Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Missal of Benedict XVI

Courtesy of the blog, Summorum Pontificum and the "astute" observer on the Regina Caeli combox known as your humble Vox Cantor...

There is a very encouraging report making its way around the blogs. Rorate Caeli posted about it here and Fr. Z. here.

Here's the substance of the report:


The rite of the Mass [Rorate: i.e. the Mass of Paul VI] could change. According to some indiscretions, Benedict XVI has charged the Congregation for Divine Worship to study some modifications in the liturgy. In particular, the Pope is said to have the intention to restore Latin for the formula for the Eucharistic consecration within the Mass in the "vernacular language", i.e. the one celebrated in the different national languages. The same could happen to the formulae of Baptism, Confirmation, Confession and of the other sacraments. In addition, the exchange of peace among the faithful during the Mass, which today takes place prior to the distribution of the Eucharist, could be anticipated (as in the Ambrosian rite) to the offertory so as not to disturb the recollection that precedes Communion.

These would be changes which would be added to the changes in the liturgy and regarding sacred vestments which the Pope, together with his Master of Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, has made in recent months, to recover ancient traditions: the restoration of the crucifix at the center of the altar, the distribution of Communion to the faithful in the mouth while kneeling, the recovery of the pastoral staff of Pius IX (the ferula), the changing of the style of pallium (the strip of white wool with red crosses worn by the Pope), the restoration of the papal throne used in the Consistory and the celebration of Mass with the back to the assembly, as happened in January in the Sistine Chapel.

A poster on the thread at Rorate Caeli made an astute observation:

I recall a video on You Tube by Bishop Bernard Fellay of the SSPX. It was from May of 2007 from their chapel in Oregon; he was giving a conference. At the time, he was not too confident that there would even be the motu proprio which came, thanks be to God, not long thereafter.

However, in this lecture he said, if I can paraphrase, “about a year ago spring 2006) I was made aware that a high-level panel was in secret, working on a new Missal for the Novus Ordo to repair the damage and make it more Catholic."

Essentially, it involved fewer options, though one option would be using the “Offertory” from the 1962 Missal in the vernacular in the Novus Ordo and the
suppression of all Eucharistic Prayers except EPI, the Roman Canon, and EPIII.

The three year lectionary would remain.

If this were to happen, it would make sense and it would coincide with the new Vox Clara Commission translation including the “pro multis.”

Could this then be true?

Could we also be on the verge of the elimination of the indult for Communion in the hand and a strong push or even mandatory ad orientem celebration?

If the above happens, would that not be a “Novus Ordo” that the SSPX, while not required to celebrate, could accept without theological reservation?
Certainly worth hoping and praying for.


Tony said...

As I posted on Rorate Caeli:

"We don't need a reform of the reform. Reforming an illegitimate rite such as the Novus Ordo is like trying to make a saint out of the devil. What we need is for the Holy Father to abolish the Novus Ordo completely and start afresh with the Tridentine Mass."

Vox Cantoris said...

Brother Anthony,

I am old enough to remember, as an altar boy, the 1965 Missal which was the Tridentine Mass in English with the intact Offertory. I believe that is what Pope Benedict is trying to achieve, it was the Mass envisioned, though still without the new lectionary, by the Fathers of the Council including Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Please do not refer to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass even in the Novus Ordo as "illegitimate." I find it insulting and I am sure that many other readers here do as well. It is the Holy Mass and you are not the Pope, nor is Fellay and Company!

Please also ask your mother or old aunts and uncles how they felt when the changes were thrust upon them and ask yourself if that is either wise or charitable to do to those today who through no fault of their own know no better.

Tony said...

I don't know why you insist that the 1965 rite is that envisioned by the Council Fathers. The vernacular can in no way be as sacred as the Mass in Latin. Read clearly what the Council of Trent said:

"If anyone says that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular tongue only; or that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice because it is contrary to the institution of Christ, let him be anathema."
Session XXII, Canon 9)

The 1965 rite is simply a preparation for the Novus Ordo.

In regards to immediate changes, it doesn't matter how people feel. If the Novus Ordo rite is insulting to God, which it is, then the Holy Father must stop it right away.

God's rights come first!

Anonymous said...

Vox Cantor... wow you're really getting a hard time from this dear brother. Do you notice that as reasonable as you try to be.. it doesn't compute. The issue here is not really conservative... it is much more complex. I admire your efforts to keep the conversation going.

Vox Cantoris said...

Brother Anthony,

Sacrosanctam Concilium did not eliminate Latin, in fact, it retained it. However, the root of the problem with the Council lies, and to which Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre attested, is indeed the ambiguity in this and other documents. The reasons can be speculated on but I believe Pope Benedict is on the right track and slowly intends to correct these. Surely the SSPX could help this happen by ending their prideful arrogance.

I do agree with you that the 1965 Missal was softening us up, the 1970 was hardly noticeable, we were already 100% in the vernacular (never envisioned), Mass faced the people (only to be an option, not the norm), Communion was take standing (not one document requiring it) and we had lay readers, banal hymns and pop music such as Let it Be and Bridge Over Troubled Water and I could go on but I'm feeling sick...

That being said, going back to something resembling the 1965 Missal for a reformed Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite may be where the future lies.

Vox Cantoris said...

Friar Rick,

He's a good Catholic man eminently courteous and pleasant to have coffee with!

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

The post clearly says:
"Pope is said to have the intention to restore Latin for the formula for the Eucharistic consecration within the Mass in the "vernacular language", "

That the POpes intention is that in the Mass celebrated in the vernacular, the Eucharistic Prayer would return to Latin.

Your statement for the Council:
"If anyone says that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular tongue only;"

It seems that having the Eucharistic Prayers I and III prayed in Latin (and eliminating the options to use II and IV) would eliminate at this one of your complaints. Though I am sure you have more.

Pascendi said...

Brother Anthony,

With all respect, you do not know what you write about. To call the new Mass as you do is an evident act of schism. Was the Mass promulgated by a Pope? To believe it was misguided, and error to do so, is one thing. But to claim it is "illegitimate" when promulgated by the legitimate authority is schism. The new Mass was promulgated by Peter and is to be accepted. By symbolically referring to it as a "devil" are you intimating that the new Mass is intrinsically evil?

Regarding Trent - Trent condemned the sole use of the vernacular, it did not state that Latin was more or less "sacred" than any other language. Trent also taught a lot on the validity of sacramental confession and jurisdiction. Either one follows Trent or one does not.

Tony said...

I would love to answer all the objections above, but when it is several against one, time is limited.

Let me make two important points, though:

1. Simply changing the Canon, for example, to Latin would not, I believe, satisfy the anathema given at the Council of Trent. Let us take a look at Trent's explanation regarding the use of the vernacular in the liturgy:


Though the mass contains much instruction for the faithful, it has, nevertheless, not been deemed advisable by the Fathers that it should be celebrated everywhere in the vernacular tongue. Wherefore, the ancient rite of each Church, approved by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being everywhere retained, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, or the little ones ask for bread and there is none to break it unto them, the holy council commands pastors and all who have the cura animarum that they, either themselves or through others, explain frequently during the celebration of the mass some of the things read during the mass, and that among other things they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on Sundays and festival days.

Let us also take into account that Trent was held to counter the errors of the Protestant revolution, where their liturgies had eliminated Latin. Furthermore, the resulting missal of Pope St. Pius V was entirely said in Latin, except for sections of instruction.

Based on the above arguments, we can reasonably conclude that the missal of 1965, Novus Ordo, and the reform of the reform attempted by Pope Benedict XVI would have been condemned by the the Council of Trent Fathers in regards to its vernacular use. And please don't even try to compare Vatican II against the Council of Trent. There is a wide chasm between them in regards to their authority.

2) I am really tired of people thinking that since the New Missal was promulgated (or at least permitted) by a pope, then it must automatically be okay. I have written about this topic in the following post:

The Church and the Pope

Anybody is welcome to challenge any of the points I make in it.

Vox Cantoris said...

Brother Anthony,

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, including Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, desired that in some places in the Mass, the vernacular could be used. This is clear in Sacrosanctam Concilium. There "error" was not being specific, though it can be implied that they meant in missionary territories, but also the readings and perhaps the orations and of course, the bidding prayers prior to the offertory.

You know full well that Archbishop Lefebvre was not opposed to the vernacular in most of the Mass of the Catechumens or what we now call in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Liturgy of the Word.

I think we all agree that Latin is desired, the issue really is not one of language but of theology (lex orendi) and the practice (lex credendi).

I know where you are going and that is to throw out the Second Vatican Council and rely soley on the Counci of Trent. This is not a valid arguement. The Council was a valid ecumencial Council and you cannot deny that without being proferring accustations of sedevacantism and schism if not outright, heresy.

We must go back to the Documents in their fullness and in light of Tradition. Tradition lives. If not then the SSPX should remove the name of St. Joseph from the Canan and in fact, say Mass in Greek, or better still, Syriac/Aramaic.

You are not under attack here. But you show great disrespect to our Holy Father which, I think, most of us find offensive.

Tony said...


I am not clear on what the Archbishop believed regarding the 1965 missal at the time it came out. Perhaps he was, as most other bishops, simply trusting in the Holy Father's decisions. What I do know is that he considered the 1962 missal to be the last acceptable one once he canonically founded his fraternity.

You are right that Latin is not the essential issue. However, from the Latin all other things, including theological terms, are developed. It is the bulwark of the language required for precise definitions, translations, etc. So it cannot be easily discounted (not that I am saying you are trying to do this).

In regards to Vatican II, I acknowledge it as a valid council just as I acknowledge the Novus Ordo Missae of being a valid Mass. However, validity is necessary, but not sufficient for a thing to be pleasing to God or of God. Our Lord may be validly consecrated in a satanic mass, but this does not mean that the mass is pleasing to God or of God. So it is with Vatican II and the New Mass. They are packed with errors or at least founded on errors. Therefore, they cannot be objectively pleasing to God or of God.

I respect the office of the pope and the person of the pope. He is my spiritual father. It is the words and actions of Joseph Ratzinger that, in many cases, I have no respect for, such as his ecumenical liturgical services. If he sins objectively against the Commandments of God, especially against the First, then I don't respect them. It is the same for a homosexual; love the sinner, but hate the sin. My denoucements are solely towards the words and actions that are objectively an offence against God and that have scandalized millions of Catholics and have led them into error.

Tom S. said...

Vox, I watched that Fellay video a number of times, but didn't remember that quote - fantastic recall, SIr!

That said, if Bp. Fellay was correct (and I believe he was) this project has been going on, more or less in secret, for OVER TWO YEARS! That must mean 1) It is being handled by men that the Pope can trust, else it would have been leaked in order to torpedo the process. and 2) the project must be pretty far along by this point. After all, there is no translation Kafka-ICEL style delay possible. It is already written, and could be implemented almost immediately. The only delay being the time to print up and send out new books (or inserts). In fact, IIRC, the 1965 "missal" wasn't really a new altar missal at all, simply an insert into the 1962 ones the churches had on hand.

Pascendi said...

Brother Anthony,

The retention of Latin was not based on dogma. As you quote in Trent, the Church was aware and approved of the vernacular in some of Her rites.

Another issue is the reason for the jettisoning of Latin in the mid/late 60s. However, by making extreme and untenable claims - such as an anathema over the use of the vernacular in the Roman rite (let us not forget, a disciplinary action of a Pope does NOT bind his successor. Thus, we have the example of St. Pius himself changing the missal after its promulgation; St. Pius X changing the Pian breviary etc., etc.).

To even attempt to draw a parallel between a satanic black mass and the novus ordo prayers is again, an evident act of schism. Are you stating dear brother that the ordinary Mass is satanic?
If the new Mass is not "objectively" pleasing to God - are you not stating (magisterially, I might add) that God the Father is rejecting the Sacrifice offered on the Altar? You are dabbling with heresy, for Trent specifically outlines that ONLY the Church can determine what is and what is not a sacrament...

Please do not let scandal also lead you into error.

The Cardinal said...

While you lads are slugging it out, allow me to point out that most canonists around the world are united in their opinion that when Benedict XVI (or, more acccurately, his advisers) stated in Summorum Pontificum that the Missal of Pius V was never abrogated, this was absolute nonsense. Paul VI, in an act of executive power embodied in the Apostolic Constitution at the front of the Roman Missal, 1970, abrogated the preceding rite, in the same way as all his predecessors had abrogated the preceding rites in their own day. it's a normative thing that popes do. Just to say that it did not happen doesn't make that true.

To provide an explanation of this apparent lapsus, canonists have had to resort to contortions, such as suggesting that the Pope must have meant that, since rebels continued to use the former rite, it had never in practice been abrogated, even though in law it had been. Or, as a well known liturgist put it, the Motu Proprio was a "reward for disobedience".

Vox Cantoris said...


Not exactly Sir.

Not everyone who desired the usus antiquior was as you say "disobedient." This was far more than just those in the Society of St. Pius X.

Since you are in England and no fan of Tradition since you hold Damian Thomson in contempt, perhaps you might wish to read this:

Tony said...


God the Father does not reject His Son's sacrifice on the altar, whether it be a black Mass, Novus Ordo, Tridentine, etc. The Son, at every valid Mass, is essentially offering Himself, which can never be objectively displeasing to God. However, when the rite (words and actions) of the Mass depart from the Traditional teaching of the Church regarding the Mass, such as in the Novus Ordo, then OUR active (interior or exterior) participation in the Mass becomes objectively displeasing because we give creedance to that rite. It is the similar for an Orthodox liturgy. Why is it that one cannot fulfull their Sunday obligation at their liturgy? Is the Mass not valid? It is because of giving creedance to schismatics as if they were in union with the Church.

Regarding the authority in the Church, please read my "The Church and the Pope" link above and argue specific points from there.

Pascendi said...

Brother Anthony,

The new Mass, like any other rite of mass, in its essentials is absolutely equivalent to the Tridentine Mass - it is of divine institution - because its substance and subjection of the priest to Christ assures that, no matter the confusion of the priest...

A black "mass" is totally different, whereby the apsotate priest confects the Real Presence to not offer the Sacrifice to God, but to mock and degrade it. Are you really suggesting that the new Mass - which offers the Body and Blood of Christ for the Church etc., is in essence satanic? Please answer the readers: do you, or do you not consider the new Mass to be intrinsically evil.

On papal authority. Please review Session 4 of the dogmatic constitution of Vatican I.

I must also point out to you that (according to St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Robert Bellarmine) a subject is bound to obey his superior, even if the action commanded is probably sinful. To disobey the action (thought etc.) must be INTRINSICALLY evil, and MUST be manifest, known and obvious.

Again, is the new Mass intrinsically evil and, if so, is this evil manifest, known and obvious? If it is evil, how do you reconcile a Pope promulgating an "evil" mass and remaining pope? If it is "probable" why do you refuse filial obedience to the Holy Father?

Tony said...

Pascendi asked:

"Do you not consider the new Mass to be intrinsically evil?"

Yes, I do because it has been well demonstrated that the New Mass is based on theological errors. Check out:

The Problem with the Liturgical Reform

Pascendi said:

How do you reconcile a Pope promulgating an "evil" mass and remaining pope?

Pascendi, do I have to sound like a broken record? If you read my article "The Church and the Pope" that I linked to earlier, your question will be answered.

Pascendi said...

Brother Anthony,

I have read that monograph when it came out several years ago. I believe it - in the substance of the sacrament - to be in error. Its main thesis is refuted admirably by the Rev Fr. Jonathan Robinson in his book "Walking to Heaven Backwards", where he reviews the book.

I should also point out to you that it is not the private opinion of Bishop Fellay that the new Mass is "intrinsically evil". In fact, even that monograph does not make that heretical claim.

Dear Brother, how can you still claim filial obedience to a pope who (even more diabolically than a satanic black mass) promulgates and hoists on the Church an "intrinsically evil" Mass that, as a result - is even more evil than a satanic black mass?

You see where you are going, dear brother? I strongly urge you to read Pius IX's admonition to the Old Catholics.

Satan seeks to sift all like wheat - he wishes us out of the Church, whether through the "front" "back" "right or "left" door - as long as we are out.

Come back brother, the Church always awaits you with open arms. if your mother is ill, she needs you kneeling by her bedside, bathing her brow, she does not need you fleeing from her illness. Those who flee do so out if fear and a lack of trust. True love dispels all fear.

Tony said...


I will attempt to read Fr. Jonathan Robinson's rebuttal. What point exactly are you refuting in the book?

Tony said...


I never said that the New Mass was more evil than a Black Mass. I was using it as an example of validity not being sufficient for an objectively pleasing Mass to God, in our co-operation in it, that is.

Tony said...


I looked up the book and I can't seem to find a rebuttal to the "Problem of the Liturgical Reform". Without me needing to buy the book, please point out the essence the argument to me in that book.

The Cardinal said...

Since you have censored and removed our most recent exchange, I trust you will allow this one to stand.

With regard to the inaccurate Latin Mass Society analysis:

"Paul VI followed exactly the same procedure with his Missal as Pius V had with the Missal and Breviary in 1570, Clement VIII in 1595 with the Roman Pontifical, Pius X with the psalter of the Breviary in 1911, and Pius XII with the Holy Week rites in 1955. In all these cases, the previous usage was abrogated and replaced by the new. This is the Church's constant practice."

These are not my words but those of a respected peritus at the Council, alas now dead.

Vox Cantoris said...


Stay on topic and be respectful and you will not be deleted.

Which peritus? Bugnini perhaps?

Seriously, do you take the word of deceased peritus knowing how discredited most of them as liberals and modernists were. We still bear the scars in Canada of our own brilliant, Jewish convert, former priest, married presbyterian minister and author of the Winnipeg Statement, Gregory Baum. If it is this type of so-called expert then I give them little credence.

You obviously reject Cardinals Ratzinger, Stickler, Gagnon and the others who said the exact opposite.

Please, tell me you're not going to be as my friend Brother Anthony, T.O.S.F. and set yourself up as Pope and Magisterium all in one!

Pascendi said...

Brother Anthony,

The essence of the argument is that the new Mass is a Sacrifice and not just a memorial (all Masses, in all rites are memorials as well).

Be that as it may, both books are private opinions. Opinions are fallible - yours and mine. In matters of Faith and morals we only have certainty with the Church.

With regards to the new Mass being "intrinsically evil" (maybe one or two steps behind a black mass??) you do, in a protestant manner, set yourself up (as Vox wrote so correctly) Pope and Magisterium as you deem the new Mass to be "subjectively
" displeasing to God. Since, according to you, a displeasing Sacrifice must be rejected (as was Cain's) how can you then argue that God accepts and yet rejects the Sacrificial Offering in the new Mass? This sounds like a form of gnosticism.



You might be interested in this letter of Cardinal Stickler's, dated November 27, 2004.

Dear Friends,

You wish to issue a new edition of the celebrated Short Critical Study of the New Order of Mass of Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci.

I can only fervently encourage you in this and I bless your undertaking that it might result in making this important text known to a greater number.

Indeed, the analysis of the “Novus Ordo” made by these two eminent cardinals has lost none of its value nor, unfortunately, its timeliness.

As a member of the preparatory commissions and an expert in liturgy at the Second Vatican Council, I myself lived through the profound upheavals which followed the liturgical reform.

The decree Sacrosanctum Concilium would seem to suggest a reform in the bosom of the Catholic Church, and not an upheaval accompanied by a hasty fabrication of new rituals. These innovations opened the way too much for those who, perhaps without consciously willing it, would allow, as our pope Paul VI said, “the smoke of Satan” to enter the Church.

The results of the reform are judged by many today to be devastating. This was the merit of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to discover very quickly that the radical modification of the rites resulted in a fundamental change of doctrine.

Fortunately, the latin roman Mass so-called of St Pius V has never been forbidden: priests and faithful can always draw from the source of the Lex orandi (law of praying) and in this way live faithfully the Lex credendi (law of believing).

It is, therefore, praiseworthy and useful, as you plan, to make heard once again, 35 years afterwards, the voice of these two princes of the Church, defenders of doctrine, catholic Tradition and the Papacy.

Be assured, dear friends, of my paternal blessing and of my prayers at the tomb of St. Peter.


Alphons Cardinal Stickler

The Cardinal said...

Has anyone on this forum read Piero Marini's recent book "A Challenging Reform" in which he blows the gaff on people like Ottaviani and Bacci? I'm sure you'll find it interesting, if you haven't seen it.

And no, the peritus was not Bugnini. Get a copy of "Voices from the Council" and find out what you've been missing.

Vox Cantoris said...


I won't put one cent in Marini's pocket. Interesting no, that it was published in English not Italian?

Have you read my friend Father Neil Roy's critique on Adoramus or that of Father George Rutler?

You can google them.

Thank you for your input to the debate, but I'll take Pope Benedict and Marini II thank you.