Detection and Overthrow of
the ‘Traditionalist Catholics’
Falsely So-Called,
Part 4
By Dr. Art Sippo

Response to

As I have become more knowledgeable and mature in my understanding of true Catholic theology, it becomes obvious to me that the objections of Integrists to Vatican II (VCII) and the post-conciliar developments in theology and liturgy are more complex than they first appear. As such I think it is a pastoral imperative to deal with these objections in depth. Many good people have been alienated from the Church because of propaganda that has misrepresented as Catholic orthodoxy what is only a nostalgic veneer.

These objections stem from a narrow view of Catholic orthodoxy that equates the most prevalent positions of the recent past with immutable Sacred Traditions. One of the most common tactics of the Counter-reformation had been to limit speculation in theology along certain "acceptable" lines and to encourage uniformity in public actions, most notably in the liturgy. The aggiornamento of VCII was precisely intended to shatter these monopolistic limits and to allow a wider franchise of speculation and praxis into the Catholic mainstream.

Many Pre-VCII Catholics (especially converts) found the straightjacket of Counter-reformation rigidity to be a comforting "still point" in an ever-changing world. By doing so, they began treating many of the polemical stances adopted during the Counter-reformation as if they were normative for the Church at all times and in all places. The restoration of the legitimate diversity that true catholicity implies was perceived as a movement away from certainty to ambiguity - as a retreat from what was perceived as orthodoxy to heterodoxy.

But in reality, the only true "still point" is Christ Jesus himself. He did not leave us as orphans but sent us his Holy Spirit to be with us always who would, "teach you in all things and remind you of all that I have told you" (John 14: 26). As St. Peter told us, "We possess the prophetic word made more sure. You would do well to harken to it like a lamp shining in a dark place…for no prophecy of Scripture is a personal interpretation. Prophecy has never been put forward by man’s willing. Rather men impelled by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2Peter 1:19-21). This principle should apply equally for both Scripture and Tradition. We should therefore harken to the living Magisterium as Our Lord intended and not be led astray by our own personal preferences, concerns, or scruples.

With regard to the status of the Traditional Roman/ Tridentine Missal, it is my position that this venerable rite should be preserved and made available freely and without restriction for those Catholics who prefer it to the Revised Missal of Pope Paul. I believe this to be pastorally expedient in our time. The indult Ecclesia Dei was a step in the right direction, but I look forward to the day when the Tridentine Mass is "decriminalized" and fully integrated into the Catholic Church’s official liturgical practice.

Nevertheless, I do not think it is either desirable or likely that the traditional Tridentine Mass will ever become normative in the Latin Church again. There is a place for it, but only as one option among many. Both the world and the Church have changed and we cannot return to the past.

For those interested in doing further research on the development of the Roman Liturgy and the reforms in the Mass from Vatican II, I would highly suggest the following books:

The Pope, the Council and the Mass by James Likoudis and Kenneth Whitehead A defense of the Pauline Missal written under the auspices of Catholics United for the Faith to counter Integrist critics.

The Mass of the Roman Rite (2 volumes) by Josef A. Jungmann, SJ The definitive study of the development of the Roman Rite up to the mid-20th Century. It covers the history of its development in fine detail and shows that it is far more complicated than many Integrists have been lead to believe.

The Mass: An Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Survey by Josef A. Jungmann, SJ Completed in 1975 before his death, this book summarized Fr. Jungmann’s previous work on the Roman Rite and gave his assessment of the Pauline Missal. It contains a great deal of theological material on the nature of the Mass and the historical development of its theology. This book is a scholarly but accessible to lay people. It is the perfect antidote to some of the simplistic and slanderous criticisms of the Pauline Missal.

I hope that the following response will help shed more light than heat on these controversial subjects.

Art Sippo MD

I. Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass:

CANON VI.--If any one saith, that the canon of the mass contains errors, and is therefore to be abrogated; let him be anathema…

In the first place, most of the Canons in the Council of Trent are accompanied by Chapters. The Chapter which accompanies the above Canon (Canon 6) is as follows: And whereas it beseemeth, that holy things be administered in a holy manner, and of all holy things this sacrifice is the most holy; to the end that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, the Catholic Church instituted, many years ago, the sacred Canon, so pure from every error (canon 6), that nothing is contained therein which does not in the highest degree savour of a certain holiness and piety, and raise up unto God the minds of those that offer. For it is composed, out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the apostles, and the pious institutions also of holy pontiffs. Hence, we see that Canon 6 - according to Trent’s Decree on the Doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass) is not referring to every Canon in the Church, or to a future Canon which a Pope might decide to dream up, but to a Canon what was "instituted many years ago" by the Catholic Church, and in place at the time of the Council of Trent.

It also would apply equally to ALL of the other extant Eucharistic canons at that time in both the East and the West. By extension, it would also apply to Eucharistic Prayer I in the Pauline Missal (PM) because it is the traditional Roman Canon. Since PM’s Eucharistic Prayer II is based on the Roman Canon from the 2nd Century as documented by St. Hippolytus in his work The Apostolic Traditions, it should also be covered as well. Eucharistic Prayer (EP) IV was based on the West Syrian Byzantine Anaphoras so it too is covered. EP III indeed is synthetic, but it is fully in line with the teaching of Trent on the nature of the Eucharist and thus affirms the intent of Canon 6.

In fact we really need to understand the issues to which Canon 6 is actually referring. Trent was convened to oppose the errors of the Protestants and to reaffirm traditional Catholic teaching and practice generally. The Protestants alleged that the Mass erroneously proclaimed the Eucharist to be a propitiatory sacrifice offered for the living and the dead by a true mediating priest in which the sacramental offerings were transubstantiated into the very body and blood of Christ. When Trent taught that there were no errors in the Canon of the Mass, it was declaring that any Eucharistic liturgy used within the Church that affirmed these teachings either explicitly (or implicitly) was not in error for doing so.

I will agree that -- strictly speaking -- Canon 6 referred specifically to all valid Eucharistic Canons in contemporary use during the 16th Century (not only to the Roman Canon). However, Canon 6 also applies to all extant forms of the Mass that quite explicitly affirm Catholic teaching on the Eucharist. Consequently, the Eucharistic Prayers in the PM would also be covered in the spirit of Canon 6 in our continued controversy with the Protestants.

If further proof is needed of the fact that these Canons from the Council of Trent, as well as the decree preceding them, were referring to the Traditional Mass alone, and not to the Novus Ordo Missae, all we need to do is look at Canon IX, On the Sacrifice of the Mass, which states:

CANON IX.--If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.

All this canon says is that the words of consecration can be said in secret (as they still are in most Eastern liturgies) not that they must be said in secret. Similarly, it affirms that the Mass needn’t be said in the vernacular, not that it mustn’t be said in the vernacular. As such, it is irrelevant to this discussion.

[T]he Canons of the Council of Trent were referring specifically to the Canon of the Traditional Mass alone, not the Canons of the Eastern Rites, or the Orthodox, or the Novus Ordo Missae, or the Anglicans, or the Lutherans; the Traditional Mass[…].

This is a very sad example of the superstitious attachment of some Integrists to the Tridentine/Traditional Roman Missal (TM). It is not sufficient for them that they prefer the TM. They are compelled to assert that the TM (which would not be promulgated to the whole Church until 8 years after Trent was over) was the only liturgical rite that Trent was affirming to the exclusion of all others. This makes no sense. Trent was extremely conscious of the sensibilities of Eastern Christians and the Council went out of its way not to besmirch them. Not all Latin Rite Catholics used the Roman Missal. Even Pope St. Pius V in the Bull Quo Primum allowed for the preservation of earlier Catholic rites other than those from the Roman Missal. Canon 6 clearly had to affirm all the traditional rites in both East and West.

At the time of Trent, there were several usages in the West to which the Protestants objected. Some of these usages (e.g., the Ambrosan and the Dominican) were permitted to continue until the 20th Century. Several others (e.g., the Sarum, York, Hereford, & Gallican usages) were perfectly orthodox and were clearly understood in the 16th Century as being affirmed by Canon 6. To limit the scope of Canon 6 to the TM only is anachronistic and delusory. It does not recognize the sitz im leben of Trent in historical context and is purely wishful thinking.

As it is, the earlier decree on the vernacular languages, and [Canon IX] as well, show that the Council of Trent wished the Latin language to be the primary language of the Mass.

So did Vatican II in the liturgical document Sacrosanctum Concilium. This notion seems benighted now in retrospect. As the liturgical reform proceeded, Pope Paul VI affirmed that the use of the vernacular for the entire mass was appropriate for the modern world. This was well within his competence and was in fact the restoration of a venerable practice from the Early Church. Vernacular languages were used for all of the early liturgies. These vernacular languages (e.g., Greek, Latin, Syriac, & Slavonic) became "sacred" liturgical languages by accidents of history, not by divine institution. Religious rites are the most notoriously conserved of all cultural endowments to the point that the original intent of such rites to be a public expression of religious belief may become obscured by the venerable nature of the "old ways." Pope Paul VI had every right to change the discipline here and there was more than ample justification for doing so. The opinion of the Fathers of Trent in the 16th Century on what was pastorally expedient in their time was irrelevant to the situation in the 20th Century.

II. Pope Pius XII on the Mass in the Vernacular:

There were no substantial arguments presented under this section. Shawn’s original argument remains intact.

III. Changes to the Words of Institution:

De Defectibus of Pope St. Pius V agrees with the statement by the Council of Florence above. To cite the document:

Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating. Now the words of the Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are: Hoc est enim Corpus meum, and Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament. If, on the other hand, he were to add or take away anything which did not change the meaning, the Sacrament would be valid, but he would be committing a grave sin.

Our opponents once again fail to appreciate the subtlety of the document they quote. Pope St. Pius V clearly says that the licit form of the Eucharist in the TM should be the words of institution mentioned above. He notes that other forms may be valid though they are not considered licit in the Latin Rite. It was considered a serious sin of disobedience for a priest to change those words, but if he did so without changing the meaning of the phrase, the sacrament remained valid. The Pope said this because some of the variant traditional liturgies still in use at that time did not use these exact words or their translated equivalent. In this particular case, Pope St. Pius V was referring specifically to the disciplines for TM, not for any other rite. By doing so he did not exclude the approved use of other equivalent formulas, which convey the same sacramental meaning

The Magisterium has already decreed on the matter. The form of the Sacrament for the Latin Rite has been set forth both by the Council of Florence, and De Defectibus.

No, it merely authorized one form of the words of institution as licit under particular circumstances. There is a significant difference between disciplinary decrees and dogmatic ones, which radical Integrists do not comprehend. While the latter are irreformable, the former are not. None of the above decrees limits the validity of alternative forms for the words of institution. If that had been Pope St. Pius V’s intention, then any others words (at least in the Latin Rite) could not be considered valid under any circumstances. Yet the Pope allowed that other words that conveyed the same meaning would confect a valid sacrament. As such, his decree determined only liceity not validity. Liceity is a movable feast while validity is not.

As Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) stated: "The Words of Consecration are not from Scripture alone but also from Tradition. Christ used specific words to change the bread and wine into his Body and Blood. The Catholic Church has retained these words as the formula of Consecration." (Pope Innocent III, as cited in "What Has Happened to the Catholic Church?" p. 121

Here the Integrists misuse Pope Innocent and ignore what he actually says. It had been recognized for quite sometime that the words of institution were not derived from the Bible but from separate pre-biblical traditions. What was agreed upon by the Church at large was that the specific words "This is my body" and "This is my blood" were the "specific words" used by Christ to confect the sacrament. Some radicals in the East had proposed that the epiklesis was part of the necessary form of the sacrament. Pope Innocent was defending the traditional understanding.

We all agree on the validity of the words of institution in TM. We should also agree that there are several different forms of these words that have come down to us in Scripture and Tradition. The Biblical witness itself - as Shawn demonstrated - gives us several variant readings. Any one of the variant readings - Biblical or Traditional -has sufficient authority to be used in the liturgy. Most modern scholars generally consider the words mysterium fidei to be a gloss that was inserted into the text of the Mass in the 6th or 7th Century. It is found nowhere in any of the Eastern Rites either. Fr. Jungmann in his two-volume work The Mass of the Roman Rite postulated that Pope Leo the Great introduced it into the Canon. The evidence does not support that mysterium fidei was part of the original words used by Christ.

Hence, one should not be so stupid as to assume that they are going to find the form of Consecration stated precisely, word for word, in the Sacred Scriptures. After all, the Consecration formulas themselves are taken from pre-biblical tradition, and, as in the case of the Consecration form used in the Traditional Mass, were taken from the Apostles themselves - who, in turn, received it from Our Blessed Lord!

Says who? The Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant word of God. If we cannot trust them to be accurate, then what can we trust? The claim that the TM version words of institution are more original to the actual words of Our Lord than any of the Biblical texts is purely speculative. There is ample evidence to challenge this. The scholarly opinions in favor of the TM reading cannot settle this matters one way or the other. This is an open question. If anything, the direction the Magisterium has taken since VCII on these matters clearly militates against the Integrist opinion.

Once again the Integrists show their virtually superstitious preference for the TM over all other rites. The Magisterium has never affirmed these Integrist opinions to be binding on the faithful as dogmas. Nevertheless, our Integrist brethren insist that their preferences should command the allegiance of all Catholics and thus place themselves in opposition to the explicit wishes of the last three Popes. This is a very dangerous position for a Catholic to take.

As the Roman Church stems from St. Peter himself, and if we are to believe the Council of Florence, then the Consecration formula used by the Church in the Traditional Mass has been confirmed by Saints Peter and Paul!

This is a crackpot notion, which no serious liturgical scholar could possibly support. It is purely wishful thinking on the Intergrist’s part. None of the sources that they themselves quoted ever affirmed this. The actual history of the liturgy at Roman does not support this. Please note that the words of institution given in The Apostolic Traditions, which represent the Roman Church’s practice in the mid 2nd Century, are not the same as those in the TM. How then could the TM formula be the one used by Sts. Peter and Paul?

56. The new "form" for the consecration of the wine alleges that Our Lord said: "to be shed for you and for all men . . . etc." There is no evidence - either in Holy Scripture or in the Traditions handed down - that Our Lord actually said this when instituting the Holy Eucharist. 57. Moreover, all the evidence is that He did not say: "for all men," when instituting the Most Holy Sacrament. St. Matthew (26,28) writes that He said, "for many." And also St. Mark (14,24) records that Our Lord said, "for many." But nowhere in Holy Scripture - neither in St. Paul nor the Evangelists - do we find that Our Lord said, "for all men." Now who are we to believe? Are we to believe St. Mark and St. Matthew, who were actually there at the Last Supper (and both of whom were divinely inspired to write what they wrote)? Or, are we to believe an "enlightened" clique of mid-twentieth-century Modernists and Innovators.

The original Biblical texts do not use "for many." They use the Greek phrase "hoi pollon" which is best translated as "for the masses." (Quite frankly, I take issue with the Latin translation "pro multis." I think that "pro multitudinis" is better.) Our Lord was saying that he was offering himself not only for those who were present at the Last Supper but for the masses of mankind. There are several places in scripture where it is made clear that Our Lord came for the salvation of all men (e.g., 1 John 2,2). This has been affirmed time and again by the Magisterium especially against the Calvinist error of "limited atonement" and the elitism of the Jansenists.

Christ was referring to the FRUITS of His Passion, not His Death on the Cross!

This is a complex theological distinction that is alien to the whole biblical context of the Last Supper. Jesus was referring to his death on the cross and what it signified in general. He was not restricting the benefits of his passion only to those who believed in him at that time (most all of whom were with him at the Last Supper). He was extending it to the masses who were not present and who did not yet believe in him. It is only at the Last Supper that Jesus acted as a Priest offering himself as a propitiation for the sins of mankind. Since this is the only time when Jesus ritually offered himself for sin in the entire passion narrative, it would be ludicrous to limit the benefits at this point to the elect when the Scriptures make it clear that he had offered himself for the whole world. The offer was universal and unconditional. The response/application was, is, and will be limited and conditional.

[Patrick Omlor said:]

It is a truth of our Faith that Christ died for all men without exception…Hence we can say that Christ's Passion is the sufficient cause of the salvation of all men.

Amen. All Catholics affirm this, as does the new translation of the Canon.

[Patrick Omlor also said:]

This other truth we are led to consider is that the efficacy, or effectiveness, of Christ's Passion is not communicated to all men, but only unto those who are actually saved; that is, to the elect.

Amen! We affirm this as well. However, neither Our Lord at the Last Supper nor the new translation of the Canon addresses this issue.

Later on our Integrist opponents admit:

…that the new form of consecration conveys the sense of sufficiency is likewise easily seen from the words themselves - if it, too, were referring to efficacy then it is simply a heretical form…

So it is obvious even to these Integrists that the PM is giving a theologically correct statement concerning the atonement. The real issue boils down to their allegation that Jesus was talking restrictively in terms of efficacy. What proof to they provide for this? None. They give the opinion of some people as to what Jesus was referring to, but they do not give us a single Magisterial document that backs them up, nor do they demonstrate from the Scriptures that their view is correct. It is just more senseless complaining about a matter about which they know the PM is orthodox.

IV. Vatican II Had No Authority to Change the Mass:

VCII was an Ecumenical Council of the Church at which 2500 bishops and the Pope were present and actively participating. There were ten times as many bishops present throughout VCII than were present during the closing session of the Council of Trent, and fifty times as many bishops as there had been at Trent’s opening session. None of the reigning Popes was ever present at any session of Trent. VCII was the most well attended council in Church history. The Pope was an active participant in every session. He even reviewed and revised the proposed draft documents before the council fathers voted on them. The authority of VCII to set Church discipline is beyond dispute.

As it is, the Council of Trent reformed the liturgy; it did not create an entirely new one.

For some reason the Integrists think that liturgies should be living fossils that never change and are never replaced. Actually, this allegation is dishonest. The Roman Canon was preserved in the PM. An older more venerable Roman Canon (which did not contain mysterium fidei) from the 2nd Century was restored. Two modern canons were composed based upon traditional Catholic teaching and practice. Meanwhile, many of the parts of the TM were retained. More vernacular Scripture readings were added. The pre-Gospel Psalm and the epiklesis were restored. While many of us have complaints about the ICEL translations with its truncations and omissions, the Latin typical edition of the revised Missale Romanum is very similar to the old TM. The changes made were not as radical as our opponents are pretending.

In the last place, Shawn is not the one to talk about blasphemy here. What could be more blasphemous than to introduce a heresy into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

It is also blasphemous to unjustly accuse the last three or four Popes of formal heresy or of overstepping their authority. All that the Integrists have shown is that they have a personal preference for the old TM (which I highly respect as does Shawn, Matt, and JPII). Instead of admitting this, they feel it is necessary to assert that their opinions are the only ones permissible for Catholics. To do so they flagrantly insult the Pope, the bishops in communion with him, and those faithful who have remained loyal to them. This is the type of private judgment that St. Peter condemned in 2Peter 1:20. How can one claim to be a Catholic while ignoring the Pope, insulting him, and disobeying his explicit wishes?

In the second place, if the Novus Ordo Missae is not damaging to the faith, then it is up to Shawn to explain why it is that 1) 70% of Catholics in the US don’t believe in the True Presence, 2) why nearly 50% of Catholic Priests left the Church after the introduction of the Novus Ordo,

No. The burden of proof is on our Integrist friends to prove that these problems were caused by the promulgation of the PM. In the absence of such proof, they are guilty of the classic "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy. Just because something happened after an event does not necessarily mean that it was caused by that event. The problems that beset the Church from the late 60’s onward had been brewing for a long time before VCII. The degenerate state of the Catholic liturgy in the early 60’s is something that the Integrists seem to forget.

I became an altar boy in 1959. We did not say the Mass in Latin in those days. We said it in mumbles, really fast. God help you if you did not mumble quickly enough for father’s liking. If we were lucky, the priest would slow down to say the words of institution clearly but only to himself. (At one Mass I attended as a child, the elderly priest completely forgot the consecration. Only a few sharp people were paying attention and told the pastor. He announced after the service that it had not been valid. Most of us did not notice because we were absorbed in our own devotions.) Most lay people did not know Latin and could not follow what was going on. It was such a breath of fresh air when the vernacular allowed the whole congregation to actually understand and actively participate in the liturgy.

Why do so many Catholic people allegedly not believe in the Real Presence? Remember this claim is based on a secular poll and such polls can be deceiving. If this percentage is true (which I doubt) it is most likely because of poor catechetics. (This is a whole different issue.) The PM - properly celebrated in conformity with its rubrics - had nothing to do with it. If you think otherwise, prove it; don’t just assert it.

As to why so many priests left active ministry, there were a lot of reasons. Mostly I think it was because of a general breakdown in priestly discipline. That is a completely different matter unrelated to the PM.

3) why protestants can say it without any objections, they can reject the Church which Shawn claims to be a member of, but they have no problem with accepting the Novus Ordo Missae,

Rubbish. No Protestant group that I know of accepts the PM and uses it. This is a silly statement without foundation. The French Calvinist ecumenist Max Thurian evaluated the PM and rejected all four Eucharistic Prayers (even the "infamous" EPII) because they were too Catholic and implied transubstantiation.

Fr. Jungmann in his last book The Mass makes it clear that both the original material from St. Hippolytus and EPII contain references to the idea of Eucharistic Sacrifice and "oblation" that are totally incompatible with a Protestant understanding of the Eucharist.

4) why is the Novus Ordo Missae founded upon heresy,
5) why does the Novus Ordo Missae contain heresy,

More lies and insults. This is rubbish, as has been shown above. Please see the books by Likoudis & Whitehead and Fr. Jungmann for extended refutations of this absurd statement.

6) why is the Novus Ordo Missae so conducive to such heretics as those 70% of Catholics in the US who don't even believe in the True Presence? Is Shawn going to claim that these are not damaging to the faith?

No, he is going to say that this is one great irrational non-sequitor. It is as great a sin to promulgate slander, as it is to knowingly embrace the damaging lies of which it is composed.

In response, we can ask: Why is the TM so conducive to schism and disobedience to the Pope and the hierarchy? We already know that misplaced loyalty in the TM has damaged the faith of many thousands of Catholics.

Lastly, we openly admit that there were liturgical abuses before Vatican II, but they were few and far in between, and were not openly encouraged.

HA!!! This was obviously written by someone who wasn’t there. I was there and this is a gross understatement. The corruption in the liturgy was widespread and systematic. You could see these problems every Sunday if you looked hard enough. It was even more prevalent at weekday Masses that sometimes would last no more than 15 minutes so that Father could get to breakfast. I am afraid that these Integrists are living in a dream world.

In the first place, I would like to point out to the reader that Shawn is not in any position of authority to dictate to others what is a sin and what is not, where it doesn’t concern him.

And neither are these Integrists and their "experts". Neither was Marcel Lefebvre. Neither are the current SSPX schismatics. Only the Pope has ultimate authority in this matter, and he sides with Shawn.

V. The "Protestantization" of the Mass — Proposed "Nullifying" Features:

We agree that they don’t fall under the guidelines of either infallibility or unalterable Tradition, but this does not mean that they can be changed arbitrarily, or that they should be changed, for some of these can be traced back to the third century. Their antiquity, at the very least, should be cause enough to generate respect for them.

At least here we are in agreement.

Taken by themselves, most of these {external changes}would not make the Mass protestant, this is true. But taken collectively they would certainly make the Mass appear protestant. And the protestants obviously agree, because the Lutherans and the Anglicans prefer it this way.

How is it that merely external changes make the Mass "appear" Protestant? No matter which Eucharistic Prayer that you use, the PM affirms Eucharistic Sacrifice, the ministerial priesthood, prayers for the dead, the intercession of the saints, the leadership of the hierarchy in union with the Pope, and the substantial presence of Christ’s body & blood in the Holy Eucharist. This "appears" Protestant to the Integrists? No Protestant sect has ever adapted the PM for its use. They find it "too Catholic!"

As to the preferences of the Lutherans and Anglicans, there are again no quotations to substantiate this assertion. In my own experience, our Separated Brethren are usually surprised to find that when the Mass is translated into English, it looks a lot like their own vernacular services. It is no wonder: their orders of service are derived from ours! It pleases them that our liturgies are not totally alienated from each other, even though I have also found them to be acutely aware of the differences between us as well.

The Removal of the Tabernacle:

There is a big difference between constructing a Church in which the tabernacle is in a place of honor, but not necessarily on the main altar, and ripping the tabernacle off the main altar.

The placement of the tabernacle on the main altar is recent innovation dating from the Late Middle Ages. It was not done uniformly in Catholic Churches until the Counter-reformation. This change came about in response to the Protestant denigration of the Eucharistic presence. It is not a venerable practice from apostolic times. It is not mandatory to have the Blessed Sacrament on the main altar at all. Most Catholic Churches at the time of the Reformation did not reserve the Eucharist in this way, if at all. While I agree with you that I would prefer for the tabernacles be left alone, this is a peripheral matter that has no bearing on the nature of the PM.

Elimination of Kneelers: Kneeling for the Consecration was not put into place until after the Protestant Revolt

Unfortunately, Shawn’s history is again mistaken. To cite the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"The practice of kneeling during the Consecration was introduced during the Middle Ages, and is in relation with the Elevation which originated in the same period. The rubric directing that while the celebrant and his ministers recite the Psalm "Judica", and make the Confession, those present who are not prelates should kneel"

No, he got it right. Kneeling was not part of the rubrics throughout the Latin Rite until the Counter-reformation reforms. Pews and kneelers were actually invented by our Protestant brethren. Most Catholic Churches had open bare floors in the Middle Ages. Have you ever tried to kneel for an hour on bare wood or stone? Most people stood for the whole Mass. Kneeling had been a recent innovation by the 16th Century and was not observed uniformly in the Church in the West until the Counter-reformation reforms. It was almost never done in the East during the liturgy. It was not until the Elevation of the Host and Chalice was introduced in the West that the congregation had any idea when the Consecration actually occurred because the words of institution were whispered in secret. Prior to that the congregation stood until Communion. Kneeling during Mass had not been an immemorial custom but a recent innovation.

Furthermore, it is of interest to note that kneeling was not only reserved for the Consecration, but also for prayer.

Our Integrist opponents make another totally irrelevant statement. Kneeling has always been part of Christian prayer and worship. This has no bearing on the catholicity of the PM since the custom of kneeling during the entire Mass did not become universal in the West until the Counter-reformation.

Hence, it stands to reason that they would kneel during this, the greatest prayer of the Church, while both uniting their prayers with those of the Priest, praying their private devotions (both before, after, and during Mass), and praying the Mass itself.

There is only one small problem. Most people prior to and during the Middle Ages stood for the entire Mass. Kneeling was not traditional. This is another example of our Integrist friends elevating their own idea of what ought to be "fitting" into an immemorial custom while ignoring the actual historical practices.

The bottom line is that we agree with out opponents that kneelers ought to be in Catholic churches especially in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. But, it is not necessary to pretend that they have always been present in the churches or that the Counter-reformation customs surrounding Eucharistic worship were normative from apostolic times. The Integrists allege that the TM contains apostolic traditions and that this justifies not altering any part of it. So why don’t they want to return to the immemorial custom of standing during the Consecration?

Married Deacons:

Our Integrist opponents allege that allowing deacons to be married and have use of their marriage (i.e., the right to conjugal intercourse) is not traditional. Furthermore, they allege that Deacons are clergy and that married clergy have no place in the Westerns Rites. The actual history is much more complex and ambiguous than they are making it out to be.

The recent scholarship by Fr. Cholij, Fr. Cochini, and Cardinal Stickler has clearly established that both clerical celibacy and the renunciation of the use of marriage by clerics was an apostolic custom, which was universally accepted for priests and bishops. All three levels of the ordained ministry were permitted to contract marriages at one time or another in the Church History even though they may not have been permitted to have conjugal relations. The actual discipline about this was not uniform. Deacons were in some cases permitted to have use of their marriages or even to contract a marriage subsequent to ordination both in East and West. To do so might be a bar to further advancement in orders but it was not considered an impediment to the exercise of their office. Priests and bishops who were married before ordination were many times permitted to keep their wives, though usually (not always) with significant limitations on conjugal rights.

The discipline on clerical celibacy in the West was not strictly enforced between the Fall of Rome in the late 5th Century and the Hildebrandian reforms in the 11th Century. Married men were often ordained who had subsequent offspring with their wives. Some clergy actually contracted marriages after ordination with the full knowledge of their ordinaries and then had children. All of this happened a long time before there were any Protestants.

Note these quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Celibacy of the Clergy at the New Advent website:

This is again what we learn from the Council of Ancyra in Galatia, in 314 (canon x), and of Neo-Caesarea in Cappadocia, in 315 (canon i). The latter canon absolutely forbids a priest to contract a new marriage under the pain of deposition; the former forbids even a deacon to contract marriage, if at the moment of his ordination he made no reservation as to celibacy. Supposing, however, that he protested at the time that a celibate life was above his strength, the decrees of Ancyra allow him to marry subsequently, as having tacitly received the permission of the ordaining bishop. There is nothing here which of itself forbids even a bishop to retain his wife, if he were married before ordination…
[The] Council of Trullo, in 692, finally adopted a somewhat stricter view. Celibacy in a bishop became a matter of precept. If he were previously married, he had at once to separate from his wife upon his consecration. On the other hand, this council, while forbidding priests, deacons, and subdeacons to take a wife after ordination, asserts in emphatic terms their right and duty to continue in conjugal relations with the wife to whom they had been wedded previously. This canon (xiii of Trullo) still makes the law for the great majority of the Churches of the East, though some of the Eastern Catholic communions have adopted the Western discipline.

Clerical celibacy in all of its forms is a discipline, not a dogma. Competent authority (i.e., the Pope) can bind or loose this discipline as he sees fit. Pope Paul VI implemented the current standards, which JPII has continued. Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Hence we see that for more than 1500 years the Church has been against married clergy in the Latin Rite. "Was the Catholic Church wrong for 1500 years"? Did it make a mistake?

I hope that we have shown that it is not as simple as that. For the Integrists, everything is black and white with no gray. Real scholarship shows that the discipline of clerical celibacy in the West was not always enforced as strictly as it is today. The tradition is not as rigid as our opponents would like to think.

Simplified Rites:

In the second place, an overly simplified rite can eliminate the clear cut references to transubstantiation that are in the Mass, thereby making it acceptable to protestants - a phenomena we see occurring with the Novus Ordo Missae.

Merely saying this doesn’t make it so. There is again no quotation offered to prove this. It is not necessary to make a "clear cut reference" to transubstantiation for the Mass to be valid. A valid Mass requires only the appropriate matter and form. The PM’s rubrics supply this admirably. It is not necessary to recite a complex theological treatise at every Mass in order to confect a valid Eucharist. These Integrists want to major in the minors. Even though they admit that the Eucharistic formulation of the PM is valid, they still want additional external signs that have no bearing on sacramental validity.

The Elimination of the Last Gospel does not, of course, make the Mass defective in and of itself, though it can be the cause of a lessening of devotion on the part of the Priest and the people, seeing such a devotion, which has been in place for centuries, suddenly removed.

In other words, this is another superficial issue of no real relevance to the matter at hand except that our Integrist friends "feel" it will make people "less devout" than they are (whatever that means). Since 99+% of the congregation couldn’t understand the Latin reading of the Last Gospel that was rapidly mumbled by the priest while he faced away from them, I think this is a particularly silly argument. Most people did not even know it was there or what it meant.

[The] Last Gospel was very explicit insofar as the Divinity of Christ is concerned, and this would be altogether very offensive for many of our "dear parted brethren," protestants, who deny this doctrine.

What? I hate to tell our Integrist friends this, but most of our Separated Brethren in the West do hold to the divinity of Christ and would find their comments "altogether very offensive" for intimating otherwise. This charge is not only irrelevant; it is grossly incorrect.

Lastly, I would like to point out that Shawn has given no reason why the Last Gospel was eliminated

This Scripture reading was replaced by an additional Scripture reading before the Gospel. In like fashion, Psalm 42 at the foot of the altar was replaced by the pre-Gospel Psalm. Instead of using the same readings at every Mass, we now get some variety.

Communion in the Hand:

Reception in the hand was prevalent in the very early Church - but in 650 AD the Synod of Rouen condemned the practice as an abuse.

Many people don’t like this practice, but again it was an immemorial custom for both clergy and laity as our opponents admit above. So some local Synod didn’t like it? That does not constitute a dogma, but only a disciplinary opinion for Rouen in the 7th Century. Communion in the hand is tolerated under current Catholic Church discipline with Papal approval. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. But you cannot say that someone else is wrong for doing so.

"Proponents of the practice (i.e. communion in the hand) point out that the Apostles received in the hand at the Last Supper, but do not add that they had just been consecrated as bishops." (Michael Davies, Liturgical Revolution: Pope Paul’s New Mass (Kansas City, 1980), p.453).

This is another irrelevant comment, which elevates a late medieval discipline into a dogma. This implies that the laity is not fit to touch the Host with their unconsecrated hands. Neither Mr. Davies nor any other Integrist has the right to impose this opinion the whole Church in direct contradiction to Papal approval.

Priest Facing the People:

At the Last Supper, which way was Jesus facing? Every representation of this in the history of Christian art has him facing the Apostles not away from them. At a Passover meal, this would have been considered the polite way to act. Older Catholic scholarship tried to defend an apostolic origin for the Priest facing away from the congregation during the Consecration, but we honestly don’t know when this custom started. Fr. Jungmann on page 50 of his short book, The Mass states that there was diversity of practice in both East and West on this matter until the 4th Century. Most likely facing with the people became an entrenched as a custom as worship became more formalized and the Eucharist was performed using the usual conventions of other sacrificial rites from the surrounding cultures. There is nothing wrong with this practice, but there is also no reason to require it. If the Priest no longer whispers the words of consecration in secret, doesn’t it make sense for him to face the people so they can clearly hear what he is saying? Besides, Jesus himself stated, "Where two or more of you are gathered, there I am in your midst." Facing the People acknowledges the presence of Christ among his people. As with all symbols, you must give it the correct interpretation for it to make sense.

In the first 4 centuries (until possibly the early 5th century), Masses were said in private homes.

As it is, Shawn is here, yet again, mistaken. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, they were consecrated by the Church for the Sacrifice of the Mass, and, in the course of time, ownership of these homes passed on to the Church.

Now come on. Read your own subsequent quotation from that same Encyclopedia:

"The earliest places of Christian worship may be called chapels, inasmuch as they were informal churches, i. e. a chamber in a house, or the atrium and tablinum of the house adapted for the purpose; "

Shawn was right. It was only part of the house that might be set aside for worship. It might even be a part that was used for secular purposes during the rest of the week. It is senseless to retroject later standards onto the early Church.

Meal or Sacrifice???:

It has never been denied that the Eucharist is food for the soul, but to bypass this and overlooks this, in favor of the more protestant view that Sacrifice takes the back seat to the meal, is precisely what the Novus Ordo Missae does.

No, the PM attempts to do justice to both concepts. It does not "bypass" the concept of spiritual nourishment in the Eucharist. The communal meal aspect had been lost over the centuries in favor of the more formal sacrificial elements. The PM attempted to balance the two.

In the first place, "Eucharistic Prayer Number I" is not the Tridentine Canon. It is not the Canon of the True Mass, they knocked out a large portion of the True Canon. Do a comparative study of the two Canons, between "Eucharistic Prayer Number I" and the True Canon, I take issue with the fact that Shawn tries to make it so - this is nothing but a direct insult to the Traditional Mass.

Eucharistic Prayer I has all of the elements of the TM Canon. It is virtually identical to it. It has all of the Catholic emphasis that an Integrist would want. This argument is mere childish carping, and slanderous at that.

Please also note that to these Integrists, the TM Canon has become THE True Canon as opposed to all others. What about the Gallican usages? The Eastern Rites? Are they not really THE True Canon? Or maybe there is more than one Truly Catholic Canon?

Altar or Table???:

The term for "altar" in Greek is thysiastelirion, which means, "sacrifice table." An altar is a table.

The point is, a table is also used during family meals - and does not imply a sacrifice at all.

The Last Supper was a family meal: the Passover meal. It was also a sacrificial meal. These two concepts were blended together both in the Exodus story and by Jesus himself. Maybe our Integrist friends should argue with Our Lord for His ambiguity in using this symbol for his perpetual sacrificial ordinance.

As it is, there were some very good reasons why Communion under both species was forbidden in the Latin Rite prior to Vatican II.

And there were some equally good reasons why it was reintroduced. As a physician, I find the practice unsanitary myself and rarely indulge in it. Nevertheless, it is what Our Lord did. He said, "Take and drink this all of you." The Early Church communicated under both kinds. In some situations, she actually mandated reception under both kinds. This is just another discipline that you don’t have to accept if you don’t want to.

Lay Eucharistic Ministers:

There isn’t much here that deserves comment except for the following admission by the Integrists:

…not all the practices of the Early Church were good ones…

Why is it that they say this about the revival of ancient practices that they don’t like while appealing to traditional custom to support ancient practices that they do like? This is both inconsistent and hypocritical. What it all boils down to is personal preference and nothing more, and yet the Integrists do not have the integrity to admit this.

Hence, it is a sign of the gravest disrespect to permit unconsecrated to touch the Eucharist - when it is not necessary for them to do so, regardless of the Priest’s personal comfort.

When a duly appointed lay minister in the course of a sacred rite lawfully handles the Holy Eucharist there is no sign of disrespect. All of God’s people are consecrated to him in Baptism and are worthy to touch Christ’s Body and Blood. Once again we see the Integrists over-reacting to a practice that they do not like. Their personal dislikes are elevated to the status of objective moral faults in others. The opinion of St. Thomas Aquinas on limiting the handling of the host to "the consecrated" is fine, but St. Thomas himself would be the first to admit that obedience to the hierarchy in this matter would override such scruples. Properly trained ministers of the Eucharist acting in accordance with Church law are no affront to God.

The use of extraordinary ministers during the Mass has, according to Michael Davies, no historical precedent.

So? It has a precedent now. The Pope has authorized it. If the laity in the Early Church were permitted to distribute Communion outside of Mass under their own recognizance, what problem is there with them doing it during Mass under the direct supervision of the priest? This type of illogical comment is typical of the over clericalization of the Integrist’s view of the Church.

As it is, the length of time of the Mass is irrelevant. It is not a concern. Do we worship God according to the dictation of a stopwatch?

Spoken like an extremist who is totally out of touch with reality. Inordinate delays in the liturgy are indeed a serious pastoral matter, as any parish priest will tell you. They have to be able to schedule sufficient Masses to meet the needs of the whole parish. You cannot do that if the Mass runs too long. Ideally, we should be in no rush to leave Our Father’s House, but the reality is that we have several needs in pastoral work that need to be balanced.

Besides, when the TM liturgy was in use, we often had very abbreviated Masses because the prayers were not said in common with the people and there was no active participation in the actual liturgy of the Mass by the Community. Father would often mumble through the "Latin" as quickly as possible just to get to Communion. I can recall some 20 minute Sunday Masses that I found to be very disturbing, even as a child.

Altar Girls:

I agree with this, it is, indeed, a poor pastoral policy, and not an invalidation of the Novus Ordo Missae.

Again we agree. Did the Pope have the right to change this custom? Yes. Since the altar servers are an extension of the congregation, it is logical that any layperson could assist the priest on the Altar. The job need not be limited to only boys but opened also to children and adults of both sexes. Whether or not this is a wise pastoral move is another matter. The Holy See could modify this disciplinary policy at any time as it sees fit.

In the first place, we openly admit that most - if not all - of the complaints listed above by Shawn are, indeed, superficial and arbitrary - if taken by themselves.

This is an important admission on the part of the Integrists. They admit that their individual complaints are often "superficial and arbitrary." I wish that they would re-read this admission and take it to heart.

But there also legitimate ones such as the false form of Consecration used in the Novus Ordo Missae, which was not even promulgated by Pope Paul VI.

As we have shown above, this type of exaggerated alarmist nonsense is an insult levied against the Popes based upon poor scholarship and a lack of loyalty to the Magisterium. The revised words of institution are valid and appropriate. The superstitious attachment of the Integrists to the TM form shows a poor understanding of the issues involved.

In the second place, concerning "unalterable Tradition," what about the complete eliminate of the Mass, and it’s substitution with an ecumenical truncated (mistranslated) heretical version, which is widely appreciated (and used) among the protestants?

This entire sentence is composed of falsehoods. It is nothing but one falsehood told after another. And once again we see the Intergrist's almost superstitious attachment to the TM. It is not even worthy of further comment.

As Cardinal Bugnini said:

Archbishop Bugnini was never made a Cardinal. One more falsehood added to the rest.

Furthermore, does this mean that we are bound to follow various churchMEN regardless of what they introduce?

Yes. As Our Lord and Savior once said:

Luke 10, 16 - "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

So, yes, we are bound to follow the commands of lawfully constituted authority in the Church whether we like what they say or not.

Can the Church bind error and heresy? Obviously not. The reason? Because the Church has no authority to bind error and heresy.

This is not a Catholic response but a Protestant one. It betrays the bad faith of the Integrists. The true Catholic affirms that the Divine assistance precludes the Magisterium from teaching error. It is the Protestant that decides for himself what is or isn’t true and then decides for himself what he will or will not believe. It is the Protestant who refuses to yield to Church authority on the basis of his own preferences.

The Pope was not infallible when he created the Novus Ordo Missae, hence it does not fall under the infallible binding and loosing.

Quite the contrary. The Magisterium is infallible in all matters that deal with the central mysteries of the faith both directly and indirectly. This includes the canonization of saints, the promulgation of doctrine and the celebration of the sacraments. Again our Integrist friends are quite Protestant in their attitude towards the Magisterium.

I will now quote from the Manual of Dogmatic Theology by A. Tanquerey, Volume 1 (Desclee, 1959).


250 Thesis : The direct object of infallibility of the Church includes all the religious truths and each individual truth which are formally contained in the sources of revelation; the indirect object embraces all those things which are required in order that the deposit of faith may be preserved entire. The first part of this thesis is de fide; the second part is certain.
Page 145 251 b. ...When infallible power is exercised in respect to truths connected with revelation, truths of this kind are the object of ecclesiastical faith only.
256 e. The Church is infallible in regard to moral precepts since general laws for the universal Church cannot be in opposition to the natural or positive divine law...Therefore, it can enjoin nothing which has not been approved by God.

On page 176 starts the Discussion of "The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church." A subsection "Practice of the Church Associated with Dogma" on Page 177 contains the following:

291 Among the customs and practices which have been closely joined to dogma we mention especially the public rites used in the solemn celebration of the sacrifice, or in the administration of the sacraments; also the formulas of prayers and various feasts or offices instituted by the Church; or sacred practices which have been associated with doctrine.
For a practice of the Church to become a criterion of faith there are two requirements:
a. that the practice be necessarily connected with the dogmatic truth; for in imposing a practice or custom, the Church by that very fact orders that dogmas connected with this practice must be adhered to;
b. that a custom of this kind be universal or approved at least tacitly by infallible authority; for only the universal Church enjoys infallibility. Therefore a custom or practice of one particular Church produces only a probable argument for revealed truth. The Roman Liturgy, approved in a special manner by the Supreme pontiffs, cannot contain errors in dogma. Historical mistakes can creep in, and, as a matter of fact, they have slipped into the legends in the Breviary, because the special lessons of the Second Nocturns were written at a time when apocryphal works were being spread abroad. Nevertheless these lessons should not be despised because many points contained in them are true and are suitable for fostering piety and goodness.

We still acknowledge the legitimacy of the Papacy of Pope John Paul II, we look to him as the Holy Father, and visible head of the Church on earth. But, unlike Shawn here, we realize that there are limits to obedience - and blind obedience is detrimental (rather than beneficial) to the Church.

Martin Luther said virtually the same thing at the Diet of Worms. He volunteered to submit to the Church as long as the Church submitted itself to the private judgment of his own "conscience." This is not a Catholic response. It is not true obedience when one only obeys when one feels like it. True obedience is when one obeys even when one finds it difficult to do so.

As it is, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church has never come forth and stated - unequivocally - that the new order of Consecration is a valid Consecration.

This was accomplished when Pope Paul VI officially instituted the revised Roman Missal. This has been reaffirmed by both of his successors. There is no need for any further affirmation than that.

The authors of this Integrist manifesto should be ashamed of themselves. They have slandered the Catholic Church, insulted her Popes & hierarchy, and consistently made erroneous statements about the true Catholic teaching concerning the liturgy. It was an amateurish diatribe by uninformed laymen who wished to believe whatever reactionary propaganda tickled their fancy.

We have the choice of believing in the Divine Assistance given to the Magisterium or in the opinions of Integrist schismatics who can’t even read the original sources correctly. I don’t think there is doubt where our allegiance should lie:

Omnes semper - ad Jesum, per Mariam, cum Petro!!

Art Sippo MD

©2000, "Detection and Overthrow of the ‘Traditionalist Catholics’ Falsely So-Called, Part 4, written by Dr. Art Sippo. 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.


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