Why the Traditional Latin Mass?
How did Cardinal Ottaviani view the changes in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
In 1969, Pope Paul VI issued a New Order of the Mass, the Novus Ordo Missae. Up to that time, what is commonly referred to as the "Tridentine" or "Latin" Mass, was used by the Church. On the face of things, it may seem to be a simple matter for the Pope to change the Mass. It has been done before. Is there a difference, then, between the modifications made by Paul VI and the liturgical changes of the past? There is a radical difference, and one that has had disastrous consequences for the universal Church.
The New Mass Contradicts Tradition
The "Tridentine" or Roman Rite Mass, while it has developed organically over the 2,000 year history of the Church, is essentially the Mass that was given to the Apostles and the Church by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Although various rites emerged, they all maintained the same spirit imparted to the liturgy by Our Lord and were only adapted to various cultures without any deviation in doctrine. The Roman Rite, up to Vatican II, underwent only minor changes, such that the famous English liturgist Fr. Adrian Fortescue was able to state that "no one has ventured to touch it except in unimportant details."
Pope St. Pius V, to protect the Roman Rite from innovations and eliminate any variations, codified the Traditional Latin Mass in the Apostolic ConstitutionQuo Primum in 1570. The Mass that he was confirming was not some new creation like the Novus Ordo Missae, but a Mass that matched in every respect the Faith of the Apostles. Nor was it the Mass of some particular area of the Church like the Eastern rites, but the universal rite of the Church, the rite of the Roman See. His bull says in part:
"We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal. "Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force." The Apostolic Constitution "Quo Primum" of Pope St. Pius V (July 14, 1570
What, then, was done at Vatican II? Were some changes made merely in "unimportant details"? Was the proper honor and respect given to the Rite essentially bestowed by Christ on His Church and confirmed by incomparable proofs in the form of thousands of saints and countless miracles? On September 25, 1969, AlfredoCardinal Ottaviani, Prefect-Emeritus of the Sacred Congregation for the Faith, sent Pope Paul VI a theological Study of the New Order of the Mass "Short Critical Study of the New Order of Mass." The Study contained a cover letter signed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci which says, in part:
Most Holy Father,
Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations: 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 . . .
A GOOD TREE OR A BAD TREE?
WHAT ARE THE FRUITS OF THE NEW LITURGY?
"By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit" (Matt. 7:15-17). Given the foregoing, it should be plain that the New Mass was conceived for an evil purpose and constructed by evil means. It only follows that such a tree would have disastrous effects on the Church. Let us look at its fruits as reported in Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II by Kenneth Jones. "The number of priests in the United States more than doubled from 1930 to 1965 to 58,000. Since then, however, the number has fallen to 45,000 and there will be only 31,000 priests left in 2020, with half of them being over 70. In 1965, only 1% of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, 3,000 or 15% of the parishes are priestless. The number of seminarians from 1965 to 2002 dropped over 90% from 49,000 to 4,700, while two-thirds of the seminaries have closed. There were 104,000 teaching nuns in 1965, while today there are a mere 8,200, a decline of 94% since the end of Vatican II. Religious orders are on the road to disappearance. Three and a half thousand were studying to be Jesuits in 1965. In 2000, the number was 389. The Christian Brothers have lost two-thirds of their members in that span of time, while the number of their seminarians has shrunk by 99%. In 2000, there were only seven. Almost half of all Catholic high schools have closed in the U.S. since 1965. Only one in four Catholics now attend Mass on Sundays. There were 338 annulments in 1968 and 50,000 in 2002. Only 10% of lay religious teachers now accept Church teaching on contraception. Fifty-three percent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. Sixty-five percent say that Catholics may divorce and remarry. Seventy-seven percent hold that one can be a good Catholic without going to Mass on Sundays. Finally, 70% of Catholics between 18 and 44 believe that the Eucharist is merely a "symbolic reminder" of Jesus.
Priests. While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000, between 1930 and 1965, since then that number has fallen to 45,000. By 2020, there will be only 31,000 priests left, and more than half of these priests will be over 70.
Ordinations. In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States. In 2002, the number was 450. In 1965, only 1 percent of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, there are 3,000 priestless parishes, 15 percent of all U.S. parishes.
Seminarians. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries that were operating in 1965 have now closed.
Sisters. In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns. By 2002, that had fallen to 75,000 and the average age of a Catholic nun is today 68. In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns. Today, there are 8,200, a decline of 94 percent since the end of Vatican II.
Religious Orders. For religious orders in America, the end is in sight. In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests. In 2000, the figure was 389. With the Christian Brothers, the situation is even more dire. Their number has shrunk by two-thirds, with the number of seminarians falling 99 percent. In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers. In 2000, there were only seven. The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.
Catholic schools. Almost half of all Catholic high schools in the United States have closed since 1965. The student population has fallen from 700,000 to 386,000. Parochial schools suffered an even greater decline. Some 4,000 have disappeared, and the number of pupils attending has fallen below 2 million – from 4.5 million.
Catholic Marriage. Catholic marriages have fallen in number by one-third since 1965, while the annual number of annulments has soared from 338 in 1968 to 50,000 in 2002.
Attendance at Mass. A 1958 Gallup Poll reported that three in four Catholics attended church on Sundays. A recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that only one in four now attend.
Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers now accept church teaching on contraception. Fifty-three percent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. Sixty-five percent believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry. Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to mass on Sundays. By one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe the Eucharist is merely a "symbolic reminder" of Jesus.
Who could possibly claim that there is not a terrible crisis of faith in the Catholic Church!? It is no wonder that Cardinal Ratzinger affirmed: "I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part on the collapse of the liturgy." It is clear how the New Mass could create such a disaster. Liturgy dictates belief. A protestantized liturgy yields heretical belief, loss of the Faith, and devaluation of the priesthood. Satan has been able to accomplish more effective damage to the entire body of the Church in the past 35 years through the destruction of the Mass than ever before.