Monday, March 1, 2010

On the Validity of the 1970 (Novus Ordo) Missal of Paul VI---by Michael Davies

Note: While there is certainly no question that the late prominent traditionalist author, Michael Davies, preferred the traditional 1962 Missal (sometimes called the Tridentine Mass) as vastly superior to the New Mass, there is also no question---all abuses aside---that he vigorously defended against the Sedevacantists (1) the de fide fact that the Church cannot officially promulgate invalid sacraments; and that a valid Mass is, per force, a true Mass of the Church, lest the whole ordinary means of grace for all Catholics in the world be abolished by a wrong logic.

Davies summed up his position (distinguishing dogma and prudence) on the New Mass with precision:

from his book I Am With You Always

"More than sufficient dosumentation has been provided," he wrote, "to prove that there is no aspect of catholic Eucharistic teaching that is not given explicit liturgical expression in the 1970 Missal. Thus, even though such liturgical expression is far less frequent than that in the 1962 Missal, it is nonetheless present...As regards sufficiency, it is hard to see how any bishop, priest or layman has the right to state, for example, that the sacrificial nature of the Mass must be affirmed on a specific number of occasions in any Missal or otherwise the rite of Mass that it contains becomes evil. The approval of the Pope must, surely, be the deciding factor, even if he decided that one unambiguous affirmation would be sufficient to safeguard the catholicity of the rite..."

He continues, "Luther and Cranmer stripped their rites of every text that could be taken to imply that a propitiatory sacrifice was taking place. The Roman Canon was the bete noire of all the Reformers, while the 1970 Missal contains this Canon which could hardly affirm the dogma of sacrifice more specifically"---I AM With You Always, by Michael Davies, The Neumann Press, 1986 Pp.68, 69; 6 Errors in Traditional Circles

Davies goes on to say that the drastic reductions in liturgical expressions of Catholic Eucharistic teaching in the 1970 missal "makes assistance at the celebration of the New Mass 'less beneficial' than assisting at the Traditional Mass," but not evil or uncatholic. "Less beneficial" he wrote can be squared with the Church's doctrine on indefectibility, "whereas evil or harmful cannot". (ibid)

That is our conviction precisely. For one who is grounded in Catholic Eucharistic teaching, the same graces can be gained from the same Eucharist in the New Mass as in the traditional Mass. But what of the many (the millions?) no longer so grounded in Church teaching, to say nothing of those who suffer "presiding" neo-modernist priests who abuse the Mass, change the wordings and preach material heresies or who refuse to teach what the Church commissions them to teach?

Clearly the traditional Mass assures all Catholics of sound teaching (for it recapitulates the entire Faith ever time it is said), and sublime worship, and thus makes everyone's faith more secure, especially after so long a time when proper catechesis has been allowed to wander off and flounder in non-Catholic directions.

End Note:

(1) Sedevacantists---who, not knowing which traditions bind and which do not--- are often as vicious to one another as to other Catholics--- are few in number and teach that the Popes and Vatican II actually taught formal heresies. Rather than seek and agitate for solutions to real ambiguities in such teachings, they posit that actual rupture with Sacred Tradition has taken place and often enough absurdly elect their own "popes" who oppose one another in a fine spectacle.

After setting out the argument re St. Thomas and deprivation of what is good or beneficial relative here to the New Mass Davies writes:

"...if we accept the doctrine of indefectibility a ... celebration strictly according to the rubrics of the 1970 missal cannot be evil, not only in the sense that it cannot contain positively harmful elements, but even in the sense of a deprivation of good. Using the objective approach the question must be asked as to what precisely is the good that should be expected from the celebration of the Mass. Firstly, there are the sacrificial fruits of the celebration. At every Mass jesus Christ is the High Priest who offers the Sacrifice, which is not only His Sacrifice but the Sacrifice of the Church.

"Secondly, there is the sacramental grave to be received in Holy Communion. In Holy communion we receive Our Lord himself, whose presence cannot be diminished or increased by the rite of Mass which makes Him present. The grace we receive in Holy Communion is dependent not upon the tite used but upon our disposition...The sacrificial fruits and the sacramental grace CONSTITUTE THE GOOD "which is naturally due" to the faithful from a celebration of the Mass. Therefore it cannot be that the New Mass is evil even when the concept is restricted to the definition of St. Thomas". ----Pp.68, emphasis mine

That John Paul II, but especially Benedict XVI, restored the Tridentine Mass to the Church shows a reform of the reform solicitous of the good of the Church. This choice is what the earliest traditionalists asked for. So now we agitate constructively for the further clearing up of ambiguities in conciliar and post-conciliar texts and the restoration of the charitable anathema which is the other side of Truth which protects the mystical body from the deadly viruses of true heresies and apostasy.

It does no good to either deny the problems which were born with Vatican II or to exaggerate / distort.

--->Pope Paul VI Encyclical Letter, Mysterium Fidei (click), affirming the traditional dogmas and doctrine of Catholic Eucharistic theology.

--->Vatican approves new English translation of the Mass, including the important Pro Multis reform, to be implemented Advent 2011.

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