8 November 1979The New Mass and the Pope
How often during these last ten years have I not had occasion to respond to questions concerning the weighty problems of the New Mass and the Pope. In answering them I have ever been careful to breathe with the spirit of the Church, conforming myself to her Faith as expressed in her theological principles, and to her pastoral prudence as expressed in moral theology and in the long experiences of her history.
I think I can say that my own views have not changed over the years and that they are, happily, those of the great majority of priests and faithful attached to the indefectible Tradition of the Church.
It should be clear that the few lines which follow are not an exhaustive study of these problems, The purpose, rather is to clarify our conclusions to such an extent that no one may be mistaken regarding the official position of the Society of St, Pius X.It must be understood immediately that we do not hold to the absurd idea that if the New Mass is valid, we are then free to assist at it.
The Church has always forbidden the faithful to assist at the Masses of heretics and schismatics, even when they are valid. It is clear that no one can assist at sacrilegious Masses or at Masses which endanger our faith.
Now, it is easy to show that the New Mass, as it was formulated by the officially authorized Conciliar Liturgical Commission considered together with the accompanying explanation of Mgr. Bugnini, manifests an inexplicable rapprochement with the theology and liturgy of the Protestants. The following fundamental dogmas of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are not clearly represented and are even contradicted:
- that the priest is the essential minister of the Rite;
- that in the Mass there is a true sacrifice, a sacrificial action;
- that the Victim or Host is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, present under the species of bread and wine, with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity;
- that this Sacrifice is a propitiatory one;
- that the Sacrifice and the Sacrament are effected by the words of the Consecration alone, and not also by those which either precede or follow them.
It is sufficient to enumerate a few of the novelties in the New Mass to be convinced of the rapprochement with the Protestants;
- the altar replaced by a table without an altar stone;
- Mass celebrated facing the people, concelebrated, in a loud voice, and in the vernacular;
- the Mass divided into two distinct parts: Liturgy of the Word, and Liturgy of the Eucharist;
- the cheapening of the sacred vessels, the use of leavened bread, distribution of Holy Communion in the hand, and by the laity, and even by women;
- the Blessed Sacrament hidden in corners;
- the Epistle read by women;
- Holy Communion brought to the sick by laity.
All these innovations are authorized. One can fairly say without exaggeration that most of these Masses are sacrilegious acts which pervert the Faith by diminishing it.
The de-sacralization is such that these Masses risk the loss of their supernatural character, their mysterium fidei; they would then be no more than acts of natural religion. These New Masses are not only incapable of fulfilling our Sunday obligation, but are such that we must apply to them the canonical rules which the Church customarily applies to communicatio in sacris with Orthodox Churches and Protestant sects.Must one conclude further that all these Masses are invalid? As long as the essential conditions for validity are present (matter, form, intention, and a validly ordained priest), I do not see how one can affirm this................