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The SSPX claim the Novus Ordo is a Protestant rite. Can they be serious?

The Mass of Paul VI is unambiguously sacrificial, not simply a remembrance of ‘the Lord’s Supper’

By on Monday, 28 February 2011

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta holds a monstrance containing the Eucharist (Photo: CNS)

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta holds a monstrance containing the Eucharist (Photo: CNS)

The current Catholic Herald debate on the collapse of the doctrinal discussions between the Vatican and the SSPX is getting a substantial response, and has been noticed elsewhere in the blogosphere. The whole debate, according to one blog, The Sensible Bond, was predictable: “On the one side, high-minded papal loyalists cannot say enough about how disobedient the SSPX is, or how proud. On the other side, SSPX tub thumpers jeer about the hierarchy’s tendency to wink at all rebellions apart from the SSPX’s, and the busted flush of Benedict’s papacy which has seen him gravitate from liturgical traditionalist to Assisi tribute act in a mere four years”.

Well, I can’t say I’m neutral between the two points of view, definitely tending towards being a “papal loyalist” (despite some discomfort over Assisi, I think it’s just about defensible), though how high-minded you need to be to hold such views I’m not sure: it seems to me it’s a perfectly normal for a mainstream Catholic to be loyal to the pope.
The real question is whether there was ever any realistic prospect that there might be any kind of rapprochement. Rome’s view is that the SSPX can be as critical as it likes about the distortions of Vatican II – what Pope Benedict calls “the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” – but in the end it has to accept the essential Catholicity of the Council itself. This seems to me entirely reasonable. SSPX actually demands that Rome should repudiate the Council and accept that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid, even Protestant.
This is grotesquely unreasonable. It is inconceivable that the Vatican would simply turn against an ecumenical council of all the world’s bishops. SSPX must have known this: so it has been playing an elaborate game whose outcome was probably clearly foreseen by Bishop Fellay. The Pope, on the contrary, clearly had hopes that the schism might be overcome. Well, he has done everything he could to explore every avenue towards reconcilation. Now it is over.

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…

That is quite unmistakeable, and clearly, intentionally and unambiguously expressed: what is being offered is a “holy and living” sacrifice, the sacrifice of Calvary. Or consider this, from Eucharistic prayer IV:

…looking forward to his coming in glory, we offer you his body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world.
Lord, look upon this sacrifice which you have given to your Church; and by your Holy Spirit, gather all who share this one bread and one cup into the one body of Christ, a living sacrifice of praise.
Lord, remember those for whom we offer this sacrifice, especially [Benedict] our Pope, [name of local bishop], our bishop, and bishops and clergy everywhere…

I find the accusation of “deliberate ambiguity” particularly interesting, since many years ago, when I was training to be an Anglican clergyman, I once had to write a long essay comparing the language and theology of the then recently authorised Anglican and Catholic rites: the Novus Ordo and what was then called the “Series III” service of Holy Communion of the Church of England. My conclusion then (it was one of the factors that led me, about a decade later, to understand that I had no alternative but to become a Catholic) was that the chief linguistic difference between the rites was that Catholic language was, precisely, deliberately unambiguous and Anglican language (because the same Eucharistic prayer had to gain acceptance from Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals alike) was inevitably ambiguous.
Take the words of the epiklesis, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, in the Roman rite: “And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist.” That’s the epiklesis of Eucharistic prayer III: but the same doctrinal point has to be made about all four prayers: the assumption here is that the Eucharistic elements undergo an actual and supernaturally effected change: there is an actual point at which they become, in very truth and not merely symbolically, the body and blood of Christ. 

The equivalent Anglican words at this point are “grant that by the power of your Spirit these gifts of bread and wine may be to us his body and his blood”: the notion of a moment at which change is effected is deliberately avoided: an Anglo-Catholic can assume it, but an evangelical can see these words as referring simply to a mere subjective view, that the bread and wine in some way “to us” symbolise Christ’s body and blood. The idea of the Eucharist as sacrifice is deliberately excluded by the words which follow “we celebrate and proclaim his perfect sacrifice made once for all upon the cross”: in other words, the sacrifice of Calvary was in no way repeatable, and what we now do is simply a distant and subjective memory of it.

Whether you like the new prayers of the Roman Rite or not (personally, I think that Eucharistic prayers III and IV are magnificent, especially in Latin but, though more evidently in the new translation, even in the current English version) it is ludicrous, ludicrous, to claim that they tend towards Protestantism. 

The Novus Ordo is a valid Catholic Mass, written in unambiguous language. Let us all, whether or not we like the way it is sometimes celebrated, or the way it was originally translated, agree on that. If we can’t, we’re all in trouble.

  • Carlismo

    How come these people are always so agresssive and uncharitable?

    If the SSPX had the truth on their side then I’d expect to be moved by the saintly meekness of your words. You’d be blessed with a gentleness which could break hearts of stone and bring people to your cause. But you don’t, all you have is a heart of cruelty and Malice. Was Jean Vianney abusive and insulting to others when he renewed his Church?
    I hate the assertation that such traddies are more devout catholics than the rest of us. From what I can see, if they perhaps spent less time in the spiteful and bitter world of ultra-catholic blogging and more time at prayer devoted to the Sacred Heart or more time at Eucharistic adoration then the might be blessed and imbued with a little more grace. And therefore further their cause. As things stand, we see a small Army of SSPX Bishop Williamson clones who God seems not to be with due to their cruel words.Words you’ll always find in every conversation with Sedevacants…
    Conciliaris, Fornicaters, Sodomists, Masonic, Clown Mass, Liberal, Communist, Talmundic Jews…

  • Profidebookstore

    “As long as the ordaining bishop does not positively intend the contrary of what the Church intends, & as long as the matter is sufficient & the form valid, even if illicit, the sacrament is conferred ” – ANSWER: there is no such proposition in the Church documents, but if there is it is definitely not infallible.

  • Carlismo

    Also, these so-called “Traddies”seem to prosper mostly in places where protestantism is strong. They seem to be poisoned by the heresy of American Dualism where everything is polarized to be either good or bad with no in between. Basically, they are the ones who are Protestants parading as Catholics, we can see this by the way they hate the Holy Father. Are they not to make any changes at all? Funny how the SSPX never speak of Justice or Peace or attack the sins of ultra-patriotism, militarism and nationalism. Vichyites.

  • Anonymous

    Listen, Carlismo, pots and kettles springs to mind, reading your post. You cannot possibly pretend that you are not aggressive and uncharitable in the nasty things you’ve written about the SSPX, even personal nastiness towards a Bishop of the Church, Bishop Williamson. Never ceases to amaze me how his views on a matter of politics and history, gets modernist worked up into a frenzy, while bishops who attend seedy parties and deny Our Lady’s powers of intercession hardly rate a mention, let alone nasty jibes and frenzied hatred.

    I refer, of course, to Westminster’s Bishop George Stack – but there’s plenty more where he came from.


  • Profidebookstore

    Listen, EditorCT, you really did not respond to his comment, did you? Finding the same fault in your neighbour’s life doesn’t remove the same spot from yours (I don’t mean you personally).

  • Dallasgreenberg

    That was a very intelligent, classy reply to the ‘Almighty’ Profidebookstore. It’s unfortunate, there’s certain people like our friend here who you just can’t get through to, even with all the evidence he simply deviates from the main issues at hand affecting the Church.

    What’s worse is that none the evidence, none of the liturgical abuses that has occurred in many of the novus ordo masses, it doesn’t even faze him. He simply doesn’t care.

    By the that was completely ‘classless’ condescending the way he called you ‘lady’, you could tell there was such vial intent. That’s why I don’t even know why i’m wasting time and responding to him. In my humble opinion Profide is in such a spiritual fog, he tries to come across as a ‘defender’ of the faith, but with his bad will he ignores the evidence regardless of how much it’s screaming at him.

    Profide’s problem is that he’s blinded by Pride. Profide just take the “of” in your name there that’s the root of your problem your own Pride.

    Christina btw I’m traditional fellow, the difference between Profide and me in using the term “Lady” directed at you… I would say it like the old gentlemen folk would… bent down on one knee, asking for your hand and kissing it and saying… “How may I help you my Lady?” ;) Us traditionalists we were taught how to respect and offer our service to our women…

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You should spend more time on your knees. Whatever you may do on your knees you don’t pray or you would not write as you do. God bless you.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    The word is ‘beatified’, not ‘beautified’ and – to borrow the words of one of your co-religionists – ‘you sound totally bitter’. Archibishop Lefebvre and John-Paul II are probably together. I hope they are in Heaven. Do you? Or are you, as you seem, too bitter for that? Your ‘truth’ is the sort that would give indigestion to a saint, so laced is it with the asperity of your words and the lack of charity and the self-assured self-righteousness that you so often and so shamelessly display in these columns.

    Neither JPII nor Archbishop Lefebvre have much in common with you, bitter little man or woman that you are. Your ‘truth’ is no truth at all, being devoid of any compassion or love.

  • Christina

    Thank you, Profidebookstore. Your apology is accepted.

  • Profidebookstore

    If the EditorCT’s account is true I have to say that it is sad, Carlismo: Traditional Moral Theology has it that one is never permitted to do evil for the sake of good, even it that good is a defence of Faith.

    But that apart, what you say about the SSPX is penetratingly true and precisely identified. I will not go into the question whether that Black/White attitude is identical with Protestantism because I don’t know much of the latter; but what you observe stands on its own.

    It is exactly because of that attitude that they fail to admit any truth and good in non-Catholic Christian Churches and Communities, that the SSPX object to Ecumenism. They know the non-Catholic bodies only under the heading of “error”, although much of what characterises these bodies is the truth which they retained since before the separation; not a full truth, indeed, but nevertheless the truth. So, they expect of them “conversion” from “errors” and not restoration of those aspects of truth they have abandoned.

    Likewise, they fail to admit the elements of truth in the non-Christian Religions known to them naturally, or what they might have adopted from Christianity. Here again they see it Black/White and look at these Religions with contempt and again as “errors”. How far this monstrous attitude can go is evident from their attitude to Quran. The beautiful prayer to the Merciful and Compassionate Creator of the world and the Master of Day of Judgement is to the “traitionasists” a “blasphemy”, which the Catholic may never say: it is a blasphemy for the mere fact that it is present in Quran.

    From the same attitude, the SSPX’s rejection of the Dignitatis Humanae, is understandable. As all non-Catholic religions, come under the Black, i.e. they are an “error”, and the “error has no rights” they cannot have the right to religious freedom: at the most they may be “tolerated”, but even that tolerance, may not go that far as to permit them to promote their cause in public life, because that would be “contrary to common good”. As the “Catholic State” determines the latter, it means that the non-Catholic religions may freely act only within the limits provided by the “Catholics”. In other words, they are sentenced to live as a second class citizen of their own Country.

    How is this silly “traditional” doctrine, allegedly of “the Popes”, reconcilable with the Moral Doctrine that one may never act against his conscience, while at the same time he is forbidden by the “Catholic State” to act in accord with his conscience, because the “error has no rights”, remains the mystery of this “tradition”.

    This Black/White attitude explains why they reject the events in Assisi. Not to mention the Vatican II’s restrained attitude to the atheism, and its refusal to condemn Communism. Whatever one may say against the latter, even here the things are not Black/White. Everyone who knows the Communistic ideology, knows that the basic idea which has enabled it to gain support – regardless of what it has turned into once a new privileged class has been established – was its dedication to the deprived. The “God” they rejected was not God in Whom we believe, but His caricature in the lives of the privileged, which has been for centuries tacitly supported by ecclesiastical establishments. In other words, it was we the “Christians” who have contributed to the caricature of God in their ideology. The SSPX have never asked themselves who is a better Catholic: a man who, while “rejecting” God, gives his life to protect the underprivileged, or they, the “Catholics” who sit in their armchairs believing in “god” rejected by the atheists, while protecting the establishment which, in its turn, protects the status quo.

  • Profidebookstore

    I personally admire the Orthodox Church, and love your magnificent Liturgy: what your present Archbishop Elisey makes of it is really the “haeven on earth”. Presumably you know that our Mass is now in the process of gradual recovery exactly due to the papal prerogatives, but it is a gradual process because, in actual fact, the prerogatives are far less than one may infer from the past quarrels and controversies. I don’t think that the current Mass as we have it in reality is the work of the Paul VI. He hiself was the victim of the establishment which has got hold of the Church between the two Councils, as result of the one-sided understanding of the Dogma of Primacy, which was, in part, also due to the fact that Vatican I had no time to deal with the doctrine about the Bishops. But if one looks carefully how the Vatican II has made good for this defect, it is really necessary to consult the Constitution Lumen Gentium, and the papal encyclicals since John XXIII. It all works differently than one might draw from records of past contoversies, because the Catholic theology has developed since. I don’t mean: radically changed, but it has articulated more explicitly what had been implicit in earlier tradition.

    After all, at one time, we were together, and in his time, the theologian Ratzinger said to the effect: the onennes is such an essential mark of the Church that we have to justify the current state of division, rather than justify the work for unity, because the latter does not require justification.

    I must admit that I am not familiar with writings of the three authors you admire, because I do not consider individual theologians, however great as theologians, as an authority per se. Whether their writings will ever have a substantial impact on Catholic theology I do not know, but I really doubt that they will. The reason is simple: they will be lost in he sea of Tradition that goes back beyond the tragic events at the turn of the two millenia.

    As you can see from this Post and hundreds of others, the Society is an enemy to our reconciliation. Both the “conciliar Church” and you are in “error”, and in addition you are “schismatics”, you must admit what “you are”, and “convert”. The “conciliar Church” must “return to tradition” as conceived by them. Both have to submit to “the popes”, i.e. to the Society.

    Elsewhere in this Post you may note my lengthy comment, which has one paragraph on Ecumenism.

  • orthodox_md

    As I said, my sympathy with the Society is entirely superficial and applies only to the liturgical situation: I have no truck with their feelings about anything else. I mentioned the three theologians, because they represent that strain of Vatican II which is most congenial to an Orthodox observer. And von Balthasar is the closest thing I know to a 20th century Latin Father of the Church.

    As for the restoration of a hypothetical tradition that was supposed to be common to our two churches, I’m not particularly sanguine about any such notion. Primitivism has produced far too many ill effects, and it’s led to a hybrid gorgon-headed liturgical monster, where primitive elements, plucked out of East, West, and beyond, to create a liturgical text that corresponds to something that exists only in the head of a liturgical bureaucrat. Among the Orthodox who care about such things, the Mass of John XIII is recognized to be an authentic expression of the Roman rite, to a superlative degree: crafting wholesale a liturgical rite (and not merely reforming it) is extremely troublesome to the Orthodox. Aside from the doctrinal concerns, this liturgy is not attached to any saint or outstanding father of the church. Whether our liturgies as we receive them and critically evaluate them actually come to us by the hand of their traditional authors or not, it is essential to the tradition that our liturgy be attached to the saints. That cannot be said for the new liturgy; it can be said for the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the Liturgy of St. Basil, the Presanctified Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great (or Dialogist, as he’s called in the East); it’s not uncommon to hear the traditional Roman liturgy described as the Liturgy of Pope St. Gregory, etc.

    And by abuse of papal prerogative, I meant only to highlight a point Pope Benedict himself has made; that the pope is a servant of the tradition, not its author or master. But Pope Paul’s actions belie Benedict’s point. Paul VI suppressed a legitimate rite and refused the faithful and his priests permissions to celebrate it: that is a grave, grave problem from the Orthodox view and not likely to win many admirers for the prerogatives of the papacy.

  • Profidebookstore

    AND in addition: “I’d already had to ask more than one diocesan priest if he was being serious, so ridiculous are the comments I’ve heard in certain diocesan confession boxes.”
    COMMENT: Quite honestly, when I read this account, I wonder if you were really entering the confessionals in a sincerely humble and repentant frame of mind, or you had, on your agenda, an investigation of the confessors’ attitudes.

    Prior to the above: “On one occasion, after I’d confessed sins that would make the devil’s hair stand on end, the priest told me he’d not heard any sins in there. Five minutes later he was telling me I was the most selfish person he’d ever met, did I not realise there was a queue of people waiting outside and just how long was my lecture going to take??? “
    COMMENT: If he told you that in your account “he’d not heard any sins in there”, he did it as a judge, presumably he would have given you an absolution anyway, you have confessed what you considered necessary, and I really do not understand why have you held him up for five more minutes, giving him the lectures, if the queue was behind you. If you sincerely confessed all, and received absolution, the sins, if there were any, would have been forgiven whether he considered them to be the sins or not – so what was the problem?

    I am more worried for those homosexuals who confess the homosexual acts they have committed, but then told that had they used a condom they would had committed an extra sin of “contraception”.

  • Ben Trovato

    If you have read Michael Davies’ books (the Liturgical Reform) then you will have read all that he says with regard to the Protestant objections to the traditional offertory and the accommodations with Protestantism that informed the Novus Ordo. There is nothing I would add to his writing – and as it rusnt o three volumes I won’t attempt to summarise it here..

    As to when the traditional Offertory acquired its current form, I don’t know and don’t much care. Archaeologism for tis own sake has little part in my scale of values.

    What I do know is that the Offertory we had handed down to us by previous generations was time-hallowed, and that the Holy Father has said that we cannot regard as proscribed what was previously and rightly regarded as sacred.

    But I still don’t know your thinking on this and am genuinely curious: my attempts to frame (admittedly prejudicial) questions to clarify it clearly failed. You refer to ‘clearly misleading language’ ‘bread worship’ and say that ‘To say that it is all done “in anticipation” is no excuse, ‘ but you also say that you do not hold the traditional rite to have been defective, nor those saints who prayed it to have been bread worshippers.

    It seemed to me that your problem was that the words “immaculatam hostiam” were pronounced over the host before the consecration, but you disclaim it is a matter of sequence.

    I am genuinely puzzled and genuinely curious – but I don’t know what question to ask to satisfy that curiosity beyond: what is your view on all this?…

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear profidebookstore

    You wrote: ‘I am glad that you are trying to establish what I mean although I see nothing there that isn’t clear to me.’ ……but of course not, although it is frequently not as clear as mountain water to the rest of us, do you see? THAT is why people respond – because they don’t know what you mean….

    Then you wrote: ‘if something isn’t clear to you (you do not have to agree with what I say; only be clear what I say), ask what is not clear, without trying to put my assertions into your frame of mind befere (sic) you learned what is in mine.’ ….once again, we ask because we cannot read your mind and you do not always express yourself clearly.

    There is no doubt that you have a lot to say about most things but you may not assume that we – lesser intellects, perhaps – instantly grasp your meaning or that we grasp it at all.

    Try a little trechancy – it is more effective didactically – and I often find that when I really do understand what I am trying to say I can say it in simple terms.

    Conversely, I have frequently found that the more prolix the writer the more uncertain I become as to his or her real understanding.

    It is not required for credibility that we drone on for ever and ever, you know? Moreover, however impressive our scribblings may be it does not mean we truly understand them, does it?

    Father Fuchs, SJ, who taught me ‘morals’ at Rome told me(in English) that “bullshit does not really baffle brains” and I should be more brief in my answers to questions. Good man, Father Fuchs, knew waffle when he heard it, see?

  • Profidebookstore

    You are right. The problem of “traditionalists” (not to be confused with Traditionalists) is that analogously to the private interpretation of Scripture by the Protestants, the “traditionalists” are now taking the liberty of privately interpreting not only the Scripture but the Tradition too, setting both against the living Magisterium of the Church. They are best called – NeoProtestants.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Explain the difference (in your mind) between ‘traditionalists’ and ‘Traditionalists’ and let us know if you are(again in your mind) an adherent of one or the other. The world needs evidence of your allegations. we need strict proof of what you write. Where is it? Be so good as to provide it for us. ‘NeoProtestant’, you say? They are best called NeoProtestants, you pronounce. why so? Why are they best so called? Who decides so? You? Who gives you the right? Someone who hides behind a psudonym is not well placed to pontificate as to how brother Catholics ‘are best called’.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Do you mean Bishop Kelly?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Another rhymer and jangler of vernacularised scripture…Jeepers, these protestants are all over the show.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    He (or she) is unable to play ‘catch up’…the only game these people know – apart from being plain nasty about good Catholics, of course – is to sing ‘Ba, ba blacksheep’ whenever the words Vatican II or Pope are spoken. Invincible ignorance, invincible ignorance.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Why should anyone reply to your demands for this or that? You never come up with the goods to sustain your own words. You dispensed from all that, perhaps? Some papal dispensation we should know about?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Where did you get your authority to write as though you know something about liturgy?

  • Dallasgreenberg

    Unfortunately Dr. Russell J Berry I’m definitely not bitter, Our Lady by her wonderful grace helps me from falling into that mindset. For you to assume that, that would be dishonest on your part. I just made whole statement how I pray for Pope John Paul II, how I wish for his salvation, in fact I pray for everyone’s salvation, (you conveniently missed that) however these post Vatican II Popes as well as many in the Church hierarchy have taken the tone as seen through their ‘inter-religious’ actions like kissing a koran, or allow hindus to desecrate the alter at Fatima in 2004 that the necessity of the Catholic faith is really not that important. Bitter? No. Passionate? Yes. Why? Souls… Wishing, praying and hoping for the salvation of souls.

    The truth is that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. If unbaptized non-Catholics are saved the Church has taught it would either be through Baptism of Desire or Baptism of Blood. That is what the Church has taught for centuries. Now if someone outside the Catholic faith was saved, it would only be through God’s grace and mercy. However it was never taught that those outside the church would be saved so we can’t rely on that.

    You assuming that I’m bitter… completely false. What people like you have to realize is that providing proper charity also means that you must provide testament to the truth even if it’s inconvenient for others to hear. As harsh as my criticisms may be, the truth is that the Church is indeed in a crisis, there is definitely an eclipse. The greatest charity is truth and then praying especially the Rosary asking for Our Lady’s help. You have to also realize is that I provide an interesting perspective, I came from the Novus Ordo and I have seen the liturgical abuses first hand. Now through God’s grace knowing what I know and knowing that the Mass is truly the Unbloody Sacrifice at Calvary not a last supper memorial, I have a greater responsibility to avoid endorsing or supporting such abuses, I have a responsibility to share what I know if I feel it can help draw others closer to the faith. None of this has anything to do with ego… For the sake of the truth if I see others trying to inhibit others from finding it, you damn right I’m going to say something. It’s never out of arrogance or hate, believe or not it’s out of charity and love… Not a false love but love in that you pray and hope for the salvation of others.

    So think about what I just said ‘Dr.’, so when you come across stories of for example a statue of Buddha being placed on a tabernacle… For someone who doesn’t know the Catholic faith too well… What do you think that says to that person about the necessity of the faith? It’s not rocket science, come on you’re a ‘Dr.’… seriously that’s good, if anything I’d expect someone like you to understand. When there are inter-religious services with for example Lutherans (remember they believe faith alone, sola fide, Christ alone, bible alone, sola scriptura) how would that come across to someone who’s confused about the faith? Seriously, you honestly think those fruits will bring people close to the Catholic faith for the right reasons. Remember it was only Martin Luther who said, “Take away the mass, destroy the Church”…

    If someone goes to me, “I really wish they play more upbeat music in Mass…” I have an obligation because of knowing what I know to respond… “No the mass is a sacrifice it’s not concert where people clap…”

    Now you also made the comment saying “you bitter little man or woman”, unfortunately that was an unnecessary attack, which has no merit and which will do nothing to bring people closer to the faith as it should be practiced in the traditional sense, if anything YOU will come across as arrogant and condescending.

    On top of what I just said, the fact that you had to put ‘Dr.’ in front of your name shows you are asking or begging for some kind of recognition which ultimately shows a lack of humility. I assume you must have some PhD in something, if you do congratulations I trust you are a very bright person, definitely worked hard for that… Unfortunately in God’s eyes your title ‘Dr.’ will mean absolutely nothing at your own judgment. Same for me whatever money, titles or anything I do will mean nothing if I don’t do these things for God’s glory. I live with the reality that my salvation is in danger all the time. So while you waste your time and try to ‘belittle’ me with your arrogance and pride which by the way is a very dangerous sin (believe me I know first hand) I will pray for you just as I said I continue to pray for Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Lefebvre.

    So a little word of advice, you should stay humble because at any point God can humble you… believe me I know from experience…


  • Anonymous


    You make a very common mistake when you think that there is any requirement on Catholics to “accept” Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council was (to quote Pope Benedict) a “merely pastoral Council” (note, HE said “merely”, I’m merely quoting him, if you catch my drift) and – as with any novelties introduced by churchmen from the pope down – no Catholic needs to “accept” them. We are only required to adhere to the faith as it has been handed down to us from the apostles. Nothing that deviates or contradicts that deposit of Faith, requires our obedience. Nothing. So, just as we have no obligation to follow this Pope when he deviates from Catholic sexual morality (condoms) or invites pagans to pray to their false gods (indeed, we have a duty to contradict him in defence of the Faith) so we are not required to adhere to or “accept” a merely pastoral Council. It took place, it is a fact of history, but so was The Second Council of Constantinople, another disastrous Council. Let’s hope the next one is Trent II and the mess is sorted out.

    Development of doctrine, where the original teaching remains intact, is quite easily distinguished from new ideas. There is nothing in Vatican II that imposes any obligation on Catholics to adhere to, beyond those doctrines, repeated from Tradition (Lumen Gentium 25 springs to mind) But false ecumenism or the theologically nonsensical concept of religious liberty – everyone free to worship whatever god takes their fancy and to pot with “I am THE way, THE truth and THE life”, we have a duty to reject. Even the new Mass, Paul VI said (when he surveyed the destruction of the Church resulting from it – he called it “auto-demolition”) that the new Mass was intended merely to be an option. Tell that to the liturgical terrorists, and the lay people who enjoy playing at being priests.

    Please do not refer to Bishop Fellay as “Fellay”. If I came on here calling the Archbishop of Glasgow, where I live, “Conti” you’d lecture me for being disrespectful. Archbishop Conti is a Protestant, if ever there was one. Take a look at for a mere snippet – and remember, Archbishop Conti like the rest of the Scots bishops made clear immediately, when Summorum Pontificum was issued, that he would not comply with it. He blatantly disobeyed the Pope, having the temerity to send his priests a letter demanding that they let him know if they planned to offer the old rite. That’s just one of countless examples I could give you of bare-faced blatant disobedience towards the Pontiff of the Scots bishops – and I could give you plenty of similar examples of the institutionalized disobedience of the English bishops as well.

    So if acts of disobedience towards the Pontiff is the definition of schism, the entire UK hierarchy are in de facto schism from Rome.

    So, some respect please. – not “Fellay ” but Bishop Fellay. Please and thank you.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    yawn, yawn, yawn….nearly fell asleep reading all that. Go and pray. Listen while you pray. It will do you – and us all, dear friend, good to remember that.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    As you say, it is Bishop Fellay. for sure. at least we KNOW that he is a Bishop….more than one can say about so many, nowadays, including Papa Ratzinger but we shall have to wait for a while before we know if the ‘episcopal ordination’ rite is valid or not and, in the meanwhile, let us hope and pray and do as we should and as we must. What you say about the UK ‘heirarchy’ is also right but the dwell upon it would frighten the little ones. Show some respect, you said. Foolish to hope for that from newchurchers.

  • Anonymous

    Dr Russell J Berry,

    Your concern that there is “invincible ignorance” on this blog, interests me. I’ve had a couple of conversations this week already with people who are convinced that the editors of the Catholic newspapers rely on the fact that the few folk who buy and read these papers are about as ignorant as the day is long. Below, are a couple of convincing examples, from this week’s press, that no editor would have allowed to be published, if he believed he had an educated readership.

    In this week’s Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO) there was a letter and an article penned by two Scots bishops, attacking one of the columnists (their token traditionalist, and top Scots political journalist Gerald Warner) for his sound and educated criticisms of the novus ordo liturgy, published in the previous edition. Note: this traditional Catholic writes a column once a month. Mgr Basil Loftus, on the other hand, writes a weekly column in both the SCO and the Catholic Times and to say that his articles are packed with heresy and dissent is to say that there’s a little unrest in Libya right now. . I’ve featured this scandal on our homepage right now in case you’d like to vote in our poll,

    Clearly, the editor of the SCO knows that few, if any, of her readers will join up the dots, because their catholicity has been so undermined over the past 50 faithless years, that only a couple of “extremists” will bother to write in, if they bother at all – and they’re not likely to bother because she doesn’t publish our letters. So, that’s example number one of the ignorance of Catholics, lay and ordained in Scotland, at the present time. They’ll read the bishops’ combined writings and assume that Gerald is wrong. Bishops know everything, don’t they? ‘Pollyanna Catholics’ is putting it mildly. Incidentally, I note your dislike of usernames, so if you do visit our website, you’ll find my name if you check out the links to the Press Complaints Commission on the About Us page…

    Second example of an editor who believes his readers are dead from the neck up. Kevin Flaherty of The Catholic Times published an article and an extremely nasty editorial this week on the ending of the Vatican/SSPX talks, and in both the article and the editorial, reference was made to the “schismatics” and “excommunicated” bishops and Catholics of the SSPX.

    Now, the bishops show themselves to be Protestant – they hate the Mass that the martyrs gave their lives for and they don’t miss an opportunity to limit the influence of a sound traditional Catholic, while failing, week after week for YEARS to write a sentence to correct the heresies of Monsignor Basil Loftus – and the faithful don’t notice. That’s the SCO. Then the Catholic Times pretends that the Pope didn’t lift the unjust excommunications imposed by Pope John Paul II – indeed, in that same editorial, Flaherty refers to “Pope John Paull The Great” (!) which he couldn’t do if he thought he had an intelligent readership. Five times in a single interview, Cardinal Hoyos, representing Pope Benedict, told the prestigious journal 30 days, that the SSPX were not and never had been in schism, that those who believed that they were in schism showed that they did not understand the situation, and yet, despite the fact that all of this factual information has been easily available on the internet now for a couple of years, and I think he MUST know the facts (and if not, he should know) still, unconscionably, he dupes his readership.

    I believe that this is the game played by these ignorant editors. If they don’t like the message (return to Traditional Catholicism) then they will savage the characters of those who seek to promote it, those who seek to preserve the Faith, and they will lie if necessary to keep the truth from their readership. For nobody will convince me that any journalist or editor of even average intelligence, does not know by now, that the SSPX are not in schism, that the bishops are not excommunicated and that the faithful who attend their Masses never were excommunicated and have had confirmation from the Vatican that they may fulfil their Sunday obligation by attending SSPX Masses.

    We are dealing with people filled with hatred of the Mass that the martyrs died for – for the FAITH that the martyrs died for.

    And that includes certain people on this blog. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for them all.

    The gentleman

  • Anonymous

    What do you understand by “rightful authority”?

  • Anonymous

    W Oddie,

    Forget about Archbishop Lefebvre, and concentrate on the admissions of those who concocted the new Mass. Their intent was to imbue it with a Protestant spirit. That’s a fact. Read the Dan Graham article (first link in our Mass section at and see if you can’t recognise the deliberate attempt to imbue the Mass with a Protestant spirit. That’ll be a first. Everyone else who has read the article has seen it in a heartbeat.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    I do so very much wish you were wrong, even in part. The sadness is that you are regrettably all too right. The Church is – for now – in he hands of neo-Modernist liars. The so-called catholic media are nothing of the kind. “Bishops’ piss on the Oaths they took before ordination to the Sub-diaconate. They piss on the reality of obedience to ‘Authority’ while demanding it for themselves. God is working his purpose out – whatever the neoprotestants do we need only to hold tight to One Church, One Faith and One Lord. Oh yes…you are right again, here we have loads of apologists for the liberal neo-protestant mafia who call themselves ‘Rome’.

  • Profidebookstore

    “So, just as we have no obligation to follow this Pope when he deviates from Catholic sexual morality (condoms)”

    Somebody said this in this Post, but I lost track of it. Could he come out of finding to prove this nonsense, about “Catholic sexual morality”.

  • Profidebookstore

    “this Pope… deviates from Catholic sexual morality (condoms)”
    Where did you learn this nonsense? from Fellay ?

  • Profidebookstore

    In fact they are worse; because the Protestants agree with the Magisterium regarding the Canon of the NT, and most of the OT, but the NeoProtestants don’t agree with the Magisterium with regard to what constitutes the Tradition.

  • Profidebookstore

    Thank you for the information about that Society. I only wonder how Kelly turned to be a bishop? Is he one of those many slot-mchine bishops, like the four who run the SSPX ?

  • Profidebookstore

    “the SSPX has not changed one iota of Catholic doctrine or morals”
    One of the best jokes today. It is exactly on the SSPX’ rejection of traditional moral doctrine that they depend for their existence.

  • Profidebookstore

    Fellay used to say so, but now that the contested issues were clarified, he seems to insist that the Church should admit its “errors”, The first striking example is his condemnation of the forthcoming meeting in Assisi, which is an excellent missionary move, while Fellay rejects it. The proclamation of the Gospel to all nations is the last thing the SSPX want. All they are interested is to accuse the whole world “error” while doing nothing to proclaim the Gospel.

  • Profidebookstore

    Thank you for your comment. We better conclude with this, as I said initially. I certainly will. In fact I already sent a comment to this effect but now realize that it isn’t there – don’t know what’s happened.

    The two basic assertions are: the EP III is superior to the Roman Canon, and the Offertory of the TLM is, on its face value, a classic example of superstitious bread worship.

  • Dallasgreenberg

    Of course you fell asleep, people who have bad will and are cocky have no interest in the truth. They just care about their own pride and ego like DOCTOR RUSSELL J BARRY… remember he’s a doctor… He the greatest most intellectual, amazing, flawless, creation we’ve ever seen in history… how may I serve the almighty one, for I am inferior to your awesome greatness… Cheers Russell Almighty, they already got Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty… you’d make the perfect fit for the trilogy… ;)

  • Profidebookstore

    EP III is superior to the Roman Canon, and the TLM Offertory is, on its face value, a striking example of superstitious bread worship.

  • Profidebookstore

    “Our Pope, your boy Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications”

    It was a nice gesture of mercy toward unreasonable boys, once the medicinal nature of penatly proved to be useless.

  • Profidebookstore

    The EP III is superior to the Roman Canon, and the TLM Offertory is, on its face value, a striking example of superstitious bread worship.

  • Profidebookstore

    The last sentence of the first paragraph isn’t clear.
    The whole second paragraph comes to me out-of-blue: I sincerely do not understand what you want to say, and what I said that you responded with that paragraph.
    I agree with the third paragraph.

    I would be interested to learn the Orthodox authoritative views on our New Mass and the Tridentine (Paul V, John XXIII) Mass. His Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople has welcome the Summorum Pontificum (Benedict XVI’s about restoration of the Tridentime Mass) and I have Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck’s (American Orthodox Church) book: His Broken Body, in which he sees in our New Mass an obstacle to restoration of unity between us. But that is all. I would like to learn more, and any information would be appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    Spot – absolutely – ON!

    I truly admire your perseverance with this particular blogger. Given that he thinks the offertory in the traditional Mass, the Mass that led countless saints and martyrs to Heaven, is “a striking example of superstitious bread worship” he is unlikely to appreciate the finer details of the petrine office, let alone the heroic action of Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX, suffering hatred and calumny for the Faith in our time. However, “well done you” as they say south of the border, for identifying the key problem with modernists in the SSPX debate. Spot – absolutely – on!

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Why should he or she ‘come out of finding (sic)’ when you, yourself, hide behind a pseudomyn (false name) and you never substantiate anything, hardly? “Nonsense’ to you and your chums is whatever you do not like.

  • Dr Russell J Berry


  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Brendan

    I thought he was ‘Dr Oddie’, in truth – (which is it, does anyone know, please?), – but for you to say all that to him is a complete waste of time because he most likely does not want to hear and, equally, does not want to know what you say, much lesswill he trouble himself to exert much effort to understand and debate the rationale behind it. He and profidebookstore are of one ilk, in that sense (pace, both of you if I am wrong but that is certainly the impression you both give). Dr Oddie (as I believe him to be) is – both academically and materially – far from unskilled in matters theological. In that sense, I feel that for the purposes of what I write now it is inappropriate for me to link him with or to any other contributor to these columns. Formally and materially, he stands apart, I believe. Unlike some others he does not at all talk through the back of his neck, which justifies the statement that much more credence and gravitas is due to him just as he deserves much more chiding and reproof when he errs. He and us, all, cannot have some degree of pre-eminence without proportionate responsibility, can we? I have written all that for one purpose viz. that none should think or say that I have no respect for him or his words.

    It is indeed possible that new presbyters – for that is what they are proclaimed to be – may not be validly ordained Priests. I mean that they are not specifically ordained ‘to offer the Sacrifice both for the living and for the dead, in the name of the Lord’ and that they, in equal terms, are not specifically given the power (potestas) of forgiving sins, as they were in the Roman Catholic Pontifical, the book in which all this and the completeness of the mind of the Church was published, displayed and enacted. There is not much to be found that gives the idea of intending to ordain sacrificing Priests and there is all too much that suggests otherwise. Presdiding over the assembly of the people of God is very far from Offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    It is true that Archbishop Lefebvre (once, I think) used the watered down rite. He at that time felt he could since the essential and indispensible of the rite appeared to be present – the prayer of consecration, as some call it. I know that he defended his action but said he would and that he felt obliged “to revert to what is certain” – his words, in my hearing, he being with me and four others, all alive and ready to attest the same.

    Most certainly, the good Archbishop felt the rite was more suited to a mindset and a theology that rejected or wished to play down the catholic theology of sacrifice, priesthood etc. He was right, as far as that goes.

    The real problem is that of ‘the ordination of a bishop’. It differs so much from the immemorial rite that some say it does not signify what the sacrament is supposed to contain and is a pseudo-sacrament for a pseudo-church. For my part, I do not know where I stand on the issue. I am not going to be conned into false ‘obedience’ and accept its validity just because it comes from ‘Rome’. I was taught to question everything, especially myself and my reasoning, and this old dog is not going to be bamboozled into ‘acceptance’ just because someone in Rome says I should.

    What is true is demonstrable – it does not have to hide behind the fiat of any cleric, however exalted. It needs no pseudonyms. It is clear, plain, simple and unasahmed.

    Your last paragraph is bang on and cannot honestly – please note, dear readers, that I said ‘honestly’ – be contested by any fair minded individual.

    God bless us all!

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You wrote: ‘The last sentence of the first paragraph isn’t clear.’ Not clear to you, you mean? It is clear enough to me. Could you not have been more polite and have said “Please explain to me what you intended to say in your first sentence. I did not understand it’ ?? You sound like a secondary level schoolteacher trying to teach composition to a slow pupil – that is not nice, really, is it? Maybe you don’t care……

    Your second sentence needs radical change – it does not communicate what you want to say.

    How glad orthodox_md must be to know you agree with at least one of his paragraphs.

    Don’t you think we can be nicer to each other without falling into the neo-modernist indifferentism that comes from Rome?

  • Profidebookstore

    “the only point I can trace back that you might be referring to here is:”

    Christine, I am not sure that I understand what you refer to in this extract. Could you explain?

  • Profidebookstore

    “what in your view makes a proper Offertory for a Catholic Mass? ”

    ANSWER: the Offertory of the New Mass. Even better one would be a text based on the TLM Offertory, but amended to indicate clearly that it is not the Host or the Chalice of Salvation that is offered, but the bread and the wine. In either case that would be for the revised New Mass.

    But I would leave the TLM Offertory for the TLM Mass, because the latter should not be tampered with but left intact, as the living witness of the present Church with the Church of the by-gone ages. One does not mess with a precious piece of antiquity even when it is itself less suitable at present than its modern equivalent. And the TLM has served the Church well for 15 centuries, and can still serve us well; at the moment, certainly better than the New Mass in its current form, better: forms.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    profidebookstore….what a perfect way and manner of asking