Refutation of Appendix 3

By I. Shawn McElhinney

Am I Obligated to attend the New Mass and Sacraments?

Taken and adapted from the Traditio Website

No one even remotely schooled in Church history would dare claim that revising the Sacramental norms at VC II resulted in "inventing new sacraments." If this is true, than all of the sacraments have been "invented" several times especially Penance, Extreme Unction, and Confirmation. What was changed at VC II was the ceremony and the manner of reception to some extent, not the sacraments themselves whose matter, form, and intention remain unchanged. Again, "trads" suffer from severe historical and theological ignorance which prevents them from seeing that the sacramental norms of reception have been modified many times historically (most notably Penance). Confirmation used to be given BEFORE First Communion and even to infants but that was later changed. In "trad" speak Confirmation was not altered in its norms of reception but instead a "new sacrament" was "invented." This is what happens when you get a bunch of people who know very little yet who think they know a lot. (And who make comments that demonstrate to those who are aware of these distinctions just how little they really do know.) The Rite of Reconciliation is NOT a "new" sacrament. It is merely different celebratory norms being employed. That is all. Matt1618, Dr. Art Sippo, and this present writer have already destroyed these pathetic objections countless times over in our refutation of the different sections of these "trads" work.

Frequently Catholics who are troubled by the New (Novus Ordo) Mass of Pope Paul VI ask whether they are required to attend this Mass and the new Sacraments, e.g., the Rite of Reconciliation (Penance).

No it is better to go to illicit Tridentine Masses (sacreligious because of its illicit status) celebrated by priests and bishops in schism from the Holy See who sin against God ever time they offer Mass without papal sanction and further who have no jurisdictional faculties to absolve or to marry anybody. Thus those who go to confession are not absolved and then they participate in a Mass that is sacreligious (which all Masses celebrated by those in deliberate schism are) and profane the Lord’s Body and Blood through unworthy reception. This is all much less problematical then troubling then virtually anything that takes place at the average Pauline liturgy.

It is difficult to believe that anyone would put their eternal soul in jeopardy because they are "troubled" by the Pauline Mass by actively choosing schism and committing sacrilege. There is something these people can do who are troubled to resolve this dilemma and it is this: go to the Pauline Mass and if there are discomforts then offer them for the suffering souls who are undergoing far more discomfort then some poor complaining "trad" who bawls like a baby because they cannot get their "way." Or, if there is a licit Tridentine Mass in one’s area then go there (but make sure it is licit by checking with the local Ordinary). Without licit Tridentine Masses in your area, you have no right to attend the Tridentine Mass whatsoever and are effectively spitting defiantly at God and telling Him that you are going to be a little "Korah" and do what you want even if it is wrong. Ask Korah, Dathan, and Abiron if this was a wise practice when you meet them in hell - which is precisely where you will be going if you deliberately flout God’s authority and do not play according to His rules. It is as simple as that really.

If Sacred Tradition of almost 2000 years weren't enough substantiation of every Catholics' inalienable right to the Traditional Latin Mass, Pope St. Pius V, in his solemn Papal Bull Quo Primum confirmed this Sacred Tradition when he decreed (Quo Primum, confirmed by all popes after Pius V until Paul VI, was never officially abrogated, and it must be, before another document can take precedent.

This is a lie. First of all, no "official abrogation" was needed for Pope St. Pius X to revise the Breviary in 1911 (which had been promulgated by Pope Pius V in 1568 with the same sweeping solemn language as Quo Primum). St. Pope Pius X merely issued another Breviary in 1911 and no one claimed that the old Breviary was still in force due to not being "officially abrogated." The promulgation of the Revised Breviary in 1911 immediately made the 1568 Breviary null and void. The same is true for the Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Paul VI on April 3, 1969 which promulgated the Pauline Rite of Mass: upon its taking effect (November 30, 1969), Quo Primum became defunct. That is how legislation works and it only makes sense. Think of it this way: if the speed limit on your street is 25 miles per hour and this is enacted by a bill of law, then if the authorities later on pass another bill of law declaring that the speed limit on your street has been changed to 40 mph, there is not a need to issue another bill of law to cancel out the previous bill mandating a 25 mph speed limit. No, everyone understands that the old law is no longer in effect but instead it has been superceded. Yet somehow "trads" expect exceptions to be made in the case of Quo Primum that exist nowhere else with civil jurisdicational law or any other promulgated law of the Church. This is highly inconsistent and purely arbitrary.

Also, Quo Primum, based on the teachings of the Council of Trent, was just an affirmation of tradition and the abrogation of Quo Primum would be an abrogation of tradition):

No because liturgican forms are not part of Tradition in and of themselves. They change as centuries go by and there is no warrant for claiming that the Tridentine Mass of the sixteenth century was not capable of being changed anymore then the Masses of the third century were changed in the fourth and fifth centuries and dramatically recast. Thus history itself witnesses to the fluidity of different liturgies and the claim of the "trads" that the Tridentine Ritual was unchangable is opposed to the constant Tradition of the Church which always HAD recognized that liturgies are subject to change.

"And in perpetuity We grant and permit that they may by all means use this Missal in singing or reciting Mass in any church whatsoever without any scruple of conscience, without incurring any penalties, sentences, or censures; in order that they may be able to do this and be able to use this Missal freely and lawfully, We, by virtue of Our Apostolic Office and by virtue of the present document, grant and permit this forever. "

Thus, the Traditional Latin Mass has been dogmatically defined as the principal rite of the Church, the Roman Rite of the Apostolic See.

No liturgy can ever be dogmatically defined because liturgy is not dogma. Only someone profoundly ignorant of what constitutes dogma could make such a stupid statement as this. Also, notice our opponent’s pathetic lack of understanding as he contradicts himself within a few sentences. First he states that Quo Primum "must be abrogated before another document can take its place" and then he claims that the Tridentine Mass (it is NOT the "Traditional Latin Mass": only the liturgically ignorant would DARE make this claim) has been dogmatically defined.

The new mass has no such authority as Pope Paul VI himself declared, when promulgating the New Mass:

"The rite [of the New Mass] by itself is NOT a dogmatic definition" (Apostolic Constitution, " Missale Romanum," November 19, 1969).

If Quo Primum is dogma then why is it not present in Dr. Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma theology manual and why is the "definition" of Quo Primum not mentioned in any of the sections which discuss the Mass??? Simple, there was no dogmatic definition contained in Quo Primum that is why. These "trads" are hereby challenged to find one theology manual that claims that Quo Primum was a dogmatic definition. Failing to do that means that they can shut up and no one needs to take their griping seriously.

Further, when Pope Paul VI was asked by Cardinal Heenan of England if he was abrogating or prohibiting the Tridentine Mass, answered: "It is not our intention to prohibit absolutely the Tridentine Mass."

Why should he want to prohibit the Old Roman Rite??? All that the Pope did was promulgate the Pauline Rite as the primary rite in the Western Church. That did not exclude the use of other rites Tridentine or otherwise provided that the Apostolic See granted a dispensation for it which they did for those who wanted the Tridentine Mass. (Such as Cardinal Heenan and Archbishop Lefebvre: Pope John Paul II has built on this with Ecclesia Dei in 1988 with the creation of the Fraternal Society of St. Peter, etc.) It is not the nature of the Church to be monolithic liturgically at all and the impositions by Pope Pius V were done out of a necessity that no longer exists. If not for Modernism in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, the liturgy would have been restored at that time most likely (as Matt pointed out, Pope St. Pius X certainly wanted to).

Moreover, there are several providential canons in the New (Novus Ordo) Code of Canon Law (1983) protect traditional Catholics in their practice of the Traditional Roman Catholic Mass, Sacraments, and Faith. Even though Traditional Catholics do not generally accept the new code, but instead observe the essence of the traditional code (issued in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV), from the perspective of the Novus Ordo apparatus, these new canons protect such Catholics against being molested by dioceses.

So in other words, the 'traditionalist' is a schismatic then for refusing to submit to the Law of the Church (Code of Canon Law 1983)??? The 1917 Code is defunct and these "trads" have finally revealed their true colours!!!

In fact, these dioceses unjustly and without canonic authority frequently ignore, with prejudice, the provisions of these canons, just as they frequently ignore so many other canons.

Why do these people care about the canons of a Code that they claim to not accept??? This position is puzzling.

Canon 214. Admits the "right" of Catholics to worship God according to the prescriptions of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church. The rite of Traditional Catholics, the Traditional Roman Rite, was certainly approved by "legitimate pastors of the Church," from the earliest times to the present, most especially by Pope St. Pius V in Quo Primum (1570).

The pastors that grant the approval for the Tridentine Rite (or any other right) are not long dead popes and bishops but the Living Magisterium of the Church. To THEM must one go and they have made accommodations for those with a preference for the Tridentine Ritual. However, not all bishops have yet climbed aboard but until the Pope decides to apply the juridiction directly from the top as opposed to making it a decision of the Local Ordinaries, these "trads" are in schism if they go to the Tridentine Mass said by a priest or in a chapel that their Local Ordinary does not recognize to be in communion with him. It is as simple as that.

The teachings of the Church come from the deposit of Faith and are composed of the constant and consistent teachings the Popes, and approved Councils, since St. Peter, in other words, tradition. It is important to not confuse the legal laws of the Church with the teachings of the Church, this canon specifically specifies.

Canon 214: The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescriptions of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church, and to follow their own form of spiritual life consonant with the teachings of the Church.

Liturgical rites are not a part of Tradition but are ecclesiastical directives that can be changed or modified at the discretion of the Apostolic See (PP XII: Mediator Dei 58).

Canon 844.2. Makes it lawful for any Catholic out of "necessity" or "genuine spiritual advantage" to seek out and attend (or celebrate in the case of a priest) the Traditional Latin Mass and other traditional Sacraments in churches or chapels that are not "recognized" by the diocese.

Canon 844.2: Whenever necessity requires or genuine spiritual advantage suggests, and provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, it is lawful for the faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose churches these sacraments are valid.

There is no such thing as "traditional Sacraments" and "new Sacraments." The Sacraments are the same today as they always have been. Only the manner of celebration of some of the sacraments has changed but that has happened throughout history. Only someone truly ignorant of history would make such claims as these. But then as this writer has shown in his treatise (and as Art, Matt, and the present author have shown throughout this rebuttal to the sorry "trad" response), Church history is a profoundly weak point of a 'traditionalist'. That is why they continue to make the types of comments that they do on these types of matters: no one with an ounce of knowledge of sacramental policies throughout history would DARE to make such ignorant statements. As Pete Vere (a licensed canonist) has dealt with Can. 844§2 and its application viz a viz "Tridentine Masses in detail, this writer sends the reader here to read a detailed refutation of this presumption.

Canon 1248.1. Allows the Mass obligation to be satisfied "by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite." Note that the location in this canon is not narrowly specified as it is elsewhere, e.g., "in an episcopally-approved church or oratory," but is left quite general: "anywhere." The Traditional Latin Mass is certainly a "Catholic rite," canonized by Sacred Tradition, as well as by many popes and councils.

Canon 1248 - 1: The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.

If they had bothered to read the entire treatise (rather then rip one section complately from the book ignoring the systematic manner in which the work was written), they might have learned something - as the subject of Tradition and the Living Magisterium were subjects that were covered before the discussion on the liturgy and not without reason was this done.

Canon 1248.2. For "grave cause," e.g., the moral impossibility that many Traditional Catholics have in conscience against attending a Novus Ordo service, this canon even recommends that one may fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation by praying at home, "personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."

Canon 1248 -2: If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the liturgy of the word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families.

Nice try but this canon is for people that are unable to make it to Mass on Sunday for grave reasons (lack of transportation for example). It does not apply to attending illicit and scandalous Tridentine Masses offered by pseudo-'traditionalists' who are always profoundly in error, generally proximate to heresy, and who are undeniably schismatics. However,  we could ask the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts for an authentic (and binding) interpretation on the matter. On behalf of Art and Matt, this writer is not worried about such an action nor are they. What about Hammer and company???

Canon 1323. A Catholic cannot be penalized for violating a law or precept (even when only apparent) if that person acted "out of grave fear, or only relatively grave, or out of necessity or out of serious inconvenience." Thus, Traditional Catholics who with certain conscience [canon 748: All persons are bound to seek the truth in matters concerning God and God’s Church; by divine law they also are obliged and have the right to embrace and to observe that truth which they have recognized] find it a serious inconvenience, that is, a moral impossibility, to attend a Novus Ordo service, are not validly subject to a penalty. If a pope, bishop, or other hierarch should attempt to penalize a person, the penalty would be null and void.

Canon 1323: The following are not subject to penalties when they have violated a law or precept: #4: a person who acted out of grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or out of necessity or out of serious inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or verges on harm to souls.

Illicit Tridentine Masses celebrated by schismatic and/or quasi-heretical priests and bishops are intrinsically evil and harm souls. (For the priests have no authority to offer mass or the sacraments and on top of that, they cannot validly absolve or marry anyone.)

In response to the question whether there is an obligation to attend the New Mass, a consulting canon lawyer wrote the following in the house organ of a conservative (not traditional) foundation specializing in the Novus Ordo (1983) canon law.

Of course they refuse to give this "lawyer’s" name. Why is this??? Probably because they made him up. We challenge them to provide a name to prove us wrong.

Canonical Basics What's the law? What's the teaching?

And who decides??? Try the Supreme Legislator himself and whom he delegates this competence to. All other interpretations which are contrary to the manifested will of the Legislator are null and void (cf. can 1404-1406).

The Question: I am wondering when the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and other holydays is no longer binding. I am a Catholic of the Roman rite, and I live in the USA. As you must be aware, there is a lot of diversity across this nation in liturgical practices, much of it illegitimate, and in my opinion most of it is unwise. I am trying to clarify where the line is that if a priest crosses it, I am not obliged to attend Mass.... How do I know when the "service" in question is a Mass that I must attend? I'm not trying to get out of attending Mass ? I'm glad to go. Nor am I asking how to know if a Mass is valid.... Must I attend a valid, but disrespectful Mass? Must I attend a valid Mass that is done in a way that contradicts Catholic doctrine...?

So far this reads just fine. But as usual "trad" sources mix much gravel around the rare diamonds that they do present at times. Prepare for the "gravel-dumping" now…

I also don't understand why it is required to attend such Masses where the priest (and apparently much of the parish) is only formally in union with Rome, but materially appears to believe, act, and worship as Protestants in many ways, and yet it is wrong to attend a [non- diocesan] Mass in which the priest is offering Mass in a worthy manner....

For "trads" to complain about ambiguity they are sure not afraid to appropriate it for themselves when the need suits them. How is someone "behaving like a Protestant" at a licit and properly said Pauline Mass??? How are they "acting" like a Protestant in these instances??? How do Catholics "worship like Protestants" at the Pauline Mass??? Do the Protestants offer the Sacrifice of the Son of God at their services??? Do they pray for the dead as Catholics at the Pauline Mass do??? Do they pray for the intentions of the Pope??? What is so "Protestant" that this "objector" is referring to and why can they not point to specifics??? It must be the quantity of Scripture read since "true" Catholics (apparently) do not read the Bible right??? Again it is a trait of pure hypocrisy for these "trads" to whine and complain about ambiguity and then resort to using it themselves.

I understand the importance of attending a Mass offered by a priest in union with Rome.

Hammer and company cannot understand this importance. It is virtually certain (in light of the groups that they praise and the points of view that they promote) that Charles "Machabeus" Goldstein and the Brindle brothers are attending independent outfits for his Tridentine Masses which means that they are partaking of or are in formal schism. We already know that they are in serious error based on the content of their sorry excuse for a response to the Mass part of this writer's treatise. Their error as it touches on the very foundations of our faith cannot be anything less then proximate to heresy. These three are DEFINITELY obstinate in their rejection of Catholic beliefs that they do not care for (and interpreting for themselves in novel ways the ones they desire to hold). How are such actions not heretically-inclined???

But, when you see some of these Masses, you wonder who is in closer union with Rome ? the technically "Catholic" priest, or the [non-diocesan] priest.

The "technically Catholic" priest??? What kind of ambiguous mishmash term is this??? The most inept Catholic priest (and there are some inept ones out there of course: not nearly as many as these authors would like everyone to believe of course but there are some) doing what the Church does in offering Mass is FAR closer to Rome then the most pious priest offering a Tridentine Mass who is in schism. There is NO comparison whatsoever that can be made between the two.

I'm very worried about my children, though.... Sure, I can tell them what to believe, but there's more to it than just intellectual belief ? I think proper worship of God needs to be experienced, and I don't know how to replicate that experience of reverence and awe at home. What they're experiencing is not what they would experience if we had reverent Masses, or if they would attend Mass at a [non-diocesan] church. This can't help but affect their faith.

These are fair and even orthodox objections actually. This writers only objection is the use of the term "reverence" since he has attended several reverently offered Pauline Masses since returning to the Church. (For the most part: the author has had some problems with the Pauline Mass but considering his disobedience for years on this score, there is no room for complaint about present discomforts in some areas. Obedience to the Truth is not always pleasant.) The problem (as Matt and Art noted in their sections and as this writer touched on briefly) is that before the Pauline Mass was promulgated, the Tridentine Mass was not as reverently celebrated as it is now by these groups. This is why this question is a bit of a "loaded" one. Nevertheless, what did this so-called "canonist" have to say on the matter:

The Answer (by Our Consulting Canon Lawyer)

This "consulting canon lawyer" then has more authority then the Supreme Legislator (the pope) himself in their eyes. (How Protestant.)

According to Moral Theology, there are various "types" of impossibilities that inhibit a person from acting. One of these is called "moral impossibility" [incommodum grave]. Without begging the point, a moral impossibility exists when a person's conscience is so compromised by the situation that the person believes it wrong to act in that situation. To reach this impossibility, one must carefully weigh the consequences against the obligations. Primarily, a big question is: when is one's salvation at stake? Phrased in another way: when does the situation begin to be an occasion of sin for the person morally compromised?... The answer to this question is difficult and varies form individual to individual. Christi fideles, Lent 1997 (Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 3)

A very fair answer. However, note the response by these "trad" webmasters to what was said above:

[For the Traditional Catholic, it is hard to imagine any diocesan church in the USA (or elsewhere for that matter) that doesn't fit the description of the questioner. It is equally hard to imagine that the conscience of the traditional Catholic would not be so compromised by the New Mass that he would feel obliged to absent himself from that Mass and attend only the Traditional Latin Mass.]

Of course this is another example of the 'traditionalist' acting like their own little Pope and Magisterium right. We  prefer to take the Catholic approach not the Protestant one. Or as St. Jerome the Dalmatian noted in the midst of the Arian crisis:

Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds, subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord, woven from the top throughout,' since the foxes are destroying the vineyard of Christ, and since among the broken cisterns that hold no water it is hard to discover the sealed fountain' and the garden enclosed,' I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul. I appeal for spiritual food to the church whence I have received the garb of Christ. The wide space of sea and land that lies between us cannot deter me from searching for the pearl of great price.' Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.' Evil children have squandered their patrimony; you alone keep your heritage intact. The fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, bears fruit an hundred fold; but here the seed corn is choked in the furrows and nothing grows but darnel or oats. In the West the Sun of righteousness is even now rising; in the East, Lucifer, who fell from heaven, has once more set his throne above the stars. Ye are the light of the world,' ye are the salt of the earth,' ye are ‘vessels of gold and of silver.’ Here are vessels of wood or of earth, which wait for the rod of iron, and eternal fire. Yet, though your greatness terrifies me, your kindness attracts me. From the priest I demand the safe-keeping of the victim, from the shepherd the protection due to the sheep. Away with all that is overweening; let the state of Roman majesty withdraw. MY WORDS ARE SPOKEN TO THE SUCCESSOR OF THE FISHERMAN, TO THE DISCIPLE OF THE CROSS. AS I FOLLOW NO LEADER SAVE CHRIST, SO I COMMUNICATE WITH NONE BUT YOUR BLESSEDNESS, THAT IS WITH THE CHAIR OF PETER. FOR THIS, I KNOW, IS THE ROCK ON WHICH THE CHURCH IS BUILT! THIS IS THE HOUSE WHERE ALONE THE PASCHAL LAMB CAN BE RIGHTLY EATEN. THIS IS THE ARK OF NOAH, AND HE WHO IS NOT FOUND IN IT SHALL PERISH WHEN THE FLOOD PREVAILS. But since by reason of my sins I have betaken myself to this desert which lies between Syria and the uncivilized waste, I cannot, owing to the great distance between us, always ask of your sanctity the holy thing of the Lord. Consequently I here follow the Egyptian confessors who share your faith, and anchor my frail craft under the shadow of their great argosies. I know nothing of Vitalis; I reject Meletius; I have nothing to do with Paulinus. He that gathers not with you scatters; he that is not of Christ is of Antichrist. [1]
Of course in the light of the words of St. Jerome, that does not bode well for our opponents who gather not with the Successor of the Fisherman, who do not commune with the Chair of Peter which "is the house where alone the Paschal Lamb can rightly be eaten". All we will say is that our opponents had better have some floatation devices handy when the flood comes. (In contrast to these three rebellious "trads", Matt, Art, and this present writer choose to reside inside the Ark.)


[1] Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2 (375 AD), in NPNF2, VI:18

©2003, 2000, "Detection and Overthrow of the 'Traditionalist Catholics' Falsely So-Called" (Refutation of Appendix 3), written by I.Shawn McElhinney. This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

Page created by: Matt1618. Send email with questions on this Treatise to I. Shawn McElhinney


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