit/Schismatic New Mass
“I admit that the masses celebrated according to the new rite are not all invalid, in view of the bad translations, of his ambiguity …”
You have on that subject some explanations from the book of Mr. Salleron, those are in my opinion, probably the best ones which were given and the most complete. He really made a study on n.o.m. It’s hard to do it more perfectly and more completely then what he did very courageously. He is not afraid to say in which way the n.o.m is equivocal.
There are three chapters, one after the other, which show that it is equivocal and it is clear that the n.o.m favors heresy. For those reasons, the n.o.m is a failure. There are three chapters which are very well written for us now. Also, his whole analysis of the n.o.m and the whole history with all very well studied documents are really enlightening. If someone is still adhering to the n.o.m after having read that book, it is because he will never understand anything. Besides, that is why I brought it with me to the Holy Office. And then, when they talked with me about the n.o.m, they interrogated me. “So concerning the n.o.m; how is it that you say some rather serious things about it?” So, I can assure you they asked me questions. It’s shocking… “Do you maintain that a faithful catholic can think and affirm that a sacramental rite, especially the one of the Mass, approved and promulgated by the Pope, can be nonconforming with the Catholic faith or favor heresy?” I said: “Well here! You are holding the book. It’s not even my words, you see! But I agree absolutely with what he says: equivocal Mass, Mass favoring heresy …”
So, I also advise you to have this in your library, this book by Salleron, and to give it to the people who are hesitant. “But, even so, the n.o.m., we know priests who are brave, who are good and who are trying say it well etc.…”Read this! You will see! It is the n.o.m in itself! It is not the priest who is saying it. It is not because he says it piously or anything that the new rite changes. It is not because it changes anything in the rite of the Mass. It is obvious that this new rite is a rite that has been made only to draw us closer to the Protestants! That is clear! Finally, clear! On this subject, reread also the article by Father Boyer in the supplement of the Catholic Theological Dictionary. After the table of contents, there are a few articles and in particular a very long article by Father Boyer who was my teacher at the Gregorian, who is now dead, and who was very highly regarded, a man of value who was, for some time, Secretary of the Secretariat for Christian unity. Basically, I think he was named in this Secretariat to give a slightly more traditional image and to give some confidence to the people.
As you know, Father Boyer was a respected man, highly regarded in Roman circles and among teachers. He wrote a long article on ecumenism, an article very well documented where he quotes some phrases of Pope Paul VI requesting that we go as far as possible in suppressing everything that can hinder the Protestants in our ceremonies, excluding, obviously, what might be contrary to the Faith. But, I do not see how we can change the texts of our Mass and diminish them without harming the Faith? It is not possible! The Mass is everything! Once we remove what bothers the Protestants, how can we say that we are not going to touch the Faith? It is contradictory. They are unbelievable orders, and that is literally written by Father Boyer. So what do you want to do?
“And that’s why I never will celebrate the Mass according to the new rite, even under threat of ecclesiastical penalties and I will never advise anyone positively to participate actively in such a mass.”
Because people are still asking us those questions: “I have not the Mass of St. Pius V on Sunday, and there is a mass said by a priest that I know well, a holy man, so, wouldn’t be better to go to the mass of this priest, even if it is the new mass but said with piety instead of retaining myself?”
No! That’s not true! This is not true! Because this rite is bad! Is bad, is bad. This is the reason why this rite is bad, he is poisoned! It is a rite poisoned! Mr. Salleron says it very well here: “It is not a choice between two rites that would be good! This is a choice between a Catholic Rite and a rite practically, neighboring the Protestantism!” Its harm our Faith, the Catholic Faith!
So, it is out of question to encourage people to go to mass in the new rite, because slowly, even without realizing it, they end up ecumenist! It’s strange, but it’s like that. It is a fact. Then, ask them questions on ecumenism, on what they think of the relations with other religions and you will see! They are all ecumenist. For the priest himself, the fact of saying this mass and celebrating it in a constant manner, even without thinking about anything, about its origin, or why it was made, turns him and the people who assist to it: ecumenist. And, if we are asking them about ecumenism, their answer will be: “But of course! We can be saved in all religions, it’s obvious! This is the new mass, the n.o.m.
Of course, that’s why it is said: “in a positive manner to participate actively at such a mass.” But we can eventually, for reasons, as it is written in canon law like orthodox ceremonies, assist passively. For a wedding, parent’s funerals or things like that, where we feel obliged to be present and we cannot do otherwise, we assist passively. We don’t receive communion, we are not participating in the mass, but we are doing it more out of politeness towards the people who assist to it, than for assisting at the sacrifice of the Mass. Those are conditions that are already mentioned in the canon law, the old canon law. But attending to it in order to replace Sunday Mass, no! It is better to stay home reading and going once a month. Make the effort to go once a month and do 100 km if necessary, to attend the Catholic Mass! Like in the missions, we were visiting our faithful’s three times a year. We could not do more! That was the average. This didn’t mean that they were bad Christians. They could not do it otherwise. It is not an impossible thing. So we say: “But am I not doing a grave sin by not going to Mass?” Not at that mass! It does not oblige under pain of grave sin. We are never forced to do an act that tends to diminish our faith. It’s not possible. God cannot force us to do an act like this. On the other hand, […]we are seriously obliged to do everything possible to attend the Mass of St. Pius V, the Catholic Mass. There, the obligation remains, but not for a rite that is almost Protestant. On the contrary, there is an obligation not to go.
I’m a little surprised, you know. Sometimes, I receive a lot of requests for consultations from our priests who are in the priories and some are asking me: “What should one reply to a person who says he cannot have the Mass of St. Pius V and who believes that he is under the obligation to go to a mass of the new rite, said by a good priest, a serious priest who offers all the guarantees almost of holiness? etc. “But, I do not understand how they cannot answer this by themselves! They don’t find the conclusion by themselves and they feel obliged to ask me such a thing. It’s incredible! So you see, there are still some who hesitate. This is unbelievable!
And that, you will see, will be mandatory for those who have left us. For the fssp, for Dom Gerard, even if they never say the new rite themselves, even if they have our convictions, they will be obliged, to consider the new rite with the same value as the traditional rite! In practice, when they will receive the priests who will come to see them, they will be obliged to let them say their mass and tell them: “No problem. But of course, say your mass.” This is fatal! They cannot do otherwise. Look at the cohabitation of the two rites with Father Lafargue! In Paris there, with Father Veuillet! And beware! Father Lafargue and Father Veuillet must not go tell the others that their mass is bad or say: “you must come with me, you must come with us.” It is well marked in the contracts. The two rites are valid, do not criticize … So, this is not possible. It is impossible otherwise. They are trapped!
Extract from the conference of April 11th, 1990, given in Econe by His Excellency, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on the oath of fidelity to the positions of the sspx. (Part II, about the N.O.M)