25th September, 1969
1. The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.
2. The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition, even if such reasons could be regarded as holding good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem to us sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place, if it subsists at all, could well turn into a certainty the suspicions already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people, can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound for ever. Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful who are already showing signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith.
Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonising crisis of conscience of which innumerable instances come tour notice daily.
3. We are certain that these considerations, which can only reach Your Holiness by the living voice of both shepherds and flock, cannot but find an echo in Your paternal heart, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. It has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law.
Therefore we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness, at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the church, lamented by You our common Father, not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.
A. Card. Bacci
The new form of Mass was substantially rejected by the Episcopal Synod, was never submitted to the collegial judgement of the Episcopal Conferences and was never asked for by the people. It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.
II Definition of the Mass
By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the 'supper' and the 'memorial' instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.
III Presentation of the Ends
The three ends of the Mass are altered:- no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only "spiritually" (not substantially) changed.
IV The Essence
The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated.
V The Elements of the Sacrifice
The position of both priest and people is falsified and the Celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister, while the true nature of the Church is intolerably misrepresented.
VI The Destruction of Unity
The abandonment of Latin sweeps away for good and all unity of worship. This may have its effect on unity of belief and the New Order has no intention of standing for the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent to which the Catholic conscience is bound.
VII: The Alienation of the Orthodox
While pleasing various dissenting groups, the New Order will alienate the East.
VIII The Abandonment of Defences
The New Order teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the purity of the Catholic religion and dismantles all defences of the deposit of Faith.
History of the Change
In the Apostolic Constitution, it is stated that the ancient Missal promulgated by St. Pius V, 13th July 1570, but going back in great part to St. Gregory the Great and still remoter antiquity,  was for four centuries the norm for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice for priests of the Latin rite, and that, taken to every part of the world, "it has moreover been an abundant source of spiritual nourishment to many holy people in their devotion to God". Yet, the present reform, putting it definitely out of use, was claimed to be necessary since "from that time the study of the Sacred Liturgy has become more widespread and intensive among Christians".
This assertion seems to us to embody a serious equivocation. For the desire of the people was expressed, if at all, when - thanks to Pius X - they began to discover the true and everlasting treasures of the liturgy. The people never on any account asked for the liturgy to be changed, or mutilated so as to understand it better. They asked for a better understanding of the changeless liturgy, and one which they would never have wanted changed.
The Roman Missal of St. Pius V was religiously venerated and most dear to Catholics, both priests and laity. One fails to see how its use, together with suitable catechesis, could have hindered a fuller participation in, and great knowledge of the Sacred Liturgy, nor why, when its many outstanding virtues are recognised, this should not have been considered worthy to continue to foster the liturgical piety of Christians.
Rejected by Synod
Since the "normative" Mass (New Mass), now reintroduced and imposed as the Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of the Mass), was in substance rejected by the Synod of Bishops, was never submitted to the collegial judgement of the Episcopal Conferences, nor have the people - least of all in mission lands - ever asked for any reform of Holy Mass whatsoever, one fails to comprehend the motives behind the new legislation which overthrows a tradition unchanged in the Church since the 4th and 5th centuries, as the Apostolic Constitution itself acknowledges. As no popular demand exists to support this reform, it appears devoid of any logical grounds to justify it and makes it acceptable to the Catholic people.
The Vatican Council did indeed express a desire (para. 50 Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium) for the various parts of the Mass to "be revised in a way that will bring out more clearly the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them." We shall see how the Ordo recently promulgated corresponds with this original intention.
An attentive examination of the Novus Ordo reveals changes of such magnitude as to justify in themselves the judgement already made with regard to the "normative" Mass. Both have in many points every possibility of satisfying the most Modernists of Protestants.
Definition of the Mass
"The Lord's Supper or Mass is a sacred meeting or assembly of the People of God, met together under the presidency of the priest, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. Thus the promise of Christ, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them",is eminently true of the local community in the Church (Mt. XVIII, 20)".The definition of the Mass is thus limited to that of the "supper", and this term is found constantly repeated (nos. 8, 48, 55d, 56). This supper is further characterised as an assembly  presided over by the priest and held as a memorial of the Lord, recalling what He did on the first Maundy Thursday. None of this in the very least implies either the Real Presence, or the reality of sacrifice, or the Sacramental function of the consecrating priest, or the intrinsic value of the Eucharistic Sacrifice independently of the people's presence. It does not, in a word, imply any of the essential dogmatic values of the Mass which together provide its true definition. Here, the deliberate omission of these dogmatic values amounts to their having been superseded and therefore, at least in practice, to their denial. 
In the second part of this paragraph 7 it is asserted, aggravating the already serious equivocation, that there holds good, "eminently", for this assembly Christ's promise that "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. XVIII, 20). This promise which refers only to the spiritual presence of Christ with His grace, is thus put on the same qualitative plane, save for the greater intensity, as the substantial and physical reality of the Sacramental Eucharistic Presence.
In no. 8 a subdivision of the Mass into "liturgy of the word" and Eucharistic liturgy immediately follows, with the affirmation that in the Mass is made ready "the table of the God's word" as of "the Body of Christ", so that the faithful "may be built up and refreshed"; an altogether improper assimilation of the two parts of the liturgy, as though between two points of equal symbol value. More will be said about this point later.
This Mass is designed by a great many different expressions, all acceptable relatively, all unacceptable if employed, as they are, separately in an absolute sense.
We cite a few: The Action of the People of God; The Lord's Supper or Mass, the Pascal Banquet; The Common Participation of the Lord's Table; The Eucharistic Prayer; The Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy.
As is only too evident, the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the supper and the memorial instead of upon the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary. The formula "The Memorial of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord", besides, is inexact, the Mass being the memorial of the Sacrifice  alone, in itself redemptive, while the Resurrection is the consequent fruit of it.
We shall later see how, in the very consecratory formula, and throughout the Novus Ordo, such equivocations are renewed and reiterated.
Presentation of the Ends
- From the Offertory, where the prayer Receive, Holy Trinity, this Oblation has been removed.
- From the conclusion of Mass, where the prayer honoring the Trinity, May the Tribute of My Homage, Most Holy Trinity has been eliminated.
- From the Preface, since the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity, formerly used on all ordinary Sundays, will henceforth be used only on the Feast of the most Holy Trinity.
At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the Blessed Sacrament and thus placed Himself in It as Victim, in order to unite Himself to us as Victim. But this act of sacrificial immolation occurs before the Blessed Sacrament is consumed and possesses beforehand full redemptive value in relation to the bloody Sacrifice on Calvary. The proof for this is that people who assist are not bound to receive Communion sacramentally. (11)
3. Immanent Purpose. The immanent purpose of the Mass is fundamentally that of sacrifice.
It is essential that the Sacrifice, whatever its nature, be pleasing to God and accepted by Him. Because of original sin, however, no sacrifice other than the Christ's Sacrifice can claim to be acceptable and pleasing to God in its own right.
The Novus Ordo alters the nature of the sacrificial offering by turning it into a type of exchange of gifts between God and man. Man brings the bread, and God turns it into "the bread of life"; man brings the wine, and God turns it into "spiritual drink:"
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
for through your goodness
we have this bread [or wine] to offer,
fruit of the earth [vine] and work of human hands.
It will become for us the bread of life [spiritual drink]. (12)
The expressions "bread of life" and "spiritual drink," of course, are utterly vague and could mean anything. Once again, we come up against the same basic equivocation: According to the new definition of the Mass, Christ is only spiritually present among His own; here, bread and wine are only spiritually-----and not substantially-----changed. (13)
In the Preparation of the Gifts, a similar equivocal game was played. The old Offertory contained two magnificent prayers, the Deus qui humanae and the Offerimus tibi:
- The first prayer, recited at the preparation of the chalice, begins: O God, by whom the dignity of human nature was wondrously established and yet more wondrously restored. It recalled man's innocence before the Fall of Adam and his ransom by the blood of Christ, and it summed up the whole economy of the Sacrifice from Adam to the present day.
- The second prayer, which accompanies the offering of the chalice, embodies the idea of propitiation for sin: it implores God for His mercy as it asks that the offering may ascend with a sweet fragrance in the presence of Thy divine majesty. Like the first prayer, it admirably stresses the economy of the Sacrifice.
Having removed the keystone, the reformers had to put up scaffolding. Having suppressed the real purposes of the Mass, they had to substitute fictitious purposes of their own. This forced them to introduce actions stressing the union between priest and faithful, or among the faithful themselves-----and led to the ridiculous attempt to superimpose offerings for the poor and for the Church on the offering of the host to be immolated.
The fundamental uniqueness of the Victim to be sacrificed will thus be completely obliterated. Participation in the immolation of Christ the Victim will turn into a philanthropists' meeting or a charity banquet.
The entire congregation joins itself to Christ in acknowledging the great things God has done and in offering the sacrifice." (15)
Which sacrifice does this refer to? Who offers the sacrifice? No answer is given to these questions.
The definition the Instruction provides for the "Eucharistic Prayer" reduces it to the following:
The center and summit of the entire celebration begins: the Eucharistic Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. (16)
The effects of the prayer thus replace the causes.
And of the causes, moreover, not a single word is said. The explicit mention of the purpose of the sacrificial offering, made in the old rite with the prayer Receive, Most Holy Trinity, This Oblation, has been suppressed--and replaced with nothing. The change in the formula reveals the change in doctrine.
2. Obliteration of the Role of the Real Presence. The reason why the Sacrifice is no longer explicitly mentioned is simple: the central role of the Real Presence has been suppressed. It has been removed from the place it so resplendently occupied in the old liturgy.
In the General Instruction, the Real Presence is mentioned just once-----and that in a footnote which is the only reference to the Council of Trent. Here again, the context is that of nourishment. (17) The real and permanent presence of Christ in the transubstantiated Species-----Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity-----is never alluded to. The very word transubstantiation is completely ignored.
The invocation of the Holy Ghost in the Offertory-----the prayer Come, Thou Sanctifier-----has likewise been suppressed, with its petition that He descend upon the offering to accomplish the miracle of the Divine Presence again, just as he once descended into the Virgin's womb. This suppression is one more in a series of denials and degradations of the Real Presence, both tacit and systematic.
Finally, it is impossible to ignore how ritual gestures and usages expressing faith in the Real Presence have been abolished or changed. The Novus Ordo eliminates:
- Genuflections. No more than three remain for the priest, and [with certain exceptions] one of the faithful at the moment of the Consecration.
- Purification of the priest's fingers over the chalice.
- Preserving the priest's fingers from all profane contact after the Consecration.
- Purification of sacred vessels, which need not be done immediately nor made on the corporal.
- Protecting the contents of the chalice with the pall.
- Gilding for the interior of sacred vessels.
- Solemn consecration for movable altars.
- Consecrated stones and relics of the saints in the movable altar or on the "table" when Mass is celebrated outside a sacred place. [The latter leads straight to "eucharistic dinners" in private houses.]
- Three cloths on the altar-----reduced to one.
- Thanksgiving for the Eucharist made kneeling, now replaced by the grotesque practice of the priest and people sitting to make their thanksgiving-----a logical enough accompaniment to receiving Communion standing.
- All the ancient prescriptions observed in the case of a host which fell, which are now reduced to a single, nearly sarcastic direction: "It is to be picked up reverently." (18)
3. THE ROLE OF THE MAIN ALTAR. The altar is nearly always called the table:  "...the altar or the Lord's table, which is the center of the whole eucharistic liturgy..." 
The altar must now be detached from the back wall so that the priest can walk around it and celebrate Mass facing the people. 
The Instruction states that the altar should be at the center of the assembled faithful, so that their attention is spontaneously drawn to it. Comparing this Article with another, however, seems to exclude outright the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar where Mass is celebrated.  This will signal an irreparable dichotomy between the presence of Christ the High Priest in the priest celebrating the Mass and Christ's sacramental Presence. Before, they were one and the same Presence. Before, they were one and the same Presence.  The Instruction recommends that the Blessed Sacrament now be kept in a place apart for private devotion--as though It were some sort of relic. Thus, on entering a church, one's attention will be drawn not to a tabernacle, but to a table stripped bare. Once again, private piety is set up against liturgical piety, and altar is set up against altar. The Instruction urges that hosts distributed for Communion be ones consecrated at the same Mass. It also recommends consecrating a large wafer,  so that the priest can share a part of it with the faithful. It is always the same disparaging attitude towards both the tabernacle and every form of Eucharistic piety outside of Mass. This constitutes a new and violent blow to faith that the Real Presence continues as long as the consecrated Species remain. 
- The Text Employed. The Scripture text was not used word-for-word as the formula for the Consecration in the old Missal. St. Paul's expression, the "Mystery of Faith," was inserted into the text as an immediate expression of the priest's faith in the mystery which the Church makes real through the hierarchical priesthood.
- Typography and Punctuation. In the old Missal, a period and a new paragraph separated the words "Take ye all of this and eat" from the words of the sacramental form, "This is My Body." The period and the new paragraph marked the passage from a merely *narrative* mode to a *sacramental* and *affirmative* mode which is proper to a true sacramental action. The words of Consecration in the Roman Missal, moreover, were printed in larger type in the center of the page. Often a different color ink was used. All these things clearly detached the words from a merely historical context, and combined to give the formula of Consecration a proper and autonomous value.
- The Anamnesis. The Roman Missal added the words "As often as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in memory of Me" after the formula of Consecration. This formula referred not merely to remembering Christ or a past event, but to Christ acting in the here and now. It was an invitation to recall not merely His Person or the Last Supper, but *to do* what He did *in the way* that He did it. In the Novus Ordo, the words of St. Paul, "Do this in memory of Me," will now replace the old formula and be daily proclaimed in the vernacular everywhere. This will inevitably cause hearers to concentrate on the remembrance of Christ as the end of the Eucharistic action, rather than as its beginning. The idea of commemoration will thus soon replace the idea of the Mass as a sacramental action.  The General Instruction emphasizes the narrative mode further when it describes the Consecration as the "Institution Narrative"  and when it adds that, "in fulfillment of the command received from Christ...the Church keeps his memorial."  All this, in short, changes the modus significandi of the words of Consecration--how they show forth the sacramental action taking place. The priest now pronounces the formulas for Consecration as part of an historical narrative, rather than as Christ's representative issuing the affirmative judgment "This is My Body."  Furthermore, the people's Memorial Acclamation which immediately follows the Consecration--"Your holy death, we proclaim, O Lord...until you come"--introduces the same ambiguity about the Real Presence under the guise of an allusion to the Last Judgment. Without so much as a pause, the people proclaim their expectation of Christ at the end of time, just at the moment when He is *substantially present* on the altar--as if Christ's real coming will occur only at the end of time, rather than there on the altar itself. The second optional Memorial Acclamation brings this out even more strongly:
"When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory."The juxtaposition of entirely different realities--immolation and eating, the Real Presence and Christ's Second Coming--brings ambiguity to a new height. 
The Elements of the Sacrifice
We now consider the question of who performs the Sacrifice. In the old rite, these were, in order: Christ, the priest, the Church and the faithful.1. The Role of the Faithful in the New Rite. In the New Mass, the role attributed to the faithful is autonomous, absolute--and hence completely false. This is obvious not only from the new definition of the Mass ("...the sacred assembly or congregation of the people gathering together..."), but also from the General Instruction's observation that the priest's opening Greeting is meant to convey to the assembled community the presence of the Lord:
Then through his greeting the priest declares to the assembled community that the Lord is present. This greeting and response express the mystery of the gathered Church. Is this the true presence of Christ? Yes, but only a spiritual presence. A mystery of the Church? Certainly--but only insofar as the assembly manifests and asks for Christ's presence. This new notion is stressed over and over again by:
- Obsessive references to the communal character of the Mass. 
- The unheard of distinction between "Mass with a Congregation" and "Mass without a Congregation." 
- The description of the Prayer of the Faithful as a part of the Mass where "the people exercising their priestly office, intercede for all humanity." 
The Novus Ordo's Eucharistic Prayer III addresses the following prayers to the Lord:
From age to age you gather a people to yourself, *so that* from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name.The "so that" in the passage makes it appear that the people, rather than the priest, are the indispensable element in the celebration. Since it is never made clear, even here, who offers the sacrifice, the people themselves appear as possessing autonomous priestly powers.  From this step, it would not be surprising if, before long, the people were permitted to join with the priest if pronouncing the words of Consecration. Indeed, in some places this has already happened.
2. The Role of the Priest in the New Rite. The role of the priest is minimized, changed, and falsified:
- In relation to the people, he is now a mere president or brother, rather than the consecrated minister who celebrates Mass "in the person of Christ."
- In relation to the Church, the priest is now merely one member among others, someone taken from the people. In its treatment of the invocation to the Holy Ghost in the Eucharistic Prayer (the epiclesis), the General Instruction attributes the petitions anonymously to the Church.  The priest's part has vanished.
- In the new Penitential Rite which begins the mass, the Confiteor has now become collective; hence the priest is no longer judge, witness and intercessor before God. It is logical therefore that he no longer recites the prayer of absolution which followed it and has now been suppressed. The priest is now "integrated" with his brothers; even the altar boy who serves at a "Mass without a Congregation" calls the priest "brother."
- Formerly, the priest's Communion was ritually distinct from the people's Communion. The Novus Ordo suppresses this important distinction. This was the moment when Christ the Eternal High Priest and the priest who acts in the person of Christ came together in closest union and completed the Sacrifice.
- Not a word is said, moreover, about the priest's power as "sacrificer," his consecratory action or how as intermediary he brings about the Eucharistic presence. he now appears to be nothing more than a Protestant minister.
- By abolishing or rendering optional many of the priestly vestments--in some cases only an alb and stole are now required 
- the new rite obliterates the priest's conformity to Christ even more. The priest is no longer clothed with Christ's virtues. He is now a mere "graduate" with one or two tokens that barely separate him from the crowd . "A little more a man than the rest," to quote from a modern Dominican's unintentionally humorous definition.  Here, as when they set up altar against altar, the reformers separated that which was united: the one Priesthood of Christ from the Word of God.
The many grave omissions of the phrase "through Christ Our Lord," a formula which guarantees that God will hear the Church's prayers in every age. 
- An all-pervading "paschalism" --an obsessive emphasis on Easter and the Resurrection--almost as if there were no other aspects of the communication of grace, which, while quite different, are nevertheless equally important.
- The strange and dubious "eschatologism" --a stress upon Christ's Second Coming and the end of time--whereby the permanent and eternal reality of the communication of grace is reduced to something within the bonds of time. We hear of a people of God on the march, a pilgrim Church--a Church no longer *Militant* against the powers of darkness, but one which, having lost its link with eternity, marches to a future envisioned in purely temporal terms.
The process of desacralization is made complete, thanks to the new and grotesque procedure for the Offertory Procession, the reference to ordinary (rather than unleavened) bread, and allowing servers (and even lay people, when receiving Communion under both Species) to handle sacred vessels.  then there is the distracting atmosphere created in the church: the ceaseless comings and goings of priest, deacon, subdeacon, cantor, commentator--the priest himself becomes a commentator, constantly encouraged to "explain" what he is about to do-- of lectors (men and women), of servers or laymen welcoming people at the door and escorting them to their places, while others carry and sort offerings. And in an era of frenzy for a "return to Scripture," we now find, in contradiction of both the Old Testament and St. Paul, the presence of a "suitable woman" who for the first time in the Church's history is authorized to proclaim the Scripture readings and "perform other ministries outside the sanctuary."  Finally, there is the mania for concelebration, which will ultimately destroy the priest's Eucharistic piety by overshadowing the central figure of Christ, sole priest and Victim, and by dissolving Him into the collective presence presence of concelebrants. 
The Destruction of Unity
We have limited ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our observations touch upon deviations which are typical. To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers, and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics, or instructions, would be a vast undertaking. We have taken no more than a passing glance at the three new Eucharistic Prayers, since they have already come in for repeated and authoritative criticism. The second gave immediate scandal to the faithful due to its brevity.  Of Eucharistic Prayer II it has well been said that a priest who no longer believed in either Transubstantiation or the sacrificial character of the Mass could recite it with perfect tranquillity of conscience, and that a Protestant minister, moreover, could use it in his own celebrations just as well. The new Missal was introduced in Rome as an "abundant resource for pastoral work," as "a text more pastoral than juridical," which national bishops' conferences could adapt, according to circumstances, to the "spirit" of different peoples. Section One of the new Congregation for Divine Worship, moreover, will now be responsible "for the publication and *constant revision* of liturgical books." This idea was echoed recently in the official newsletter of the Liturgical Institutes of Germany, Switzerland and Austria:
- The Latin texts must now be translated into the languages of different nations.
- The "Roman style" must be adapted to the individuality of each local Church.
- That which was conceived in a timeless state must now be transposed into the changing context of concrete situations, and into the constant flux of the universal Church and its myriad congregations. 
The Apostolic Constitution explicitly mentions the riches of piety and doctrine the Novus Ordo supposedly borrows from the Eastern Churches. But the result is so removed from, and indeed opposed to the spirit of the Eastern liturgies that it can only leave the faithful in those rites revolted and horrified. What do these ecumenical borrowings amount to? Basically, to introducing multiple texts for the Eucharistic Prayer (the anaphora)--none of which approaches their Eastern counterparts' complexity or beauty--and to permitting Communion Under Both Species and the use of deacons. Against this, the New Order of Mass appears to have been deliberately shorn of every element where the Roman liturgy came closest to the Eastern Rites.  At the same time, by abandoning its unmistakable and immemorial Roman character, the Novus Ordo cast off what was spiritually precious of its own. In place of this are elements which bring the new rite closer to certain Protestant liturgies, not even those closest to Catholicism. At the same time, these new elements degrade the Roman liturgy and further alienate it from the East, as did the reforms which preceded the Novus Ordo. In compensation, the new liturgy will delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and discipline.
The Abandonment of Defences
St. Pius V had the Roman Missal drawn up (as the present Apostolic Constitution now recalls) as an instrument of unity among Catholics. In conformity with the injunctions of the Council of Trent, the Missal was to exclude all dangers, either to liturgical worship or to the faith itself, then threatened by the Protestant Revolt. The grave situation fully justified--and even rendered prophetic--the saintly Pontiff's solemn warning given in 1570 at the end of the Bull promulgating his Missal:
Should anyone presume to tamper with this, let him know that he shall incur the wrath of God Almighty and His holy Apostles Peter and Paul. When the Novus Ordo was presented at the Vatican Press Office, it was impudently asserted that conditions which prompted the decrees of the Council of Trent no longer exist. Not only do these decrees still apply today, but conditions now are infinitely worse. It was precisely to repel those snares which in every age threaten the pure Deposit of Faith,  that the Church, under divine inspiration, set up dogmatic definitions and doctrinal pronouncements as her defenses. These in turn immediately influenced her worship, which became the most complete monument to her faith. Trying to return this worship to the practices of Christian antiquity and recreating artificially the original spontaneity of ancient times is to engage in that "unhealthy archaeologism" Pius XII so roundly condemned.  It is, moreover, to dismantle all the theological ramparts erected for the protection of the rite and to take away all the beauty which enriched it for centuries.  And all this at one of the most critical moments--if not the most critical moment--in the Church's history! Today, division and schism are officially acknowledged to exist not only outside the Church, but within her as well.  The Church's unity is not only threatened, but has already been tragically compromised.  Errors against the Faith are not merely insinuated, but are--as has been likewise acknowledged--now forcibly imposed through liturgical abuses and aberrations. To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship,  and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division--a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith--is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error.
Corpus Domini 5 June 1969
Notes: 1. "The prayers of Our Canon are found in the treatise De Sacramentis (4th, 5th centuries)...Our Mass goes back without essential changes to the epoch in which it developed for the first time from the most ancient common liturgy. It still preserves the fragrance of that primitive liturgy, in times when Caesar governed the world and hoped to extinguish the Christian faith' times when our forefathers would gather together before dawn to sing a hymn to Christ as their God...There is not in all Christendom a rite so venerable as that of the Roman Missal." (Rev. Adrian Fortescue). "The Roman Canon, such as it is today, goes back to St. Gregory the Great. Neither in East nor West is there any Eucharistic prayer remaining in use today that can boast such antiquity. For the Roman Church to throw it overboard would be tantamount, in the eyes not only of the Orthodox, but also of the Anglicans and even Protestants having still to some extent a sense of tradition, to a denial of all claim any more to be the true Catholic Church." (Rev. Louis Bouyer)
2. SC 50, DOL 50.
3. A footnote in the Instruction refers us to two texts of Vatican II. But nothing in the texts justifies the new definition, as it is evident from the following: "Through the ministry of the bishop, God consecrates priests...In exercising sacred functions they therefore act as the ministers of him who in the liturgy continually fulfill his priestly office on our behalf....By the celebration of Mass people sacramentally offer the sacrifice of Christ." Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterum Ordinis, 7 December 1965, Section 5, DOL 260. "For in the liturgy God is speaking to his people and Christ is still proclaiming his Gospel. And the people are responding to God both by song and prayer. Moreover, the prayers addressed to God by the priest, who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ, are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present." SC 33, DOL 33. One is at a loss to explain how the Instruction's definition could have been drawn from these texts. We note too how the new definition of the Mass alters what Vatican II laid down in Presbyterum Ordinis Section 5: "The Eucharistic assembly is the center of the congregation of the faithful." Since the center in the New Order of the Mass has been fraudulently spirited away, the congregation has now usurped its place.
4. GI 7, DOL 1937 fn.
5. GI 8, DOL 1398; GI 48, DOL 1438 fn. GI 55.d, DOL 1445 fin; GI 56, DOL 1446.
6. The Council of Trent reaffirms the Real Presence in the following words: "To begin with, the holy council teaches and openly and straightforwardly professes that in the blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really and substantially contained under the perceptible species of bread and wine." DB 874. Session 22 which interests us directly (De sanctissimo Missae Sacrificio) clearly synthesized the approved doctrine in nine canons (DB 937a-956): 1) The Mass is not a mere symbolic representation, but rather a true, visible sacrifice, instituted "to re-present the bloody sacrifice which [Christ] accomplished on the cross once and for all. It was to perpetuate his memory until the end of the world. Its salutary strength was to be applied for the remission of the sins that we daily commit." DB 938. 2) "Declaring himself constituted a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, [Our Lord] offered his body and blood under the species of bread and wine to God the Father and he gave his body and blood under the same species to the apostles to receive, making them priests of the New Testament at that time...He ordered the apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer this sacrifice when he said, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught." DB 938. The celebrant, offerer and sacrificer is the ordained priest, and not the people of God or the assembly: "If anyone says that by the words, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' Christ did not make the apostles priests, or that he did not decree that they and other priests should offer his body and blood: let him be anathema." Canon 2, DB 949. The Sacrifice of the Mass is a true propitiatory sacrifice, and not a simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the cross: "If anyone says that the Sacrifice of the Mass is merely an offering of praise and of thanksgiving, or that it is a simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the cross, and not propitiatory, or that it benefits only those who communicate; and that it should not be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfaction, and other necessities: let him be anathema." Canon 3, DB 950. Canon 6 should likewise be kept in mind: "If anyone says that there are errors in the Canon of the Mass and that it should therefore be done away with: let him be anathema." DB 953. Likewise Canon 8: "If anyone says that Masses in which the priest alone communicates sacramentally are illicit and should be done away with: let him be anathema." DB 955.
7. It is perhaps superfluous to recall that, if a single defined dogma were denied, all dogma would fall ipso facto, insofar as the principle of the infallibility of the supreme hierarchical magisterium, whether conciliar or papal, would thereby be destroyed.
8. In light of the first prayer after the Consecration in the Roman Canon (Unde et memores), the Ascension could also be added. The Unde et memores, however, does not lump different realities together. It makes a clear and fine distinction: "calling to mind...the blessed passion, and also His rising from the dead and His glorious Ascension into Heaven."
9. Ps. 50:7-9, in Heb. 10:5.
10. GI 54, DOL 1444.
11. This shift of emphasis occurs in the three new Eucharistic Prayers, which eliminate the Memento of the Dead and any mention of souls suffering in Purgatory, to whom the propitiatory Sacrifice is applied.
12. See "Mysterium Fidei," in which Paul VI condemns the errors of symbolism together with the new theories of "transignification: and "transfinalization": "...it is not allowable...to stress the sign value of the sacrament as if the symbolism, which to be sure all acknowledge in the Eucharist, expresses fully and exhaustively the meaning of Christ's presence; or to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning the marvelous changing of the whole substance of the bread into the body and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood of Christ, as stated by the Council of Trent, so that only what is called 'transignification' or 'transfinalization' is involved." Encyclical "Mysterium Fidei" on the doctrine and worship of the Eucharist, 3 September 1965, Section 11, DOL 1155.
13. "Mysterium Fidei" amply denounces and condemns introducing new formulas or expressions which, though occurring in texts of the Fathers, the Councils, and the Church's magisterium, are used in a univocal sense that is not subordinated to the substance of doctrine with which they form an inseparable whole (e.g., "spiritual nourishment," "spiritual food," "spiritual drink," etc.): "Not only the integrity of the faith, but also its proper mode of expression must be safeguarded, lest, God forbid, by the careless use of words we introduce false notions about the most sublime realities." He quotes St. Augustine: " 'We, however, have the obligation to speak according to a definite norm, lest the carelessness of our words give rise to impious ideas about the very realities signified by these words.' " He continues: "We must religiously respect the rule of terminology; after centuries of effort and under the protection of the Holy Spirit the Church has established it and confirmed it by the authority of councils; that norm often became the watchword and the banner of orthodox belief. Let no one arbitrarily or under the pretext of new science presume to change it...In like manner we must not put up with anyone's personal wish to modify the formulas in which the Council of Trent set forth the mystery of the Eucharist for belief." Sections 23, 24; DOL 1167-8.
14. Contradicting what Vatican II prescribed. (Cf. SC 48, DOL 48).
15. GI 54, DOL 1444.
16. GI 54, DOL 1444.
17. GI 241 fn. 69, DOL 1630.
18. GI 129, DOL 1629.
19. The Instruction recognizes the altar's primary function only once: "At the altar, the sacrifice of the cross is made present under sacramental signs." GI 259, DOL 1649. This single reference seems insufficient to remove the equivocation resulting from the other, more frequently used term.
20. GI 49, DOL 1489. Cf. GI 262, DOL 1652.
21. GI 262, DOL 1652.
22. GI 262, DOL 1652, and GI 276, DOL 1666. 23.
23. "To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united." Pius XII, "Allocution to the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy." 22 September 1956, PTL 817. See also Pius XII, Encyclical "Mediator Dei," 20 November 1947, PTL 550, quoted below.
24. Rarely does the Novus Ordo use the word hostia. In liturgical books this traditional term has a precise meaning: "victim." Again we encounter a systematic attempt to emphasize only "supper" and "food."
25. Following their customary practice of substituting one thing for another, the reformers made Christ's presence in the proclaimed word equal to the Real Presence. (See GI 7, 54; DOL 1397, 1444). But Christ's presence when Scripture is proclaimed is of a different nature and has no reality except when it is taking place (in usu). Christ's Real Presence in the consecrated Host, on the other hand, is objective, permanent and independent of the reception of the Sacrament. The formulae "God is speaking to his people," and "Christ is present to the faithful through his own word" (GI 33, DOL 1423) are typically Protestant. Strictly speaking, they have no meaning, since God's presence in the word is mediated, bound to an individual's spiritual act or condition, and only temporary. This formula leads to a tragic error: the conclusion, expressed or implied, that the Real Presence continues only as long as the Sacrament is in the process of being used--received at Communion time, for instance--and that the Real Presence ends when the use ends.
26. As the General Instruction describes it, the sacramental action originated at the moment Our Lord gave the Apostles His Body and Blood "to eat" under the appearances of bread and wine. The sacramental action thus no longer consists in the consecratory action and the mystical separation of the Body from the Blood--the very essence of Eucharistic Sacrifice. See "Mediator Dei," esp. Part II, Chapter I, PTL 551, ff.
27. GI 55.d, DOL 1445 fn..
28. GI 55.d, DOL 1445.
29. As they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo, the words of Consecration could be valid in virtue of the priest's intention. But since their validity no longer comes from the force of the sacramental words themselves (ex vi verborum)--or more precisely, from the meaning (modus significandi) the old rite of the Mass gave to the formula--the words of Consecration in the New Order of Mass could also not be valid. Will priests in the near future, who receive no traditional formation and who rely on the Novus Ordo for the intention of "doing what the Church does," validly consecrate at Mass? One may be allowed to doubt it.
30. Let it not be said, following the methods of Protestant biblical scholarship, that these phrases being in the same Scriptural context. The Church always avoided superimposing and juxtaposing the texts, precisely in order to avoid confusing the different realities they express.
31. GI 28, DOL 1418
32. GI 74-152, DOL 1464-1542.
33. GI 209-231, DOL 1599-1621.
34. GI 45, DOL 1435.
35. Against the Lutherans and Calvinists who teach that all Christians are priests and offerers of the Lord's Supper, see A. Tanquerey, "Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae," (Paris, Tournai, Rome: Desclee, 1930), v. III: "Each and every priest is, strictly speaking, a secondary minister of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Christ Himself is the principal minister. The faithful offer *through the intermediary of the priest, but not in a strict sense*." Cf. Council of Trent, Session 22, Canon 2, DB 949.
36. GI 55, DOL 1445.
37. GI 298, DOL 1688 fn..
38. We note in passing an unthinkable innovation which will have disastrous psychological effects; employing *red* vestments on Good Friday instead of black (GI 308.b, DOL 1698)--as if Good Friday were the commemoration of just another martyr, instead of the day on which the whole Church mourns for her Founder. (Cf. Mediator Dei, PTL 550, quoted below.)
39. Rev. A. M. Rouget, OP, speaking to the Dominican Sisters of Bethany at Plessit-Chenet.
40. GI 4, DOL 1394. Cf. "Presbyterum Ordinis," Section 13, DOL 265.
41. GI 60, DOL 1450 fn.
42. See Jn. 14:13-16, 23-24.
43. In some translations of the Roman Canon, the phrase a place of refreshment, light and peace was rendered as a simple state: "blessedness, light, peace." What can be said then of the disappearance of every explicit reference to the Church Suffering?
44. Amidst this flurry of omissions, only one element has been added: the mention in the Confiteor of "what I have failed to do."
45. At the press conference introducing the Novus Ordo, Rev. Joseph Lecuyer, CSSp, professing a purely rationalist faith, discussed changing the priest's salutations in Mass without a Congregation from plural to singular ("Pray, brother," for example, replaces "Pray, brethren.") His reason was "so that there would be nothing [in the Mass] which does not correspond with the truth."
46. GI Section 260, 265; DOL 1650, 1655.
47. GI 244.C, DOL 1634.
48. GI 70, DOL 1460, fn.
49. It now seems lawful for priest to receive Communion under both species at a concelebration, even when they are obliged to celebrate Mass alone before or after concelebrating.
50. It has been presented as "The Canon of Hippolytus," but only a few traces of that original text remain in the new rite.
51. Gottesdienst no. 9 (14 May 1969).
52. SC 116, DOL 116.
53. Consider the following elements found in the Byzantine rite: lengthy and repeated penitential prayers; solemn vesting rites for the celebrant and deacon; the preparation of the offerings at the "proscomidia," a complete rite in itself; repeated invocations, even in the prayers of offering, to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints; invocations of the choirs of Angels at the Gospel as "invisible concelebrants," while the choir identifies itself with the angelic choirs in the "Cherubicon;" the sanctuary screen (iconostasis) separating the sanctuary from the rest of the church and the clergy from the people; the hidden Consecration, symbolizing the divine mystery to which the entire liturgy alludes; the position of the priest who celebrates facing God, and never facing the people; Communion given always and only by the celebrant; the continual marks of adoration toward the Sacred Species; the essentially contemplative attitude of the people. The fact that these liturgies, even in their less solemn forms, last for over an hour and are constantly defined as "awe-inspiring, unutterable...heavenly, life-giving mysteries" speaks for itself. Finally, we note how in both the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of St. Basil, the concept of "supper" or "banquet" appears clearly subordinate to the concept of sacrifice --just as it was in the Roman Mass.
54. Bull "Quo Primum," 13 July 1570. In Session 23 (Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist), the Council of Trent announced its intention to "uproot completely the cockle of the damnable errors and schism which in these fateful times of ours and enemy has sown (see Matt. 13:25) in the teaching of the faith about the Holy Eucharist and about the use and worship of the Eucharist. In addition to his other purpose, our Saviour left the Eucharist in his Church as a symbol of unity and love which he desired to unify and unite all Christians." DB 873.
55. "Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words." (1 Tim. 6:20)
56. "Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the Sacred Liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the right path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the Divine Redeemer's Body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings...This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Synod of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "depositum fidei" committed to her charge by her Divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn." "Mediator Dei," I.5, PTL 548, 549.
57. "Let us not deceive ourselves with the suggestion that the Church, which has become great and majestic for the glory of God as a magnificent temple of His, must be brought to its original and smallest proportions, as though they were the only true ones, the only good ones." Paul VI, Encyclical "Ecclesiam Suam," 6 August 1964.
58. "A practically schismatic ferment divides, subdivides, splits the Church." Paul VI, Homily "In Coena Domini," 3 April 1969.
59. "There are also among us those "schisms" and "separations" which St. Paul sadly denounces in I Corinthians." Paul VI, ibid.
60. It is well-known how Vatican II is now being repudiated by the very men who once gloried in being its leaders. While the Pope declared at the Council's end that it had changed nothing, these men came away determined to "explode" the Council's teachings in the process of actually applying it. Unfortunately the Holy See, with inexplicable haste, approved and even seemingly encouraged through Consilium an ever-increasing infidelity to the Council.. This infidelity went from changes in mere form (Latin, Gregorian Chant, suppression of the ancient rites, etc.) all the way to changes in substance which the Novus Ordo sanctions. To the disastrous consequences we have attempted to point out here, we must add those which, with an even greater effect psychologically, will affect the Church's discipline and teaching authority by undermining the respect and docility owed the Holy See.