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Whatever Pope Paul’s intent for the New Mass, it’s failure has been abject December 10, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, different religion, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, Revolution, secularism, the struggle for the Church.

Pertinacious Papist has a couple of posts that I think, put together, make a powerful statement.  The first contains much of Paul VI’s speech before a general audience in late 1969, announcing the introduction – one might say infliction – of the new Mass upon the Church.  The other is a video that, harshly and perhaps slightly unfairly at times, compares the two Masses, new and old.  The differences are much more than mere surface, or language, as Paul VI insists in his speech.  They cut to the very heart of Catholic belief, and explain both the New Mass’s failures even on the narrow terms Paul VI established for it, and its central contribution to the collapse in the Faith these last 45  years.  First, the speech (emphasis from PP, my comments):

Our Dear Sons and Daughters:

1. We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass. This new rite will be introduced into our celebration of the holy Sacrifice starting from Sunday next which is the first of Advent, November 30 [in Italy].

2. A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. [Reading Sense of the Sacred and other books on the history of the Liturgy, it is apparent that much of the TLM, including its most essential part, the Canon, dates from no later than the 3rd century, and almost certainly is entirely of apostolic origin, or very nearly so] This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. [It was untouchable, save for gradual, organic development over centuries, until progressives, in their hubris, arrogated to themselves the right to change something that was not of man but of God. They played with elemental forces, and the Church got burned] It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead…. [It merely seemed to, or it actually did?]

4. We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged to follow those of others. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect…. [I disagree with the reduction to opposition to this unprecedented novelty as being one based in narrow concerns like inconvenience and annoyance.  This was a fundamental change to the very heart of the Church, her most essential, life-giving act.  The huge, protestant-oriented changes could not but have a severe impact on the Church’s internal life, her very understanding of herself.  Those who were disconcerted had very good reasons to be so]

6. This first reason is not simply canonical—relating to an external precept…. It is Christ’s will, it is the breath of the Holy Spirit which calls the Church to make this change. A prophetic moment is occurring in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church. This moment is shaking the Church, arousing it, obliging it to renew the mysterious art of its prayer.  [Does this naked ideological assertion, totally unsupported by any real evidence, sound familiar?  Are we not hearing the same bald assertions in favor of radical novelty today?]

7. The other reason for the reform is this renewal of prayer…. [How has that worked out?]

8. … The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. [Yes, the introduction of vernacular was the obvious change, the one that got all the notice, but it was not, in the end, the most substantive change.  The most substantive changes happened to the many alterations to the prayers and structure of the Mass, and especially the incredibly novel, really arrogant introduction of new eucharistic prayers.  And it is those changes that have had the largest, most destructive effect on Catholic belief]

9. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church’s values? [Here’s a question……if the TLM had as much value as  you admit, Pope Paul, why did you pretend to abrogate it? Why did you let everyone believe it was abrogated, while insuring  your formal organs of the Church did not formally make it so?  The CDF and CDW always stopped short of agreeing to queries asking if the TLM were really abrogated.  But you persecuted, sometimes viciously, those who tried to adhere to the old Mass, and broadly put forth the notion that it was no longer permitted.  Why?]

10. The answer will seem banal, prosaic. Yet it is a good answer, because it is human, because it is apostolic….

11. Understanding of prayer is worth more than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed. Participation by the people is worth more—particularly participation by modern people, so fond of plain language which is easily understood and converted into everyday speech.

————End Quote————

Was Pope Paul really that superficial?  Did he really see the change in the Mass primarily about understanding and language, and not about moving the Church towards a much more protestant conception of worship?  He could not have been the latter, because too many direct, personal interventions were made with him from people – bishops, cardinals, clergy, laity – who were terrified at the implications of the Novus Ordo, who knew it was going to be a doctrinal and pastoral catastrophe.

Which, speaking of…….the two Masses compared, side by side.  I believe I’ve posted this before, but it’s a very concise and handy reminder that much, much more than simply the language of the Mass changed.  The very essence, the purpose of the Mass was radically shifted.  From a religion offering adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and sacrifice to God in its highest act, to a banal, on the spot manufactured product that seems to put the focus, even the object of worship, as much on man as on anything else.


1. Mike - December 10, 2015

qAnd lets not forget, as mentioned here, the elimination of that verse in Romans, concerning homosexuality. It seems the sodomite forces were active even in the 1960’s

CM - December 17, 2015

From Matthew Hazell of New Liturgical Movement:

“It is perhaps worth bearing in mind that Rom. 1:26-32 *never* occur in the readings of the 1962 Missal either, so talk of ‘omission’ or ‘cutting out’ is perhaps a little over-the-top in this particular instance.

I think that a lot of people are misinformed about the post-Vatican II lectionary. There seems to be this idea floating around that, since the Council, we read pretty much the whole Bible (or at least the whole NT) at Mass. This is not, and has never been, true; neither was it the aim of those who designed the post-Vatican II lectionary. It would take a seven-year cycle, perhaps longer, to read the whole Bible at Mass, and a three-year cycle is problematic enough in terms of becoming familiar with the readings at Mass! (Incidentally, this is one of the many reasons I prefer the single-year lectionary cycle of the EF.)

For the record, Rom. 1:26-32 is by no means the only bit of Romans that is not read at Mass in the OF. In the Sunday and weekday cycles of readings, Romans is read:

a) in the three-year Sunday cycle, on the 1st (A), 2nd (A), and 4th (A & B) Sundays of Advent; 1st (A & C), 2nd (B), 3rd (A) and 5th (A) Sundays of Lent; Easter Vigil (A, B & C); Pentecost (Vigil: A, B & C; also optionally during the day in Year C); Trinity Sunday (B & C); 9th-24th (A) Sundays of Ordinary Time.
b) in the two-year weekday cycle, during weeks 28-31 of Ordinary Time in Year I.

The parts of Romans that are not covered by these days are substantial: 1:8-15, 26-32; 2:12-29; 3:1-20, 31; 4:9-12, 14-15; 5:20a; 6:1-2; 7:1-17, 25b; 8:31a; 9:6-33; 10:1-7, 14-21; 11:2b-10, 16-24; 12:3-4, 16b-21; 13:1-7, 14b; 14:1-6, 13-23; 15:1-3, 10-13, 22-33; 16:1-2, 10-15, 17-21. (A few of these parts are used in the propers and commons of saints, Votive Masses, Masses for Various Needs & Occasions, etc., but the vast majority of readings for these sorts of Masses are optional.)

Personally, I’m more concerned about readings that are in the 1962 Missal but are not used or shortened (deliberately?) in the post-Vatican II lectionary. An example would be 1 Cor. 11:23-29 for Corpus Christi in the 1962 Missal, shortened to 11:23-26 (Year C) in the Ordinary Form and thereby omitting the consequences of receiving communion unworthily.”

2. S. Armaticus - December 11, 2015

What’s with the lion and the bull on the commemorative meal table?

3. c matt - December 11, 2015

abject failure doesn’t even begin to describe it.

4. DJR - December 11, 2015

I wonder why a new missal was even necessary at the time. The Mass had been so wrecked by 1969 that a new missal wasn’t necessary in order to wreck the Mass.

Before the new Mass even appeared, Mass was completely, 100%, in the vernacular in my parish, Holy Communion was received while standing (instituted at least 4 years prior to promulgation of the new missal), the priest faced the people while offering Mass, there was a multitude of “Eucharistic prayers” and false translations, Gregorian Chant was long gone, and the people were as chatty as ever.

This all happened prior to any Novus Ordo Missae appearing on the scene, and I don’t think my parish was so vastly different from a good number of other U.S. parishes, although I do know there were some holdouts that were in much better shape.

There were also some much worse ones however.

5. Amos - December 11, 2015

1. The canon was not complete in the 3rd century, according to evidence, but the structure was there – missing names of martyrs and a few other additions. It more or less was complete by the 6th century. But one can clearly see the organic development from the 3rd century to the 6th and the Apostolic origins are very obvious by the fact that St. Peter went to Rome, it could have only development from what was given by him.

Also, St. Pius V altered the Roman missal (of the Roman Curia) but in line with organic development. Addition are obvious features of development, e.g. The Last Gospel grew for centuries until it was codified as a mandatory feature by St. Pius V, some areas of the world used it, others did not, but once it was codified everyone who used the Roman Missal had to use it.
Also, St. Pius V eliminated some things too. One example is the tropes found in the Kyrie and Gloria, used in many places. This was considered an elimination of accretions which interfered with the rite itself. They can be observed as negative organic developments.

My point here is that liberals will use examples like these to justify liturgical change, but what happened after the council was not organic, many things chopped off for no reason and invented altogether.

2. I would argue that Latin was, in fact, one of the most substantial changes of the 1960s deforms and psychologically affected the laity, their sense of the sacred, and help to promote liturgical abuse AND spurred on the innovators to invent prayers in the first place (since people could now know every word being spoken).
The other two most damaging features is versus populum and Holy Communion in the Hand.

I would say inventing prayers is damaging as well, but categorically, the three things I mentioned above are even more damaging.

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