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Is the Latin Mass Back?

By Rev. Fr. Dominic Radecki, CMRI

What are we to think of Benedict XVI’s recent document bringing back the Latin Mass? Perhaps your friends or relatives have already said to you: “Well, are you happy now? You got your Latin Mass back. Isn’t that what you’ve been so upset about all these years?” Well, yes... and no. Of course, we have been upset about the New Mass or Novus Ordo — that’s why I offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in this church and why many of you come a long distance to attend this Tridentine Latin Mass. (The term Tridentine Latin Mass is derived from the word Trent, and refers to the authentic Latin Mass offered from the Roman Missal of Pope St. Pius V.)

Most of the traditional Catholic groups springing up all over the world in the 70’s rallied around the idea that the Novus Ordo was sacrilegious and invalid. In lieu of this, the Tridentine Latin Mass or true Mass was to be preserved at all costs. Soon seminaries were established to train priests so that the true Mass and sacraments would be preserved for future generations. For many years the Church was forced once again into the “catacombs” as the "outlawed” Tridentine Latin Mass was offered in rented halls, hotel conference rooms and the living rooms of private homes. As long as we could attend the true Mass and receive valid sacraments, it didn’t matter where or under what circumstances.

Over the past four decades the traditional Catholic movement has become so large in certain areas of the world that the new religion has been totally rejected and only the Latin Mass is offered. They have even purchased or built churches for this purpose. And now, the New Postconciliar, Vatican II Church, after 40 years, is saying that the Latin Mass is back. Nevertheless, we have to say to our friends and relatives, “No, we’re not happy about it.” Why not?

The document or motu proprio of Benedict XVI promulgated on July 7, 2007, makes it clear that the Novus Ordo, the New “Mass” of Paul VI, is the “ordinary expression of the law of prayer of the Catholic rite” — in other words, the Novus Ordo remains the primary “Mass” of the Postconciliar Church. Now along with this “Lord’s Supper” service, Benedict is allowing a Latin Mass. However, he did not accompany the word Latin with Tridentine so this leads us to ask the question, “Which Latin Mass is it?"

Some of you may remember or are familiar with the fact that in 1962 John XXIII promulgated a new missal in which St. Joseph’s name was inserted into the Canon of the Mass. Perhaps at the time you thought that this was a good thing. Here it is helpful to note that in 1815 there was a movement inaugurated among the clergy and laity to add St. Joseph’s name to the Canon. Hundreds of thousands of petitions were sent to Rome, but the Sacred Congregation of Rites remained firm in denying the request. “So careful is the Church to prevent innovations from entering into this part of the Mass that she forbids anyone to meddle with it under pain of incurring her most severe censures” (Fr. John O’Brien, A History of THE Mass and the Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church, 1879, p. 296.)

In fact, so sacred is the Canon that no changes have been made in it since the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great in the sixth century, until John XXIII changed it. The changes made by Pope St. Gregory the Great were only minor. However, John XXIII’s insertion of St. Joseph was intended to serve as a wedge to break open the Canon of the Mass and to authorize change to the very words of Consecration, the Modernists’ ultimate target.

Along with this 1962 missal came a new calendar that demoted or removed a great number of saints and feasts, including those of St. Philomena, St. Christopher, the Finding of the Holy Cross, St. Peter’s Chains and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In addition, they made more changes in the Mass. The Confiteor prayers before Holy Communion were eliminated, as well as the Last Gospel and Leonine prayers.

In 1984 John Paul II allowed this so-called Indult Mass to be offered, but only under certain circumstances and with permission of the bishop. Benedict’s decree now allows this same Indult Mass to be offered by any priest, at any time without any special permission. But this is not the Tridentine Mass, the immemorial, unchanged Mass handed down to us from Our Lord Himself and codified by Pope St. Pius V over 500 years ago! Thus it is not the true Latin Mass that is back, but rather only John XXIII’s mutilated and deformed version (known as the Indult Mass.) The media press releases, and even the pseudo-traditionalists, have shown an incorrect picture. Benedict is allowing only the 1962 pre-Novus Ordo illicit Mass of John XXIII.

Even though the New Church now has two Masses, Benedict insists that there is really only one rite used two ways, or as he says, “a twofold use of one and the same rite.” Benedict’s document, the motu proprio, also allows priests to pray the 1962 breviary and to use the old rite for the sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony, Penance and “Anointing of the Sick.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? However, one might ask how an invalidly ordained priest can validly confect the sacraments of Penance, Extreme Unction and the Holy Eucharist, regardless of the rite used.

They would have us believe that Benedict XVI is Catholic again! The “Abomination of Desolation” is over! We don’t have to crowd into a traditional Catholic church anymore. We can just go across town to our local Novus Ordo meeting hall and hope for the best.

Well, before you let out a sigh of relief, let’s take a close look at this decree, what it really means and the reasons behind it. With this Apostolic Letter to the Universal Church came a cover letter to the bishops allaying any fears they might have about the Latin Mass being restored. This letter is very insightful. Even a cursory or hasty reading of it betrays a master of deceit at work. That’s just what the Modernists are, masters of deceit, and Benedict XVI is a master among masters.

What are Rome’s motives for allowing the Latin Mass to come back? In his letter to the bishops, Benedict tells them not to be afraid and confused by his decree because the Novus Ordo “Mass” of Paul VI is still and will remain the Mass of the New Church. The Latin Mass of John XXIII, he says, was never really abolished. (He is right, of course — it was the Tridentine Mass of Pope St. Pius V that was abolished in the postconciliar Church.)

Benedict admits that the Modernists thought that after Vatican II people would forget all about the Tridentine Latin Mass as time went on. But they didn’t count on so many people stubbornly adhering to the true Mass.

He writes, “It soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to the Mass which had been familiar to them from childhood.” Surprisingly enough, even young people were attracted to the Tridentine Latin Mass, not just the old fogies! So many people, in fact, that the bishops are having to “constantly evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.” Clearly we’re a thorn in their side and the bishops can’t deal with it anymore. That’s why Benedict is going to give them a Latin Mass.

But he goes on to say that the bishops have nothing to fear. In his own words Benedict says, “The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language, and neither of these is found very often... From these concrete presuppositions, it is dearly seen that... [the Novus Ordo] will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Roman rite, because of the actual situation in the communities of the faithful."

Translated, this means that since the Novus Ordo priests no longer know or understand Latin, and very few have any training in the liturgical ceremonial or the rubrics, the Novus Ordo will end up being the only service offered anyway! How pacifying, how diabolically deceitful! Benedict is allowing the Latin Mass, realizing that almost no one knows how to say it anyway!

So why is Benedict making this useless gesture, this show of tradition? Probably to placate the people, since so many have been leaving the false religion of the Postconciliar Church and it is suffering the consequences.

Benedict further puts a contingency on the offer of his Latin Mass. He expects that as Rome has accepted the traditional Mass, so too traditional Catholics must accept the New “Mass” in order to experience “full communion.” Benedict says that, “The priests adhering to the former usage [that is, traditionalists] cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books [the Novus Ordo]. To do so would be a failure to recognize the value and holiness of the New Mass."

Let me ask you, my dearly beloved in Christ, what would and should you do IF it were announced — note that I’m saying IF it were announced — that next Sunday we were going to experience full communion with the new religion by celebrating the holiness of the Novus Ordo or New “Mass"? The pews would be empty and all of you would be looking for a Tridentine Latin Mass again.

Why would you continue to reject the New “Mass"? Because you know that it is not a Mass at all; it is invalid. The Novus Ordo or “Lord’s Supper [by definition], the assembly or gathering together of the people of God, with a priest presiding, to celebrate the Memorial of the Lord,” is a typical Protestant service — a celebration of praise and thanksgiving.

Benedict would have us believe that the New “Mass” is the same as the Tridentine Mass. However, this is untrue. The Novus Ordo is NOT a propitiatory sacrifice, a sacrifice to atone for sin, as is the unchanging Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

It is said that if a person tells a lie often enough, people will accept it as truth. This nevertheless does not change the fact that the truth remains regardless of how many follow the lie. The Tridentine Latin Mass is the true Mass and anything short of it is false.

It is interesting to note that a recent press release headlined the story this way: “Pope Frees Up Use of Old Latin Mass. Stresses No Reversal on Vatican II.” And they had it right — nothing is changed. This is a cunning move on the part of the Modernists, intended to lure traditional Catholics back into the one world church of anti-Christ. The results of Vatican II are still in full force — new catechisms, new canon laws, new sacraments, new doctrines, new “Mass,” new everything — except the collection basket!

Church officials told the press that Benedict is in no way refuting Vatican II. The document, Vatican spokesman Rev. Rederico Lombardi said, “doesn’t impose any return to the past, it does not mean any weakening of the authority of the Council.”

After Vatican II, not only was the Mass changed, but also the rite of ordination of priests and the consecration of bishops were substantially changed. The 1968 rite for the ordination of bishops completely destroyed and replaced the very form of consecration as clearly determined by Pope Pius XII in 1947 in his Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis.

By following the same principle of sacramental theology taught by Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae in which the pope declared Anglican orders invalid, the bishops consecrated in the 1968 rite are not valid bishops. Invalid bishops cannot validly ordain (cont’d on p. 16) priests. Invalid priests who use the Latin Mass will offer invalid Masses.

Thus, most of the sanctuaries of the postconciliar churches are staffed by invalidly ordained clerics. Regardless, then, of any seeming concessions, present or future, there will always remain in the postconciliar Church a lifeless ceremonial with no inner value, grace or effect. Satan has thus tried and will continue to try to deceive “even the elect” with his illusion of Catholicism, ever seeking the ruin of immortal souls.

Commenting on the words of the Gospel for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, St. Hilary says: “We should look not so much to what a man says, as to what he does; for there are many who hide the ravening of a wolf under sheep’s clothing. As, then, thorns do not bear grapes, nor do thistles produce figs, and evil trees do not bring forth good fruit, so the Lord teaches, neither do evil men bring forth good works. Therefore all men are to be known by their works” (Roman Breviary, 3rd Nocturn of Matins, 7th Sunday after Pentecost).

“Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.”


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