Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Should I Attend The New Mass?

Several persons have asked whether they should stop attending the
Novus Ordo (New Mass). Many attend such Masses because a Traditional Latin Mass is not available in their area or because they feel they have an obligation to their local parish.

This is a decision that is fraught with much difficulty, but such
people may take solace from the fact that many Catholics are
simultaneously struggling with the very same issue, now more than ever as the American Catholic Church departs more and more from the Traditional Latin Mass and introduces more and more novelties into the Church's central act of worship.

This is no new difficulty. We read in St. Paul's Second Epistle
to the Thessalonians that these early Christians were being subjected to "operationem erroris, ut credant medacio" [a misleading influence that they may believe falsehood] (2 Thess. 2:11). St. Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonians was: "state et tenete traditiones, quas didicistis" [stand firm, and hold the traditions that you have learned] (2 Thess. 2:15); in other words, cling to Sacred Tradition, from which, with Sacred Scripture, the authentic Magisterium of the Church derives.

Catholics attending the Novus Ordo are confronted with a very
serious issue. Some considerations that they need to factor in include the following:

(1) By continuing to subject themselves to unauthorized methods of celebrating even the Novus Ordo, to sermons and catechesis tinged with unorthodox doctrine, and to a Protestantized approach to the Mass, they may be subjecting their faith to real peril.

(2) Catholic moral theology tells us to avoid proximate occasions
of sin, among which would be occasions where significant jeopardy is posed to one's faith.

(3) By continuing to participate at Novus Ordo Masses, they could
be seen by others as approving of the whole unorthodox environment surrounding the Novus Ordo, even though they do not in fact personally approve. Thus, their mere presence at such Masses could provide scandal to others.

(4) Obedience, as St. Thomas Aquinas explains, is a secondary
virtue subordinate to charity, or love of God. Obviously, the necessity of obedience depends upon the person and thing to be obeyed. Obedience
to evil is a vice, not a virtue, and participation in irreverence and,
more so, sacrilege, is certainly a vice. Catholic moral theology has
always taught that even if the Pope were to command something that is
against the divine or natural law, then it would certainly be sinful for
anyone to obey him, since the virtue of obedience is opposed not only by
disobedience, but is also violated by excessive or indiscreet obedience,
which is the sin of servility.

No Catholic, for example, would argue the Nazistic principle
"befehl ist befehl" [an order is an order], e.g., that obedience to the
lawfully-elected German Chancellor would be necessary if he or his
representatives commanded one to kill an innocent man in a gas chamber.
It is a stark analogy, but to Catholics the Faith, the Mass, and the
Sacraments are as dear as life itself. This is the clear example that
was set for us by our predecessors, the Christian martyrs of every age,
and that has been set before us by the Church through the ages by its
veneration of martyrs for the faith as the greatest class of saints.

(5) Finally, there is that nagging question: is the Novus Ordo
valid? Or is it so contrary to Sacred Tradition and papal
pronouncements (especially Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum) of the last
twenty centuries that it must be considered invalid? Is it farther
removed from the Traditional Latin Mass than the Anglican liturgy, whose
ordinal (and by implication services) Pope Leo XIII pronounced to be invalid,
as it did not intend to do as Christ and His Church intended?

Pope Innocent III, in his doctrinal letter "Cum Marthae circa,"
Issued in 1202, settled once and for all the question of the form of the words of
consecration for the Roman Rite, when he defined that the entire form as
found in the Missale Romanum are Christ's own words delivered to the Apostles
and through them to us, that the entire form is what Christ spoke and so the
entire form is necessary. The Novus Ordo does not use this form, not even
its Latin form. Pope Eugene IV confirmed the same doctrine in 1441 at the
17th Ecumenical Council (Florence, 1441).

The official definitions of the two Masses are strikingly
different. The New Mass is not a renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary,
but merely an "assembly of the people." The role of the priest is not
to offer sacrifice to God in the name of the people, but merely to
"preside," or "chair" the meeting.

The Mass is the true and special The Lord's supper, or Mass, is the
sacrifice of the New Law. In it assembly, or gathering together,
Jesus Christ, by the ministry of of the people of God with the priest
the priest offers His Body and presiding to celebrate the memorial
Blood to God the Father under of the Lord. For this reason the
the appearances of bread and promise of Christ is particularly
wine by a mystical immolation in true of the local congregation of
an unbloody manner for a renewal the Church: "Where two or three
and memorial of the Sacrifice of are gathered in My Name, there I
the Cross. am in the midst of them."

If the official (but rarely-used) Latin version promulgated by
Pope Paul VI is valid, is the English translation, which departs widely
from the authentic meaning of the Latin, valid? Is even the English
translation valid, but are Masses in many parishes using it invalid
because invalid form or matter or intention is being used? Or is the
Novus Ordo valid, but illicit, in that it is celebrated in most parishes
in such a way that it is irreverent or even sacrilegious?

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith instructed
the U.S. National Council of Catholic Bishops in a decision dated March
15, 1978: "It is particularly important to ensure careful observance of
the traditional theological interpretation about making of Eucharistic
bread, so that the faithful can be assured that every Eucharist is
celebrated with matter that is both valid and licit."

Apparently, this problem of Masses invalid because of defect of
matter was not corrected. A year later, according to a Letter from the
Cardinal Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith to the President of the [U.S.] National Council of Catholic
Bishops, as approved by Pope John Paul II on May 11, 1979, the
Congregation found evidence that priests "have mistakenly used an
element for the Eucharist other than genuine bread" after the NCCB's own
Committee on the Liturgy admitted "abuses in regard to the making of
bread for the Holy Eucharist."

Nor has the problem yet been corrected. The ingredients of the
"Eucharistic bread" used in one Michigan diocese in 1998 is clearly not
valid wheaten bread at all, but a cinnamon cracker: white flour, brown
sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, honey, shortening, and water. The
ingredients used in a California diocese constitute a sugar cookie:
white flour, whole wheat flower, salt, sugar, baking powder, margarine.
Moreover, invalidating grape juice is being used instead of grape wine in
many dioceses.

In other words, to peel away the ecclesiastical language, invalid
Novus Ordo Masses have been celebrated in the dioceses of the United
States, and the faithful cannot be assured that the Novus Ordo Eucharist
is in fact valid, as bishops and priests in many dioceses in the United
States persist in using the same invalid matter. And an invalid Mass is
no Mass at all.

Moral theology does not require a Catholic, simply to fulfil his
Sunday obligation, to attend a sacrilegious Mass: one having sugar
cookies instead of unleavened bread, profane items set on or around the
altar, ad-libbed prayers, hosts dropped on the floor unceremoniously or
placed in unconsecrated hands, laypeople performing sacred actions
reserved to the ordained clergy, Gay Masses, Clown Masses, Dance Masses,
Children's Masses, etc. Have such present-day debacles in fact "crossed
the line" and become caricatures of the rightful Sacrifice of Calvary?

Even serious, tradition-minded Catholics who are exposed week
after week to the Novus Ordo cannot help but imbibe the unorthodox
attitudes to the Mass, the Sacraments, and the Faith itself, whether
they wish to or not. According to the ancient maxim: legem credendi
statuat lex supplicandi [the law of praying should determine the law of

With thirty years of revolution in the American Church against
orthodox Catholicism, and with more novelties planned for the remaining
years of this century and into the next, it is difficult to be a
traditional, or even a conservative, Catholic within most parishes.
Each Catholic must ask himself: is the time now at hand to draw the
proverbial line in the sand, forsake the New Mass, and attend the
Traditional Latin Mass exclusively?


The "Indult" Mass is so called because it allegedly is celebrated
under the limited provisions of Pope John Paul II's Motu Proprio
"Ecclesia Dei" (1988) with the approval of a diocesan bishop.
Traditional Catholics generally believe that no such "indult" is
necessary for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, which was
canonized by Sacred Tradition and mandated "in perpetuity" by Pope St.
Pius V in his Solemn Bull "Quo Primum" (1570). The form of the "Indult"
Mass is that of the Missale Romanum of 1962.

Such Masses are, in and of themselves, legitimate, as long as
there is no admixture of the Novus Ordo Mass with the Traditional Latin
Mass. Some diocesan "Indult" Masses are "pseudo-traditional," in that
they are a hybrid, using the New Mass calendar, lectionary, rubrics,
vernacular, Communion-in-the-hand, altars facing the people, Hosts
consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass or other untraditional variations.

In addition, some "Indult" Masses offer a modernistic environment,
featuring sermons with a modernistic tone, utilizing "extraordinary" lay
ministers to distribute Communion, failing to observe the traditional
precept for the Eucharistic Fast, or following other untraditional

Have these Masses struck a "Faustian bargain with neo-modernist
that would reduce traditional Catholicism to a mere 'side chapel' in a
theologically pluralistic Church working for a New Humanity within local
dioceses (Hand)? Can a silk purse be made out of a sow's ear? The
Traditional Latin Mass is "hardly the end of the need to 'restore all things in Christ,which was the mandate of Pope St. Pius X given to all Catholics in the war
against modernism that has destroyed so much of the Church since Vatican II."

The "Indult" Mass comes with many conditions hostile to Traditional
Catholicism, the worst of which is that those who petition for the use of the
"indult" must give "unequivocal, even public evidence" that they support the
"reforms" of Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council. The "indult" is to
be used "without prejudice to the liturgical reform" of Vatican II and was
never intended to be a true restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass, only a
temporary pacifier for old foggies and nostalgia buffs. Thus, attendance at
such a Mass implicitly demonstrates one's acceptance of the validity of the
Novus Ordo Missae and the very "reforms" that Traditional Catholics condemn.

By contrast, certainly the least that can be said about traditional
priests and groups operating independently of the local dioceses and bishops
is that they have unequivocally articulated their position from the very
beginning and have retained their intellectual and spiritual integrity.
"They say what they mean, and they mean what they say."

In fine, those who choose to attend a diocesan "Indult" Mass, must
be very careful to ensure that (1) it is a true Traditional Latin Mass
without admixture of Novus Ordo elements and (2) modernistic elements
are not being introduced into the environment of the Mass. Because of the
possibility of contamination of the "Indult" Mass by the Novus Ordo liturgy
or mindset, it would be far preferable to attend a Mass offered by an
independent Traditional Catholic priest or a small independent Traditional
Catholic organization, or, secondarily, a Mass offered by the Society of St.
Pius X in preference to an "Indult" Mass.


[The following statement was issued by 25 diocesan priests in Campos, Brazil,
where the bishop did not implement the Novus Ordo. The history of this
unique diocese and its bishop, Antonio de Castro Mayer, is documented in The
Mouth of the Lion by Dr. David A. White, available from Angelus Press.]

We, 25 diocesan priests of the Diocese of Campos, Brazil, state the
following reasons why, in conscience, we cannot attend the New Mass
(also known as the Mass of Paul VI, the Novus Ordo, or the New Liturgy),
either in the vernacular or in Latin, whether facing the people or
facing the tabernacle. Thus, for the same reasons, we adhere faithfully
to the Traditional Mass (also known as the Tridentine Mass --the Mass
for all time).

1. Because the New Mass is not an unequivocal profession of Catholic
faith (which the Traditional Mass is); it is ambiguous and Protestant.
Therefore, since we pray as we believe, it follows that we cannot pray
with the New Mass in Protestant fashion and still believe as Catholics.

2. Because the changes were not just slight ones but actually "deal with
a fundamental renovation ... a total change ... a new creation" (Msgr.
Bugnini, coauthor of the New Mass).

3. Because the New mass leads us to think "that truths ... can be
changed or ignored without infidelity to that Sacred Deposit of Doctrine
with which the Catholic Faith is bound forever.

4. Because the New Mass represents "a striking departure from the
Catholic theology of the Mass formulated in Session XXII of the Council
of Trent," which, in fixing the "Canons [of the Mass]," provided an
"insurmountable barrier to any heresy against the integrity of the

5. Because the difference between the two is not simply one of detail or
modification of ceremony, but "all that is of perennial value finds only
a minor place (in the New Mass), if it subsists at all."*

6. Because "recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in
the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment in the
faithful, who already show signs of uneasiness and lessening of faith."*

7. Because in times of confusion such as now, we are guided by the words
of Our Lord: "By their fruits you shall know them." Fruits of the New
Mass are 30% decrease in Sunday Mass in the U.S. (NY Times 5/24/75), 43%
decrease in France (Cardinal Marty), 50% decrease in Holland (NY Times

8. Because in less than seven years after the introduction of the new
Mass, priests in the world decreased from 413,438 to 243,307 -- almost a
50% decrease (Holy See Statistics).

9. Because the New Mass does not manifest faith in the Real Presence of
Our Lord -- the Traditional Mass manifests it unmistakably.

10. Because the New Mass confuses the Real Presence of Christ in the
Eucharist with His Mystical Presence among us (proximating Protestant

11. Because the New Mass blurs what ought to be a sharp difference
between the hierarchic priesthood and the common priesthood of the
people (as does Protestantism).

12. Because the New Mass favors the heretical theory that it is the
Faith of the people and not THE WORDS OF THE PRIEST which makes Christ
present in the Eucharist.

13. Because six Protestant ministers collaborated in making up the New
Mass (Georges, Jasper, Shephard, Konneth, Smith and Thurian).

14. Because just as Luther did away with the Offertory -- since it very
clearly expressed the sacrificial, propitiatory character of the Mass --
so also the New Mass did away with it, reducing it to a simple
Preparation of the Gifts.

15. Because enough Catholic theology has been removed that Protestants
can, while keeping their antipathy for the true Roman Catholic Church,
use the text of the New Mass without difficulty. Protestant minister
Thurian said that a fruit of the New Mass "will perhaps be that non-
Catholic communities will be able to celebrate the Lord's Supper using
the same prayers as the Catholic Church."

16. Because the narrative manner of the Consecration in the New Mass
infers that it is only a memorial and not a true sacrifice (Protestant

17. Because by grave omissions, the New Mass leads us to believe that it
is only a meal (Protestant doctrine) and not a sacrifice for the
remission of sins (Catholic doctrine).

18. Because changes such as a table instead of altar, facing the
people instead of the tabernacle, Communion in the hand, etc., emphasize
Protestant doctrines (e.g. the Mass is only a meal, the priest is only a
president of the assembly, etc.).

19. Because we are faced with a dilemma: either we become
Protestantized by worshiping with the New Mass, or else we preserve our
Catholic Faith by adhering faithfully to the traditional Mass of All

20. Because the New Mass was made in accordance with the Protestant
definition of the Mass: "The Lord's Supper or Mass is a sacred synasis
or assembly of the people of God which gathers together under the
presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord" (Par. 7
General Introduction to the [New] Roman Missal, defining the New Mass,

21. Because beautiful, familiar Catholic hymns which have inspired
people for centuries have been thrown out and replaced with new hymns
strongly Protestant in sentiment, along with new and old Protestant
Reformation hymns at that, headlining Martin Luther, which further
deepens the already distinct impression that one is no longer attending
a Catholic function.

22. Because the New Mass contains ambiguities subtly favoring heresy,
which is more dangerous than if it were clearly heretical since a
half-heresy resembles the truth!

23. Because the New Mass follows the format of Cranmer's heretical
Anglican Mass, and the methods of the English heretics.

24. Because Holy Mother Church canonized numerous English martyrs who
were killed because they refused to participate at a Mass such as the
New Mass.

25. Because Protestants who once converted to Catholicism are
scandalized to see that the New Mass is the same as the one they
attended as Protestants. One of them, Julian Green, asks, "Why did we

26. Because statistics show a great decrease in conversions to
Catholicism following use of the New Mass. Conversions, which were up
100,000 a year in the U.S., have decreased to less than 10,000.

27. Because the nature of the New Mass is such as to facilitate
profanations of the Holy Eucharist, which occur with a frequency unheard
of with the Traditional Mass.

28. Because the New Mass, despite appearances, conveys Modernism, using
vague terminology in order to insinuate and advance error.

29. Because by introducing optional variations, the New Mass undermines
the unity of the liturgy, with each priest liable to deviate as he
fancies under the guise of creativity. Disorder inevitably results,
accompanied by lack of respect and irreverence.

30. Because many good Catholic theologians, canonists, and priests do
not accept the New Mass, and affirm that they are unable to celebrate it
in good conscience.

31. Because the New Mass has eliminated such things as genuflections
(only three remain), purifications of the priest's fingers in the
chalice, preservation from all profane contact of the priest's fingers
after Consecration, sacred altar stone and relics, three altar cloths
(reduced to one), all of which "only serve to emphasize how outrageously
faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated."

32. Because the Traditional Mass, enriched and matured by centuries of
Sacred Tradition, was codified (not invented) by a pope who was a saint,
Pius V, whereas the New Mass was artificially fabricated.

33. Because the abolition of the Traditional Mass recalls the prophecy
of Daniel 8:12, "And he was given power against the perpetual sacrifice
because of the sins of the people," and the observation of St. Alphonsus
de Liguori that because the Mass is the best and most beautiful thing
which exists in the Church here below, the devil has always tried by
means of heretics to deprive us of it.

34. Because in places where the traditional Mass is preserved, the faith
and fervor of the people are greater, whereas the opposite is true where
the New Mass reigns (Report on the Mass, Diocese of Campos, ROMA,
Buenos Aires # 69, 8/81).

35. Because along with the New Mass goes also a new catechism, a new
morality, new prayers, new ideas, a new calendar -- in one word, a New
Church, a complete revolution from the old. "The liturgical reform,
... do not be deceived, this is where the revolution begins" (Msgr.
Dwyer, Archbishop of Birmingham, spokesman of the Episcopal Synod.)

36. Because the New Mass attempts to transform the Catholic Church into
a new ecumenical church embracing all ideologies and all religions -- a
goal long dreamt of by the enemies of the Catholic Church.

37. Because the altar and tabernacle are now separated, thus marking a
division between Christ in His priest and Sacrifice on the altar, from
Christ in His Real Presence in the tabernacle, "two things that of their
very nature must remain together" (Pope Pius XII).

38. Because the New Mass no longer constitutes a vertical worship from
man to God, but instead a horizontal worship between man and man.

39. Because the Traditional Latin Mass of Pope St. Pius V has not, nor
can it ever be, legally abrogated; it therefore remains a true rite of
the Catholic Church forever, by which Catholics may fulfill their Sunday

40. Because "in none of the three new Eucharistic Prayers [of the New
Mass] is there any reference ... to the state of suffering of those who
have died, in none the possibility of a particular Memento, thus
undermining faith in the redemptive nature of the Sacrifice."*

41. Because as stated in Vatican Council I, the "Holy Spirit was not
promised to the successors of Peter, that by His revelation they might
make a new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably
keep and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith delivered
through the Apostles" (D.S. 3070).

42. Because heresy, or whatever clearly favors heresy, cannot be matter
for obedience. Obedience is at the service of Faith and not Faith at
the service of obedience! In this foregoing case then, "one must obey
God before men" (Acts of the Apostles 5:29).

43. Because the New Mass, with its ambiguity and permissiveness, exposes
us to the wrath of God by facilitating the risk of invalid
consecrations: "Will priests of the near future who have not received
the traditional formation and who rely on the Novus Ordo Missae with
the intention of 'doing what the Church does,' consecrate validly? One
may be allowed to doubt it!"*

44. Because the intrinsic beauty of the Traditional Mass attracts souls
by itself; whereas the New Mass, lacking any attractiveness of its own,
has to invent novelties and entertainments in order to appeal
to the people.

45. Because the New mass embodies numerous errors condemned by Pope St.
Pius V at the Council of Trent (Mass totally in vernacular, words of
Consecration spoken aloud, etc.). (See Condemnation of Jansenist Synod
of Pistoia, and errors condemned by Pope Pius XII, e.g., altar in the form of
table. See Mediator Dei. [The condemned Council of Pistoia demanded a
"simplified" Mass said entirely out loud in the vernacular, condemned by Pope
Pius VI as "rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable
to the charges of heretics against it [the traditional Latin Mass]" (Pius VI,
Auctorem Fidei (1794), in Henricus Denziger, Enchridion Symbolorum (1955),
sec. 1533).]

46. Because the New Mass, in removing the salutations and final blessing
when the priest celebrates alone, shows a denial of, and disbelief in
the dogma of the Communion of Saints.

47. Because the New Mass, although appearing to conform to the
dispositions of Vatican Council II, in reality opposes its instructions,
since the Council itself declared its desire to conserve and promote the
Traditional Rite.

48. Because Pope St. Pius V granted a perpetual indult, valid "in
perpetuity, to celebrate the Traditional Mass freely, licitly, without
scruple of conscience, punishment, sentence or censure" (Papal Bull "Quo

49. Because Pope Paul VI, when promulgating the New Mass, himself
declared: "The rite by itself is NOT a dogmatic definition" (11/19/69).

50. Because Pope Paul VI, when asked by Cardinal Heenan of England if he
was abrogating or prohibiting the Tridentine Mass, answered: "It is not
our intention to prohibit absolutely the Tridentine Mass."

51. Because "in the Libera Nos of the New Mass, the Blessed Virgin, the
Apostles and all the Saints are no longer mentioned; her and their
intercession thus no longer asked, even in time of peril."*

52. Because in none of the three new Eucharistic Prayers (of the New
Mass) is there any reference to the state of suffering of those who have
died, in none the possibility of a particular Memento, thus undermining
faith in the redemptive nature of the Sacrifice."*

53. Because we recognize the Holy Father's supreme authority in his
universal government of Holy Mother Church, but we know that even this
authority cannot impose upon us a practice which is so CLEARLY against
the Faith: a Mass that is equivocal and favoring heresy and therefore
disagreeable to God.

54. Because, as stated in Vatican Council I, the "Holy Spirit was not
promised to the successors of Peter, that by His revelation they might
make new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep
and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of Faith delivered
through the Apostles" (Denziger #3070).

* Letter of the Cardinals Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani and Antonio
Cardinal Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI, September 25, 1969: Short
Critical Study of the New Order of Mass by a Group of Roman Theologians,
June 5, 1969. Available from Tan Books & Publishers.


[On Pentecost Sunday, by law, the Traditional Latin Mass was abolished in
England. It was the last in a series of anti-Catholic actions of the
government, with almost no opposition from the bishops. From that date a New
Order of Service was to be used, designed to please Protestants and to make
those who attended it week after week become gradually Protestants
themselves. For nearly all of England this was most unwelcome. For the
faithful in Cornwall and Devon it was totally unacceptable. They took up
arms. The year was 1549, two years after King Henry VIII had died.]

1. We will have the General Council and Holy Decrees of our forefathers
observed, kept, and performed, and whosoever will gainsay them, we hold them
as heretics.

2. (Restoration of Statute of Six Articles of Henry VIII against heresy.)

3. We will have the Mass in Latin as was before, and celebrated by the Priest
without man or woman communicating with him.

4. We will have the Sacrament hang over the High Altar and there be
worshipped as it was wont to be, and they, which will not thereto consent, we will have them die like heretics against the Holy Catholic Faith.

5. We will have the Sacrament of the Altar, but only at Easter delivered to
the lay people and then only in one kind.

6. We will that our Curates shall minister the Sacrament of Baptism at all
times as well in the week day as on the Holy Day.

7. We will have only bread and Holy Water made every Sunday, Palms and Ashes
at times accustomed. Images to be set up in every church, and all other
ancient ceremonies.

8. We will not receive the New Service because it is but like a Christmas
game, but we will have our old service of Matins, Mass, Evensong [Vespers],
and Procession in Latin as it was before. And so we the Cornish men (whereof
certain of us understand no English) utterly refuse this new English.

9. We will have every preacher in his sermon and every Priest at at his Mass,
pray especially by name for the Souls in purgatory as our forefathers did.

10. (Calling in of the English translation of the Scriptures, i.e.,
unauthorized translations.)

11. (Demanding the relase of Dr. Moreman and Dr. Crispin, two Canons of
Exeter, who were imprisoned in the Tower.)

12. (Demanding the recall of Cardial Pole and his promotion to be of the
King's Council.)

13. (Demanding the restriction of the number of servants a man might have.)

14. (Restoration of half the abbey and chantry lands and endowments, and
foundation of two abbeys in every county.)

15. For the particular griefs of our Country, we will have them so ordered as
Humphrey Arundell and Henry Bray, the King's Mayor of Bodmin, shall inform
the King's Majesty, if they may have safe conduct under the King's Great Seal
to pass and repass with a Herald of Arms.

By us: Humphrey Arundel, Johhn Berry, Thomas Underhill, John Sloeman,
William Segar, Chief Captains; John Thompson, Priest; Henry Bray, Mayor of
Bodwin; Henry Lee, Mayor of Torrington; Roger Barret, Priest; the Four
Governors of the Camps.


A well-known conservative author has alleged that, in the essential
matters of the Faith such as the manner in which a liturgy is constituted,
the Church possesses an "indefectibility."

To this novel argument can be opposed the words of Pope
Leo XIII in his Apostolic Letter "Apostolicae Curae" (April 13, 1896),
declaring the invalidity of Anglican orders and, therefore, of the Anglican

The state of Anglican orders/services at the end of the 19th century
was certainly a cut ABOVE today's Novus Ordo service, and yet Pope Leo found
Anglicanism invalid. In every case, the defects of Anglicanism as he
described them in 1896 were only a fraction of the defects of today's Novus
Ordo. Therefore, one could easily argue that what the pope said about the
invalidity of Anglicanism is true a fortiori of the New Order.

Even the Vatican doesn't agree with the statement about
"indefectibility." As the Letter from the Cardinal Prefect of the Vatican
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the President of the [U.S.]
National Council of Catholic Bishops, as approved by Pope John Paul II on May
11, 1979, indicates, a significant number of Masses said in the United States
are invalid because of defect of matter. Given later information published
by the U.S. dioceses themselves, the situation is worse now than it was then.
Thus, even the Vatican implies that vast numbers of Masses in this country
are invalid.

In its primary sense, indefectibility means that the Church
Christ founded will persist to the end of time. No traditional
Catholic denies that. We are not taught, however, what that Church will be
like then: it could well be the remnant described in Scripture. Even Christ
seems strongly to imply this when He says, "But yet the Son of man, when he
cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8).

The true, valid, Mass IS available. One can find 600 or so sites and
some 1000 traditional priests in the U.S. alone. Again, no definition of
"indefectibility" describes the numbers involved: one such Mass, ten, one
hundred, one thousand?

The English Catholics in the Elizabethan period for all intents and
purposes had no Mass. Did the Church therefore "defect"? Of course not.
The faith persisted in the Catholic people of England, and they fulfilled the
Third Commandment in the best way that circumstances at the time allowed.
What Mass was available to those in the early West of the United States?
Many of them would not see a priest for years, until civilization developed.

The existence of the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments,
IN SPITE OF THE CURRENT PERSECUTION, is actually proof of the
indefectibility of the Church, just as it was in the 4th century, when St.
Athanasius, St. Eusebius, and other courageous bishops and priest operated
outside the Church bureaucracy when that bureaucracy had been taken over by
the Arian heretics.

TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Internet Site
E-mail:, Web:
Copyright 1994-2002 CSM. Reproduction prohibited without authorization.
Last Updated: 12/19/02


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home