The New Mass: What We Know
and What We Don't Know
The introduction of the new rite of Mass — Novus Ordo Missae — in 1969 during the reign of Pope Paul VI remains perhaps the greatest and most grievous culture shock the Catholic clergy and faithful have ever experienced. (See: archive.fatima.org/crusader/cr91/CR91pg37.pdf) ;
Not only was the principal language of the Mass changed from Latin to the vernacular, but the text of the Mass itself, the Tridentine Rite, underwent major revisions and innovations that left many priests and laymen in varying states of confusion, scandal and doubt.
And the imposition of the new rite was accompanied with an illicit suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass, which unfortunately remains a de facto condition in many dioceses throughout the world despite the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, issued in 2007, which affirms that every priest may celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass without the special permission of his bishop.
And while the Holy Father's pronouncement settles once and for all the juridical status of the Tridentine Rite, known as the extraordinary form of the Mass, questions about the validity of the new rite, called the ordinary form of the Mass, persist, and with good reason.
For the past 40 years, the validity of the new rite has been argued from many vantage points. Some defend it on the basis of authority: the Pope has authorized its use and, therefore, it must be valid.
But the degree of authority one can attach to its promulgation is also a matter of controversy. And doubts about the validity of the new rite are not primarily about its authoritative status, but about its sacramental form. (See: The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy)
Most every vernacular translation of the Latin edition of the new rite has changed the form for the consecration of the wine. The Tridentine Rite contains Our Lord's words: “For this is the chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many, unto the remission of sins.”
With an audacity that is shocking in the extreme, vernacular translations of the new rite alter the formula for the consecration of the wine, changing Our Lord's words, as though such authority had been granted them.
The International Commission for English in the Liturgy, ICEL, has seen fit to translate the Latin words in the originally promulgated text of the new rite from “for many” — pro multis — to “for all.”
Every sacrament comprises form and matter. The Latin rite requires grape wine, (and except for the small amount of water added by the priest at the offertory) with no admixture of anything else, be used in the Mass. This is the matter. The form is the words of Our Lord that change the wine into His Blood through transubstantiation.
If one changes the form, does one invalidate the consecration? And what are the essential words of the form without which no consecration can occur?
For forty years, this debate has continued, and will continue, so long as vernacular translations alter the words of the consecration. At the heart of the argument is the question: what is the minimum requirement, in terms of form, for valid consecration of the wine?
For the consecration of the bread, the Church has affirmed that “This is My Body” suffices. But the magisterium has not pronounced with equal decisiveness on the form for the consecration of the wine.
St. Alphonsus Liguouri investigated the question, consulting 20 theologians. Ten said that the words, “This is the chalice of My Blood” effected a valid consecration. Ten said that the full form, quoted above, including the words “for many” was required.
All agreed that the full form guaranteed a valid consecration. But not all agreed that the shortened seven-word form was adequate. This means that we cannot have the same certainty of the validity of consecration with the short form as we can have with the long form.
And this raises the question: Why risk a doubtful consecration with the short form?
An analogy may make the matter more clear. When an engineer designs a bridge, he takes into account the maximum weight it will have to bear, then adds another 10 or 20 percent reinforcement above the maximum so that he can be certain of the soundness of the structure.
If he did not add this additional strength and his calculations were less than exact, or some circumstance were to arise that put more stress on the bridge than he anticipated, he would risk the possibility that the bridge would collapse.
If an engineer is obliged to safeguard the lives of those who will use his bridge by adding such strength, what should be the Church's obligation to safeguard the souls in Her charge by making certain that the consecration of the wine is valid?
The engineer is dealing with physical life, which is temporal, but the Church is dealing with spiritual life, which is eternal. There can be no more serious obligation for the Church than to guarantee that the sacraments She administers are valid and confer grace, as Our Lord intends.
Common sense dictates that a doubtful form of consecration should be avoided. One need not be a great theologian to grasp this obvious truth.
So the answer to the question of whether the consecration of the wine in the new rite is valid must be: we don't know. Just as the answer to the question of whether the consecration of the wine in Tridentine Rite is valid must be: Yes, without a doubt.
So why would the Church allow a doubtful formula for the consecration of the wine?
The Third Secret Speaks about the Mass
We know that we have only received part of the Third Secret of Fatima in the Vatican's June 2000 publication, The Message of Fatima. (See: www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_
We also know that the hidden text of the Third Secret deals not only with the vision, but also contains the words of Our Lady about a great crisis in the Church and dangers to the faith and life of the Christian and the life of the world. (See: https://archive.fatima.org/crusader/cr93/cr93pg3.pdf)
It is through the Mass that the faithful have their chief contact with the Church. If there is to be a danger to the faith of the Christian, it would make sense that it would have its source in the Mass. (See: “The Secret Warned Against Vatican Council II and the New Mass”)
And this is precisely what has occurred. The old saying, “lex orandi, lex credendi” — as we pray, so we believe — has been borne out in the effects of the new rite on the faith and practice of Catholics.
Not only have we seen a great falling off in Mass attendance since the introduction of the new rite, but polls show an alarming loss of belief in the Real Presence among those who identify themselves as Catholic.
The diabolic disorientation of the Church that Sister Lucy spoke about is nowhere more evident than in the fact that the Church allows the use of a doubtful form of consecration in Her supreme worship.
Only the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the revelation of the full Third Secret can end this diabolic disorientation.
We must work and pray ever more fervently that the Holy Father and the bishops will heed the requests of Our Lady of Fatima. (See: Petition to Our Holy Father — The Consecration of Russia and Petition to Our Holy Father — The Release of the full Third Secret)
Latest Fatima Perspectives by
Christopher A. Ferrara
The Last Days of Cardinal Kasper — Examines the fast-approaching end of the “ecumenical” career of Cardinal Walter Kasper, as reported in an article by The National Catholic Reporter's John Allen. The Cardinal's penchant for undermining Catholic dogma (for example, his denial of the historical reality of the apostolic succession and his call to “revisit” Pope Leo XIII's infallible proclamation on the invalidity of Anglican priestly orders) has been a focus of this column for years.
The Liturgy and the World — In an interview with the Italian journal Il Foglio, the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Antonio Cardinal Canizares-Llovera, made some astonishing remarks on the state of the Catholic liturgy today, after more than forty years of post-Vatican II “renewal,” and on the Pope's historic decision to free the Latin Mass from the pseudo-prohibition that had been unjustly imposed upon it in the name of the Second Vatican Council.
Putin Arrests Santa and His Helper — On New Year's Eve, dozens of anti-Kremlin activists were arrested (including an 82-year-old woman) during a demonstration in Moscow, after “Hundreds of riot police surrounded a Christmas tree in the centre of the city and arrested the opposition activists as they gathered to defend their right to peaceful protest … as enshrined under Article 31 of the Russian constitution.”
Waiting to Exhale in Russia — Vladimir Putin, current prime minister and former president of Russia, craves his hold on power in Russia, which is why it is becoming increasingly certain that he will run for the Russian presidency again in 2012.
The Most Religious Nation? — A worldwide survey by Religion Monitor found “the United States is the most religious nation in the industrialized world.” But the survey does not address the central question: What exactly is meant by “religious”?
Abortion: Where It All Began — Traces the history of the legalization of abortion in Russia followed by Germany in the 1920's, resulting in the murder of millions of the innocent unborn every year.
The Growing Threat of Hate Crimes Against Catholics — We are witnessing a new eruption of American's genetic fear and loathing of Roman Catholicism. Violence against Catholics can be expected to increase in the proportion to which the Church militant is militant in its opposition to the “culture of death.”
Henry the Tyrant - Part II — Bishop Henry of Calgary apparently thinks he owns the ancient received and approved rite of Mass in the Church and can ban or allow it at his pleasure. His response to complaints from the faithful leaves something to be desired, to say the least.
Vatican Says No Nightclub Churches — According to the Vatican, what is needed is a proper protocol for getting rid of all the churches the great “renewal” of Vatican II has emptied: the churches can be sold or even destroyed if they lack artistic value or need significant repair work — but not sold to owners of nightclubs.
That Fraud Called “Liberty” — The bending of leaders to the “will of the people” is the “freedom” from the “tyranny of kings and priests” that we are expected to celebrate as our “leaders” tax us, regulate us, wage war after war, and oppress us in a hundred ways no king of Christendom would even have dreamed of imposing on his subjects.
Henry the Tyrant — Calgary's Bishop Henry suspended the traditional Latin Mass at a local parish ministered to by priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter after the Fraternity priests advised that they were unable to comply with his “instructions” to refrain from distributing Holy Communion on the tongue during the Latin Mass.
Miracle on Eighth Avenue — The New York Times has done something extraordinary — indeed, almost miraculous, given the genetically leftist constitution of the “paper of record” — by publishing a Op-Ed piece written by a Roman Catholic traditionalist in which the New Mass of Paul VI is described as “a radical break from the traditional Latin Mass” created by Annibale Bugnini, who “aimed at appeasing non-Catholics, and... emulating Protestant services...”
The Preparation of Russia... for What? — Two recent developments remind us of the centrality of Russia in the future of our troubled world.
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