QUAERITUR: Does the SSPX say the Ordinary Form is invalid or not legitimate?

Universae Ecclesiae 8 says that those who request Mass and the sacraments in the Extraordinary Form “must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.”

Our friends at Rorate have a translation of an interview with Msgr. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.  Here is the first part:

[UPDATED] From an extensive interview granted by the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, Mgr. Guido Pozzo, to Nouvelles de France.

“The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.” (Instruction
Universae Ecclesiae, n. 19). Is this remark directed at the Fraternity of Saint Pius X?

The article of the Instruction to which you refer is related to certain groups of faithful who consider or propose an antithesis between the Missal of 1962 and that of Paul VI, and who believe that the rite promulgated by Paul VI for the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is detrimental to the faithful. I wish to make it clear that it is clearly necessary to distinguish the rite and the Missal in themselves, celebrated according to the norms, and a certain understanding and application of the liturgical reform, characterized by ambiguity, doctrinal deformations, abuses and banalizations, events that are unfortunately so common that they led Cardinal J. Ratzinger to speak, without hesitations, in one of his publications of a “collapse of the liturgy”. It would be unfair and false to consider the reformed Missal the cause of such a collapse. At the same time, it is necessary to receive the doctrine and the discipline that Pope Benedict XVI gave us in his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum for the restoration of the extraordinary form of the ancient Roman Rite and to follow the exemplary manner in which the Holy Father celebrates Holy Mass in the ordinary form at Saint Peter’s, in his pastoral visits, and in his apostolic journeys.

Does the Fraternity of Saint Pius X recognize this missal [of Paul VI] as valid and licit?

It is the Fraternity of Saint Pius X that should be asked that.

[…]

Read the rest there.

This does underscore an important question.

I think most members of the SSPX will say that the Novus Ordo is valid.  But will they affirm its legitimacy?  I have my doubts.

Keep in mind that there is a distinction between the members of the SSPX and the followers of the members of the SSPX.   SSPX, or better, FSSPX, is the “Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X”.  Fr. Sven O’Brien may be a member, but Mrs. Mary Bagofdoughnuts is a follower.

UPDATE 1607 GMT:

You readers are a great resource!  I no soon post this, but several people alert me, as if by magic, to a page on the American District SSPX’s site about this very question.  The title of the page: “Is the New Mass legit?”  It is a response to UE 8.

Here is something salient:

A. The legality of the New Mass

A law is legitimate only when it is duly promulgated by the lawfully constituted authority. But to this condition must be added another of supreme importance and essential to make it a law: it must be for the common good.1 And precisely on this score, the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) is most defective as was attested at the time of its promulgation by no less than Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci: … [Though it must be observed that the Lawgiver (the Supreme Pontiff) perhaps thought it was for the common good.  Neither Ottaviani and Bacci were the Lawgiver.]

[…]

We need to look at the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969) which allegedly promulgated the NOM. … [It either did or it didn’t.]

[…]

Most of the piece focuses on why the Novus Ordo is not as good at the pre-Conciliar form, theological deficiencies, pressure on the Pope, the influence of ecumenism, etc.  However, the overall position is that the Novus Ordo, while not very good for us, is nevertheless valid.

Those statements above suggest to me that the person who wrote that page does not think that the Novus Ordo is legitimate.  I know this is on the SSPX site for the USA.  Does it reflect accurately the thought of the rest of the SSPX’s member and its leadership?

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124 Responses to QUAERITUR: Does the SSPX say the Ordinary Form is invalid or not legitimate?

  1. The SSPX refers to the laymen who attend its chapels as its “faithful.” It does stress, as Fr. Zuhlsdorf points out, that they are not members of the SSPX.

    The blog Rorate Caeli relates news from the Italian blog Messa in Latino that the Holy Father will offer an Ordinariate to the SSPX, and that this Ordinariate will entail autonomy from local bishops. Everyone, please join in prayer to the Holy Ghost during the Octave of Pentecost that the SSPX and its faithful accept the Holy Father’s offer with grace.

  2. Choirmaster says:

    I have a hard time with this one. While I am not a member or supporter of any organization that denies the validity/legitimacy of the Novus Ordo, I do indeed question the legitimacy of the process and promulgation of that Missal. This is not even touching upon the objection to the validity of specific instances of its celebration, nor how the Novus Ordo may or may not have encouraged such alleged invalidity, nor the seeming impossibility of hearing a declaration of invalidity from Authority for something like invalid Eucharistic matter (that being the easiest for my lay mind to comprehend).

    Moreover, I feel (sometimes) that, as a registered Roman Catholic within an ordinary diocese, I belong to an organization that does not categorically affirm the validity/legitimacy of the EF nor de facto of the Pope. I don’t see anything like that being a prerequisite for a NO Mass!

    I’m comfortable with that, though. Why should I expect anything different? If the Powers That Be were on my side, I should question the validity and legitimacy of my opinions!

  3. Legisperitus says:

    Is there a clearly defined meaning for “legitimate” in this context? It would be hard to quarrel with the fact that the Novus Ordo is licit, if “legitimate” means “licit,” since liceity is a matter determined by the Church hierarchy. But if “legitimate” means “not in any sense a bastardized form of the Mass,” it would be hard to see many SSPX priests agreeing to that.

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    “I think most members of the SSPX will say that the Novus Ordo is valid. But will they affirm its legitimacy?”

    Msgr. Pozzo seems to use the terms “valid” and “legitimate” in a coordinate way: “against the validity or legitimacy [of the OF]”. What would be the distinction in their meanings?

    Or would the more common distinction be between “validity” and “efficacy”? I’d think that many traditionally minded Catholics would agree that the Novus Ordo is valid as a holy sacrifice, but believe it a less efficacious channel of grace than the TLM. (Or, more precisely, that the typical OF Mass is less efficacious than the typical EF Mass.)

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    I’m not sure that terming a ‘follower’ of the SSPX as Mrs. Mary Bagofdoughnuts is very respectful of SSPX followers who attend SSPX chapels because of Fr calltoaction’s grave abuses of the Ordinary Form /crazy preaching .

  6. paulbailes says:

    Writing not as a member, but rather a follower and (modest) supporter of the SSPX …

    I believe the NOM is illegitimate (bad for one’s soul).

    As many on this combox would agree, the NOM omits some of the good things found in the TLM. And we all know what “absence of good” means.

    More generally, the NOM is the product of a revolution, not gradual development. Revolutions come from you-know-who, not the Holy Ghost, which is why the NOM is to be shunned.

    We all need to decide which side we are on: rejection of the revolution, or to do a deal with it.

    Dear Priests, the only reason there are NOMs offered instead of TLMs is because priests continue to offer the NOM. Please, as Bob Newhart would say, “Just stop it!”

    God bless,
    Paul

  7. Fr. Basil says:

    \\I’d think that many traditionally minded Catholics would agree that the Novus Ordo is valid as a holy sacrifice, but believe it a less efficacious channel of grace than the TLM. (Or, more precisely, that the typical OF Mass is less efficacious than the typical EF Mass.)\\

    The only way this can be so would be to claim that the matter in an OF is somehow less consecrated into the Body and Blood of Christ than in an EF.

    This is manifest nonsense.

    In any case, the Church has taught consistently that ALL authorized rites, including the various Eastern ones, are equally efficacious, and none can claim precedence over another.

  8. Centristian says:

    The Rev. Sven O’Brien, SSPX, will no doubt tell you over a Guinness and fiskepudding that he believes in the validity of the “Novus Ordo”, but will remind you that “A Black Mass is also valid”. And this is the ordinary form of Mass, itself, they mean, without any of the typical aberrations. To quote Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, himself:

    “The Novus Ordo 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)

    What should it tell us that the priests of the SSPX positively refuse to celebrate the ordinary form of Mass, under any circumstances? Not in Latin, not ad orientem, not at all. Furthermore, “members” of the SSPX insist that their “followers” not attend the ordinary form of Mass, since they have determined that it is actually a danger to the Faith. The SSPX, in fact, used to tell us that we ought never even to go to the “indult” Masses offered by our dioceses, as you couldn’t necessarily rely upon the validity of the Holy Orders of the celebrant. That right there should speak volumes about how “valid” they imagine the “illegitimate” Mass and Sacraments in the ordinary form to be.

    From the website of the SSPX:

    “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.”

    http://www.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/q5_novus_ordo_missae.htm

    Yes, I believe that the reference in Universae Ecclesiae in question is to the SSPX.

  9. FranzJosf says:

    (I am an ardent admirer of the SSPX, reading most of their publications, making the occasional contribution, but I do not live near one of their chapels.)

    Like the posters above, I think this hinges on the meaning of “legitimate” (from lex, legis). If the English translation, which uses that word, means legally promulgated according to the canonical prerogatives of a Supreme Pontiff, I think that the SSPX would concur at that technical level. If the more generic use of “legititmate” is intended, I think they would not. Various members of their clergy have written about how the NO lacks sufficiant expression of the sacrificial nature of the Mass. I would have to stand with them.

  10. quovadis7 says:

    But Father, but Father….

    Isn’t Mrs. Mary Bagofdoughnuts a “supporter” of the SSPX merely by being a follower? It seems clear to me that she would definitely be considered an SSPX “supporter”….

    Also, I think that it is indisputable that the “option-itis” and the far too frequently occurring semi-Pelagian prayers inherent to the reformed Liturgy both have contributed substantially to the undermining and collapse of the faith of Catholics.

    Was the reformed Liturgy the “cause” of the collapse? No. I agree with Msgr. Pozzo on that point.

    But, I have no doubt that the reformed Liturgy has been both a catalyst and an enabler of that collapse – for sure wrt Catholics collectively, if not individually.

    As Henry Edwards states so clearly, the reduced amount of efficatious grace obtainable from the reformed Liturgy (as compared to the Usus Antiquior) certainly was THE dominant factor which contributed to the collapse….

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  11. Legisperitus says:

    Although I cannot see the word “legitimate” as referring to how efficacious a channel of grace a particular form of the Mass is, it seems important to distinguish between types of grace. Any valid Mass is an efficacious channel of sanctifying grace to one properly disposed. In my opinion, however, the EF Mass is a much more efficacious conveyor of actual graces than the OF.

  12. Legisperitus says:

    I should have said “valid and licit” above, to exclude the Black Mass and its ilk.

  13. Centristian nails it.

    Msgr. Pozzo states two conditions that apply to those for whom this passage was intended:

    1. Those who “consider or propose an antithesis between the Missal of 1962 and that of Paul VI”

    2. Those “who believe that the rite promulgated by Paul VI for the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is detrimental to the faithful.”

    There is no doubt at all that the SSPX members subscribe to both of these erroneous notions.

    It would seem that anyone who attends an SSPX Mass violates the command in Universae Ecclesiae that people should not “in any way support” such organizations. I think we would all agree that attendance at a Mass where we know with certainty that the priest is going to commit an objective mortal sin while saying Mass, would be in some way supporting that evil and spiritually dangerous.

    If everyone ceased supporting the SSPX financially and by attending their Masses, I wonder if they might feel inclined to reunite themselves a bit faster with the Holy Father, and recognize him as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.

  14. quovadis7 says:

    @ Fr. Basil,

    What Henry Edwards stated is NOT manifest nonsense.

    You are right, Fr. Basil, that the intrinsic efficatiousness of all authorized liturgical rites are equal. However, the extrinsic efficatiousness of the reformed Liturgy and the Usus Antiquior are NOT inherently equal. It is indisputable that the SSPX takes this very position (btw, I have never stepped foot inside an SSPX chapel).

    The graces we receive from our participation at Holy Mass go FAR beyond what we receive via Holy Communion. If that were the only critieria necessary, then why should we ever get up-in-arms about “clown masses”??? Isn’t this the whole point of Pope Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” (as Fr. Z terms it) to imbue every Liturgy with utmost reverence and decorum?

    As only one example of what I am sure are many, St. Leonard of Port Maurice taught that the graces we receive from Holy Mass DO depend upon the sanctity and spiritual disposition of the Priest who offers the Holy Sacrifice. In addition, the understanding and the spiritual disposition of the faithful do as well. The spiritual efforts by everyone involved will impact either positively or negatively the extrinsic graces which can be received….

    I will admit that a badly celebrated and badly participated EF Liturgy will convey less extrinsic grace than a reverently celebrated OF Liturgy which is participated with heart-felt devotion. However, I am with Henry Edwards that, with equally devout Priestly celebration and lay participation, the EF Liturgy will be able to “deliver” substantially more grace every time.

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  15. James Joseph says:

    Fr. Z.

    How come I consistently read in Catholic publications, and hear from Catholic commentators, even on EWTN that the founder of SSPX was a sede vacantist ? Is this true or it just sloppy journalism?

  16. Legisperitus says:

    It seems odd to imagine that SSPX supporters would be busy petitioning a local pastor or bishop for an approved EF Mass in the first place.

  17. Henry Edwards says:

    “In any case, the Church has taught consistently that ALL authorized rites, including the various Eastern ones, are equally efficacious”

    Actually, Fr. Basil, this statement is not accurate in regard to traditional Roman Catholic teaching. You apparently are overlooking the distinction between validity (and intrinsic merit) and efficacy (and extrinsic merit).

    What the Church has consistently taught is that all authorized rites have equal validity, and thus equal intrinsic merit.

    But the question regarding efficacy and extrinsic value is quite different. Any number of classical liturgical manuals could be cited for the teaching that, indeed, any two celebrations of Mass in the very same rite are likely to be unequal–because of particular external factors specific to them individually–in their efficacy as channels of grace providing the “fruits of the Mass”.

    For a clear statement of traditional Roman Catholic doctrine–and the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic merit or value, you can see the reprint The Merit of a Mass of an article by Fr. Chad Ripperger of the Fraternal Order of Saint Peter, who quotes (for instance) from the standard treatise “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Aesthetically Explained” by Rev. Nicholas Gihr.

  18. kgurries says:

    I think the attitude towards the new Mass as illegitimate is evident in the words of Archbishop Lefebvre. I think it is reasonable to assume that a “bastard rite” is roughly equivalent to an “illegitimate rite”.

    “The union desired by these Liberal Catholics, a union between the Church and the Revolution and subversion is, for the Church, an adulterous union, adulterous. And that adulterous union can produce only bastards. And who are those bastards? They are our rites: the rite of Mass is a bastard rite, the sacraments are bastard sacraments-we no longer know if they are sacraments which give grace or which do not give grace. We no longer know if this Mass gives the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ or if it does not give them. The priests coming out of the seminaries do not themselves know what they are. In Rome it was the Archbishop of Cincinnati who said: “Why are there no more vocations? Because the Church no longer knows what a priest is.” How then can She still form priests if She does not know what a priest is? The priests coming out of the seminaries are bastard priests. They do not know what they are. They do not know that they were made to go up to the altar to offer the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to give Jesus Christ to souls, and to call souls to Jesus Christ. That is what a priest is. Our young men here know that very well. Their whole life is going to be consecrated to that, to love, adore, and serve Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” (Lefebvre, The Mass at Lille, August 29, 1976)

  19. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    I also agree Centristian has summed up SSPX’s overall view of the True Church’s NO. Worse, the last time I checked their online publication on their Canadian site, it had another anti-Vatican II article. Furthermore, as quovadis7 alludes to: “Isn’t Mrs. Mary Bagofdoughnuts a “supporter” of the SSPX merely by being a follower? It seems clear to me that she would definitely be considered an SSPX “supporter”….” It seems even supporting them could lead you down a dark hole of sorts. Since they are also in an no-man’s land with regard to their sacraments, there’s no way I’d ever set foot in their places until the Holy Father decalres with absolute certainty that they are 100% canonically re-united with Rome. No way I am putting my immortal soul in jeapordy just because my parish doesn’t do the EF or the modern Catholic Church institutionally is too “liberal”. That’s why wherever you all are, get allinged with 100% canonical EF fraternities like the FSSP, St. John Cantius Regulars, and the ICKSP, Una Voce, and other parishes that support the EF in any frequency. Give those societies and parishes your donation money (besides whatever you give to your ordinary parish).

  20. Haec Dies says:

    Following are my two cents worth from someone who attends Masses offered by priests of the SSPX. Firstly, Archbishop Levebre point blank states that the Novus Ordo is valid but may cause spiritual harm as has been mentioned by other eminent writters on this thread. Second, the intention of the priest has a lot to do with whether or not the Mass appears to be spiritually fit and uplifting. If I were to stumble into a parish church and observe a bishop wearing a cheese hat (can’t remember the bishop from Wisconsin who did this) I would assume that the Mass and hence his appreciation of the nature of the Mass was suspect and by consequence one would question his theological understanding. Or if I walked in to a Call to Action mass and observed large Mr. Potato Head like figures processing down the isle with Bishop Remy De Rue? again I would be horrified. On the other hand if I walked into a church and obsaerved the priest offering a reverant mass complete with perhaps english chant and some Gregorian chant with a few Latin motets thrown in and if I observed that the priest was holding fast to the interpration as it is in the missal and not ad-libing then I would assume that the priest really has it together and hence has an appreciation for the sacredness of the Mass whether in latin or english. I have attended Novus Ordo Masses offered by priests of impecable thological insight and see nothing wrong. Please don’t paint a blanket picture of the SSPX as against the new mass. What is really under discussion is an understanding of the sacredness and theology of the Holy Sacrifice and not accepting the trivialization so common in todays Catholic society.

  21. Speravi says:

    “The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups…”

    Is this necessarily a condition? One could also simply say that all the “faithful must not in any way support or belong to groups…”
    It would also be true to say that the faithful who wish to attend the “ordinary form” of the Mass must not in any way question the Church’s teaching on contraception. But this does not make it a condition.

    As far as FSSPX priests are concerned, they don’t need to “ask for the celebration…” (suspension is another issue).

    The biggest issue here would seem to be the faithful who attend the FSSPX chapel, but want to request a Mass for the weekends where the FSSPX priest can’t make it to town (or a similar situation). In this case one might wonder whether denying such a request would really be a prudent way to serve unity in the Church. The Holy See still seems to refrain from saying the the FSSPX are in formal schism. This means that “their” faithful are simply Catholics who benefit from, and support, the illicit (but fully Catholic and valid) apostolates of certain suspended priests. It is not a good situation, but they are still Catholic.

    The question here, for me, would be the balance between the danger of scandal (so as not to give approval to a priest’s decision to ignore his suspension) and the good of the “FSSPX faithful” who, among other things, would be taking a practical step of good faith toward the priests and hierarchy of the “wider” Church.

  22. MJ says:

    James Joseph asked if “the founder of SSPX was a sede vacantist”. No, Archbishop Lefebvre was not. I believe that is sloppy journalism you’re running across.

    It seems to me that most laity who attend SSPX masses would never attend a NO…

    Most SSPX I run across do not even like the FSSP…at least, that has been my experience…

    (for the record, I attend Mass at an FSSP parish)

  23. Fr. Basil says:

    \\However, the extrinsic efficatiousness of the reformed Liturgy and the Usus Antiquior are NOT inherently equal. \\

    What you are saying is that the Church can promulgate rites for the Eucharistic Sacrifice that have inherent inequality and inefficacy. This goes against the indefectability of the Church.

    \\The graces we receive from our participation at Holy Mass go FAR beyond what we receive via Holy Communion.\\

    How do you get more grace than the very Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity, and all other attributes of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ Himself.

    The very notion there is grace beyond Christ Himself renders the mind boggelable.

    Keep in mind that I’m saying NOTHING against the EF itself. But there are attitudes towards it held by certain people that, if followed to their logical conclusion, are heretical.

  24. Haec Dies says:

    “Most SSPX I run across do not even like the FSSP…at least, that has been my experience…” MJ

    Let’s turn the table. From my experience with the FFSP priests in Vienna (Youngstown), Ohio most priest don’t like the SSPX and the parishioners view SSPX people with suspision. I know! I have been there.

  25. Centristian says:

    Haec Dies says: “Let’s turn the table. From my experience with the FFSP priests in Vienna (Youngstown), Ohio most priest don’t like the SSPX and the parishioners view SSPX people with suspision. I know! I have been there.”

    Yes, but the clergy of the SSPX, unlike the clergy of the Fraternity of St. Peter, are without faculties and enjoy no mandates from any legitimate authority in the Church, so any Catholic who regards an ostensible union with the Holy See and the episcopacy as important (which should be every faithful Catholic) would view the clergy of the SSPX with suspicion. The clergy of St. Peter’s Fraternity have no issues regarding legitimacy, on the other hand, and so have no reason to be suspected or shunned by those who support the SSPX. They’re doing the very same thing as the SSPX, only with ecclesiastical approbation.

    Father Basil: Hear, hear. All well said.

  26. Craigmaddie says:

    If everyone ceased supporting the SSPX financially and by attending their Masses, I wonder if they might feel inclined to reunite themselves a bit faster with the Holy Father, and recognize him as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.

    The point is that they do recognise Pope Benedict as the Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church. At the present time they are in a canonically irregular position which – God willing – will be rectified sooner rather than later. One of the causes that this situation has come about has been the fact of the previous Holy Father acting and talking in a way that contradicts Scripture, Tradition, and the infalible Magisterium. Remember the non-infallible Magisterium can err – and has done in the past. The FSSPX have been in the thankless position of interpreting the recent non-infallible Magisterium in light of the infallible Magisterium and raising the alarm.

    Does anyone believe that any Pope before Vatican II would have taken part in a pagan ritual as the late Holy Father did at Lake Togo in August 1985? Is there any basis in the infallible Magisterium for such an act? Most people ignore that very difficult question and/or attack the person with a genuinely troubled conscience who raises it. Remember, whether Archbishop Lefebvre was right or wrong in having carried out the episcopal consecrations in 1988 we should remember the effect that the aforementioned prayer with pagans as well as the horrors of Assisi I in 1986 had on those have been interpreting the late Pope’s action in the light of Scripture, Tradition, and the infalible Magisterium.

    With regards to the liturgy, my wife and I attend a diocesan parish but sometimes attend Masses at the local SSPX chapel – mainly to meet other young Catholic families, as there are none in our own parish. No-one looks down on us disdainfully as ‘Novus Ordo Catholics’ and even tries to get us to stay.

    Recently we were speaking to one older lady who has been attending the chapel for 17 years after she found she had started losing her faith in her local parish. She said that there often needs to be a great deal of suffering to have been experienced before someone attends an SSPX chapel. She is around 70 – I can’t imagine all the things she has seen that have been done in the name of the Catholic faith over the last 45 years.

  27. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Basil,

    First, let me assume with all respect that as an Eastern Christian (as I understand you to be), you may have no obligation to understand specifically Roman (and Western) Catholic doctrines of grace and merit.

    But I feel that Roman Catholics here should not be misinformed as to Roman Catholic teachings. Please understand that this question has nothing to do with EF versus OF. I myself attend the OF more often than the EF, and with equal devotion and thorough commitment to both forms of the Roman rite (seeing, indeed, the same rite in both forms).

    The treasure of grace and merits won by the Sacrifice of Christ is infinite. However the dispensation of graces to man is finite, because of the finite nature of man. And the extent to which an individual worshiper receives the fruits made available in the celebration of a particular Mass depends not only upon its efficacy as a channel of grace, but also upon his own disposition to receive those fruits. (Really, does this not seem obvious, even apart from long-settled doctrine?)

  28. wolfeken says:

    SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay was asked if the novus ordo was valid, in an interview in La Nación. Here was his answer:

    “It can be. But that is not important. The important thing is that we see in it a danger, because it can lead to an erroneous thought. We say that this Mass has a Protestant taste. Benedict XVI has said himself that he dislikes the abuses in the liturgy, but when we attacked it, he defends it. The definition that was given of this Mass had three errors that are heresies. But it was so serious that they changed this definition.”

  29. quovadis7 says:

    @ Fr. Basil,

    This discussion of intrinsic vs extrinsic grace is turning into a rabbit hole, so I’ll try to be succinct….

    By “extrinsicly efficacious”, I mean how the infinite merits of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, are applied to souls of the faithful, especially via our participation during Holy Mass. Of course, ALL graces, be they actual or sanctifying, come only from Jesus Christ. Praised be His Holy Name!

    But, Father Basil, you know as well as I do that the graces we can receive from Our Lord are not limited to only when we receive Him during Holy Communion. His graces can flow to us throughout the entire Holy Sacrifice also, if we wish to avail ourselves of them. Sadly, far too many Catholics aren’t aware that that can happen during Holy Mass (that’s probably why so many seem so “disengaged” at Mass). Certainly, those graces come most emphatically to us during Holy Communion, but those graces are not limited to us as coming only during Holy Communion.

    And, you also know that our spiritual dispositions – both while we participate during Holy Mass, and when we receive Him during Holy Communion – WILL affect how His Merits will be extrinsically efficacious to our souls, i.e. how much fruit they will bear in us (e.g. the “parable of the sower” in Matt. 13:3-9). If our soul is in a state of Mortal sin, then sacrilegiously receiving Him in Holy Communion will cause our spiritual state to suffer, not improve. So, our focus can NOT be entirely upon what Our Lord provides to us, as ineffably wonderful as the Blessed Sacrament is.

    I think that the issue of “indefectibility” of the Church is a non-sequitur. Every lawfully promulgated liturgical rite, when licitly celebrated, is equally capable of confecting the Blessed Sacrament. Even the SSPX will admit that. The real issue at hand is how efficacious the celebration of a particular liturgy is in applying to our souls Christ’s infinite Merits and bringing forth spiritual fruit. That is where the Usus Antiquior has the clear advantage wrt the reformed Liturgy, in my opinion, although many refuse and/or fail to see it.

    Perhaps the above topic is better explained by another Catholic blogger who is better at conveying more clearly such theological topics. Check out the following post:

    http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2008/04/are-they-really-same.html

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  30. TrueLiturgy says:

    It sounds like you are good under UE8 if you say “I don’t believe that the Novus Ordo rite itself is detrimental to the faithful, just simply the way that it is celebrated.” It sounds as though this is the approach one could take if they really despise the Novus Ordo. What do you think? [Sounds to me as if that would be acceptable. But I don’t think that is the position of the SSPX.]

  31. MichaelJ says:

    I see a double standard beginning to emerge here. There are those who object strenously to the suggestion that the Novus Ordo Mass, due to its “deficiencies” can be a danger to one’s spiritual health. These same individuals sometimes suggest that attending the Traditional Mass can be a danger to one’s spiritual health if it is celebrated by an SSPX Priest.

    If we are to believe that all validly promulgated rites are eqally valid and efficatious if celebrated validly (lots of validity there) then there seems to be no basis to the second objection. The only way I can think of that one could believe that a Mass celbrated by an SSPX priest is “harmful” is if one also believes that it is invalid.

  32. kmtierney says:

    Interesting discussion Fr. Basil is having with others. Though I must say, I think a few things are being overlooked by some of those disagreeing with him (or at least taking a different emphasis.)

    Apples to apples, I say the Ordinary Form provides as much grace of any kind as the Extraordinary Form, the Marionite Rite, the Byzantine liturgy, etc. The Mass is the Mass is the Mass.

    Yet while all liturgies are created equal, some indeed are more equal than others. One receives more at Mass than just the forgivness of sins and the grace of the Sacrament, though these two do have a pre-eminence. If one does not want to call these other things “grace”, call them blessings, edifications, etc. We learn a lot from the liturgy in this way, not just book smarts (not even primarily!) but things to help our spiritual life grow. This puts us in a better disposition, which opens us up to a ton of possibilities for grace.

    I’d say phrased like this, the EF as celebrated normatively is far better at achieving this than the OF celebrated normatively. Even if done 100% by the rubrics (though it is seldom done sadly), I still think there is a case to be made the EF helps place the faithful in that disposition (when they themselves are properly educated, bookwise and interiorwise), hence Benedict’s desire to have the everyday faithful more and more exposed to the Ordinary Form.

  33. SCCatholic says:

    @PatrickThornton said
    Msgr. Pozzo states two conditions that apply to those for whom this passage was intended:

    1. Those who “consider or propose an antithesis between the Missal of 1962 and that of Paul VI”

    2. Those “who believe that the rite promulgated by Paul VI for the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is detrimental to the faithful.”

    I’m not trying to pick a fight, but from my short time reading here, this seems to me to be the attitude of many people who comment on this blog. Obviously, I don’t know whether the commenters are FSSPX or are other Catholics who prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. If the attitude is the same does it matter whether or not one is “formally” associated with FSSPX in order for UE8 to apply?

  34. Centristian says:

    Michael J:

    It’s certainly a fair point to say that to be constantly subjected to the abuse of the ordinary form of Mass can constitute a danger to one’s spiritual welfare. But, then, if one were so subjected to the abuse of the extraordinary form of Mass, or the Ambrosian form, or to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the same concerns would obtain. My point being that it isn’t the form of Mass, itself, that is dangerous, but the abuse of it.

    The Society of St. Pius X, however, views the very form of the “Novus Ordo” Mass (even without abuses or aberrations) as dangerous, of questionable validity, and regards it as a liturgical “bastard” (to use the word of Archbishop Lefebvre as quoted in a comment above).

    Now, I don’t think anybody would suggest that observance of the celebration of Mass by an SSPX priest would constitute a danger to the faith, or that such a celebration would be invalid. By itself, it would be a lovely and inspirational thing to observe, in fact, and certainly valid. One of the problems, however, is that Mass and the Sacraments, when publicly celebrated by an SSPX clergyman, are celebrated illicitly. Neither the Holy See nor any bishop grant them any faculties for so doing, yet they do so anyhow, with manifest disregard for the legitimate authorities of the Church.

    It is a danger, therefore, for a Catholic to affiliate himself with such flagrant disobedience. For as much as one may dislike the way one’s local parish offers Holy Mass, one can at least be sure that the clergy there have the proper faculties to offer Mass and the Sacraments licitly. The illicit nature of the behaviors of the SSPX can also constitute a more tangible and immediate danger to persons relying upon the ministrations of SSPX clergy with respect to Sacraments such as Holy Matrimony and Penance, since SSPX clergy have no authority to witness Marriages, to grant annulments, or to hear confessions (but they do it all, anyway).

    As to the Mass itself, if Mass were celebrated by a SSPX priest without a sermon (say on a Wednesday morning or something), persons in attendance may only face the dangers involved in countenancing and lending support by their participation to the disobedience of the priest. But the dangers greatly increase at Sunday Mass, when a sermon is delivered by an SSPX priest. I know from many years experience with the SSPX (I was once a “member”, not just a “follower”) that the typical SSPX sermon is rife with anti-Roman propaganda, with the promotion of wild conspiracy theories, and with alot of other strange, often unsavory notions that create within their enclaves and amongst their followers a cult-like atmosphere.

    For those who charge that attendance at a “Novus Ordo” Mass can be harmful because of the potential for aberrations and abuses, it would be disingenuous to disregard the dangers that also present themselves to those Catholics who chronically align themselves with a rebellious fraternity of clergy who, as a result of their unrepentant rebellion, have no faculties to actually act as clergy but who continue to do so, anyway.

  35. TheAcolyte says:

    Centristian said: “The SSPX, in fact, used to tell us that we ought never even to go to the “indult” Masses offered by our dioceses, as you couldn’t necessarily rely upon the validity of the Holy Orders of the celebrant.”

    This is actually inaccurate: the SSPX first and foremost opposed the Indult Mass because:
    1) No “indult” (special permission) was required to celebrate the traditional Mass as it had never been abrogated – a point that Pope Benedict XVI finally confirmed in Summorum Pontificum.
    2. The conditions of the Indult were unacceptable – e.g., the very point under discussion.

    The issue of possibly invalidly ordained priests was tertiary if anything.

  36. MichaelJ says:

    Centristan,
    we could have a lengthy, and ultimately unproductive debate about whether the form of the Mass is in itself harmful or whether it is the abuses. Suffice to say, my personal opinion is that is not so much what is done during a Novus Ordo mass that constitutes the danger, but what is not done.

    That being said, I am glad that we can agree that the efficatiousness of of a particular Mass is dependent on far more than its validity.

  37. Mike says:

    I have a sense that some of the oddness–conspiracy theories, etc.–that SSPX priest give out, would die down if they received faculties and protection from unorthodox bishops. I suspect that’s why the Holy Father wants them back, in part, to save them from the fever-swamp that haunts the fringes…over 500 priests, trained in the old/ever new Mass….that’s a lot of troops!

  38. Prof. Basto says:

    This point is all important. In order to have a fully regular situation and place in the Church, the SSPX needs to recognize all Catholic rites as both valid and licit.

    In the Church, one can have one’s rite (and the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite will of course be the proper rite of the SSPX if one day it is regularized; just like it is the proper rite of the FSSP and of the Campos Apostolic Administration, etc.), but one cannot deny the validity of the other rites and uses (the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Ambrosian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, etc).

    Also, once regularized, although they will have the usus antiquor of the Roman Rite as their proper form of the Liturgy, the priests and bishops of the SSPX will have to attend certain Ordinary Form liturgies. For instance, SSPX priests serving in a diocese will be expected to attend Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, and if the local Bishop chooses to use the Ordinary Form they still will have to take part. SSPX Bishops, once regularized, will be in a position in which they can be appointed or elected attend an assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, and if an Ecumenical Council takes place they will be summoned. Should liturgies be celebrated at those gatherings in the Ordinary Form, the SSPX Bishops would be required to attend, and even to concelebrate (Synod Fathers concelebrate the opening and closing liturgies with the Holy Father in the OF of the Roman Rite, even Eastern prelates).

    The only Bishop in the world who has been ordained with apostolic mandate in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite since the introduction of the ordinary form of Ordination, H.E. Mons. Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the Campos Apostolic Administration, concelebrates the OF during assemblies of the Episcopal Conference.

    Also, when Bishop Rangel, Bishop Rifan’s predecessor, brought back the St. John Vianney Union into the Church with its regularization and the formation of the Apostolic Administration, the recognition of the legitimacy of the OF was one of the points of a declaration that he had to make.

    Bishop Rangel made a declaration with the caveat that the OF was valid and licit when rightly celebrated and with the proper intention, and the formula he signed was deemed acceptable by the Holy See. It is not conceivable that the Holy See would demand less than this of the SSPX leadership.

    It is unconceivable that the SSPX will have a regular place in the Church if it fails to recognize that the OF, although less perfect, less reverent, less poetic, less conducive to the grasping of the mysteries than the EF, is still both valid and licit, when rightly celebrated

  39. St. Rafael says:

    I am not affiliated with or attend the Masses of the SSPX, but even an average Catholic layman like myself, would have to agree that the Novus Ordo is detrimental to the faithful.
    A person would you have to be blind not to see objectively, that the Missal of Paul VI has been a total disaster and a huge mistake. We have lost two generations of Catholics, there is 25% Mass attendance, and a priesthood in total collapse with an identity disorder. We have no more priests and no more Catholic laymen practicing the faith.

    Let me be clear. No Catholic on this Earth, has the obligation to agree with and like the Missal of Paul VI. Sorry UE8. Any Catholic is free to agree or diagree with papal acts of administration and prudential acts of governance. There is no infallibility whatsoever with a Pope’s prudential decision on governance. Infallibility applies to faith and morals. The Missal of Paul VI is not infallible. It was a decision of governace. Anyone can reject it. There is already a Roman rite in the 1962 Missal. The Missal of 1962 was never abrogated. It is still in force from 1962, to 1971, to 2011.

    The Modernists and liberals in the Vatican have to get it through their thick masonic skulls, that any Catholic is free to say that they don’t like the Missal of Paul VI, that it should be abrogated, and that it should removed. Catholics are free to enjoy the Missal of 1962, or hope Benedict comes out with his own missal.

  40. shane says:

    Benedict’s stipulation that traditionalists need to accept the ‘legitimacy’ of the Novus Ordo can surely be subject to some creative mental reservation, no?

    For example:

    “I believe and affirm the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo [but only when it is celebrated by indigenous Tasmanians]”

  41. Sixupman says:

    As someone who is persona non grata within SSPX UK, let me say I find the quote of Msgr. Lefebvre, by Kgurries, to be the absolute truth – calling-a-spade-a-spade. One has to recognise from whence the good Msgr. came and the fact that his hiearchical confreres sold-him-down-the-river when his seminary prospered.

    Having just completed reading both Msgr. Gherardini’s Vatican II tome and Clifford Longley’s work on ++Warlock, I am firmly convinced that the NOM was conceived of multiple deceit, just as the TLM was de facto abrogated by similar deciet and therefore the NOM is of questionnable validity.

    That said, for example, all Oratorian NOMs are clearly valid, as also with other clergy of proper disposition. But, in my experience, there are a multitide of clergy who are clearly not of the appropriate disposition. I believe it was Msgr. Perle who acknowledged the factual position – e.g. Linz, et al.

    What we are missing is the current position of BXVI vis a vis the National Hierachies, the latter are now claiming they are not subservient to a popes wishes and edicts, but are independent thereof and the pontiff is merely a figurehead and one of equals collegiality – ex VAT II.

    Within SSPX exists a cowardly covert sedevacantist element, mostly American, which appears akin to Scottish non-conformist in attitude – if not liturgically, the balance wish to have matters resolved. That said the hierarchies are against any settlement, just as ++Conti appears to be virulently anti-TLM. Charity, Charity, wherefore art thou.

  42. kgurries says:

    Sixupman, I think ABL referred to the NO as an illigitimate or “bastard” rite because he considered that is was the fruit of an “audulterous union” between the Church (truth) and the revolution (error). Clearly, for ABL the NO is “detrimental” to the faithful — even to the point of questining the validity of the NO: “We no longer know if this Mass gives the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ or if it does not give them…”

    In any case, this position seems to reflect what is forbidden by UE 19.

  43. St. Rafael says:

    “Benedict’s stipulation that traditionalists need to accept the ‘legitimacy’ of the Novus Ordo can surely be subject to some creative mental reservation, no?”

    Everyone is missing the point. Pope Benedict can ask, implore, persuade, and call for Catholics to accept the ‘legitimacy’ of the Novus Ordo all he wants, but at the end of the day, he has no authority to force the Missal of Paul VI down our throats.

    Pope Benedict, or any other Pope of the Catholic Church, cannot under the obligation and penalty of mortal sin, force any Catholic to accept a decision of governance, such as a missal. He does not have the authority. He is going above the power and authority of a Pope to demand obedience an area that no one can can demand obedience under sin. it is not a matter of faith and morals. It is not a matter of dogma or doctrine.

  44. shane says:

    “Catholics are free to enjoy the Missal of 1962, or hope Benedict comes out with his own missal.”

    The Vatican should have the humility to keep its hands off the Roman liturgy altogether. It’s in enough of a mess as it is thanks to papally imposed liturgical reforms.

    Not that diocesan bishops would necessarily be better (though they could hardly do a worse job than Pius XII and Paul VI did).

    The liturgical reforms of the 20th century devestated the lives of millions of ordinary lay Catholics and were a major contributing factor in the apostasy of whole nations. Yet all some people seem to be concerned about is ‘disobedience’ to decrees. The Vatican has already apologized to Jews, Gallileo, abuse victims, and the Beatles. How much more does it owe an apology for its part in the ecclesiastical nightmare of the last 50 years?

  45. kgurries says:

    Rafael, the Pope is not demanding that you or anyone attend the NO (you can certainly attend other Catholic forms or rites). He only demands that you not judge the Missal of Paul VI as invalid, illicit or intrinsically harmful to the faithful.

  46. theloveofwisdome says:

    @ St. Rafael,

    I used to think the same way you do- however, I think that you are incorrect regarding the scope of infallibility not being extended towards a missal. Infallible is extended towards ALL UNIVERSAL disciplinary laws in addition to faith and morals. Here is an excerpt from a book written in 1870 with an imprimatur. The book is called, “When does the Church Speak Infallibly- The nature and scope of Infallibility”

    “…this connection according to the principles already laid down brings the whole range of general ecclesiastical discipline within the Church’s infallibility. Hence she cannot enact disciplinary laws binding upon all the faithful which are virtually incompatible with the purity of faith and morals. Otherwise through these laws she would be indirectly sapping the foundations of the faith in the souls of her children and thus fall into palpable contradiction with herself as the infallible teacher of the faith ”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=3tsCAAAAQAAJ&dq=the%20scope%20and%20nature%20of%20infallibility&pg=PA66#v=snippet&q=universal&f=false

    page 66

    I don’t like the NO mass any more than you do, but, we are going to have to find another way to “protest” its protestant tendencies. We cannot claim the pope has no right to impose it on us.

  47. St. Rafael says:

    kgurries,

    The Missal of Paul VI is valid, so there is no argument there. However, many Catholics do judge the Missal of Paul VI as being intrinsically harmful to the faithful, and Pope Benedict cannot demand under the penalty of sin, for Catholics to think otherwise, because the Missal of 1962 was never abrogated and still legal. The fact is that there are two different Masses in the Missals of 1962 and 1970. The problem of having two Roman Rites is not going to go away, and I suspect it will be dealt with by a future Pope.

  48. TheAcolyte says:

    A liturgical law is not an infallible act, nor does it fall under the charism of infallibility.

    Also, disciplinary (ecclesiastical) laws (e.g., such as fasting and abstinence, fasting for Communion, etc.) are not infallible either; check out this excellent article regarding the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium: http://sspx.org/miscellaneous/infallible_magisterium.htm.

    Finally the issue of the Novus Ordo Missae is not one of preference; it’s an issue of doctrine first and foremost as the Ottaviani Intervention makes amply clear: http://sspx.org/miscellaneous/infallible_magisterium.htm. Thus the rejection of the New Mass cannot be compared to the rejection of the other liturgical rites (e.g., the Ambrosian, etc.) which were formed without erroneous foundations (e.g., the errors of ecumenism, antiquarianism, etc.).

  49. Andy Milam says:

    @ shane;

    The Vatican has already apologized to Jews, Gallileo, abuse victims, and the Beatles.</b?

    lolwut? The Beatles were reconciled to the Church? THAT explains the musical "REVOLUTION" (yes, pun intended) in the Church….you're a genius!

    I agree with you, why can't the Vatican just apologize for the liturgical devastation over the last 40 years as well. That apology would be well received, by anyone younger than 53 and older than 80…the group in the middle might be a little bitter, but then again, I'm a little bitter toward them for robbing me of my Catholic heritage, so turn about is fair play…

  50. theloveofwisdome says:

    @ St. Rafael,

    The book I provided for you in the link above, proves that we cannot claim that a universal discipline or liturgical rite is intrinsically harmful to the faithful without undermining the infallibility of the church. We can only say that the new mass is deficient, and that the manner of its celebration 99 percent of the time is harmful. From my reading on the subject, this is a complex question… given the options available in the new mass, the fact that one can drive a bus through the rubrics, and that the text of the mass is itself conducive to innovation and experimentation- this means that the mass as done is almost always harmful… but, this does not mean that what is actually in the text of the new mass is intrinsically harmful.

  51. St. Rafael says:

    theloveofwisdome,
    “Infallible is extended towards ALL UNIVERSAL disciplinary laws in addition to faith and morals.”

    I believe that is a theological opinion and is not defined. Something that is infallible by definition never changes, such as faith and morals, which never change and are eternal. Discipline is always changing. Throughout the history of the Church, universal discipline has changed will change as new laws emerge and as the codes of canon law have been enacted and changed in the last century.

  52. Andy Milam says:

    apologies for the formatting gaffe…

    mea culpa, mea culpa…that is “through my most grievous fault, through my grievous fault” for all those libby dibby’s I was talking about above…

  53. Andy Milam says:

    @theloveofwisdome;

    We can only say that the new mass is deficient, and that the manner of its celebration 99 percent of the time is harmful.

    You can’t even say that at http://www.phatmass.com. You’ll get banned from there for being disobedient. To whom, I’m not sure, but you can’t say the Mass is deficient…according to their non-theologians..

    But in reality, you’re right…we can say the NOM is deficient, and 99% of the time harmful (to Catholics). There is that 1% where it isn’t….like at St. Agnes, in St. Paul…or any time Fr. Z celebrates it.

  54. Random Friar says:

    If I understand the distinctions made, then I would judge a Mass offered by a group in canonical irregularity to be less “extrinsically efficacious” than any celebrated Eastern rite Divine Liturgy.

  55. theloveofwisdome says:

    St. Rafael ,

    Now it is you my friend who are missing the point. The point is this: the church cannot impose on its faithful in a universally binding manner, a discipline, or law, or liturgical rite intrinsically harmful and contrary to the immutable principles of faith and morals that those things are supposed to express. For then the church would be “be indirectly sapping the foundations of the faith in the souls of her children and thus fall into palpable contradiction with herself as the infallible teacher of the faith”.

    The book goes on:

    ” Hence, through the necessary connection of worship with dogma, we may infer that the sanctity of the Church and her office as teacher of the faith alike require that she should be so far infallible in regard to the worship of God that she cannot command the universal flock to adopt any forms or mode of worship virtually inconsistent with revealed truth. Consequently the mere fact that the Roman missal pontifical breviary and ritual have been formally approved by the Sovereign Pontiff and imposed by him as of obligation upon the clergy is proof sufficient that they contain nothing contrary to faith morals or piety.”

    Remember… “lex orandi lex credendi” is not a theological opinion… its part of the constant tradition of the church and as such is a part of the ordinary magesterium and is in itself infallible.

  56. Henry Edwards says:

    Shane: The Vatican has already apologized to Jews, Gallileo, abuse victims, and the Beatles. How much more does it owe an apology for its part in the ecclesiastical nightmare of the last 50 years?

    This surely is a critical question. I wonder how the Church can move forward in good faith, without confessing forthrightly–and in good Catholic fashion, with purpose of amendment and restitution as possible–the grievous anguish and unrelenting spiritual abuse it’s official actions have inflicted upon so many millions of good faithful Catholics and silent white martyrs.

  57. kgurries says:

    Rafael, I think that universal disciplinary law (including the sacraments) are protected from being intrinsically evil or hamful is beyond question. The Popes have taught it openly:

    “Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced. To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune.” Cf. Quas Primas, #22; See also Pope Gregory XVI (Mirari Vos, 9-10, 1832)

    The Church is “spotless in the Sacraments” and also “in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate…”

    “[…]For both the juridical mission of the Church, and the power to teach, govern and administer the Sacraments, derive their supernatural efficacy and force for the building up of the Body of Christ from the fact that Jesus Christ, hanging on the Cross, opened up to His Church the fountain of those divine gifts, which prevent her from ever teaching false doctrine and enable her to rule them for the salvation of their souls through divinely enlightened pastors and to bestow on them an abundance of heavenly graces.” (Cf. Mystici Corporis, #31, 66)

  58. theloveofwisdome says:

    kgurries and St. Rafael,

    Disciplinary and liturgical norms are only infallibly not intrinsically harmful if they are UNIVERSAL. This for example, would preclude communion in the had from being protected by this infallibility because it is a local aberration and not a universally binding norm. But, I’ve pondered this before,… what exactly is meant by “universal”? The NO mass is only binding upon the Latin Rite Catholics, not Eastern Catholics and as such it is NOT universal. Does that then make the NO could possibly be exempt from this precept?

    There are and have been truly UNIVERSAL (east and west) liturgical norms in the past, that noone can question as totally universal- like no re-baptism of heretics, the date of Easter, both leaven and unleavened bread as valid matter etc…

    Does the NO fall under the qualification “universal” in the sense that makes if infallible? IDK….

  59. St. Rafael says:

    theloveofwisdome,

    You keep missing the point that the Church has never abrogated the Missal of 1962. The Missal of Paul VI is harmful, but the Church cannot impose it because we have the missal of 1962 in place and legal. The Missal of Paul VI cannot replace the TLM and no one can be forced to celebrate it and attend it.

    “the church cannot impose on its faithful in a universally binding manner, a discipline, or law, or liturgical rite intrinsically harmful and contrary to the immutable principles of faith and morals that those things are supposed to express.”

    The above statement does not apply to the Missal of Paul VI because we have a Roman Rite in the Missal of John XXIII, the Missal of Paul VI being another rite and an optionthat cannot be imposed.

  60. St. Rafael says:

    I believe that universal discipline can be deficient. Does deficient equal instrinsically harmful? I believe something that is deficient can be harmful to the faithful.

  61. kgurries says:

    theloveofwisdom, I think you are interpreting “universal” in a narrow sense. For example, UE clarified that even Summorum Pontificum is a “universal” discipline of the Church — even though it impacts relatively few people who attend the EF. Communion in the hand is an indult — but certainly not part of the “universal” discipline of the Church properly speaking.

  62. kgurries says:

    Two of the most interesting (and I think important) aspects of UE clarify SP as both “universal law” and part of the “Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff”.

    2. With this Motu Proprio, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a universal law for the Church, intended to establish new regulations for the use of the Roman Liturgy in effect in 1962.

    8. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy.[3]

  63. MichaelJ says:

    Is a “latin” Catholic prohibited under pain of mortal sin from attending another Rite. I certainly hope not since for a long time the only refuge I could find was a Divine Litugy in the local Byzantine Church.

    If not, and perhaps this is due to differing undertanding of the terms being used, I do not see how promulgation of the NOM can be considered Universally Binding.

  64. Johnsum says:

    Recently, a person was told not to worry about liturgical abuses because there are many different spiritualities and all must be accommodated. This is the same parish where people were told: there is no wrong way to worship God. If bishops and priest de facto disobey their vows and various directives by the Holy See are their Masses also illicit and ipso facto harmful?

  65. Supertradmum says:

    There is at least one SSPX priest in Chicago who publicizes his view that the NO does not fulfill one’s Sunday obligation.

  66. TheAcolyte says:

    “Now it is you my friend who are missing the point. The point is this: the church cannot impose on its faithful in a universally binding manner, a discipline, or law, or liturgical rite intrinsically harmful and contrary to the immutable principles of faith and morals…”

    The point here has been completely missed: the Church cannot do this, but men of the Church (who are not infallible, not even the pope always, nor impeccable) erroneously can. This is exactly what Pope Paul VI did; there is also the fact that the legal terminology of the Apostolic Constitution, Missale Romanum, not only did not abolish the Roman Mass (Tridentine), but also did not impose the Novus Ordo Missae. The strength of the necessary legal verbiage was falsely shored up in the subsequent French and Italian translations, which later were passed along as the actual text. More associated deceit and deception with the New Mass.

    Finally, can anyone contend with the serious analysis of the Ottaviani Intervention? Should we just ignore the likes of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci? Also, what of the retraction of the first New Mass sacramentary edition in order to revise the heretical introduction?!!! Don’t such grave matters give anyone pause to believe the New Mass was inspired by the Holy Ghost and is in complete continuity with Tradition (one of the Pillars of the Church)?

  67. Haec Dies says:

    Appropot to some of my earlier texts of today I offer these further comments. Firstly I attend Mass at an SSPX chapel but I also attend mass at the local diocesean permitted mass when our chapel dosen’t have mass. I have talked to the priests of this parish and they are fine with the situation. I have even helped to train the Altar boys at the local “indult” parish and their servers help at our SSPX chapel when available. Now I am writting this post to further explain that in my diocese in the Northeast there is a very influential priest– he is from the diocese where I live– and he has appeard regularly on EWTN. In a conversation with him, as I know him personally, he said that two generations of Catholic youth will lose the faith before some semblance of normality returns to the church. Seems to me that Catholics have two choices either stay with their local churches and risk being part of the lost (look at your local parish churches where I am from they are empty of youth) or avail ones self of a truely holy Mass whether it be offered by the SSPX, FSSP, ICK etc. Remember, the last I knew the faithful who attend Mass at SSPX church are not excommunicated. No penalty have they incurred. Many of them simply want a Holy and reverant Mass offered by a priest who recognizes and understands the fundamentals and is not afraid to preach them from the pulpits. Many faithful don’t even understand the the differance and subtlties of canon law and hence can’t be faulted for trying to protect themselves.

  68. St. Rafael says:

    Haec Dies,

    Thanks for your post. However, the terms “indult parish” and “diocesean permitted mass” are no longer correct and are now obsolete. The TLM was found never to have been an indult and was never abrogated. A diocese cannot permit a TLM Mass to be celebrated, because a Latin rite priest does not need permission from the diocese or a bishop to say the TLM.

    A Catholic can fulfill his Sunday obligation at a SSPX chapel. The SSPX are inside and belong to the Catholic Church. The SSPX are in an irregular canonical situation, but the sacraments are valid and they have supplied jurisdiction according to canon law because of a current state of emergency in the Church, and canon law recognizes the salvation of souls as the highest good.

  69. Supertradmum says:

    St. Rafael
    As the Sacrament of Confession is only valid when a priest is given faculties from a bishop, it is my understanding that SSPX priests cannot give absolution.

  70. St. Rafael says:

    Many Catholics including Catholic apologist John Salza, have made the claim that supplied jurisdiction covers SSPX confessions.

    John Salza
    Do SSPX priests have jurisdiction to hear confessions?:

    http://scripturecatholic.xanga.com/703979099/10-do-sspx-priests-have-jurisdiction-to-hear-confessions/

  71. This issue touches on a problem that confronts us when we attempt ecumenism with Protestants, namely, who can speak for them? At least with Catholics, there is no question about who can speak for the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals– the Pope! When we approach groups that question the Pope’s authority, however, or groups that question whether we even have a legitimate Pope, trying to mend fences becomes very difficult. Before we can answer, “what does the SSPX believe,” or even, “what do the followers of the SSPX believe,” we first have to answer, “who speaks for the entire SSPX?” Are the members of the SSPX bound by that person’s statements? Why would an SSPX member or follower recongize one person’s authority over another? If a member or follower of the SSPX disagrees with what someone in leadership says, does that pesron just look for another leader who says what he wants to hear?

  72. magister63 says:

    Stick a red nose on, dress as a clown, and celebrate the novus ordo, and you can be “legit”.
    Belong to a Society that defends the Church, the Pope, and the Mass, not so quick.
    The novus ordo lends itself to abuse, for it is an abuse. It cannot be denied.

  73. Random Friar says:

    Re: The Tridentine Mass never abrogated. That much is true, but in a limited sense, and not how the SSPX intends. NB:

    The adoption of the new Ordo Missae is certainly not left to the free choice of priests or faithful. The instruction of 14 June 1971 has provided for, with authorization of the Ordinary, the celebration of the Mass in the old form only by aged and infirm priests, who offer the divine Sacrifice sine populo [without people][NB: You could get a dispensation here as well, but could not launch it on your own]. The new Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old, after mature deliberation, following upon the requests of the Second Vatican Council. In no different way did our holy predecessor Pius V make obligatory the Missal reformed under his authority, following the Council of Trent…

    Pope Paul VI, in his initial promulgation, parroted the same language of his holy predecessor, St. Pius V. Compare the texts.

    For SSPX to celebrate the Missal of 1962 at that time, was an open act of defiance and disobedience of the Holy Father. The choice was not theirs to make.

  74. Random Friar says:

    And that act of disobedience is liturgical abuse. And I say that as someone sympathetic to and willing to help implement SP.

  75. St. Rafael says:

    Random Friar,

    The SP was clear that the missal of 1962 was never juridically abrogated. Any priest had the right to celebrate it without permission from a bishop or anybody else from 1971 and onwards.

    There was the 1986 nine cardinal commission that included Cardinals Ratzinger, Oddi, Stickler created by Pope JPII to look into the question of whether Pope Paul VI abrogated the TLM, and whether a priest had to say the Missal of Paul VI. The nine cardinal commission told him the 1962 Missal was never abrogated, any priest could say it without permission, and no one could be forced to say the NOM.

    After getting his arm twisted and hearing all the complaints from the European bishops, Pope John Paul II ignored the recomendation and findings of his own commision and instead issued the 1988 indult which stated that a priest needed a bishop’s permission to celebrate the TLM, in complete opposition to what Ratzinger and the other eight cardinals stated, that no permission was needed.

    Summorum Pontificum fixes the error of the 1988 indult and tells the truth on what the SSPX, traditionalists, and many Catholics always knew to be true, that the TLM is the right of the priests to celebrate and the faithful to attend without permission or conditions.

    Whatever Paul VI wanted or intended in the disorientation of his mind, the 1986 commission and the official Church document Summorum Pontificum, found that Paul VI did not, (and many would say could not) legally abrogate the TLM.

  76. Random Friar says:

    How Pope St. Pius V could abrogate, and Pope Paul VI could not, especially in the parallel wording they used, is for a simple reason. The reason it was not totally abrogated is that exceptions were allowed by the same Holy Father. But St. Padre Pio of Pietrecina could not, for example, of his own volition, continue to celebrate the Tridentine, without authority from Rome. The mind of the Lawmaker was clear.

    In SP, the Holy Father remarks that “in 1984 the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by a concern for the pastoral care of these faithful, with the special indult ‘Quattuor abhinc anno,’ issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted permission to use the Roman Missal published by Blessed John XXIII in the year 1962. Later, in the year 1988, John Paul II with the Apostolic Letter given as Motu Proprio, ‘Ecclesia Dei,’ exhorted bishops to make generous use of this power in favor of all the faithful who so desired. ”

    As to all this talk of the illegitimacy of the OF, “These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief)” (Art 1).

  77. Peter in Canberra says:

    The fact is that you don’t have to be associated in any way with the SSPX or other old rite groups that are operating outside the normal hierarchy of the Church (that’s put crudely but I think what I mean is clear).
    I know many EF devotees who wouldn’t dream of attending an SSPX Mass except in extremis but nevertheless would not attend the OF, irrespective of whether or not there is obedient praxis in the particular celebration, because they hold these grave fears or criticisms of it.
    I don’t hold to that view. I myself am critical of the praxis in particular but also of the intrinsic construction. However I will attend the OF, even if I exercise prudence in finding celebrations that (imo anyway) accord more closely to proper praxis (which, believe me, is quite a challenge in most of Australia). The alternative would lead me to an interior mentality akin to schism.
    The eschewing of all things to do with the OF is a problem for the cause of revival of traditional worship. There are practical difficulties of course, but if those of us who want that to happen won’t countenance celebrating alongside our Catholic brethren in valid rites then we have a problem.

  78. Random Friar says:

    St.Raphael: Would you happen to have the primary source documents for this finding that every priest always and everywhere had the right to celebrate the Tridentine Rite? (Which cannot be true even now, according to SP: see the case of the Triduum).

    And remember, the Holy Father does not have to act upon the recommendation of whatever commission he might appoint. He can take it into consideration. If not implementing the recommendations of a commission were grounds for nullity, Humanae Vitae would be a dead letter.

  79. Fr. Basil says:

    Two observations:

    1. Comparing the best of one thing with the worst of another is a common polemical technique. I’ve seen it used by Orthodox.

    But it is unjust. For every single clown mass there are are at least 1000 reverently celebrated OF masses.

    2. Only IF a priest is a legitimately ordained Catholic priest can “supplied jurisdiction” be applied.

    Pope Benedict XIV has said that the clergy of SSPX do NOT exercise legitimate ministry in the Catholic Church. If you doubt this, read this:

    “The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church” (Pope Benedict XVI, Letter of 10 March 2009 to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the remission of the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.)

  80. shane says:

    “For every single clown mass there are are at least 1000 reverently celebrated OF masses.”

    Rubbish!

  81. MichaelJ says:

    Random Friar,
    While I disagree with your asssertion about the status of the Tridentine Rite prior to SP, I am glad that we can agree that “These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ “.

    This is refreshing to hear, especially when there seem to be so many unfounded fears that “allowing” the EF to be celebrated will lead to a “deep division”

  82. The Society isn’t “against” the legitimacy of the NO; they would be all for it if it was known for certain!

    Seriously, Father, the SSPX response isn’t saying that Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci were the lawgivers, but only that they attested, at the time, that it was defective, and thus not for the common good.

  83. MichaelJ says:

    Fr. Basil,
    There may very well be hundreds of thousands of reverently celebrated OF masses, but here, where the rubber meets the road, I have not been able to find one.
    I asked my non-Catholic brother-in-law what he thought of the local Mass. His reply? “Methodist Lite”.
    I asked my son, when we were living in a different state a similar question. He said that the only thing missing was the campfire so we could all gather ’round, hold hands and sing KumbyYa.

    Sorry, but that is the reality I am faced with. A reverently celebrated OF Mass seems to be as common as Bigfoot.

  84. St. Rafael says:

    “(Which cannot be true even now, according to SP: see the case of the Triduum).”

    That provision was for private masses. Priests do not celebrate a private Mass during the Triduum. Priests can celebrate the TLM as a public Mass for the faithful, just like there is the public masses of NOM during the Triduum.

    “But St. Padre Pio of Pietrecina could not, for example, of his own volition, continue to celebrate the Tridentine, without authority from Rome.”

    St. Padre Pio died in 1968. He was not alive when the missal of 1970 came out. He wanted no part of the new experimentation and wanted to say the TLM. He died before the new Mass came out, so there was no way for there to be a conflict.

    “And remember, the Holy Father does not have to act upon the recommendation of whatever commission he might appoint. He can take it into consideration.”

    History has shown that the 1986 commission was right and Pope John Paul II wrong. Truth always wins out. SP vindicates the commission. A Pope does not have to follow a commission, but the truth. In the case of Humanae Vitae, the birth control commission was in error. One commission erred and did not have the truth and another commission was right and did have the truth. The question is whether what a commission says is good, right and true, not whether a Pope can follows it or not.

  85. Random Friar says:

    MichaelJ: I think what would lead to deep division is if either side did not accept the right of the other to exist, as the Lawmaker has stated and amplified. I am not against the EF by any means. But neither am I against the OF -both being properly and reverently celebrated according to their respective Missals.

  86. Captain Peabody says:

    The question is not if the initial promulgation of the new rite was ill-advised, or harmful to the faithful overall, or if the new rite is perhaps not as good or overall gives less extrinsic grace than the older rite, but if the new rite, as a Mass, is actually harmful or detrimental to the faithful who attend it. And I’m afraid I cannot at all see how any person calling themselves a Catholic could dare to say that a person attending a valid, licit Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in a state of grace could somehow be harmed or denigrated by that experience, merely because that mass was celebrated in a rite we do not happen to like. Unless, of course, the act of going to the Novus Ordo itself puts one in a state of mortal sin…but that suggestion seems to me not only obviously absurd, but also plainly contradictory to the indefectibility of the Church.

    Because ultimately, there IS truly a deep commonality between the two masses, a commonality that transcends any differences between them. That the two are both obviously masses, essentially the same liturgical celebration in a different form, seems to me to be obvious to the point of absurdity.

    If we are shallowly distracted by the surface level, if we get caught up in chasing heresies and omissions across our liturgies, we miss seeing the true, deep commonality of experience and mystery that is present in these masses and in every Rite and Usage of the Universal Church throughout time and space. The same Christ is present in all; the same Body and Blood are consecrated; the same Spirit is present; the same Scriptures are read. The Church is always and everywhere at one with herself; and it seems to me that to attempt to tear asunder the awesome unity of the Eucharistic Sacrifice in all its forms by setting Christ present with us dispensing graces in one mass against Christ present with us dispensing graces in another mass is to play a dangerous and foolhardy game.

  87. Random Friar says:

    St. Raphael: Why would Padre Pio seek permission for something permissible? Yes, the 1970 Missal was not in effect. The restrictions were already being put in place, however.

    WRT the Triduum, yes, no private Masses, but if a non-indult parish were to offer both normally, it could not offer both on any particular day during the Triduum. There is no right to celebrate the EF during the Triduum in this case. The OF is, as the MP says, the ordinary Mass. There must be one OF Mass offered each day of the Triduum.

  88. Random Friar says:

    St. Raphael: I can’t judge the content of the commission if I don’t have the original full documents. Would you happen to know where they might be available? Someone must.

  89. “For every single clown mass there are are at least 1000 reverently celebrated OF masses.”

    You sure are lucky wherever you are! I have found only one reverent NO in South Bend, and that priest was moved three years ago. There are plenty of well-intentioned priests here, but things have been off the rails for so long, liturgical abuses and kitsch are so ingrained among the laity, and priests simply don’t know any better, there’s no escaping the irreverence except to flee to the TLM.

  90. MichaelJ says:

    Random Friar
    Good to hear. I am fine with what you wrote. Kind of like a ‘peaceful detente’. Truth be told though, many do not share your view. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone bemoaning the “untenable” condition of having two forms of the Latin Rite.

  91. shane says:

    David, Fr Basil is a Uniate priest, which may explain his obvious lack of familiarity with the situation on the ground.

  92. Captain Peabody says:

    Argument by anecdote and personal experience is a particularly weak way to argue. I, for instance, have never encountered what I would consider an irreverently celebrated NO Mass. But of course that does not in and of itself provide me with any reasonable data from which to conclude anything about the actual commonality of such incidents within the American church. Nor does any other single person’s experience or anecdotes constitute anything resembling a reasonable sample from which to conclude such things.

    But to be frank, I would not be at all surprised if Father Basil’s statistic is essentially accurate. There are millions upon millions of Masses celebrated daily in the NO form throughout the world; of these, the amount of those masses in which the participants took the time and effort to hire clowns to serve at their mass would by common sense appear to be truly negligible compared to the amount of masses where the priest merely reads the rubrics and celebrates with some modicum of reverence. But of course, that is only my judgement on the matter, to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

    But to declare such a statement “rubbish” based solely upon personal anecdotes and generalized assumed knowledge seems to me to be a bit much.

  93. St. Rafael says:

    “St. Raphael: I can’t judge the content of the commission if I don’t have the original full documents. Would you happen to know where they might be available? Someone must.”

    The documents have not been made public as I am aware. Private commissions usually will not make the documents public. All that has been leaked publicly over the decades, is who was on the commission, and theirconclusions.

    “but if a non-indult parish were to offer both normally, it could not offer both on any particular day during the Triduum. There is no right to celebrate the EF during the Triduum in this case. The OF is, as the MP says, the ordinary Mass. There must be one OF Mass offered each day of the Triduum.”

    There is no such thing as a “non-indult parish” or an “indult parish” because the ’62 Missal and the TLM are not an indult an can be celebrated by any priest and any parish. There is no reason why the TLM cannot replace the NOM offered on the Triduum. There must be one Mass offered ech day, but that does not mean the Mass has to be the NOM. it can be a TLM instead. SP says the Novus Ordo is the ordinary FORM of the Mass, not the ordinary mass. The OF/EF distinction is really quite abnormal, has no basis in tradition, so it seems to be a political compromise. It is not an infallible statement. The OF/Ef distinction is colloquial, not dogmatic.

  94. MichaelJ says:

    Captain peabody,
    personal experience may very well be a weak way to argue, but that’s all I have to go on. What would you suggest I rely upon instead?

  95. Random Friar says:

    Keep in mind, that in so far as public Mass is concerned, the pastor holds sway over the vicar(s). A vicar cannot force the EF as the public or conventual Mass. Private Mass is another thing. If the pastor determines that I cannot offer, publicly, the EF on the Triduum, when one Mass is normally allowed, then I cannot celebrate the EF those three days.

    The EF/OF distinction is new, yes, but it is what is in use in Rome. It goes beyond colloquial, I’d say.

  96. Random Friar says:

    I also think you mentioned that Cardinal Ratzinger was on said commission? Has he said something about it or referred to it? Even if not a proper “leak,” perhaps what the mind of the commission was.

  97. nanetteclaret says:

    This argument is tatamount to arguing over which is better – bologna or grass-fed tenderloin. We know that both are meat, so both technically provide protein. However, one has who-knows-what-kind-of-additives-and-other-undesirable-additions and the other is pure, with no additives or other things detrimental. One will keep one from starving (just barely) but cancers or other diseases may be caused by the additives; the other will provide nutrients and wholesome growth will result. Both are protein, but the long-term effects of each are vastly different.

  98. smad0142 says:

    According to the Italian blog Messa in Latino the offer of an Ordinariate for the SSPX will be made during the month of June. I can’t imagine any such offer, at any point in time, not addressing this very issue. It should be interesting to see. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is needed.

  99. Captain Peabody says:

    There’s nothing wrong with using experiences as guides and helpers; but as with all things, we shouldn’t try to make experiences, especially very limited ones, do more than they’re able to do. They’re worth something, even for other people, but they don’t generally constitute a persuasive argument to others, and they don’t provide grounds for broad generalizations barring unique circumstances.
    As humans, we must necessarily start with our own experiences in coming to know anything; but we can and should proceed from there to the use of reason and the knowledge of others available to us. God gave us brains for a reason, and there’s an awful lot of information, wisdom, and theology out there to help us along; as well, of course, as the Magisterium of the Church, which should be our most trusted guide in such matters. Stating isolated experiences and acting purely on them will never be a worthy replacement for her.

  100. quovadis7 says:

    @nanetteclaret & @Captain Peabody,

    I agree with you, nanetteclaret, to a degree. One liturgical form is definitively more spiritually “nutritious” than the other. Some in the SSPX often assert that the OF Liturgy has inherent poison, but that’s more than a little a bit over the top as far as I consider things.

    However, I give a bit more credit to the OF, rather than considering it as bologna vs. the EF as grass-fed tenderloin (I hope that you don’t have the opposite opinion). Instead, I consider the OF as a 3-course gourmet banquet, and the EF as a 7-course gourmet banquet – of course, assuming that each is celebrated reverently and validly, and participated with heart-felt devotion by the attending faithful.

    Liturgical imbeciles won’t “savor” either Liturgy, and we have a LOT of liturgical imbeciles running around in the Catholic Church today. I think what Fr. Z has deemed as Pope Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” wrt the Liturgy is squarely aiming to rectify that utter deficiency in the Church….

    How can I draw this kind of distinction between the OF & EF? Because the liturgical reformers intentionally took out substantial amounts of traditional Catholic theology – what some have deemed a “protestantizing” of the Mass. Objectively and substantially less emphasis was placed in the OF vs. the EF on what is often called “negative” theology – e.g. Purgatory, Hell, and reparation for sin, just to name a few. As the weeks go by during the Liturgical Year, carefully check out the “skipped” verses in the Scriptures read each Sunday at OF Liturgies. Over time, you will frequently find that a good number of those “skipped” verses reflect “negative” and/or traditionally Catholic theology, which the liturgical reformers intentionally wanted to ignore.

    By intentionally leaving out purely Catholic theology, the reformers tried to make the Liturgy more palatable to Protestants. They achieved their goal, but at the expense of depriving the Catholic faithful a “full spiritual banquet” in the reformed Holy Mass (at least by comparison to the EF Liturgy). That didn’t make the OF Liturgy inherently harmful to the faithful (the indefectibility of the Church prevents that from happening), but it did allow the faithful to be deprived of the full gamut of Catholic belief, which over the last 4 decades certainly did the faithful no favors.

    And, with the “optionitis” and semi-Pelagian prayers which much too frequently plague the OF Liturgy, far too many Priests and the faithful who prefer the OF Liturgy think that Holy Mass should be much more focused upon the people (they begin to think this because “After all, God doesn’t really need anything from me anyway, so we should celebrate ourselves.”).

    Those who clearly see the spiritual advantages of the EF Liturgy are usually (or at least often) convicted about Holy Mass being primarily focused instead upon giving the utmost reverence and worship to God during the re-presentation of Christ’s Perfect Sacrifice to His Father. The image of Our Lord on the Crucifix should tell us loud and clear about Holy Mass – “It’s supposed to be more about Him, and a lot less about me!”

    Don’t believe me about the semi-Pelagian prayers in the OF Liturgy? Check out Dr. Lauren Prista’s articles where, directly translating into English from the official Latin prayer texts (i.e. no ICEL translation monkey business), she compares the Collects during Advent for the OF and EF Liturgies. She concludes that there are clear instances of semi-Pelagianism in the OF Collect prayers during Advent. Here’s a link to one of her articles:

    http://faculty.caldwell.edu/lpristas/novaetveteraweb.pdf

    Happy reading everyone!

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  101. MichaelJ says:

    quovadis7,

    I agree with most of what you say, but don’t you think that the whole ” celebrated reverently and validly, and participated with heart-felt devotion by the attending faithful” is a bit of a canard?

    I realize that this is a “broad generalization” based on “isolated experiences” , but I’ve never met one of those animals you describe. I should probably rely more on reason and the wisdom and knowledge of others rather than my own lying eyse, but there you have it.

  102. Imrahil says:

    Dear @paulbailes,

    We all know what “absence of good” means.

    No I don’t; at least I think your allusion does not stand. And here’s why. The theologian is bound to define evil as “absence of good” to avoid dualism, and – of course – even though this may seem an escape he’s also right with it, and there is no other definition of evil. But the people is likewise right in distinguishing good and evil; in which the systematicist may then see a difference between “negatively bad” and “positively bad”, and only the latter deserves to be called evil. I think a solution might be the saying of St. Thomas in Sth. I 49 that “evil is the absence of the good, which is natural and due to a thing.

    After all, Holy Matrimony includes the absence of the good of virginity.

    For the thing about legitimacy it is simply to be said that for a law to be legitimate, the necessity of “being for the common good” is – other than other necessities such as being in accord with higher law – “only” a necessity that binds the conscience of the legislator, and this before the law has been made.

  103. Christophe says:

    I think Universae Ecclesiae’s statement that those who request the extraordinary form cannot be against the validity or legitimacy of the ordinary form is a non-issue. Those who question its validity or legitimacy are not going to request an extradordinary form Mass from Church authorities in the first place. It will never happen. All this discussion is an interesting academic exercise, but practically it is irrelevant. I believe this clause was inserted into Universae Ecclesiae (by Cardinal Levada?) either as a sop to the liberal hierarchy, or as a jab against the SSPX.

    The mere request to a pastor or bishop for an extraordinary form Mass by definition shows that the person so requesting does not question the ordinary form’s validity or legitimacy.

  104. kmtierney says:

    For those who say that a liturgy promulagted lawfully by the Roman Pontiff (leaving aside whether or not it was obligatory for all priests to celebrate it instead of the EF for the moment please!) could be “intrinsically harmful to the faithful”, how do you reconcile this with what the Council of Trent says?

    “If any one saith, that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema. ”

    That seems to stop everything dead in its tracks. The discussion on that point is over. To say that a liturgical rite put forth by the Church is intrinsically harmful and intrinsically dangerous to one’s faith, that’s an opinion a Catholic is not at liberty to hold, if the Council of Trent has any meaning.

  105. Banjo pickin girl says:

    kmtierney, Maybe people would say, well, that was then, this is now and the Council of Trent was referring to the Mass of the Ages, etc. People like to claim things don’t apply now that did before some Great Horrible Event That Changed Everything in this case, the promulgation of a new liturgy (different “outward signs”).

  106. Jack Orlando says:

    PatrickThornton and Captain Peabody nail it. The question is the qualification of certain of the faithful for the procedure in SP, art 5. For Msgr. Pozzo the faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria, as provided for by SP art. 5 and UE #19, must neither

    1. “consider or propose an antithesis between the Missal of 1962 and that of Paul VI”, nor

    2. “believe that the rite promulgated by Paul VI for the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is detrimental to the faithful.”

    The key words for Msgr. Pozzo are not valid/licit/legitimate/intrinsic/extrinsic/deficient. The key words are antithesis and detrimental .

    It seems to be that the question therefore is, Have some SSPX and TLM supporters, by asserting an antithesis and claiming a detriment, now disqualified themselves from asking for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria?

  107. Lot says:

    It does not take long in reading the literature of the SSPX that in practice they do not accept the validity of the Novus Ordo. They strongly encourage people to have the Sacraments of Initiation be done in the Older Form on a conditional basis.

    They make much of the attitude and manner of the celebrant in the Novus Ordo to such an extent that the effect is to totally erode any confidence that one may have in the validity of the Sacrament as administered according to the Novus Ordo.

  108. Fr. Basil says:

    \\ there’s no escaping the irreverence except to flee to the TLM.\\

    WRONG! There’s always an Eastern Catholic Liturgy.

    **I asked my non-Catholic brother-in-law what he thought of the local Mass. His reply? “Methodist Lite”.**

    Of course, a non-Catholic would be an expert in what is and is not Catholic, right?

    People can always find what they are looking for.

    ||“For every single clown mass there are are at least 1000 reverently celebrated OF masses.”

    Rubbish!||

    Well, I was deliberately using understatement.

  109. nanetteclaret says:

    Quovadis7 –

    I was brought up Presbyterian, so I can assure you I believe the OF to be a bologna sandwich: Meat sandwiched between 2 protestant hymns, spread with some hand-holding during the Our Father and hugs during the Sign of the Peace, and a side of loud gabbing before and after Mass on the side. Having made a detour as an Episcopalian on my way to conversion to the Church, I would say that I prefer my tenderloin prepared as the Beef Wellington of the Anglican Use: the Meat prepared with hierarchical English (full Roman Canon only), seasoned with Anglican hymns and chant, incense, full procession and recession of the Crucifix and Celebrants, receiving of the Meat on our tongue while kneeling at the Altar Rail. It’s certainly the difference between a quick lunch and a full-course dinner. The first leaves one knowing hunger will strike again in just a few hours (if not sooner), the other leaves one knowing that one has truly been nourished.

  110. Geoffrey says:

    I do not know if the SSPX says that the Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is valid or invalid / legitimate or illegitimate, but one of their publications is quite revealing. It is a beautiful little blue prayer book called “Christian Warfare”, published in 2006 (and without an imprimatur).

    On page 289, one of the questions in the Examination of Conscience before Confession reads: “Have you attended and actively participated in the ‘New Mass’? Have you received Holy Communion in the hand?”

    Apparently the SSPX believes that these are sins (mortal or venial) that need to be confessed? That is beyond ridiculous, and I personally do not see any form of reunion until this is addressed.

    The “effectiveness” of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass depends on how it is celebrated, no matter what form or rite is used. The daily Mass on EWTN is but one example of how Mass in the Ordinary Form ought to be celebrated, and I am willing to bet that Fr. Z can say a beautiful “new” Mass!

    Believe it or not, even Mass in the Extraordinary Form can be botched… can someone say female altar servers? No rite or form is immune. Faithfulness and fidelity is what is needed. “Say the black, do the red” as Holy Mother Church instructs, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

  111. Henry Edwards says:

    if a non-indult parish were to offer both normally, it could not offer both on any particular day during the Triduum. There is no right to celebrate the EF during the Triduum in this case. The OF is, as the MP says, the ordinary Mass. There must be one OF Mass offered each day of the Triduum.

    These were common misconceptions, even though the original motu proprio Summorum Pontificum made no distinction between the OF and EF during the Sacred Triduum. Now, in response to this confusion, Universae Ecclesiae has made it plain:

    33. If there is a qualified priest, a coetus fidelium (“group of faithful”), which follows the older liturgical tradition, can also celebrate the Sacred Triduum in the forma extraordinaria. When there is no church or oratory designated exclusively for such celebrations, the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favourable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church.

    In short, any parish can (under appropriate pastoral conditions) celebrate either form or both forms on a day during the Triduum. Indeed, I believe that last year there were a few examples of ordinary parishes that celebrated either the Holy Thursday Mass or the Easter Vigil Mass in the extraordinary form.

    I wonder if this might be a pattern for the future–when artificial differences are past and people are no longer uptight over EF vs OF–that parishes might tend to use the EF for the most solemn celebrations (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Pentecost) and the OF for many of the least solemn (e.g., weekday Masses).

  112. MichaelJ says:

    Fr. Basil. You missed the point. No, my brother-in-law is not an expert in Catholicism, but he *is* a methodist. Think a moment about what he said. The typical Catholic Mass avaiable in my area is less edifying, less reverent and less focused upon God than the typical methodist service he is used to attending. What a sad state of affairs.

  113. Jucken says:

    No, Abp. Lefebvre wasn’t a sedevacantist because he didn’t believe the see of Peter was vacant. He believed it was occupied. By himself.

  114. Charles E Flynn says:

    Why are we being invited to take the views of a bunch of egomaniacs who fell off the Barque of Saint Peter on the starboard side any more seriously than we take the views of the more numerous people who fell off the port side?

  115. Acts 20:29-30 ” . . . ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
    The Trojan Horse did enter the City of God and ushered its destroyers (Freemasons) into the council to dress themselves so as to appear to be Lambs but acted as the ravenous wolves which had sworn unto the secrets of the sect. The wolves (Alta Vendetta) proceeded to make papers designed to be ambiguous so as to be interpreted by the Concilium (under the guidance of a freemasonic sleeper agent Fr. Annibale Bugnini and six protestant ministers including the famed heretic Brother Thurian) to create a freemasonic Novus Ordo ($1.00 bill says Novus Ordo Seclorum at the urge of another Freemason Roosevelt). Their goal for centuries was the destruction of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which Christ Himself founded.
    The clever consequence was so satanically deceitful as to appear to be “catholic” with an
    appearance of validity and licitness.
    Conceived in evil by evil men for evil purposes, the Novus Ordo was forced by “authority” upon unsuspecting priests and laity under the pressure of blind obedience.
    The freemasonic sect hoped that the old priests would die and thereby rendering their creation as the only option and now “called” the Ordinary.
    Then, a good and holy knight was called upon to do battle as a leader of The Church Militant
    so that Bride of Christ would prevail.
    St. Paul stated that many would be led to believe an error and would be blind and deaf and, furthermore, stubborn in their blindness.
    Matthew 24:4 “Take heed that no man seduce you.”
    I am not an egomaniac nor have I fallen from starboard or port. I offer my mind, body, heart and soul to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As Fr. Walter Ciszek taught, I absolutely throw myself prostrate to the Will of God and am willing to die for The Faith,
    The True Church and The True Mass.

  116. Pachomius says:

    It seems that neither trads nor liberals can resist being… ahem, economical with the truth. I’d continue in this vein, but for the sake of brevity, I point the reader to the page on wikipedia on the Ottaviani Intervention: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottaviani_Intervention

    Two things are worth taking from this:
    1. That the letter and study were published the year before the definitive text of the 1970 Missale Romanum.
    2. That Ottaviani was reconciled to the 1970 Missale Romanum, and regretted that his letter was published without his consent and used in the way it has been and continues to be.

  117. Charles E Flynn says:

    Translation and interpretation of Novus ordo seclorum.

  118. Charles E Flynn says:

    It is time for those whose trust is in SSPX rather than the Roman Catholic Church to bail out before it is too late.

  119. EWTN Rocks says:

    Charles E. Flynn,

    Very cool clip – had me on the edge of my seat through most of it! Speaking of bailing out, I’m kind of akin to the old sea captain that goes down with the ship (probably not the best analogy in this case) but hopefully you get my drift (my attempt at humor).

  120. To those who can see, no explanation is necessary; to those who cannot see, no explanation is sufficient.

  121. kmtierney says:

    Geoffrey,

    Very interesting find. To that can be added their “Third Order Rule” which says their members have a weekly “obligation” (though there can be no obligation due to their canonical status even for members)

    Weekly: attendance at the Immemorial Mass (and not the Novus Ordo Missae, because of the danger of acquiring a Protestant spirit).

    http://www.sspx.org/Third_Order/third_order_rule.pdf

    Someone on the comments of this blog mentioned this in the past, just can’t remember who. There really isn’t an “SSPX position” on anything. It all depends on who you are talking to. Some will blush at statements like these, which strongly suggest a parallel church. Others will lament the fact they don’t go even “further.”

    Why we need to pray for at least some form of regularization with some of them (I do not think we will ever see a reconillation with the likes of Williamson sadly), and then pray that reunion with Peter will provide them with the graces required for their particular station in life. Outside of that union, they lack those avenues of grace, and it shows.

  122. Pachomius says:

    I just can’t get over the idea that a group that claims to know better than the Church, and has to a large extent hived itself off, can accuse the Church of being infected with a Protestant spirit. That’s before we get on to the idea of bishops who don’t even have titular dioceses.

    The basic fact is, the SSPX are not in communion with any of the historic patriarchates. They de facto claim “as the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith” – if this is not their stated position, it is the necessary logic for both the Econne consecrations and the continued rebellion of the Society – if Rome hasn’t erred, then they should obey the Supreme Pontiff, and if it has, the whole historic edifice of not only Catholicism but Christianity as a whole is a sick farce.

    Beyond this and a love for their founder, little seems to unite the SSPX, so far as I can see, beyond rhetoric about modernism, Protestantism, and a disgustingly close relationship with the political far-Right in France.

  123. Centristian says:

    Pachomius: very well stated remarks; I particularly liked…

    “…if Rome hasn’t erred, then they should obey the Supreme Pontiff, and if it has, the whole historic edifice of not only Catholicism but Christianity as a whole is a sick farce.”

    As I believe somebody has already suggested, the question of what one must believe concerning the validity and legitimacy of the prevalent form of the Mass of the Roman Rite will amount to a moot point, since those of a separatist mentality who do not accept the validity or legitimacy of the Mass aren’t attending Mass at diocesan parish churches in any case, and have no desire to do so.

    Such people tend not to accept the validity of post-Conciliar Sacraments, including ordination. For that reason (and others) they will not attend even Mass in the EXTRAORDINARY form if it is celebrated by a legitimate, mainstream Roman Catholic priest (what they would term a “Novus Ordo” priest) ordained in the reformed rite. Many simply eschew all diocesan parishes, in any case, for what the very structures and communities are in their own minds: “Novus Ordo churches”. They aren’t “Catholic churches” any longer, but “Novus Ordo churches”.

    Traditionalist separatists, such as those aligned with the SSPX, have taken it upon themselves to effectively excommunicate the pope and the episcopacy and the clergy and all the rest of us, and have decided for themselves that the mainstream Roman Catholic Church is, in fact, the “Novus Ordo Church” or “Newchurch” and that they, themselves, constitute what remains of the authentic “Roman Catholic Church”. The only worthy and reliable bishops of the Church anymore are Williamson, Fellay, Tissier, and de Gallarreta. The rest are all modernists/liberals/freemasons.

    Using those faithful who align themselves with the Society of St. Pius X as an example of the separatist mind on this particular issue, it is clear that the majority of such persons will only attend Mass celebrated by a priest of the SSPX (or a priest of one of the SSPX’s affiliates such as the “Traditional Benedictines” of New Mexico), and only at a SSPX (or SSPX-approved) venue. The presence of a multiplicity of diocesan venues (or other venues staffed by clergy in good standing with Rome, such as the FSSP) for the celebration of the extraordinary form in any given diocese notwithstanding, the SSPX insists upon attendance at its own Masses, and their supporters insist upon the same for themselves.

    It doesn’t matter if the city one lives in has five different churches at which Mass in the extraordinary form is celebrated, most SSPX adherents will not permit themselves to attend any one of them. Instead, they will drive 50 miles away to the nearest SSPX “chapel” (which might be a hotel room or a room in somebody’s house) to properly fulfill, in their estmation, their Sunday obligation .

    I see, therefore, no prospect of separatists who deny the authenticity of our Catholic Mass in its ordinary form applying to local pastors for the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form at their parish churches. The stipulation “The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church,” seems to go without saying, really, in any case.