The Catholic Roman Rite, The New and The Old, Don Pietro Leone # 10

This is the summary before the final conclusion.  Thank you to anyone who has take the time to read this important scientific comparison of the two rites.
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This was obtained from Rorate Caeli.  When you are ignorant you can easily write off 2000 years of Catholic tradition.  But if you study this, you will be enlightened and better off for it for all eternity.

The conclusion of this essay is twofold: one, that the theology of the Old Rite is Catholic, and the theology of the New Rite is Protestant; two, that the theology of the Old Rite is that of the cult of God, and the theology of the New Rite is that of the cult of man.


Shortcomings and Consequences of the Novus Ordo Missae

A. Shortcomings

Cardinal Ratzinger himself, in his preface to Mgr. Gamber’s ‘Reform of the Roman Liturgy’, called the new rite a ‘fabrication’[1], and in the next sentence a ‘falsification’[2]. Mgr. Gamber called it a ‘cancerous growth’[3].  The gravity of these allegations will justify a brief summary of the shortcomings of the New Rite that have been uncovered in the course of this study. In view of these, it is clearly impossible for us to ascribe an equal worth to both rites, that is in an unqualified sense. We may ascribe an equal worth to them in fact only inasmuch as both[4] render present the Sacrifice of Mount Calvary.

1. The Faith is Misrepresented

We have shown how the Mass is represented as a meal; how the Person and Divinity of Jesus Christ is obscured; how sin, Judgment, Hell, the Devil, the imitation of Christ, and the ascetic life are minimalized. Faith is no longer presented as the ultimate Truth[5], and the life of Faith as a spiritual battle with the powers of darkness, as a question of eternal life and eternal death.

Rather, Faith is presented as a collection of edifying stories, and the life of Faith as a commitment to some undefined, future goal. Nebulous terms such as “the people of God”, “community”[6], and “solidarity” replace those of the Church and Charity, and even the Person of God the Father and that of Jesus Christ Himself become transformed into abstract and vague concepts.

2. The Cult of God is Compromised

The Mass no longer manifests the deepest Truths of the Faith: the Presence of the Eucharistic Lord, His Death on the Cross of Calvary; it no longer answers to the deepest needs of the human heart: the desire to be loved by God with a perfect love, to receive God Himself into the soul, to love God with all one’s being, to offer oneself up entirely to Him.

Genuflections, kneeling, and silence are discouraged; recollection is made almost impossible by the constant noise and the interaction between celebrant and congregation, all of which expresses no more than the celebration of the community by itself.

3. The Faithful are Alienated

With Faith and the Mass emptied of their content (subjectively speaking), there is no incentive to attend Mass, except for the devout. For the others, attendance becomes simply a matter of convention, of custom, or of purely cultural interest. A similar situation exists in relation to sacramental marriage and baptism. The falling-off of attendance at the Mass according to the new rite represents an intermediary stage on its path to extinction[7].

4.  Graces are Reduced

Graces are reduced because there are fewer Masses, because the prayers in these Masses are fewer, and because the devotion in these prayers is less.

There are fewer Masses on account of the multitude of concelebrations, where, since Our Lord Jesus Christ is the primary celebrant of the Mass, there will only ever be one Mass celebrated, however many concelebrants there are[8].

Moreover, since many prayers have been eliminated from the Old Rite, there will be many fewer graces also for this reason: less will be received by he who asks for less. As examples we take the suppression of prayers preparing for a devout Holy Communion, all the prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the popes, the martyrs, and the holy apostles Peter and Paul, as noted above. As a particularly egregious example we take that of the suppression of the prayer to the Archangel Michael at the end of the Low Mass. How many millions of daily prayers by priests and faithful to curb the action of Satan have thereby been silenced? How can any-one with Faith not understand the growth of evil in the world in this light[9]?

Finally, the dispositions of the celebrant and of those who attend the Mass determine the amount of graces received for the Church, for those for whom the Mass is offered, and for those present. The New Rite is less conducive to devotion, so that the quantity of these graces will be less.

5. God is Dishonoured

The gravest consequence of the New Rite is, however, the dishonour of God[10]. The iconostasis of silence has been dismantled. The Lord is called forth in a vulgar tongue, in words composed by His enemies. His Presence is ignored, His Person is demeaned. He is handled clumsily: if He falls, it does not matter. He is placed on unblessed tables, segregated from His friends. His garments have been reduced. He, The King of Kings in the state of Immolation, is placed in vulgar, primitive vessels. As the people stand or sit, and think that they are listening to a mere tale, He is crucified and dies before their eyes. He is raised above their heads: “Behold the Lamb of God!”: they stand and stare. He is delivered over to them: He, Almighty God, their Creator and their Highest Good. He is placed in their unclean hands. They receive Him into their darkened hearts, they brush Him off their hands, they trample over Him unwittingly, they take Him home. He is consigned to their caprice or their malice.

Pilate therefore went forth again and saith to them: Behold I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. Jesus therefore came forth bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. And he saith to them: Behold the Man[11].

B. Consequences

We have seen how the new rite is protestantizing and anthropocentric, and how it misrepresents the Faith. As such it is informed by a spirit of ambiguity that favours non-Catholic doctrine. This spirit is none other than the spirit of Modernism in that form in which it has insinuated itself into the Church of to-day from the time of the Second Vatican Council onwards. This spirit informs not only the liturgy, but also many of the teachings of the hierarchy, especially in the area of catechism, and many of their actions, especially ‘ecumenism’. It constitutes the spirit of the world disguised as the New Catholicism, which started by destroying that great edifice which is the Old Roman Rite, and went on to destroy an entire world.

Where is the knowledge of the Faith in the laity, or even in the clergy? Where is the sense of the liturgical year? Where the spirit of adoration of God and the spirit of sanctification, sacrifice, self-sacrifice, and even martyrdom? Where is the sense of Divine Justice[12], of hierarchy, of discipline and of order? Where are self-possession, modesty, purity, respect, or even good manners? Where are the families with numerous children? Where the innocent eyes of children? Where are the ‘fioretti’, or acts of mortification of little children? Where are the flowers offered to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the month of May? Where are the young people like those in the black and white college photographs of byegone generations looking down with serene and steady gaze on their families? Where is the Catholic identity? Where is the sensus catholicus: the very sense of what it is to be a Catholic?[13]

If we were to ask whether it is the modernism of the liturgy, of doctrine, or of action that has played the greatest role in destroying the whole Catholic world, or Orbis Catholicus, then we must reply that it is the liturgy, for what one prays determines what one believes (according to the principle: lex orandi, lex credendi), and what one believes determines what one does. In a word, the water has been contaminated at its very source.

The Holy Mass constitutes the heart of the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity: Faith in the Blessed Trinity, in the Incarnation, the Sacrifice of Calvary for the redemption of mankind, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and in Holy Communion – indeed it even renders these very mysteries present; it is offered in the Hope of eternal life, and it bestows Holy Communion on the faithful as a pledge of that Hope; it makes present the sacrificial love of God for man, and makes possible the sacrificial love of man for God.

When these sacred mysteries are expressed with power and clarity, they strengthen the Faith[14], Hope, and Charity of all present, even to the point of martyrdom; when they are expressed with ambiguity that favours heresy, then they impede the growth of these virtues, shake them, or destroy them[15].

This is especially true of the priest, who is the most intimately involved in the sacred mysteries: he is the one who renders them present. If the liturgy that he celebrates every day falls short of the Truth, so will his beliefs, his teaching[16], and his actions[17]. But this is also true for the Catholic laity, even if to a lesser degree, because it is the Mass, it is what they experience and learn at the Mass (be it every day, every Sunday, or only occasionally), that determines their Catholicity.

So much for the Church visible; but what of the Church invisible? How many souls have been lost or have not attained that degree of glory in Heaven which God has prepared for them from all eternity, as a result of the Modernism of the new rite, of its alienation of the faithful, and its reduction of sanctifying Grace?

In a word, the new rite has blocked and thwarted the very purposes of the Church, which are the sanctification of man and the glory of God.

The Holy Mass is the means by which Our Lord Jesus Christ, fount of all Truth and holiness, enters this world: the means by which the Word, the Splendour of the Father, descends from His royal throne, and, passing through an infinity of space and time[18], pierces the fabric of this finite, transient world. But His light has been dimmed at its very source, and now shines less brightly on our aching, fallen humanity.

And yet it is not the part of a Catholic to be disheartened or to make laments, so rather than dwelling on the unhappy legacy of the past, let us conclude this study by thanking God that by the wisdom and courage of his Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, the Old Rite is at last returning after 40 years of wilderness[19], and pray that this rite which (alongside its parallel rites) provided the foundation for Catholic Christendom in every land on every continent in the world, and which, when removed, made it fall, may, by its return, restore that great and holy civilization to its former splendour, for the salvation of innumerable souls and to the glory of the Most Blessed and Undivided Trinity.  Amen.


[1] quoted in the Introduction above

[2] Verfaelschung

[3] p.95 of the French version of the cited work: “Où sont les éveques qui auront le courage de faire disparaitre cette tumeur cancéreuse qui est la théologie moderniste implantée dans le tissu de la célébration des saints mystères?’Where are the bishops courageous enough to do away with this cancerous tumour, which is the modernist theology implanted in the tissue of the celebration of the sacred mysteries?”

[4] subject to the reservation expressed in the Critical Study IV, and mentioned above in section D of the first part of this essay on the ecumenical motivation of the New Rite.

[5] We refer in this connection to the removal of ‘the true Faith’ for which St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen died (in verae fidei propagatione); of the conquest of heresies in the feast of St. Irenaeus (veritate doctrinae expugnaret haereses); of the prayer for the return to the unity of the Church and for the salvation of those who are in error in the feasts of St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Peter Canisius; and the suppression of the prayers for the conversion of heretics and schismatics in the solemn orations of Good Friday: the oldest prayers of the Roman rite, which go back to the times of the first persecutions (Fr. Cekada p.29 op.cit.).

[6] with its spatial and temporal limitations

[7] The new rite has not sufficient vitality to endure (cf. the Devastated Vineyard ch.8 p.73). Indeed even to hold the attention of the faithful for a short time it requires ‘animators’, who have recourse to elements proper to other forms of public action such as the television show or dance, to fill the void. The old rite, by contrast, has this vitality: it has lasted two millenia, and, despite all the efforts of its enemies to destroy it, is (at the time of writing) inexorably returning. In this connection we quote ‘la Révolution liturgique’ by Jean Vaquié (Diffusion de la Pensée Francaise, Paris 1971, p.45):  « Les antiques architectes de la messe traditionnelle l’ont construite pour durer. Elle est concue dans un esprit de stabilité et de vérité. La nouvelle messe, au contraire, est concue dans un esprit d’apostasie et de tolérance. Elle est transformable. Elle capte le vent et se laisse entrainer par lui. Il est évident que l’orage éclatant dans le ciel de l’Eglise, la messe de Paul VI sera entrainée contre les récifs. La logique de son pluralisme le brisera. Au contraire, la vieille messe traditionnelle résistera encore une fois aux assauts, parce qu’elle est faite pour cela: The ancient archtitects of the traditional Mass constructed it to last. It is conceived in the spirit of stability and truth. The new Mass, by contrast, is conceived in the spirit of apostasy and tolerance. It is changeable. It sails with the wind and lets itself be drawn along by it. It is obvious that when the storm breaks out in the sky of the Church, the Mass of Paul VI will be blown against the reefs. The logic of its pluralism will smash it. By contrast, the old traditional Mass will resist once again against the attacks, because it is made for that.
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[8]  cf.L’Eucharistie, salut du monde II ch.3.II.1, Fr. Joseph de Sainte-Marie ocd, Editions du Cèdre DMM.

[9] we recall Pope Leo XIII’s vision of devils plotting evil against the Church which led him to compose the prayer and to append it to the low Mass.

[10]  This is the gravest consequence because the glory of God is the primary finality of all things, and because the glory given to God by the Holy Mass is the greatest glory that there is.

[11]  Jn.19.4-5.

[12] In tandem with the diminution of the sense of Divine Justice and of sacrifice we note the tendency within the Church towards pacifism and towards the abolition of capital punishment, and, as the Holy Father regrets in the book Luce nel Mondo, the reluctance to punish criminal offences within the clergy in recent decades.

[13] clearly there are pockets in which these elements survive, but we are addressing the phenomenon in universal terms.

[14] Mgr. Gamber remarks: ‘The Roman rite is at the present time the rock amongst the breakers of faithlessness. The innovators are well aware of this: it explains their blind hatred for the ‘Tridentine Mass’. Its preservation is no matter of aesthetics but of the life of the Church: Der Ritus romanus ist gegenwaertig der Fels in der Brandung des Unglaubens. Das wissen die Neuerer sehr gut. Darum auch der blinde Hasz gegen die ‘Tridentinische Messe’. Ihre Erhaltung ist keine Frage der Aesthetik, sondern des Lebens der Kirche.’(Una Voce Korrespondenz 5, 1976, p.301) In this connection we also mention the remark of Pope Paul VI in Paul VI Secret (op.cit.): ‘Cette messe dite de St. Pie V, comme on la voit à Econe, devient le symbole de la condamnation du Concile: This Mass, called the Mass of St. Pius V, as it is viewed at Econe, is becoming the symbol of the condamnation of the Council. ’

[15] One of the reasons for which the Church considers it dangerous for the faithful to assist at non-Catholic liturgies, and therefore discourages them from so doing, is that it can lead to the loss of Faith. The new rite, Catholic in one sense but Protestant in another, represents this danger to an eminent degree. In regard to the destruction of the Faith we quote the memorable words of Cd. Journet: ‘The liturgy and the catechism (of to-day) are the two jaws of the pincers with which they are tearing the Faith from the hearts of our children: La liturgie et la catechèse (d’aujourd’hui) sont les deux machoirs de la tenaille avec laquelle on arrache la foi du coeur de nos enfants.’ Lucien Méroz l’Obéissance dans l’Eglise (Claude Martingay, Genève). Fr. Bruckberger O.P. director of the film Les Carmelites de Compiègne goes further and writes (in La Révélation de Jésus Christ) ‘That which we are witnessing on the pretext of liturgical renewal is the organized apostasy from the Catholic Faith: Ce à quoi nous assistons sous prétexte de renouvellement liturgique c’est l’apostasie organisée de la foi catholique’.In this connection we refer to a passage in Les Institutions Liturgiques of Dom Prosper Guéranger (Paris 1878, pp. 388-407, esp. 398) where the author explains that all heretics have always begun their work of destruction by attacking the liturgy: ‘Every sectarian who wants to introduce a new doctrine finds himself necessarily in the presence of the liturgy which is Tradition in the highest degree of her power … Indeed, how has Lutheranism, Calvinism , Anglicanism been established and maintained in the masses? To obtain this effect all that was necessary was to substitute new books and new formulae for the old, and all was consummated.’

[16] this is of a particular relevance for bishops and those reponsible for the composition of official Church documents.

[17] in particular we note that if the central action of a priest, which is the celebration of the Holy Mass, is emasculated, then so is the priest. (The same applies, to a lesser degree, to doctrine.) The consequences have been discussed elsewhere.

[18] see Iota Unum s.266

[19] certainly a grievous castigation of the Church by God for unspeakable evils. We refer to “the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away: a tempore cum oblatum fuerit juge sacrificium”(Daniel 12,11) as interpreted by Cd. Billot, (La Parousie, op.cit. p.47 German version): “Gemeint ist also das Opfer unserer Altaere, die hl.Meszfeier, die in diesen Tagen ueberall geaechtet, ueberall untersagt sein und die – abgesehen von jenen hl. Meszopfern, die in den Katakomben, im Dunkeln und Verborgenen gefeiert werden – ueberall unterbrochen sein wird: What is being referred to is the sacrifice of our altars, the celebration of the Mass, which in these days will everywhere be despised and forbidden, and that, with the exception of those Masses that will be celebrated in the catacombs, in the dark and in secret, will everywhere be interrupted.”