Dr. William Oddie: The (present) Novus Ordo is a valid Catholic Mass, written in unambiguous language.

The issues involved, however, will be with us for some time, and still have to be faced, since the casual acceptance of some supposedly “traditionalist” views has done considerable damage. One of these was summed up by one participant in the ongoing Herald debate: his view is essentially that the Novus Ordo is an invalid rite:

“The Novus Ordo does not signify the Catholic theology of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. It is ambiguous – deliberately so – and tends toward giving a Protestant understanding of the Lord’s Supper, which gradually will replace the Catholic Mass in the eyes and psyche of whatever remaining “Catholic” attend it. It is simple: no sacrifice = no need for a sacrificing priest = no need for an altar but merely a table for a commemorative meal over which the presbyter presides and in which the people of God exercise their universal priesthood and so they, not any priest, worship God in their way instead of in His.”

This is a grotesque distortion – no, worse, an actual direct untruth – simply asserted as though it were self-evident. The Novus Ordo is very clearly a valid Catholic liturgy, in which the doctrine of the Mass as sacrifice is both assumed and unambiguously stated. Consider the following, from the current English translation of Eucharistic prayer III:

Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious Resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.

Look with favour on your Church’s offering, and see the victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ.

May he make us an everlasting gift to you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help.

Lord, may this sacrifice, which has made our peace with you, advance the peace and salvation of all the world…

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Editor’s note: Assuming the complete absence of many, popular, wide-spread abuses, the writer is probably correct. Otherwise … not!

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