(Or Arsenic and an Old Surplice)
Thomas A. Droleskey
Potter is lighting a big cigar which he has just given George. The goon is beside Potter's chair, as usual.
GEORGE Thank you, sir. Quite a cigar, Mr. Potter.
POTTER You like it? I'll send you a box.
GEORGE (nervously) Well, I... I suppose I'll find out sooner or later, but just what exactly did you want to see me about?
POTTER (laughs) George, now that's just what I like so much about you. (pleasantly and smoothly) George, I'm an old man, and most people hate me. But I don't like them either, so that makes it all even. You know just as well as I do that I run practically everything in this town but the Bailey Building and Loan. You know, also, that for a number of years I've been trying to get control of it... or kill it. But I haven't been able to do it. You have been stopping me. In fact, you have beaten me, George, and as anyone in this county can tell you, that takes some doing. Take during the depression, for instance. You and I were the only ones that kept our heads. You saved the Building and Loan, and I saved all the rest.
GEORGE Yes. Well, most people say you stole all the rest.
POTTER The envious ones say that, George, the suckers. Now, I have stated my side very frankly. Now, let's look at your side. Young man, twenty- seven, twenty-eight... married, making, say... forty a week.
GEORGE (indignantly) Forty-five!
POTTER Forty-five. Forty-five. Out of which, after supporting your mother, and paying your bills, you're able to keep, say, ten, if you skimp. A child or two comes along, and you won't even be able to save the ten. Now, if this young man of twenty-eight was a common, ordinary yokel, I'd say he was doing fine. But George Bailey is not a common, ordinary yokel. He's an intelligent, smart, ambitious young man — who hates his job – who hates the Building and Loan almost as much as I do. A young man who's been dying to get out on his own ever since he was born. A young man... the smartest one of the crowd, mind you, a young man who has to sit by and watch his friends go places, because he's trapped. Yes, sir, trapped into frittering his life away playing nursemaid to a lot of garlic-eaters. Do I paint a correct picture, or do I exaggerate?
GEORGE (mystified) Now what's your point, Mr. Potter?
POTTER My point? My point is, I want to hire you.
GEORGE (dumbfounded) Hire me?
POTTER I want you to manage my affairs, run my properties. George, I'll start you out at twenty thousand dollars a year. George drops his cigar on his lap. He nervously brushes off the sparks from his clothes.
GEORGE (flabbergasted) Twenty thou... twenty thousand dollars a year?
POTTER You wouldn't mind living in the nicest house in town, buying your wife a lot of fine clothes, a couple of business trips to New York a year, maybe once in a while Europe. You wouldn't mind that, would you, George?
GEORGE Would I? (looking around skeptically) You're not talking to somebody else around here, are you? You know, this is me, you remember me? George Bailey.
POTTER Oh, yes, George Bailey. Whose ship has just come in – providing he has brains enough to climb aboard.
GEORGE Well, what about the Building and Loan?
POTTER Oh, confound it, man, are you afraid of success? I'm offering you a three year contract at twenty thousand dollars a year, starting today. Is it a deal or isn't it?
GEORGE Well, Mr. Potter, I... I... I know I ought to jump at the chance, but I... I just... I wonder if it would be possible for you to give me twenty- four hours to think it over?
POTTER Sure, sure, sure. You go on home and talk about it to your wife.
GEORGE I'd like to do that.
POTTER In the meantime, I'll draw up the papers.
GEORGE All right, sir.
POTTER (offers hand) Okay, George?
GEORGE (taking his hand) Okay, Mr. Potter.
As they shake hands, George feels a physical revulsion. Potter's hand feels like a cold mackerel to him. In that moment of physical contact he knows he could never be associated with this man. George drops his hand with a shudder. He peers intently into Potter's face.
GEORGE (vehemently) No... no... no... no, now wait a minute, here! I don't have to talk to anybody! I know right now, and the answer is no! NO! Doggone it! (getting madder all the time) You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter! In the... in the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider. You...
He turns and shouts at the goon, impassive as ever beside Potter's wheelchair.
GEORGE ...And that goes for you too!
As George opens the office door to exit, he shouts at Mr. Potter's secretary in the outer office
GEORGE And it goes for you too!
Script from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Well, "Mister Potter" has made his offer to traditionally-minded Catholics, telling them that he would be most happy to offer them the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. All levity aside, conciliarism's Mister Potter is deadly serious about trying to convince traditionally-minded Catholics that he is their friend and that there is no "contradiction" between the "two forms" of the "one" Roman Rite, that the decrees of the "Second" Vatican Council do not represent a "rupture" with the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.
A careful review of Father Joseph Ratzinger's Summorum Pontificum, issued today, July 7, 2007, indicates that there are lots of little catches, one of which involves Ratzinger's reassurance, contained in his accompanying letter to the world's conciliar bishops, that there are few priests in the conciliar structures who are qualified to offer the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition:
"In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often. Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.
That is, Ratzinger is reassuring the world's conciliar bishops that traditionally-minded Catholics who want to take advantage of Summorum Pontificum are going to have to find priests (we will leave aside any consideration of the validity of priestly ordinations for the moment) who have a certain degree of "liturgical training" and who have "some knowledge of the Latin language," noting that "neither of these is found very often." In other words, Father Joseph Ratzinger, who is playing the role of Mister Henry F. Potter in the conciliar Vatican these days, is telling his conciliar bishops (we will leave aside any consideration of the validity of conciliar episcopal consecrations for the moment) that his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, will not be a cause for "division" in their dioceses as there are so few priests trained in the liturgical rubrics of the "extraordinary form" of the "one" Roman Rite and so few priests who have "some knowledge of the Latin language." Ultimately, you see, it is the conciliar bishops who will decide who is sufficiently trained and who is not insofar as the "offering" of Sunday Masses are concerned.
Traditionally-minded Catholics still attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism will be quick to point out, I am sure, that seminarians aplenty are applying to and being turned out as priests by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Institute of Christ the King. Summorum Pontificum, these Catholics will contend, will only increase interest in priestly vocations for these communities, which will continue to be under the jurisdiction of "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei. This may very well prove to be true. It is also true that "priests" in the conciliar structures have been trained to offer the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition by the Society of Saint Pius X and, more recently, by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. There may, at least in some conciliar dioceses, enough "priests" to offer the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, which will indeed create tensions in the more "progressive" dioceses that Father Ratzinger is seeking to assure his conciliar bishops cannot arise because of the alleged paucity of priests knowledgeable enough to offer the "extraordinary form" of the "one" Rome Rite. Those tensions will be "mediated" by "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei, which, of course, is noted for its alacrity in handling disputes between conciliar bishops and traditionally-minded Catholics still atttached to their nefarious strucures.
However, all of that gets worked out within the next three years. For the plain truth of the matter is that the "liberation" of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition contained in Summorum Pontificum is nothing more than a three year probationary period in which the conciliar bishops who are opposed to any version of the Mass they hate with such a savage fury will have an opportunity to convince Father Ratzinger--or his conciliar successor--to reconsider the matter and/or to make further alterations and and adjustments beyond those strongly suggested by Ratzinger himself in his accompanying letter to them.
The specific conditions outlined by Father Ratzinger in Summorum Pontificum also reveal that there is a "catch" in almost every single one of them:
First, the provision that priests in the conciliar structures can offer the Immemorial Mass of Tradition privately at any time even with the presence of the faithful who,
"of their own free will, ask to be admitted to ts celebration," does not necessarily mean that large numbers of people are going to have access to the true Mass on a daily basis. The 1983 Code of Canon Law states that a priest can only offer one Mass a day, although he can offer two "if there is a scarcity of priests." The conditions for such offerings may be difficult to meet, admitting that there will be some areas, especially in major metropolitan centers where it is not uncommon to find several "priests" assigned to a parish, where there might be wider access to putative offerings of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition that has been the case previously. Most Catholics who live in other areas, especially those in the Midwest and the South (where there are fewer "priests"), without "personal parishes" that offer (putatively, you understand) the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition on a daily basis with all of the sacraments, therefore, are not going to have anything other than Sunday Mass if the demand for same exists "stably." This is nothing other than the status quo ante.
Here is the provision of the 1983 Code of Canon Law dealing with the offering of Mass more than once in a day:
Can. 905 ß1 Apart from those cases in which the law allows him to celebrate or concelebrate the Eucharist a number of times on the same day, a priest may not celebrate more than once a day.
ß2 If there is a scarcity of priests, the local Ordinary may for a good reason allow priests to celebrate twice in one day or even, if pastoral need requires it, three times on Sundays or holydays of obligation.
Second, absent those "personal parishes" established by a conciliar bishop for the daily offering of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, no priest may offer the Mass "privately" during the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday). It has been the longstanding policy of many dioceses that have permitted a weekly offering of the "indult" Mass to forbid the offering of the Traditional Mass during the Paschal Triduum. This remains unchanged as a result of Summorum Pontificum. This also takes care of a widespread use of the sanitized prayer for the conversion of the Jews on Good Friday that was promulgated by Angelo Roncalli in 1960, although the Anti-Defamation League of the Talmudic Masonic organization named B'Nai Brith is upset that even the sanitized prayer for the conversion of the Jews remains in the text of the 1962 Missal, demonstrating once again that the ancient enemies of the Faith are satisfied only with total surrender to their terms by which Catholics are to be "cleared" of any "suspicions" of anti-Semitism. The plain fact of the matter is, however, that the sanitized version of the prayer for the conversion of the Jews (which omits the word "perfidious") will be used only in the relatively small number of "personal parishes" that exist around the world.
Third, Sunday offerings of the modernized version of the Mass of Tradition are to limited to one per parish in situations where an "affinity" for the "extraordinary form" exists "stably." What does this mean? Well, it means that the parish parish and or local conciliar bishop can define it pretty much as they desire to do so. That is, although there is no "quota" (the number of thirty was reported in early-2006) of people in a parish who must have an "affinity" for the modernized version of the true Mass, one can be pretty much assured that a lot of blood, figuratively speaking, that is, is going to shed over how to interpret "stably." It's been forty-three years since Lumen Gentium's "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church" has been generating various interpretations, prompting yet another forthcoming attempt from the conciliar Vatican to try to put that "ambiguity" upon which the new ecclesiology of conciliarism is founded to rest. It is not at all unreasonable, therefore, to expect huge battles over what constitutes "stably" in the minds of conciliar officials insofar as the numbers of Catholics required for there to be a Sunday offering of the Traditional Mass in a particular parish that has its own priest trained to offer it or that can be supplied with one by lay organizers.
Fourth, pastors may permit weddings and funerals and "other occasional celebrations" in the Traditional Rite but do not appear to be required to do so:
Art. 5. § 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.
Unsurprisingly, there is a bit of confusion in the text of Summorum Pontificum on this point.
Art. 9. § 1 The pastor, having attentively examined all aspects, may also grant permission to use the earlier ritual for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick, if the good of souls would seem to require it.
Which is it, "should" or "may"? Article 5, Section 3 seems to indicate some kind of imperative. Article 9, Section 1 seems to allow more discretion "if the good of souls would seem to require it." Oh, well, more battles to be fought. More room for argumentation and debate.
Additionally, the Sacrament of Confirmation may be administered according to the traditional rite by the local conciliar bishop if the "good of souls would seem to require it." (This is all very nice except when one considers the fact that the local conciliar bishop no more a bishop of the Catholic Church than the Anglican "archbishop" of Canterbury.)
Fifth, Summorum Pontificum institutionalizes the "indult within the indult" granted by Paul Cardinal Augustin Mayer, O.S.B., the first president of "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei in 1990 for the optional use of the Novus Ordo lectionary, doing this despite the fact that Cardinal Mayer, then the Pro-Prefect of the conciliar Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the the Sacraments, stated in
Quattuor abhinc annos, October 3, 1984, stated that:
c) These celebrations must be according to the 1962 Missal and in Latin.
d) There must be no interchanging of texts and rites of the two Missals.
Quattuor abhinc annos
Summorum Pontificum, having repealed Quattuor abhinc annos and Karol Wojtyla's Ecclesia Dei Afflicta, July 2, 1988, makes the use of the Novus Ordo lectionary in the vernacular an "option" for the conciliar bishops to consider, thus indeed interchanging the texts and rites of the two Missals:
Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.
The great synthesizer, Father Joseph Ratzinger, is preparing the way for a further synthesis of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition with the Novus Ordo Missae by stating that the “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching,” going on to express in his accompanying letter to the conciliar bishops his wish that the "new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal."
For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The "Ecclesia Dei" Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.
This is "Ratzinger-speak" for the fact that there will be some kind of formal proposals by the 'Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei at some point in the next few years concerning the adding of the "saints" and the new prefaces in the 1962 Missal, which will become known 'ere long as the "Benedict Missal." One can be very assured that there will more than a handful of conciliar bishops who will indeed mandate the Novus Ordo lectionary and who will strongly encourage the celebration of the feast days of the saints "canonized" by the counterfeit church of conciliarism (some of whom, as I noted a few weeks ago, are certainly deserving of canonization and will have their causes reviewed and their status ratified when a true pope is restored to the Throne of Saint Peter). One can also be fairly assured that what is now "optional" will be mandated after the three year probationary period and the review thereof is completed.
Sixth, the wonderful priests, whether living or deceased, both in the "resist and recognize" and sedevacantist camps, who took a courageous stand against the Novus Ordo Missae on the grounds that it was offensive to God and thus harmful to the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, if not completely invalid and evil, have had conciliarist's "Mister Potter" stab them in the back but good. Father Ratzinger makes it clear in his accompanying letter to his conciliar bishops that no priest in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, not even those in the Priestly Community of Saint Peter or the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest or the Canons Regular of the Mother of God or the Society of Saint John Mary Vianney or the Benedictine monks of the Clear Creek monastery in Oklahoma or the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel in Powell, Wyoming, or any other community of priests operating under the "authority" of "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei, may refuse to offer the Novus Ordo Missae:
There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.
Diocesan "priests" who dreamt happy dreams of being "liberated" from the Novus Ordo Missae will not be quite as "liberated" as they thought they were going to be. "Priests" in the indult communities, some of whom I know personally hate (as in detest and despise) the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, will be forced to "prove" their loyalty to their local conciliar bishops if called upon to do so (and some will be called upon to do so if only to make a point of Father Ratzinger's letter) and to the "value and holiness" of the Novus Ordo, if only at the annual "concelebration" of the "Chrism Mass" on or about Holy Thursday (the actual date varies from diocese to diocese).
It appears that this demand from Father Ratzinger for priests "of the communities adhering to the former usage" to celebrate "according to the new books" has not dampened the enthusiasm of the Superior of General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, for a continued "discussion" with conciliar officials on various doctrinal issues (religious liberty, ecumenism, episcopal collegiality), telling The New York Times on July 7, 2007, that he welcomed Summorum Pontificum and hoped "that
the favorable climate established by the new dispositions of the Holy See
will" permit discussions on the doctrinal issues. Bishop Fellay's positive reaction comes despite the fact that it is manifestly clear that the Society's bishops and priests will not be exempted from offering the Novus Ordo service, if only by means of "concelebration" at the annual Chrism Mass, if they are "reconciled" to the conciliar, Modernist Vatican. No priest in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism can resist or even criticize the Novus Ordo Missae any longer, thus muting the voices of the few "indult" "priests" who did put their fingers to a keyboard over the last nineteen years and wrote very strong, scholarly articles objecting to this synthetic concoction. No more.
This stress on the "value and holiness" of the Novus Ordo Missae may mean that one may not be free to praise the courage of Father Harry Marchosky or Father Graham Walters or the late Father Francis LeBlanc or the late Father Gommar DePauw or the late Father Paul Wickens or the late Father Lawrence Brey or the late Father Frederick Schell, S.J., or the late Father Thomas Ross, O.F.M., and one Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his fellow episcopal defender of the Faith, the late Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer,, among so many others (and I have not named any explicit sedevacantist priests here as they would never be praised by those yet attached to the conciliar structures), who understand that it was their duty before God to defend His honor and glory and to protect the good of souls by rejecting completely and totally the Novus Ordo Missae as an abomination that is a decisive break with Tradition. These holy and courageous priests would scoff at Ratzinger's suggestion that there are no contradictions between the "two forms of the one Roman Missal."
The only way for Ratzinger's defenders to get around the contradiction posed by the heroic rejection of the Novus Ordo service by the above-named (and other) priests and Ratzinger's own insistence on its "value and holiness" is to engage in a bit of Hegelianism, contending that it may have been necessary at first to oppose the Novus Ordo but that it is no longer necessary to do so given Ratzinger's desire to effect a "reform of the reform." Such a line of reasoning, of course, is totally preposterous. Father Frederick Schell, for example, left the Novus Ordo because he did want to give out what purported to be Holy Communion in the hand. Is it considered to be a victory of the cause of the Catholic Faith that "priests" in "indult" communities are now going to be forced to offer, at least by means of "concelebration," the Novus Ordo and to give out what purports to be Holy Communion in the hand? How can something be bad in one decade and then acceptable a few decades later?
Seventh, Father Ratzinger indicates in his letter to the bishops that patient efforts will have to be undertaken to deal with those of the faithful "attached" to the "ancient Latin liturgical tradition" to remove from them "social" attitudes that are, shall we say, in need of "updating:"
It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The "Ecclesia Dei" Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.
In other words, bishops and pastors are going to have to "re-educate" the faithful "attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition" in the ways of conciliarism This will be a time-consuming process requiring "charity and pastoral prudence." Make no mistake about it, however, ladies and gentleman, the false pontiff who is not even a bishop, Father Joseph Ratzinger, is doing with traditionally-minded Catholics on 07-07-07 what he did with Catholics in Red China a week ago today: seeking to merge them in with those they have recognized for a long time to be enemies of the Faith. Chinese Catholics who fought so valiantly in the underground must now surrender and give up their formal resistance to Communism and to a clergy tainted by Communism. Similarly, those traditionally-minded Catholics who want to remain in "good standing" in the conciliar structures will have to be "re-educated' as they are brought more and more into line with conciliar thinking over the years. "Mixing the rites" will be one way to do so. Preaching from the pulpit will be another.
Joseph Ratzinger has said consistently that he has not changed over the years. For example, he bemoaned the "banality" of the Novus Ordo Missae in the French foreword to the late Monsignor Klaus Gamber's The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, which was in favor of the sort of the "reform of the reform" that he, Ratzinger, seeks to produce as a result of Summorum Pontificum and Sacramentum Caritatis, the post-synodal exhortation on the Eucharist issued on February 22, 2007. These words of the man who said he has never changed must still be taken seriously:
Among the more obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of integralist groups in which the desire for piety, for the sense of mystery, is finding satisfaction. We must be on our guard against minimizing these movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly. (Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 389-390)
Father Joseph Ratzinger seeks to resist the "integralist" groups by breaking down their resistance to conciliarism, making it appear as though there is no need to "struggle" any longer against a "reformed" liturgy that is simply a different "form" of the Roman Rite and against conciliar novelties that must be understood in "light of tradition," seeing "continuity in discontinuity," as he noted in his infamous curia address of December 22, 2005. Ratzinger wants Chinese Catholics who have suffered so long in the underground to "purify" their memories and to forget about the differences that exist between Catholicism and Communism. He wants traditionally-minded Catholics to "purify" their own memories of the Catholic "past" and to embrace conciliarism with a spirit of resignation, if not full-throated enthusiasm. There is but one Church in Red China and two forms of the one Roman Rite. Ah, what beautiful syntheses can emerge from such processes of "purification," eh?
Unfortunately for Father Ratzinger, however, those who have raised objections to the doctrinal integrity of the Novus Ordo Missae are not just "fringe" traditionalists who have "expelled" themselves from the Church. Among the many scholarly and doctrinally-specific objections to the Novus Ordo Missae, which continue to produce one abomination after another on a regular basis around the world that will never stop as they are part and parcel of the spirit of the "inculturation of the Gospel," was this letter of Bishop de Castro Mayer to Giovanni Montini, which letter is important to cite once again in light of the gratuitous claims made by Ratzinger about the "value and holiness" of the Protestant-Masonic Novus Ordo service:
Most Holy Father,
After a close examination of the Novus Ordo Missae, which will enter into use on November 30 next, and after having prayed and reflected a great deal, I consider that it is my duty, as a Catholic priest and bishop, to lay before Your Holiness my anguish of conscience, and to formulate, with the piety and confidence that a son owes to the Vicar of Christ, the following request.
The Novus Ordo Missae shows, by its omissions, and by the changes that it has brought to the Ordinary of the Mass, as well as by a good number of the general rules that describe the understanding and nature of the new Missal in its essential points, that it does not express, as it ought to do the theology of the Holy Sacrifice as established by the Holy Council of Trent in its XXII session. The teaching of the simple catechism cannot overcome this fact. I attach below the reasons that, in my opinion, justify this conclusion.
The pastoral reasons that could, perhaps, be invoked, initially, in favor of the new structure of the Mass, cannot make us forget the doctrinal arguments that point in the opposite direction. Furthermore, they do not seem to be reasonable. The changes that prepared the Novus Ordo have not helped to bring about an increase in the Faith and the piety of the faithful. To the contrary, they remain very disturbed, with a confusion that the Novus Ordo has increased, for it has encouraged the idea that nothing is unchangeable in the Holy Church, not even the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Moreover, as I indicate in the attached reasons, the Novus Ordo not only fails to inspire fervor, but to the contrary, diminishes the Faith in central truths of the Catholic life, such as the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, the reality of the propitiatory Sacrifice, the hierarchical Priesthood.
I hereby accomplish an imperious duty in conscience by demanding, humbly and respectfully, that Your Holiness might deign, by a positive act that eliminates every doubt, to authorize us to continue using the Ordo Missae of Saint Pius V, whose effectiveness in bringing about the spread of Holy Church and an increase in the fervor of priests and faithful has been proven, as Your Holiness reminded us with so much unction.
I am convinced that Your Holiness’s fatherly kindness will bring to an end the perplexities that have risen in my heart of a priest and bishop.
Prostrate at Your Holiness’ feet, in humble obedience and filial piety, I implore you Apostolic Benediction.
+ Antonio de Castro Mayer,
Bishop of Campos, Brazil
COMMENTS ON THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE
The Novus Ordo Missae consists in general norms for the text of the Ordinary of the Mass. Both the text and the norms propose a new Mass that does not consider sufficiently the definitions of the Council of Trent concerning this matter, and constitutes, for this reason, a grave danger for the integrity and purity of the Catholic Faith. We have only examined here a few points, that, we believe, establish that which I have affirmed.
I. Definition of the Mass
In its no.7 the new Ordo gives the follow as a definition of the Mass: "Cena dominica seu Missa est sacra synaxis seu congregatio populi Dei in unum convenientis, sacerdote praeside, ad memoriale Domini celebrandum. Quare de sanctae ecclesiae locali congregatione eminenter valet promissio Christi: ‘Ubi sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum’" (Mt. 18:10) 1.
In this definition:
There is insistence on the Mass understood as a meal. Moreover, this way of seeing the Mass can be found frequently, all along the general norms (cf. v.g. nos. 8, 48, 55d, 56 etc.). It seems even that the intention of the new Ordo Missae is to inculcate this aspect of the Mass, to the detriment of the other, which is essential, namely that the Mass is a sacrifice.
In fact, in the quasi-definition of the Mass given in article 7, the character of the sacrifice of the Mass is not signified.
Likewise, it attenuates the sacramental character of the priest, that distinguishes him from the faithful.
Furthermore, nothing is said of the intrinsic value of the Mass, independently of the presence of the assembly. Much to the contrary, it is supposed that there is no Mass without the "congregatio populi", for it is the "congregatio" that defines the Mass.
Finally, the text allows a confusion to exist between the Real Presence and the spiritual presence, for it applies to the Mass the text from Saint Matthew which only concerns the spiritual presence.
The confusion between the Real Presence and the spiritual presence, already seen in article 7, is confirmed in article 8, which divides the Mass into a "table of the word" and a "table of the Lord’s body". But it also hides the aspect of sacrifice in the Mass, which is the principal of all, since the aspect of a meal is only a consequence, as can be deduced from Canon 31 of the XXII session of the Council of Trent.
We observe that the two texts from Vatican II, quoted in the notes, do not justify the concept of the Mass proposed in the text. We also note that the few expressions, that are more or less passing references, in which are found expressions such as this, at the Altar: "sacrificium crucis sub signis sacramentalibus praesens efficitur" (no. 259) are not sufficient to undo the ambiguous concept, already inculcated in the definition of the Mass (no. 7), and in many other passages in the general norms.
II. The Purpose of the Mass
The Mass is a sacrifice of praise to the Most Holy Trinity. Such a purpose does not appear explicitly in the new Ordo. To the contrary, that which, in the Mass of Saint Pius V, shows clearly this sacrificial end is suppressed in the new Ordo. Examples include the prayers "Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas" from the Offertory and the final prayer "Placeat, tibi, Sancta Trinitas". Likewise the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity has ceased to be the Preface for Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
As well as being the "sacrificium laudis Sanctissimae Trinitatis" 2, the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice. The Council of Trent insists greatly on this aspect, against the errors of the Protestants (Chapter 1 & Canon 3). Such a purpose does not appear explicitly in the new Ordo. Here and there can be found a reminder of one or other expression that could be understand as implying this concept. But it never appears without the shadow of a doubt. Also, it is absent when the norms declare the purpose of the Mass (no. 54). In fact, it is insufficient to express the theology of the Mass established by the Council of Trent to simply affirm that it brings about "sanctification". It is not clear that this concept necessarily implies that of propitiation. Moreover the propitiatory intention, so clearly visible in the Mass of Saint Pius V, disappears in the New Mass. In fact the Offertory prayers Suscipe Sancte Pater and Offerimus tibi and that for the blessing of the water Deus qui humanae substantiae… reformasti have been replaced by other that make no reference to propitiation at all. It is rather the sense of a spiritual banquet that they impress.
III. The Essence of the Sacrifice
The essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass lies in repeating what Jesus did at the last Supper, and this not as a simple recitation, but accompanied by the gestures. Thus, as the moral theologians have said, it is not enough to simply say again historically what Jesus did. The words of consecration must be pronounced with the intention of repeating what Jesus accomplished, for when the priest celebrates, he represents Jesus Christ, and acts "in persona Christi".3 In the new Ordo there is no such precise statement, although it is essential. To the contrary, in the passage that speaks of the narrative part, nothing is said of the properly sacrificial part. Thus, when it explains the Eucharistic Prayer, it speaks of the "narratio institutionis" 4 (no. 54 d.) in such a way that the expressions: "Ecclesia memoriam ipsius Christi agit" 5 and another at the end of the consecration: "Hoc facite in meam commemorationem" 6 have the meaning indicated by the explanation given in the preceding general norms (no. 54 d.). We remark that the final phrase of the (traditional) consecration "Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis"7 were much more expressive of the reality that in the Mass, it is the action of Jesus Christ which is repeated.
Furthermore, placing other expressions in the midst of the essential words of consecration, namely "Accipite et manducate omnes" 8 and "Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes" 9, introduce the narrative part into the same sacrificial act. Whereas, in the Tridentine Mass the text and movements guide the priest naturally to accomplish the propitiatory sacrificial action and almost impose this intention on the priest who celebrates. In this way the "lex supplicandi" 10 is perfectly in conformity with the "lex credendi" 11. We cannot say this for the New Ordo Missae. However, the New Ordo Missae ought to make it easier for the celebrant to have the intention necessary to accomplish validly and worthily the act of the Holy Sacrifice, especially given the importance of this action, not mentioning the instability of modern times, nor even the psychological conditions of the younger generations.
IV. The Real Presence
The sacrifice of the Mass is bound to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The Real Presence is a consequence of the sacrifice. By transsubstantiation the change of the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Savior is accomplished, and thus the sacrifice takes place. As a consequence the perpetual Victim is present on the altar. The Blessed Sacrament is nothing other than the Victim of the Sacrifice, who remains once the sacrificial act has been accomplished. As a consequence of the new definition of the Mass (no. 7) the new Ordo allows ambiguity to exist concerning the Real Presence, which is more or less confused with the simply spiritual presence, indicated by the phrase "where two or three are gathered in my name".
Moreover, the suppression of nearly all the genjflexions, traditional expression of adoration in the Latin church, the thanksgiving seated, the possibility of celebrating without an altar stone, on a simple table, the equating of the eucharistic banquet with a spiritual meal, all lead to the obscuring of the Faith in the Real Presence.
The equating of the eucharistic banquet to a spiritual meal leaves open the idea that Jesus’ presence in the Blessed Sacrament is bound to its use, as his presence in the word of God. From this it is not difficult to conclude with the Lutheran error, especially in a society that is little prepared to think on a higher plane. The same conclusion is favored by the function of the altar: it is only a table, on which there is not normally place for the tabernacle, in which the Victim of the sacrifice is customarily kept. The same can be said for the custom for the faithful to communicate with the same host as the celebrant. By itself, this gives the idea that once the sacrifice is completed, there is no longer any place for reserving the Blessed Sacrament. Thus none of the changes in the new Ordo Missae lead to greater fervor in the Faith towards the Real Presence, but they rather diminish it.
V. The hierarchical priesthood
The Council of Trent defined that Jesus instituted his apostles priests, in order that they, and the other priests, their successors, might offer His Body and Blood (Session xxii, Canon 2). In this manner, the accomplishment of the Sacrifice of the Mass is an act that requires priestly consecration. On the other hand, the same Council of Trent condemned the Protestant thesis, according to which all Christians would be priests of the New Testament. Hence it is that, according to the Faith, the hierarchical priest is alone capable of accomplishing the sacrifice of the New Law. This truth is diluted in the new Ordo Missae.
In this Missal, the Mass belongs more to the people than to the priest. It belongs also the priest, but as a part of the assembly. He no longer appears as the mediator "ex hominibus assumptus in iis quae sunt ad Deum" 12 inferior to Jesus Christ and superior to the faithful, as Saint Robert Bellarmine says. He is not the judge who absolves. He is simply the brother who presides.
We could make other observations to confirm what we have said above. However, we feel that the points that we have raised suffice to show that the new Ordo Missae is not faithful to the theology of the Mass, as established definitively by the Council of Trent, and that consequently it constitutes a serious danger for the purity of the Faith.
+ Antonio, Bishop of Campos
No amount of argumentation is going to convince anyone that Summorum Pontificum is a trap to lead people into the Novus Ordo, that it has many pitfalls on a practical level and is designed of its nefarious nature to produce a synthesis between the "two forms" of the "one" Roman Rite. Summorum Pontificum and the accompanying letter by Father Joseph Ratzinger to the world's conciliar bishops contain one gratuitous claim after another, going so far, as noted above, to call for the "re-education" of those traditionally-minded Catholics in the conciliar structures whose scholastic philosophy teaches them that it is impossible to see "continuity in discontinuity." No, no amount of argumentation will convince those who have been waiting to rejoice for so long over this non-liberation of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition that they are being treated in exactly the same way as the Catholics of Red China who have suffered for long in the underground but must pretend that it is possible to work within the framework of a Communist-dominated clergy for the advancement of the Faith.
One can only hope and pray that a few people, especially those who know the harm of the Novus Ordo Missae and have been close friends with priests who remain resolute in their opposite to it, who have been looking forward to Summorum Pontificum will say the following to conciliarism's Mister Potter:
No... no... no... no, now wait a minute, here! I don't have to talk to anybody! I know right now, and the answer is no! NO! Doggone it! (getting madder all the time) You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your syntheses. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter! In the... in the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider. You...
Summorum Pontificum is a complete and total irrelevancy to those of us who have come to recognize that heretics cannot hold ecclesiastical office and that the conciliar church is not the Catholic Church. Almost all of the conciliar bishops who preside over dioceses are not true bishops. A large percentage of the men in the conciliar structures who think that they are priests are not validly ordained. There will thus be the spectacle of false bishops and false priests attempting to offer a modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition as they try to re-educate the faithful "attached" to it about the doctrinal integrity of the Novus Ordo and of conciliarism itself, preparing them for yet further syntheses as soon as three years from now.
Nevertheless, those of us who have come to the conclusion that the conciliarists do not hold ecclesiastical office legitimately (which conclusion does not make us one whit better than anyone else, thank you) and thus have no power to touch anything concerning the Faith do indeed recognize that many good and wonderful Catholics, men and women who love Holy Mother Church with all of their hearts and souls, are going to close their eyes and hope for the best with Summorum Pontificum, taking heart also, as they will see it, from the "tightening up" of Lumen Gentium. I believe that the hopes of these good people are misplaced and will be proved so in due course. There were, after all, those who predicted in 1988 that Ecclesia Dei Afflicta would lead to a mixture of the Novus Ordo with the Mass of Tradition. That has proved to be the case. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to believe that the analysis offered herein is a more than plausible view of how Summorum Pontificum will result in the further silencing of traditionally-minded Catholics so that they can become part of the One World Church without their even realizing it.
Our Lady will manifest the triumph of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and bring an end to conciliarism and all of its abominations, including the Novus Ordo Missae. We may not see this with our own eyes. Indeed, it may occur only on the Last Day, which might be nearer than we think. We must, however, continue to cling close to Our Lady in the Catholic catacombs as we flee from everything to do with conciliarism and its false shepherds. We must give to her Divine Son's Most Sacred Heart our acts of reparation--for our sins and those of the whole world--through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. We must thus remain on our knees in fervent prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God, especially by our praying as many Rosaries as our states-in-life will permit.
On this First Saturday of the month of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, may we fulfill the Fatima Requests of Our Lady, receive Holy Communion devoutly from the hands of a true priest, meditate fervently upon the mysteries of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, spend at least fifteen minutes in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and make a good sacramental confession. We will never know until eternity, please God we die in states of Sanctifying Grace, how many souls will have been helped by our perpetual keeping of the Nine First Fridays in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Five Five Saturdays in honor of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We are not supposed to know any of this until eternity. Our job at present is to remain faithful as we avoid the traps set for us by scurvy spiders and seek always to plant the seeds for the day when all men will exclaim, if only at the Second Coming of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Last Day to judge the living and the dead:
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Philip Neri, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us.
Saints Monica, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Juan Diego, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.