The Attraction Of The New Mass

The Attraction Of The New Mass


I’ve been stunned recently to learn of people whom I know who are not troubled by the thought of attending the novus ordo.  If there’s no TLM available, they argue, why not attend the new Mass? All I know is that I don’t feel that I am attending Mass on the odd occasion when I’m forced to be present at a novus ordo.   The Mass which nourished the saints and martyrs for centuries is just nothing like the modern Mass, but I’m running out of ways to explain that to those who can’t see the problem. What, precisely IS the attraction of this new Protestantised Mass? Help!

Comments (153)

  • Lionel (Paris)

    When I was young, we sang: “catholiques et français toujours!” (catholic and French for ever!)

    December 31, 2015 at 2:16 pm
  • Therese

    I attend a week-day NO – firstly because the parish priest says two traditional Masses a week, and last year asked for volunteers to clean the church (of which there are very few volunteers), and secondly as an act of penance. I try to remember the sentiments of the late, great Hamish Frazer. It is a trial; I sit in the back and kneel throughout and try to block out the inanity and Protestantism of the proceeding; it’s very difficult to say the Rosary as there’s so much oral content. I do this because I think the PP deserves support in his efforts to re-introduce Tradition, and because the tiny, elderly crew who do clean the church are NO, and it seems to me to be only right not to just leave this work to them, but to do my bit in cleaning God’s house, as I am benefiting from the privilege of hearing Holy Mass. The priest arranges for the “traditional” to receive Holy Communion kneeling at the NO, but of course I do not receive the Precious Blood from EMHCs, but only bow in reverence towards the chalice.

    I have the highest respect and a great deal of affection for my fellow “cleaners” and for their dedication to this weekly chore, but I do fear, from conversations I have had with two of them (there are only 4 of us!), that they have lost a lot of their “Catholicity”, which is hardly surprising as they have been bombarded by mediocrity and false teaching for over 40 years. The congregation is few and elderly (apart from the young family who attend who are also Traditional). It cannot go on long.

    I would like to say to Waterside that I have appreciated very much his contributions to this blog, but I do hope and pray that he will seriously reconsider being an EMHC. I find this common practice to be so repulsive to my sense of what is due to the Blessed Sacrament that I have found it difficult – well, to be honest, impossible – to overcome my anger at times; it is only recently, having got to know such a “minister”, that I have come to accept that even good people with good and humble hearts can be misled in such a catastrophic way that they can be persuaded to think that what they are doing is right in God’s eyes.

    And before anyone puts the case that there are circumstances in which it is permissible for lay people to distribute the Blessed Body of Our Lord, I know that. But they have to be extraordinary.

    December 31, 2015 at 4:18 pm
    • Lily


      But even in extraordinary circumstances, the laity never touched the Blessed Sacrament with their hands. It was always with white gloves and pincers. Bishop Schneider mentions that in his interview.

      December 31, 2015 at 6:16 pm
    • Christina

      Therese, that is a beautiful post, and I think your understanding of your fellow parishioners in their confusion is truly praiseworthy. I was privileged to know a lady who died a year or two ago, and who was one of the holiest people I have ever known, judging from every possible outward sign. She worked tirelessly for the restoration of the true Mass, yet went to the NO Mass in her parish every weekday, in spite of the fact that the PP was one of those poor souls who seem to hate the old Mass. She insisted on receiving her daily Communion kneeling and on the tongue, suffering his accusations that she was guilty of sinful pride (!) without weakening. I could not understand how she could tolerate a daily NO Mass, but she simply didn’t seem to want to educate herself about the wrongness of it and about the appalling state of the modern Church. She simply seemed to possess her soul in peace, and I envied her in a way. I certainly could not judge her or think that my rage and sorrow for the suffering Church placed my soul in a better place than hers. Far from it.

      January 1, 2016 at 12:07 am
      • Therese

        Thank you Christina, that’s very kind.

        January 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm
  • Therese



    December 31, 2015 at 6:45 pm
  • LadyCáit

    May I explain why I attend the NO mass everyday? I am just telling you my own reasoning, from my heart.
    I wish they had never tinkered with the mass. It hurts me. But I believe the new mass must be valid because I trust that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let the Church promulgate error. Is that thinking sound? I mean the guitars and Eucharistic ministers, I know…its pretty disrespectful and distracting.
    But I go every morning because Jesus is there and I don’t want Him
    To feel ignored. I wear a chapel veil and take communion on the tongue. I bring my infants with me but they are always quiet.
    I am like a half-trad. I am glad the SSPX exists and I share their ideal but I want to strengthen the NO parishes from within too.
    Really I am a mother and not a theologian. I am open to criticism. Please please if you would pray for God to give me another baby (-: I am trying to raise a generation of servants for Christ.

    January 1, 2016 at 12:19 am
  • Athanasius


    You quite obviously have a good Catholic heart, but I think you are a little misguided in your opinion.

    The first point I would make is that none of us here beleives the New Mass to be invalid per se. We all share the view of the SSPX that it can certainly be valid if the priest uses the correct matter, form and intention. The difficulty with the New Mass, apart from its inherent Protestant theology, which erodes Catholic belief in the Real Presence and in the Mass as Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary, the vernacular liturgy is open to great abuse by individual priests. It has been abused many times, altered out of all recognition in certain Masses, which, without doubt, were invalid. So these are the dangers of the New Mass and you continued presence at that Mass is not going to change a thing. In fact, it will have the opposite effect of appearing that you support that Mass rather than the ancient Mass of the Church.

    We have all been there before you, believe me, and we have all said enough is enough. You have the duty to sanctify your soul and the souls of your children. Forget everything else, just do what is absolutely essential for your own and your family’s sanctification. The crusade for the Mass is best fought by voting with your feet, assuming you can get to a Traditional Mass of course. Things are too far gone now, only God can restore the Mass to the entire Church.

    I don’t believe you are a “half-trad,” there is no such thing. I believe you are a Catholic who values faith handed down. You accept and believe in the entirey of Sacred Tradition and you want it back in every parish. This is a great grace, hang on to it! But you must, if possible, get yourself back to the Mass of the saints and martyrs.

    I will certainly pray that God grants you another child, as you wish, but perhaps He is waiting for you to make a certain move first, if you catch my drift. Pray also to St. Gerard Majella for his intercession.

    I hope God continues to bless both you and yours.

    January 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm
  • RCA Victor

    I have two more questions about the NOM (sorry to be a bit late, I’ve been pubbing, clubbing and scrubbing over the holiday) (and I wish one and all a Blessed New Year!). First, we all know that one of the conditions for validity is that the priest intends to do what the Church asks him to do at the Consecration. But how can we know, in this age of complete confusion and fly-by-night formation, what the intentions of a NOM priest are? Moreover, what about the 1100 Communists who, as Bella Dodd told us, infiltrated the seminaries back in the 1920s and 1930s and from thence into the priesthood? Surely they did not have the Church’s intention. Did that make all their TLM’s invalid? Or does God supply the intention somehow if it is missing (which I believe I heard or read somewhere)?

    Second, a question about the “graces” received during a NOM Communion, cited by several bloggers. Perhaps everyone here would agree that the Conciliar era has been characterized by a massive withdrawal of grace from the Church (probably beginning with John XXIII’s refusal to comply with Our Lady’s wishes in 1960, and then intensified as the “spirit of VII”/French Revolution of the Church took over). The fruits of this withdrawal of grace have left the Church in ruins. How then can graces be received at a NOM, if they have been withdrawn from the Church as a whole? Are we talking about different kinds of grace? Moreover, how can graces be bestowed at an NOM by a God who is at the same time displeased and offended by such a rite? Does it all depend on the interior disposition of the faithful?

    January 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm
  • Athanasius

    RCA Victor,

    One can usually tell immediately if a priest intends to do what the Church intends by his comportment and behaviour while celebrating Mass. If he sticks rigidly to the rubrics and seems to be reverent enough then the chances are he will consecrate validly. If, however, he diverts away from the rubrics with his own innovations and/or uses the wrong matter or form during consecration, then it’s pretty certain that his Mass is invalid. There are usually always signs that people can look out for.

    Alternatively, if a priest were to appear perfectly reverent and even use the correct matter and form, yet not believe what the Church believes, then his Mass would be invalid. The faithful, however, at least those in good faith, would not be responsible before God for the interior loss of faith of their priest. In such cases, assuming good will, the grace received by these souls would be equivalent to those received by people making a spiritual Communion.

    There is no withdrawal of grace from the Church now or at any time in the past. The grace of Our Lord will always be superabundant in His Church for those who wish to make use of it. Any absence of grace we see today, then, and let’s face it there’s a great deficiency, is caused by Catholic clergy and laity not making full use of the Traditional sources of grace available to them.

    The New Mass cannot be pleasing to God by reason of the Portestant theology that has become inherent to it. However, the consecration of the sacred species can never be less pleasing to God because it is still the body, blood, soul and divinity of His Divine Son. Therefore, it is the deficiencies in the New Mass, again causing people to lose sight of the Sacrificial nature of the Mass, and in many cases the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, which is at the root of many lost graces.

    As for those Communist infiltrators you speak of from the 1920s and 30s, well of course their Masses were always invalid for obvious reasons. There is no such thing as God supplying the intention to priests who don’t believe. These Masses would all have been counterfeit, unknown to the faithful of course. But then, we really don’t know who these infiltrators were/are or how many there truly were. I think that one is best left in God’s hands.

    January 4, 2016 at 12:19 am
  • Christina

    RCA Victor, it is important to distinguish the action of Christ here from the rite in which that action takes place. If an NOM is valid, according to the criteria that Athanasius has listed, then, irrespective of the rite, Christ, through the ministry of His priest, offers Himself to His Heavenly Father in an unbloody re-presentation of His sacrifice on Calvary. There are no degrees in this, since the merits of Christ’s Sacrifice, which constitute the intrinsic merits of every valid Mass, are infinite. Thus, notionally, anyway, there is no difference between a validly-celebrated NOM and TLM. However, the Mass contains both intrinsic and extrinsic merits, and the latter may be great or negligible according to many different factors. The first is the holiness of the priest. As St. Bonaventure says “All Masses are equally good, as far as Christ is concerned; but as far as the priest is concerned, one may be better than another. Therefore it is more profitable to hear the Mass of a good priest than of an indifferent one.” In the former case the priest derives more graces for himself, for those for whom he offers the Mass, and for the entire congregation.Then as far as the rite itself is concerned, in which Christ’s sacrifice is set, it may be more or less meritorious according to the language, symbols, gestures, etc., many of which, such as genuflections, signs of the Cross, indulgenced prayers, invocations of the Holy Name, are in themselves sacramentals and sources of grace. If the rite has grown over the centuries under the influence of the Holy Ghost, with its prayers and rubrics added or subtracted by saints and holy men, then it is extrinsically far more meritorious than a ‘banal, on the spot fabrication’ invented by a committee of men decidedly not inspired by the Holy Ghost, in which the prayers, language, symbols, gestures have been watered down or removed to make the rite acceptable to Protestants. The extrinsic merits of the Mass are also increased or decreased by the dispositions of the congregation, their reverence, attentiveness, and so on, and also by the external splendour of the rite, which is why Solemn Mass, with many assistants, music, beautiful vestments and ‘extras’ such as incensings is more extrinsically meritorious than Low Mass. So yes, the dispositions of the faithful determine the merits (grace) that they receive from the Mass, but nobody can obtain graces that are lacking because of the deficiencies of the rite, or even more lacking according to the abuses so often found in the Masses of individual priests and even, sad to say, of the Pope himself.

    January 7, 2016 at 11:42 am
    • RCA Victor

      Christina and Athanasius (and Editor),

      Thank you for your very helpful replies. I really should click on the “Follow” flag so I see these posts more quickly….at any rate, I just came across something in the December newsletter that seems to support the idea of graces withdrawn because of the NOM itself. Here is the conclusion of the last paragraph from column 1, page 16 of Editor’s “Dear Reader” column:

      “Yet, when we express our opinion – that with the introduction of a new Mass, God withdrew His grace to a greater or lesser extent – more often than not, they just can’t (or don’t want to) see it.”

      Now, I’m not trying to start a fight amongst the three of you (besides, I suspect Editor still has her rolling pin, which would give her an undue advantage – that is, unless she’s had a visit from Spirit of Vatican II termites in her flat), but I hope to get this clarified. So here’s my clumsy attempt:

      1. Grace is withdrawn because of the secularized responses, as it were, among clergy and faithful, to the secularized extrinsic merits, features and accidentals of the NOM (this seems to be what Christina is saying). …OR…

      2. Grace is withdrawn as a prior Divine action, you might say, i.e. His response to the promulgation of the abomination, because He is offended by a rite whose stated purpose is to avoid giving offense to heretics (this seems to be what Editor is saying). …OR…

      3. Grace is not withdrawn, simply not availed of (this seems to be what Athanasius is saying).

      January 7, 2016 at 10:56 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I think there’s some confusion re. the withdrawal of grace.

        You quote me saying in the current editorial that “with the introduction of the New Mass God withdrew His grace, to a greater or lesser extent….” but note, I was not referring to individuals; we know that a repentant heart will always benefit from God’s grace.

        I was referring to a certain withdrawal of grace from the Church – as a people and that truth is well documented in Sacred Scripture. The one example (from the many available) which springs to my mind is Deuteronomy 8:19-20: But if thou forget the Lord thy God, and follow strange gods, and serve and adore them; behold now I foretell thee that thou shalt utterly perish. [Like] the nations [which went before] which the Lord destroyed, so shall you also perish, if you be disobedient to the voice of the Lord your God.”

        Thus, it is perfectly in keeping with the nature of God’s Mercy and Justice, that, perhaps even if only for a temporary period, He withdraws His grace from his people, as a people.

        I hope that’s clearer. I’m no expert, of course, and this crisis in the Church is unique, but I have no doubt that this aspect of the crisis will be discussed by scholars and theologians in the years to come. How else to explain the blindness of almost every prelate, and every modern pontiff over the past fifty years? If, as seems to be the case, these prelates have decided that they don’t like the way Christ designed His Church and they can make a better one, then God is likely to do what we know he does with those who reject His moral law – leave them to it.

        This in no way reflects on the indefectibility of Christ’s Church or the infallibility of the popes, that last two of whom, remember, have made clear that they are not calling on this gift of infallibility. Pope Benedict actually said as much in his book length interview with Peter Whatsisname. The Church cannot fail in teaching the truths of the Faith. That doesn’t mean that God cannot, if He chooses, punish this stubborn people, as He punished His people in biblical times.

        January 8, 2016 at 1:05 am
  • Christina

    RCA Victor’

    Grace is withdrawn because of the secularized responses, as it were, among clergy and faithful, to the secularized extrinsic merits, features and accidentals of the NOM (this seems to be what Christina is saying).

    No, that is not at all what I am saying. I did not mention ‘withdrawal of grace’ at all in my post (I hope), and I am sorry that I was very clearly not clear!!

    The infinite merits of Christ and the merits of all the saints constitute what is theologically known as the Treasury of merit of the Church and this is a most important concept to understand. It is from this Treasury that we obtain all the merits and graces that by our own cooperation we deserve. The Church can also dispense merit and grace from this treasury to souls by means of indulgences,

    The point under discussion is how much merit or grace can we obtain by attending an NOM v how much by attending TLM. The answer is very, very much less because the NOM has been stripped of a multitude of prayers, especially those prayers in the proper of TLM which speak of our utter unworthiness before God, of sin, wickedness, offence to God, eternal damnation, and so on. It has been stripped also of many signs and symbolic acts which are themselves indulgenced and earn merit for those attending as the Mass proceeds. In the new Missal all that modern man finds disturbing to his pride was removed as ‘negative’ by Bugnini’s Consilium. The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican rather aptly describes the contrast between the prideful nature of man as perceived in the liturgy of the new Mass and his abandonment to God in the old. So, if one may so crudely express it, in the old Mass, if one attends it prayerfully, there are quite simply more goods available for the taking from the treasury of merit of the Church than there are in the new.

    I hope this is a little clearer, and that you can see that God’s ‘withdrawal of grace’ is not what I was saying – rather it was the contrast between the opportunities presented by both forms of Mass to draw merit and grace from the treasury of the Church.

    Here is the relevant entry from the Catholic Encyclopaedia which should make the concept of the treasury of the Church quite clear:

    Christ, as St. John declares in his First Epistle (2:2), “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” Since the satisfaction of Christ is infinite, it constitutes an inexhaustible fund which is more than sufficient to cover the indebtedness contracted by sin, Besides, there are the satisfactory works of the Blessed Virgin Mary undiminished by any penalty due to sin, and the virtues, penances, and sufferings of the saints vastly exceeding any temporal punishment which these servants of God might have incurred. These are added to the treasury of the Church as a secondary deposit, not independent of, but rather acquired through, the merits of Christ. The development of this doctrine in explicit form was the work of the great Schoolmen, notably Alexander of Hales (Summa, IV, Q. xxiii, m. 3, n. 6), Albertus Magnus (In IV Sent., dist. xx, art. 16), and St. Thomas (In IV Sent., dist. xx, q. i, art. 3, sol. 1). As Aquinas declares (Quodlib., II, q. vii, art. 16): “All the saints intended that whatever they did or suffered for God’s sake should be profitable not only to themselves but to the whole Church.” And he further points out (Contra Gent., III, 158) that what one endures for another being a work of love, is more acceptable as satisfaction in God’s sight than what one suffers on one’s own account, since this is a matter of necessity. The existence of an infinite treasury of merits in the Church is dogmatically set forth in the Bull “Unigenitus”, published by Clement VI, 27 Jan., 1343, and later inserted in the “Corpus Juris” (Extrav. Com., lib. V, tit. ix. c. ii): “Upon the altar of the Cross”, says the pope, “Christ shed of His blood not merely a drop, though this would have sufficed, by reason of the union with the Word, to redeem the whole human race, but a copious torrent. . . thereby laying up an infinite treasure for mankind. This treasure He neither wrapped up in a napkin nor hid in a field, but entrusted to Blessed Peter, the key-bearer, and his successors, that they might, for just and reasonable causes, distribute it to the faithful in full or in partial remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.” Hence the condemnation by Leo X of Luther’s assertion that “the treasures of the Church from which the pope grants indulgences are not the merits of Christ and the saints” (Enchiridion, 757). For the same reason, Pius VI (1794) branded as false, temerarious, and injurious to the merits of Christ and the saints, the error of the synod of Pistoia that the treasury of the Church was an invention of scholastic subtlety (Enchiridion, 1541).

    As a PS it is worth saying that with the near demise of the contemplative orders, the loss of holiness in so many of her priests, the massive loss of faith in her members, public sin and scandal and so on, the Church’s treasury is no longer being added to daily as used to be the case, and this is a matter of concern for the whole Church.

    January 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm
  • Christina

    I must add that this in no way contradicts what Editor has said about withdrawal of grace. I am limiting what I am saying to the merit and grace to be obtained by attending different RITES of Mass, with their different prayers, symbolic acts and so on which are in themselves meritorious or otherwise.

    January 8, 2016 at 1:15 pm
    • Lily

      I agree. I think the term withdrawal of grace might be misleading because it is not that God takes away grace from us but he just stops putting in grace, and seems to abandon us, as he did with his people Israel when they disobeyed him. I can’t see how anybody can deny that this it seems clear that God is not putting in grace to the Church at this time, or at least not in large measures, like when the Church leadership was faithful to the dogmas and commandments.

      January 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm
  • editor


    At the time of reading your quite shocking comments about novus ordo priests, I emailed the USA district with a link to this thread, directing them to your comments. I complimented them on their (I thought) innovative Against Sound Bites page, and asked if they would post the answer to the query about confessing to novus ordo priests. Here is the reply – please note that you have misread Fr Scott, big time:

    Dear [Editor]

    Good to hear from you and pardon my great delay in responding!

    The “Against the Sounds Bite” is actually part of our archived website, not the new one — but thank you for the compliment just the same!

    Concerning confession to priests in the Novus Ordo, the person in question obviously does not know that Fr. Peter Scott himself gave direct permission for faithful who attended our chapels to confess to certain mainstream priests who were known for their orthodoxy in confessional matters. I can specifically cite two examples, one here in Kansas City, MO (a Redemptorist who is still alive) and another in Chicago, IL (a now-deceased Franciscan); there were other priests as well.

    Obviously, for the reasons cited by Fr. Scott (cf. our archived site: the traditional faithful should in general avoid confessing to a priest of the Novus Ordo. However, such a prohibition is not absolute as your blogger would imply. Nonetheless, we would stress that such a matter needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, and thus it is recommended that an SSPX priest be consulted beforehand.

    Lastly, as this issue is affecting a blog in Scotland, I would suggest that you obtain a clarifying statement from the District Office for the United Kingdom (and also Scotland) on this matter, as they would be the appropriate local SSPX authorities to comment on it for the benefit of your blog.

    I hope that this helps to clarify the matter and God bless. END.

    I did contact the UK District Superior as suggested and he replied as follows:

    I agree with Fr. Scott. There are many good priests out there in the conciliar Church. They have the faith, but we differ in our prudential decision to stand up to the revolutionaries.

    I hope that clarifies the matter. Since this thread is now overdue for closure, and lest this information be lost, I’m going to post it again at the end of the thread.

    February 6, 2016 at 9:51 pm

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