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Shock: Pope to Celebrate New Rite of Mass at Closing of Youth Synod

Editor’s note: the following is a departure from our normal coverage here at 1P5, and should be read carefully, and all the way through. All is not as it appears at first glance. 

Plenty of controversy now surrounds Pope Francis: his seemingly invalid election, his long pattern of heterodox teaching, the Viganò report implicating him in cascading sex abuse crimes, the ongoing Amoris Laetitia debacle, the Vatican sell-out to Communist China – pick your disaster.

As this pope’s penchant for “making a mess” shows no sign of diminishing, to the peril of countless souls, we agree with Chris Ferrara’s assessment over at The Remnant and his call (like Bishop Gracida’s) for an imperfect synod to defend the Church from Francis – a kind of emergency family intervention to stop the violence of an abusive father.

But having noted earlier controversies, we maintain that the worst dimension of this pontificatus horribilis has been a certain revisionist approach to divine worship, now set to display itself in liturgical spades at the conclusion of the Youth Synod currently underway in Rome.

Many have decried Francis’s liturgical offenses over the years: offering Masses with giant puppets, balloons, and tango dancing in the sanctuary; omitting genuflections before the Blessed Sacrament; withholding the papal blessing at audiences but publicly blessing psychotropic herbs for pagan rituals; displaying profane items like beach balls on high altars; employing sacred vessels, furnishings, and vestments of novel design or illicit material; and a lengthy record of communicatio in sacris that has united this pope in worship with – even bestowed on him the formal “blessings” of – heretics, schismatics, Muslims, Jews, and witch doctors. Would that all of it were fake news.

These past deviations pale in comparison to what’s coming.

After wielding what appears for all the world to be a Wiccan stang at the opening Mass of the Synod, the pope has announced that he will celebrate a new form of Mass at its conclusion – a liturgy that priests, bishops, cardinals, and theologians are denouncing as barely recognizable as a Catholic rite.

This is really bad.

Earlier this summer, one of Pope Francis’s advisers elicited justifiably strong reactions after affirming that this pope “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants,” welcoming the same as a “new phase” of Church history in which the faithful are no longer to follow Christ per the dictates of Scripture and Tradition, but are rather to be “ruled by an individual” without any moorings at all [1].

Albeit far from Catholic, one could hardly call this diagnosis inaccurate. A number of commentators (Catholic and otherwise) have already shown Francis’s ongoing overthrow of traditional doctrine and discipline to bear marked similarities to the autocratic machinations of organized crime lords and socialist dictators of the past – but none of his earlier departures from Sacred Tradition are as staggering as this coming celebration of a new form of Mass, representing a radical break with all prior liturgical forms in the Roman Rite [2].

The pope announced it as a “liturgical innovation,” a “change in a venerable tradition” that “affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled” – calling this a “special and historical occasion” and insisting that “we should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, [?!] of its exterior forms.”

Does this sound even remotely like a “hermeneutic of continuity” to anyone?

From the same announcement (our emphasis):

We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged to follow those of others. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect. […] This novelty is no small thing.”

Read the pope’s words again. Tradition? Forget it. Piety? Over and done.

Friends, this is a plain announcement from the See of Peter that the sacred rites, once entrusted by Jesus Christ to his Apostles for the offering of eternal mysteries, are no longer binding or relevant.

This is a declaration of liturgical revolution.

Considering those involved in the making, it could hardly be otherwise.

Earlier this summer, many scoffed when Cardinal Gerhard Müller (former prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) denounced a “blatant process of Protestantizing” he was observing in the Catholic hierarchy, with bishops who “justify their infidelity to the Catholic faith with allegedly pastoral concern” [4].

Now scoffers can do little more than ignore this clear and public demonstration of the same: that a mysterious committee (apparently even Cardinals had no idea who constituted the group) of sundry “liturgical experts” has worked long in closed-door sessions, at the pope’s behest, to draft a new rite of Mass, with direct input from Protestant pastors in the process [5].

It already verges on incredible that any Catholic hierarch would have the gall to fabricate a new rite of Mass to suit his contemporary taste (ignoring the anathemas pronounced by the Council of Trent on such ventures!), but to find that formal heretics were invited to contribute to this rupturing of the most venerable liturgical tradition in the world simply beggars belief. Men who routinely violate the divine rights of the Church, reject any number of her sacraments, contemn Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and deny the various dogmas enshrined in the Catholic Mass are invited to help with the impious creation of a new one? Can any devout Catholic fail to be offended by such grievously irreverent treatment of the sacred?

We even find in a French interview with Mr. Jean Guitton, the pope’s personal friend and confidant, an (accidental?) admission that changing the Catholic Mass to be as amenable as possible to non-Catholics was one of the Pope’s chief aims:

The intention of [the] Pope … 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 … to get as close as possible to the Protestant Lord’s Supper … [in] an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or 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 [sic]. [6]

So there’s that.

As if Guitton’s admission weren’t troubling enough, one now finds that the Italian archbishop selected by the pope to midwife this unholy aberration confirmed the same operating principle: “[h]elp[ing] in any way the road to union of the separated brethren, by removing every stone that could even remotely constitute an obstacle or difficulty” in the liturgy [7]. This monsignore even describes the lamentable result as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church” [8].

Beg your pardon?

Even the humblest layperson can detect how this Protestantization has been achieved, simply by reading the text of the new rite side by side with the old. One finds that the Catholic Mass has been stripped of prayers expressing Catholic doctrine, with roughly 80% of the original content being deleted entirely or significantly altered in this new, intentionally less Catholic rite [9] – and seeing as the pope’s introductory Instruction itself expresses heretical Eucharistic doctrine [10], it’s debatable whether this form of worship can even be called “Catholic” in any meaningful sense.

Indeed, the Protestant theologian Max Thurian looks like one of the first to confirm such misgivings (as many feared after last year’s reports of an “ecumenical Mass” in the works): “It is now theologically possible for Protestants to use the same Mass as Catholics” [11]. At the same time, Catholic priests the world over are heard giving dramatic declamations like: “At this critical juncture, the traditional Roman rite, more than one thousand years old, has been destroyed” [12] and, in the words of one Jesuit (naturally) adviser to the committee of liturgical destroyers:

Not only the words, the melodies, and some of the gestures are different. 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. [13]

Where are the cardinals?

Are there any Catholics, any men left among them to rescue the sacred rites?

To be fair, some have raised an alarm on this liturgical overthrow – although limiting themselves to publishing said “concerns” in roundabout ways and without taking any concrete steps to stop this shipwreck. One wonders how bad it will need to get before one of them decides to “resist Cephas to the face” (cf. Gal. 2:11).

Still, one can be encouraged by the efforts of two cardinals in the sees of Berrhoea and Colonia in Cappadocia, who apparently got advance notice of this impending liturgical madness, sought to intervene privately with the pope, and then published their theological critique of the bogus new rite (now available in English, see note #14 below).

Their conclusions are devastating.

To take one excerpt (our emphasis):

[The new liturgy] represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass[.] … The new form of Mass was substantially rejected by the Episcopal Synod, was never submitted to the collegial judgement of the Episcopal Conferences and was never asked for by the people. It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants[.] … To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division – a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith – is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error. [14]

The pope was clearly prepared for such rejection of this rite by faithful Catholics, as can be read in the very text of his announcement:

[The new rite] has been thought out by authoritative experts of sacred Liturgy; it has been discussed and meditated upon for a long time. We shall do well to accept it with joyful interest and put it into practice punctually, unanimously and carefully. … So do not let us talk about ‘the new Mass.’ Let us rather speak of the ‘new epoch’ in the Church’s life. [15]

Let’s try putting that in layman’s terms:

This is happening. Sit down and shut up. Hail the Revolution.

Awake Yet?

If you aren’t already nodding your head with sad recognition and understanding, you may want to brace yourself: for, although accurate, some of the news items above aren’t exactly recent.

The New Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate at the end of the Youth Synod this month was created fifty years ago. It was crafted and imposed on the Church by one of his predecessors – that hapless innovator he now claims to have “canonized,” Pope Paul VI: a man whose sanctity is far from certain, still farther from exemplary (and about as “miraculous” as an inaccurate medical diagnosis), and at whose feet must be laid (among other things) the single greatest catastrophe in Church history: the near total replacement of the Roman Rite of Mass with a novel, modernist construct – an attempted abortion of liturgical tradition.

If you were born after 1965, Paul VI’s impious New Mass – the Novus Ordo Missae – is likely the only rite for the offering of the Holy Sacrifice that you have ever known. It’s just as likely that you were never told its true history (although much of this is now public record, which one might explore here), so you can be forgiven for not walking out of it years ago.

The important thing is to walk out now.

Otherwise, why be alarmed by the deviations of the current pontificate, or any yet to come? Ecclesiastical innovators have already dared to touch our most precious heritage, seeking to supplant it with a fabrication that even then-cardinal Ratzinger referred to as a “banal, on-the-spot product” [16]. One thinks of St. Vincent of Lérins’s observation of the mad abandonment of Tradition in his own day:

Such is the insanity of some men, such the impiety of their blinded understanding, such, finally, their lust after error, that they will not be content with the rule of faith delivered once and for all from antiquity, but must daily seek after something new, and even newer still, and are always longing to add something to religion, or to change it, or to subtract from it! [17]

Happily, no Roman Catholic in good standing needs special permission to return to our true and traditional rites, whether to offer them as a priest or to attend them as a member of the faithful. Still more joyous is the fact that these are increasingly available as the exodus from SquishyChurch continues apace. In fifty years, we have little doubt that the “traditional Latin Mass” (TLM) will once again be our dominant (if not exclusive, please God) liturgical practice around the globe. Indeed, this trend is already observable.

Furthermore, the continued claim of various bishops, priests, and theologians is that the TLM alone constitutes an act of worship pleasing to God in the Roman tradition, and we have yet to find a cohesive argument to the contrary. More on that here.

The question is: What’s keeping you from right worship?

True piety admits no other rule than that whatsoever things have been faithfully received from our fathers the same are to be faithfully consigned to our children; and that it is our duty, not to lead religion whither we would, but rather to follow religion whither it leads. [18]

PRIESTS: If you still offer the Novus Ordoit’s time to stop.

The wind is changing. Return your flocks to the objective liturgical tradition of the Church; render to God the worship owed to Him, and render to the faithful what is theirs by right: that timeless treasury of ars celebrandi and the countless graces of our priceless heritage in the traditional Mass. If you don’t know it, learn it. Start today. We know that you may suffer for this, but the faithful remaining through the growing darkness are prepared to help you. And remember: you signed up for the Cross.

You’re a priest. Your principal task is to render worthy sacrifice unto God. Regarding the cura animarum, right worship still remains the most significant of your duties toward the faithful – before parish programs, enrollment goals, and all else. If God’s children go hungry, deprived of that supernatural nourishment granted by a Mass grown organically over centuries of faithful devotion, it will be because you chose to feed them with a modernist construct designed by the faithless. Are you prepared to render an account for such withholding from God and His people?

LAITY: If you still belong to a Novus Ordo parish, it’s time to leave.

Even apart from the growing likelihood of total infrastructural collapse, you also bear the first duty of rendering God that worship befitting His glory, that which He has crafted in the Church over centuries: the traditional Latin Mass. Don’t wait for friends and family to understand, or for your pastor to come around – until diocesan priests are ready to refuse to offend God’s glory any longer (braving the “St. Luke’s treatment” if they must), relocation is your path. Let the dead bury their dead; as for you and your house, serve ye the Lord.

Find an FSSP or ICKSP or other TLM community, and get over there. Change jobs; pack up and move if you have to (as plenty of other families are doing, particularly those with kids to raise), and behold the days of the 4th century relived, wherein the lay faithful groaned to see the majority of their bishops embrace heresy and give their churches over to erroneous rites. What did the layfolk do in those days? They left, clinging to the few faithful priests they could find, recognizing that nothing was more important than worship in Spirit and Truth. St. Basil the Great said of them:

Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer, and now assemble in the deserts – a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid the most profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To all this they submit, because they will have no part in the wicked Arian leaven. (Letter 242)

Now it’s our turn. What are we prepared to do?

Nothing supersedes man’s duty to render God that worship proper to His Majesty, and the Novus Ordo just ain’t it. Rooting ourselves in communities that exclusively offer the traditional rites is essential for achieving this end, and once we have done so, it will be necessary to dig in and hold on, with a weather eye to the horizon. Because in point of fact, nobody has ever been to the Novus Ordo – we’ve only ever seen iterations of it. This inherently malleable rite has no enduring essential form. It has no prior tradition to pass on. It has no yesterday in the devotion of centuries, but only a limitless variety of novel tomorrows.

Wicked tomorrows. Do you see it yet?

Having been orchestrated to reflect the personal taste of the celebrant and local surround like an endless mirror hall, amid a resurgent paganism in wider society, the Novus Ordo must allow for increasingly evil iterations. Worse is yet to come, and we think soon. Run far. Run fast.

Our Lady of Victory, Destroyer of Heresies, pray for us!

And bravo the restoration!

Editor’s note: This article was posted originally at Whispers of Restoration and is edited and republished here with permission.

UPDATE: Due to the reaction to this piece, we offer editorial commentary from 1P5 Senior Editor Drew Belsky here, and Publisher Steve Skojec here.

UPDATE 2: After hearing from many of our readers who felt misled by this piece, we have sought to address their concerns and offer an apology here.

[1] For this startling admission, see here.

[2] Space does not permit a thorough demonstration of the radical rupture represented by this new liturgical rite. More studies on this point will soon be forthcoming around the world, but the two cardinals’ intervention referenced in note #14 below makes for a good start.

[3] Emphasis added. See the full text of the pope’s address here.

[4] Emphasis added. See Cardinal Müller’s full interview here.

[5] After this little detail was mentioned in papers from the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano to the Detroit News, another Catholic paper unpacked it here.

[6] As reported in Apropos, 12.19.1993, and Christian Order, 10.1994.

[7] As declared by Msgr. Bugnini in L’Osservatore Romano, 3.19.1965.

[8] Bugnini’s full trumpeting is rather frightening stuff, as reads here: “The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church, and it has ecumenical dimensions, since the other Churches and Christian denominations see in it not only something to be admired in itself, but equally as a sign of further progress to come” (p. 126).

[9] See a simple chart comparing the two rites here. Find another liturgical scholar’s quantification of the liturgical change in terms of percentages in the work here.

[10] That the pope’s General Instruction was almost immediately retracted and rewritten to try to cover the heretical Eucharistic doctrine it originally expressed (see especially nos. 7 and 48) has done nothing to change the fact that the new rite itself still expresses the same error. See the cardinals’ critique in #14 below.

[11] Find his comments in La Croix 5.30.1969, as noted by D. Bonneterre at p. 100 here.

[12] This is the lamenting assessment of respected Catholic liturgist Fr. Klaus Gamber at p. 99 of The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (Harrison, NY, 1993).

[13] This is the gleeful assessment of the questionable Jesuit Fr. Joseph Gelineau at pp. 9-10 of Demain la liturgie (Paris, 1976).

[14] Read (an English translation of) the full letter and theological study of Cardinals Ottaviani, Bacci, and their team of theologians here.

[15] Find the pope’s attempt to, in his words, “relieve your minds of the first, spontaneous difficulties which this change arouses” here.

[16] As penned in his Introduction to La Réforme Liturgique en question (Le-Barroux: Editions Sainte-Madeleine), 1992, pp. 7-8.

[17] From Ch. 21 of St. Vincent of Lérins’s Commonitory, readable here.

[18] Ibid., Ch 6

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