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A must read January 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.

Whether you value the Traditional Latin Mass or not, I highly recommend reading this booklet length analysis of the Novus Ordo and Traditional Latin Mass at Rorate Caeli.  It’s about 60 pages, but highly worth your time.  I’ve not read as concise a comparison of the two types of Mass anywhere else.  A small sample:

The Council of Trent declares (s.22 canon 3) : “If any-one should say that the Sacrifice of the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving… and not a propitiatory sacrifice…and should not be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions and other necessities: Anathema Sit”.
In other words the Council teaches that the finality of the Holy Mass is not merely praise (/ adoration) and thanks, but also [ actually, primarily – ED] expiation and petition. This declaration was made in response to the Protestant denial that the Mass was a Sacrifice, and as such expiatory and petitionary in character.
In fact, since the Protestants deny that the Mass is a Sacrifice, the service with which they replace it is not only signally lacking in the finality of expiation but also in that of adoration.
The New Rite in its turn is also much impoverished in this regard. The finality of adoration, that is to say, the adoration of the Most Holy Trinity, has been all but totally suppressed. The Gloria Patri in the Introit has been removed, the Gloria in excelsis Deo is recited less frequently, and the Trinitarian formula per Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum… which concludes many of the prayers in the Old Rite, has been dropped in all cases except for the Collect. The prayer at the Offertory, Receive O Holy Trinity, Suscipe Sancta Trinitas…, and the prayer at the end of the Mass, May It Please Thee, O Holy Trinity, Placeat Tibi Sancta Trinitas…, have been abolished, and the preface of the Holy Trinity is no longer recited every Sunday, but only once a year on the respective feast day.
The finality of expiation has also been much reduced. As the Critical Study explains (III), the accent has been shifted from the remission of the sins of the living and the dead, to the nutrition and sanctification of those present. The following elements have thereby been suppressed: the prayer that God might give us life (in the psalm at the foot of the altar); the prayers Aufer and Oramus Te in which the priest asks to be pardoned for his own sins; the Confiteor recited by the priest with a deep bow and with the faithful on their knees; the Offertory prayers that the Immaculate Victim offered for “my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences may be accepted by God” and that the chalice may rise with “the odour of sweetness for our salvation”; all the prayers of humble supplication in the Roman Canon which no longer appear in the new canons; and the thrice-repeated prayer Domine non sum dignus prior to the Communion, both of the celebrant and of the faithful.
In the same vein, the memento of the dead and the mention of the souls suffering in Purgatory have been eliminated from the three new Eucaristic prayers, as well as the entire Requiem Mass in all its extraordinary catechetical power.
As the finalities of adoration and expiation retreat into the background, the finalities of thanksgiving and petition advance into the foreground (and the more charismatic the Mass, the more notably so), but with a certain detachment from their principal object, that is, the remission of sins through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Indeed the term “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” has been largely replaced by the term “Eucharist” (meaning thanksgiving), and a section of petitionary prayers, known as “the prayers of the faithful”, has been added to the Mass (often for merely temporal or material advantages), as if the Mass were not itself a prayer of petition.
In fact, it may be more accurate to say with the authors of the Critical Study, that the real finalities are suppressed and new finalities are invented: “the spirit of communion between those present and the spirit of a Charity banquet” (III), where again we witness the shift from the concept of a sacrifice to that of a meal.

The supreme function of the Church is to worship God, and the supreme expression of this worship is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a consecrated altar in a church consecrated for this purpose. The altar represents Christ, Who sacrificed Himself on the altar of His Own body. The altar must be of stone because it represents Christ, Who is the living foundation and corner-stone of the Church. It must be covered with three linen cloths which represent the Church, and the cloths with which He was wrapped in the tomb. The altar should be elevated since it is a mystical Mount Calvary . It is incensed, and adorned with a cross, which enables priest and people frequently to gaze upon the image of the Crucified. It (and the tabernacle) is hung with frontal hangings which represent the saints with which the great King is clothed in glory. The altar contains the relics of the martyrs (cf. MD p. 389 – 393).
In contrast to this Catholic theology of the altar, Cranmer states (MD p. 413-14): “First, the form of a table shall more move the simple from the superstitious opinions of the Popish Mass unto the right use of the Lord’s Supper. For the use of an altar is to make sacrifice upon it: the use of a table is to serve men to eat upon.”
In regard to the Postconciliar liturgical revolution, Michael Davies notes that “not one of the mandatory requirements (such as those mentioned above) developed over two thousand years to ensure that the altar which represents Christ is of fitting dignity, has been retained by the Conciliar Church” (MD p. 395). And we observe that, in effect, in the vast majority of cases, the altar has been supplanted by a table, despite Pope Pius XII’s categorical prohibition of this in Mediator Dei (MD p. 416).
Michael Davies further remarks (p. 413) that “the Mass versus populum and the … table are part of the same phenomenon, the Protestantization of the Catholic liturgy. It is a carbon copy of what took place at the Reformation.”

I know there are some Catholics who believe that the Novus Ordo Mass is beyond reproach, and that any criticism of this current ‘ordinary’ form of the Mass indicates an imbalance and an inordinate adherence to the Latin (or whatever).  I do not believe this is a fair assessment.  There are many questions regarding how the Church went from the documents of Vatican II, which indicate one thing (the Mass still predominately in Latin, Gregorian Chant, Ad Orientem worship, the centrality of Mass as Sacrifice, etc.), to the Missale Romanum of 1969 and the hurried correction of 1970 (1969 being much worse!).  Essentially, what we got is not what the Council fathers intended, in spite of the propaganda campaign waged by the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ crowd to the contrary.  There are so many areas of concern, it is difficult to know where to start – should we insist first that priests return to using ONLY the Roman Canon, or Ad Orientem, or making the Sacrificial nature of the Mass #1, or adding back in the genuflections and bows that communicated great reverence, or?  Or should I just give up and only assist at Traditional Latin Mass?

Lots of things to think on.  Another very good analysis of the same subject here.


1. thewhitelilyblog - January 13, 2011

Give up! Only assist at traditional mass! For your soul! They changed the collects, too. Of about 1400 of them, only 17% made it intact, and all the references to sin, human need, human frailty, damnation, and expiation are absent from the new constructs.

Yes, it WAS what the Council fathers intended, the whole liberal bunch of them. It was not what the *Curia* had intended, as evident in the schemas they prepared, but the Council was highjacked right from the start (beginning with John XXIII’s opening address). Have you read The Rhine Flows into the Tiber?

tantamergo - January 13, 2011

I’m getting there. I don’t think I’ll assist at Novus Ordo on Sunday anymore. For daily Mass, I’m not sure, I have to weigh whether a little grace at daily Mass is better than none at all, since I can’t get to TLM on a weekday (our one TLM parish in this Diocese is too far away).

Some was what the Council fathers intended, other parts weren’t. The Council fathers never intended to go entirely vernacular, or versus poplum, or have the ridiculous, banal music. But, they did intend to amend the Mass for “ecumenical” reasons. What a disaster – on that note Lefevebre was exactly right – the “ecumenism” would hardly attract a soul, while millions of Catholics would leave.

I need to read it, and will soon. Is the person who wrote the foreward the same man today?

thewhitelilyblog - January 14, 2011

I know what you mean about daily mass. I really miss it terribly (I got daily TLM in Guadalajara MX though, for two straight years!). I tried to go to my local, most reverent NO, parish, but there is no place to kneel to receive, and although the new pastor is very reverent (he actually prays before the BS before mass), he has not stopped or has not stopped by his sheer example, all the talking everyone else ‘involved’ in the NO does before and after mass. And that’s what I can’t take. I tried, I really wanted to, I hung around after making nice small talk as required (outside!!!). But it makes me depressed. I pay for it all the rest of the day. So.

Yes, you’re right that they said the council fathers said they wanted to change far less than they ultimately ended up with, and you’re right that, in their general direction, toward everything that might please and placate their protestant auditors, they deserved nonetheless what they ended up with. And dear heart, it carries their message. So guard your heart, eh?

I don’t know what you mean, ‘is the person who wrote the foreward the same man today?’ Probably not, if he’s like the rest of us. What exactly were you trying to say, dear tantum? He is, in any case, Father Ralph Wiltgen, as innocent a liberal as ever walked, an excellent journalist to boot. He tells very many details that show how the schemas originally intended by the Curia (for example, Ottaviani’s) were rejected by a liberal body, re-written by an alliance of European bishops with the bishops from their former colonies, and ramrodded through by changes in the procedures to cut off discussion or more detailed examination by break out groups.

Tantum, I’ve made several comments that don’t seem to be appearing. Perhaps I’m pressing something wrong, or perhaps you’re censoring my stupider comments. I hope you know I mean well–I’m never being ironic or sarcastic! I care very much about the topics, and you seem to also, so I guess I’m rather frank. Forgive me if so. As long as you know I mean well, the best for you and your family too, which is an issue!, I don’t care if you don’t put my comments.

2. KathiBee - January 14, 2011

This was a very interesting post to read, and I think I’ll actually have to print out the whole 60 pages & read the rest. It saddens me deeply that the majority of Catholics have now been raised in the Novus Ordo and look upon it as the creme’de la creme’ of worship, beyond reproach & most would not even remotely consider attending a TLM — but many do jump ship to Protestantism – comfortably.

3. Steve B - January 14, 2011

White Lily,

And, of those 17% of the Propers which “made the cut” into the Novus Ordo (who would think that the TLM Propers would be treated with such irreverence?), many/most of them were also transferred to a weekday Mass.

So, it is VERY rare that the Catholic faithful hear on Sunday ANY of the Proper prayers which are/were in the TLM.

If anyone wants to dig further into what happened to the Proper prayers as they were “reformed” for use in the Novus Ordo, check out the analysis that Dr. Lauren Pristas did in a one-to-one comparison of the Advent Propers in the TLM vs. the Novus Ordo (starts on page 24 of her article):


If you don’t have time to read her erudite analysis, the bottom line is she concluded that the Advent Prayers of the Novus Ordo are “semi-Pelagian” – i.e. that the Novus Ordo prayers convey petitions to God which ask for a “spiritual fill-up” (my term, not hers), as opposed to the TLM Propers which consistently convey that we are in DIRE need of God’s help and assistance at EVERY step of our spiritual journey….

We must keep in mind, however, that – despite the theological shortcomings/oversights of the Novus Ordo – still it provides a MULTITUDE of graces to the Catholic faithful. The Church just couldn’t have promulgated a Liturgy which did not. It’s just that there are even MORE graces provided via heartfelt participation in the TLM. And, there’s no doubt which Liturgy is much more clearly aimed toward giving the ultimate in reverential worship to Almighty God.

If I many make an analogy, the Novus Ordo is like a 3 course banquet, while a TLM is like a 7 course banquet. Sure, the faithful are getting shortchanged in the Novus Ordo – especially with the pathetic ICEL translation of the prayers which are still in use.

But, as faithful Catholics, we MUST believe that BOTH Liturgies are still providing spiritual banquets, that in both we receive the fullness of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and that in both God’s abundant love and blessings are made apparent to us.

Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Steve B
Plano, TX

tantamergo - January 14, 2011

But, as faithful Catholics, we MUST believe that BOTH Liturgies are still providing spiritual banquets, that in both we receive the fullness of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and that in both God’s abundant love and blessings are made apparent to us.

I’m coming to realize that the degree, the size and scope of the banquet, is, however, quite a bit different between NO and TLM, because in NO so MANY prayers and genuflections and signs of the cross were removed, that the graces must be less. See you at Mater Dei this Sunday.

thewhitelilyblog - January 14, 2011

Dear heart, I don’t want to be contentious, but your premise that it is impossible that the Council could have promulgated something harmful to the faithful is false. The only infallible teachings are those ex cathedra. Everything else must bear the brunt of our rational examination. And that liturgy teaches liberalism. I guess I could limit it to “as practiced” but even when practiced the most reverently of all, it’s different and it’s much more like Luther’s mass. And it’s harmful.

Thank you for that link! I will try to take a moment to examine it.

You know, it’s the same for the breviary. I used to pray both the original divine office and also the liturgy of the hours, and I don’t know if there’s been an academic examination of the differences, the word one gets from the usual suspects is that the ‘breviary was a success, the mass not so much,’ but it’s like night and day, and so many of the readings for the lessons at matins that were either written by the saint of the day or by one of the Fathers of the Church were changed to sections of the constitutions of, yes, of course, Vatican II. And many other changes too! I’d like (in another lifetime!!!) to study that. And mourn it, of course.

I don’t think it’s a matter of banquet metaphors. To me that’s like saying the turn coat appellants of the reformation (I think I spelled that wrong) were a little bit holy in their wishing to banish the inconvenient fact of martyrdom from their extensive enjoyment of the good life and become just a little bit anglican. They were, after all, ordained priests, and there were bishops among them, too.

Hey, have you guys read The Merits of the Mass on my blog (I didn’t write it! Robyn Schamel, and it’s great)? It breaks down the extrinsic merits, which is what I think you’re talking about in comparing the graces potentially available at either:


Good weekend!

4. tantamergo - January 14, 2011

WL – I am not censoring any comments. I’ll check my filter to see if it’s getting caught there – I had to “free” several comments a few days ago because of an over-active spam filter.

Here’s what I do at Novus Ordo daily Mass, where, yes, there is alot of chatter and people leave the pews immediately after the St. Michael prayer (we at least do that!) – I stay and pray, and I rarely get into conversations after Mass, except with a young priest I admire, perhaps twice a month. As for Communion, I get down on my knees to receive anyway. When we started doing that about 2 years ago, we got alot of stares, but a few other people are doing it now. I have no problem whatsoever with it – I never run into anyone, or cause people to trip, or have trouble getting up, but my knees are still fairly young. I fight through it and try my best to be as reverent as possible – and I will not receive from someone with unconsecrated hands. That’s why I don’t receive the Sacred Blood – it’s always held by an ordinary extraordinary minister.

BTW – this parish where we assist at daily Mass – on Sundays, they have 16 extraordinary ministers!! That’s one extraordinary minister for every 30-40 parishioners! Most of them do nothing but stand around with some Hosts or the Cup!

5. Steve B - January 14, 2011

White Lily,

I hesitate to contend with you on some of your comments, especially when we both see, appreciate, and love the merits of the TLM and traditional Catholicism….

But, White Lily, you’re not quite right when you said a couple of things:

A) “… your premise that it is impossible that the Council could have promulgated something harmful to the faithful is false.” and

B) “The only infallible teachings are those ex cathedra.”

On point A), Pope Paul VI DID promulgate the Conciliar documents in a way which did ensure that they were NOT counter to the Catholic faith – i.e. that they are infallible, despite their not teaching anything new dogmatically – see Robert Sungenis’ debate with a sedevacantist, which covers this matter in detail ( http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/articles/pastoral/sedevacantists.htm ).

There’s a BIG difference between the Conciliar documents being infallibly protected by the Holy Spirit (which they are), and them being inerrant (of which they are NOT guaranteed). Infallibility and inerrancy are NOT the same things!

Don’t get me wrong though – the Conciliar documents are far too ambiguous, and they DO contain imprudent teachings that faithful Catholics are NOT obliged to believe or promote (e.g. ecumenism and religious liberty, as the two most glaring examples). I agree completely with what Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand famously told Mr. Michael Davies (quoted from Davies’ book “Pope John’s Council”, pgs. 30-31):

“I consider that the Council – nothwithstanding the fact that it brought some ameliorations – as a
great misfortune.”

However, those Conciliar teachings in-and-of-themselves can not be DIRECTLY harmful to the faith of Catholics, otherwise they would not be infallible.

I would wholeheartedly agree that, certainly, far too many Conciliar teachings and decisions were horribly imprudent for the spiritual life of the Church, and that they were undeniably the CATALYST which created the “crack” in the bastions of the Church (that Pope Paul VI so famously described allowed the smoke of Satan to enter it) which the dissenting liberals took full advantage of after the Council – to the utter harm of the faithful, which is SO objectively apparent.

On point B), certainly there are MANY infallible teachings & beliefs that we must embrace to be truly faithful Catholics which have NOT been promulgated “ex cathedra” – the prohibition of artificial birth control, and a multitude of other traditional Catholic beliefs too (like the bodily Resurrection of Our Lord) which fill up the infinite treasury of our faith.

Stating that only those Catholic doctrines are infallible which were promoted “ex cathedra” plays right into the hands of many dissenting theologians, like Dr. Rick Gaillardetz (who denies the bodily Resurrection of Our Lord, simply b/c it has never been defined “ex cathedra”). And I know you certainly don’t intend to be in the dissenters’ camp…. 😉

Sorry to take you to task, White Lily, but I felt compelled to “set the record straight.”

Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Steve B
Plano, TX

6. thewhitelilyblog - January 17, 2011

Hey, Steve. I answered this once, but it didn’t go through. Abbreviated version: go head, school me all you want. Could you give me a link to support your assertion that infallibility and inerrancy aren’t the same?

I don’t always bother to get the words right. I live in perpetual anxiety. You’re right on so very many points. But the bottom line is the same: it has to be fixed to be in line with tradition. We don’t have the power to change that. Nobody does. Where we slipped, no matter how, it has to get fixed. Like the tiniest deviation in an angle, when you get it out to ground level, it’s this great big chasm souls are falling through.

Steve B - January 17, 2011

Hi again White Lily,

I agree with you TOTALLY! The ambiguities and/or imprudent teachings of VII definitely NEED to be corrected.

The smallest deviation from the traditional teachings of the Church CAN introduce a potential problem, which if a Catholic has an erroneously formed conscience will ALLOW them to fall into error.

If a Catholic has a properly formed conscience, however, he/she will not fall into any error – i.e. if religious liberty and/or ecumenism are properly considered from the viewpoint of Catholic tradition, neither of those two teachings will lead a Catholic into error nor put their own salvation in jeopardy.

Thus, it is the erroneous formation of one’s conscience which is the root cause of any error in acting upon the teachings of VII. If the “problematic” teachings of VII are correctly interpreted via Catholic tradition, then all will go well.

Getting to a definitive traditional interpretation of the VII docs is what the SSPX are pursuing in their discussions with the Vatican. It would be good for ALL of us and the entire Church to pray for their success!!!

Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Steve B
Plano, TX

7. Steve B - January 17, 2011

Hi White Lily,

Here’s how Fr. John Hardin in his Modern Catholic Dictionary defines terms:

Inerrancy: The absence of error. Commonly applied to the Bible as the revealed word of God. (Etym. Latin in-, not + errare, to err: inerrans, not wandering.)

Infallibility: Freedom from error . . . (Etym. Latin in-, not + fallibilis; from fallere, to deceive: infallibilis, not able to deceive, or err.)

Here’s a further definition from the Catholic encyclopedia for “infallibility”:

“… the supernatural prerogative by which the Church of Christ is, by a special Divine assistance, preserved from liability to error in her definitive dogmatic teaching regarding matters of faith and morals.”

A little later on in the web page definition of infallibility, it also says:

“… infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error;”

Catholic apologist John Salza (who, btw, is VERY friendly to Catholic tradition!) says on page 87 his book “The Biblical Basis of the Papacy”:

“We should note that God’s gift of infallibility to the Church is only a negative protection. The Holy Spirit does not inspire the Pope to teach infallibly. He only protects the Pope from teaching error on faith and morals when the Pope manifestly invokes His protection.”

My understanding then is this – infallibility protects the Pope and the Magisterium from promulgating ANY doctrines on faith and morals which are:

a) inherently counter to the truths of the Catholic faith, or

b) able to directly put anyone’s salvation in jeopardy.

So, according to what Mr. Sungenis explains in the blog post to which I previously referred, the Vatican II documents were promulgated in a way which ensures that they are infallible – i.e. that despite the ambiguity and/or imprudence of their teachings, neither a) nor b) above INHERENTLY/DIRECTLY happen (that is why I deemed the VII docs as merely a “catalyst” for the many subsequent erroneous interpretations and decisions which took place after the Council).

As I stated before, however, what the VII documents teach IS often ambiguous and imprudent in MANY areas – i.e. they are NOT guaranteed to be “inerrant”.

The VII documents’ promotion of religious liberty and ecumenism are two specific examples which CAN be misguided and erroneous – in other words, the VII docs are NOT guaranteed to be inerrant, like the inspired Holy Scriptures are.

But, because the VII docs WERE promulgated infallibly by Pope Paul VI, as faithful Catholics we ARE required to be obedient in accepting them as being canonically valid for the Church and the Catholic faithful.

However, because the VII docs are not inerrant, faithful Catholics like ourselves are NOT obligated to embrace and/or promote those ambiguous and/or imprudent teachings.

Hope this clarifies the distinction between “inerrancy” and “infallibility”.

Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Steve B
Plano, TX

8. Steve B - January 17, 2011

Hi all,

As another take on the extrinsic merits of both forms of Holy Mass, one of my favorite traditional Catholic blogs also has another VERY enlightening post….

Check out the following post by Boniface:


Pax et bendictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Steve B
Plano, TX

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