Did six Protestant ministers at the 2nd Vatican Council really help design the Novus Ordo Mass?

vaticansix

(Vatican II’s “Fantastic Six” didn’t really wear numbers)

Returning to the “myth” that Protestant observers did not contribute in creating the New Mass, to hold this position is to deny the obvious – not only in fact, but also in substance. In the first place, an ecumenical liturgy that would no longer offend Protestants was Fr. Annibale Bugnini’s intention from the get-go as he declared in 1965:

We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants… [my emphasis]

While we learn from the close confidant of Pope Paul VI, Jean Guitton:

The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic Liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy. There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or, at least to correct, or, at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass” [my emphasis][4].

To accomplish this ecumenical goal, the Consilium
enlisted the help of these Protestant observers:

  1. A. Raymond George (Methodist)
  2. Ronald Jaspar (Anglican)
  3. Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian)
  4. Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran)
  5. Eugene Brand (Lutheran)[5]
  6. Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).

Their contribution in creating the New Mass was immortalized in a picture taken of them during an audience with Pope Paul VI after thanking them for their assistance. The image was subsequently published in L’Osservatore Romano on April 23, 1970 with the title: “Commission Holds Final Meeting, Pope Commends Work of Consilium”.

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Of liberal and traditional Catholics … their critics and supporters

As it turns out, Pope Benedict XVI, in the motu propio, Summorum Pontificum, declared, in agreement with the traditionalists, that the liturgical books of 1962 had never been abrogated when the novus ordo was promulgated! What’s more, traditional Catholics had a right to the old Mass!

However, to my knowledge Vere and Madrid didn’t even bother to correct their book, which still contains these errors along with a few other doozies. Nor were apologies forthcoming when the excommunications of the bishops of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X were lifted by the Holy Father.

Now that prominent churchmen and theologians are taking seriously the traditionalist critique of the 20th century changes in the Church, as first formulated by thinkers such as Romano Amerio, it is becoming crystal clear that a place is being carved out for traditional Catholics in an emerging Church, just now starting on a reform in continuity with Tradition of the post-Vatican II errors.

That place had been denied to traditional Catholics, not just by the liberals of the “hermeneutic of rupture”, but also by the mainstream, novus ordo conservatives such as Vere, Madrid, and, our friend, Mr. Mark Shea.

So the present situation that these novus ordo conservatives find themselves in after Summorum Pontificum is a rather uncomfortable one.

They were so sure that the old liturgical books had been abrogated. Wrong!

They were so sure that the novus ordo was the Traditional Latin Mass for the very reason that the old books had been abrogated. Wrong again!

Because the old liturgical books were not abrogated, and because there are now two forms of the Roman Rite, the novus ordo is certainly distinct from the Traditional Latin Mass.

They were so sure that there was no room in the Church for those disaffected traditionalists that were attached to the Traditional Latin Mass. Wrong again!

We are to be welcomed and all generosity is to be shown to those who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass.

They were so sure that all those criticisms of Vatican II and the 20th Century changes were disobedience. Wrong again!

The debate has been welcomed, and, according to the secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the criticisms “make sense”!

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In spite of all the recent scandals, the Catholic Church still works!

by Doug Lawrence

I just got back from morning Mass, where around 300 of the nicest people you’re ever likely to meet … this side of heaven … voluntarily came together, early on a beautiful Thursday morning … to give God thanks and praise, to ask forgiveness for our sins, to hear the Gospel powerfully proclaimed, to obtain healing and peace for our friends and neighbors all around the world, to offer ourselves up to God, and to personally receive Jesus Christ, our high priest, king, savior, and mediator … as he became present for us, on the altar.

Then we all had a divine breakfast together.

The Holy Sacrifice was of the standard Novus Ordo type, in English, reverently and properly celebrated, by a wonderful, missionary priest. It couldn’t have been any better in any other language, or in any other rite. It was as perfect as any Mass could be.

All in all, a totally faith-affirming, Catholic experience.

Praise God!

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!

Modern Catholicism Lacking In Traditional Elements

The new Roman Missal, once it’s implemented in all English-speaking Catholic parishes in 2011, will be a vernacular missal faithful to the original Latin text of the traditional Mass. The English Missale Romanum that was approved in 1970 was a mere paraphrase of the original Latin text of the old Mass (or the Extraordinary Form), rather than a translation. The changes in the 2011 Missal will be significant. Regarding the future Missal, even Pope Benedict acknowledged that “many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation.” Those in the know say that the tone of the new Missal will emphasize the sacredness of the Divine Liturgy.

It’s inevitable, I suppose, that some Catholic modernists are not happy about the coming changes. Since Vatican II, different factions of Catholics have emerged: traditionalists, conservatives, and liberals can barely agree on anything and in many instances they are at war with one another. The coming “return to tradition” Missal has so enraged some liberal Catholics that the National Catholic Reporter, a modernist Catholic newspaper, has initiated an online petition asking that the publication of the new translation of the Missal be “delayed indefinitely.”

Ironically, Vatican II never called for the wholesale reconstruction of the Mass. Instead, Vatican II specifically envisioned Catholics learning to sing the key parts of the so called New Mass in Latin. Clearly, certain unwarranted liberties were taken over the last forty years, and this is what the Pope wants to change.

When I left the Church as a young twenty something I thought it was because I was an agnostic, but the fact is, I was unhappy at the new style of Catholic worship. In those days I felt I was the only one who felt that way but since then I’ve come to see that thousands, even millions of Catholics, are on the same wave length.

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“The Ottaviani Intervention” – Letter from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI September 25th, 1969

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.

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 agonizing crisis of conscience of which innumerable instances come to our 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.

Read the entire document

More about Cardinal Ottaviani

Submitted by Nancy W.

Fruits of the obtuse “Spirit of Vatican II”


When St. Bonaventure writes in Itinerium Mentis ad Deum that only a man of desire (such as Daniel) can understand God, he means that a certain attitude of soul must be achieved in order to understand the world of God, into which He wants to lead us.

This counsel is especially applicable to the Church’s liturgy. The sursum corda the lifting up of our hearts is the first requirement for real participation in the mass. Nothing could better obstruct the confrontation of man with God than the notion that we “go unto the altar of God” as we would go to a pleasant, relaxing social gathering. This is why the Latin Mass with Gregorian chant, which raises us up to a sacred atmosphere, is vastly superior to a vernacular mass with popular songs, which leaves us in a profane, merely natural atmosphere.

The basic error of most of the innovations is to imagine that the new liturgy brings the holy sacrifice of the mass nearer to the faithful, that shorn of its old rituals the mass now enters into the substance of our lives. For the question is whether we better meet Christ in the mass by soaring up to Him, or by dragging Him down into our own pedestrian, workaday world. The innovators would replace holy intimacy with Christ by an unbecoming familiarity. The new liturgy actually threatens to frustrate the confrontation with Christ, for it discourages reverence in the face of mystery, precludes awe, and all but extinguishes a sense of sacredness. What really matters, surely, is not whether the faithful feel at home at mass, but whether they are drawn out of their ordinary lives into the world of Christ-whether their attitude is the response of ultimate reverence: whether they are imbued with the reality of Christ.

THOSE WHO RHAPSODIZE on the new liturgy make much of the point that over the years the mass had lost its communal character and had become an occasion for individualistic worship. The new vernacular mass, they insist, restores the sense of community by replacing private devotions with community participation. Yet they forget that there are different levels and kinds of communion with other persons. The level and nature of a community experience is determined by the theme of the communion, the name or cause in which men are gathered. The higher the good which the theme represents, and which binds men together, the more sublime and deeper is the communion. The ethos and nature of a community experience in the case of a great national emergency is obviously radically different from the community experience of a cocktail party. And of course the most striking differences in communities will be found between the community whose theme is supernatural and the one whose theme is merely natural. The actualization of men’s souls who are truly touched by Christ is the basis of a unique community, a sacred communion, one whose quality is incomparably more sublime than that of any natural community. The authentic we communion of the faithful, which the liturgy of Holy Thursday expresses so well in the words “congregavit nos in unum Christi amor”, is only possible as a fruit of the I-Thou communion with Christ Himself. Only a direct relation to the God- Man can actualize this sacred union among the faithful.

Read more by Dietrich von Hildebrand