WHY SHOULD CATHOLICS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH
THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE ?
A. PRELIMINARY REMARKS
A criticism of the “New Rite” cannot be a criticism of the Mass in itself, for this is the very sacrifice of Our Lord bequeathed to His Church,
but it is an examination, whether it is a fit rite for embodying and enacting this august Sacrifice.
It is difficult for those who have known nothing other than the
Novus Ordo Missae to understand of what they have been
deprived, and attending a “Latin Mass” often just seems alien. To see clearly what it is all about, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the defined truths of
our Faith on the Mass (PRINCIPLES 11 - 18 are some of them). Only in the light of these can the “new rite” of Mass be evaluated.
B. WHAT IS THE NOVUS
Let us answer this by looking at its four causes, as the philosophers would say:
that make up the New Rite? Some are Catholic:
Now, the Novus Ordo Missae assumes these heterodox elements alongside the Catholic ones to form a
LITURGY FOR A MODERNIST
RELIGION which would marry the Church and the world, Catholicism and Protestantism, light and darkness. Indeed, the
Novus Ordo Missae
presents itself as:
A meal (vs.
11). This is shown by its use of a table around which the people of God gather to offer bread and wine
to communicate from rather common-place utensils, often under both kinds (vs.
15), and usually in the hand
too the almost complete deletion of references to sacrifice).
A narrative of a past event
12). This told out loud by the one presiding (vs.
14), who recounts Our Lord’s words as read
in Scripture (rather than pronouncing a sacramental formula) and who makes no pause until he has shown the Host to the people.
A community gathering,
13). Christ is perhaps considered to be morally present but ignored in his Sacramental Presence
Notice also the
numerous RUBRICAL changes:
The celebrant facing the people from where the tabernacle was formerly kept.
Just after the consecration, all acclaim He
“will come again.”
Sacred vessels are no longer gilt.
Sacred particles are ignored
The priest no longer joins thumb and forefinger after the
The vessels are not purified as they used to
Communion is most frequently given in the hand.
Genuflections on the part of the priest and kneeling on the part of the
faithful are much reduced.
The people take over much of what the priest formerly did.
Moreover, the Novus Ordo Missae defined itself this way:
"The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God gathered together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the
Lord." (Pope Paul VI, Institutio Generalis,
§7, 1969 version)
What is the AIM
of the Novus Ordo Missae as a rite?
"...the intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant
liturgy... there was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic, in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist
Guitton on Dec. 19, 1993 in Apropos (17), p. 8ff [also in
Christian Order, Oct.
1994]. Jean Guitton was an intimate friend of Pope Paul VI. Paul
VI had 116 of his books and had made marginal study notes in 17 of these:
"When I began work on this trilogy I was concerned at the extent to which the Catholic liturgy was being Protestantized. The more detailed my study of the Revolution, the more evident it has become that it has by-passed Protestantism and its final goal is
humanism" (Pope Paul's New Mass, p. 137 (cf., p. 149), [APPENDIX
This latter is a fair evaluation when one considers the changes implemented, the results achieved, and the tendency of modern theology, even
papal theology (cf.
(as an archbishop in this image), one
of the architects of the New Mass
WHO made up the Novus Ordo Missae?
It is the invention of a liturgical commission, the
Consilium, whose guiding light was Fr. Annibale Bugnini (made an archbishop in 1972 for his
services), and which also included six Protestant experts. Fr. Bugnini (principal author of Vatican II’s
Concilium) had his own ideas on popular involvement in the liturgy (La
Riforma Liturgia, A. Bugnini, Centro Liturgico Vincenziano, 1983), and the Protestant advisors had their own heretical ideas on the essence of the Mass.
But the one on whose authority the Novus Ordo Missae was enforced was Pope Paul VI, who “promulgated” it by his
Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969).
Or did Pope Paul VI REALLY DO SO?
In the original
Missale Romanum, signed by Pope Paul VI, no mention was made either of anyone’s being obliged to use the
Ordo Missae or when such an obligation might begin.
Translators of the constitution
mistranslated cogere et efficere (i.e., to sum up and draw a
conclusion) as to give force of law.
The version in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis
(which records all official texts of the Papacy) has an added paragraph “enjoining” the New Missal, but it is in the wrong tense, the past, and reads
praescripsimus (i.e.., which we have ordered) thereby referring to a past obligation, and nothing, moreover, in
Missale Romanum prescribes,
but at most permits the use of the “New Rite" (The
Angelus, March 1997, p. 35).
Can it be true that Pope Paul VI wanted this Missal but that it was not properly
imposed (it is known moreover, that Pope Paul VI signed the Institutio
Generalis without reading it and without ensuring that it had been
previously confirmed by the Holy Office).
C. JUDGMENT ON THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE
Novus Ordo Missae in itself and in its official Latin form (juxta
typica 1969)*, Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci
wrote to Pope Paul VI:
"...the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent."
SHORT CRITICAL STUDY OF THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE,
Sept. 25, 1969)
A Novus Ordo Missae celebrated
according to the 1969 juxta typica edition would look very similar
to the Tridentine Rite, with the Celebrant saying most (if not all) the
prayers in Latin, facing the Tabernacle and wearing the traditional Mass
vestments, with a male altar server, and Gregorian chant, etc. None
of the current abuses, e.g., Communion in the hand or under both
kinds, Eucharistic Ministers, liturgical dancing, guitar-masses, etc.,
have part with this official form. Hence, the aforementioned
Cardinals' (as well as the SSPX's) critique of the Novus Ordo Missae
is not of its abuses or misapplication, but rather of its essential and
And Archbishop Lefebvre definitely agreed
with them when he wrote:
Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, ...is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the
faith" (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics,
p. 29 [APPENDIX
The dissimulation of Catholic elements and the pandering to Protestants which are evident in the
Novus Ordo Missae render it a danger to our
faith, and, as such, evil, given that it lacks the good which the sacred rite of Mass ought to have.
fruits you shall know them:
We were promised the Novus Ordo Missae would renew Catholic fervor, inspire the young, draw back the lapsed and attract non-Catholics.
Who today can pretend that these things are its fruits? Together with the
Novus Ordo Missae did there not instead come a dramatic decline in Mass
attendance and vocations, an “identity crisis” among priests, a slowing in the rate of conversions, and an acceleration of apostasies? So, from the point of view of its fruits, the Novus Ordo Missae is
not a rite conducive to the flourishing of the Church’s mission.
Does it follow from the apparent promulgation by the Popes that the
Novus Ordo Missae is truly
Catholic? No, for the indefectibility of the Church does not prevent the Pope personally from promoting defective and modernist rites in the Latin rite of the Church. Moreover, the
Novus Ordo Missae:
properly promulgated (and therefore does not have force of law; cf., [vi]
Roman Mass (aka, the Tridentine or traditional Latin Mass) was not
abolished or superseded in the constitution Missale Romanum, hence
in virtue of the of
Quo Primum (which de jure [by law] is still the liturgical
law and therefore the official Mass of the Roman Rite), it can always be said
lastly, the constitution Missale Romanum does not engage the Church's
us remember that a Pope engages his infallibility not only when teaching on
faith or morals (or legislating on what is necessarily connected with them)
but when so doing with full pontifical authority and definitively (cf.
Vatican I [Dz 1839]. But as regards the Novus Ordo Missae,
Pope Paul VI has stated (Nov. 19, 1969) that:
the rite and its related rubric are not in themselves a dogmatic
definition. They are capable of various theological qualifications,
depending on the liturgical context to which they relate. They are
gestures and terms relating to a lived and living religious action which
involves the ineffable mystery of God's presence; it is an action that is
not always carried out in the exact same form, an action that only
theological analysis can examine and express in doctrinal formulas that are
It should be also be understood that the papal bull, Quo Primum is
neither an infallible document, but rather only a disciplinary document
regarding the liturgical law that governs the Tridentine Rite (cf.
Catholic FAQ for details).
D. THIS BEING SO, CAN IT
BE SAID THAT THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE IS INVALID?
This does not necessarily follow from the above
defects, as serious as they might be, for only three things are required for
validity (presupposing a validly ordained priest), proper:
However, the celebrant must intend to do what the Church does. The
Novus Ordo Missae will no longer in and of itself guarantee that the celebrant has this intention. That will depend on his personal faith (generally unknown to those assisting, but more and more doubtful as the crisis in
the Church is prolonged).
Therefore, these Masses can be of doubtful
validity, and more so with time.
The words of consecration, especially of the wine, have been tampered with. Has the
“substance of the sacrament” (cf., Pope Pius XII quoted in
5) been respected?
This is even more of a problem in Masses in the vernacular, where pro multis
(for many) has been deliberately mistranslated as "for all".
While we should assume that despite this change the consecration is still
valid, nevertheless this does add to the doubt.
E. CONSIDERING WHAT HAS BEEN SAID, ARE WE OBLIGED IN CONSCIENCE TO ATTEND
THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE?
If the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot oblige for one’s Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist at it are unaware
of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of its harm, does not have the right to
participate. He could only then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons
(weddings, funerals, etc).