The SSPX, This Blog And You.
After an observation or two in the comment box, it is perhaps fitting to say one or two words about this little effort, so that any uncertainty that there might have been in less attentive – or less assiduous – readers is definitively dispelled.
1. Read the statement from Robert De Piante on the right hand column of this blog:
What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now.
This is probably the most famous statement expressing in just a few words the essence of traditional Catholicism. It is there for a reason. I do not exclusively employ the term “traditionalist” because I think that “conservative” Catholic also perfectly fits the bill, though in a wider sense. Since this blog’s inception almost three years ago, pretty much all of my posts have been tagged “traditional Catholicism”. If some post isn’t, it’s because I forgot. My blog “line” (the one you also read on every search engine) is also very telling: tradidi quod et accepi, another famous traditionalist “punchline” commonly associated with the SSPX.
2. My blog posts in support of the SSPX are very many, though they are certainly not enough in number or worthy enough in their quality. I do not think I have ever been ambiguous in my approval of their work both in the present time and at the time of the disobedience/refusal to close down the seminary in Econe/appointment of the four bishops. Where I stood in the matter of the preambolo dottrinale is also very clear to everyone who reads my blog with a minimum of regularity and attention, and I dare to say I have made myself clear in as open a way as I could without thinking I was failing to show the proper respect to the office – and in the case of Pope Benedict, the person – of the Pontiff.
3. I attend very often Novus Ordo Masses, and will continue to do so. This I do because I fear the effect that an entrenchment on the Traditional Mass would have on me, given my uncompromising nature and the resulting tendency to incendiary emotions and hardline militancy; emotions and militancy that can be very dangerous, and might well lead me astray unless I recognise the problem and act accordingly to counter them and soften my approach. Therefore, as long as I have no doubt that the Novus Ordo Masses I attend to are sacramentally valid, I plan to continue to do so for as long as I see the danger of slowly slipping into Sedevacantism if I don’t. I also see it as a form of penance, when I reflect that our sins (mine, and yours; not only the clergy’s) are also a cause of the present mess.
Through the participation to a second-rate – but by all means not invalid – Mass, I figure I show the Lord my loyalty to the Church even when it hurts, and at the same time keep my inner religious arsonist in check. But this does not mean I think you should do the same. The Novus Ordo is vastly inferior to the Traditional Mass (I do love to call it “Tridentine”, by the way), and if you can and want to attend it every time, more power to you. For the same reason (obedience to the Pope in as much as I can without conflicting with 2000 years of Catholicism) I go to confession to Novus Ordo priests, as I have up to now never met a priest in the confessional who was such a clown as to make me think, after due reflection, the absolution was not valid. I think most of my readers do the same. Or you can say this: as long as I think a Novus Ordo priest can provide me with a valid absolution, I personally see no reason to confess to an SSPX priest. But if had valid, constant reason to fear then I would happily recur to the services of the SSPX priest. But again, personal fears play a role in my decision: the day I decide a NO priest isn’t good enough, how far am I from Sedevacantism? You may not have the problem. I do. Novus Ordo confessor is it, then.
Still, either the SSPX have supplied jurisdiction, or they haven’t. As I am persuaded they have, after long reflection and opportune readings I have reached the conclusion that I can’t see how this should not be extended to confession. The SSPX priests also obviously think in the same way, and as I would trust my path to salvation much more eagerly to them than to the most conservative of the Cardinals, I can’t see anything wrong in that. In times in which the Popes are bad Catholics, a religious order can certainly be more Catholic than the Pope. Since March, I’d say this is not difficult at all even for a properly instructed layman. The Holy Ghost never promised the Pope would be a good Catholic, or would know the Ten Commandments, or wouldn’t be a murderer, a robber, a fornicator, an accommodating coward, or a pious nincompoop. Read the contract attentively, it’s in the small print.
4. In consequence of all the above, I think it should be clear enough to any reasonable reader what this blog is about. I notice, though, here and there a certain tendency – again, perhaps the fruit of insufficient reflection – to approve of what I write without considering what this necessarily entails. If you think that the SSPX are in formal Schism, then you must think that they endanger souls. If you think so, already the reading of the quote mentioned above and of the blog line should be reason enough for you to strongly disapprove of this blog, whose support of the SSPX is as staunch as its author can express with words. To behave any differently means either to take one’s own salvation lightly, or to read this blog because of the titillation coming from the enjoyment of my somewhat robust prose (and many thanks for the compliment!), but without sufficient reflection as to the values this little effort constantly tries to defend.
I do not write this blog for the sake of a vast audience. I have never searched popularity or approval. Wretched sinner as I am, I write this in the first place in the hope the Blessed Virgin will one day look at my effort and find it certainly inadequate and unworthy, but not entirely useless.
I take my salvation extremely seriously. I spend a lot of time thinking of it, praying for it, hoping for it, fearing for it. I have found that the best course to follow is to be on the side of 2000 years of Catholicism; no ifs, no buts, and most certainly no Pinocchios. Faithful to the Church always. Obedient to the Pope as long as that faithfulness is not challenged. Whilst I am sure the day I die many horrible sins will reemerge to haunt my conscience, I am very confident my support for the SSPX will be on my assets, not my liabilities column. You who read these lines, do you think the same?
My dear reader, please reflect on the consequences of your reading this blog. Be wise and do not follow it merely for the sake of emotional satisfaction and enjoyment of my somewhat, ahem, Italian writing style. If the SSPX is wrong, then they are entirely wrong, as is this blog. If they are in schism, then not only 2000 years of Catholicism are in schism but both yours truly and you are, with my approval of them and your approval of me, being an accessory in this sin.
Of course, I do not think they are in schism, because I do not think 2,000 years of Catholicism can be declared “schismatic” without contradicting the very essence of what Catholicism is. I think the safest way is to live and die on the side of these 2,000 years, rather than following the madness of a new way of thinking that came to power during the Kennedy/ Khrushchev era. If logic and common sense were not enough to persuade me of this, the immense devastation of the last 50 years would.
Stuff Pinocchio. I for myself will take my refuge, and put my hope, in the Church transmitted to my grandmothers and to countless generations of devout Catholics before them; then if we are wrong now, they were wrong then. If they were right then, we are right now.
Posted on June 30, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, FSSPX, Good Shepherds, Traditional Catholicism and tagged Novus ordo Mass, Sedevacantism, SSPX, Traditional Mass, Vatican II. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.
I am much less versed in these canonical matters than you. I googled “Are the SSPX in schism?” I went to Father Z’s blog for an answer and found out that it is a confusing issue and am under the impression that it’s a very grey area. Father Z thinks they are not.
That is good enough for me. I will not refer to them as schismatics again. I am sorry if I appeared flippant and not in unity with your tendencies about all things Catholic which I find spot on. I am thrilled that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter exists and whenever in San Diego attend Mass at their parish. It is an island of sanity, beauty and truth in a crazy world. I come back to Salt Lake and am fed crumbs for the most part.
I understand the profound loss incurred with Benedict’s failure to bring the SSPX back into complete union with Rome, but understand your peace of heart that perhaps it wasn’t the right time after all.
You have my continued prayers for your blogging ministry.
Thanks for your beautiful words and your understanding.
I do think, in fact, that there can be no doubt the SSPX are not in Schism, nor could they ever be.
I will post on this when time allows. Please remember to call them schismatic is the weapon of choice of the modernist and neo modernist crowd. This is why I had a robust reaction.
Thanks again for your understanding.
I did not realize you had responded to my comment in another posting and went to your link and find it all very fascinating, especially the incident in Hawaii. Thank you. May I end with a hearty “May God Bless Us Everyone–especially the SSPX”.
Dear Mundabor. I find a lot of myself in how you describe you own self.
I too go to the Lil’ Licit Liturgy (about 1/2 the time) although The Real Mass is infinitely superior but Truth has been so dissolved by Ecumenism, the Universal Solvent, that I can not say that the Vatican Two Popes believe what was believed by the 260 Popes who preceded Vatican Two – especially if we judge them on their actions which, presumably, indicate what they truly believe.
Oncet, I was a strident opponent of The SSPX and I emptied my rhetorical machine gun at them and I have had numerous occasions in the past five years to lament and apologise for they way I attacked them and, day by day, they appear to me to have been right all along.
We have arrived at the Advent of the Death of Conservative Catholicism and Pope Francis is its Mastro Titta
One can never tell, but I have the suspicion the Pope Francis of the world (himself, and probably his immediate successors, seen that there is much to be feared concerning his appointments) will be the best publicity and most effective vindication for the SSPX.
What you call “conservative Catholicism” (the “slightly right of centre”, but “how blessed we are in Pope Francis” fraction) is dead in the water, and they are the only one who still haven’t grasped it. I imagine the fantasies about conspiracies against the Holy Father (the Holy Father is saintly by definition; so there must be some other explanation) will greatly increase in intensity and inventiveness.
Beautiful post! I don’t believe the SSPX is in schism, either, though we generally go to a Novus Ordo Mass–the most reverently-offered one we can find in our area. I can honestly say that, having been born in 1973, I don’t really know what I’ve missed. I’ve only attended one Tridentine Mass in my entire life, and that was years after my re-verting to the Catholic faith at age 22, since my family left the Church when I was too young to grasp much beyond a change in our Sunday routine. Since we accept that the Novus Ordo is valid (though inferior) and considerably easier to get to (for our family, anyway), that’s what we choose to do. I’m glad it qualifies as penance, because often, even in parishes where it is offered with more reverence, there is still plenty to offer up (the music, the warm-fuzzy exchange right after the Consecration, homilies that are designed more to entertain than to teach, etc.).
I thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre, though, and for the SSPX. God bless them and you, and may God help us all.
Well I don’t know that it “qualifies as penance”, I simply mean that when I see something stupid I offer it up to God…
Having experienced the TLM I too believe that the NO is very much inferior .strange as it may seem to some I feel that I take a more active part in the TLM even though the one I attend is a low Mass and does not require responses from the congregation. I have never felt so moved by a Mass. Many years ago I was very much involved with the liturgy in my parish. Folk Masses were the big thing and all the most dreadful hymns . The SSPX and Lefebvre were laughed at as being stuck in the past and in fact off their heads. Well time certainly has proved the SSPX right. Before Mass and after Mass now people sit and chat. Genuflecting doesn’t seem to be important anymore. The altar servers dive on and off the sanctuary and pay little heed to the tabernacle. The priest’s homily is usually about God loving us all which makes you wonder why you have bothered to attend Mass since it doesn’t really matter what you do we are all going to heaven. Belief in the real presence has gone for many Catholics. Community is the most important thing.It’s strange how people can get all worked up about the SSPX and the TLM but don’t seem to have any reaction to clergy having no problem with gay unions or Masses for transvestites etc. I say well done to the SSPX for upholding the Catholic faith. We have been lied to for the past 50 years about the TLM. How dare they deprive us of this beautiful Mass. I love your blog mundabor but I fear for the future with PF HE is not fit for the role. God help us all
I’d like to comment on SSPX and the attempted reconciliation with Rome. I guess I’ll never know for certain, on this side of the veil, but I do not believe that Rome was negotiating with them in 100% good faith. There is evidence that they were not, which disappoints me as I love Pope Benedict. I don’t believe they were 100% truthful before Archbishop Lefebvre ordained the 4 bishops either. I currently attend a diocesan TLM, for which I’m very thankful.
Father Z, like any human, has his biases. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”
I am nearly 67 years old. I remember the Tridentine Mass clearly. I recall the clear and constant teaching given to me in religious matters in Church and at school to which I still fully subscribe. I recall the trauma of the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass. I recall the horror of hearing some priests contradict things that I had been taught. I recall seeing the beautiful church that I attended in my childhood become a ‘Methodist Meeting Hall’ in appearance. In spite of all these things (and many more) I will never leave the Church. The fewer of us in the Church who cleave to the ancient truths, the harder it will be for it to find its way back. We must stay, set an example and fight, we must never leave the Church to do so is desertion in the face of the enemy.
What a refreshing post. You have summarized my thoughts (and my approach to the situation) quite succinctly. It is a blessing to know that there are others who have come to the same conclusion as I have regarding the SSPX’s “irregular” canonical situation, and that I’m not alone in my thinking. I attend the Tridentine mass (my preferred name as well) nearly exclusively, but I’m with you in needing to guard myself against the error of sedevacantism.
God bless you, Mundabor – I enjoy reading your posts immensely. Keep up the good work!
Going to Novus Ordo Masses used to be a form of obedience and penance for me, too. Those motives were wrong: obedience, wrong in that I trusted Rome knew for sure that God wants Christ offered this way; and, punishment, wrong in that such an offering seemed a fictional form of “make believe” (hmmm, just realized this is Pinnochio) – an unholy pseudo-eucharist which I (considered to be the scum of the earth) was given the only option of attending due to my insufficiencies in the sight of God. I was not good enough to offer a better sacrifice or to worship more worthily – not incapable, but just not good enough.
Thinking more clearly on this after your post (and since I have a choice in the matter), I realize that I had fallen for a demonic N.O. sense of worldliness upon which Protestantized worship is based. The main point that I feel most strongly about now is that I mistakenly thought the Mass was about me, rather than Christ. This is due to VII teachings and practices. Also, I am not loyal to anyone/anything that degrades Christ in anyone’s eyes.
I was convinced by the unholy way the Mass is celebrated that “Jesus can take it” if my attention is not on Him, or if I choose not to worship Him in the most holy manner possible. I focused on my imperfections as an excuse to offer an unholy sacrifice of myself at a Mass I considered most unholy – or to not offer myself at all. I found myself impelled to go to Church for an unavoidable occasion of sin in the worst possible manner, offering a despicably and intentionally inferior sacrifice, in the very face of Christ. The N.O. offends Christ. I admit, I thought nothing of insulting Christ, and that is most horrible! Though I never believed it holy, I submitted to “communion in the hand” approved by Rome (even received from a laywoman), and dutifully received it every time I went, just like everyone else. I admit, after some extremely bad experiences (which boil down to intimidation), during the “peace” part, I often went into the lobby until it was over then returned to my seat so that I would not sin. I admit, I chose to walk through every aisle to get into the line to receive communion on the tongue from the priest himself.
Those are reasons why I go to the Tridentine Mass. Nothing will turn my attention away from Christ or make me think He does not deserve the very best. I will not go to the Novus Ordo or its progeny again. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is about Christ, not us.
I hope I’ve said this in an understandable way and that you will forgive me if I have spoken out of place. God bless you, Mundabor, and may the Angels and Saints help you always.
You have said in a very understandable and very beautiful way, Linda, and more power to you. We obviously disagree on some points – I cannot believe the entire Church offers a “despicable” sacrifice, and one that offends Christ, though it is certainly inferior in reverence – but I fully understand where you are coming from.
Beautiful post Mundabor and reason why so many read you every day.
Just a couple of thoughts from someone who no longer attends the Novus Ordo in any case, but who juggled the very same concerns you’ve alluded to in this post.
In our move back to Tradition, I was blessed to have found a wonderful spiritual guide, a friend, a teacher, a true gift from God. And he explained it this way: “It’s not only a question of validity, attending the Novus Ordo is also a question of sacrilege and of offering God less than our very best. As good Catholics we cannot do ANYTHING that would offend Our Lord and this is reason enough to not attend NO masses.”
As you know, the Novus Ordo mass we have today was not the one that was promulgated in 1968. When it first came out, the priest faced the tabernacle, the consecration was still in Latin, people received on their knees and on the tongue, no female altar servers, women were veiled, it was probably still very reverent,and yes valid. But this is not what we have today. What we have today is an abomination. We don’t need to talk about all the profane abuses, all the freakish masses since then, the internet is full of these examples.
So, the point is then, since we are all obligated to offer God our very best, the “firstlings of the flock,” the question becomes how can we possibly offer Him the Novus Ordo sacrifice when we can offer Him something SO much more profoundly beautiful, so much more profoundly perfect in the Tridentine mass? If I know that I can offer God better, then I may actually be sinning by offering him the inferior. No?
And then there is also the question of grace. We know that the holy sacraments and the Holy Mass especially are the conduits of God’s graces. Therefore, if we offer him less (the inferior Novus Ordo) it necessarily follows that we will be the recipient of less graces. Therefore, you may actually be shortchanging yourself by assisting at the Novus Ordo mass. You may see it as a penance, but God may see it as an offense, (especially because you know the difference) and offer you less graces. It’s something to think about.
Finally, Mundabor, you have the gift of faith. There are probably many who look to you and say, “See, now here’s a good Catholic and he attends the Novus Ordo, so therefore the Novus Ordo must be okay.” Without understanding all the nuances, they are concluding that your presence there is your approval of the Novus Ordo. And it’s a natural conclusion, for if you didn’t approve, you wouldn’t attend.
Your point about not going to the Society because you worry about how far you would then be from the sede’s (or how close) is an interesting one and one that displays your humility in that you know your limits. But, I think you might be wrong? The society will NEVER be sedevacantist, ever, so under their protection, neither could you ever be. You said it, Mundabor, they are what we once were and we were NEVER EVER sedevacantists, nor will we ever be.
We need men like you to say no more to the Novus Ordo. We’re talking about the salvation of souls. Nothing less.
Just my two worthless cents…. PAX
Another interesting – and beautiful in parts; and scary in other parts – post, that is the basis for some observation some may find useful.
1. I refuse to see the Novus Ordo as an abomination. I positively and squarely refuse to do so. If the NO is an abomination, the Church is a fraud. It cannot be that the Church of Christ has decided to offer an abomination worldwide, and it still is the Church of Christ. If I believed that, then I would be forced to believe that there is no Peter, that the Pope is an impostor and a masquerade. Again, I refuse to do so. In fact, as I have explained the only reason why I continue to attend the NO is that I do not want, one day, to think that the NO is an abomination. If a particular NO Mass is more than I can stomach, I can find another NO, or three. On no account would I ever think I am the one to decide that the Rite in itself is an abomination, and I am too good for what the Church offers me.
It’s good to eat hard bread in a while. It still is the bread of life, and it keeps one honest. Works for me, at least.
2. I never said I am afraid that the Society might become Sedevacantist. My point is rather that if I pamper myself with the TLM every Sunday, I might end up thinking the NO is … an abomination. Should life, then, keep me away from a TLM I would then, coherently, not attend anymore. The one at risk is myself, not them. Now, either the NO (I mean, as a Mass; in abstract; and properly celebrated) is valid or it isn’t. I truly do not think it is for me to say. I am a Catholic for a reason. Now, if I had serious reason to think some local NO is not sacramentally valid, I wouldn’t attend there. If one has a TLM, I will encourage him to go there; if one hasn’t there, I would encourage him to travel further to find one in reasonable distance. But if I heard him talking like you do, I would suggest that he attends a NO Mass every now and then, too.
3. Yes, the NO might bring less graces. It probably does. Particularly if one gets angry. But hey, I can’t have my cake and eat it. To people like me, there are dangers on both side. Ben there, done that. Let me say very frankly that I do not want to die thinking that the Mass the Church of Christ offers me is an abomination, and offends Christ. Probably 99% of the Masses offered in the Roman Rite are NO. Many of them are reverently celebrated – even in Germany I can find decent ones without trouble -. If we throw the NO qua NO out of the window, we are saying the Church is a fraud to 99%. Thanks, but no, thanks.
4. You vastly overstate my influence as a blogger; but yes, I could influence the one or the other. On no account, then, would I ever suggest to them that they stay away from a NO Mass if they cannot have the TLM; because truly, the very thought is scary. The TLM is better, but the NO is still good, because it still is the Mass.
Second choice, I agree. But whoa, pay attention what you say.
One day I might well decide to only attend the TLM. Actually, it would be the more pleasant option by far. To do so, I would have to feel very safe that no antics of our clergy will drive me to distraction. I wish I could give you this security, but unfortunately I can’t, or a part of me is afraid one day I could make such a mistake… You see, I could end up – and I say this without animosity, but with a certain apprehension – thinking like you, and I really do not want to.
I will cling to the acceptability of the NO as I cling to the Church. I do not live in Hippyland. Plenty of reverent masses around here. Actually, my “mass tourism” also has the aim of seeing how things are, examining the lay of the land. Honestly, it could be much worse.
I belong to the Church. I love the Church even when she slaps me in the face. Already once I stopped attending because I thought I knew better, and was better. Already once I thought I do not need to go and listen to a stupid priest talking stupid waffle (obviously, no clue about the real reason why I went to Mass). Never again. If the Lord gives me less graces for that, so be it. I will accept the slap from him as I accept the love, and I will accept whatever slap I take for taking part to the Mass the Church of Christ gave me. Because, you see, the NO is still the standard Mass of the Only Church, and I can’t throw the one from the window without throwing the other.
5. Then let us think to the end. if the NO is an abomination, the priest who celebrates the NO mass is an accomplice in this abomination. Not only the Mass might well be invalid – you probably think it is – but the other sacraments are, probably, too. What then? Do 99% of Catholic priest not impart a valid absolution? How many babies are validly baptised? How many adults validly married? How many of them, actually, validly priests?
It’s a slippery slope.
P.S. To all my twelve readers. I believe the NO is okay. I truly do. Vastly inferior to the TLM, for sure; but seriously, it’s fine.
I hope it will die one day, of course; but as long as it doesn’t, it will deliver all right. It’s the Mass of the Church after all.
You would be better served and more inspired by the TLM; but probably not, if this leads you to think a properly celebrated NO stinks.
regarding your answer to recoveringnovusordo,
I believe you should make it into an article and post it somewhere every reader of this blog can easily find it. It is a truly beautiful statement of sanity, allegiance to and love for the Church.
Their attitude towards the NO is the one point where I have to part ways with the SSPX. They argue that the rite is objectively evil because it promotes a wrong theology of the Mass as meal, ecumenism etc. No Catholic should attend it, they say, even if that meant not attending at all. On this matter, I believe they are wrong, and gravely so, for exactly the reasons you have stated far better than I ever could.
As long as it is valid, I will attend whatever strange rite the Church sets before me, in order to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass during which the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself is truly and substantially present.
One disquieting point about validity, though: A Mass is only valid if the intention of the priest is to do what the Church does when celebrating Mass. Given the modernist instruction, new (wrong) theologies of the Mass, and obvious lack of faith in the Real Presence on the part of many priests, how can we be sure of this, especially if we do not know the priest in question, and that he is solid on this matter? Do they intend to transsubstantiate? The texts of the Mass themselves are sufficiently vague to permit many different interpretions as to what actually happens at the Mass. The second “eucharistic prayer” does not even speak of sacrifice, to give just one example. Archbishop Lefebvre has often made this point. Over time, he argued, the NO will come to be invalid in most instances, even though the rite as such remains valid. Most of the time, this is no practical concern for me, as the NO parish I normally attend, is blessed with a priest who most assuredly does what the Church does, but it is a problem when someone else celebrates Mass at “my” parish or I attend Mass somewhere else. Given the usual creative surges of celebrants and attendant lay circus during the “Gottesdienst” (they do not tend to call it Mass…), I have serious doubts as to the intention of the “presider”, and by extension, about validity.
I have read sources from the SSPX (do not remember where) saying the NO can be invalid, but I think like you it would be way off the mark to simply write it down. This particular writer suggested along the lines to avoid the NO Masses who aren’t celebrated exactly as they should. I can’t remember reading any paper from them defining the NO as evil, or an abomination. If I had, I would have discarded it as a rant way out of line, promptly forgotten.
As to the consecration, I would have to read more about this, but if memory serves I have found two different opinions:
1. the consecration is valid as long as the priest does what he is expected to do. The faithful don’t have to be concerned about his internal forum.
2. If the priest does not believe in transubstantiation, there is no transubstantiation either.
The former seems the more logical to me, but again I am no theologian. To make it dependent on the internal forum of the priest seems to me to say that even in the most orthodox of countries and ages, no one is sure, ever. How this would work is, as I write – I might become smarter one day – beyond me. For this reason, when I attend a NO Mass I pay attention to what I know must be there (the way the priest celebrates, the vessels), but am not concerned with what I cannot know (what the priest thinks).
A few quotes in regard to the SSPX position that the New Mass is evil and in many cases of doubtful validity: (links follow in the next post)
I apologize in advance for the length of the following quotes.
1. From the FAQ on the homepage of the American District of the SSPX:
The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, …is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith. (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 29)
The dissimulation of Catholic elements and the pandering to Protestants which are evident in the Novus Ordo Missae render it a danger to our faith, and, as such, evil, given that it lacks the good which the sacred rite of Mass ought to have.
This [that the NO is invalid] does not necessarily follow from the above defects, as serious as they might be, for only three things are required for validity (presupposing a validly ordained priest), proper:
However, the celebrant must intend to do what the Church does. The Novus Ordo Missae will no longer in and of itself guarantee that the celebrant has this intention. That will depend on his personal faith (generally unknown to those assisting, but more and more doubtful as the crisis in the Church is prolonged).
Therefore, these Masses can be of doubtful validity, and more so with time.
2. From “Is the New Mass legit” on the homepage of the American District
Now, even if one wanted to contest the heretical elements of the New Mass, the sole refusal to profess Catholic dogmas quintessential to the Mass renders the new liturgy deficient. It is like a captain who refuses to provide his shipmen with a proper diet. They soon become sick with scurvy due, not so much to direct poison, as from vitamin deficiency. Such is the new Mass. At best, it provides a deficient spiritual diet to the faithful. The correct definition of evil—lack of a due good—clearly shows that the New Mass is evil in and of itself regardless of the circumstances. It is not evil by positive profession of heresy. It is evil by lacking what Catholic dogma should profess: the True Sacrifice, the Real Presence, the ministerial priesthood.
3. From the generally rather moderate German District:
Wie steht die Priesterbruderschaft St. Pius X. zur “Neuen Messe” Papst Pauls VI.?
Tatsächlich wurden in den neuen Texten die Hinweise auf das Sühneopfer entfernt, die Atmosphäre des Mahles beim Abendmahl auf Kosten des Opfercharakters verstärkt und die Anbetung, die Zahl der Kreuzzeichen und die der Kniebeugungen verringert.
Im neuen Ritus zielt alles darauf hin, das katholische Dogma über die heilige Messe, wie es vom Konzil von Trient definiert wurde, durch protestantische Begriffe zu ersetzen. Die Intention wird sich dadurch schließlich auf einen protestantisierten Ritus beziehen und nicht mehr auf das, was die Kirche aller Zeiten für alle Zeit vollbringt. Hinzu kommen noch die schlechten Übersetzungen, die willkürlichen Anpassungen, die eigenen Einfälle der Zelebranten (die ‘Kreativität’), etc. – viele Ursachen einer möglichen Ungültigkeit und jedenfalls des Sakrilegs!
Der zu ziehende Schluss ist klar: Wir haben die Pflicht, uns für gewöhnlich von diesem neuen Ritus fernzuhalten. Nur in Ausnahmefällen, wie etwa bei einer Hochzeit oder bei einem Begräbnis, dürfen wir ihm beiwohnen. Dies jedoch auch nur dann, wenn wir die moralische Gewissheit haben, dass die Messe gültig und nicht sakrilegisch ist. Das gilt für die gesamte Liturgiereform. Es ist daher besser, nur einmal im Monat zur wahren heiligen Messe zu gehen, wenn es nicht anders möglich ist, dann in noch größeren Abständen, als an einem Ritus mit protestantischem Beigeschmack teilzunehmen, der uns die unserem Herrn geschuldete Anbetung, vielleicht sogar Seine wahre Gegenwart vorenthält. Die Eltern müssen ihren Kindern erklären, warum sie lieber zu Hause beten, als an einer Zeremonie teilzunehmen, die für ihren Glauben gefährlich ist.
4. And, finally, Archbishop Lefebrvre himself (1975):
All of these changes which comprise the new Liturgy of the Mass are truly of perilous consequence, especially for younger priests. Not having been nourished with the doctrines of the Sacrifice, of the Real Presence, of Transubstantiation, these no longer have any significance for young priests who, as a result, soon lose the intention to perform what the Church performs. Consequently, they no longer celebrate valid Masses.
Older priests, on the other hand, even when they celebrate according to the Novus Ordo, may still have the Faith of all time. For years they have celebrated Mass according to the Tridentine rite, and in accordance with the intentions of that rite, we can assume that their Masses are valid. To the degree, however, that these intentions disappear, even their Masses may become invalid.
5. And in “An Open Letter to Confused Catholics”:
Then, from being puzzled Catholics you become worried Catholics: is the Mass at which you have assisted valid? Is the Host you have received truly the Body of Christ?
It is a grave problem. How can the ordinary faithful decide? For the validity of a Mass there exists essential conditions: matter, form, intention and the validly ordained priest. If these conditions are filled one cannot see how to conclude invalidity. The prayers of the Offertory, the Canon and the Priest’s Communion are necessary for the integrity of the Sacrifice and the Sacrament, but no, for its validity. Cardinal Mindzenty pronouncing in secret in his prison the words of Consecration over a little bread and wine, so as to nourish himself with the Body and Blood of Our Lord without being seen by his guards, was certainly accomplishing the Sacrifice and the Sacrament.
A Mass celebrated with the American bishop’s honeycakes of which I have spoken is certainly, invalid, like those where the words of the Consecration are seriously altered or even omitted. I am not inventing anything, a case has been recorded where a celebrant went to such an extent of creativity that he quite simply forgot the Consecration! But how can we assess the intention of the priest? It is obvious that there are fewer and fewer valid Masses as the faith of priests becomes corrupted and they no longer have the intention to do what the Church–which cannot change her intention–has always done. The present-day training of those who are called seminarians does not prepare them to accomplish valid Masses. They are no longer taught to consider the Holy Sacrifice as the essential action of their priestly life.
Furthermore it can be said without any exaggeration whatsoever, that the majority of Masses celebrated without altar stones, with common vessels, leavened bread, with the introduction of profane words into the very body of the Canon, etc., are sacrilegious, and they prevent faith by diminishing it. The desacralization is such that these Masses can come to lose their supernatural character, “the mystery of faith,” and become no more than acts of natural religion.
Your perplexity takes perhaps the following form: may I assist at a sacrilegious Mass which is nevertheless valid, in the absence of any other, in order to satisfy my Sunday obligation? The answer is simple: these Masses cannot be the object of an obligation; we must moreover apply to them the rules of moral theology and canon law as regards the participation or the attendance at an action which endan- gers the faith or may be sacrilegious.
The New Mass, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is subject to the same reservations since it is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith. That being the case the French Catholic of today finds himself in the conditions of religious practice which prevail in missionary countries. There, the inhabitants in some regions are able to attend Mass only three or four times a year. The faithful of our country should make the effort to attend once each month at the Mass of All Time, the true source of grace and sanctification, in one of those places where it continues to be held in honor.
These are just a few quotes; there are many more. It does indeed appear to be the official position of the SSPX (insofar as they have one), that (1) the NO is evil, harmful and poisonous to the Faith of those who attend it and (2) priests who have been formed according to the post-conciliar theology of the Mass do not generally celebrate a valid Mass.
Thanks for the excellent work, Catocon. Post coming in the next hours!
Here the links from which the above quotes are extracted:
I hope you will not think I’m arguing here, but I do not think you understood what I was trying to say (my fault, as always). You are much better at writing than I am. But, the questionable teachings of Vatican II and its Novus Ordo led me to offer “a despicably and intentionally inferior sacrifice” and to realize some time after that the N.O. offends Christ. It is nearly impossible for me to consider the N.O. meal to be Christ’s sacrifice. Like Archbishop Lefebvre said about the N.O.: “It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.” (from catocon), and I am a witness to that (and there are many blind victims).
Christ ONLY deserves the very best, and the N.O. (by your own admission – as I understand – when you say it is “inferior in reference” and “second-rate”) does not offer that. Why would you deliberately choose to give the Son of God crumbs? Even the most faithful are guided to degrade Christ by the implementation of the N.O. I believe that because we have a choice of TLM or N.O., VII is trying to get rid of the Tridentine Mass and offer us no choice at all. That is why I say the N.O. is an occasion of sin that should be avoided. Many such Vatican II mistakes have caused the loss of countless souls.
Immediately after I was confirmed in 1988, I went both to the SSPX and VII forms of worship (much to the dismay of both toward me). I never believed SSPX was in schism either. Catholicism is Christ’s Church, and I realized not to offer Him substandard worship by trial and error. The “error” part, I discovered, is from VII.
Why would you deliberately choose to give the Son of God crumbs?
I’d call it “the second choice meal” rather than crumbs.
“Because it is the meal His church offers me” is a good answer for me personally. As to the “poison”, blog post planned…
Scusi for blowing up your comment box. No need to post if you prefer, just a couple of follow up thoughts for you:
– I do agree with you that my attendance at the TLM has made it impossible for me to return to the NO mass. For me this is a blessing, for you a problem.
– The new mass as it was promulgated in 1968 was probably fine and reverent. However, after 50 years in the hands of modernist, liberal, non-Catholic priests and bishops it has become an abomination. I do not reject the reverent NO masses per se. I reject the “system” or the “rite” which allows for abuses, any abuses, even one abuse – because I cannot accept anything which offends God and abuses offend Him especially in His liturgy.
– I do not entertain any consideration of whether or not the NO mass is valid, for pretty much the very reasons you state: who am I to decide? However, the very fact that I must be concerned about whether or not a NO mass is valid is, to me, is an abomination. The liturgy is a gift from God, from heaven, and therefore cannot be changed by man (organic growth aside) and must be protected by man as if he were protecting Our Lord himself. What we have in the NO mass now is a completely man-made liturgy, which is why it is so prone to abuses.
– It is interesting that you mention the NO sacraments. We just had a ceremony, a blessing for our now adult children (early 20s) who were baptized in the NO. Once I studied the sacraments and understood what was removed in the NO sacraments, I was angry that our children did not receive all of the prayers. The supplemental blessings was the exorcism which included the salt and the breath of the priest, so yes, I have concerns also for the NO sacraments. Why did they remove so much? Why make a sacrament less efficacious rather than more efficacious? Why offer a mass that is less efficacious rather than more?
– It is also interesting that you mention stale bread. My spiritual guide makes me eat it all the time as penance. Being Italian it is a true penance. 🙂
– It seems to me, Mundabor, that you offer a slight contradiction. In one breath you say that you do wish for the novus ordo mass to die, and in the other you will defend it unto its death. So, I guess my question then is, why do you want it to die?
– Please know that I have not arrived at the decision to no longer attend the novus ordo lightly. It has come after many years of searching, studying, and praying. And everyone…EVEYRONE…we love is still in the novus ordo including some of those good priests you talk about. But we are in a time of crisis and as history has shown it becomes a time when lay people must make decisions they wouldn’t normally have to make. I made this decision because the NO was destroying my faith and the faith of my children. However, my greatest concern was that by taking this stance I may have offended God. After much prayer and the spiritual guidance of a wonderful teacher, I do not think I am. But…like you, I am ready to do my penance if I am wrong.
– We are not members of the SSPX as we have the indult in my city. However, like you, I am a huge supporter because I believe that without them the TLM and with it the true catechesis would be gone forever.
– I agree with the SSPX that the NO mass is completely protestanized. I discovered this when I compared the two masses side-by-side. I took them line by line and then researched why they removed what they did. It is for no small reason that 6 protestant leaders were involved with giving us the new mass at VII.
– If I was a sedevacantist, I would reply to you that “yes, you are correct, the Catholic Church could not give us a mass that is an abomination, therefore it is not the true Catholic Church which gave the mass.” However, I do believe that what the Church gave us was not an abomination in 1968 – but it became so after 50 years of abuses. I also believe that Holy Mother Church is sick, very, very sick. And in her illness was not able to stop the modernist attack against the new mass. How do we know? Our Lady warned at Fatima that the apostasy would start at the top. Is it not possible that the apostasy would give a mass that would become an abomination? A rite that would draw people away from the faith rather than to it. “By their fruits you shall know them….” In my immigrant family from the early 1900s, Nonna Rosa came and there were literally hundreds and hundreds of Catholics among us. We were all Catholic! Now, in my family, there are two. ONLY TWO! “By their fruits…”
– I wonder if you would feel differently if you had children (assuming you don’t?). Since the responsibility for the transmission of faith falls primarily on we parents, then I must do everything I can to transmit the true faith. In our diocese, there is very little Catholic faith left in the NO Church. It pains me to say it. But it is the truth. It would take days to tell you all of the stories.
– God Bless.
Firstly, some words: an “abomination” is something which causes or inspires feelings of “extreme disgust and hatred” (Webster). We aren’t at the level of “I don’t like it”, or even “it’s bad”. We aren’t even by “very bad”, or “seriously inadequate”. I would, in fact, be in difficulty if asked to find an adjective that expresses the linguistic step-up of “abominable”. Sodomy or paedophilia are abominations, because they cause “extreme disgust and hatred”. Extreme is extreme. When you criticise the NO as abominable, your criticism is, well, extreme too.
So let us say, for the sake of the discussion, that by “abominable” you mean “vastly inadequate”, and let us examine your reservations from there.
1. I attend to reverent, or very reverent, NO Masses. It can be that in your neck of the wood this is not the case; but really, I have seen enough reverently celebrated masses here, in Germany and in Italy, that I am completely satisfied reverent NO masses (or let us say: a proper hamburger) is still available with little effort in vast part of Western Europe at least. Yes, if one only looks very near one could be in trouble. But this is one of the reasons why I go around scouting for NO masses: to see the lay of the land. “Abominable” is, one again, way out of line.
2. “The very fact that I must be concerned about whether or not a NO mass is valid is, to me, is an abomination”.
If the inner motives of the priest are those who make or break the consecration, you must be worried with the SSPX priest too, because if it is so there is no way to know whether any priest has lost the faith, and the SSPX is less likely to tell you than the average NO priest.
If, on the other hand, what counts is that the priest intends to do “what the Church wants him to do”, it will be very easy to you to see whether you are in front of a fishy priest. Reverence can’t be so easily dissimulated, and the priest who thinks he is making a clown’s act for the sake of the gullible will tend to show it. In my experience, most show they take it seriously. Again, my experience stretches to three European countries.
But still: if very many Masses are valid, than they are valid. You may have found it difficult to find reverent NO masses. I am rather picky, and would show you a couple of normal, run of the mill, middle-England Novus Ordo masses that would leave you very pleased (for an hamburger, obviously).
3. See? You start to doubt the validity of the NO sacrament of Baptism. Well you don’t really… but you do, really. Aren’t you scared of this kind of thinking? I find it chilling, for the reasons explained in the post. Mother Church is not out to kill her children by administering, as a matter of course, fake baptisms.
4. I want the V II exterminated, with everything that it contains. Nothing less than the Final Solution would satisfy me. I favour the “hermeneutic of Napalm”. But whilst I do so, I do not confuse my own preferences with the reality of the Mass the Church of Christ gives me.
I want Porterhouse. My mother gives me (to 99%) hamburger. I complain and say to her that I wish Porterhouse. I do not kick away the hamburger she offers me, saying it’s inedible. Lucky to get it, say I. It’s what Christ’s Church gives me. I would take a bullet in the head from the Church, because it is Christ’s Church. I think I can stomach a NO Mass. But I still hope the hamburger disappears from the counter.
5. The NO cannot be completely protestantised. If it were, it wouldn’t be valid. The NO is polluted by elements of Protestantism; which, together with the general shallowness of tone, make of it an inferior fare. But again, if you say that the NO is “completely protestantised” you say it can’t be Catholic.
6. As to the Church, you are apparently believing that whilst the Church did not do what the Sedevacantists reproach to her then, she is doing it now. I see little difference between saying Christ has deserted the Church, and the Church the Roman Rite faithful, to 99% in 1968 or in 2013. If the thinking was wrong in 1968, it must be wrong now. Personally, I rather think worse things went on 20 or 30 years ago than now. If anything, the guitars and tambourines have disappeared (Pope Francis willing).
7. If I had children, I would take their religious education primarily in my hand, unless really trustworthy people were available. On no account I would teach my son that of one hundred churches he sees driving around with a car, only one or two offer a Mass worth having. What kind of Church is that, he would ask, and why should he believe that she is the only Church.
thank you, Mundabor, terrific debate. Lots of good points to think about.
However, could we not also ask what kind of Mother has porterhouse but instead gives her children hamburger? And thank goodness for the scrappy siblings who insist on the porterhouse! 😉
I think maybe this sums it up: You view my rejection of the NO masses we have now (50 years later) as a rejection of Holy Mother Church herself. And I view it as helping her overcome her illness.
However, I do belive that we both love her very much. PAX.
A yes, mommy drinks too much V II cool aid… 😉 No doubt about that! 😉
I like the answer about the helping to overcome her illness too ;), but to continue with the imagery, I as a filial son must eat the hamburger, and ask Papa to get the cool aid bottle out of mom’s sight…
LOL! touche! 🙂
a friend just told me a story. She attended a novus ordo wedding at a parish in our archdiocese last weekend. This is a parish that we used to attend. It wasn’t a full mass as the bride was not Catholic, so it was just a “service.” And the Catholic priest allowed the protestant minister of the bride to participate in the “service.”
This is why I cannot participate in any novus ordo masses or services. It doesn’t matter that it is allowed in some archdioceses and not in others. It doesn’t matter that yours is reverent and mine isn’t. It matters that it is allowed at all. If we were to take our children to a “service” like this, it would only serve to confuse them and weaken their faith as their very pastor has elevated a heretic protestant preacher man to the very same altar in which he stands in persona Christi. The message is that all faiths are the equal and I cannot have my children hearing this garbage. This, dear Mundabor, is the abomination before God of which I spoke – and one in which I cannot participate – nor should any Catholic.
This is it. This is what I refer to when I say the novus ordo abomination. And this is what is stripping the faith of millions and millions of Catholics and the sooner we shut it down, the better.
This is an excuse, RNO.
Abusus non tollit usum.