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Fr. Roger-Thomas Calmel, OP: The Mass belongs to the Church, the new Mass only to modernism May 1, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, religious, scandals, secularism, shocking, Tradition.

I had never heard of this Dominican until yesterday, through a post at Pertinacious Papist.  Fr. Roger-Thomas Calmel, OP, was a liturgical rebel in the late 60s and early 70s who steadfastly refused to offer the Novus Ordo. He was apparently never sanctioned, even though he very stridently repudiated the Novus Ordo and penned a missive a few days before the implementation of the NO in 1969  in which he very bluntly proclaimed that the Novus Ordo was a modernist catastrophe unleashed on the Church through an egregious abuse of authority.  It’s pretty hard hitting stuff, and really cuts to the core regarding the modernist agenda, liturgical or otherwise. I’d say in places it goes beyond what I feel comfortable saying/thinking. See what you think (I add some emphasis, some in original. My comments):

I hold to the traditional Mass, that which was codified, but not fabricated, by St. Pius V, in the XVI Century, in conformity to a centuries old usage.  I therefore refuse the Ordo missae of Paul VI.Padre-Roger-Thomas-Calmel-282x300

Why? Because, in reality, this Ordo Missae does not exist.  What exists is a universal and permanent liturgical revolution,  [That was certainly the case from the 70s until today, to varying degrees.  In many places, the abuses have settled down, but what is left is a rite of pablum] permitted or desired by the reigning Pope, and which, for a quarter of an hour, puts on the mask of the Ordo Missae of 3rd April 1969.  It is the right of every priest to refuse to wear the mask of this liturgical revolution. And I consider it my duty as a priest to refuse to celebrate the mass in an ambiguous rite. 

If we accept this new rite, which fosters the confusion between the Catholic Mass and the protestant supper––as the two cardinals (Bacci and Ottaviani) sustain and as a solid theological analysis demonstrates––then we will pass over, without delay, to an interchangeable mass (as recognized, moreover, by a protestant pastor) to a mass which is completely heretical and therefore nothing.  Initiated by the Pope, then diffused by him to the national Churches, the revolutionary reform of the mass leads to hell.  How can we accept to become accomplices of this?  [As I said, some of this is pretty strong. I would not say the NO is heretical. Gravely deficient and seemingly deliberately designed to foster abuse, yes, but not heretical.]

You will ask me: by keeping the Mass of ages at all costs, have you reflected upon what you have exposed yourself to? Certainly.  I risk, so to say, persevering in the way of fidelity to my priesthood, thus rendering to the High Priest, Who is our supreme Judge, the humble witness of my office as a priest.  I also risk being able to reassure the faithful who have lost their way, those who are tempted to scepticism or desperation.  Every priest, in fact, who remains faithful to the rite of the Mass which was codified by St. Pius V, the great Dominican Pope of the counter reform, permits the faithful to participate in the holy Sacrifice without any possible ambiguity,, to receive, without risk of being deceived, the incarnate and immolated Word of God, rendered truly present under the sacred Species. [That’s what it’s all about.  The Lord, truly Present in the Eucharist, so clearly elucidated by all the prayers] On the contrary, the priest who conforms to the new rite, composed of various pieces by Paul Roger_calmelVI, collaborates on his part in progressively establishing a false mass where the Presence of Christ will no longer be authentic, but will be transformed into an empty memorial; therefore, the Sacrifice of the Cross will be nothing other than a religious meal where one eats a bit of bread and drinks a little wine, nothing else: just like the protestants……. [And thus the vast majority of Catholics today do not believe in the Real Presence, whereas before the Council they did]

….Simple honesty, therefore, but infinitely more the priestly honour, does not permit me to have the impudence to barter with the Catholic Mass, received on the day of my ordination.  Since we are treating here of being loyal, and above all of a matter of divine gravity, there is no authority in the world, even a pontifical authority, which can stop me.  On the other hand, the first proof of fidelity and love which the priest must give to God and to men is that of guarding intact the infinitely precious deposit which was entrusted to him when the Bishop imposed his hands upon him.  It is above all on this proof of fidelity and love that I will be judged by the supreme Judge.  I trust that the Virgin Mary, Mother of the High Priest, will obtain for me the grace to remain faithful to death to the Catholic Mass, true and without ambiguity.  Tuus sum ego, salvum me fac (I am all Thine, save me).” [As I said, a lot of that was very hard hitting. And I left some stuff out.]

That was the part by Fr. Calmel, the rest is some analysis by conciliovaticanosecondo.  There is some really interesting discussion on how certain notions of authority, perhaps false, abusive notions, commanded obedience to this unprecedented change in the Church’s constant liturgical practice.  But again, caution is advised, you might find some of the below a bit overboard:Fr_Calmel2_150x175

 In the face of a text of such importance, and the taking up of a position which is so categorical, all the friends and supporters of Fr. Calmel trembled, awaiting the toughest sanctions from Rome.  All, except for him, the son of St. Dominic, who continued to repeat: “Rome will do nothing, it will do nothing…”. And in fact Rome did nothing.  The sanctions did not arrive. Rome remained silent before this Dominican friar who did not fear anything but the supreme Judge to Whom he would have to give an account of his priesthood.

            Other priests, thanks to the declaration of Fr. Calmel, had the courage to come out into the open and to resist the abuses of power of an unjust and illegal law.  Against those who recommended blind obedience to the authorities, he showed the duty of the insurrection; “The whole conduct of St. Joan of Arc showed that she had thought in this way: For certain, it is God Who permits it; but what God wants, at least whilst an army remains to me, is Christian justice and that I fight a good battle.  Then she was burned….

            To abandon ourselves to the grace of God does not mean to do nothing.  Instead it means, remaining in love, to do all that is within our power…. He who has not meditated upon the just insurrections of history, such as the war of the Maccabees, the riding into battle of St. Joan of Arc, the expeditions of John of Austria, the revolt of Budapest, to he who has not entered into sympathy with the noble resistances of history… I refuse the right to speak of Christian abandonment…abandonment does not consist in saying: God does not want the crusade, let the Moors go free.  This is the voice of laziness.” [I do agree with this. And I do see a very prevalent trend in the Church towards a sort of milquetoast pacifism, all focus on “turning the other cheek,” and none at all of the whip made of cords and overturning the moneychanger’s tables. We have become a weak, wimpy Church. A Church that is always afraid, afraid of offending, afraid of hurting feelings, and most of all afraid of really believing and proclaiming those “hard” truths that always set Catholics apart.  And I think the changes in the Mass went hand in hand with that self-doubting, feminizing process.]

6a00d834515d1e69e200e54ff75ffd8834-800wiWe cannot confuse supernatural abandonment with a servile obedience…….

Fr. Calmel had understood perfectly that the form of violence exercised in the “post-conciliar Church” is an abuse of authority,[Dietrich von Hildebrand said exactly the same] exercised by demanding unconditional obedience, before which the clergy and many laypersons submit themselves, without attempting any form of resistance. [The nature and course of the resistance is key.  You can resist, but don’t go casting yourself out of the Church as a sede vacantist, for example] “This absence of reaction––said Louis Salleron––seems to me to be tragic, because God will not save Christians without themselves, nor His Church without Her.”  [I think that is a profound and beautiful quote.  French minds are capable of such beauty……and its opposite]

“Modernism makes its victims walk under the banner of obedience––writes Fr. Calmel––, placing under the suspicion of pride any criticism whatsoever of the reforms, in the name of the respect which one owes to the pope, in the name of missionary zeal, of charity and of unity.”  [Boy is that not true.  It was a little true, maybe, over the past 8 or 10 years, but that oppressive authority seems  to be coming back, as the FFIs can surely attest] ….. It was necessary to paralyze or anesthetize under the pretext of the virtue of obedience, the holy Catholic resistance, to the point of accusing he who obeys the eternal tradition of disobedience.[And this is why I don’t like to see the pre-conciliar Church beat up on too much.  I see some folks basically try to claim the pre-conciliar Church must have been hopelessly corrupt/compromised because the Council certainly came out of it.  But remember, there was a revolution. There was at least a sort of conspiracy. And it was frequently heavy use of authority that crushed any nascent resistance early on, when it Teach_me_Awould have done the most good.  Yes, the Council sprang from the pre-conciliar Church, but it is not really a product of that Church.  There was an unseen, seething cauldron of modernism in the schools, in the religious orders, in some of the chanceries, and from thence it struck when given it’s moment of opportunity.  But most of the Church – priests, laity, religious, etc – were fine, upstanding, orthodox Catholics] “But there are circumstances––Professor G. Chabot pointed out–– in which disobedience to an abusive use of authority is not only licit, but rather obligatory.  In such circumstances it is a virtue to disobey.” [But I will caution, especially when we are speaking of direct orders from superiors, it can be very difficult to discern just when those circumstances are valid, and whether or not we are allowing self-interest to cloud our judgment.  So I would be very careful in applying this particular truism]

When they said to St. Athanasius: “You have all the bishops against you,” he replied: “This shows that they are all against the Church.”  “The Catholics faithful to the Tradition, even if reduced to a handful of people, are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”…….

…...In 1974 at a conference he said:  “The Mass belongs to the Church. The new Mass belongs only to modernism.  I hold to the Mass which is Catholic, traditional, Gregorian, because it does not belong to Modernism…. Modernism is a virus.  It is contagious and one must flee from it.  The witness is complete.  If I give witness to the Catholic Mass, it is necessary that I abstain from celebrating any other Mass.  It is like the burnt incense before the idols: either one grain or nothing. Therefore, nothing.”

Notwithstanding the open resistance of Fr. Calmel against the liturgical innovations, no sanction whatsoever arrived from Rome.  The logic of the Dominican father is too forceful, his doctrine too orthodox, his love for the Church and for the perennial tradition too sincere, for him to be attacked.  Nobody did anything against him because it was not possible. Then they wrapped the case up in the most conspiratorial silence, to the point that Fr. Calmel––known, in part, to the traditional French world––is almost unknown to the rest of the Catholic world. [Had you ever heard of him before?]

In 1975, Fr. Calmel died prematurely……[That’s too bad. He was not very old. We could certainly have used his guidance, within the Church, all these years]

———–End Quote———-

Long post, no more commentary. Thank you so much to conciliovaticanosecondo for putting this up.


1. TG - May 1, 2014

I just read this in a link from another website. Pretty strong words. The ending of the article said he had asked the Blessed Mother to make sure he remained faithful to the old Mass and she did.

2. Woody - May 1, 2014

I read in a book, a compilation of three lectures given by Christine Mohrmann, entitled “Liturgical Latin: Its Origins and Character” that the terminology of the early eucharistic prayer could not be interpreted to mean a meal eaten at a dinner table. The Greek phrase in the eucharistic prayer “to break bread” is derived from the Jewish prayer tradition and is not a common expression in those days of partaking in a meal. These lectures were given in May, 1957. Imagine, that 57 years ago, Catholic scholars were battling “modern” catholic theologians to keep the liturgy in its traditional Catholic form.

tantamergo - May 1, 2014

Sure, the liturgical movement started, in earnest after WWI. By the 1920s, German bishops were sending concerned letters to Rome telling them that abusive Masses were spreading throughout the country, especially among the young people, many of which must have gone on to become Nazis. Why the bishops didn’t take a strong stand and eliminate the Masses or suspend the priests offering them does show some rot had already set in. They were looking for Rome to fix their problem, when it was their responsibility to do so.

Sound familiar?

A few did take action, but far too few.

3. Maggie - May 1, 2014

Those in religious life really have a difficult time and have had for the past decades especially for the Orders that went nuts. You have the need to be obedient and have vows but then you cannot follow disobedience and dissent: one reason so many brokenhearted ones had to leave.

The FFI are in an unbalanced place and waiting to see what happens. It is said that many have already applied for dispensation as they professed to a wonderful and unique charism and if a modernist constitution is drawn up, they cannot follow it. But where do they go? No one else has their charism.

4. skeinster - May 2, 2014

Check your first paragraph- I think you have a couple of typos. We know what you mean, but others might not.

5. Frank Walker - May 2, 2014

I don’t think he was saying the new Mass is heretical, but that it would quickly pass over to another Mass that was. If you can suppress the Mass handed down from the apostles and fabricate one of your own, why not keep doing it? They have some great new ideas in Austria.

He didn’t like the precedent and predicted it’s effect, sort of like this new trend of good popes abdicating.

tantamergo - May 2, 2014

Interesting perspective. That’s a good point.

Thank you.

6. greatpretender51 - May 2, 2014

It sounds to me as though you are afraid of “hard-hitting.” Why? The Passion of the Church is in full-blown horror, having reached the point where the faithful, rather than the clergy, must defend her….because the clergy, with few notable exceptions such as Abp. Lefebvre, have utterly failed her.

tantamergo - May 2, 2014

It’s funny. You claim I am afraid of being hard-hitting, yet I am told at least several times a week what an uncharitable divisive unity hurting Rosary counting unreconstructed Pelagian I am.

I’ve had it with you people! You’re impossible to please!

I’m just kidding.

7. skeinster - May 2, 2014

TE, seriously- fix the first paragraph…

tantamergo - May 2, 2014

You mean my first paragraph, or what I copied?

I see I had reversed NO and TLM so it made no sense in my first paragraph.

Was that it? Something else?

skeinster - May 2, 2014

It was not making a lot of sense, until you decipher it.

skeinster - May 2, 2014

Don’t want anyone ‘outing’ you as a non-TLM supporter, or anything.

tantamergo - May 2, 2014

So, like, rewrite the whole thing, or good enough now?:

8. skeinster - May 2, 2014

Ist paragraph, second sentence still says “was a liturgical rebel, who in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s steadfastly refused to offer the TLM”.
But better.

9. KathiBee - May 3, 2014

I read the second sentence 4 times, and then just moved on, assuming you’d clarify or it was a typo. I found it hard to believe that you’d focus your energies on a priest who refused to say the TLM…………!

tantamergo - May 5, 2014

K, I found the other mistake and fixed it. See, you can read the same thing so many times your eyes glaze over and you don’t see what is obvious to everyone else.

That’s my story, this time. Next time, it will be because I was in such a rush.

10. Woody - May 3, 2014

Geese, critics!

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