What Is A Dangerous Occasion of Sin?

What Is A Dangerous Occasion of Sin?

A Protestant reader contacted Catholic Truth to tell us about the concerns of a friend who is always amazed to find Catholic  Dangerteachers – including former seminarians – present at this social venue when he visits for a night out.

It got us thinking about the concept of “a dangerous occasion of sin” –  at one time a regular theme in sermons and in lessons in Catholic schools.

Priests and teachers would warn of the importance of  socialising carefully – in short, avoiding anyone who might lead us into sin, and any place where we might be tempted to sin. . . , 

But since we now live in an age when we are all encouraged to exercise an ‘adult faith’, does it matter where Catholics choose to socialise?  Would Catholics even know the term ‘a dangerous occasion of sin’ any more? How would you define it?

As we ponder the issues, we might spare a thought for the good Sisters of the Order of St Clare who rise every morning at 1.a.m. for the purpose of prayer and making reparation for sins committed during the hours of darkness. We might pause to offer the Prayer to St Michael, the Archangel (see below) for the intention of special graces for all those caught up in dangerous occasions of sin, whether through attendance at particular social venues or through unsavoury friendships.

If you have particular prayers, novenas or other devotions to recommend for this intention, please do so. In any event, let’s hear whether or not you think there should be more preaching and teaching about the apparently long-forgotten concept of “a dangerous occasion of sin.”

St Michael Archangel

 Prayer to St Michael the Archangel

Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen. 

Comments (86)

  • Scottishpriest

    @Petrus thank you for your thoughts. I thought I was being pretty clear but maybe further reflection will help. Paul and Barnabas fall out over Mark a cousin of Barnabas .. Paul wants Mark to be more aggressive in his preaching as in every town Paul gets as they say a kicking for preaching the Gospel . Paul thinks mark is soft as he ” goes home to Jerusalem ;read his mammy” Barnabas wants mark to come on next journey Paul says no two different styles of evangelizing both work but Paul and Barnabas never reconcile over it .. They agree to disagree as it were over it if you will… My point is you have to in conscience decide where you sit in theological leaning and be faithful to that . I believe it’s important to be obedient to the bishop that’s my promise. I want get drawn on liturgy as I work Around the issues you raise. I train the children to receive on the tongue . I do have extraordinary ministers. There are other issues we have as all with as well as living together contraception same sex unions abortion and a host of other issues
    I choose to follow Pope Benedicts approach to both. If you take out the Latin and the gestures from the TLM you have the current canon in English at the new mass I’m comfortable with that I don’t agree with you on the meaning of bravery and disruption in a diocese .. War is always better fought from within.. Spiritual,warfare is real and the need to be faithful and obedient is crucial or we will have schism it sounds to me that your advocating schism .. I think you have to be within it to help I think your more Paul and I’m more Barnabas if that helps
    I’d love to continue this but I’m off to learn how to be a sub deacon .. Well prob have to agree to disagree with all respect

    October 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
    • Margaret Mary

      Scottish Priest,

      I don’t think Paul and Barnabas were disagreeing over the teaching of the Church, just methods. That’s not what Cardinal Kasper is saying although he tries to give the impression the teaching won’t change if Holy Communion is given to people not accepting the Church’s teaching, but that doesn’t make sense.

      Also, I don’t think anyone would say that Cardinal Burke and the other cardinals who disagreed with Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis were outside the Church so, with respect, I think you are mistaken in your attitude to obedience.

      If your bishop tells you to give Communion to cohabiting couples and same sex couples and the divorced and remarried, will you do so because of your promise of obedience? I’d really like you to answer that question when you possibly can.

      October 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm
      • Therese

        Margaret Mary

        Exactly. Well said.

        October 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    • Petrus

      Scottish Priest

      Quite frankly your response has shocked me. As Margaret Mary and TLM have said, your first obedience is to the Faith. Your obedience to your bishop is secondary to this. When your bishop is wrong you are not obliged to be obedient. This is not schism. I’m surprised you have used that old chestnut. I thought more of you.

      I’m astounded at your claim that the New Mass is simply the Traditional Mass without the Latin or gestures. Are you being serious?

      First of all, the language used is important. It is worth noting that in Genesis the variety of languages is a consequence of sin (Genesis 11:7). The Church of Christ must always and everywhere speak the same language.

      The Council of Trent summed up the Church’s mind on Latin when it declared, “If anyone says that the Mass should be celebrated in the vernacular only let him be anathema.”

      Finally, I remind you of Dom Guernsey ‘ s chilling words, “We must admit that it is a master blow of Protestantism to declare war on the sacred language.”

      Look at the offertory of the Traditional Mass and compare it with that of the new translation.

      “Receive, O Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal, the spotless host, which I Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God for my countless sins, trespasses, and omissions
      , likewise for all faithful Christians, whether living or dead, that it may avail both me and them to salvation, unto life everlasting. Amen.”

      Compare this to:

      “Blesses are you Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you:fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.”

      Anyone who claims both Masses are the same is either misinformed or misinforming others.

      October 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm
  • TLM

    This is exactly correct Margaret Mary. We are NOT to follow ANY clergy into error out of ‘obedience’. They want you to believe that you MUST be obedient, even when what they profess is against Catholic Doctrine. It’s the only time that you may disobey, in fact the only time when you MUST DISOBEY.

    October 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm
  • Scottishpriest

    I’m not sure where to begin but to as I suggested I think well have to agree to disagree on some matters .. However I wasn’t suggesting the the Mass is is the same as the old rite merely pointing thesis continuity in the Eucharistic prayer so if I wanted to pray the mass in Latin in using the canon directly from the old rite I could and do it ad orientum. I wasn’t suggesting Paul and Barnabas were fighting over doctrine merely an approach
    I don’t give communion to same sex couple or divorced etc how would,I know anyhow .. We have so many visitors especially to,our vigil mass and yes I remind people who can and can’t receive communion as well,as remind people. Not to turn up,late or leave. Early
    As for the days when church was full I a just not convinced this those days will come back if every church was made or forced to celebrate the old rite people don’t come now and they prob wouldn’t then sadly
    I continue to,do my best and work away at teaching the asides and celebrating with dignity and reverence etc and hope,that works towards change
    As for the offertory prayers in new rite they are or should be silent anyway..

    Blessings on your day

    October 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    • Petrus


      You have yet to answer Editor’s questions about Pope Francis or another question about the proposals of the Synod… I await your answer.

      Whether or not the offertory in the New Mass should be said silently is besides the point. They are both two different rites. There is no continuity. In the strictest sense, the New Mass isn’t a Catholic rite because it hasn’t been “received” by the Church. It was a brand new concoction.

      I have to say, although I don’t doubt your good intentions, I could not send my children to your parish. They would surely lose their faith.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm
    • Athanasius


      I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but it’s decent priests like you who give respectability to the ill-fated New Mass and prolong its fratricidal reign in the Church. If more like you were to take themselves off to a Fraternity that only celebrates the ancient Mass, then we would all witness the demise of the New Mass sooner rather than later. It is inevitable!

      As for the faithful attending the Old Mass, I can tell you that every Fraternity from the SSPX to FSSP, through ICK and other Ecclesia Dei bodies, have packed churches. It’s not the old Mass that empties churches, it’s the New Mass with its serious effects on faith and Catechetics.

      October 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm
  • Eileenanne

    Patrus quoted:
    “If anyone says that the Mass should be celebrated in the vernacular only let him be anathema.”

    Who has suggested the Mass should be in the vernacular only? Certainly not anyone with any authority.

    October 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    • Petrus

      Oh here she comes the resident fly in the ointment. Ignore the issues and look for some apparent mistake.

      What do you make of this pontificate? What about the shambolic synod? What do you think of Cardinal Nicols’ support for homosexuals? What about the ex seminarians and Catholic teachers frequenting gay bars? Never do you engage so I won’t hold my breath waiting for an answer.

      October 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Whose mistake was it? Yours or the Council of Trent?

        What do you make of this pontificate?
        It’s the one the Holy Spirit has given us, so I’m fine with it.

        What about the shambolic synod?
        I don’t agree it was shambolic – it ended satisfactorily.

        What do you think of Cardinal Nicols’ support for homosexuals?
        I would need to hear his exact words IN CONTEXT before I could comment. I don’t beileve he said that homosexual practices are OK.
        What about the ex seminarians and Catholic teachers frequenting gay bars?
        I have never been there to see them and I don’t convict on hearsay evidence.

        October 22, 2014 at 11:20 pm
      • editor


        Please quote the source which gives the Church’s teaching as being that the Holy Spirit “gives” us any particular pope.

        October 23, 2014 at 12:01 am
      • editor

        You want the context for Cardinal Nichols’ comments on homosexuality?

        Watch him and listen to him at the press conference on video below, on the subject of the synod. Right at the outset, his hypocrisy shines through as he emphasises the “openness” of the synod to the media etc. Everything is sooooo “open” and “honest” – this from a man who ignores letters from anyone daring to call him to account for his various scandalous utterances and actions – notably, the Soho Masses.

        I know LOADS of letters have gone to him from various different Catholics, all highly respectful and, in my view, far too deferential, but not one of them has ever received an acknowledgement, let alone a reply. So, as I watched this performance, I (shockingly) found myself calling him a “weasel” and a “hypocrite” but say nothing, Eileenanne, cos, after all, who are you to judge?


        Takes a while to get to the homosexual bit but he gets there in due course…

        October 23, 2014 at 12:30 am
      • westminsterfly

        Actually, Editor, it was even worse than that. I can assure everyone that (then) Archbishop Nichols had a very disingenuous – some would say, utterly dishonest – approach to correspondence sent to him about the Soho Masses.
        If someone wrote to him and made a general complaint about the Masses – like a person who had read about the Masses in the media and just wanted to voice their concern, but had no first-hand evidence about dissent at the Masses, he would write back to them and assure them that all was well, and that the reality of the Masses didn’t correspond with some of the more lurid reports being circulated about them. I personally saw two or three such letters from him to different individuals.
        However, if one sent him correspondence containing hard, totally verifiable evidence of the truly shocking dissent being promoted at the Soho Masses, he never, ever, ONCE replied to such letters – because he couldn’t deny the truth he had been given. One example that springs to mind – and there were countless examples – was an official Soho Mass flyer given out at the Masses, which encouraged the congregation to go and see displays of ‘AIDS quilts’ – quilts which had been made to commemorate those who had died of AIDS. One of the venues listed to see these quilts was in a ‘gay’ porn/sex shop in London, called ‘Prowler’. So even when the Soho Mass organisers encouraged the congregation to visit a ‘gay’ porn/sex shop, which would be a grave occasion of sin, Archbishop Nichols publicly rebuked critics of the Soho Masses, telling us to ‘hold our tongues’.

        October 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm
      • westminsterfly


        “What do you make of this pontificate?
        It’s the one the Holy Spirit has given us, so I’m fine with it.”

        This error of thinking that the Holy Spirit has given us this or that Pope, bishop or whatever, is dealt with in this article by the late Dr William Marra: ‘On Papolatry’. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1275634/posts I would be interested to hear your thoughts on Dr Marra’s re-iteration of fundamental Catholic teaching.

        October 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    • Athanasius


      The Church has never said, or even hinted, that the Mass should be said in the vernacular at any time. Quite the contrary, John XXIII and Vatican II said that the Mass should remain in Latin, as it has been for 2000 years. Mass in the vernacular was a pet project of Paul VI’ against all previous Magisterial teaching. Sadly, his Modernist successors have continued to approve this abuse of authority of Paul VI by maintaining his experimental faith-destroying rite.

      We should remember when talking of the New Mass that it was completely “NEW”, invented, made up, “a banal on-the-spot fabrication”. It is not merely the old rite translated into the vernacular language.

      October 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm
    • Athanasius


      “Who has suggested the Mass should be in the vernacular only? Certainly not anyone with any authority.”

      Until Benedict XVI clarified the situation, Pope John Paul II and nearly every bishop since Vatican II said the Mass should be in the vernacular only. Remember, John Paul II permitted the Latin Mass only by personal celebrate. By instituting this permission-only celebrate he perpetuated the lie that the Latin Mass of the ages was abrogated and therefore no longer a hallowed rite free to every priest who wishes to celebrate it.

      In addition to this, I am aware of only a handful of bishops to this day who permit the Latin Mass in their dioceses. Now Pope Francis, contradicting Summorum Pontificum, has refused the Latin Mass once again to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, unless they ask for, and receive, the permission of a superior beforehand. Yes, the authorities in the Church since 1969, apart from Benedict, have made it perfectly clear that the Mass must be in the vernacular.

      October 23, 2014 at 12:36 am
  • Eileenanne


    Magisterial teaching applies only to Faith and Morals. The order of the Mass is neither and can therefore continue to evolve as it has for over 2000 years.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm
    • Summa

      Hi Eileenanne

      I have to agree with Athanasius here.

      When you change the Mass, you change the Faith because…

      When you change the Sacrifice of Our Lord, to a memorial dinner, you change the miracle of Transubstantiation to a Symbolic Ritual.

      When you adopt a Symbolic Ritual you deny the Real presence.

      When you deny the Real presence you adopt Protestantism.

      When you adopt Protestantism, you have lost the Faith.

      When you have lost the Faith, you have lost your salvation.

      October 23, 2014 at 2:01 am
      • Athanasius


        I would just point out for reasons of clarity that Transubstantiation is not absent from the New Mass, at least not where the priest has the intention of the Church to consecrate – the words of consecration being still present, albeit enshrouded in Protestant symbolism both before and after they are spoken. This having been said, the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and Communion in the hand while standing – both practices against the teaching of the Church and the Popes – exemplify just how Protestant the attitude has become in respect to Transubstantiation and the Most Blessed Sacrament.

        There has been a shocking decline in belief in the Real Presence and it has happened imperceptibly, by degrees, to the point where Catholics are no longer even aware of the enormity of the collective loss. In effect, while they protest their fidelity to belief in the Real Presence, they act as though they don’t really believe.

        October 23, 2014 at 10:51 am
      • Summa

        Yes, good point. My emphasis, though not stated was in the denial of the Real presence which in my mind precludes Transubstantiation. I may be wrong here too.

        October 24, 2014 at 4:35 am
      • Athanasius


        For many of the younger Catholics who have been denied Catechetics by their so-called Catholic priests, teachers and parents, it’s not so much about denial of the Real Presence as not having a clue what it actually means. Ditto, Transubstantiation.

        Older Catholics who were fortunate enough to be raised in less ignorant, holier times have more to answer for. In their case, there must be serious concerns regarding what actually believe now.

        For the life of me, I cannot see how anyone who truly believes in the Real Presence, actually grasping the reality of so great and holy a mystery, could ever even contemplate handling the Blessed Sacrament. Something isn’t right, that’s for sure!

        October 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm
    • Petrus


      This comment, more than any other comment, shows that you are a De facto Protestant. For a Catholic to say the Mass is not part of the Faith is really quite shocking. Even the Second Vatican Council described the Mass as “the source and summit of Christian Life.”

      The Rite of Mass has not evolved in the sense you mean. There have been small changes to the Mass over the years, usually additions. The rites of the Church must be approved and received, ie handed down. Never in the history of the Church was the rite of Mass handed down by the Church completely binned and a New Mass created from scratch.

      October 23, 2014 at 6:39 am
      • Eileenanne

        The Mass is very much part of the Faith. The Church has the power to allow any number of variations in the Rite or Order of Mass. Apart from maybe at the very beginnig of the Church, there has never been only one accepted way of celebrating Mass.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm
      • Petrus


        This is garbage. The Rite of Mass has always been almost identical, right from the very beginning. Yes, there have been different rites but they have all been almost identical to the Roman Rite of Mass, which stretches back not only to the time of St Gregory the Great but even further back to antiquity. This idea that there have been lots of very different rites is an absolute fallacy.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm
  • Athanasius



    What is at the heart of the Faith? Yes, the Mass, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Redemption. Besides that, Pope St. Pius V confirmed the Mass with Magisterial authority when he issued Quo Primum.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:47 pm
    • Eileenanne

      What is at the heart of the Faith? Yes, the Mass, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Redemption. </i?
      Yes – quite true, regardless of which of the many acceptable and approved rites that are available.

      Pope Pius V did not allow only one version of the Mass. Even he allowed other rites to remain.

      October 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm
      • Eileenanne

        So sorry – messed up the formatting again. I think people will get the gist.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm
      • westminsterfly


        Never mind the formatting – it seems you just show up on this blog to drop bombs and move on – and seldom, if ever, satisfactorily answering any question put to you . . . did you see my post of October 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm? If so, please will you read Dr Marra’s article and I would be interested to hear your comments

        thank you

        October 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm
      • Petrus

        But those rites he allowed were almost identical to the Roman Rite.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm
  • Leo

    I don’t doubt for one second that discussion on the New Mass and the vernacular is relevant to any discussion on the subject of occasions of sin.

    As many here will know, Catholics owe an immense debt of gratitude to the late Michael Davies for his tireless scholarly endeavours in calling out the intoxicated Conciliar madness that has engulfed the Church. His book entitled, Pope Paul’s New Mass, is required reading for anyone wishing to inform themselves about the detailed and determined assault conducted against the Mass of the All Time, the Mass that was brought to these islands by Saints Augustine and Patrick. Did someone say something about razing the bastions?

    The following quotations from this book, or rather forensic study, give some very informative and incontrovertible insights and background.

    First off, the argument about pastoral necessity put forward by the liturgical Bolsheviks appears rather baseless in the light of these words which give the impression of pre-Conciliar calm and stability.

    “In an editorial on page six of the Spring 1962 issue of the Catholic Truth, official journal of the Catholic Truth Society, its editor Fr Francis Ripley, made the following remarks:

    ‘We firmly believe that most priests in this country will have sighed with relief when they read the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia issued by the Pope on 22 February forbidding attempts to supplant Latin as the language of the Church.

    ‘…This is one of the revolutions that will not be made by a militant minority. For the past few years the vernacularists have been extraordinarily vocal in certain sections of the Catholic press. Even when the late Pope said that there are many and grave reasons for retaining Latin in the Mass, they did not cease to continue their agitation.

    ‘As I travelled round the country coming into contact with hundreds of priests from every diocese, I formed the impression that a generous estimate of the strength of the vernacularists amongst the clergy would not be more than one in ten. This authoritative document from the Holy Father demonstrates how superficial and misleading the arguments against the use of Latin are. We hope and pray that the corpse of vernacularism will not be disturbed.’ (p. 90)

    “Writing in the Universe of 28 March 1969, Douglas Woodruff summarised the attitude of the faithful to the liturgy: ‘To judge by the The Universe editor’s mailbag, the great majority of the readers of The Universe have felt no need for liturgical experiments, and were deeply happy in the Church as She was up to three or four years ago.’”(p.91)

    The future liturgical commissars appeared to harbour totalitarian inclinations from the very beginning.

    “The truth is that not the least account was ever taken of whether or not the laity wanted change. Clerical bureaucrats had evolved a theory of what the liturgy ought to be like and this was what it was going to be like, even if it emptied the churches. Dom Gregory Murray typified the attitude of these bureaucrats perfectly when he wrote in The Tablet: ‘The plea that the laity as a body do not want liturgical change, whether in rite or in language, is, I submit, quite beside the point.’ He insisted that it is ‘not a question of what people want; it is a question of what is good for them.’” (p.91)

    The following words give an unsurprisingly memorable summary of the descent of the wolves on the peaceful and unsuspecting Catholic flock.

    “Writing in 1964, Evelyn Waugh commented on the fact that proponents of the changes then being imposed had been ‘with us in parts of the United States and northern Europe for a generation. We had looked upon them as harmless cranks who were attempting to devise a charade of second-century habits. We had confidence in the abiding Romanita of our Church. Suddenly we find the cranks in authority.’” (p.89)

    The testimony of one bishop, whom I quoted in a previous post, represents a not so early warning of the unprecedented destruction being unleashed.

    “Archbishop R. J Dwyer” (of Portland, Oregon) “accepted, with the benefit of hindsight, that the great mistake of the Council Father was ‘to allow the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy to fall into the hands of men who were either unscrupulous or incompetent. This is the so-called ‘Liturgical Establishment’, a Sacred Cow which acts more like a white elephant as it tramples the shards of a shattered liturgy with ponderous abandon.’” (The Tidings, 9 July 1971), (Davies, p. 651)

    Writing in the National Catholic Register of 2 March 1975, Archbishop Dwyer described the ICEL translated New Mass as:

    “The inept, puerile, semi-literate translation which has been foisted upon us by the ICEL – the International Committee for English in the Liturgy- a body of men possessed of all the worst characteristics of a self-perpetuating bureaucracy, which has done an immeasurable disservice to the entire English-speaking Catholic world. The work had been marked by an almost complete lack of literary sense, a crass insensitivity to the poetry of the language, and, even worse, by a most unscholarly freedom in the rendering of the texts, amounting, at times to actual misrepresentation.” (Davies, pp 666-667)

    39 years later, the occupation continues, with no end in sight.

    October 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm
  • Leo

    Mention of the vernacular Mass reminded me of Father Stephen Somerville STL, who was a member, from 1964, of the Advisory Board of the International Commission on English Liturgy (ICEL) which was charged with translating the new post-Vatican II Latin liturgy in to English.

    Thirteen years ago Father Somerville, in a remarkable example of true humility, wrote an open letter by which he wished “to apologize before God and the Church and to renounce decisively my personal sharing in that damaging project.”

    I have attached a link to the full letter below, and quote a few excerpts here:

    “11 – Having just mentioned in passing the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), I now come to identify my other reason for renouncing my translating work on I.C.E.L. It is an even more serious and delicate matter. In the past year (from mid 2001), I have come to know with respect and admiration many traditional Catholics. These, being persons who have decided to return to pre-Vatican II Catholic Mass and Liturgy, and being distinct from “conservative” Catholics (those trying to retouch and improve the Novus Ordo Mass and Sacraments of post-Vatican II), these Traditionals, I say, have taught me a grave lesson. They brought to me a large number of published books and essays. These demonstrated cumulatively, in both scholarly and popular fashion, that the Second Vatican Council was early commandeered and manipulated and infected by modernist, liberalist, and protestantizing persons and ideas. These writings show further that the new liturgy produced by the Vatican “Concilium” group, under the late Archbishop A. Bugnini, was similarly infected. Especially the New Mass is problematic. It waters down the doctrine that the Eucharist is a true Sacrifice, not just a memorial. It weakens the truth of the Real Presence of Christ’s victim Body and Blood by demoting the Tabernacle to a corner, by reduced signs of reverence around the Consecration, by giving Communion in the hand, often of women, by cheapening the sacred vessels, by having used six Protestant experts (who disbelieve the Real Presence) in the preparation of the new rite, by encouraging the use of sacro-pop music with guitars, instead of Gregorian chant, and by still further novelties.

    “12 – Such a litany of defects suggests that many modern Masses are sacrilegious, and some could well be invalid. They certainly are less Catholic, and less apt to sustain Catholic Faith.”

    “16 – Dear non-traditional Catholic Reader, do not lightly put aside this letter. It is addressed to you, who must know that only the true Faith can save you, that eternal salvation depends on holy and grace- filled sacraments as preserved under Christ by His faithful Church. Pursue these grave questions with prayer and by serious reading, especially in the publications of the Society of St Pius X.”


    October 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm
  • Leo

    On the inextricable link between the Mass and Faith and Morals, the following magisterial teachings address the matter with typical pre-Conciliar clarity.

    Pope Pius XI, who stated that “it (the Mass) is the most important organ of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church”, summed up very well what has always been the mind of the Church down through the ages when he,in his 1928 Apostolic Constitution, Divini Cultus wrote:

    “No wonder then, that the Roman Pontiffs have been so solicitous to safeguard and protect the liturgy. They have used the same care in making laws for the regulation of the liturgy, in preserving it from adulteration, as they have in giving accurate expression to the dogmas of the faith.”

    “There exists, therefore, a close relationship between dogma and the sacred liturgy, as also between the Christian cult and the sanctification of the people.This is why Pope Celestine I thought that the rule of faith is expressed in the ancient liturgical.”

    Three year earlier,in his lamentably forgotten and buried Encyclical, Quas Primas, the same Pontiff explained that:

    “People are instructed in the truths of the faith and brought to appreciate
    the inner joys of religion far more effectively by the…celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any pronouncement, however weighty, made by the teaching of the Church.”

    Pope Pius XII, in his Encyclical Mediator Dei(1947),declared:

    “In the liturgy we make explicit profession of our Catholic faith;…the whole liturgy contains the Catholic faith, inasmuch as it is a public profession of the faith of the Church…This is the origin of the well-known and time-honoured principle: ‘the norm of prayer establishes the norm of belief’.”

    The Modernist wildcats who have been running amok for decades understand those words very well indeed. It’s an immeasurable tragedy that so many Catholics of good will, clergy and laity, don’t.

    October 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm
  • Eileenanne


    All perfectly true, and applicable to alll the accepted rites that the Churxch approves.

    October 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    • Petrus

      Approval is not all that is required, eileenanne. The rites of the Church have to be received too.

      October 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm
  • crofterlady

    Great posts, Leo.

    October 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm
  • Leo

    Thanks very much, Crofter Lady.

    I better pass on some commission for those words.


    With respect, the issue of the grave theological problems and dangers to the faith which surround Bugnini’s fabrication have been set out in detail on this blog time after time, after time. Therefore, I’m more than a little surprised at your comments. The new liturgy imposed in 1970 undermines faith in the Real Presence, in the propitiatory nature of the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the understanding of the unique, irreplaceable role of the ordained priest as alter Christus.

    Before calling any witnesses to the novus ordo catastrophe, I think it’s worth reminding readers that the great 19th century French Benedictine liturgist Dom Prosper Gueranger gave fair warning of danger back in 1840, in his Liturgical Institutions. The following only reinforces the point about the heretical spirit behind the Modernist attack on the Mass which erupted into open view in the 1960s.

    “The first characteristic of the anti-liturgical heresy is hatred of traditions as found in the formulas used in divine worship. One cannot fail to note this special characteristic in all heretics, from Vigilantus to Calvin, and the reason for it is easy to explain.

    “Every sectarian who wishes to introduce a new doctrine finds himself, unfailingly, face to face with the Liturgy, which is Tradition at its strongest and best, and he cannot rest until he has silenced this voice, until he has torn up these pages which recall the faith of past centuries.

    “As a matter of fact, how could Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism establish themselves and maintain their influence over the masses? All they had to do was substitute new books and new formulas in place of the ancient books and formulas, and their work was done. There was nothing that still bothered the new teachers; they could just go on preaching as they wished: the faith of the people was henceforth without defence.”

    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.” (taken from Michael Davies’ pamphlet, Liturgical Shipwreck, 25 Years of the New Mass)

    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 (ibid)

    Monsignor Klaus Gamber, who was not a “traditionalist”, wrote a book twenty years ago entitled The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, 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)

    October 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

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