We Need Multiple New Masses – Jesuit…

We Need Multiple New Masses – Jesuit…

NewMassSix MinistersThe article below suggesting the setting up of Research & Development Centres to work at producing better Masses, which would then undergo  testing for “market” approval,  is really nothing more than the logical conclusion of creating a new Mass in the first place. 

Why NOT keep working at it until we get the “product” that the people like? Click on photo of the original Research & Development Team, led by Pope Paul VI (above) to reach original article. All emphases below, added.  Note: contact details for the author are given at the end of the article, if anyone feels moved to share their thoughts with him privately.  First, though, share them with us. 

Thomas Reese SJ writes…

With a vacancy at the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Pope Francis has an opportunity to restart liturgical renewal, which was stalled by the papacies of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

 The purpose of liturgical reform is not only to translate old Latin texts into good English, but to revise liturgical practices to allow people to celebrate their Christian faith in ways that better fit contemporary culture.

The former prefect, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, has been appointed archbishop of Valencia in eastern Spain. His conservative liturgical views were more in sync with those of Pope Benedict than of Pope Francis. Canizares, who was appointed prefect in 2008, supported expansion of the Tridentine Mass (aka the Extraordinary Form), and in his most recent letter said that the kiss of peace should be done with greater sobriety.

The good news is that Francis is no fan of the Tridentine Mass. Yes, he did say Mass in Latin in Korea, but that was because he did not know Korean, and they did not know Italian or Spanish. As archbishop of Buenos Aries, Argentina, he forbade the Tridentine Mass in his archdiocese until Pope Benedict mandated that it be available throughout the universal church whether bishops wanted it or not. Francis has never celebrated it (he was ordained in 1969) and never will. He hopes it will fade away.

Nor is he happy with the push for literal translations, including translating pro multis as “for many” rather than “for all.” As a result, the Vatican push for new Italian, German, and other translations has been put on hold.

Francis also prefers a simple liturgical style and has no qualms about breaking liturgical rules for pastoral reasons. For example, as pope and as archbishop of Buenos Aries, he washed the feet of women on Holy Thursday even though the rules say that males (in Latin, viri) are to have their feet washed.

More recently, in Korea while saying Mass, he wore a butterfly pinned to his chasuble in honor of the Korean “comfort women” who were sex slaves to Japanese soldiers during World War II. That is a liturgical no-no.

The bad news is that there is no indication that liturgical renewal is a major priority for Pope Francis. In Argentina, progressive intellectuals criticized him for his support of popular devotions. The poor he so loved in the slums of Buenos Aires were more likely to turn out for a procession or devotion than for the Eucharist. They did not connect with either the old or the renewed Eucharist. Hopefully, this disconnect will lead him to look for a prefect who is more interested in what works pastorally, especially with the poor, than in what either conservative or liberal ideologues want.

The greatest challenge facing the new prefect is to develop a new way of managing liturgical change in the church. Although the changes following the Second Vatican Council were eventually embraced by the priests and people, there was some confusion when the changes were not well explained. Also, the church should have initially been more generous in allowing the old Latin Mass to continue during the transition, especially for the elderly. Conservatives also complained of priests experimenting on their own.

The Vatican response was to stop all change, crack down on experimentation, and force reluctant bishops to provide the Tridentine Mass to anyone who wanted it long after the vernacular language had firmly taken hold. It also pushed through literal translations of liturgical texts that were difficult to understand. This overreaction caused heartburn among liturgical scholars and, more importantly, pastoral problems in parishes.

A more intelligent and pastoral approach to liturgical change would include three things: centers for liturgical research and development, market testing, and enculturation.

Every successful business does research and development on new products. While there are liturgical scholars who do research, they are forbidden to take the next step in developing and trying out new liturgical practices. New liturgical practices require testing to find out what works, but not every priest has the training and skill to do this.

What is needed are centers for liturgical R&D where scholars and artists can collaborate with a willing community in developing new liturgical practices. Seminaries and universities with liturgical scholars are obvious places for this, but some parishes might be willing to be beta sites for new practices, especially if they were allowed to give feedback.

Bishops should be allowed to set up centers for liturgical R&D, operated by creative experts with appropriate supervision and review. Once new liturgical practices are developed and accepted by church officials, they should be market tested in a variety of pastoral settings before being offered to the rest of the church. Only the most arrogant business rolls out a new product everywhere in the world at the same time without market testing it.

Finally, the most difficult challenge is developing liturgy that fits the local culture. This is very difficult in multicultural countries like the United States and India. In the U.S., liturgy has to be sensitive to cultural differences based on race, language, ethnicity, age, education, and social background. What is appropriate at a high school may not be appropriate at a retirement home. In India, liturgical sensitivity to Hindu culture may be offensive to minorities who feel oppressed by the Hindu majority.

Such countries may require multiple liturgical forms to serve multiple cultures. Enculturation is easier to talk about than to do, which is why we need centers for liturgical research and development.

Besides developing a better system for managing liturgical change, I hope the new prefect reviews the latest English translation of the liturgy. Is it working? I don’t think so.

Many priests complain about the difficulty of proclaiming the prayers because the wording is convoluted and sometimes unintelligible. This makes it often impossible for the people in the pews to understand the prayers when they are prayed out loud. The prefect should encourage bishops to be generous in allowing priests to use the old translation if they find the new translation problematic pastorally.

 The prefect should also take another look at the 1998 translation of the Sacramentary done by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy and approved by most English-speaking bishops’ conferences but rejected by the Vatican. This translation is substantially better than both the new and old translations and has wonderful opening prayers that match the readings for each Sunday of the three-year cycle.

And despite Canizares’ circular letter, the new prefect should reopen consideration of moving the kiss of peace. Pope Benedict and former Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments prefect Cardinal Francis Arinze reportedly favored moving the kiss to the end of the Liturgy of the Word, but backed down when a majority of the episcopal conferences said to leave it alone.

Trying out different settings for the kiss is an ideal project for the centers for liturgical research and development, as are the other suggestions I give below.

One of the reasons for moving the kiss of peace is that it would open up space for a more expansive rite at the breaking of the bread prior to Communion. This would require bread that actually looks like bread.

Another project I hope is on the new prefect’s agenda is the drafting of new “Prefaces” and new Eucharistic Prayers besides the 13 already approved for use.

Different Prefaces could be prepared for each Sunday of the three-year cycle, which would pick up on the Scripture readings for that Sunday. More effort is needed to keep themes from the Liturgy of the Word alive in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This is done on many feast days, and it could be done on ordinary Sundays.

More eucharistic prayers could be written, especially some that follow the “proclamation and response” pattern of the eucharistic prayers for children. I also dream of eucharistic prayers that are based on the language and theology of each Gospel and some of the Pauline letters.

Too many people (and priests) think that the eucharistic prayer is the priest’s prayer. Priests say it quickly in a monotone, and people tune out. We need more eucharistic prayers that actually engage both the priests and the people.

Any work on the Sacramentary should also have as a priority the development of common texts with other churches, a priority that has recently been ignored.

The new prefect also has to look at how is his congregation is run. He needs to replace many of the consultors and staff whose only qualification as liturgist is their support for the Tridentine Mass. It would also make sense to have the chairs of bishops’ conferences’ liturgy committees as members of the congregation rather than cardinals who have no expertise in liturgy.

The congregation should function as a midwife to liturgical renewal and stop playing liturgical cop. This means more consultation and entrusting more liturgical changes directly to episcopal conferences, which was the original intent of Vatican II, rather than micromanaging things from Rome.

 Despite my hope that the new prefect would take up such an agenda, we need to recognize that even if we had perfect liturgical texts and ceremonies in the Sacramentary, liturgy lives or dies at the local parish. What the people want is good music, good preaching, and a sense of belonging, which cannot be prepackaged in Rome. Parishes that are welcoming and have good music and good preaching see their pews filled. We cannot blame Rome for everything that is wrong in the liturgy.

That is my agenda for the new prefect. What is yours? Share them with us in the comments section below.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is treesesj@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ.]    Source 

Comments (69)

  • domstemp


    Dominie Mary Beatrice Stemp

    Catechist Freelance writer

    On Twitter @DominieStemp

    September 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    • editor

      Nope. This is September 9th not April 1st, although I agree it often feels like every day is April Fool’s Day these days, if you get my drift.

      In his column this week in the Catholic Times, Mgr Loftus referred to the point about the need for “the bread to look like bread” so Rev Reese’s ideas have already been spread abroad…Probably for quite some time.

      September 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    • Josephine

      That was my own first thought – this must be a joke. It’s incredible. R & D centres! Really unbelievable, but there will be plenty of Catholics thinking it’s a great idea.

      September 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm
  • editor

    A reader sent me this video clip from Rome Reports. Again, shocking as it is, it is nothing more than the logical conclusion of all the ecumenical and inter-faith activity of recent years.


    September 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm
  • Therese

    It makes sense. They HAVE to keep thinking of new ways to keep the diminishing numbers in the pews from dying of boredom.

    September 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm
    • editor


      Exactly. There is already a new Mass is every parish as every priest does his own thing, but hey, let’s not be spoilsports. If the modernists want to do some more “creative” work on the Sacrifice of Calvary, who are we to stand in their way?

      I’ve just emailed the link to this thread to Fr Reese with an invitation to participate if he thinks he can stand the heat. No other dissident has ever taken up the offer so I doubt if he’ll be the first. Good at talking the talk, these modernists, not so good at defending themselves in the face of Catholic Tradition. What was that Pope Saint Pius X said again, about “creative liturgy”? Oh yes, I remember: “Far far from our priests be the love of novelty”.

      Get outa that one, Fr Reese…

      September 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm
      • Frankier


        Maybe Fr. Reese and Basil could share the same taxi on their way over for the debate.

        September 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm
      • editor


        As long as they don’t send us the bill!

        September 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm
  • bradders

    For one moment I thought in referencr to liturgical music he meant liturgical ‘c**p’ but it was of course liturgical “cop”. If ever there was an argument for the complete demolition of the N.O. this is it. All I can say is keep this baloney coming. It really shows the poverty of the postconciliar church in all its humpty dumpty absurdity.

    Editor: Bradders, This went into SPAM because of the c**p word. It could easily have been deleted by mistake, so take care then. Let’s stick to expressions that are becoming Catholics, or the use of symbols to at least camouflage language which some might consider less than appropriate for a Catholic blog. Here endeth the sermon – for now!

    September 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    • editor


      Spot on about the absurdity of it all. As you say, “if ever there was an argument for the compete demolition of the NO, this is it.” With bells on.

      September 10, 2014 at 12:20 am
    • Bradders

      Editor, many apologies. ‘Watch and pray’, is the order before submitting in future.

      September 10, 2014 at 9:49 am
      • editor


        That’s OK – it’s not the worst I’ve ever edited out! And we know you mean well! AND you did make the point!

        Thank you, too, for not taking the huff as some do when I am forced to invoke my almighty editorial authority 😀

        God bless

        September 10, 2014 at 10:48 am
  • Frankier

    I thought all this R&D stuff was only for the pharmaceutical or nuclear industries. Talk about making simple things difficult!

    I visited a Holy Well in Sligo last week and I just wonder if the Irish of the past centuries would have bothered putting their lives on the line to attend ceremonies similar to those concocted by these so called intellectuals who would be more gainfully employed in cleaning their church gutters or rodding the drains.

    We’ll soon need to go to Eton or Cambridge to get to heaven rather than to Lourdes or Fatima.

    September 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    • Athanasius


      “I thought all this R&D stuff was only for the pharmaceutical or nuclear industries. Talk about making simple things difficult!”

      Well, the Novus Ordo has proved to be a weapon of mass destruction, both liturgically and statistically!

      September 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm
      • Frankier


        MOD rather than R&D?

        September 10, 2014 at 11:00 am
      • Athanasius


        September 10, 2014 at 11:58 am
  • Theresa Rose

    Research and development centres. Testing for market “approval”. So the Mass is now reduced to being a mere product and designed in any fanciful style that might be wanted. Sick joke? Possibly. Diabolical disorientation, a certainty.

    September 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    • Frankier

      Theresa Rose

      There`s probably room for a Satanic Mass in his plans.

      September 10, 2014 at 11:02 am
      • Theresa Rose


        God help us then, if that does come into his plans. Just imagine the chastisements.

        September 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm
  • jacobi

    The collapse in the Catholic Church continues, after having recovered perceptibly under Benedict.

    We can effectively write off the bulk of the present “church”. The future for the remaining small number of Catholics will lie with the Traditional orders and other sympathetic priests.

    It will also lie in the recovery of Latin, a common language of worship. I had the depressing experience recently of attending Mass, (unusually), in my own local cathedral church – in Polish. It brought home to me how the absence of a common language of worship means inevitably dispersion into cultural factionalism and away from the concept of the trans-cultural/national One True Church.

    September 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm
  • Athanasius

    Fr. Malachi Martin once said that hatred of the Tridentine Mass is a sign of the demonic. I agree!

    One thing is absolutely certain – both Fr. Reese and Mgr. Loftus have lost the true Faith, I have absolutely no doubts about that. God have mercy on them!

    September 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm
    • editor


      Someone else said that: an American bishop, I think it was Bishop Olmstead, said that to be indifferent to the old rite is one thing, to hate it, comes straight from Hell. I remember quoting that in the newsletter some years ago. Goodness, I can’t remember where I put my mobile phone five minutes ago, but I remember quoting that from when Adam was a boy. What a gal, I repeat: what a gal… 😀

      September 10, 2014 at 12:22 am
      • Athanasius


        I can’t really comment on that, I’m way too young! Hopefully it will be a wee while yet before they chuck you in the wheelie bin.

        September 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm
  • Leo

    When I read first read this, like others, I thought it has to be a joke. As Christopher Ferrara said recently in another context, “this is beyond parody”. Truly. This is liturgical lunacy gone mad.

    I was also reminded of the words of the psychiatrist guest in a certain episode of Fawlty Towers:

    “There’s enough material here for an entire Conference.”

    Cardinal Antonio Canizares obviously doesn’t find favour with Father Reese because he “supported expansion of the Tridentine Mass”. Just in case any National Catholic Reporter readers had any lingering doubts, the damning clincher came that the Cardinal had issued an instruction that “the kiss of peace should be done with greater sobriety”. Truly the mind boggles, before moving swiftly on.

    Father Reese loftily pronounces that “the purpose of liturgical reform is not only to translate old Latin texts into good English, but to revise liturgical practices to allow people to celebrate their Christian faith in ways that better fit contemporary culture.”

    Pope Saint Pius X had of course given fair warning to Catholics of the Modernist mindset and agenda:

    “The chief stimulus of the evolution of worship consists in the need of accommodation to the manners and customs of peoples, as well as the need of availing itself of the value which certain acts have acquired by usage. Finally, evolution in the Church itself is fed by the need of adapting itself to historical conditions and of harmonizing itself with existing forms of society.” (Pascendi, #26)

    September 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm
    • editor


      Let’s hope that when Fr Reese reads this thread (which he will do, they always have a sneaky look, these dissidents, even if they loftily pretend to be uninterested) … let’s hope when he reads this thread that he realises that his preferred “agenda” for the incoming Prefect of the CDW is roundly and infallibly condemned by the teaching Church. Indeed, Pope St Pius X might have been thinking of Fr Reese when he noted that such priests are the enemies of the Faith: This from the opening paragraphs of Pascendi (emphasis added):

      “ONE OF THE PRIMARY OBLIGATIONS assigned by Christ to the office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord’s flock is that of guarding with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body, for owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking “men speaking perverse things,“[1] “vain talkers and seducers,”[2] “erring and driving into error.”[3] It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ. Wherefore We may no longer keep silence, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be set down to lack of diligence in the discharge of Our office.

      2. That We should act without delay in this matter is made imperative especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but, what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom, and are the more mischievous the less they keep in the open. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the solid safeguards of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary mall.

      3. Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action. Nor indeed would he be wrong in regarding them as the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church…” Source

      September 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm
  • gabriel syme

    “liturgical R+D”, “creative experts” – its the stuff of nightmares.

    I had a giggle at this part:

    “The congregation should function as a midwife to liturgical renewal and stop playing liturgical cop

    The Church has ‘liturgical cops’? Really? I can only assume they have been constantly asleep on duty since I was born (1978).

    The author also talks of the “engagement” of the congregation; I would say that “engaged” is one of the last adjectives I would use to describe most folk at the novus ordo.

    There is no real effort of concentration required, due to the vernacular. People can tune in and out at will; “half listening” you could call it. People tune out in particular when homilies are no more than vague platitudes.

    The atmosphere is not conducive to mental prayer. You feel more like you are a member of an audience, as opposed to someone taking part in an act of worship.

    Often engagement at the novus ordo is further thwarted by novelties. Once, in a Catholic Cathedral, I was distracted for long spells because I could not locate the tabernacle from my seat. It was frustrating at first, but became a wonder (what have they done with it?) and then almost a sad game – “hunt the tabernacle”. I never did manage to set eyes on it. I left the place defeated. Someone later told me they have hidden it away in a side chapel. I presume them were clearing a space to cram protestant minister into, during ‘ecumenical services’.

    Personally I feel completely engaged / immersed in the proceedings at the traditional mass, closely following along with my missal. I feel much more engaged with the proceedings than I ever did at the novus ordo and the experience is infinitely superior.

    September 9, 2014 at 11:38 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Gabriel Syme,

      Your description of the novus ordo experience is absolutely perfect. I can identify with it totally.

      I think Fr Reese’s reference to the congregation playing “liturgical cop” is a reference to lay people who have written to complain to Rome about liturgical abuses. A fat lot of use writing to “complain” or ask for help, has been. Things have got worse and worse until we’re at the stage of having priests like Fr Reese suggesting the market approach to creating new Masses. It really is beyond belief.

      September 10, 2014 at 12:03 am
  • Confitebor Domino

    This is one of the most bizarre articles I’ve ever read – and that’s saying something!

    I’ll limit myself to two things that struck me, otherwise this would be a very long post.

    (1) Every successful business does research and development on new products.

    So he thinks of the Church as a business, does he? That explains a lot.

    (2) Any work on the Sacramentary should also have as a priority the development of common texts with other churches, a priority that has recently been ignored.

    Finally, we get to the nitty-gritty. For rank modernists like Reese the Novus Ordo as it stands is – despite the worst efforts of Bugnini and his cronies – still too Catholic for their liking. This has become especially problematic for them since the new translation was introduced since it undoes some of the worst of the obfuscations that were endemic in the old translation. Hence their virulent hatred of this new translation (as evidenced in this article). But the bottom line is that everything Catholic must be sacrificed on the altar of the great idol Ecumania.

    September 10, 2014 at 12:19 am
    • editor


      Well said. The novus ordo is in its last days. Cardinal Ranjith said some time ago that it would be gone in a generation. It’s going, going, almost gone, as we speak, and the efforts of Fr Reese & Co (to continue the business theme!) will – paradoxically – serve only to hasten its end. Roll on!

      Fr Reese has lost the Catholic Faith, if ever he truly had it – which, frankly, I doubt. It will be interesting to read his reaction if the new Prefect of the CDW is NOT to his liking. Someone, say, like Cardinal Ranjith… I’m bad. I know. Wicked. But a gal’s gotta have SOME fun 😀

      Cardinal Ranjith, Fr Reese – wouldn’t you just LOVE that appointment? 😯

      September 10, 2014 at 12:32 am
      • Confitebor Domino

        Card. Ranjith head of the CDW ? I would love to see that. And I’d pay good money to see Fr Reese’s face when the appointment was announced

        And our old friend Basil would be delighted too 😀

        September 10, 2014 at 12:51 am
      • editor


        Pope Francis is such a bungler (with great respect!) that it just might happen. One lives and one dreams!

        September 10, 2014 at 10:54 am
  • Leo

    Thank you, Editor for posting that very relevant passage from Pascendi. In fact, never has it been more relevant than during these days of rampaging Modernist madness and propagation of the Cult of Man.

    We’ve all heard the “don’t judge the novus ordo Mass on the abuses” defence of sacrilegious liturgies. That fails to recognise the fact that the 1969 General Instruction represented a sort of liturgical “Big Bang” whereby regulation was thrown out the window: we might call it another twist of Modernist aggiornamento or “opening to the world”. Pre Vatican II, a uniform set of laws minutely regulated the Catholic liturgy. Priests were obliged to stick to the rubrics and had no opportunity for personal creativity. Very importantly, liturgy was inextricably linked with doctrine and discipline. And everyone knew it. Pope Pius XII addressed this subject in detail in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei.

    The very character of the 1969 General Instruction, in stark contrast to what was previously in place, leads to liturgical indiscipline, creativity and abuse. The fact is that following the General instruction, the skulking liturgical wildcats were well and truly unleashed on the unsuspecting and obedient flock throughout the Catholic world.

    In 1973, a Vatican directory created by the master of disaster himself, Annibale Bugnini allowed celebrants near-total creative freedom in the celebration of Mass for children with predictable and lamentable results.

    It didn’t take long for pagan “enculturation” of the New Mass to become established in many non-western countries. In his memoirs, Bugnini was happy to list the litany of adaptations in Asia and Africa including liturgical dance and the celebration of Chinese New Year, which, as he wrote, was condemned as superstitious by Pope Benedict XIV.

    Realistically, no amount of “conservative” 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 childrens’ masses, clown masses, circus masses, balloon masses, puppet masses, beer tent masses, beach 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.

    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

    September 10, 2014 at 9:52 am
  • editor


    Again it’s difficult to isolate any one part of your apposite comment, but this part, in particular, I think needs to be pondered by the novus ordo attending readers of this blog:

    “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 childrens’ masses, clown masses, circus masses, balloon masses, puppet masses, beer tent masses, beach 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.”

    Interestingly, Mgr Loftus of “I detest the TLM” fame, frequently cites the General Instruction to justify his liturgical dreams (for which anyone with a semblance of authentic Catholic spirit in their souls should read “nightmares”.)

    So, thank you again Leo for a very thoughtful and helpful contribution to this discussion.

    September 10, 2014 at 11:02 am
  • Vianney

    “The good news is that Francis is no fan of the Tridentine Mass….. Francis has never celebrated it (he was ordained in 1969) and never will. He hopes it will fade away.”

    Aye, and it looks like it’s going to fade away doesn’t ? If only Francis would fade away. When he said that he only expected to live for another two or three years a lady at our chapel commented, “do we have to wait that long?.

    September 10, 2014 at 11:06 am
  • Benedict Carter

    I just sent him the letter below.

    Dear Fr. Reese,

    Having read your revolutionary proposals for future liturgical experimentation (Catholic Truth Blog), I have to tell you that I long for the day when a future Pope (one who is actually a Catholic) suppresses your Order for good.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Benedict Carter

    September 10, 2014 at 11:34 am
  • Athanasius


    There’s no doubting that the Devil is having fun with the Jesuits today. Once the great champions of Catholic orthodoxy, they’re now the apostles of apostasy. I suppose that’s what happens when intellectuals lose their humility. Whenever I hear the word Jesuit now I instantly think heresy. Tragic but true.

    September 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm
  • Leo


    That’s a very revealing point about Mgr Loftus frequently calling on the General Instruction to justify himself. We could almost rest our case right there.

    Catholics faithful to Tradition are frequently labelled with all sorts of false personal insults by the proponents of novus ordoism precisely because the latter are unable to produce anything but rotten, poisonous, evil fruit to show for their intoxicated Modernist revolution. And yet, the evidence of their own mouths, as produced on this thread and previously, is enough to remove all reasonable doubt concerning the guilt of the liturgical destroyers and innovators. They condemn themselves.

    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, who infamously proclaimed “destroy the Mass and you destroy the Church”.

    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.

    Monsignor Loftus’ attachment to the General Instruction offers all the testimony that we need. While their time in this world remains, I suggest that he, Father Reese, and all other agents of the devastating novus ordo revolution ponder instead on the following words:

    “As of all the sacred mysteries bequeathed to us by Our Lord and Saviour as most unfailing instruments of divine grace, there is none comparable to the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist; so, also, for no crime is there a heavier punishment to be feared from God, than for the unholy or irreligious use by the faithful of that which is full of all holiness, or rather which contains the author Himself and source of holiness.” – Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part II, Chapter IV, Question I

    “Now, let all who administer mysteries of so holy a nature, and especially those who minister thoughtlessly, give their careful consideration…and (those who) administer it without due concern… And all this does not move us with loving concern, though Our Lord is loving enough to entrust Himself to our hands, and we handle Him and receive Him on our lips day after day! Do we not know that we are destined to get into His hands?” – The Words of Saint Francis, James Meyer OFM, p. 175.

    September 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Their mania for inculturation startes early, didn’t it, in Japan and India evwn in the rime of Xavier (or maybe just after). They have made a religion out of it … the result of Reese’s nonsense would be a Catholic Church separated by the Mass even from its neighbour the other side of town let alone in another country. Catholic ‘Roman’ culture destroyed for good; the rule of every bossy, self-important lay ‘expert’ you can imagine; a new Year Zero in the Church akin to the one in Cambodia; the effective full ‘evangelicalisation’ of the Church.

    And where self-made ‘liturgy’ goes, doctrine of course will follow. The Faith made up by the laity; changed by tbe laity; dumped (of course) by the laity.

    September 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Their mania for inculturation started early, didn’t it, in Japan and India even in the time of Xavier (or maybe just after). They have made a religion out of it … the result of Reese’s nonsense would be a Catholic church separated (by the Mass! Talk about ‘being in communion with’!) even from its neighbour the other side of town let alone in another country. All remaining ‘Roman’ culture destroyed for good; effective local and national Church dictatorship by every bossy, self-important lay ‘expert’ you can imagine; a new Year Zero in the Church akin to the one in Cambodia; the effective full ‘evangelicalisation’ of the Church.

    And where self-made ‘liturgy’ goes, doctrine of course will follow. The Faith made up by the laity; changed by tbe laity; dumped (of course) by the laity.

    September 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm
  • fidelityalways

    As I know The Editor doesn’t seem to have a sense of humour I realise this article is not a joke.

    With the former Pope, Benedict, we can point to the continuity in our liturgy, especially in the celebration of Holy Mass, and embrace the changes rightfully mandated by the last Council. Let us pray that work of renewal will continue but not by the means proposed by Fr Reese

    I, like many who post here, have faithfully been present at Holy Mass every Sunday and Holyday of Obligation of my life, and for many years on a weekday, and I have not blamed others for walking away, or tried to create a Church to my own liking, or sought to dictate to those who were called to lead The Church.

    We must be faithful to what has been handed on, and recognise The Bishop of Rome, and the College of Bishops, will safeguard that entrusted to them

    September 10, 2014 at 3:28 pm
    • Michaela


      ” we embrace the changes rightfully mandated by the last Council”

      What changes were mandated by the Council?

      September 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm
    • Nicky

      Fidelity Always,

      Fr Reese argues that the changes he wants implemented ARE mandated by the Council and the General Instruction. So what are the grounds on which you object to his suggestions?

      September 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm
      • Athanasius


        I can answer that one for you. On the grounds that neither the Council nor the General Instruction ordered any such changes. Go have a read through the appropriate documents.

        September 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm
      • editor


        I think you are misunderstanding. Nicky is asking the (modernist) Fidelity Always to explain why HE objects to Fr Reece’s suggestions, since Fr Reece claims they are in line with the Council and General Instructions. Therefore, it is illogical for Fidelity Always to say that Fr Reece is wrong. Maybe take another look at FA’s post to see what I mean in case this is as clear as mud! From my reading, Nicky is trying to point out that FA is illogical (as ever).

        It would, indeed, be interesting to learn from FA why he objects to Fr Reece’s suggestions.

        September 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm
      • Athanasius


        Got it now!

        Sorry Nicky, Just ignore me!

        September 11, 2014 at 12:08 am
      • editor


        “Sorry, Nicky, Just ignore me”

        One does one’s best, doesn’t one, Nicky? One really does!

        September 11, 2014 at 10:22 am
      • Athanasius


        Well, all I can say is that one’s best has not been good enough!

        September 11, 2014 at 10:13 pm
      • editor


        No offence, but I’m busy now. Can I ignore you some other time? 😀 😀 😀 😀

        September 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm
      • Athanasius


        When I’m looking for my blogging wages, you mean? I’m well used to that!

        September 11, 2014 at 11:55 pm
    • Confitebor Domino


      ”We must be faithful to what has been handed on”

      The Novus Ordo Missae was not handed on – it is a brand new rite that was was cobbled together de novo in the 1960s.

      September 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm
      • editor


        You could not be more spot on if you tried 😀

        September 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm
  • Leo

    “Thus then, Venerable Brethren, for the Modernists, both as authors and propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor indeed are they without precursors in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our Predecessor Pius IX wrote: ‘These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts.’ (Encyclical Qui pluribus, November 9, 1846)

    “These men are certainly to be pitied, and of them the Apostle might well say: They became vain in their thoughts. . . professing themselves to be wise they became fools (Rom. i. 21, 22); but, at the same time, they excite just indignation when they accuse the Church of torturing the texts, arranging and confusing them after its own fashion, and for the needs of its cause. In this they are accusing the Church of something for which their own conscience plainly reproaches them.” – Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi

    Can anyone have doubts about the Modernists’ insatiable obsession for novelty? If it didn’t involve such grave offence against God, and endangerment of souls, ignoring the evil work of the wild man liturgists might have some merit, notwithstanding the tragic fact that the vast majority of Catholics are confronted with the Abomination of Desolation, voluntarily or not.

    “Using virtue and the love of God, and the abolition, in the name of virtue, of the indispensable means of formation and conservation, to blackmail the faithful into bending – that’s modernism at its most basic. Modernism controls its victims in the name of obedience, thanks to the suspicion of pride which is cast on any criticism of their reforms, in the name of respect for the Pope, in the name of missionary zeal, of charity, and of unity.”
    (Fr. Roger Calmel, Letter of 8th August, 1973)

    Christian charity forbids silence. As Pope Leo XIII, citing his predecessor Felix III, teaches: “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed.” (Inimica Vis,1892).

    Novus ordoism is self-liquidating. With all the evidence around us, it is very difficult to believe that it is imbecilic, well meaning, but misguided optimism that drives the Modernist vandals onwards in their zealous attack against the true Mass. Again, I think the words of Pope Leo XIII are undoubtedly applicable to the matter of trying to turn back the Invasion of the Modernists:

    “Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defence of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honour of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: “Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.” To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamours are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigour on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful.”- Sapientiae Christianae, 1890

    The theological virtue of Charity involves loving what God loves. But it also involves hating what God hates. The words of a true and great Catholic liturgist put us on notice:

    “When the pastor becomes a wolf, it is the flock in the first place, which has the duty to defend itself.” – Dom Prosper Gueranger, L’Annee Liturgique, Feast of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, pp. 340-341.

    September 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm
    • Josephine


      I know Editor jokes a lot about the pay-scale but your posts on this thread alone are worth a packet. You should be demanding a pay rise!

      Your remark about “hating what God hates” is profound. Thank you again for putting together all the great quotes you do and for making me think more deeply about the faith.

      September 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm
      • Leo

        Thanks very much, Josephine.

        You’re very kind.

        I wonder will we still be getting paid in sterling in two weeks time.

        September 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm
      • editor


        They can pay me in any currency they like in two weeks time, as long as the beauticians, hairdressers and fashion houses take it!

        September 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm
      • editor


        I sincerely hope this isn’t you making a pitch to be the CT Bloggers Union Rep. I can’t have bloggers going about the place demanding pay rises. 😯

        September 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm
  • Leo

    This is what you call a captive audience.

    It’s the old joke: You can negotiate with a terrorist but not with a liturgist.


    Novus ordoism is truly self-liquidating.

    September 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm
    • Michaela


      Unfortunately, the link to the original article or whatever it was about that Bishop’s Mass is broken so that’s a pity. Love your “captive audience” quip. So true.

      I came here hoping to find an answer to my question to Fidelity Always but typical of the modernist people who come here, there is no reply – yet. Maybe he will reply later. I’ll keep checking.

      September 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    I wonder what response Father Reese could or would make (though I am sure he will not), to this talk given by Thomas Gabriel, a New York detective on: –
    Crime and Punishment: The Devastating Effects of the Novus Ordo Mass on Society

    September 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm
    • Leo

      Theresa Rose

      Thank you very much indeed for posting that absolutely superb talk by Thomas Gabriel. Once I started looking at it, I couldn’t stop. He expressed so many points brilliantly.

      It’s a must watch, and on its own completely destroys the propaganda of the liturgical anarchists. The talk could also be posted on many other threads here.

      September 11, 2014 at 12:59 am
  • fidelityalways

    I have only just seen that my comment was published, and that I am being invited to expound on it. Having taken smelling salts, to recover, I will not do so.

    However, may I first comment on an observation about “inculturation”. One thing is I know that in some parts of the world, for example, white, not black , is the colour of mourning, but other examples abound, and that is why when it comes to liturgy inculturation is important. It is the same logic, that says The Ordinariate can safeguard, and use, their patrimnony.

    With regards the suggestion I am being illogical then may I suggest, that in fact Fr Reese is using the same logic, as my critics here, to make his strange propositions relating to the great Council, which the Church rejects, as do those who seek to uphold everything Pope St Pius X says, when the Church too rejects much of what he said. Both Fr Reece, and those who seek to uphold everything Pius said, contrary to what the Magisterium teaches need to listen to The Bishop of Rome, and the successors of The Apostles.

    With regards, The Holy Mass what I wrote is consistent with what every Pope since The Great Council has said, and what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in “The Spirit of The liturgy”, and this from Pope Benedict: “It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.”

    Editor: the following errors are found above: (this is unlikely to be an exhaustive list – I just don’t have the time…)

    1) It’s not smelling salts you need but a strait-jacket.
    2) Inculturation: baloney. I’ll never forget the lengthy letter I received from a seminarian in Africa explaining the damage done by inculturation. Where I live in Scotland, whisky is the preferred alcoholic beverage. Doesn’t mean the priest has to use whisky for the Consecration. We follow the Church, not the other way round. And don’t get me started on half-baked Anglican “converts”.
    3) Never heard of “the Great Council” – there is no such Council so I take it you mean The Council of Trent.
    4) Pope Pius X – you slur the memory of this, the greatest pontiff of the 20th century without giving a shred of evidence for your allegation. This alone has triggered my decision to block all of your posts from now on. You’re a time waster.
    5) You fail to point out the contradiction in what Pope Benedict says, having falsely accused a great Pope saint like Pius X. One minute Pope Benedict describes the new Mass as a “fabricated on the spot production” and the next he puts it on an equal footing with the Mass of All Time, the Mass that the martyrs gave their life’s blood to defend. And you don’t even notice! You are on Twitter, surely? You must be an official Twit… you have to be (to save you time, remember, I made the rules, I can break them).

    N O T E …

    You are not going to be coming on here again adding to your errors without ever answering questions or criticisms. That’s what you did before. That’s what you are continuing to do, given the very first paragraph of your post above. Therefore, consider this post as an indulgence. I will not release any more of your time-wasting, ignorant comments. That, believe me, is a promise.

    September 11, 2014 at 7:29 am
    • Michaela

      What a load of twaddle from the misnamed Fidelity Always. More like Fidelity Never.

      I notice that those who hate Catholic Tradition absolutely detest Pope Saint Pius X. Has anyone else noticed that, I wonder.

      Editor’s note at the end has demolished the post from “FA” – and I hope she keeps to her word and not lets any more of his rubbish appear on this excellent blog.

      September 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm
      • editor


        I am keeping to my word and not posting any more comments from the (as you rightly say) misnamed FA, but I’ve just found the following comment from him in moderation – which is now trashed. I copied it to quote here because it shows absolutely how illiterate he is in terms of understanding the nature of the Church and the nature of the current crisis in the Church. Ignorance, with bells on…

        He wrote:

        “With regards Saint Pope Pius X, my simple point is that much of his thinking on Modernism, for example, is no longer held by the Church. The famous oath against it was readily done away with by a successor.” END.

        THAT – more than any of the rest of the baloney he’s posted – shows the level of his ignorance. God help him.

        September 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm
  • Christina

    The article below suggesting the setting up of Research & Development Centres to work at producing better Masses, which would then undergo testing for “market” approval,…..

    So the resulting product ranges would be somewhat akin to Tesco’s ‘Finest’, or Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the difference’ Masses then? Presumably they’d be clearly marked with their ‘use by’ dates.

    September 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm
  • Athanasius


    I don’t know about “use by” dates but they should all carry public health warnings saying ‘heresy and sacrilege risk, do not imbibe’.

    September 15, 2014 at 2:37 am
  • editor

    I received an email dated 21 September from Fr Thomas Reese SJ – it came in very late last night, with permission to share with you all. If you recall, I had emailed to let him know that we were discussing his ideas, and invited him to participate if he felt he should stand the heat. He replied as follows:

    Thanks. Just saw this.

    I guess my recommendation would be that you and your readers read “The Mass of the Roman Rite,” by Joseph Jungmann, SJ. From it you will learn that the Mass has changed constantly over time. I too was quite conservative in my liturgical views until I read this book in the 1960’s. By the way, one reason I recommended R&D centers was to protect folks like you from liturgical surprises at your local parish.

    Feel free to share this with your friends.

    September 22, 2014 at 9:55 am
    • Josephine

      What a typical reply. The modernists always say that the Mass has changed constantly over the centuries but that’s a fib. Organic growth is not “constant change”.

      September 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Cardinal Ratzinger himself said that there had been a complete break when the new Mass was created. He called it a “banal on the spot production” when he addressed the Bishops of Chile a few years ago. So, Fr Reese is wrong on that.

        September 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm
      • editor


        I believe I quoted that gem in my reply to Fr Reese. “A banal on the spot production” says it all, really, truly, sadly.

        September 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

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