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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.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    That, my dear, is your opinion. You are entitled to it but please do not state it, here, as though it were revealed Truth….it is merely your opinion, after all

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    How do you know that profidebookstore is a male? Maybe he is ‘she’… we will not ever know, I wean.

    I agree with everything you said until you wrote ‘Yeah you’re just a bad willed dishonest liar’

    We do not KNOW that. Sometimes we attribute mendacity to people when it is not present. He or she may be ‘just a bad willed dishonest liar’ but until it can be proved it should not really be said. Be charitable – maybe he or she is in fact being honest and epressing a wooly form of thinking… how do I know, how do you know? We don’t, do we?

    Remember “Big Daddy’ from ‘Cat on a hot tin roof’? He famously exclaimed is noting “a powerful smell of mendacity”, you will recall. That powerful smell seeps from every nook and cranny but it is difficult to find its origin. Vatican II. No, no – it was around long before then and to my burning sorrow much of the stench came from the thinking of French Jesuits, like Teilhard De Chardin, ably supported by Ge6rge Tyrrel et al. The smoke of Satan has a distinctively alluring smell – sweet, like the putrefaction of a cadaver. Kyrie eleison….

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear profidebookstore

    Are you not trying very hard to face two ways at the same time. Ponder and you may see you are in danger of it.

    You wrote ‘as the living witness of the present Church with the Church of the by-gone ages’. I am afraid that really will not do. The Church is the mystical Body of Christ and Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Anything in your ‘present Church’ that is not in complete conformity with what the True Church has always been is not of the True Church and is thus completely to be discarded and rejected. THAT is both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic teaching.

  • Lee

    I suggest many on here look up Thomistic thiking and see why in cases deemed very extreme when concepts are explicitly and implcitly against the faith of The Lord, that we can disobey The Pope for the Pope is only infalliable on Ex Cathedra or via the Magisterium. The Mass of Paul VI neither the VatII fulfilled any of those tests,so it means that Vat II if proven along with the awful mass (whether said in Latin, Italian, Greek English ect) can be given the heave-ho if it does not follow tradition (Scripture, Infallible statements, didatics of the Church Fathers and most of all being of inspiration via the Holy Spirit).

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Exactly so! It would be very good for many to understand that the Pope can say what he pleases but he is only infallible when he formally declares that he is speaking ‘ex cathedra’, as the Vicar of Christ with full intention of his words being graced with the charism of infallibility.

    Too many people think that everything the Pope says is ‘infallible’ and they are completely wrong in believing so. Others – using their craft and artfulness – try to call upon ‘the Pope’ and ‘infallibility’ in order to deceive and to push their own envelopes, like Bishops who demand obedience to themselves but refuse it to the Pope.

    The Novus Ordo Missae was first introduced ‘ad experimentum’ and (from a legal viewpoint) Roman canonists still discuss the ‘legality’ of its being seen as the ‘ordinary’ rite of the western Church. Those same Roman lawyers are all agreed on one thing: the Roman Rite of Mass for the Western Church was never abrogated or forbidden. Never. Never ever. If there is a problem with the celebration of the immemorial Rite of Mass then we see that rotten Bishops are the cause of the problem. None other.

    Q: Who was it who said that the floor of Hell itself is paved with the skulls of (rotten) bishops?
    A: Saint Athenasius, the first recognised Doctor of the Church!

    In the coterie of new presbyters and new bishops of the new, post Vatican II pseudochurch, there are good and sincere men but there are also those who are lamentably ignorant but convinced of their learnedness, some confused by error and through thinking that the higher clergy tell the truth, which sadly is not at all universally true, some well read but sinfully deceitful and wickedly ready, plainly and simply to lie in order to support a fallacious argument. Some are simply sincere, genuine (and most unknowingly) material but not formal neo-liberal protestants who truly believe they are Catholics. These have been deceived into the belief that what they hold and teach is catholic teaching – they do not know they are teaching protestantism. Others are crypto-protestants – people who masquerade as Roman Catholics and who willingly corrupt the Catholic Faith, selling a false bill of goods to people and clergy, alike.

    God will sort the sheep from the goats but we should, in the absence of reliable and recognisably genuine shepherds, watch carefully for the interloper and listen well for the false notes of the liberal protestant.

    ‘Paul VI’s mass’ is a mess of neo-protestant potage, nothing more and if you can avoid it, do so. Far, far better to pray your Rosary and to pray the prayers of the Mass of the One True Church than to assist at liberal protestant worship services that falsely claim to be what they plainly are not viz. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    In writing the foregoing I am saying nothing outrageous or bizarre. The Church teaches that knowingly to assist at impious worship is a sin. It is not I who says that. The Church says that. If you think the ‘new mass’ is the same, qualitatively, as the Roman Rite of Mass then may God bless you and keep you unto eternal life. If you believe it is not the Mass then you are obliged to stay away from it. Simple. Kyrie eleison.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    better to be either hot or cold but be not tepid lest God vomit you out from his mouth

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    What you say is true, of course. We should not insult and needlessly offend protestant worship services or those of any other persuasion, save Satanists etc.

    The ‘new mass’ may well be a mess of neo-protestant potage but I would not offend sincere Catholics who assist at it, although I would do my best to advocate their attending a recognisably authentic Roman Catholic Mass, whenever and wherever possible. As to the ‘presbyters’ who know naught else, they ought to inform themselves and act on their acquired and better knowledge. To the protestant clergy who use the pseudo-roman rite – those who were, in good conscience, unable to use the immemorial rites of the Church because they were ‘catholic’ – I say that I am happy they feel they can use it for in doing so they demonstrate in a very convincing manner the fundamentally flawed, non-Catholic, underlaying ‘mind’ of those who created and ‘promulgated’ it.

  • Profidebookstore

    “at least we KNOW that he is a Bishop”

    COMMENT: we don’t know it for sure.
    Explaining the penalty incurred by the four, the Motu Proprio of 2nd July 1998 clearly lists them as “the priests”; which suggests that they were not excommunicated as bishops.

    Furthermore, it was not only for the unlawful consecration that the latae sententiae excommunication was declared as per Can. 1382; but also for the “schismatic act” according to the Can.1364/1.

    Furthermore, it is clear from the “Declaration” read at the ceremony, and called “Mandate from the Roman Church”, wich was contrasted with the “authorities…animated by the spirit of Modernism”, that not only the right intention was not present, but that the contrary intention was evident, i.e. to perpetuate the schism.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    What a silly billy you are, profidebookstore. Firstly, you simply cannot have read your sources in the original. You are a picker of nits, whenever it suits you. When it does not, you are strangely silent.

    I am fairly sure you do not truly understand Canon Law.

    Your construction for that is what it is, no more – built upon the ‘declaration’ does nothing like suggest. It does not indicate a contrary intention. You simply do not understand sacramental theology.. If I am wrong – if you do understand – then you are being vexatious. You are pushing your envelope by specious argument – very new church.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Now, now, now, dallasgreenberg! Calm yourself. You are such a funny old soul but wh so bitter? Why so nasty? It’s not very Christian of you, you know? I think you need really either to invest in some good spectacles or – and I think this is more likely – you need to take the time – calmly, please, to read what I write. Are you feeling inferior? You have no need, dear man. I am a poor old sinner so why should you feel inferior? You need not be so spleeny and plain nasty, you dear old thing. I don’t deserve it and you do yourself no good by it. That sort of spiteful nastiness only rots the soul, don’t you agree?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    I found dallasgreenberg’s rant to be just that….you have to take people where they are and, while we are about it, neither you nor I are perfect….so, why did you need to dignify it with that sort of pussy-like response?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Now, really, that was an extraordinarily stupid thing to write – even for you. Continue writing bullshit like that and nobody will ‘listen’ to you and I imagine you would be uncomfortable for you without the oxygen of attention of others

  • Profidebookstore

    Will bring more evidence after Easter; have to switch off for now.

  • Anonymous

    So what? The Second Vatican Council was not a dogmatic Council – “merely” (as Pope Benedict has said) “a pastoral Council.” We can take or leave it. Long before I ever set foot in an SSPX chapel, I had decided to leave it. The very idea that The Catholic Church no longer advocates the essence of Catholic Social Teaching, which is that Christ must be at the head of every nation, is ludicrous.Is Christ God or not? If so, then the documents on ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue are an affront – to Christ. The Church is essentially missionary – seeking converts,as Christ’s last words on this earth instructed that we should.

    The key point which some bloggers here insist on refusing to accept is that the SSPX are not and never have been in schism

    The “unforgivable sin” against the Holy Spirit is to deny the manifest truth, so, since Cardinal Hoyos was the Pope’s appointed representative to work with the SSPX when he said on five separate occasions that the SSPX were not in schism, I’d advise those bloggers who refuse to accept this truth, to think again.


  • Anonymous


    Read my post above – nobody, but nobody is required to “accept” Vatican II – it was not a dogmatic Council, and no Catholic is required to accept new “teachings” especially when they were previously condemned by a string of earlier popes.

    And neither are we required to agree with everything any pope says. I disagree vehemently with the pope’s condom remarks, his Assisi III project and his decision to beatify one of the worst popes in history. I’ve said so many times in public. I edit a newsletter that goes to every bishop in the UK ad Ireland, as well as every Vatican Congregation. Nobody has told me I’m in schism.

    That’s because only the leaders of cults require absolute and slavish obedience from their adherents. Never popes of the Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous

    Was St Athanasius in grave error? Would you have defended Pope Liberius and called Athanasius (now saint and doctor of the Church) a “schismatic” just because the Pope excommunicated him?

    Papolatry is a grave error, and after all the evidence you have been given on this blog alone, it is also, objectively at least, a grave sin, because you are denying the manifest truth – a sin against the Holy Spirit.

  • Anonymous

    You are defying the Pope when you insist that the SSPX are in schism. They are part of the Catholic Church, as Cardinal Cassidy pointed out to journalists when asked if they would be part of the ecumenical initiative. The Cardinal said no, because the SSPX are “an internal matter” – by definition,schismatics are OUTSIDE the Church.

    Cardinal Hoyos, speaking on behalf of the Pope, since the Pope appointed him to work with the SSPX said that anyone who thought the SSPX were in schism, doesn’t understand the situation. They are not in schism, but in “an irregular situation.”

    Now, if you persist in this false allegation, you are not only in grave error and showing your ignorance, but you are (objectively, at least) guilty of a very grave sin against the Holy Spirit. To deny the manifest truth in this way, is to commit the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    So far, dear man or woman, you have not brought any ‘evidence’ that any serious scholar would accept as probative. So, if you do in fact, bring any evidence at all ‘after Easter’ please make sure (a) that it is substantive and probative and (b) that you truly and fully understand it because I will challenge you both on it and on your understanding of it and I will not be fobbed off and I will allow you to wriggle away, as others have accused you of liking to do . Do we understand each other? I do hope so.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    I meant that I will NOT allow you to wriggle away, of course.

    Best wishes


  • Dr Russell J Berry

    ‘Bread worship’, is it? You write like a good Protestant should……

  • Dr Russell J Berry


  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Yet again, you show the depth of your ignorance – either that or the depth of your perverse intention wilfully to mislead.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    “The Mass” has not been changed. The so-called Novus Ordo Missae is a “new creation” (Abp BUGNINI, no less. Whatever it may be it is not “The Mass”, as you mean it

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    We are obliged to reject that which is contrary to the Roman Catholic Doctrine as it pertains to the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass. If we, once knowing the sacramental theological truth of the issue do not eschew impious worship, we sin mortally. That makes it not only legitimate to reject the Novus Ordo Missae but it makes it our solemn duty when we are so persuaded, our consciences being properly and adequately informed.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Thank you for your advice – I will drop it, as you suggest and as long as you do, as well. I, too find it utterly tedious.

    You are quite right when you indicate your belief that there are not ‘whole areas’ of Catholic thinking that are closed to me. There are very few, in reality, including those on which Dr Oddie gives his opinions.

    For my part I find it quite simply outrageous that anyone’s friends or family should be abused or harried because some loonie disagrees with what any individual may write. It is scandalously unChristian and ought not belong among us, poor sinners that we certainly are.

    I could not sue Dr Oddie if I wished (and I do not). Anyone can say what he likes in the ether of the internet, to a greater extent than not. Learned Counsel of my long acquaintance advises me that the libel laws of England and Wales do not in practice apply, as I am sure Dr Oddie knows. However you put it, you are absolutely wrong in saying that I have libelled him. There is no doubt about that.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You do talk utter rubbish sometimes and I really do wish you would not. Your cavalierly tossed out figures are utter nonsense and entirely without any legitimate foundation. Shame on you for your fraudulently contrived figures.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Enlightening you requires no less a Person than the Holy Ghost

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Neither are you but, pray, do not break the habit of a lifetime by speaking as though you were fallible or susceptible to error

  • Anonymous

    W Oddie,

    It surprises me that you appear to be completely unaware of the fact that the people involved with creating the new Mass had a very clear agenda – and it was to make the Mass quite definitely ambiguous and to diminsh the sacrificial aspect: here’s a corker of a quote, cited by (among others) Michael Davies:

    Father Joseph Gelineau SJ, a Council peritus, and an enthusiastic proponent of the post-conciliar revolution. In his book Demain la liturgie, stated with commendable honesty, concerning the Mass as most Catholics know it today: “To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

  • Anonymous

    Definitely “deliberately ambiguous” – here’s one of the experts on the subject… (taken from one of Michael Davies’ books)

    Father Joseph Gelineau SJ, a Council peritus, and an enthusiastic proponent of the post-conciliar revolution. In his book Demain la liturgie, stated with commendable honesty, concerning the Mass as most Catholics know it today: “To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

  • Anonymous

    Father Joseph Gelineau SJ, a Council peritus, and an enthusiastic proponent of the post-conciliar revolution. In his book Demain la liturgie, stated with commendable honesty, concerning the Mass as most Catholics know it today: “To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

  • Anonymous

    Father Joseph Gelineau SJ, a Council peritus, and an enthusiastic proponent of the post-conciliar revolution. In his book Demain la liturgie, stated with commendable honesty, concerning the Mass as most Catholics know it today: “To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

  • Anonymous

    Well, he’s not trying hard enough. If he put as much effort into restoring the Mass and insisting on its restoration,. as he puts into writing books, giving interviews and arranging prayer meetings with pagans, the Church and the liturgy would be turned around overnight.

    Father Joseph Gelineau SJ, a Council peritus, and an enthusiastic proponent of the post-conciliar revolution. In his book Demain la liturgie, stated with commendable honesty, concerning the Mass as most Catholics know it today: “To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear EditorCT

    Dr Oddie is not ‘completely unaware of the fact that the people involved with creating the new Mass had a very clear agenda’. He is not ‘unaware’ at all. He can read, as can you and I and he understands what he reads. He knows full well that the idea was ‘ make the Mass quite definitely ambiguous and to diminsh the sacrificial aspect’.

    I assume your kind leave to take issue with your use of the word ‘aspect’, preferring ‘nature’ in its stead.

    It is the nature of the Mass that they wanted to destroy. It was far too Catholic to be allowed to survive in a ‘church’ that would put ecumenism and indifferentism far above the truth. Some jiggerpokery with the truth was neccessary to make it possible for protestants to return to the Church. Such was Paul VI’s idea. The natural sequitur is that if the Rite of Mass presents an obstacle to ‘reunion’ then it must be made less of an obstacle. Hence the liturgical reform as we know it, hence Bugnini’s commission of protestant ‘experts’, who openly stated that they had completed the work that Luther had begun.

    The Novus Ordo was, as the late and vastly unlamented heretic and freemason, Cardinal Annibale Bugnini, said “a new creation”. It suits a liberal protestant mind, perfectly. It can be seen as some sort of latter day elizabethan liturgical compromise, which all may construe to be what each wants it to be. Dr Oddie knows all this. It simply does not suit his agenda to acknowledge it. I am not at all surprised that he defends it. The apple never falls far from the tree, as they say, but this is a rotten tree that should be uprooted and burned, the soil in which it grew should be sown with salt so that it can never grow again.

    I am convinced that the so-called Novus Ordo Missae tends toward the general acceptance of an understanding of the ‘eucharistic celebration’ which is so ambiguous and so markedly unCatholic that protestants and their ministers can in good conscience both assist at it and celebrate it. The fact that they do celebrate it while freely confessing their sincerely held belief that transubstantiation does not exist or occur is a clear enough sign for me that there is something very wrong with it, indeed. Such good and sincere people were not in conscience able to use the immemorial Latin Rite of Mass so if they now, in equally good conscience, feel freely able to use the Novus Ordo then the conclusion are indisputable. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse, as they say, and there is a lot of self-imposed blindness about.

    Clergy – ‘presbyters’ and ‘bishops’, alike – are to blame. They destroyed the Mass – the Roman Rite – with all the vim and vigour of any of Thomas Cromwells men. Traditionalists are on a ‘pilgrimage of grace’, as occured in those dreadful times. The modern, modernist Cromwells cannot kill us though they do their best to destroy us through detraction and calumny. The first casualty of the modernist onslaught was truth and there are many who call themselves ‘catholic’ who all too readily will slander us for the sake of their cause. Kyrie eleison

  • Carlismo

    “Traditionalists are on a ‘pilgrimage of grace’” Poppycock! There is no grace, dignity or traces of the Holy Spirit among the Lefebvrists. The SSPX are fast becoming a sacramental version of Fred Phelps Westboro Baptists for liturgical obsessed Pharisees and the mean spirited.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    and the teapot calls the kettle “blackarse”

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Very well….I will adapt it for you:

    The modern, modernist Carlismo cannot kill though he feels he must do his best to destroy Traditionalists through detraction and calumny. The first casualty of a Carlismo modernist onslaught must be the truth because he cannot bear to hear it. He and many others who call themselves ‘catholic’ have no charity in their souls, have nothing but bitterness in their hearts and they prefer their spitefulness and bitterness to the sooothing balm of the Grace of Christ that calls them to oneness in Beauty, Truth and Goodness.

    That any more to your liking, Carlismo ?

  • Carlismo

    LOL! I’m not a liberal, I attend FSSP TLM I just don’t deny the validity of N.O. like you people. To simply dismiss Williamson’s Holocaust denial as mere personal politics is about as anti-Catholic as you can get. It’s an insult to Cardinal Von Galen and Saints Kolbe and Stein. If you want to find out what drives the SSPX then just look at the rank and file irate response to The Holy Father’s statement on freeing the Jewish people from any blame for the crucifixion.
    We don’t need the SSPX anyway, they are not the owners of traditionalism. We have the likes of Father Zuhlsdorf, The Oratorians, Opus Dei, FSSP and so on…

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    I did not say you are a liberal. I do not believe you are a liberal although I do not know anything about you other than that which can be garnered from your input, here. From that input it is plainly obvious that you are not anything like a true liberal. True Liberals are almost always very charitable people. I like real liberals even though I am very wary of their doctrine. I have not seen the ‘rank and file’ response to the jewish guilt question so am unable to comment.

  • Carlismo

    “modernist Cromwells”, Surely Cromwellian zealotry and fundamentalism is very much the province of the Lefebvrists, Feeneyites and every other sedevacant traitor to the true faith and Mother Church. That’s the problem with trying to hijack mythic consciousness and trying to apply it in a modern context…It all depends how you apply it? In your case, posturing as the pilgrimage of grace is deeply narcissistic.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Carlismo

    What a frightfully angry person you want us to see you as! You sound so much like the Scots Presbterian, John Knox, another reformer blasting his trumpet agasinst the monstrous regiment of Traditionalist “nuns and massing Priests and other filthy persons. One Mass is more terrible than a thousand French soldiers come among us”

    Do you try to frighten us with your bluster? Really, it is all too, too much and it frightens nobody but, pray, if it eases your sprititual dyspepsia then go ahead……

    Am I right in thinking you mean ‘sedevacantist’? The way one uses words changes the meaning and I am not at all sure what you mean. I am no follower of Father Feeney although I am proud to say I know a Father Feeney – a good and poor old man who serves his people well.

    Now, dear Carlismo, I happen to like some of the things you say until your spleen vents itself and you become seemingly very unchristian in your language, which happens quite a lot.

    I am not at all narcissistic but I wonder if you might be so, in reality. There are some people who throw their toys out of their pram when they are ignored. There are others who scream and shout if they are at all criticised or challenged. In either case we can see deep-seated personal insecurity at the bottom of it, can we not? Kyrie eleison, Carlismo!

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You ask:How come these people are always so agresssive and uncharitable?

    Well, how come YOU always seem agresssive and uncharitable?

    Your words are tipped with poison and are fully intended to would, are they not?

    What about ‘ all you have is a heart of cruelty and Malice’ – now that is full of Christian love and understanding, isn’t it?

    And what about ‘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’ – that is a wonderful example of self-righteousness, don’t you think? The words “Scribe, pharisee, hypocrite” come to mind, for some reason….

    Try a little kindness – force yourself – it will become easier with time, I promise you.

    Kyrie eleison and God bless you!

    What about ‘I hate …..’ – now that’s certainly true but hating is not very Christian, is it?

  • orthodox_md

    Very strange. I’ll take care to avoid commenting next time. It is unsettling to realize a discussion has gone nowhere. Whatever the difficulty here (in expression or comprehension) there’s still a wide gulf dividing Roman and Orthodox ‘expressions’ such that I must have assumed you were speaking of something else, particularly as my second paragraph gives such offense.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear orthodox_md

    I would advise taking scant notice of our friend profidebookstore when he or she writes the sort of drivvel that you have had from him/her. He/she writes abundantly but not many thinking people are able always to grasp his/her point. She says ‘I would like to learn more, and any information would be appreciated.’ To learn is an act of the will and as far as I can see he/she does not truly want to ‘learn’ anything that does not fit in with his/her narrow uninformed preconceptions. Nothing you said caused any offence, truly, so please continue to contribute – and, with some of us, to learn.

  • Weary convert

    These items in capitals seem quite sensible to the nornal person in the pew, who would hardly care a jot over sad liturgical fanatics who scream, “USUALLY WOMEN,” “ALTAR GIRLS” as if they represented some hideous desecration. Why not try growing up?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Chris

    Many sincere protestant ministers do use the Novus Ordo. These do not believe that the Mass is a sacrifice, unless it be a ‘sacrifice of praise’, an eucharistia – a worship service of thanksgiving – or the assemby of the congregation to celebrate the Supper of the Lord. I know these people and I find them just and honest, something I wish I could say about some so-called ‘catholic’ clergy I know.

    Pax et bonum


  • Dr Russell J Berry

    The third eucharistic prayer is superior to the roman canon? who says so? You? If so, it is simply opinion and YOUR opinion. Stop dishonestly passing off your opinion as fact. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Being a well-published traditional Catholic writer, although not frequently in the mainstream Catholic press, I sent the following article to the editor of the Catholic Herald for publication in response to Dr. Oddie’s article above. Needless to say, it was rejected. So here it is on the blog for interested parties. How does the old adage go again? Oh yes, “there are none so illiberal as liberals.” How true that is.

    In the interests of objectivity, I present here an alternative view of the position of the SSPX to that presented by Dr. William Oddie in his article of February 28th.

    I begin with some corrections to Dr. Oddie’s article. First, it is untrue to state, as he did, that the SSPX is in “schism.” There is not a single official statement of the Church to support such a claim. There are, however, no less than five public announcements by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, in his capacity as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, stating the contrary.

    Easily researchable on the Internet, these announcements of Cardinal Hoyos unambiguously declare that the SSPX situation “is not a formal schism,” and that “they” (SSPX bishops, priests and faithful) “are in the Church.”

    This being the mind of Rome, for the Holy See has neither silenced nor opposed the PCED in the matter, it seems fair to expect someone of Dr. Oddie’s standing to stick to the facts and resist the temptation to employ emotive falsehoods to strengthen his argument. Such falsehoods only succeed in raising tempers and hardening positions. And, as we know from St. James, “The anger of man worketh not the justice of God.”

    This brings me to the second correction, or rather double correction. It is erroneous to assert, as Dr. Oddie did, that the SSPX demands of Rome a repudiation of the Council and an acceptance that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid.

    The SSPX has never demanded that Vatican II be repudiated. It has agreed with the Pope that the Council must be interpreted in the light of tradition, adding that such an interpretation would necessarily involve a re-evaluation of particular conciliar documents with a view to repudiating certain ideas and expressions that are incompatible with the Catholic religion, but it has never demanded a repudiation of the Council per se.

    Nor has the SSPX ever declared the Mass of Paul VI to be per se invalid. On the contrary, the SSPX has stated that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid where the priest uses the correct matter and form, and has the intention to do what the Church does.

    It qualifies this statement, however, by adding that the Mass of Paul VI is so theologically unsound that it Catholic belief of both priests and faithful over time, resulting in the probability of many more invalid than valid celebrations.

    Or, as Archbishop Lefebvre put it: “The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith. (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 29).

    Now, it would appear that Dr. Oddie disagrees with this assessment, contending instead that the New Mass is perfectly Catholic and expressly sacrificial.

    How he comes to such a conclusion in light of a decimated priesthood, vanishing vocations, shrinking congregations and unprecedented seminary and church closures is anyone’s guess. Still, let us examine Dr. Oddie’s assertion.

    In a 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, the chief architect of the New Mass, made his intentions quite clear from the outset: “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.”

    To help him in this work, Fr. Bugnini drafted in six Protestant ministers. It was claimed that these were only observers who would play no active role in the creation of the new liturgy. However, in a June, 1967 issue of The Detroit News, Cardinal W. W. Baum, then executive director of the American Catholic Bishop’s Commission on Ecumenical Affairs, revealed the truth of the matter.

    His Eminence declared: “They (the six Protestant ministers) are not simply there as observers, but as consultants as well, and they participate fully in the discussions on Catholic liturgical renewal. It wouldn’t mean much if they just listened, but they contribute.”

    What finally emerged from this Catholic/Protestant collaboration was a rite of Mass that the Synod of Bishops in Rome rejected, but which was nevertheless endorsed by Pope Paul VI with the following definition: “The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God gathered together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.” (Pope Paul VI. Institutio Generalis, §7, 1969 version).

    If this sounds more Protestant than Catholic, it is because, as Jean Guitton, an intimate friend of Pope Paul VI, explained in 1993: “…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…” (Apropos (17), p.8ff).

    The following examples of Catholic/Protestant response to this extraordinary occurrence should suffice to show which side has been appalled by it and which side appeased.

    “Truly, if one of the devils in C S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better.” (Dietrich von Hildebrand).

    “It 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 Ottaviani Intervention, a short critical study of the New Mass. Sent to Pope Paul VI by Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci in September, 1969).

    “… nothing in the renewed Catholic Mass need really trouble the Evangelical Protestant” (M. G. Siegvalt, Protestant professor of dogmatic theology in Strasbourg, quoted in Le Monde, 22 November, 1969).

    “If one takes account of the decisive evolution of the Eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church, of the option of substituting other Eucharistic prayers for the Canon of the Mass, of expunging of the idea that the Mass is a sacrifice, and of the possibility of receiving communion under both kinds, then there is no further justification for the Reformed Churches forbidding their members to assist at the Eucharist in a Catholic Church” (A French Protestant theologian. Le Monde, 10 September, 1970).

    “In the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries and replaced it — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.” (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Preface to La Reforme liturgique en question, by Klaus Gamber).

    These are but a handful of numerous authoritative declarations that show the New Mass of Pope Paul VI to be seriously flawed.

    Suffice it to say in conclusion to this question that at no time in the history of the true worship of God, either in the Old Covenant of the Jews, up to their rejection of Christ Our Lord, through the New Covenant of Catholicism up to 1969, is it recorded that the priest offered the sacrifice to God facing the people.

    This was entirely an invention of the Protestant Reformers of the XVI century to emphasise their rejection of both the Catholic priesthood and the sacrificial Mass.

    Concerning this Protestant deviation, St. Robert Bellarmine observed: “…when we enter the temples of the heretics, where there is nothing but a chair for preaching and a table for making a meal, we feel ourselves to be entering a profane hall and not the house of God.” (Octava Controversia Generalis. Controversia Quinta. Caput XXXI).

    It was precisely this feeling that many Catholics had, and continue to have, in their parish churches with the 1969 Mass, the imposition of which Fr. (later Archbishop) Bugnini referred to in 1974 as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church.”

    Witnessing the indifference and irreverence it has engendered in both priests and laity these past forty years is surely sufficient response in itself to Dr. Oddie’s claim that the retention of a few references to sacrifice in a couple of Eucharistic prayers makes the rite explicitly Catholic and expressly sacrificial to the ever-decreasing numbers who regularly participate in it.

    If doubt remains, however, then I urge a perusal of the following linked article by award-winning American author, Dan Graham:

    What this outstanding Catholic writer clearly demonstrates with his word comparison between what are today termed the ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Extraordinary’ forms of Mass is how effective UNDERSTATEMENT can be in the obscuring of divine truth.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Martyjo

    Either Dr Oddie will now embark upon formulating a destructive reply or he will in effect ignore you.

    The neo-protestants and the neo-liberals will not like what you have written but they seem not to love the truth as much as their version of it.

    Mirabile dictu, frater! Wonderfully well said, dear brother.

    God bless


  • Anonymous

    Dear Dr. Berry,

    It always frustrates to see how easily neo-liberals like Dr. Oddie are permitted to publish opinions on so important a subject as the Catholic religion without having to substantiate a single claim they make with reseached and authoritative sources. The damage these people do will only be known in eternity, as will the rejection by liberal editors of uncomfortable, researched and factual responses.

    I just hope they are not culpable before God, and that they act out of some mistaken belief that what they do is honourable before Him.

    Thanks for your support in the matter.