Due to many abuses of the Mass that was authorized by Pope Paul VI in 1969, there are many people who have responded that the New Mass that was authorized by Pope Paul was not authorizable. There are people who call themselves traditionalists who argue that the Tridentine Mass, established in the 16th century, was to be always and forever (quoting Pope Pius V in Quo Primum), and could never be changed. There are many reasons that those who reject the Pauline Rite Mass (New Mass) give for doing so, and I do not have the time or space to go through each of the reasons why they reject the Pauline Rite Mass. Here I will give a summary of some of the major objections that so-called traditionalists give for rejecting the New Mass, and I will attempt to show why those reasons are invalid. I acknowledge here that most of the information I will use here, is borrowed from the book, “The Pope, The Council, and the Mass”, written by James Likoudis and Kenneth Whitehead. This book goes into more depth
on each of the issues raised here, as well as other objections to the Pauline Mass. If anyone wants to take an in-depth look at each of the issues brought up here, plus much more, I suggest that one purchases this book from Catholic Answers at 619-387-7200. I can only peripherally here touch on these issues.
Here I will spend time on each of the Following Issues:
I. Did Pope Paul VI have authorization to create a New Mass?
II. The Sacrifice of the Mass
III. What about Cardinal Ottaviani’s Letter?
IV. Is “For All” an invalid translation of “Pro Vobis et Pro Multis”?
V. The Mystery of Faith
This issue is the one most central to the debate. Many so-called traditionalists charge that the Pauline Mass is invalid and Pope Paul VI did not have the authority to change the Tridentine Mass. The Tridentine Mass is supposedly the only Mass that has been preserved for 2000 years, with little change. Finally, the charge is that Pope St. Pius V definitively declared that this Mass promulgated was never to be altered, changed. Let us look at some of the most important texts that relate:
“This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding. .
All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure. .
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal. .
Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any
general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription - except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing.”
Here we have a papal decree that at first glance seems to be unalterable in any way. In order to understand this decree we must examine the meaning of the term, and how Pope Pius V himself understood the text, how subsequent popes dealt with the issue, and if indeed there was any precedent for the changes in the Pauline Rite Mass. Also Was the Tridentine decree only a reaffirmation of 1500 years of an unchanged Mass, from at least the time of Pope Gregory, as is often alleged? Unfortunately, it seems that 20th century people, read 20th century language in understanding 16th century Church documents.
A careful reading of the text shows that Pope St. Pius V never intended by Quo Primum that further revision of the Roman Missal could ever be made, or that no other form of the Roman Mass, could henceforth ever be said (as alleged by those against the New Mass). In fact even in Quo Primum he provided for the celebration of other forms of the Mass: rites which had been followed for more than 200 years were specifically exempted from the provisions of Quo Primum and from the use of the St. Pius V Roman Missal (Whitehead, pp. 54-55).
None of the popes who followed St. Pius V felt bound to not make alterations of the Roman rite. These alterations were done long before the New Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI. As Father Joseph Jungmann, who has done the most thorough study of the Roman rite explains “Some real changes since the sixteenth century in the rubrics and in the text of the Missal of Pius V have resulted in certain instances from papal orders, such as Pope Urban VII Pope Clement XII, Pope Leo XIII, and Pope Pius X.” (Father Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, Its Origins and Development, 1950, revised by Charles K. Riepe, Christian Classics, 1974, p. 105).
An interesting parallel is in 1568 the Apostolic Constitution Quod a Vobix. Here the Pope established the new Roman Breviary with forceful language fully as strong as used in Quo Primum. The so-called Traditionalist view, if to be consistent, (just as they highlight there be absolutely no change to the Missal) would have to argue that there could be no change to the Roman Breviary. If that was the case, why did St. Pope Pius X, not hesitate to revise the Roman Breviary in 1911 by means of his own Apostolic Constitution Divino Afflatu? Just as Pope Pius X made a revision, so did Pope Paul VI revise the Roman Missal by means of his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum. There were no so-called traditionalists around complaining that Pope St. Pius did not have such authority. The reason is that the Popes did have the authority to revise the Roman Breviary, as well as the Missal.
Quod a Vobis says this about the Breviary, just as Quo Primum says about the Roman Missal:
“Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this letter or heedlessly to venture to go contrary to this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult declaration, will decree and prohibition. Should anyone, however, presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”
This was a conventional legal formula in papal documents of the day, not something binding on future popes. As Whitehead notes: “Certainly Pope St. Pius X considered it so when he revised the Roman Breviary in 1911 in spite of the identical caveat contained in St. Pius V’s Quod a Vobis. He specifically says that he is ordering a “new arrangement” of the Roman Breviary “issued by St. Pius V and revised by Clement VIII, Urban VIII and Leo XIII,”... When Pope Pius X revised the Roman breviary, he even concluded his Apostolic Constitution Divino Afflatu with an ecclesiastical caveat against anyone daring to change his decision which was the established legal form to be attached to papal decree in his time. This was stated even while he was revising this ‘in perpetuity’ document of the 16th century!! Thus popes using such language do not stop future popes from making changes; it is remarkably similar to the caveat in Quo Primum.” (Whitehead, p. 57). Prior to Vatican II, other changes
were made to the Missal by Pope Pius XII and John XXIII as well.
Did Pope Paul VI have the authority to repeal the Apostolic Constitution, Quo Primum? Technically, he did not abrogate the Roman Missal, but he did replace it by the new revised Roman Missal and derogated the use of the older Missal. Pope Paul VI possessed the same papal authority as Pope St. Pius V. The principle is explicitly recognized by the Code of Canon Law. Canon 22 states that “if the later law is equally general or equally particular with the former one” - and both Quo Primum and Missale Romanum are equally Apostolic Constitutions dealing with exactly the same subject matter of the former law. A later law repeals the former one, “if it contains an explicit statement to that effect, a repealing clause." Pope Paul VI’s Missale Romanum did exactly that. It both mentions Quo Primum and says that what he is promulgating is promulgated “notwithstanding, as far as is necessary, Apostolic Constitutions and Ordinances issued by our Predecessors and other prescriptions worthy of special
mention and derogation.” (Whitehead, 58, 59)
What about the language in Quo Primum that says it is to apply “henceforth, now, and forever” and that “this present document cannot be revoked or modified”? In perpetuity means that they are to last indefinitely, that no specific date or time is set in advance when this will automatically lapse; Thus it will remain in force until subsequently modified by legitimate authority. That legitimate authority is in fact future popes. For example, Clement XIV wrote Dominus ac Redemptor in 1773 which suppressed the Society of Jesus, and he declared that this measure should be “perpetuo validas”; but this in no way prevented his successor Pius VII from reestablishing the Society of Jesus anyway in Sollicitudo Omnium of August 7, 1814. The mere use of the term perpetual did not mean that a subsequent Pope no longer had the authority to revive the religious order which the previous Pope had dissolved. “Perpetual” merely means here until some further legitimate enactment is carried out by a sovereign
Pontiff. (Whitehead, p. 59-60).
We must remember the text of Quo Primum shows that Pope Pius V recognized that his Mass was a NEW RITE, not the same thing that had been celebrated for 15 centuries. A pure reading of the text of the New Testament institution of the Eucharist by Christ, and very early rites showed that since then there were many changes over the years, though the substance was maintained. That is the same thing maintained by Pope Paul VI when he instituted the New Mass. The Council of Trent called for Pope Pius V to do a revised Roman Missal, just as Pope Paul VI did a revised Roman Missal at the request of Vatican II. The Council of Trent writes: “In the dispensation of the sacraments, provided their substance is preserved, the Church has always had the power to determine or change, according to circumstances, times and places, what she judges more expedient for the benefit of those receiving them or for the veneration of the sacraments.” (Council of Trent, 21st Session). Pope Pius XII in Mediator
Dei explained, as circumstances warrant, “public worship is organized, developed and enriched by NEW RITES, CEREMONIES, and regulations (#22).” (Whitehead, p. 46-47).
Anathemas are attached to those who disobey Papal decrees, based on Papal Authority as affirmed by Vatican Council I. Those who refuse to recognize Papal authority on Novus
Ordo (thinking that they know tradition better) are condemned by the decrees of Vatican I, a decree that on the surface they accept.
“If anyone should say that the Roman Pontiff has merely the function of inspection or direction but not full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, not only in matters pertaining to faith and morals, but also in matters pertaining to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the entire world, or that he has only the principal share, but not the full plenitutde of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate over all Churches and over each individual Church, over all shepherds and all the faithful, and over each individual one of these: let him be anathema” (Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ, #3).
We thus see papal primacy is in faith, morals, and discipline. If we do not, anathemas are attached. Any so-called Traditionalist, who rejects the validity of the Pauline Rite Mass, lets himself be anathematized. Pope Pius IX declares that any attempt to evade Church discipline on the ground that faith and morals are not involved goes contrary to Catholic doctrine; It is part of Catholic faith and morals.(Whitehead, p. 49-50). Pope Pius IX also taught that “it is as contrary to the divine constitution of the Church as it is to perpetual and constant tradition for anyone to attempt to prove the catholicity of his faith and truly call himself a Catholic when he fails in obedience to the Apostolic See.” (Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra to the Armenians, January 6, 1873). We are called not to disobedience, but faithful obedience.
Some argue that one of the big deficiencies of the Pauline Rite Mass, is that it is only termed a communal meal, a memorial meal, and has done away or at least drastically reduced the emphasis on the Sacrifice of the Mass. This was supposedly done to appeal to Protestant observers, who supposedly helped to write the Mass.
Indeed the Mass is a memorial, but that is not a lessening of tradition or scripture. Jesus told his apostles “Do this as a memorial of Me”. The term memorial (or “anamnesis” in the Greek) means that when the priest utters the words of consecration, he brings about or represents the same mystery which Christ brought about at the Last Supper on “the night before He suffered.” The one sacrifice of the Cross is thus rendered present, though in an unbloody manner, and the divine Victim of the Cross is both offerer and offered in the Church’s liturgical rite .(Whitehead, p. 78).
There were no doubt Protestant observers of the working sessions of the Commission. Protestants do not generally believe Christ can be made present; thus there can be no sacrifice. They only believe in the “priesthood of all believers,” not a ministerial priesthood. Let us see whether Catholic doctrine was watered down in these areas. What did the Vatican II Church officially declare about the Mass in reference to Pauline Rite Mass?"
"Hence, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, is at the same time and inseparably:
1) A sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated
2) a memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said “do this in memory of me” (Lk. 22:19).
3) a sacred banquet in which, through the communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the People of God share the benefits of the Paschal Sacrifice, renew the New Covenant which God has made with man once for all through the Blood of Christ. (Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Eucharisticum Mysterium, #C1."
In the foreword to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal states:
The Sacrificial character of the Mass was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent in accordance with the universal tradition of the Church (Session 22, Sep. 17, 1562). The Second Vatican Council has enunciated this same teaching once again, and made this highly significant comment: ‘ At the Last Supper our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross until he should come again; (Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy #47).
This foreword describes the New Order of the Mass as a sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving, propitiation and satisfaction, thus affirming doctrines that Protestants specifically deny. The Pauline Mass affirms these things; it was not designed to please Protestants by compromising Catholic doctrine whatsoever (Whitehead, p. 80).
What about the charge of the Mass being Protestantized? After all, there is more hymn singing, vernacular liturgy, a greater emphasis on the Scriptures, etc. The fact is that “the early church had some of the same things-hymn singing, vernacular liturgy, greater emphasis on the Scriptures- and that, finally, the fact that the Church has adopted these particular things today means that they are really compatible with Catholic worship.” (Whitehead, 82).
One thing that must be noted of the input of Protestant observers at Vatican II. On July 4, 1976, the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship unequivocally declared: “The Protestant observers did not participate in the composition of the texts of the new Missal.”( Documentation Catholique #58, 1976, page 649). What is clear in the Pauline Rite Mass? It reflects the Eucharistic Sacrifice as a propitiatory work offered for the living and the dead; concerning the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ; concerning the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints; concerning prayer for the dead- are all points on which Protestants continue to disagree with the Catholic Church but all of which are explicitly present in the Pauline Rite Mass. (Whitehead, p. 85).
For those who say the Mass is Protestantized, there is one question to ask? Do you know of one Protestant church who celebrates the Pauline Rite liturgy and any of the 4 Eucharistic prayers? No, the proof is in the pudding. No Protestant services recognize any of these distinctly Catholic doctrines. Max Thurian, a Calvinist monk at the time, wrote the following in reference to Protestantism and the Pauline Rite Mass:
“Recently a Protestant commission was given the task of revising the prayers of the Last Supper. It was proposed that they adopt the second Catholic Eucharistic Prayer (inspired by St. Hippolytus). That proposition was rejected, because the commission considered that the doctrine implied in that prayer did not correspond to the actual common faith of Protestants... the invocation of the Spirit on the bread and wine presupposed Transubstantiation.” (Max Thurian, Quoted in La Croix (Paris), June 15, 1977.) Notice that the second Eucharistic prayer was inspired by the ancient tradition of St. Hippolytus. Not only was there not a single non-Catholic who participated in the work of the post-conciliar Commission headed by Cardinal Lercaro of Bologna, there were no Protestants back in the 3rd Century, from which this Eucharistic prayer is based on. It is distinctively Catholic.
The Tridentine decree gave an impression that the sacrifice of bread and wine came during the offertory. Actually there is only one sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ accomplished during the consecration of the elements. Many eminent liturgists even during the days of St. Pius V discussed a reform of the Roman Canon to eliminate a misunderstanding of the meaning of sacrifice. The Tridentine Mass could give an impression that the offering of bread and wine constituted the sacrifice of Christ when it said, for example "We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of salvation." and "Receive O Holy father.. this immaculate host which I...offer Thee...,". This caused some to think that this is when the sacrifice of Christ took place. In actuality, the salvific sacrifice of Christ was on Calvary, and the sacrifice is perpetually renewed on the altar AT THE MOMENT OF CONSECRATION by a validly-ordained priest, and not before. The Council of Trent clearly teaches this (Council of Trent,
Thirteenth Session, Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist) (Whitehead, 120).
The Pauline Rite Mass teaches clearly that the anamnesis, the prayer which follows the words of consecration "makes memory" of the death and resurrection by the priest offering his body and blood (made present by Transubstantiation ) to the Father.
The first Eucharistic prayer retains much of the Roman Canon. It is too long to recite here but it maintains the idea that it is sacrifice. The traditional Roman canon retains the place of preeminence among the four chief Eucharistic Prayers. For example, it includes:
“Through him we ask you to accept and bless these gifts we offer you in sacrifice.... We offer you this sacrifice of praise.” These are similar to the Tridentine Mass.
Eucharistic Prayer II is substantially that of St. Hippolytus that goes back to the year 215 AD, and declares:
"In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup."
If any objections are made to the above prayer, one is objecting to the most treasured, and ancient of Eucharistic prayers, (and by no means Protestant).
Eucharistic Prayer III says:
We offer you in thanksgiving THIS HOLY AND LIVING SACRIFICE. Look with favor on your Church's offering, and see t he Victim, whose death has reconciled us to your self.
Eucharistic Prayer IV says:
We offer you his body and blood, THE ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE which brings salvation to the whole world. (Whitehead, 120-121)
We thus see in the prayers that Pauline Rite Mass maintains completely Catholic orthodoxy-because it is a sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ who is both Priest and Victim, and who offers Himself as a victim in propitiation for the living and dead.
The Ottaviani Intervention is one of the most often peddled pieces of the so-called traditionalist movement. Cardinal Ottaviani expressed many concerns about the New Mass, and the so-called traditionalists have played this letter up very much. If you go to any site that rejects the Pauline Rite Mass, this letter by the Cardinal will probably be very prominent. Let us look parts of the letter and his most strenuous objection. This is tied into to objections to the Sacrifice of the Eucharist.
Cardinal Ottaviani did have sincere problems with some of the changes, no doubt. He wrote this before New Mass was finalized:
“The Novus Ordo Missae-considering the new elements, susceptible of widely differing evaluations, which appear to be implied or taken for granted-represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent. . . . Therefore, we most earnestly beseech your Holiness not to deprive us--at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the Church--of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, so highly praised by your Holiness and so deeply venerated and loved by the whole Catholic Church” (In Triumph. December, 1969).
The first thing to note that this criticism was leveled before the final version of the Pauline Rite Mass was completed. However, few of those in the schismatic circles who circulate the “Ottaviani Intervention” , publish Cardinal Ottaviani comments on the final version of the Pauline Rite Mass AFTER IT WAS OFFICIALLY PROMULGATED. Pope Paul VI gave two general audiences in regards to the Pauline Rite Mass. Cardinal Ottaviani responded to this by writing:
“I have REJOICED PROFOUNDLY to read the Discourse by the Holy Father on the question of the new Ordo Missae, and ESPECIALLY THE DOCTRINAL PRECISIONS CONTAINED IN HIS DISCOURSES at the public Audiences of November 19 and 26, after which I believe, NO ONE CAN ANY LONGER BE GENUINELY SCANDALIZED. As for the rest, a prudent and intelligent catechesis must be undertaken to solve some legitimate perplexities which the text is capable of arousing. In this sense I wish your ‘Doctrinal Note’ [on the Pauline Rite Mass] and the activity of the Militia Sanctae Mariae WIDE DIFFUSION AND SUCCESS.” (Whitehead, 129, Letter from his eminence Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani to Dom Gerard Lafond, O.S.B., in Documentation Catholique, #67, 1970, pages 215-216 and 343)
Cardinal Ottaviani published later yet another very relevant public statement in which he said:
“The Beauty of the Church is equally resplendent in the variety of the liturgical rites which enrich her divine cult-when they are legitimate and conform to the faith. Precisely the LEGITIMACY OF THEIR ORIGIN PROTECTS AND GUARDS THEM AGAINST INFILTRATION OF ERRORS. . . .The PURITY AND UNITY OF THE FAITH is in this manner also UPHELD BY THE SUPREME MAGISTERIUM OF THE POPE THROUGH THE LITURGICAL LAWS.”(In Cruzado Espanol, May 25, 1970)
What was Cardinal Ottaviani’s view of who truly followed the Roman Catholic faith? What was his view of the papacy?
“The words of Christ ‘feed my sheep’ are words which have been addressed only to his vicar, and it follows that whoever would wish to be counted among the Flock of Christ must submit to the Universal Pastor appointed by Christ. No one can be a exception to this rule, not even Bishops.” (Whitehead, 130, From Leroy Philippe, “Pierre a Parle,” Chevaliers #32, 1976).
The two ensuing letters by Cardinal Ottaviani, after ‘the Ottaviani intervention’ have been a matter of public record for all to see. However, none of those who use this intervention as a way to smear the Pauline Rite Mass, ever let people in on the fact that Ottaviani subsequently wrote that no one could any longer be scandalized. The fact that people continue to publish his original attacks on the Pauline Rite Mass without letting anybody seeing his ensuing letters show deceit of the so-called Traditionalist movement. Maybe we can give the benefit of the doubt and say that many who do tout his original intervention do not know of his subsequent letters in which he affirmed the purity of the faith that was preserved in the Pauline Rite Mass; Nevertheless, these ensuing letters show that indeed that Cardinal Ottaviani did not end up holding the position of those who reject the Pauline Rite Mass. No doubt he was attached to the Tridentine Mass, and in fact now, for those who get indults, that is fine. But Cardinal
Ottaviani in the end rejoiced over the fact that the Pauline Rite Mass was preserved and protected against the infiltration of errors and that the Supreme Magisterium upheld the purity and unity of the faith.
As one of the most erudite Thomistic theologians of our time, Charles Cardinal Journet, in referring to the Pauline Rite Mass, writes:
“Let me take care to say, there is no renouncing of anything essential. . . The substance of the Mass remains absolutely the same: there is the Offertory, the Consecration. . . And the Sovereign Pontiff has recalled expressly what was not expressed sufficiently in the rubrics of the new Ordo: that the Mass is a sacrifice. He has recalled that there is a change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. All these things, which are not Protestant, are truly Catholic- and also orthodox. Thus there is the reaffirmation of the classic Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist sacrifice.” (Whitehead, 131, from Cardinal Journet and the New Order of the Mass,” in Documentation Catholique #9, May 1, 1977, pages 444-445).
So-called traditionalists charge that it is a mistranslation of the Latin text "Pro Vobis et Pro Multus", when it is translated as "For you and for All Men" instead of “For you and for many”. This supposedly implies the heretical idea that all men will necessarily be saved. Also, the so-called Traditionalists will argue that the formula for consecration, fixed for All Time by Christ, was "For Many". Therefore the consecration "For All" renders the consecration invalid, or to the less extreme, at least say that this is a corruption and altering of Jesus' words.
Is it a heretical idea that Christ died for all men, and thus "For Many" is an invalid idea? On the contrary, scripture and tradition teach unhesitatingly that Christ died for all men. No doubt the efficaciousness of the redemption will not save all men, but it is scripture and Church doctrine that Christ died for all:
He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.(1 John 2:2)
For as in Adam ALL DIE, so also in Christ shall ALL BE made alive"(1 Cor. 15:22);
He... did not spare his own son but gave him up for us ALL...(Rom. 8:32).
In actuality, the consecratory offering has never been the place to go to find the explicit doctrine on how many will be saved. In fact the church has never said, that by this phrase “For Many”, has EVER BEEN the defining factor of how many people will be saved. In reality, our Lord said that few will be saved, as when our Lord said “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt. 22:14). He also said “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt. 7:14). The emphasis, is thus not on the extent of salvation, but on who Christ died for. Once we see this, an English understanding of the term “For Many” would indeed make the Tridentine Mass heretical, and show scripture and tradition to be contradictory. After all, the church has always taught that Christ died for all, not merely many. If we held that here is where we teach that "Christ died for many, and not all", the Catholic Church would be teaching a pile of contradictions, as I
know most traditionalists do not hold.
In fact, the use of many, and for all, in the bible are interchangeable. For example, in Rom. 5:15, Paul writes:
For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
If Christ died only for many, and could not mean all, we would have scripture contradicting Trent, which as faithful Catholics understand, is not possible. The Church teaches as dogma that original sin effects all, not many. Not only does Scripture not contradict Trent, Paul also uses the word for all in the very same section Paul wrote in Romans 5:12:
Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.
As Whitehead points out, "the Hebrew and Aramaic words of "many" familiar to the Apostles, had a common meaning of "the all who are many" or an "undefined multitude" The bible on occasion uses all and many interchangeabley" (Whitehead, 101), as we saw with Paul.
Whitehead quotes the great biblical scholar, Pierre Benoit, O.P., who writes of the word "many" in the scriptures (Whitehead, 101):
"The word which we translate as 'many' stresses the sense of a great number and does not exclude anyone. . .Jesus certainly makes this fullness of salvation his own and it is the whole of mankind to the end of space and time that he includes in the 'many' for whom he was going to give his life as a 'ransom' (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). (Benoit, Pierre, O.P. "The Accounts of the Institution and What they Imply," in "The Eucharist in the New Testament: A symposium", Helicon Press, Baltimore and Dublin, 1964, page 80.) This is right in line with the great Doctors of the Church, as St. Thomas referencing the other great Doctor, St. Augustine on the issue:
"St. Augustine explains 'multi' to mean 'all men'; and this manner of speaking is frequently found in sacred scripture. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 75, Reply to Objection 2).
The Council of Trent's Catechism and St. Thomas Aquinas himself did hold that the consecratory formula should include the phrase 'for many' instead of 'for all'. They did justify the use of the consecration formula in that day. In the same way, the Council of Florence, when endeavoring to achieve union with the Armenian Orthodox Church did set forth a statement of the necessity of the formula which said "for many." (Whitehead, 107). Although that was the case, none said this was the only way that valid consecrations have taken in the past, or valid consecrations in the future can be said.
The Council of Trent recognized that the words "For you and for many" are not found in that form in the New Testament. Those words were "joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 226). The Council of Trent Catechism thus recognizes that it is the Church who determines what the proper form of a sacrament must be (Whitehead, 106). There is no hint that the Catechism was mandating that those precise words "For you and for many" be used for all time. In fact, during the institution of the original Eucharist itself, when Jesus consecrated the first Eucharist, we have different formulas in scripture. Although the gospels of Mark and Matthew have Jesus using the formula "for many" (although not "For you and for many" as the Tridentine rite has it), Luke and Paul do not use the phrase 'for many' at all. Paul probably wrote the first consecration in scripture, 1 Cor. 11:23-26:
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes"
St. Paul reports receiving this consecratory formula from the Lord himself (by apostolic tradition)(v. 23). Notice, however, that he did not use the words "for many" or "for all". The same with St. Luke (Lk. 22:14-20). What so-called Traditionalist would have the nerve to say that his consecrations were not valid because Paul does not use the phrase 'for many'!
A study done by Dom Leclerq finds that there have been no fewer than 89 variations in the formulas for consecration in the history of the Church. (Whitehead, 109, Dom Leclerq, Dictionnaire d'Archeologie Chretienne et de Liturgie (Col. 730-750). Of these variations there are a number where not only the phrase "for many' but other words of the "Tridentine' form (Such as Mystery of Faith) of the consecration are not to be found.
The Catholic Church has never been limited to the Roman rite. It recognizes nine rites, which has its own right and proper way of doing things, including the celebration of the Eucharist, as Atwatter's Catholic Dictionary points out before Vatican II (Latin, Byzantine, Armenian, Chaldean, Coptic, Ethiopic, Malabar, Maronite and Syrian rites):
The Mass of St. Hippolytus, which dates from the 3rd century, does not use the phrase for many, but "This is my body, which is broken for you", and "This is my Blood which is shed for you". The following recognized Oriental Liturgies do not include "for many" in the consecration of the chalice: Catholic Ethiopian Rite, "Take, drink, this is my blood which is shed for you for the remission of sins." (From King, Archdale A., Rites of Eastern Christendom, Catholic Book Agency, Rome, 1947. Vol. 1, pp. 641-642). The same goes with the Liturgy of the Abyssinian Jacobites. Although most Eastern rites do presently use the phrase 'for many', in the ancient Eucharistic prayers many did not use that phrase. All of these Eucharistic prayers have been recognized by the Catholic Church.
Finally a few examples that Whitehead provides of Eucharistic prayers dating back to the 7th century in books published by the Holy See include the Anaphora (Eucharistic prayer) of the Lord Jesus Christ:(107)
"And as often as ye do this, make memorial of Me. And likewise also the cup, putting wine into it, giving thanks, blessing (three signings of the cross) and sanctifying, Thou gavest unto them. Truly, This is Thy Blood which was shed for our sins."
The Anaphora of the Evangelist John also does not use the 'for many' formula.
Thus, the formulas that do not include "for many" are historic, and have long been recognized by the Catholic Church. The fact that the phrase is not included in the English translation of the Latin formula is thus not an innovation of Pauline Rite Mass.
Some So-called Traditionalists will argue that the removal of the words "Mysterium Fidei" (or Mystery of Faith from the words of consecration and their use instead for acclamation deliberately downgrades or denies the belief in the real presence.
The important facts stated in reference to scripture and early Church history in reference to "For Many" is even more present in this case of the term mystery of faith. Nowhere in any of the four accounts of the institution of the Eucharist in the bible, is there any reference to the term mystery of faith. It is obvious that the consecrations were valid, even though Jesus and the apostles did not use the term mystery of faith, either during the consecration, or after the consecration. The very fact that Jesus did not use the term 'Mystery of Faith' during the consecration was reason for Pope Paul VI to move it to another part of the liturgy. If anyone gets dogmatic that it is essential to the consecration, this fact blows this objection away.
The same issues in regards to the history of the use of the term 'For Many' is relevant to 'Mystery of Faith'. There are many rites long recognized by the Church as valid that do not use the term 'Mystery of Faith'. This shows that it does not directly touch the issue of a valid consecration.
As Whitehead notes, actually it may be more appropriate to put the term 'Mystery of Faith' during the time of acclamation, instead of during the consecration, as done during the Tridentine Mass because:
"The words of consecration involve an action as contrasted to a declaiming; and these words of consecration are, of course, substantially the actual words of Jesus Christ ... In a sense they are really words of a declamatory nature, and thus not so strictly a part of the great Action or Deed of the consecration...They constitute more of ...a sort of declaration of what the consecration has brought about. So it is also appropriate and fitting that these words be said AFTER the words of consecration which actually effect the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ." (Whitehead, 114) .
The declaration of this great 'Mystery of Faith' signifies that the awesome Transubstantiation of the elements has taken place. The term ‘Mystery of Faith’ does not make it take place. An important item is Paul’s written account of the institution of the Eucharist that he orally received (by oral tradition) from the Lord, 1 Cor. 11:23-27:
11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in
remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had
supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye
do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Let us note the order of this Eucharistic institution according to Paul. First, after telling us that he orally received this from the Lord, (through the apostles)(v. 23), Paul then gives us the words of consecration (vv. 24-25). After Paul records the consecration, he next gives us the acclamation in 1 Cor. 11:26 ‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.’ One of the Pauline Rite Mass acclamations, is almost word for word from Paul’s letter, the most ancient tradition as recorded in scripture. The Pauline Rite Mass acclamation is: “When you eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.” Also, we see that this acclamation fits exactly the biblical pattern. First, we see Paul record the consecration. After that is the acclamation, which looks forward to the Lord’s coming. How can the Novus Order be in error when its follows the biblical pattern, the most ancient of traditions?
Pope Paul VI in no way intended to downplay the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Pope Paul wrote in theMysterium Fidei, for example, that “Nor it is allowable to discuss the mystery of Transubstantiation without mentioning what the Council of Trent stated about the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ.”
In the Pauline Rite Mass transubstantiation is affirmed, and as we saw earlier, Protestants would never adopt the prayers of the Pauline Rite Mass specifically because it affirms Transubstantiation (among the other specifically Catholic doctrines found in the Pauline Rite Mass that are not found in any form of Protestantism).
In Sum, we see that most of the major attacks on Pauline Rite Mass are groundless, unscriptural, and unhistorical. There are no doubt abuses of the Pauline Rite Mass by many. However, Catholics can affirm that the Gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church, Matt. 16:18. The Sacrifice of the Eucharist, central to the worship of our Lord Jesus Christ, will never fail. We can rejoice in our worship of the One True God, who offered himself to his Father for our very salvation. One thing we can be sure, as reflected by St. Cyril of Alexandria:
“Christ said indicating the bread and wine: ‘This is My Body,’ and ‘This is My Blood,’ in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ’s Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy.”( St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew, Quoted in Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Mysterium Fidei)
© 1998 In Defense of the Pauline Rite Mass...by Matt1618. 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.
Last modified September 16, 1999.
Last modified September 16, 1999.