ACCORDING TO ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
A Critical Look at the New Mass
By Hugh Akins
O God, the heathens are come into thy inheritance;
they have defiled thy holy temple – Psalm 78:1.
See what things the enemy hath done wickedly
in the sanctuary. – Psalm 73
1. THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
“ … And finally, when He came to the close of His Life, at the Last Supper He instituted the wonderful Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Eucharist” – Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis
“ The Mass perpetuates or renders perennial the Sacrifice of the Cross. It is substantially the same Sacrifice. It is Calvary in sacramental garb. It is CalvarY continued and renewed in a sacramental manner.” – Rev. M.D. Forrest, Chats With Converts
The culminating manifestation of God’s love for man is contained in the reality of Our Lord’s Presence in the third and highest sacrament – the Holy Eucharist. By the same token, the consummate expression of man’s submission to God, to the true order, to Jesus and to the Church is found in his devotion to this sublime fact to Christian belief. Jesus Crucified; Jesus dwelling among us and offering the graces of the Redemption through the re-enactment, renewal and continuation upon our altars of His Supreme Sacrifice of Calvary – this is what Holy Mass is.
Says St. Leonard of Port Maurice: “The altar of the Mass is the holy house of Nazareth, the crib of Bethlehem, the Egyptian place of exile, the hill of Calvary, the garden-tomb in which Our Savior’s Corpse reposed, and the Mount of Olives from which He ascended . . . The principal excellence of the most holy Sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the Cross of Calvary . . . That same Body, that same Blood, that same Jesus Who then offered Himself upon Calvary, now
offers Himself in the holy Mass” (The Hidden Treasure).
Everything in the Mass converges on this fundamental fact of Christian Faith: that our redemption was wrought by the Sacrifice of the Cross.
He Who reigns above the angels has humbled Himself to die a most humiliating and agonizing death for love of man, and to express that love everywhere and at all times in the renewal and continuation of His Sacrifice in Holy Mass. The Sovereign Designer of the universe Himself comes down to us, unworthy though we are, under the appearance of bread and wine. Except that no flesh is actually torn and no blood is shed, the Mass is otherwise one and the same occurrence as that of Mt. Calvary. It is not a commemoration of Christ’s Death on the Cross that Catholics celebrate at Mass, but a re-presentation of the same occurrence.
In other words, the Mass is not just a service consisting of a gathering of worshipers, a liturgy and a memorial meal. It is, in the very strictest sense of the word, a MIRACLE in which Jesus is really present in the actual re-performance or re-enactment of His one all-sufficient Death on the Cross.
All through the ages, back to the very dawn of creation, men and nations have made sacrifice their principal act of worship. The children of Adam offered sacrifices to God; Abel offered the firstborn of his flock. Cain offered the fruits of the earth (Gen.4). The Jewish priests splayed and offered lambs as sacrifice to God (Numb. 28), and by so doing were prefiguring the great Sacrifice to come, that of the New Law, in which men were to daily offer upon the altar “the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).
But these sacrifices of old, St. Paul tells us, were imperfect and insufficient, for “it is impossible that by the blood of oxen and of goats sins should be taken away.” With the appearance of Malachias in this, the greatest of all human and historic dramas, came the prophecy of a worthy victim to come, a “clean oblation”, a pure, unblemished sacrifice which would be acceptable to God, one in which would be offered from the rising to the setting of the sun (Mal. 1:10,11).
Only in the Catholic Church, only in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is this glorious prophecy fulfilled. Nowhere but on Catholic altars can this “clean oblation” be found. Nowhere but in the daily offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass is this worthy Victim presented to the Eternal Creator in atonement for the sins of man.
No other offering is acceptable to God as is this divine offering.
“In the Holy Eucharist, consecrated during every [valid] Mass and reserved in the tabernacles of Catholic churches, Jesus Christ is really present as Man and God. His Body is there, His Blood is there, His Soul is there, His Godhead is there. The God Who lived in endless ages alone before any creature was made, the God Who created the angels, men and all the material universe; the God Who permeates the sun, the moon and the stars and every fraction of space with His presence. He, that same God, is present with His human nature, really, truly and substantially under the appearances of bread and wine” (Fr. Francis Ripley, This Is The Faith).
This central, sublime act – the holy Sacrifice of the Mass – stands at the very pinnacle of God’s formula not only for man’s salvation but for order in the world. “Were it not for Holy Mass, at this very moment the world would be in the abyss, unable to bear up under the mighty load of its iniquities” (St. Leonard, op. cit).
There can be no salvation and true order without Christianity and no Christianity without the Mass. Those who foolishly seek salvation apart from the Mass and outside the one true Church stray from the proper order and, except for very few exceptions, labor and search in vain.
2. THE DEFORMATIVE NEW CONCEPT OF THE MASS
“They shall defile the sanctuary . . . and shall take away the continual Sacrifice, and shall place there the abomination of desolation” (Dan. 11:31).
For twenty centuries the Holy Sacrifice was the principal sources of grace for saints and sinners alike. Then came the Second Vatican Council, an exercise in novelty and innovation, in revolt and revolution, in betrayal and apostasy. As a result of the grave and enormous compromise of Vatican II, millions of Catholics no longer attend Mass. In fact, since 1958, the year John XXIII was elected Pope, “the proportion of Catholics attending Mass fell 23 percentage points . . .” according to a recent Gallup poll.
More dreadful yet, however, as an eventuality of that ill-contrived Council thousands of once Catholic churches no longer even offer the true Sacrifice of the Mass, but a modern and Protestanized version; an unCatholic memorial service or commemorative assemblage and celebration. The reformers have gone so far as to define Holy Mass in the very terms anathematized by the Council of Trent. This was done when in the Sunday Missal the French Hierarchy stated that “at Mass it is simply a question of commemorating the unique Sacrifice already accomplished.”
More shockingly, and of greater significance, this new and unquestionably false definition was expresses by no less an authority than the Bishop of Rome himself, John Paul II, in the Constitution preceding the new Canon Law. Here the gravely misinformed Pontiff referred to the new Mass, not as a sacrifice, but as a collegial, ecumenical communion service, which is precisely what Catholic Traditionalists, outraged and indignant, contend the modern Mass actually is; the very quintessence of which makes it more prostituted than pure, more Protestant than Catholic, more sacrilegious than sacred.
That the Eucharist is also the Crucifixion of Christ on Calvary renewed on the altar is no longer impressed upon Catholics in the contemporary, post-conciliar Church. The fact that we are at the same time present at the Last Supper and at the foot of the Cross, as in the traditional Mass, is omitted from the new liturgy. Almost every reference to sacrifice in the new Church has in fact been done away with. The liturgical reform consists simply in declaring null and void the Council of Trent and in transforming Catholicism into a new Protestantism under the semblance and sham of ecumenism. The new eucharistic liturgy actually undermines and obstructs belief in the real and substantial presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the altar. The situation is that severe. The crime that inexcusable.
Immersed in an ocean of secular-mindedness, the modern world finds it difficult conceiving the reality of miracles. Consequently, according to liberal thinking, rather than attempt to win nonbelievers over by force of reason, by pious example in worshipping before the Real Presence, by a sober and methodical presentation of the truth of what the Catholic Mass is and always was, instead, the miracle and mystery of the Mass was to be heavily diluted, heavily compromised, in the new ecumenical spirit.
The logic of the liberals runs something like this: if the unbelieving world is expected to accept the Mass, its sacrificial nature must be watered down so as not to offend those with little or misdirected faith. If the Mass is reduced to a Protestant concept of worship, to a memorial, commemorative service only, modern day “Christians” (and non-Christians as well) will find it easier to embrace. What it amounts to is that, because our faithless age no longer believes in miracles or supernatural mysteries, the most sublime mystery and miracle of Christendom – the true Mass – must undergo a radical change; more than a change, a virtual mutilation! And this is precisely what the subversive element who dominated the Second Vatican Council has done by throwing open the doors of the Church to every opinion, especially opinions held by those whose hatred of Catholicism and the traditional concept of the Mass is well documented.
Pius XII, the last truly holy and thoroughly Catholic Pontiff the modern world has seen, warned of this “wicked movement that tends to paralyze the sanctifying and salutary action by which the liturgy leads the children of adoption on the path to their heavenly Father.” Speaking to the universal Church through his encyclical letter, Mediator Dei, the Holy Father made it clear that “it would be wrong . . . to want the altar restored to its ancient form of a table; to want . . . pictures and statues excluded from our churches.” He also denounced the desire of some to remove the tabernacle from the altar, calling this initiative “a lessening of esteem for the presence and action of Christ in the tabernacle” (Ibid).
God Himself present in the Eucharistic Sacrament has indeed been shown a lessening of esteem in the new Mass. In a very profound sense He has even been thrown out of many conciliar places of worship. This explains why altars have been replaced by tables. It explains why the celebration of the Mass is now conducted facing the people rather than what was formerly the tabernacle of the living God. It further explains why Communion today is being distributed in the hand. Why recipients are no longer required to kneel. Why lay ministers and even nuns may now offer the host. Why Communion is given to unrepentant divorcees and homosexuals or pro-abortion politicians, whether openly as the Democrats do or deceptively like the majority of Republicans – even “Pro-Life” Republicans who foster the slaughter of the unborn innocents through the back door, as for example, by approving the continued funding of Planned Parenthood, such as President Bush has done all along, even while courting the Pro-Life vote. In addition it explains why the liturgy of the Word is given a greater importance than the redeeming Sacrifice. Why the memorial meal is exaggerated and Calvary all but eradicated. Why the number of genuflections have been dramatically reduced. Why women and young girls are permitted to enter the House of God clad in the most immodest fashions and men in their most casual attire. All of which undeniably amounts to a manifest dispassion for and diminution of the respect and reverence due the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
This Biblical admonishment might well have been issued to Catholics who participate in the new Mass. “This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; and in vain do they worship Me . . .” (Matt. 15:8).
All things considered, is it any wonder that in some circles the new liturgy is being called the abomination of desolation? And if you think abomination is too drastic a word to use in connection with the new Mass, consider the following transgression.
With the new Mass came the new theology, the new philosophy, the new liturgy and the new standard of Christian morals. A new morality which not only admits Catholic homosexuals in to the church but which permits and even encourages sexual deviants to receive Holy Communion. St Francis Xavier Church in New York is one such place which accommodates gays. It’s not enough, though, that homosexuals are made to feel welcome in parishes such as this one. The situation has gotten so far out of hand that accommodations tending to the spiritual needs of transvestites are likewise being made.
You read that correctly: TRANSVESTITES!
An article in the New York Times Magazine for November 4, 1984, entitled, “American Catholics: a Time for Challenge,” reported that “one of the lay eucharistic ministers who sometimes helps with the Mass, occasionally serves Communion wearing female attire. It is done as an encouragement, he told reporters, to transvestites and transsexuals to attend Mass.” And this is not an isolated incident. In our files we have information regarding the Mass being celebrated with people dressed up in clown suits, others with pet dogs, and sill others with dancing girls. But of course this is not in truth a “new” morality; merely a new resurgence of the same old immorality and amorality of past ages. Again, all owing to the spirit of Vatican II, the spirit of unbridled innovation, and tolerance even of the most heinous moral transgressions. And if this is not an abomination then we can’t imagine what would qualify as such.
It was thought by some naïve Catholics that the recent Synod in Rome would put an end to such sacrilegious “masses,” but the hope proved rather short-lived. There’s just no way, short of a full conversion of heart or a more direct intervention of God, that liberals are going to denounce Liberalism. And that’s the current state of affairs in the liberal-occupied, liberal-dominated Vatican.
The Novus Ordo Missae has left open the door for numerous Lutheran interpretations to abound, which explains why Lutherans have acknowledged finding the new Mass of Paul VI perfectly acceptable to them. It also demonstrates why John Paul II can feel right at home preaching in a Lutheran Church, a practice which prior to the Council would have been tagged a monumental scandal, if not a crime triggering an automatic excommunication!
As we pointed out above, numerous ambiguities in the new rite of worship allow for attending Protestants to see nothing in it but their own heretical communion service. Now we shall take it one step further by charging that it was in fact to this very end (that it might be accepted equally for Catholic and Protestant worship) that the new order was conceived and composed in the first place. The proof of this lies in the remarkable admission of liberal churchmen in the Declaration of the Superior Consistory of the Church of the Confession of Augusburg, Alsaceloraine on 8 December 1973. Here it is boldly proclaimed that a convergence of Catholic and Protestant theologies was the chief objective in drafting the new rite. We quote:
“Many obstacles which might have prevented a Protestant from participating in its eucharistic celebration seems to be on the way to disappear. It should be possible for a Protestant today to recognize in the Catholic eucharistic celebration the supper instituted by the Lord . . . we attach great importance to the use of the new prayers with which we feel at home and which have the advantage of giving a different interpretation to the theology of sacrifice than we were accustomed to attributing to Catholicism.”
That’s a startling admission of guilt, I’d say, and one that should convince even the most difficult skeptic. So confident and arrogant are some liberals in their wrongdoing that they no longer even attempt to conceal their most wicked schemes. The very same subversives who set out to create a new order of the Mass contrary to the Catholic theology of Holy Mass defined for all time by the Council of Trent, succeeded in stacking the Commission for Liturgical Reform with not just liberal Catholic sympathizers, but with six Protestant Pastors in the capacity of consultants, in addition to an unknown number of Catholic theologians stricken with liberal, progressive and modernist tendencies and notions.
Having now betrayed the Church’s mission to convert the world to the true Faith, the new initiative quite unmistakably focuses on compromise, appeasement and coexistence with the world, including embracing many of the world’s deadliest errors and accepting with open arms many of the Church’s most determined enemies. In saner times this would have been described as pure madness. And worse.
A good number of the conciliar and post-conciliar liturgical reforms, if not an outright carbon copy, are at least strongly reminiscent of, the reforms advocated by Luther, Cramner, the Jansenists, and the Council of Pistoria, all of which have been denounced by the Church under the most severe terms and penalties. Yes, there was actually once a destructive council that the Church eventually got around to condemning, much the same as Vatican II itself is sure to one day be condemned by Rome when Rome at long last returns to its Catholic senses. Moreover, the new Mass is inconsistent with the canons of the Council of Trent and with Pope Pius VI’s Bull, Auctorem Fidei. In short, the entire new liturgical order is incompatible with the centuries old concept of the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, appointed to the Central Preparatory Commission of the Second Vatican Council in 1960 by Pope John XXIII, was among the very few Fathers of the Council who, like Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci who had delivered to the Holy Father a Brief Critical Examination of the Liturgical Reforms of Vatican II, had the insight to recognize deficiencies in certain documents and the courage to expose them in the light of traditional Catholic teaching. Of Lefebvre, Michael Davies writes that “no one had done more to uphold the true faith during Vatican II” (Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, Vol. One). Here is what the good Archbishop had to say on the subject of the new Mass:
“… The new Mass represents a very perceptible depreciation of the sacred mystery. For example, the expression of the Catholic Faith in the divine realities of this mystery is weakened-expression in words, gestures, acts, in all that puts the mark of the sublime on this reality which is the heart of the Church.
“More than that, there are numerous suppressions and new attitudes which end by breeding doubt in the minds of the faithful and leading them, without their being aware of it, to adopt a Protestant mentality” (Ibid).
Catholics are deceiving themselves if they actually think the new Mass is really the same Mass we always celebrated, merely said in the vernacular, with but a handful of irrelevant liturgical changes, benign and beneficial, according to them. The new Mass is not the same and the changes are neither benign nor beneficial. The Novus Ordo which so disturbed Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci and Archbishop Lefebvre was the official Latin version approved by Pope Paul VI. That was bad enough. The translation of that Mass by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy is so much worse that it isn’t the least but unfair or irresponsible of critics to call it a totally different rite of Mass. “What remained of the doctrine of sacrifice in the Latin version of the Novus Ordo,” wrote Michael Davies, “has been systematically removed or diluted in the I.C.E.L. version” (The Liturgical Revolution).
The new Mass constitutes a radical and wholly unacceptable departure form the two thousand year old understanding of what Holy Mass is and what it ought to be. Because it compromises the very Act of Our Lord’s Death on the Cross renewed on our altars, the new Mass stands as one of the most grave sins ever perpetuated against God; a sin surpassing even the crimes of Luther and Cramner and matching those of Adam Weishaupt and Judas Iscariot. The new Mass is a shocking, ghastly, detestable mockery of Our Blessed Lord’s Supreme Sacrifice; it demonstrates Satan’s seething and inextinguishable hatred of Christ in the Eucharist. To every Catholic reading these pages who also attends the new Mass, I implore you with all the sincerity and fervor of my soul, and in the strongest terms possible, to stop doing so at once. The new Mass is an insult and injury to Our Creator and Redeemer, and to participate in such a sacrilegious mockery is to bring down upon yourselves, your families and society as a whole the unstoppable fury of an already much-too-offended God.
Reflect on these heart-piercing Words of Jesus, spoken with excruciating pain to Sister Josefa Menendez on March 2, 1923:
“ . . . How often this profanation of My Body and Blood would serve for their ultimate condemnation . . . Sacrileges and outrages, and all the nameless abominations to be committed against Me, passes before My eyes …” (The Way of Divine Love).
It is quite possible that in the profanation of Our Lord’s Holy Sacrifice lies the answer to the question why the world is plunged into a state of disorder, chaos, hatred and violence never before seen. Yves Dupont, a personal friend of this writer and a most reliable voice of Catholic orthodoxy up until his death a few years ago, once wrote that “When the Blood of Christ is no longer offered on the altars of our churches, then the blood of men will have to be spilled on the asphalt of our streets . . . let the Church be subverted and the whole world will be plunged into a bloodbath” (Catholic Prophecy).
St. Leonard expresses pretty much the same thought when he said, “were it not for holy Mass, at this moment the world would be in the abyss, unable to bear up under the mighty load of its iniquities” (The Hidden Treasure). Of course, both Dupont and St. Leonard were referring to the true Sacrifice of the Mass. While Dupont was a witness to the scandal of the new Mass, St. Leonard probably never even dreamt that such an abomination could ever invade the sacred sanctuary of the Church of Our Lord.
But invade the Church it has. And to everyone calling themselves “Catholic” belongs the momentous duty of first learning the facts and then doing all in their power to help reverse the present ruinous trend and rectify this unprecedented travesty.
As for learning the facts, read on.
3. THE NEW MASS – IRREVERENCE
With regard to the new Mass our immediate concern here is not with the question of validity. Our chief concern is the question of irreverence to God and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
It is true that the spirit of religious indifference, which the new Ordo breathes and spreads, would be sufficient grounds to reject it simply because of the threat it poses to the faith of the people. For charity and its demands would override an obligation of a purely ecclesiastical law. But we are even going beyond that and charging that the new Ordo must be rejected not simply because it is offensive and dangerous to the faith of the people, but that it must be rejected because it is irreverent to God, irreverent to the doctrine of the Mass, and when said validly, is a sacrilege against the most Holy Sacrament and Sacrifice of the altar.
The new Ordo is, we are charging, a grave and cruel offense against God! The use of a doubtfully valid Consecration form, which is mortally sinful, would also, we think, of itself, justify our rejection of the “New Mass” as it is said in our parish churches. But the use of a doubtfully valid Consecration form in the Mass would not only justify our staying away form it but would actually compel us to stay away because this very act itself (i.e. using a doubtful form) is also a sacrilege. The Canon Lawyer and Moral Theologian, Fr. H. Jone, put it this way:
Matter and form must be certainly valid .
Hence, one may not follow a probable opin-
ion and use either doubtful matter or form.
Acting otherwise one commits a sacrilege.
According then to this Doctor of Canon Law and recognized authority in the field of Moral Theology, every church in America that uses the Consecration form approved by the American bishops (which is virtually all of them) is a place in which a grave sacrilege is committed every time that the “new Mass” is said. This is true because the validity of the words “for all men” in the Consecration form for the wine is a doubtful form.
In other words, there might be, let us grant for the sake of argument, a possibility that if the priest used the distorted form it might be valid. That is to say, the wine might be changed into the Blood of Christ. But the use of the words “for many” would absolutely guarantee a valid form. Therefore, according to moral law, one is obliged to choose the certainly valid form over the doubtfully valid from. And in the case of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, to choose the doubtful form (i.e. to use the words “for all men”) constitutes a grave sin of sacrilege. Thus, in all new Ordo Masses using the doubtful form the priest commits a sacrilege every time he attempts to say Mass.
In America, this sacrilege has been institutionalized and spread universally throughout the country. What we have is, as I said earlier, a veritable abomination of desolation, which reminds us of our Lord’s words which predicted the destruction of Jerusalem: “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place – let him who reads understand . . . and unless those days had been shortened, no living creature would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:15, 22).
Do not reject what has been said simply because you cannot bring yourself to believe that “good” priests would cooperate in the commission of habitual and widespread sacrilege. for as “nice” doctors will slaughter innocent, defenseless, unborn children; and a mother will pay to have a child that is flesh of her flesh and blood of her blood, torn from her body in a cruel and inhuman act of murder; so too will “good” priests commit a sacrilege in the very act that is supposed to render to God the highest homage and the most exalted, sublime, and excellent honor. And not surprisingly, these “nice” mothers and doctors and “good” priests justify themselves by the same basic argument: “It’s legal!”
4. THE QUESTION OF “SUNDAY OBLIGATION”
There are, no doubt, (as we have already noted) many good Catholics who, though not trained in Theology like the bishops and priests, nevertheless recognize that the “voice” they now hear is strange to their Catholic consciences and yet who are going along with the “changes” blindly thinking that it is a Catholic teaching that you must be obedient in all things and in all cases. Hence these basically good people feel the terrible pain of a moral dilemma with regard to it. We will try to explain what a Catholic may and must do. To state things as clearly as we can, we will reduce the controversy to one question which is really the sum and the substance of the problems we are facing. Because the answer to this one question supplies us with a solution to many others.
The basic question is this: “must a Catholic go to the new Ordo Mass in order to fulfill his ‘Sunday Obligation’?” The problem before us is especially difficult for many people because of a good Catholic upbringing which always stressed the grave responsibility to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation. Yet the issue is actually more simple than we might imagine.
The seeming complications stem more from the seriousness of our involvement in the situation, and the implications that a decision against the new Ordo would have, than from any confusion about what is required of us according to traditional Roman Catholic Moral Theology. For the demands of Catholic Theology are quite clear.
As has been shown, the new Ordo is, at the very minimum, irreverent and hence sacrilegious. Now sacrilege is intrinsically evil. For sacrilege by its nature is evil and hence intrinsically so. This means that it is an act which cannot be morally done under any circumstances or pressures. In fact, as Catholics we would be obliged to lay down our lives before we would commit an act of sacrilege. This is the obligation we accept when we submit to Christ and His Church.
Applying this to the present situation, our choice, from the point of view of moral law, is whether not to go to the “new Mass” and, therefore, seemingly not fulfill our “Sunday Obligation;” or to go and participate in worship which is irreverent and hence sacrilegious.
The solution: in the first place, the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holydays is an obligation imposed by ecclesiastical law. It is a law which is directed, of course, at fulfilling our obligation to honor God and to keep His Day holy. But, nevertheless, it is still only a Church law. Thus the Church could exempt a person for a good reason from attending Mass on Sundays; and in fact the Church does. However, the Church cannot dispense a person from the First and Third Commandments, and so, whether we are excused from going to Church or not, we must still render honor to God and we must keep His Day holy.
Secondly, that one shall not commit or share in the commission of sacrilege is an obligation imposed on us by divine positive law and by the natural law of God. Now, according to Catholic moral teaching, the higher law takes precedence over the lower law. And since divine law and natural law are superior to purely ecclesiastical law, then one’s obligation to obey the First Commandment and the natural law (which is written in our “hearts” – Rom. 2:15) obliges above the duty to go to church (an ecclesiastical law) if such attendance were sinful. As loyal Roman Catholics our obligation is to the natural law and the First Commandment of God.
As the Moral Theologian Father Jone put it:
In a conflict of obligations the higher one
takes precedence. Duties conflict when two
laws apparently oblige simultaneously and
only one can be observed. As a matter of
fact, only the more important one actually
obliges (H. Jone, op. cit., p. 30).
From the point of view of natural law, another moral principle which might help to shed further light on the situation says that “among the laws of nature [i.e. the natural law of God which is written in our ‘hearts’] a law that prohibits precedes a law that commands" (Ibid., p. 30). Hence the law that we must not dishonor God by participating in irreverent worship, takes precedence over the law that we must assist at certain public worship.
It is also true, according to traditional Catholic Theology, that “if a law becomes harmful for an individual, it ceases to oblige him if its observance becomes morally impossible . . . “ (Ibid., p. 34). As to what “impossibility” means in the context of Moral Theology, the Moral Theologian, Father Dominic M. Prumner, O.P. says: “Impossibility is either absolute or moral depending on whether a person finds it completely impossible [e.g. physical impossibility] to observe a law or can only do so with difficulty” (Prumner, op. cit., p. 46)
Paraphrased, the principle says that if it is actually impossible (absolute impossibility) to do something, one cannot incur moral responsibility because “none is obliged to do the impossible” (Ibid., p. 46). On the other hand, “moral impossibility” which involves great inconvenience or difficulty excuses us from the observance of positive Church laws, but not from the observance of the natural law.
To put it even more simply: while grave difficulty excuses us from the observance of purely Church laws, nothing excuses us for violating the natural law because to violate natural law is an intrinsically evil act and thus can never be justified. But if grave inconvenience would excuse a person from rendering a specific type of public worship; then the avoidance of irreverence in public worship would excuse a person even more so. Because irreverence to God is against natural law; consequently, no one on the face of this earth has the power or the authority to compel us to commit an act of irreverence toward God. Not all the bishops in the world, not all the Popes who have ever lived. And that dear reader is plain, simple, traditional Catholic teaching! There is nothing new about it. The Church has always taught it. Actually, when a question of sacrilege is involved, one is not merely excused from assisting; one is obliged not to assist!
To recapitulate, we may say that if the fulfillment of purely ecclesiastical law necessitated the commission of an act of irreverence toward God, then that law would automatically and without doubt, according to traditional Catholic Theology, cease to oblige. On the other hand, a natural law which prohibits the performance of evil acts “never ceases to oblige in case of moral impossibility [i.e. grave difficulty].” The reason is that “such laws forbid actions that are intrinsically evil. Therefore, idolatry, blasphemy, [sacrilege] onanism, perjury, etc., are not allowed even to save one’s life. All other laws cease to oblige when it is morally impossible to observe them” (Jone, op. cit., p. 29).
If then one accepts that the new Ordo is irreverent and hence sacrilegious, he is first excused from the positive Church law, which says that Catholics must assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy days; and secondly, he is not merely excused, but obliged by the First Commandment of God and by the natural law of God not to participate in irreverent worship.
5. PAPAL AUTHORITY AND INFALLIBILITY
Acknowledging the seriousness of what we have said, and understanding the difficulty which such a position creates for loyal Roman Catholics, it might be well to emphasize that what you have read in no way is to be understood as a denial of any Catholic doctrine regarding the position of the Pope in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. For, we unhesitatingly acknowledge, without apology or reservation, the doctrine of Papal Infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council. And with equal enthusiasm we acknowledge and accept the doctrine of the Primacy of Jurisdiction of the Pope, and understand it to mean that “the Pope possesses full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, not merely in matters of faith and morals, but also in Church discipline and in the government of the Church” (Ludwig von Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 285).
How then can so strong a stand against the “new Mass” be taken without doing violence to the above Catholic doctrines? How can the two be reconciled without living in a contradiction?
In the first place, Pope Paul VI never abrogated the still-binding decree of Pope St. Pius V in spite of what most Catholic priests have been led to believe. So that even if there were no moral and dogmatic objections to the Novus Ordo Missae, a Catholic priest would not be bound to use it, even if his bishop ordered him to.
On the other hand, the usurpation of authority on the part of the bishops in America, who have presumed to forbid the Traditional Latin Mass, is in fact a defiance of authentic Papal Authority. Thus every bishop that has outlawed the Traditional Mass has set himself above and against the Papacy; and more specifically, against the very solemn decree of Pope St. Pius V.
As for Paul VI, he has not legally authorized such action. And the fact that he has failed to act against these bishops is no more an argument in favor of what they have done than is the Pope’s failure to act against blatant heretics like Hans Kung, an argument in favor of what he is teaching.
What we have is a situation in which bishops have put themselves above and against Papal Authority and have presumed to abrogate a law which the present Pope did not even attempt to legally nullify. What Pope Paul actually did was, in effect, to introduce another “Rite” although, as far as law is concerned, it was done in an ambiguous way and, therefore, invalidly, for, “a doubtful law has no binding force” (Prumner, op. cit., p. 64).
Yet some bishops, actually almost all so far as we know, would even threaten to bring action against priests who remain faithful to the Papal Authority which has guaranteed them the right to say the Traditional Mass. But Pope St. Pius V, being a holy man of great insight, provided for such cases and addressed himself both to those who were threatened by an abuse of ecclesiastical power and to those who would abuse their authority. And so he tells us that priests should have no fear of those in authority who would take the Traditional Latin Mass away from them saying:
At no time in the future can a priest,
whether secular or order priest, ever be
forced to use any other way of saying Mass.
And in order once and for all to preclude
any scruples of conscience and fear of ec-
clesiastical penalties and censures, we
declare herewith that it is by virtue of
our Apostolic Authority that we declare and
prescribe that this present order and de-
cree of ours is to last in perpetuity, and
never at a future date can it be revoked
or amended legally (Pope St. Pius V, Quo
Primum, issued July 19, 1570).
And to the usurping bishops who would set themselves above this decree and consequently against Papal Authority by illegally forbidding their priests to say the Traditional Latin Mass, Pope St. Pius V uttered this bold and sweeping condemnation:
And if, nevertheless, anyone would ever
dare attempt an action contrary to this
order of ours, handed down for all times,
let him know that he has incurred the
wrath of Almighty God, and of His Blessed
Apostles Peter and Paul (Ibid.).
Thus speaks a great Pope, a great saint, and his still-binding decree. Priests who remain faithful to the “Old Mass” are not, therefore, the disobedient sons they are pictured to be. Rather, the bishops, with their false notion of authority to which they appeal to justify the destruction of the local churches, the corruption of souls and the mockery of God, are the disobedient ones.
They are disobedient to Papal Authority even though they sanction their actions by being in the good graces of Pope Paul, those who surround him, the various bishops conferences, etc. For such approval does not make disobedience to the truth of the Church and the decree of St. Pius V good.
If the President of the United States, by silence and political pressure, approves actions which are contrary to the Constitution, which every president since Abe Lincoln has done repeatedly, one could not morally justify one’s participation in the destruction of the law of the land by saying that the President approves assuming that the law of the land does not conflict with the doctrine of Christ, which in fact, in the case of the US Constitution, it most certainly does. But that’s another matter for another time (see my full-length book, No King But Caesar, which addresses this issue in considerable detail). So, from the point of view of law, there is no problem for priests who would prefer to say the Traditional Latin Mass. Except, of course, the problem of pressure exerted by the bishops and by other priests, which is generally acceded to more from an inordinate desire for human respect and security than from misguided fear of violating the commands of legitimate authority.
But since the “new Mass” is irreverent and thus sacrilegious, it is not a question of whether or not one could invoke his right to say the Traditional Mass. For if it is sacrilegious, then a moral priest who understood this would have no choice but to reject it even if there were no decree of St. Pius V guaranteeing the right to say the Traditional Mass. Such a priest would have to reject the new Ordo or commit a grave sin of sacrilege.
This would be just as true, from a moral point of view, if the Pope resumed to abrogate the decree of St. Pius V, and ordered a priest to use the new Ordo. If the priest realized the irreverent nature of the “new Mass,” he would have to disobey the Pope and obey the law of God; for it is a sin against the First Commandment to treat that which is sacred with irreverence; and among sacred things nothing is to be reverenced more that the most Holy Sacrifice and Sacrament of the altar.
Now if you are tempted to think that this is a contradiction in the light of our absolute acceptance of Papal Primacy, be assured that it is not. For while the Pope is the supreme lawgiver of the Church, he is unquestionably and absolutely bound by divine law. And as one traditional Theologian put it: “This demands that the Papal power, in consonance with its purpose, should be employed for the building-up of the Mystical Body of Christ, not for its destruction (2 Cor. 10:8). The divine law, therefore, is an efficacious brake on arbitrariness” (Ott, op. cit., p. 286).
In other words, if the Pope ordered a person to commit an act of irreverence towards a sacred thing (or any other intrinsically evil act), that person must obey Gods’ law and disobey the Pope. As St. Thomas Aquinas put it, quoting St. Luke:
It is written (Acts 5:29) we ought to obey
God rather then men. Now sometimes the
things commanded by a superior are against
God, therefore, superiors are not to be
obeyed in all things (Summa Th., II, Q.
104, Art. 5).
That an individual Pope could order someone to do something wrong certainly is conceivable and does not in any way jeopardize the doctrines of papal Infallibility or the Primacy of Jurisdiction. For, while the Holy Ghost protects the Church from false teaching when the Pope speaks on faith and morals and ex cathedra, “that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic Authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals to be held by the Universal Church” (First Vatican Council), the Holy Ghost does not guarantee that the power of Primacy of Jurisdiction of the Pope will always be exercised in such a way as to build up the Mystical Body of Christ. For while there is a guarantee of infallibility when the Pope speaks “ex cathedra,” there is no guarantee of impeccability. For who is “not liable to sin” and who is “free from fault”?
Even Saint Peter had to be corrected by Saint Paul not because Peter taught falsely but because he acted in such a way so as to lead, in this instance, Christians astray. And so the Apostle Paul reproved Peter. And he did it publicly! Paul “withstood him to his face, because he was deserving of blame” in that he was “not walking uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel;” and so Paul reproved him in front of “them all” (Gal. 2:11-14).
This did not mean that Paul was challenging either the teaching or governing authority of Peter. In fact it was precisely because of Peter’s Primacy of position that Paul was compelled to correct him, because the early Christians at Antioch figured that if Peter did something, it must be right. And so they followed his bad example in the case we are referring to. They too confused infallibility with impeccability.
And so we may say; not in spite of, but because of everything the Catholic Church truly is, that regardless of what any superior might say a Catholic can never commit an intrinsically evil act and at the same time remain faithful to the Roman Catholic Church.
Therefore, “one must always insist that the holy must be treated in a holy and reverent manner” (“Roman Catechism” quoted in Ott, op. cit., p. 342). And if we take so holy and sacred a thing as the Sacrifice of the Mass and put it in a setting which encourages, fosters and is expressive of a false notion of ecumenism, this is indeed to practice irreverence toward that which is most holy and which demands our greatest respect and reverence.
6. WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN
Can anyone deny that irreverence toward the Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Altar would be a sacrilege? Can anyone say that the new Ordo is not irreverent toward the Mass (i.e. to what it is intrinsically, as the Sacrifice and Sacrament of the new Covenant) when it encourages religious indifference by its doctrinal ambiguity; when it contains in the English version a literal heresy; when it waters-down essential truths of the Faith in the spirit of compromise toward false doctrines of non-Catholics; when it submerges the uniquely Catholic doctrine of sacrifice and encourages the acceptance of a Protestant, communion-rite-service-type atmosphere; when it actually includes a prayer which, though perhaps not in origin, has come to be accepted as the Protestant ending of the “Our Father” and which was included for the obvious reason of encouraging false ecumenism; when it includes in the English version an actual perversion of the words of Christ, which also is a blatant disregard for what the Pope said the words of Consecration were to be; when in the perversion of the words of Christ, the traditional Catholic understanding of the Mass is mitigated and we have introduced the evil notion of universal salvation, which itself rests on the destructive teaching that man does not have a free will and which also, as a consequence, undermines the doctrine that the Mass is a true and efficacious Sacrifice; etc., etc., etc., …?
With St. Thomas Aquinas, we must agree. He says:
A most pernicious lie is that which is ut-
tered in matters pertaining to Christian
Religion . Now it is a lie if one signify
outwardly that which is contrary to the
truth. But just as a thing is signified by
word, so it is by deed; and it is in this
signification by deed that the outward
worship of religion consists . . . conse-
quently, if anything false is signified by
outward worship, this worship will be per-
nicious (Summa Th., II, Q. 93, Art. 1).
Would you hesitate to apply the word “pernicious” (i.e. highly injurious or destructive in character; deadly; intending or doing evil) to the list of abuses associated with the new Ordo which we have given above? What will it take for Catholics to realize that for them worship can never be merely a matter of opinion, sentiment or uncertainty. For we Catholics “are precluded from any action that would appear to call in question the objective truth of the Revelation delivered . . . by Jesus Christ our Lord. She [i.e. the Church] must ever be, as She has been from the beginning, an exclusive Church both in Her teaching and in Her worship” (Cardinal Bourne, op cit.).
The truth is inescapable. “Since God is truth, to invoke God is to worship Him in spirit and truth … hence a worship that contains falsehood is inconsistent with a salutary calling upon God” (Summa Th., II, Q. 93, Art. 1).
Therefore, if one admits that the new Ordo is irreverent and still thinks that invoking some vague notion of obedience will excuse him for participating in it when he is ultimately called before the Throne of God to render an account of stewardship, he had better think again because the Catholic Church has always taught that obedience ends when authorities order us to do evil!
Even little children were taught in our once-Catholic schools that if their parents ever told them to do what was sinful they would have to disobey them and thus remain obedient to God. And as this was not construed to have been an attack on parental authority, what we have said is likewise not only not an attack on legitimate authority but is actually a call to the practice of obedience to traditional Catholic teaching.
The child who disobeys a parent that tells it to sin is not a disobedient child. Rather such a child practices obedience according to an objective and proper hierarchy of values. And of such a child one could and should say that he possesses that virtue of obedience, because he is being obedient to God.
Let everyone be subject to the higher au-
thorities, for there exists no authority
except from God, and those who exist have
been appointed by God (Rom. 13:1).
Yet when those who possess authority order us to do what is evil and, therefore, to disobey God, we must say with the Apostle Peter: “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Or to put it in terms of traditional Catholic Moral Theology: “Common welfare demands that a law be just, morally good, possible of observance, and necessary for or at least conducive to the common good. A law that falls short of these qualifications does not serve the common welfare and, therefore, has no binding force” (Jone, op. cit., p. 18).
7. REVERENT WORSHIP: OUR DEBT TO GOD
With the subversive sensitivity obsession sweeping America and especially having gained control of the direction of so-called Pastoral Training courses in seminaries, marriage encounters, and priest reorientation programs, it is ironic that Catholics, especially priests, have become so insensitive to what their relationship with God should be and to the fundamental obligations which they have to Him. So perhaps what is needed is a fresh look at what we owe God on the most fundamental level.
We say “owe” because we are compelled as creatures to render to God, first and foremost, the payment of a debt which we owe Him in justice. That is to say, that justice demands that we give due worship to God, which reverence becomes a virtue when it is done willingly.
As Saint Thomas teaches: “To render due service to God may be an act of virtue, insofar as man does so voluntarily” (Summa Th., II, Q. 81, Art. 2).
Thus we do not practice the acts of religion because we are nice people. We are not doing God a favor when we render homage to Him because to do so is simply a “part of justice” (Ibid., Art. 5). A person that does not honor God deprives Him of what is His by right. “Man both serves and worships God, for worship regards the excellence of God, to Whom reverence is due; while service regards the subjection of man who, by his condition, is under an obligation of showing reverence to God. To these two belong all acts ascribed to religion, because, by them all, man bears witness to the Divine excellence and to his own subjection to God . . .” (Ibid., Art. 3).
8. ST. THOMAS DEFINES SACRILEGE
Because God infinitely surpasses all things and exceeds them in every way; because He is the first principle of all things; because lordship belongs to God in a special and singular way; because He made all things, and has supreme dominion over all; because He is the most supremely excellent object of honor and reverence; because of all of these things, any irreverence to Him or to any sacred persons, places, or things is aptly called a sacrilege. As St. Thomas put it:
In a sacrilege we find a special aspect of
deformity, namely, the violation of a sa-
cred thing by treating it with irreverence
(Summa Th., II, Q. 99, Art. 2)
Many people have a problem with the use of the word sacrilege as applied to the use of the new Ordo. They do not like the new Ordo. They think it is bad and destructive and harmful to the truth of which the Catholic Church is the repository, and dangerous to the Faith of the Catholic people as well. They know that prayer and belief are intrinsically connected. Yet these people are offended and dismayed when the new Ordo is called a sacrilege.
It is possible that such people do not understand the nature of what a sacrilege is; perhaps thinking that it is necessary to have an overt, obvious, blatant act of desecration committed against the Eucharist in order to have a sacrilege. So it might be wise then for us to examine what a sacrilege actually is; and then you judge for yourself whether or not the “new Mass” is sacrilegious.
A sacrilege is the violation of a sacred person, place, or thing. But to understand what this means, one must understand the terms sacred and violation. And one must understand them in a theological context. We will, therefore, explain what a sacrilege is; and we will do it according to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the most brilliant men who has ever lived, and perhaps the greatest Theologian of all time. Here is what he says:
Sacred: A thing is called sacred through
being deputed to the divine worship. Now
just as a thing acquires an aspect of good
through being deputed to a good end, so
does a thing assume a divine character
through being deputed to divine worship,
and thus a certain reverence is due to it,
which reverence is referred to God (Ibid.,
II, Q. 99, Art. 1).
Violation: Violation here means any kind
of irreverence or dishonor (Ibid.).
Hence a sacrilege is “any kind of irreverence or dishonor” toward that which is “deputed to the divine worship.” Or as St. Thomas puts it explicitly: “Therefore, whatever pertains to irreverence for sacred things is an injury to God, and comes under the head of sacrilege” (Ibid.).
He also says that the “species” of sacrilege (i.e. the specific type or degree) is determined according to the nature of the object against which the act is directed; and, quite logically, “the greater the holiness ascribed to the sacred thing that is sinned against, the more grievous the sacrilege” (Ibid., Art. 3).
Now, among sacred things:
The highest place belongs to the Sacraments
whereby man is sanctified; chief of which
is the Sacrament of the Eucharist, for It
contains Christ Himself. Wherefore the sac-
rilege that is committed against this Sac-
rament is the gravest of all (Ibid.).
Therefore, irreverence toward the greatest of all the Sacraments is “the gravest of all” sacrileges. Thus, if you think there is any irreverence in the use of the new Ordo toward the Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Altar, then you must conclude that its use involves a very grave sacrilege.
As for those who commit sacrileges, St. Thomas says:
The fitting punishment of one guilty of
sacrilege, since he has done an injury to a
sacred thing, is excommunication whereby
sacred things are withheld from him (Ibid.).
9. MORE ON THIS GRAVE SACRILEGE
If you think you can fulfill your “Sunday Obligation” by participating in what has assumed a sacrilegious character, then you are in the strange position of trying to honor God by dishonoring Him. And this would be the case even if while you were convinced of the irreverent nature of the new Ordo, you, at the same time, were also convinced that the new Ordo “Mass” you were going to attend was valid.
One might think along these lines: “Even if the ‘Order’ of the ‘Mass’ is irreverent, if it is valid then it is intrinsically pleasing to the Father in Heaven and hence we are justified in attending it, especially since no irreverence is intended on our part; and since the irreverence of the ‘Order’ of the ‘Mass’ does not really violate Christ’s Offering, but the manner in which that Offering is treated, or the setting in which that Offering is placed.
For example, if a validly ordained Catholic priest offered a Mass with a Protestant minister and had the proper intention (if such could be possible), and used the right matter and form, then that Mass would be valid. Christ would offer Himself to the Father as an acceptable Victim and the Offering would be received. But could a loyal Catholic attend such a Mass? The answer is obvious, but we will say it anyway: if a Catholic were to participate in such a Mass, even just to fulfill his “Sunday Obligation,” as the bishops are wont to say, he would share in the grave sacrilege of the priest. Such a Catholic, in a misguided attempt to reverence God, would commit a sacrilegiously irreverent act. And every true Catholic will admit this!
But why would such participation be sacrilegious? It would be sacrilegious because such a context for the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass would encourage and sanction the heresy of religious indifference; such an act would amount to a public watering-down, and hence an implicit denial of the fact that the Catholic Church is the only true Church and the only Church founded by Jesus Christ; and related to these points, such a context for the Mass would be a singularly disgusting insult to the Divine Majesty of Almighty God and the unsearchable riches of the Mass. Such a context would serve to undermine the very doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the very truth of the Church.
We do not wish to offend non-Catholics of good will. Yet at the same time we do not wish to offend Christ; and, therefore, we must acknowledge that as Christ is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life, likewise His Church is one! There are not many Christs; and there are not many churches. There is but One True Christ and His only Church, the Traditional Roman Catholic Church.
Therefore, to put the Mass in a false ecumenical context is to use this most sacred thing in a most unholy way. For to undermine the Revelation of Christ concerning His Church is a most evil thing. And to attempt to use the Mass for such a thing is a very grave sacrilege! As Fr. Prummer put it, a “real sacrilege is the use of something sacred for an unworthy purpose” (Prummer, op. cit., p. 206).
Even if before such an ecumenical “Mass” as we have described, the priest publicly announced that he was a loyal Catholic, that he believed in all the doctrines of the Church and especially that the Catholic Church was the true Church, he would still be guilty of a very grave sacrilege. And it would be sacrilegious apart form his giving the Body and Blood of Christ to non-Catholics which would be yet another sacrilege. For as St. Thomas says, and as we have already pointed out, “it is a lie if one signify outwardly that which is contrary to the truth. But just as a thing is signified by word, so it is by deed: and it is in this signification by deed that the outward worship of religion consists … consequently, if anything false is signified by outward worship, this worship will be pernicious.”
10. HONORING THE SACRAMENT BY
REFUSING TO PARTICIPATE IN
To put the Mass in an irreverent context, or to have it signify that which is false is to treat the Mass sacrilegiously and, therefore, we can have no part in such things. People must come to understand that they cannot do what is wrong to attempt to get a good end.
As for those who are still convinced that their new Ordo “Mass” is valid, we would point out one more thing to try to clarify the situation. St. Thomas teaches:
. . . as honor is in the person who honors
and not in the one who is honored, so
again irreverence is in the person who be-
haves irreverently even though he does no
harm to the object of his irreverence.
Hence, so far as he is concerned, he vio-
lates the sacred thing, though the latter
be not violated in itself (Summa Th., II,
Q. 99, Art. 1)
Therefore, even if a Mass were valid and thus intrinsically pleasing to God and not violated in itself; as far as the perpetrators and participants are concerned, they violate the sacred thing. Thus to refuse to hear a Mass that is said in an irreverent context and consequently a sacrilegious one, is not to dishonor the Mass. In fact the exact opposite is true.
It is something akin to the situation in which Mass (even the Traditional Latin Mass) is offered by “heretical, schismatical, excommunicate, or even sinful priests [i.e. priests whose sinful activity is publicly known and unquestionably ascertained. The Canon says (Dist. 32): Let no one hear the Mass of a priest whom he knows without doubt to have a concubine, although they have the power to consecrate the Eucharist, yet they do not make a proper use of it; on the contrary, they sin by using it. But whoever communicates with another who is in sin, becomes a sharer in his sin . . . consequently it is not lawful to receive Communion from them, or to assist at their Masses” (Summa Th., III, Q. 82, Art. 9).
Note well the words of St. Thomas:
By refusing to hear the Masses of such
priests, or to receive Communion from them,
we are not shunning God’s Sacraments; on
the contrary, by doing so we are giving
them honor (hence a Host consecrated by
such priests is to be adored, and if It be
reserved, It can be consumed by a lawful
priest): but what we shun is the sin of the
unworthy ministers (Ibid.).
And again he says: “The unity of the Mystical Body is the fruit of the true Body [i.e. Holy Communion received]. But those who receive or minister unworthily, are deprived of the fruit, as was said above. And, therefore, those who belong to the unity of the Faith are not to receive the Sacrament from their dispensing” (Ibid.). So that the belief that a Mass is valid, or that it might be valid does not of itself justify participation.
Some Catholics seem to say, and we are convinced that in most cases without full awareness, that since the irreverence of the new Ordo is more subtle than an open desecration; and since it is an institutionalized irreverence, our participation is justified. Will our participation in ecumenical “Masses” with Protestants and socialists and humanists be justified if such is sanctioned by the hierarchy? Will we find refuge in subtleties then?
We dislike saying it, but it is difficult not to conclude based on past performance, that many “conservative” Catholics will go as far as the bishops lead them. They will “I-must-obey” themselves all the way out of the Roman Catholic Church and right into eternal damnation!
11. BLIND OBEDIENCE AND THE
SCANDALOUS PRACTICE OF
To prove just how far the un-Catholic notion of blind-obedience-to-men doctrine will take some Catholics, consider the sacrilegious practice of Catholic priests giving Holy Communion to non-Catholics.
There is no authority that can morally allow non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist from a Catholic priest, for those persons who are “heretical, schismatical, excommunicate” are separated from the true unity of Christ and are thus unworthy to receive the Sacrament of unity even if they be not personally responsible for their unworthy state.
Recall with us the words of the Apostle Paul:
The cup of blessing that we bless, is It
not the sharing of the Blood of Christ? And
the Bread that we break, is It not the
partaking of the body of the Lord? Because
the Bread is One, we, though many, are one
Body, all of us who partake of the One
Bread (1 Cor. 10:16-17).
But those who are “separated from the unity of the confession of the Faith” are not “members of the Church” (Ott, op. cit., p. 309). They are, therefore, not “one Body” with those who accept the full Revelation of Jesus Christ.
As Pope Pius XII said in his Encyclical Mystici Corporis: “Only those are to be accounted really members of the Church who have been regenerated in the waters of Baptism and profess the true Faith, and have not cut themselves off from the structure of the Body by their own unhappy act or been severed therefrom, for very grave crimes, by the legitimate authority” (quoted in Ibid).
Those who do not “profess the true Faith” do not belong to the “one Body” and hence “the unity of the Mystical Body [which] is the fruit of the true Body [i.e. the Eucharist] received” is not enjoyed by the “heretical, schismatical [or the] excommunicate.” Such cannot but unworthily share in the Body and Blood of Christ. Hence “those who receive or minister unworthily, are deprived of the fruit” of the Sacrament, which is “unity”
Saint Paul teaches:
Whoever eats this Bread or drinks the cup
of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of
the Body and Blood of the Lord. But let a
man prove himself, and so let him eat of
that Bread and drink of the cup; for he
who eats unworthily, without distin-
guishing the Body, eats and drinks
judgment to himself (1 Cor. 11:27-30).
That is clear enough, is it not? Consider then the following statement written by a Roman Catholic priest in a famous, so-called “conservative” Catholic newspaper regarding the immoral and scandalous permission which has been granted for inter-Communion; and then consider to what degree such Catholics will obey themselves out of the unity of the true Church.
Father Jerome Docherty, O.S.B. writes in The Wanderer (Oct. 26, 1972) under the heading, “Communion To Orthodox And Protestants”: “I do not think it necessary here to discuss the case of Communication [i.e. a euphemism for Holy Communion] between Roman Catholics and so-called Orthodox. There should be no surprise that such interfaith sharing should be allowed at least to some extent . . .”
If such a statement were written by a pantheist or a humanist or even a Protestant who accepted “the Protestant theory of the Fundamental Articles, which demand agreement in the basic truths of faith only, so that within the framework of the one Christian Church varying confessions of faith can exist side by side,” one would not have much cause for alarm. But coming from a Catholic priest, and a “conservative” one at that, such a statement is a scandalous denial of the fact that “one is cut off from the unity of Faith by heresy and from the unity of Communion by schism” (Ott, op. cit., 303).
And we strongly exhort our fellow Catholics to be alert and on guard for Catholic priests and publications who, though they may be famous for their “conservatism,” are nevertheless leading the people astray . . . away from traditional Catholicism and into serious error, even unto the loss of their souls!
12. THE CHURCH IS BUILT ON SOLID ROCK
And yet let us be assured of the ultimate victory, for the Catholic Church did not begin with the Second Vatican Council or with the pontificate of Paul VI, and does not rely on compromising conservatives to defend her interests. Christ did not build His Church on a foundation of sand so that His followers would be at the mercy and whims of any usurper who might come into the fold through the back door and abrogate the authority of the Shepherd. The Church is built on solid rock! It is de fide (i.e. of faith) that “Christ is the Head of the Church” (Ott, op. cit., p. 292).
For two-thousand years, He has protected the truth of His Revelation through the teaching of His Vicars on earth, the Popes. And this was done frequently in spite of the unworthiness and sometimes worthlessness of some of the men who have aspired to and have actually held that high office. Christ said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18, 19).
And so the faithfulness of the one who stands in the place of Peter does not determine whether or not our Lord will be faithful to His promise. His promise is a solid as the rock upon which He built His Church. And it is ultimately the two-thousand year old rock, upon which the Church is built, that will crush the usurpers in the Church no matter the positions that they have attained.
And so as history teaches us, the Church survived the pontificate of Pope Honorius I (625-638) who caused great damage because he had “unwittingly favored the Monothelite error.” Pope Honorius I was “condemned” by “The Sixth General Council” and anathematized by Pope Leo II (682683) who “did not reproach him with heresy, but with negligence in the suppression of error” (Ott, op. cit., p. 150).
So too will future history show that the Church survived the pontificate of Pope Paul VI who is, at the very least, practicing negligence in the suppression of . . . error! And in both cases, the doctrine of Papal Infallibility will have been preserved pure, not because of the men who have held the office, but because of the power of the Holy Ghost and the promise of Christ concerning His Church: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16 18,19).
13. THE SETTING OF THE
SACRIFICE MUST BE EXPRESSIVE
OF THE REALITY THAT IS PRESENT
Dearest reader, if your local church is using the new Ordo, then for the love of God, if you respect His greatness and His goodness, voice your protest loud and clear; withdraw your financial support; do not allow your children to be corrupted by false religious instruction; and above all else, do not . . . we repeat, do not, under any circumstances, participate in the “new Mass,” and do not encourage it to be said.
Fully aware of the gravity of what we are saying, and recognizing and acknowledging our own inadequacies as Catholics, we must nevertheless speak; for if we were to remain silent in the presence of so serious an outrage against Almighty God, would we not be accomplices in the crime? And a crime it is! For at Mass we are offering up to the Father a perfect Victim, a spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ Himself. The Mass, therefore, is a perfect Sacrifice and must be treated with the utmost reverence and respect.
That which surrounds Christ’s Offering of Himself, through the ministry of His priests, must be consonant with the holiness of the Sacrifice and Sacrament insofar as it is humanly possible. Thus the setting for the Sacrifice (i.e. the Order of the Mass) must be expressive of the reality that is present. Our Lord said: “Do not give to dogs what is holy, neither cast your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you” (Matt. 7:6).
The sacrilegious profanation of the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass has followed as a direct consequence of the widespread use of the Novus Ordo Missae. The “new Mass” has succeeded in turning devotion into indifference, and indifference into malevolence. We have thus harmed our non-Catholic neighbors through scandal; we have injured ourselves and the Church; and we have wasted the precious and the sacred.
Have we not taken the holiest thing, the most precious possession of the Church, and the ultimate pearl of great price and sold it to purchase a false and heretical ecumenism which denies truth and undermines good will among honest men? By attempting to place the Sacrifice of the Mass in the context of the new Ordo, that which is holy has been treated as though it were food for dogs and fodder for swine.
And it is ironic that many of the faithful and especially many priests and bishops have become ravenous spiritual dogs and trampling swine as a result of the “renewal” of which they were a part. For “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless minds have been darkened . . .” (Rom. 1:21).
They have become:
rash and self-willed [and] in their de-
riding do not regard majesty; whereas an-
gels, though greater in strength and power,
do not bring against themselves an abusive
charge. But these men, like irrational
animals created by nature for capture and
destruction, deride what they do not under-
stand, and will perish in their own cor-
uption, receiving thereby the recompense
of their wrongdoing . . . they entice unsta-
ble souls; they have their hearts exer-
cised in covetousness; they are children
of a curse. They have forsaken the right
way and have gone astray. . .these men are
springs without water and mists driven by
storms; the blackness of darkness is re-
served for them . . . it were better for
them not to have known it, than to turn
back from the Holy Commandment
delivered to them (2 Peter 2:11-21).
The setting of the Sacrifice, that is, the Order of the Mass, must be as perfect as possible! It should not be, it must not be watered-down, distorted or made ambiguous. We must not insult the Savior of the world by placing the gift of His renewal of Calvary in a cheap and corrosive setting, which is precisely what the new rite of worship does.
We must treat this gift with great appreciation, reverence and adoration. We must not compromise this pure and holy Sacrifice. Instead it is necessary to dedicate our lives to the cause of the honor and glory of God, especially through the Mass, and the living of the Mass in our daily lives and in our manifold social duties, particularly with regard to our state in life and the rights of God and social teachings of the Church. And we must be willing to suffer anything in this endeavor.
Beloved, do not be startled at the trial by
fire that is taking place among you to
prove you, as if something strange were
happening to you; but rejoice, insofar as
you are partakers of the sufferings of
Christ, that you may also rejoice with ex-
ultation in the revelation of His glory. If
you are upbraided for the Name of Christ,
blessed will you be, because the honor, the
glory and the power of God and His Spirit
rest upon you. Let none of you suffer as a
murderer, or a thief, or a slanderer, or as
one coveting what belongs to others. But if
he suffer as a Christian, let him not be
ashamed, but let him glorify God under His
Name. For the time has come for the judg-
ment to begin with the household of God;
(1 Peter 4:12-17).
14. THE “NEW MASS CANNOT
CO-EXIST WITH THE TRUE CHURCH
The “new Mass” and the new religion of man cannot coexist with the Ancient Mass and the true Church. The “new Mass” and the new religion must go and without doubt will go when sanity is restored, the forces of evil in the Church are exposed and routed, and when good men become shepherds of Christ once again in place of the usurpers and hirelings.
As Pope Honorius was anathematized, so too will the Novus Ordo Missae and all that it stands for be anathematized. For five-hundred years the Popes that followed Honorius I cursed him with anathemas and this, mind you, because of his “negligence in the suppression of . . . error.” And keep in mind also that Honorius I was not an anti-Pope or a false Pope. He was a true successor of Peter. When Honorius I was deserving of blame his successors in the Chair of Peter condemned him. But in neither case was the guarantee of Christ broken. For He did not guarantee the impeccability of those who would rule the Church as is made clear even in the case of His very first Vicar and Chief Shepherd, St. Peter.
As to infallibility, no Pope, from St. Peter to Paul VI, has ever taught an erroneous doctrine ex cathedra. In fact, Paul VI has never made, nor has he even attempted to make, an ex cathedra pronouncement. Therefore, all the changes he has fostered rest solely on his Authority of Jurisdiction. And there is nothing in Catholic Theology which says that Christ guaranteed that when His Vicar on earth exercised authority it would be done in the best possible way. In fact, at times the authority which the Popes have exercised has actually been used in a bad way. As when Pope Honorius used his ruling and juridical authority in a way which aided the spread of heresy for which act he was anathematized.
Now, “the function of the Primacy is to preserve the unity and solidarity of the Church” (Ott, op. cit., p. 282). If, however, that Primacy is used for the opposite purpose, then there is a clear violation of moral law. The question which we fact is this: if a situation arises in which Primacy is used, not in consonance with its purpose which is the building-up of the Mystical Body of Christ, but rather to destroy the unity and solidarity of the Church, are we as Catholics permitted to cooperate in this act of destroying the Church because ecclesiastical authority tells us we must? Must we obey in all things? The answer according to traditional Catholic moral teaching is obvious. And that answer is: you can never commit an intrinsically evil act no matter who tells you to do it, for that is God’s law and the law of reality. Or as Father Ott puts it, “the divine law, therefore, is an efficacious brake on arbitrariness” in the use of “Papal power” (Ott, Ibid., p. 286).
We must remember that while Christ is always faithful, men frequently are not. Nor must we ever forget that the Apostle Judas betrayed his Lord and Master not with open condemnations and blatant apostasy, but with the kiss of an affected friendship. We should not then be surprised if the spiritual descendants of Judas employ the same method. Nor should we defend them. Rather to them we should utter the words of Christ our Lord: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss? (Luke 22:48).
15. “MAINTAIN THE TRADITIONS”
Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. So is His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. And anyone who publicly breaks with the two-thousand year history of the true teachings of the Catholic Church puts Himself against the Church and against Christ. And he will be crushed by the rock upon which the Church is built.
As far as discovering the truth about Christ and His Revelation, there is no problem or confusion. The confusion is in the minds of those who have abandoned the true Church. Just consult what the Church has always taught and you cannot go wrong! It is as simple as that! If a Catholic breaks with these essential teachings, he must be considered an enemy of the Church and an enemy of Christ.
As the Apostle Paul put it: “I exhort you brethren, that you watch those who cause dissensions and scandals contrary to the doctrine that you have learned, and avoid them. For such do not serve Christ our Lord but themselves, and by smooth words and flattery deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17,18).
What then are we to do? Again let us turn to St. Paul:
Hold fast to the traditions which you
have received (2 Thess. 2:15), [and] maintain
the traditions even as I have delivered them to
you (1 Cor. 11:2).
16. A CLARION CALL FROM ON HIGH
Without the true Mass, the dreaded spiritual leprosy that has spread so far and wide in epidemic proportions will certainly engulf the earth. Satan would then be able to rein, virtually triumphant (though it would necessarily only be temporary victory); and our great and noble calling to convert the world would die a blossom, withered on the vine, save for small pockets of resistance.
These things do not have to happen. But they will happen if we stand idle, doing nothing, failing to heed the mighty commandment and clarion call which echoes form the High, bidding us to pledge our honor and to employ our resources of body and mind and soul and our wholehearted zeal to the work of this apostolate.
Those who have attempted to steal our sacred and perfect spiritual possession must be exposed and routed; for how wicked and depraved it is to despoil and participate in the defilement of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
See what things the enemy hath done
wickedly in the sanctuary (Psalm. 73:3).
O God, the nations have come unto Your
inheritance; they have defiled Your Holy
Temple . . . (Ps. 78:1).
Our era is one in which the whole power of hell and the ever-growing legions of iniquity seem more than ever bent upon destroying the power and reach of the Church and suffocating the divine life in souls. The Mass is at the center of their attack. Almost the whole of mankind is being led astray, the hierarchy of the true Church not excluded, the high-level apostasy that the Mother of Christ warned about in her Third Secret of Fatima, which secret has yet to be revealed in its fullness and integrity from the Vatican traitors who’ve been suppressing and misrepresenting it. The needs of the Mystical Body of Christ could not be greater; nor our responsibilities more multiple or titanic. For the doctrines and the dogmas of the true Faith reside within the hearts of so terribly few!
And to add further insult to God, even those few who do hold to the true Faith are seriously lacking – with precious few exceptions – in fervor and courage and zeal and the spirit of the Church Militant!
Loyal Roman Catholics must join together in this great endeavor and in this glorious battle for Christ and His One, true Church and His true Mass. We must unite under Him, with Him, in Him and for Him. For He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End . . . Who is and Who was and Who is coming, the Almighty” (Apoc. 1:8). He of Whom King David the psalmist sang professing: “Holy and Terrible is His Name … He uttered His Voice, the earth trembled … His lightnings have shone forth to the world: the earth saw and trembled” (Ps. 110:9, 45:7, 96:4).
Following the inspiring example of the countless martyrs and saints, let each one of us labor with limitless zeal and energy at becoming true and loyal and obedient “soldiers of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:3) in this struggle for our Faith and against the concentrated and feverish onslaught of militant atheism and satanic evil.
Let us fight courageously, suffer patiently, and pray fervently. We are at the beginning not the end of this great battle; and, as one of our great heroes in this fight said: “we not only see the light at the end of the tunnel but we know that we, not the modernists, are on the offensive and we resolve that we will continue to pursue the enemies of Christ and of His Church. If God is with us, whom do we have to fear? The battle will continue and, with God’s help, we will win” (Pope St. Pius X).
Catholics cannot attend the New Mass it is illicit and schismatic