The New Mass – A Lethal Weapon?

The New Mass – A Lethal Weapon?


The Tabernacle of the Catholic Church in Doha, Qatar (Arabian Gulf)
behind the new style altar.

Blogger, Benedict Carter has submitted an article on the Mass which will be published in full in our newsletter, in the near future. In the meantime, he’s kindly agreed to allow us to discuss an extract here – share your thoughts…

Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci (‘The Ottaviani Intervention’, 1969) to Pope Paul:   “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.”

“We have limited ourselves to a summary evaluation of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass and our observations touch only those deviations that are typical. A complete evaluation of all the pitfalls, the dangers, the spiritually and psychologically destructive elements contained in the document—whether in text, rubrics or instructions – would be a vast undertaking.”

Cardinal Alfons Stickler, November 27, 2004:   “The analysis of the Novus Ordo made by these two cardinals has lost none of its value nor, unfortunately, of its relevance …. the results of the reform are considered by many today to be devastating. It was to the credit of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci that they discovered very quickly that the change of the rites led to a fundamental change of doctrine.”

Pope Paul VI, October 13, 1977:   “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.”

“I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times, and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging”

Pope John Paul II, visit to the USA in 1979:   “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. … We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church … must take up.” ————–

What has happened to our Catholic Church since the mid-1960’s? A healthy Church (at the level of the laity at least) has collapsed. Indeed, the collapse was more or less complete by the mid-1970’s: all since then has been a series of stases before further lurches downwards.

We have seen everything change, but nothing has affected us so much as the changes in the Mass. What follows are my own thoughts and observations on this matter since my return to the Church in 2005. In this essay I will seek to show that the Novus Ordo is, even in the hands of an orthodox priest, a lethal weapon against the Catholic Faith. I will not enter into a discussion of whether the Novus Ordo is a valid Sacrament per se or not: this essay assumes that it is (although many hundreds of thousands of individual Novus Ordo Masses have undoubtedly been invalid for want of valid matter or form over the last decades). But valid is the very, very least it should be. There should be so much more.

The Mass, as the centre of our Holy Faith, should:

1. Reinforce the entire Catholic Faith in every aspect. The way in which we worship contains within itself not only what we believe but the spirit of that belief; 2. It should raise up the individual reverently to the majesty and glory of God; 3. It should present to the individual (sic) soul the starkness and finality of the moral choices we have to make as Catholics in order to inherit Eternal Life; 4. It should keep us in safe continuity with the two thousand years of organic (and in fact miniscule) development of the Church’s main western liturgy, so that we can be Catholics hearing the same words and seeing the same gestures as an Italian of the 4th century, a Portuguese of the 9th century, a Swede of the 14th century, an Englishman hearing a recusant Mass in the 17th century; as any Catholic at all until the late 1960’s. Communion in worship is also communion in belief not only with one’s fellow Catholics throughout the world, but with all Catholics throughout the centuries back to the time of Christ Himself.

The Novus Ordo does not fulfill any of these functions of worship. It is a terrible charge to lay on the Novus Ordo that it represents a non-Catholic religion, but I believe that fundamentally the charge is justified.

That there has been a gigantic rupture in the Church these past fifty years cannot be denied. Those who do deny it are either stupid, have a vested interest in the rupture or (even worse) are quite happy that it occurred, whatever the damage done; or have been formed by it and don’t know anything else.

I was born in 1963 so came to self-consciousness with the changes already made. I count myself extremely lucky to be the child of parents whose whole lives and characters were formed by and steeped in the Catholic Faith of their parents, people of the First World War generation. So prayers were said, our home was full of Catholic pictures, statues, music, books and conversation, going to Mass was a serious event and the whole world of Catholicism was in our home constantly. I remember my mother would cross herself and bow to the Tabernacle at the door to the church porch after Mass. She would not speak until she had physically left the building altogether. I never forgot it. The next time I saw someone do the same was thirty-five years later, in Moscow – a Russian Orthodox believer leaving an Orthodox church. What we have lost! The entire Catholic intimacy with the divine!

The rupture has caused conflict within families, civil war in the Church, and apostasy on a scale not seen since the 16th century and before that, in the time of Arius; and has lost countless souls. That the changes have cost many, many souls must be true: if people stop going to Confession and to Mass, how can they receive the Grace necessary to conquer concupiscence and stay free of mortal sin? At the heart of the rupture is the Novus Ordo: quite understandable, as the Mass is the centre and summit of the Catholic Faith. So what is the nature of the rupture, seen most vividly in this New Mass?

At its bottom-most level, it must be a loss of faith in the existence of God and the invisible world, which for any authentic Catholic should be the world that has most pull on his mentality, thoughts, conduct, and whole life. (This basic loss of faith in Christ involves too the loss of a sense of sin and of its seriousness. And so of course the Confessionals are mostly empty.) END OF EXTRACT…

Comments (47)

  • greatpretender51

    During Catechism class last week, one of our (SSPX) priests told us that the kernel, the essential poison at the core of all the VII errors, is the liberal misconception of the dignity of man, i.e. that man in his natural state is possessed of dignity. Yet the Catholic teaching is that man has dignity only when he is in the state of grace.

    It is this conception which lies at the heart of the Trojan Horse known as the Novus Ordo. It is a Trojan Horse because it is specifically designed to appear to be Catholic, but it is not. It is, rather, a time bomb which the Church welcomed into her bosom, and which then exploded silently with unparalleled destructive force, a force of leprosy which has gathered momentum, not diminished, for more than a generation now. And how could it be Catholic, when its stated purpose is to avoid offending Protestants (i.e. heretics)? How could such a monstrous abomination possibly be pleasing to Our Lord?

    And, therefore, how could any Pope be surprised that the Church has collapsed since the promulgation of this disgrace? Apparently we have had a succession of Popes who (a) do not understand basic Catholic theology, and (b) do not understand from what cause comes Heaven’s punishment. Moreover, these same Popes have consistently referred to the collapse of the Church as a “new springtime”!! Who else could it be but Satan, the father of lies, speaking through their mouths?

    PS: Father also related a little story about how Wojtyła once conducted a retreat for Paul VI, during which time he admitted that he could not envision anyone being in hell! And this is the man who is about to be canonized.

    April 1, 2014 at 11:12 pm
  • Josephine

    I’m already looking forward to reading the rest of Benedict’s article – I found this sentence in particular struck a chord: “The rupture has caused conflict within families.”

    It most certainly has caused conflict within families and I think this is one of the very worst results of the new Mass. It’s also a sign that the new Mass is not from God, but from the one who sows seeds of division and strife. That’s why the confessional queues have gone and people have lost belief in God. It’s truly incredible that the new Mass is not recognised as the core problem by priests, bishops and popes. The devil has done a very good job.

    As Benedict says “the Novus Ordo is, even in the hands of an orthodox priest, a lethal weapon against the Catholic Faith.”

    That’s what so many of my friends can’t see. They think because their priest is a good person, says the Mass reverently that it’s OK. I’ve tried to get them to see that there is something rotten about it, per se, but they just cannot see it. I try to be patient because it took me long enough to see it myself, so I’m asking for prayers from all the bloggers for the scales to fall from their eyes.

    April 1, 2014 at 11:26 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    I used to attend Mass at the Holy Name/ Manchester Oratory. They offer the most traditional and strictest possible interpretation of the Novus Ordo Missae. They even have birettas and baroque chasubles.

    But guess what. It’s still the Novus Ordo. It is still substantially inferior.

    That is because the ‘hermeneutic of reform in continuity’ is a sham.

    You can put lipstick on a pig …

    April 2, 2014 at 12:13 am
  • Fidelis

    Benedict quotes Pope Paul VI as follows:

    Pope Paul VI, October 13, 1977: “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.”

    My question is this: how could the Pope say that and yet let the Church continue the disintegration? Why didn’t he say “enough is enough” and restore the Mass? It is incomprehensible, the whole thing.

    April 2, 2014 at 12:42 am
    • editor


      I agree that it is a mystery how Pope Paul VI and later Pope John Paul II could actually state that they see “the Church Vs the anti-Church” and yet actually make things worse (I’m thinking of Assisi in the case of Pope John Paul II and his panicky, illicit excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre)

      It’s that “mystery of iniquity” again. Who can explain it, outwith the diabolical disorientation prophesied at Fatima?

      The fact that, despite having all the above facts (and more) before them, both priests and people still defend the new Mass, still say it in preference to the old rite post Summorum Pontificum, is also a mystery. Who can explain it?

      April 2, 2014 at 10:24 am
  • carterbencj

    Josephine, the changes ripped my own family – our mother, father, nine children – apart. We grew up seeing our father’s unassuageable rage at these Modernists, and our mother’s profound grief which affected her life and happiness greatly, and therefore ours’ too. I am sure that this is a reason for my own Traditionalist stance upon my own return to the Church, quite apart from the fact that I am cast-iron sure that to be a Catholic means ipso facto to be a Traditionalist. The mafia when killing the father should always kill the son too, because otherwise, when he grows up …. !

    Greatpretender’s telling of the SSPX priest’s sermon buoys my position up greatly. Yes, this elevation of Man’s dignity is something I touch upon several times in the full essay, so it’s nice to see that I was independently on the right track.

    A first draft of the full essay appears on the Protect the Pope blog. I sent it to Mrs Donnelly with no hope of it being posted, and was amazed when it was. All I can say is that our dear Editor has for this blog and the Newsletter yet to be published a later, better version, somewhat expanded and polished.

    The photo above is of our Catholic Church here in Doha. Run by Indian Capuchins with an evident anti-white bias, the white flying thing on imagines is meant to represent the Holy Ghost. But who knows? Maybe Hindus amongst their pantheon of thousands of main gods have a flying horse. God knows it’s nothing to do with our Holy Faith.

    Prizes will be awarded for the best offers on what the “Tabernacle” actually is. I came up with:

    1. A dustbin;
    2. A basketball hoop;
    3. An advert for mint polos.

    April 2, 2014 at 10:57 am
  • gabriel syme

    I very much enjoyed this piece and look forward to reading the whole article.

    I picked up ‘The Ottaviani Intervention’ in the St Andrews bookstore recently – now I am even more eager to read it.

    April 2, 2014 at 11:03 am
  • catholicconvert1

    I would be interested to know what ‘makes’ a valid Mass, or not, as the case may be?

    April 2, 2014 at 11:56 am
    • greatpretender51


      “Validity” centers upon what occurs, or what fails to occur, at the Consecration:

      1. Validly ordained priest (a male, of course)
      2. The intention of the priest to do what the Church does at the Consecration
      3. Correct matter
      4. Correct form

      However, I hope you will not be comforted or deceived by the fact that a Novus Ordo Mass can be “valid” (if it meets these 4 conditions). “Validity” is of little use when the rest of the Mass deliberately fails to communicate the theology of the Catholic Faith, which is that there is a Holy Sacrifice occurring before our eyes. That failure is precisely why this Mass is a poison. Yet the neo-Catholics will invariably defend this abomination because the Consecration is “valid.”

      In fact, and this is just sheer speculation on my part, given the collapse of the Church since the institution of the NO, and given its true nature, destructive force and diabolical origin (from the hand of a Freemason), I have to wonder whether receiving Communion at a Novus Ordo is somewhat akin to receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm
      • jobstears

        Thank you, GP, that was very helpful.

        April 2, 2014 at 3:10 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Great Pretender,

        3. Correct matter
        4. Correct form

        Could you explain these two final points? I understand what you mean by the 2nd point, because the intention is to re-present the Sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody way, with the Victim being one and the same.

        April 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        The correct “form” is the words and actions used, which if departed from would mean there had been no Consecration – for instance, if the priest said, “Hic est enim corpus rabbit”.

        The correct “matter” is the bread and wine in the form that the Church prescribes. If there are any deviations from it (biscuits, cake, fruitjuice, brandy etc.) there is no Consecration even if the correct “form” is used.

        April 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm
      • greatpretender51


        Just for more detail on Benedict’s response, this article may be helpful:

        esp. beginning at Section 4, about a third of the way down, “Serious Abuses.”

        One of the problems with an NO Consecration, as Abp. Lefebvre pointed out, is that the emphatic and unmistakable “action” of the Consecration has been replaced by a “narrative,” which weakens, undermines and Protestantizes what the priest is doing, and what Christ is doing.

        April 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm
  • Burt

    Benedict’s essay is one of the best pieces I have ever read concerning the Novus Ordo and the disasterous effect which has been it’s effect. By strange coincidence I first saw it online yesterday on Protectthepope and left my inadequate comment to thank him. Within hours it’s on this brilliant blog which provides a source of comfort for those of us who share exasperation at the state of Holy Mother Church in these times.

    That tabernacle is just horrific, goodness knows what the flying horse represents, but as it is in Qatar I do hope it’s not related to the deluded Moslem’s who have a myth that Mohammhad was supposed to have been transported to paradise on a flying horse! I think we all suspect he may have ended up somewhere else!

    April 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm
  • Martin

    I always thought that our dignity comes from the fact that we are created in Gods image and likeness Gen 1:27f ( and therefore good), suggesting that our dignity is dependent on grace reeks of Luther : that we are basically dung covered in snow( grace) but underneath still dung the premise of this suggests to me a more Protestant position .. Surprised that an sspx father would talk in this way presuming he is quoted properly. After baptism the grace builds on nature and allows us to become more like Christ.

    April 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    • Fidelis


      There is a very good article on this subject at this SSPX link

      They point out there that “the hereditary corruption of human nature by which man has lost his resemblance to God.” and explain why we need to depend on grace.

      April 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm
    • greatpretender51

      You are forgetting about Original Sin, Martin.

      April 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm
  • Frankier

    What is the position for someone like myself who has no other Mass to go to?

    I wouldn’t wish to miss Mass, I try to go to confession regularly as well as Fatima devotions and expostion of The Blessed Sacrament when available. I am normally the only person saying the rosary before Mass (a good old modern Pharisee in fact 🙂 ). I try to glean as much of the old Catholic tradition as I can. I suppose I am the enemy within but I feel that if we all abandon the NO Mass there will be no turning back.

    I would like to think that, like baptism of desire, my desire for the traditional Mass would be looked upon kindly by God when attending the modern Mass

    April 2, 2014 at 1:28 pm
    • catholicconvert1


      That’s my position exactly.

      April 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm
      • Frankier


        I’m quite sure that there are many in this situation.

        The nearest Traditional Mass to me is fifty miles away.

        Even the Fatima devotions must all be NO Masses. How can you comply with Our Lady’s requests if there are no other options?

        April 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm
      • Fidelis


        That’s bothered me as well. I think God would count them since most people are ignorant of the issues and think they are doing the right thing.

        April 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm
    • Petrus


      I’d have to say that you are doing your best. You are surely suffering and gaining lots of grace.

      It is tempting to say that we should avoid the New Mass at all costs. I avoid it, but then I have access to the Traditional Mass. I don’t know what I would do if the New Mass was my not option.

      I would keep doing what you are doing and surely God will reward you for your patience.

      April 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm
      • Frankier

        Thanks for your comforting comments Petrus.

        April 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    • Fidelis


      It is very difficult but I have read on here before convincing arguments that we have an obligation to defend our faith and if the new Mass is really a lethal weapon then we must not attend it. I’ve read here that some Society priests suggest we stay home, pray the rosary, do some spiritual reading, including a “dry Mass” as the Japanese Catholics did for 200 years when they had no priests. I think you’d have to be a very strong Catholic to do that, though, and I’m not sure which is more of a danger to the faith, missing the novus ordo and praying etc. extra or going to it and having your faith poisoned and weakened. I’m really not sure.

      April 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm
      • Frankier


        But what about, say, the Fatima devotions, exposition, distribution of ashes and palms, attending baptisms and weddings among other things, not to mention confessions?

        It wouldn’t really be easy giving up a habit of a lifetime, especially for people getting older. When I go to Ireland I like to visit Knock. Do I have to drive on by? What if I wished to visit Fatima?

        And what about my family. How would they feel if all of a sudden I became like an atheist? It really isn’t all that simple.

        I still feel that if we all gave up going to the NO Mass then all would be really lost. I feel that even if one person sees me saying the rosary or taking communion on the tongue or going regularly to confession and followed my example then it would be justified.

        If it gets to the stage where everyone enters church without genuflecting and no one ever again takes communion on the tongue or goes regularly to confession then the road back will become impossible.

        April 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm
      • Petrus


        I really do feel for you. I could not recommend attending the New Mass, but I understand completely where you are coming from. I wouldn’t feel comfortable advising you not to attend Mass in your circumstances.

        Having said that, I do avoid the New Mass as much as I can. If I miss the bus or I am prevented from attending the Traditional Mass due to inclement weather, I do not attend the New Mass. I stay at home, read the missal and pray the rosary. However, this is very different to your situation.

        However, I recognise that I cannot avoid the New Mass completely. I do attend funeral Masses, but do so passively. I don’t take part in any exterior way. I go to Confession regularly in my local parish and attend Rosary sessions and Stations of the Cross. I visit Carfin Grotto and other places of worship.

        I think it’s important to strike a balance. We reject the modern novelties in modern parishes but we must recognise that they are Catholic Churches. We should be like leaven in the community. I hang around my parish all the time and chat to the parish priest when I meet him. So, reject the novelties but recognise that these are Catholic parishes with good people who have been led astray.

        April 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm
      • editor


        I sympathise fully with your dilemma. It’s a dilemma most of us face sooner or later. In my humble view, you have to do what you feel, in conscience, is the right thing to do at the present time.

        The key to this dilemma – and I’ve seen this over and over again – is that, as long as you are attending the novus ordo (even if you are occasionally attending a TLM) you will have this wrestling match with your conscience, but after attending no other Mass but the TLM for a stretch of time (can be as little as six weeks, in my own experience) then you will just not feel able to return to the novus ordo. You will see clearly that there are two entirely different “rites” here, and you will know equally as clearly which one most pleases God.

        Seventeen priests who learned the TLM (not SSPX priests, diocesan priests in the USA) were interviewed for a book published BY the SSPX – entitled
        Priest Where Is Thy Mass/Mass Where Is Thy Priest?

        Over and over again these priests, in their different ways, explained that, after trying to stick with the novus ordo while offering the TLM, there came a time when they just couldn’t continue. One of them (that I recall – probably more) said he got to a stage when he just couldn’t stand the new Mass and added that he didn’t know how the “indult guys” did it – this is a reference to the days prior to Summorum Pontificum (2009) when priests had to obtain permission (an “indult”) from his bishop to offer the TLM.

        That’s been my own experience. I have had to attend a family wedding at the novus ordo Mass but it only served to underline the truth that this cannot possibly be pleasing to God – it is as different from the Catholic theology of the Mass as the proverbial chalk is from the proverbial cheese.

        I am blessed in that I can get to Mass relatively easily in Glasgow, but I am always impressed with those who make the journey from Aberdeen, Perth and Ayrshire. We also have readers in Ireland who tell me that they have to make a four hour round trip to get to the TLM every Sunday (I believe I published a letter from that lady saying precisely that, in a fairly recent edition of our newsletter).

        I don’t know your circumstances or location of course, or even whether or not you have private transport, so I have no idea whether or not you might be able to travel to either Glasgow ( Sunday Mass) or Edinburgh (1pm Sunday Mass) but if it is at all possible for you to get to the SSPX Masses in Scotland, I’d recommend that you make the effort. However, that is not the 11th commandment! Just a word of encouragement because, believe me, after you’ve been attending for even a short while (consecutive Sundays a must, mind) you will not even consider returning to the novus ordo. The graces that will pour into your soul from the ancient Mass will see to that.

        And, of course, I say all of the above without meaning, in any way, to detract from those good (younger) Catholics who attend the novus ordo in the belief that they are being faithful to God and His Church, and for those, like your good self, who have made the effort to investigate what is going on in the Church during this time of crisis, especially in relation to the Mass. As regards the older generation who have gone along with the revolution unthinkingly, apparently happy to forget all they were taught about the Faith, including the Mass – suffice to say that I’ve very much less patience with them. And there, if ever you’ve read an understatement, is the understatement to beat all understatements 😀

        April 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm
      • Vianney

        “but I am always impressed with those who make the journey from Aberdeen, Perth and Ayrshire. We also have readers in Ireland who tell me that they have to make a four hour round trip to get to the TLM every Sunday”

        Editor, It’s always very humbling when thinking about the great efforts people go to get to the True Mass and the great distances they travel. Here in Scotland we can beat the four hour round trip as there is someone who does a round trip of 414 miles to get to Mass EVERY Sunday and does the same trip for Midnight Mass at Christmas. As he stays in a small Highland village the journey is almost four hours one way.

        April 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm
      • Graeme Taylor

        most people do not have the money to make a trip like that every week. I take it they are retired and have a comfortable pension?

        April 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm
      • Frankier


        Thank you also for your comments.

        My situation is different from a lot of of other people’s and it would be impossible for me to attend a TLM unless there was one in almost every parish.

        The only time I manage to Mass even in my own parish just over a mile a way is on a weekday. I normally attend a church 25 minutes drive away but I have been in five different churches in as many weeks lately, St Alphonsus in the Barrows on Sunday last and St Margaret Mary’s in Castlemilk a couple of weeks earlier for example.

        In fact, I attended the church in Toryglen last year before a football match in Glasgow and was quite pleased with the service because of the number of communicants receiving on the tongue.

        So it is not just time or distance that I have to worry about. I really envy people who can plan a year in advance. I honestly am unable to plan with certainty even for tomorrow.

        I won`t go into too much detail but I really am unable to attend a TLM at the times you mention.

        I was an altar boy for ten years with a parish priest who was a perfectionist, especially when purifying the chalice at the end of Mass. We even had to make sure the candles were extinguished properly, when the smoke had vanished, before removing the extinguisher and the thurible had to be used in the correct way, so you will understand how I feel about the blatant abuses now in the Church.

        The irony is that if I attended a TLM tomorrow I could still answer the responses off by heart.

        April 2, 2014 at 11:41 pm
      • editor


        Interesting. I take it you are a bodyguard for some celebrity or other, by the sounds of it ! Either that, or YOU’RE the celebrity! In demand 24/7, it seems. Jealous? Me? Moi?

        In all seriousness, your situation underlines the negligence of the clergy and bishops in refusing to take up the challenge of Summorum Pontificum and provide the TLM in every parish, not only for those, like yourself, who have a right to it and wish to fulfil their Sunday obligation there, but also to introduce younger Catholics to it – one of Pope Benedict’s objectives, according to Cardinal Hoyos.

        We’ll have to re-think our strategy here at Catholic Truth, if we’re to jolt the clergy into doing the right liturgical thing. We’ve been far too nice, and it’s not working. I need to warn them that I have character defects and I’m not afraid to use them. They’re on notice now !

        April 3, 2014 at 12:48 am
      • greatpretender51


        I have come to believe that they are not only two different rites, but representative of two different religions. Or perhaps, to be more precise, you might say that the Novus Ordo enacts the ABSENCE of religion. The celebration of man is certainly no religion, and neither is the absence, or the contrived absence, of the sacrifice.

        After going back and forth for 4 years between them, I finally reached a point several years ago where I actually got quite angry during a Novus Odor (sic) liturgy – so angry that I wanted to jump up on the pew and start shouting that this abomination was an insult to Our Lord and to the faithful! But rather than create a scene, mild-mannered Italian that I am, I just decided never to attend an NO again.

        April 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm
    • greatpretender51


      You might consider bringing a 1962 Missal to your NO Mass, and praying that whilst the NO is in progress. We bloggers should be praying for you to find a TLM which you can attend, and/or for one to be offered near you.

      April 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm
      • Frankier


        There’s just no way in the diocese I am in that a TLM Mass will ever be offered. It would take a miracle for that to happen.

        In fact, if the miracle did happen I would be the only person there.

        April 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm
  • jobstears

    Excellent essay! The arguments are brief (so the resistant reader cannot complain of tedium in wading through material), and very clear- no wiggle room for those looking for it. I say this because, like Josephine, I can’t get a NO mass-goer to even want to see that there is something deeply flawed in the NO. They think an ‘ecumenical’ service is working toward the unity Christ prayed for while on earth.

    “…loss of faith in the existence of God and the invisible world, which for any authentic Catholic should be the world that has most pull on his mentality, thoughts, conduct, and whole life.” I couldn’t agree more. To live our daily lives keeping in mind the supernatural reality is difficult enough, not just due to human frailty, but because the world and its physical reality is always with us. Its enticements are constant, its assaults on those struggling to live a Catholic life are unrelenting- and it’s always worse when these assaults come from other ‘good’ Catholics. The NO fails abysmally to raise the mind and soul to any plane other than the mundane, it fails to help us in the struggle because it is at pains to help us make compromises with our weakness.

    By destroying the Mass, the popes are finishing what Luther started out to do- they are destroying the Church.

    April 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm
  • Vianney

    In the Catholic Herald the singer Barbara Dickson has spoken of her love for the Tridentine Mass.

    “It’s the continuity from St. Paul to me that I like. I love the liturgy, I love the Mass, I love the mystery, I love the Transubstantiation, it’s extremely powerful for me. I want to hear traditional Church music, because to me it adds to the spirituality. I don’t want to be in a community centre. I want to take part in something that is truly profound.”

    April 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    I agree. It is a civil war.

    That’s the perfect description.

    The other day, a [former] close friend, a fundamentalist neo-Catholic, with absolute conviction and sincerity, condemned me, since he believes I am going to hell. And he believes I am going to take my mother with me. The reason? I am an SSPX supporter. He was absolutely vile. Of course, he doesn’t realise it, and he maintains I am the proud, judgemental, uncharitable one.

    Neo-Catholics think we’re pure evil, seriously. And we all here know what we think of them. One day, we are going to win this war. Until then, I don’t want anything to do with these people…

    It’s not that I have a ghetto mentality, or a schismatic mentality. It’s just I can’t be doing with it. Their fratricidal hatred. The Bible says:

    He that teacheth a scorner, doth an injury to himself: and he that rebuketh a wicked man, getteth himself a blot. [8] Rebuke not a scorner lest he hate thee. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

    I won’t be suffering fools. I have a war to win, and I don’t want to associate with the enemy.

    April 3, 2014 at 7:47 am
    • Frankier


      I certainly don’t know you but I know enough through your comments on here that you are anything but evil.

      It is hard to ignore these types but the best treatment with them is to talk to them next time you meet as if nothing has happened.

      It takes an evil person to call someone evil but a really vile person to not only condemn a friend to hell but to condemn that person’s mother also.

      Personally, I would have had bother stopping my hands from grabbing his jugular.

      April 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm
    • jobstears


      A civil war it is! Very apt description of what’s going on in the Church.

      I don’t believe for a minute that you have either a ghetto or schismatic mentality. Sometimes staying away from toxic people is the only way to keep your sanity. And there is nothing wrong with that.

      I agree with Frankier, that it is a vile person who would condemn not just you but your mother as well, under the guise of charity.

      April 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm
  • Leo

    “It is clear that the Novus Ordo no longer intends to present the faith as taught by the Council of Trent. Yet the Catholic conscience is bound to that faith forever.” – The Ottaviani Intervention

    Thank you, Benedict for a really first class article. Like other bloggers, I look forward to reading the full version.

    You made a very important point in expressing the importance of the Mass to the unity of the Faith over time, an issue that is right at the heart of the post-Conciliar devastation.

    The words of Father Adrian Fortescue in The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy (1912) offer eloquent testimony to that very point:
    “Our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours. “(p. 213)

    The same cannot be said about a man-centred, desacralized, protestantised liturgy fabricated by a shadowy committee with revolutionary intentions, a liturgy characterised, almost line by line, by its being at variance with the traditional Mass’ unambiguous presentation of Catholic dogma. The fabricators knew exactly what they were doing. No one can creditably say that the alarming replication of the liturgical changes wrought by heretics in the sixteenth century which has engulfed unsuspecting Catholics since 1970 was due to some strange coincidence.

    How the Mass gives glory to God and sanctifies Catholics, and teaches and reinforces Catholic dogma is at issue here. The Mass canonised by Pope Saint Pius V is unequivocal when it comes to Catholic doctrine on the Real Presence, the Mass as a propitiatory Sacrifice, and the unique, irreplaceable role of the consecrated priesthood. The novus ordo, the creation of a committee aided by six Protestants, and inspired by a well-documented spirit of false ecumenism, demonstrably fails to guard and protect the faith of Catholics. We have a virtually unlimited amount of evidence on that score.

    We are now way, way past time when Catholic have to start thinking and trying to inform themselves about what exactly has taken place in the Church in the last five decades. The most obvious manifestation of the revolution is of course the change in the way Catholics worship. Many loyal, faithful Catholics appear to be utterly and determinedly unaware of the part the liturgical changes have played in the ongoing devastation.

    Numerous detailed analyses have been written which demonstrate how the faith of Catholics is undermined by the Novus Ordo Mass. Dan Graham’s article on the Mass tab on the homepage of this site is one many excellent critiques. Probably the first and best known red flag is the Ottaviani Intervention. This Critical Study dealt with the Novus Ordo Mass (“teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic faith”), in Latin, and approved by Pope Paul VI. The books of the late Michael Davies are also invaluable, notably his lengthy works entitled, Cranmers Godly Order, and Pope Paul’s New Mass. The short pamphlet entitled “Liturgical Shipwreck” is a useful primer. It is very important to reiterate that these critiques are directed against the novus ordo as permitted, in its purest form, and offered by an orthodox priest, with no abuses.

    The Mass of Annibale Bugnini was a fabrication that was not in any way shape or form an organic development from the Mass handed down over two millennia. What Luther and his fellow revolutionaries failed to do in the sixteenth century, the post Conciliar reforms succeeded in bringing about. Don’t anyone take my word for it. Dr Smith, one of the Lutheran representatives on the commission which was responsible for fabricating the new liturgy publicly boasted that “we have finished the work that Martin Luther began”.

    How about another Lutheran, Peter L. Berger, a professor of Sociology who at the Harvard Club on May 11, 1978 spoke as follows: “If a thoroughly malicious sociologist, bent on injuring the Catholic Church as much as possible, had been an advisor to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.”

    Professor von Hildebrand, described by Pope Pius XII a the Doctor of the Church in the twentieth century, wrote that “truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy, he could not have done it better.”- The Devastated Vineyard, p. 71

    Monsignor Klaus Gamber, who was not a traditionalist, wrote a book twenty years ago entitled The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (with an approving preface written by Cardinal Ratzinger), in which he described the new Mass as an unprecedented break with the Church’s entire liturgical tradition: “there has never actually been an actual break with Church tradition, as has happened now, and in such a frightening way, where almost everything the Church represents is being questioned.” (p. 109)

    He also wrote that “the real destruction of the traditional Mass, of the traditional Roman Rite with a history of more than one thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which it was based, a faith that had been the source of our piety and our courage to bear witness to Christ and His Church, the inspiration of countless Catholics over many centuries. Will someone, some day, be able to say the same thing about the new Mass? Many Catholics agonize over the question: what can be done about the loss of our faith and of our liturgy?” (p. 102)

    April 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm
  • Leo

    We’ve had the New Theology, New Pentecost, New Advent, New Springtime, New Canon Law, New Catechism, New Sacraments, and New Evangelisation. Does anyone seriously believe the New Mass is a coincidence?

    And New Mass is certainly what we are talking about. Don’t take my word for it. At the risk of boring people with lengthy quotes, that some may have read before, the following selection of words should make the point. I would say that reading one or two at random is sufficient to understand that talk of continuity and organic development is unsustainable.

    On November 26 1969, Pope Paul VI uttered some of the strangest words ever spoken by a reigning Pope, arguably on a par at least with the same Pontiff’s “smoke of satan” remarks:

    “We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new Rite of Mass…a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled…It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits…This novelty is no small thing…We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment.”

    Here’s the evidence of some of the fabricators themselves:

    “We must strip four our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.” – Annibale Bugnini, L’Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965

    “The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church and has its ecumenical dimension, since the other churches and Christian denominations see in it not only something to be admired, but equally a sign of further progress to come.” Bugnini, Notitiaem no 92, April 1974, p. 126

    “It is not simply a question of restoring a valuable masterpiece, in some cases it will be necessary to provide new structures for entire rites…it will truly be a new creation.” – Annibale Bugnini, May 7 1967, La Documentation Catholique, no. 1493

    “Let them compare it with the Mass we now have. Not only the words, the melodies and some of the gestures are different. To tell the truth, it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we know it no longer exists. It has been destroyed. Some walls of the former edifice have changed their appearance, to the extent that it appears today either as a ruin or the partial substructure of a different building.” – Joseph Gelineau SJ, Demain La Liturgie, Paris, 1976, pp 9-10

    “An ecumenically-oriented sacramental theology for the celebration of the Mass emerged…it leads us…out of the dead end of the post-Tridentine theories of sacrifice, and corresponds to the agreements signalled by many of last’s year’s interfaith documents.” Fr. Lengeling, Consilium member

    Evidence of the intended doctrinal changes comes from an irrefutable witness- Bugnini’s assistant, Father Carlo Braga:

    “Revising the pre-existing text becomes more delicate when faced with a need to update content or language, and when all this affects not only form, but also doctrinal reality. This (revision) is called for in light of the new view of human values, considered in relation to and as a way to supernatural goods…In other cases, ecumenical requirements dictated appropriate revisions in language. Expressions recalling positions or struggles of the past are no longer in harmony with the Church’s new positions. An entirely new foundation of Eucharistic theology has superseded devotional points of view or a particular way of venerating and invoking the Saints. Retouching the text, moreover, was deemed necessary to bring to light new values and new perspectives.”

    I counted the word “new” five times in that paragraph.

    Fr. Braga admitted that the Novus Ordo had been given “an entirely new foundation of eucharistic theology” resulting from a revision affecting “not only form, but also doctrinal reality”, dictated by “ecumenical requirements…in harmony with the Church’s new positions.” – Fr. Carlo Braga, Il ‘Proprium de Sanctis’, Ephemerides Liturgicae 84 (1970), 419

    If anyone is inclined to dismiss the importance of the changes to the orations in the Mass and their effect, they need to read the words of Monsignor A.G. Martimort, another of Consilium’s experts:

    “The content of these prayers is the most important of the liturgical loci theologici ( theological sources). The reason is that they interpret the shared faith of the assembly.” (- The Church at Prayer, vol. 1)

    Compare the words of Father Braga when he said that the New Missal will indeed “have a transforming effect on catechesis” (Il Nuovo Messale Romano, Ephemerides Liturgicae 84 (1970) with those of Pope Pius XII who wrote in his encyclical, Mediator Dei, that the entire liturgy “bears public witness to the faith of the Church.”

    I think anyone who claims that those “triumphalist”, “restorationists” Catholics who want the Mass of All Time, the Mass which sanctified and sustained so many Saints and Martyrs, are motivated by aesthetics (“bells and smells”) or nostalgia, really, with respect, needs to get a whole lot better informed.

    Then they might understand why the “banal fabrication” of Bugnini must be returned to the workshop for permanent mothballing.

    April 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm
  • Leo

    The undeniable truth is that, from the time Bugnini’s Mass was brought out from behind the curtain, the objections were doctrinal. The expression lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of believing) was at the heart of the many critiques that followed. This issue wasn’t a novelty either. The doctrinal importance of the liturgy has been keenly felt by the Church and Her enemies since the time of Cranmer and Luther.

    If anyone wants to understand the theology behind the new Mass, the best place to start is the General Instruction (GI) which accompanied Pope Paul’s New Missal in 1969. The Instruction was meant to be the theological blueprint of the New Mass. On 30 August 1968, Bugnini had stated that “the General Instruction is a full theological, pastoral, catechetical, and rubrical exposition, that it is an introduction to the understanding and celebration of the (New) Mass.”

    Such was the uproar caused by doctrinal objections to the New Missal and General Instruction, notably those objections included in the Ottaviani Intervention, that publication of the Missal was delayed for five months. And we’re not talking about clown masses and tambourines here.

    To save the project, a bit of nifty needlework was required with the wording of the General Instruction. To allay fears and keep the quell disturbance in the ranks, an altered Instruction was produced with the intention of putting a “Tridentine” gloss on things.

    Hardly surprisingly, the language used in the revised General Instruction’s definition of the Mass glows with the ambiguity and double speak, the familiar stamp of the modernists. The Catholic terms Mass and Eucharistic Sacrifice are presented alongside the Protestant terms Lord’s Supper and memorial of the Lord respectively. Christ’s substantial, corporeal presence is equated with His presence in the congregation and in the Scripture readings. And just for good measure, it’s the “people of God” who celebrate, having been called together.

    The revised Instruction does not clearly state that the Mass is a sacrifice of propitiation, offered to God for the sins of the living and the dead. We know why, of course. Also, wherever the word sacrifice appears in the Instruction, the word meal is never far away. So Catholics are now left to choose to believe that the Mass is either:

    A propitiatory sacrifice, the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary, offered by an ordained priest, in which Our Lord is made present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity through transubstantiation.


    An assembly of the people, with a priest presider, celebrating the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, during which Our Lord is present in the congregation, and the readings, as well as in the bread and wine.

    Realistically, no amount of reform of the reform of the reform is going to protect Catholics from random spectacles of sacrilege. I know there are good priests with the very best of intentions, but does anyone believe that reverence at Mass and in Church will once more become the universal norm, anytime soon? Or indeed ever, as long as the Bugnini programme is in place? The novus ordo reforms are programmed to facilitate a laissez faire policy, precisely because of a lack of rubrics. I dare say the vast majority of liturgical lunatics at large today are pretty much operating with impunity.

    Before children masses, clown masses, circus masses, balloon masses, puppet masses, beer tent masses, beech masses, world cup masses, country and western masses, jazz masses, rock masses, hindu masses, voodoo masses, masonic masses and sodomite masses were ever suspected by Catholics, the doctrinal threat to their faith was highlighted by those who refused to go along with the revolution. The evidence was available, written down for all to see, or least for those who cared to look. Problems with the novus ordo don’t begin with incense maidens and balloons. They begin with the General Instruction presented in 1969. If anyone disagrees, they can take it up with one of Bugnini’s band of helpers, quoted in my previous post.

    In a 1975 statement, Father Emil Joseph Lengeling, a member of the Consilium’s Study Group 18, gave the following rather revealing commentary on the 1970 Instruction:

    “In the 1969 General Instruction for the (new) Missal, an ecumenically oriented sacramental theology of the celebration of Mass emerged – a theology already self-evident in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and in Pope Paul VI’s instruction on the Eucharist. Despite the new 1970 edition forced by reactionary attacks – but which voided the worst, thanks to the cleverness of the revisers – it takes us out of the dead end of the post-Tridentine theories of sacrifice and corresponds to the agreement marked out in many of last year’s interconfessional documents.” – (Tradition und Fortschritt in der Liturgie (1975), 218-219.

    The following words of Pope Leo XIII could have been written with the twentieth century destroyers of the true Catholic Mass in mind:

    “They knew only too well the intimate bond which unites faith with worship, ‘the law of belief with the law of prayer,’ and so, under the pretext of restoring it to its primitive form, they corrupted the order of the liturgy in many respects to adapt it to the errors of the Innovators.” – Apostolicae Curae, 13 September 1896

    April 3, 2014 at 10:08 pm
  • crofterlady

    We’ve just returned from England where we had an unusual experience. Looking for Mass times we entered a very old church to be confronted by a Holy Water font, a red tabernacle light, stations of the cross, statues of Our Lady, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Joseph etc. We thought we were in a Catholic church but something didn’t feel right. Upon enquiring, we were told it was an Anglican church and “mass” was said therein according to the English Missal and not Cramer’s Book of Common Prayer. Intrigued we stayed for a bit and were amazed at how similar their “mass” was to the tridentine rite except in was in English! The “priest” even dressed like a catholic priest and offered “mass” facing east. The Hail Mary was also recited at one point. The parishioners received communion on the tongue whilst kneeling and no chalice was offered to them.

    Later on I went to confession (in a Catholic church!) and told the priest about our strange experience. He said that in some ways these Anglicans are more Catholic than our own lot. He also spoke about how sad the Church had become in Scotland and commented that, after the Reformation, Scotland remained faithful to the faith of our fathers for a much longer period than England. He added that he was recently in Scotland and was appalled at the general apostasy he witnessed and there did not seem to be one bishop who had the mettle to sort out the sorry mess. He expressed surprise regarding the bishop of Aberdeen, +Gilbert, who he said is a very holy man who seems to have gone astray, and this probably due to his brother bishops. He blamed false ecumenisn on a lot of the problems besetting our church.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm
    • editor


      That is a very interesting experience indeed.

      However, to blame his brother bishops for the modernism of Bishop Gilbert doesn’t wash. For one thing, his brother bishops wouldn’t have accepted +Gilbert had there been the slightest doubt about his devotion to the “reforms” of Vatican II.

      The fact is that one of the first photos of the bishop published in the Scottish Catholic Observer was of him hobnobbing at an ecumenical event and reaffirming his own commitment to that particular novelty.

      With respect to that English priest’s no doubt well-intentioned interpretation of Bishop Gilbert’s performance as Bishop of Aberdeen to date, it defies common sense that a man could reach the age of Bishop Gilbert as a thoroughly orthodox and committed Catholic, be appointed Bishop and then be so easily influenced into Modernism/liberalism by his brother bishops. Doesn’t make sense.

      April 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm
    • Vianney

      Crofterlady, there are three or four Episcopal churches in Edinburgh that look very much like Catholic churches. One in particular has statues, Stations of the Cross, crucifixes, tabernacle and a High Altar that wouldn’t look out of place in a Tridentine Rite Catholic church. There is also a confessional and they recite the rosary. A couple of years ago they had just installed a new “priest” who had come from a church in the South of England. He decided to have a Corpus Christi procession through the streets and claimed it was the first in Edinburgh since the reformation. Needless to say he was soon put right on that one.
      I’m surprised that there was no chalice offered at the church you went to as even the most “high” Episcopal/Anglican churches always offer the chalice.
      Would you mind if I asked what church it was?

      April 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm
  • crofterlady

    Vianney, I have just sent you a private email with the answer you requested. I don’t want to name the church (hence the town) in public or the poor priest mentioned in my post might be witch-hunted by his bishop!

    April 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    • Vianney

      Thanks Crofterlady.

      April 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm

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