Confusing Culture With 'Tradition'
Written by I. Shawn McElhinney

The following essay is a critique of an article that Cardinal Alfons Stickler wrote about the Tridentine Mass. While the author agrees with many of his main points; unfortunately in some areas the Cardinal seems to be overreaching a bit. There are other areas where he is simply wrong and those need to be addressed since many people who read his work will be influenced by what he has to say on these and other matters. (Considering his level of authority as a Cardinal of the Roman Church.) The Cardinal’s essay title is The Attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass. To begin with, it is necessary to concede that indeed the Tridentine Mass (TM) has an attractiveness that is lacking in some respects with the way most priests celebrate the Pauline Mass (PM). As undeniable as this is, it is also undeniable that the faults lie not with the individual rites themselves but with those who celebrate them. For anyone who doubts this, a viewing of the Mass on EWTN should demonstrate this assertion adequately enough.

Some people might argue that the looser structure of the PM invites abuses. However, they are then hard-pressed to explain why the celebration of the TM was done in such an undignified manner before the liturgical reform in many (if not most) places of the world. This is a point which destroys their entire thesis of loose structure somehow inviting abuses. (Further still, such a rigid approach to rubricism is itself not congruent with the Great Tradition.) The problems are much deeper than the simplistic solutions proposed by many who prefer the TM. Personal preferences are one thing and if the Cardinal merely preferred the older rite, that would be one thing. However it seems to this writer that Cardinal Stickler's essay goes beyond that so hopefully with this critique the balance that is so often lacking when contrasting the two rites of Mass can be provided.

{The Attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass

By Alfons Cardinal Stickler

The Tridentine Mass means the rite of the Mass, which was fixed by Pope Pius V at the request of the Council of Trent and promulgated on December 5, 1570. This Missal contains the old Roman rite, from which various additions and alterations were removed. When it was promulgated, other rites were retained that had existed for at least 200 years. Therefore, is more correct to call this Missal the liturgy of Pope Pius V.

Faith and Liturgy

From the very beginning of the Church, faith and liturgy have been intimately connected. A clear proof of this can be found in the Council of Trent itself. It solemnly declared that the sacrifice of the Mass is at the center of the Catholic liturgy, contrary to the heresy of Martin Luther, who denied that the Mass was a sacrifice.

We know from the history of the development of the Faith that this doctrine has been fixed authoritatively by the Magisterium in the teaching of popes and councils. We also know that in the whole Church, and especially in the Eastern churches, the Faith was the most important factor in the development and formation of the liturgy, particularly in the case of the Mass.

There are convincing arguments for this from the early centuries of the Church. Pope Celestine I wrote to the bishops of Gaul in 422: Legem Credendi, lex statuit supplicandi — the law of praying determines the law of believing. This has subsequently been commonly expressed by the phrase, lex orandi, lex credendi [the law of prayer is the law of belief].}

So far so good…

{The Orthodox churches preserved the Faith through liturgy. This is very important because in the last letter the Pope wrote, seven days ago, he said the Latin Church must learn from the Eastern churches, especially about the liturgy... }

And the Pauline Missal (PM) has incorporated a lot of Eastern elements into its liturgy. This was dealt with in the author’s treatise, a Mass supplement project, and a smaller essay on the Pauline Mass which was also incorporated into the latter project as Appendix A. This is also a point that 'Matt1618' and Dr. Art Sippo dealt with in the sections they wrote for the supplement project as well. There is no intention to imply that the implementation of the Revised Missal has necessarily been done as intended of course. However, the blueprint for proper implementation is there in the Revised Missal. The primary problem is getting people to follow them.

{Conciliar Statements

A matter often neglected is the two types of conciliar statements and decisions: doctrinal (theological) and disciplinary. In most of the councils we have both doctrinal and disciplinary. In some councils we have no disciplinary statements or decisions; we have some councils without doctrinal statements, with only disciplinary statements. Many of the Eastern councils after Nicaea treated only questions of faith. The Second Council of Toulon in 691 was strictly an Oriental council for only disciplinary statements and decisions, because the Eastern churches had been neglected in the preceding councils. It brought discipline up to date for the Eastern churches, especially the Church in Constantinople.

This is important because in the Council of Trent we have explicitly both: we have chapters and canons which belong exclusively to faith; and then, in nearly all the sessions, after the theological chapters and canons, we have exclusively disciplinary matters. The distinction is important. In all the theological canons we have the statement that anyone who opposes the decisions of the Council is excluded from the community — anathema sit. But the Council never states an anathema for purely disciplinary matters — the Conciliar sanctions are only for doctrinal statements. }

In reference to the Council of Trent this is true. However, previous synods did not make as careful of a differentiation between matters of doctrine and matters of discipline as the Council of Trent did. Vatican I did not deal with any disciplinary matters at all and Vatican II dealt with matters of doctrine but not matters of dogma. Thus the solemn pronouncements of anathema common to matters of dogma were not utilized by Vatican II.

{Trent on the Mass

This is important for our reflections now. I've already pointed out the connection between faith and prayer—liturgy—and especially between faith and the highest form of liturgy, the common worship. This connection has its classic expression in the Council of Trent, which dealt with the topic in three sessions: the thirteenth in October 1551, the twentieth session in July 1562, which dealt with the Sacrament of the Eucharist, an especially the twenty-second in September 1562, which produced the dogmatic chapters and canons on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is also a particular decree that concerns those things that have to be observed and avoided in the celebration of Mass. This is a classical and central statement, authoritative and official, of the Church's mind on the subject.

The decree first considers the nature of the Mass. Martin Luther had clearly and openly denied its very nature by stating that the Mass was not a sacrifice. It is true that, in order not to disturb the simple faithful, the Reformers did not immediately eliminate all those parts of the Mass, which reflected the true Faith and ran contrary to their new doctrines. For example, they retained the Elevation of the Host between the Sanctus and the Benedictus.

For Luther and his followers, worship consisted mainly in preaching as a means of instruction and edification, interwoven with prayers and hymns. The reception of Holy Communion was only a secondary event. Luther still maintained the presence of Christ in the bread at the moment of its reception, but he strongly denied the Sacrifice of the Mass. For him the altar could never be a place of sacrifice. }

Educated in the corrupt via moderna theology of his time he was as inept at understanding the Hebraic view of the Mass as his Protestant descendants today are. Luther held a very low view of the Jews and so he was not too likely to read Jewish works and notice that the Passover Haggadai concept and the Mass anamnesis concept are quite similar. The Mass was a Passover Seder in its original incarnation as well as the sacrifice of the New Covenant. Thus, there are many interwoven themes and metaphors of mystery involved in the ritual. These themes go far beyond the understanding of the Mass as a sacrifice (it is of course a sacrifice but there is more to it then just that). Unfortunately, Luther’s dislike of the Jews and his defective theological foundation did not enable him to see the forest for the trees. This often seems to be a problem with the most vociferous 'traditionalist' critics of the Revised Missal as well.

{From this denial we can understand the consequent flaws in the Protestant liturgy, which is completely different from that of the Catholic Church.}

Actually, the Lutheran communion service of the 1950’s and the Tridentine Mass were quite similar though not exact. This is much the same as with today’s Revised Missal and the communion service of the Lutherans. The Anglican Use Liturgy is so close to the TM that it is a near-carbon copy in many places. The Protestant groups who celebrate liturgically obtained the basis for their liturgies from the Catholic Church. It seems that Cardinal Stickler is not too familiar with Protestant liturgical worship at all when he makes these kinds of comments. It does not surprise me that some Catholic converts have a problem when Catholic clergy or apologists attempt to say "what Protestant liturgy is" and show by their comments that they need to acquire a proper understanding themselves of what they intend to speak about. While His Eminence wrote this for predominantly Catholics, it is still important to be accurate and the comments here are inaccurate.

{We can also understand why the Council of Trent defined the part of the Catholic Faith, which concerns the nature of the Eucharistic sacrifice: it is a real saving, force. In the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the priest is a substitute of Christ himself. As a result of his ordination he is a true alter Christus. By means of the Consecration the bread is changed into the Body of Christ and the wine into His Blood. This implementation of His sacrifice is the adoration of God.

The Council specifies that this sacrifice is not a new one, independent of the unique sacrifice of the Cross; rather it is dependent upon that unique sacrifice of Christ, making it present in a bloodless way such that the Body and Blood of Christ are substantially present, while still remaining under the appearance of bread and wine. Consequently there is no new sacrificial merit; rather, the infinite fruit of the bloody sacrifice of the Cross is effected or realized by Jesus Christ constantly in the Mass.

It follows that the action of the sacrifice consists in the Consecration; the Offertory (by which bread and wine are prepared for the Consecration) and the Communion are integral parts of the Mass, but are not essential ones. The essential part is the Consecration, by which the priest, in the person of Christ, and in the same way, pronounces the consecrating words of Christ. Thus, the Mass is not and cannot be simply a celebration of Communion, or a mere remembrance or memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross, but rather a true, unbloody making present of this self-same sacrifice of the Cross.}

The Mass is all of these things regardless of the rite used if it is an approved rite of the Church. But notice how one-sided this essay is becoming. This is not uncommon when people who are either 'traditionalists' or sympathetic to the 'traditionalist' movement tend to act. It is also historically what schisms and heresies end up being a product of: narrow emphasis and the exaltation of one truth to the exclusion or downplaying of other truths. This is the kind of emphasis that the Cardinal is putting in his essay - an incomplete picture of the Mass.

{For the same reason we can now understand that the Mass is an effective renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross. It is essentially an adoration of God, offered only to Him. This adoration rightly involves other elements: praise, thanksgiving for all the graces received, sorrow for sins committed, petitions for necessary graces. Naturally the Mass can be offered for one or all of these various intentions. All these doctrines were established and promulgated in the chapters and canons of Session 22 in the Council of Trent. }

It seems to make sense to this author to interpret Session 22 of the Council of Trent in the scope of its earlier statements on these matters. This would include Session 21 of the Council of Trent:

The power of the Church as regards the dispensation of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It furthermore declares, that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain,- or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places. [1]
The Council of Trent in other words recognized the authority of the Church to make changes pertaining to the sacraments and their administration "according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places". The same principle applies to the liturgy. The doctrine on the Mass defined by the Council of Trent was reaffirmed by Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical Mysterium Fidei released in 1965. This was shortly before the close of the Second Vatican Council and before the implementation of the Revised Missal. Pope Paul specified that the Revised Liturgy would teach the same doctrines as the Liturgy of Pope Pius V.

{Trent's Anathemas

Various consequences derive from this fundamental theological nature of the Mass. First, the Canon Missae. In the Roman liturgy there has always been only one Canon, which was introduced by the Church many centuries ago. The Council of Trent expressly stated, in Chapter 4, that this Canon is free from error; in fact it contains nothing that is not full of sanctity and piety and that does not raise the faithful to God. In composition it is based on the words of Our Lord himself, the tradition of the apostles and the regulation of saintly popes. Canon 6 of Chapter 4 threatens with excommunication those who maintain that the Canon Missae contains errors and should therefore be abolished. }

The Roman Canon is in the Revised Missal as Eucharistic Prayer #1 of the PM. No faithful Catholic would claim that it contains errors or should be abolished. However, just because the canon contains no errors does not ipso facto mean that it is incapable of revision. The Council of Trent nowhere claimed that the Roman Canon was perfect as it was or was incapable of being altered. Nor was the Council of Trent speaking only of the Canon of the city of Rome to the exclusion of the canons in other rites celebrated at the time in both the West as well as the East.

The simple truth is that the Roman Canon has been revised before and thus it could be again in accordance with the judgment of the Church (the emotional reactions of 'traditionalists' who have near-superstitious notions about the TM canon notwithstanding). As for multiple canons, the Cardinal it seems forgets that while the Roman liturgy only had one canon; other liturgies had multiple canons. Moreover, the compositions of the three new canons of the Revised Missal are likewise based on the words of Our Lord and the traditions of the apostles. That the Roman Pontiff promulgated the liturgy to the universal church is sufficient to insure protection from doctrinal or moral errors. Thus, this writer wonders if His Eminence would be asserting that any liturgy approved in a solemn manner by the Roman Pontiff could be deficient in these elements that he has outlined.

{In Chapter 5 the Council stated that human nature requires external signs in order to raise the spirit to divine things. For that reason the Church has introduced certain rites and signs: silent or vocal prayer, blessings, candles, incense, vestments, et cetera. Many of these signs have their origins in apostolic prescriptions or tradition.

Through these visible signs of faith and piety, the nature of the sacrifice is underscored. The signs strengthen and encourage the faithful in their meditation on the divine elements contained in the sacrifice of the Mass. To safeguard this doctrine, Canon 7 threatens with excommunication all those who consider these external signs as inducing impiety nstead of piety. This is an example of what I discussed before: this kind of statement, with the canon of sanctions, has largely a theological meaning, not only a disciplinary meaning. }

Who has denigrated the Gallican elements themselves??? His Eminence appears to be unaware that the Roman Rite before the fifth century was pretty plain and non-spectacular and did not have candles, ornate vestments, etc. The vestments were standard clothing worn by Romans of the time except a bit more elaborate. The difference is that clothing styles changed in the 500’s and the Church did not change them. Thus the drastic difference in clothing between priest and layman. There had always been a difference but before the sixth century it was nowhere near as drastic as it was after the secular stylings changed. However, these elements fall under tradition not Tradition. It is one thing to claim that these Gallican elements are beneficial and another to claim they are mandatory. The author personally holds that these elements increase piety and would like to see more of them. However, their absence cannot in any way make the rite defective or else the earliest rites were defective and no Catholic can hold this position and still adhere to the Faith.

{In Chapter 6 the Council emphasizes the desire of the Church that all the faithful present at Mass should receive Holy Communion, but states that if only the priest who celebrates the Mass receives Holy Communion, this Mass should not then be called private and so be criticized or forbidden. In this case the faithful receive Communion spiritually, and, further, all sacrifices offered by the priest as a public minister of the Church are offered for all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Thus, Canon 8 threatens with excommunication all those who say that such Masses are illicit and should therefore be forbidden—another theological statement.}

Since no reasonably informed Catholic preferring the varnacular - or an audible canon - denies this, the comment here is not relevant to the topic at hand. If anyone does make these claims then the Council anathematizes them and rightfully so. However, Masses where there is faithful present should be seen as more preferable (when possible) to Masses where the priest celebrates alone. Besides, where has anyone claimed that such a Mass as outlined by Cardinal Stickler (where there are faithful present but only the priest communicates) were considered to be private masses, illicit, or forbidden??? Obviously it is better if the faithful does receive communion than if they do not if they are in a state of grace of course. This author is not too sure what Cardinal Stickler is trying to say here unless it is that the faithful do not have to receive communion for the mass to be a public mass. If that is what he is saying than this writer does not disagree with that assessment at all. (Nor would he disagree if His Eminence were to opine about an objectively higher number of scandalous communion receptions today than in years past either.)

{Chapter 8 is dedicated to the peculiar language of worship in the Mass. It is known that in the cult of all religions a sacred language is used. In the Roman Catholic Church during the first three centuries the language was Greek, being the common language employed in the Latin world. From the fourth century on, the Latin language developed into the common idiom in the Roman Empire. Latin remained for centuries in the Roman Catholic Church as the only language for worship. Quite naturally, Latin was also the language of the Roman rite in its central act of worship, the Mass. This remained the case even after Latin was replaced as the living language by the various Romance languages. }

The Latin language was still understood by most people reasonably well at the time of Trent in countries with Romance Languages. Interestingly enough those countries remained Catholic where the Romance languages were the vernacular languages. The countries where the languages were not Romance languages (England, Germany, Scotland) went with the rebellion. Perhaps understanding what is going on at Mass is a positive element and not a negative one. Besides, even after Latin was no longer the vernacular tongue we have Sts. Cyril and Methodius (circa 885 AD) who were evangelizing the Slavs petition the Pope of the time (Hadrian III) for permission to utilize the Slovac tongue in the liturgy (the vernacular of that region) and the pope granted his blessing. Obviously the Roman Church was not opposed to the use of the vernacular in principle where such use would be advantageous. This very principle was enunciated in 1947 by Pope Pius XII at a point when the vernacular movement in the Catholic Church was gathering momentum (see Mediator Dei §60).

{Trent on Latin, Silence

Now we come to the question: why not chance again? We answer: divine Providence establishes even secondary things. For example, Palestine—Jerusalem—is the place of the Redemption by Jesus Christ. Rome is the center of the Church. Peter was not born in Rome. He came to Rome. Why? It was the center then of the Roman Empire—that means, of the world. That is the practical background of the diffusion of the Faith by the Roman Empire, only a human thing, a historical thing. But it enters certainly in divine Providence.

A similar process can be seen even in other religions. For the Moslems, the old Arab language is dead and yet it remains the language of their liturgy, of their cult. For the Hindus, the Sanskrit. Due to its necessary connection with the supernatural, worship naturally requires its own particular religious language, which should not be "vulgar" one. }

Tell that to St. Pope Damasus I when he changed the liturgy of the West to Latin in the late fourth century. Prior to that time the liturgies of both the West and the East were predominantly in Greek. The Pope changed the Western liturgies to the vulgar tongue of the West (hence St. Jerome’s Bible translation of the same period was known as the Vulgate). Tell that to Pope Gregory the Great whose Gregorian Chant was in the vernacular when he originated it. Besides, Christianity is not like all other religions the last time this writer checked. Should we have bloody sacrifices at our Masses because the cult of other religions did??? This is a pretty feeble excuse to defend the usage of Latin quite frankly. One could argue that the Pope’s decision to approve the wide use of the vernacular was also "Divine Providence" by this argument but of course His Eminence would probably disagree with that assertion.

{The fathers of the Council knew very well that most of the faithful assisting at the Mass neither understood Latin nor were able to read translations. They were generally illiterate. The fathers also knew that the Mass contains a great deal of instruction for the faithful. }

The faithful who spoke the Romance Languages could understand Latin the same way this writer’s Ukrainian grandmother can understand Russian and Polish. She cannot speak them fluently but she understands what is being said albeit somewhat vaguely. (Note: This is now past tense as she passed away September 25, 2001. May she rest in peace - ISM 1/11/03)

{Nevertheless they did not agree with the view held by Protestants that it was necessary to celebrate the Mass only in the vernacular. In order to provide instruction for the faithful, the Council ordered that the old custom approved by the Holy Roman Church—the mother and teacher of all churches—be maintained everywhere, and that care should be had for souls in explaining the central mystery of the Mass.

Canon 9 threatens with excommunication those who affirm that the language of the Mass must only be the vernacular. It is noteworthy that in both chapter and canon the Council of Trent only rejected the exclusivity of the "vulgar" language in the sacred rites. On the other hand, we need once again to take into account that these various Conciliar regulations do not only have a disciplinary character. They are based on a doctrinal, theological foundation that involves the Faith itself. }

There is no prohibition for a priest today to celebrate the Revised Missal in Latin. Just because it is permitted does not ipso facto make it compulsory. There is a general permission for the vernacular, which the Apostolic See granted. Thus, it cannot in anyway be theologically unsound as practices that are enjoined on the universal church cannot contain doctrinal errors. (This is one of the most fundamental of dogmatic principles.)

{The reasons for this concern can be seen, firstly, in the reverence that is due to the mystery of the Mass. The decree which immediately followed concerning what has to be observed and avoided in the celebration of the Mass states, "Irreverence cannot be separated from impiety." Irreverence always involves impiety. In addition, the Council wished to safeguard the ideas expressed in the Mass, and the precision of the Latin tongue safeguards the content against misunderstanding and potential errors based on linguistic imprecision. For these reasons the Church has always defended the sacred tongue and even recently Pius XI expressly stated that this language should be non vulgaris. }

And as was noted earlier, Pope Pius XII felt that it could be of much advantage and specifically stated so himself (Mediator Dei §60). If a future pope decides to reverse the decision of Pope Paul VI and go back to exclusively Latin then it is his prerogative. The demise of Latin the past two centuries would make this move a very bad pastoral judgment, but the pope sets the rules on these matters and we follow. Whether we liked it or not we would have to comply or else the authoritative Magisterium as we speak of it to Protestants would be nothing but a dead letter. "Tridentine" supporters are quick it seems to criticize the post Council policy but then seem to go out of their way to not admit the possibility that perhaps some of the pastoral policies of the pre-Council popes were not prudent.

Besides, this objection is rubbish to be quite frank. The problem is not the use of the language but the catechizing of the laity in understanding the mysteries of the faith properly. A well-catechized laity has no difficulty with this at all. Besides, this author sides with the Catholic Encyclopedia against Cardinal Sticker on this matter and this language issue was dealt with in the Detection project. To quote the generally reliable Catholic Encyclopedia on the matter:

The language of any Church or rite, as distinct from the vulgar tongue, is that used in the official services and may or may not be the common language. For instance the Rumanian Church uses liturgically the ordinary language of the country, while Latin is used by the Latin Church for her Liturgy without regard to the mother tongue of the clergy or congregation. There are many cases of an intermediate state between these extremes, in which the liturgical language is an older form of the vulgar tongue, sometimes easily, sometimes hardly at all, understood by people who have not studied it specially. Language is not rite. Theoretically any rite may exist in any language. Thus the Armenian, Coptic, and East Syrian Rites are celebrated always in one language, the Byzantine Rite is used in a great number of tongues, and in other rites one language sometimes enormously preponderates but is not used exclusively. This is determined by church discipline. The Roman Liturgy is generally celebrated in Latin. The reason why a liturgical language began to be used and is still retained must be distinguished in liturgical science from certain theological or mystic considerations by which its use may be explained or justified. EACH LITURGICAL LANGUAGE WAS FIRST CHOSEN BECAUSE IT WAS THE NATURAL LANGUAGE OF THE PEOPLE. But languages change and the Faith spreads into countries where other tongues are spoken. Then either the authorities are of a more practical mind and simply translate the prayers into the new language, or the conservative instinct, always strong in religion, retains for the liturgy an older language no longer used in common life. The Jews showed this instinct, when, though Hebrew was a dead language after the Captivity, they continued to use it in the Temple and the synagogues in the time of Christ, and still retain it in their services. The Moslem, also conservative, reads the Koran in classical Arabic, whether he be Turk, Persian, or Afghan. The translation of the church service is complicated by the difficulty of determining when the language in which it is written, as Latin in the West and Hellenistic Greek in the East, has ceased to be the vulgar tongue. Though the Byzantine services were translated into the common language of the Slavonic people that they might be understood, this form of the language (Church-Slavonic) is no longer spoken, but is gradually becoming as unintelligible as the original Greek. Protestants make a great point of using languages "understanded of the people", yet the language of Luther's Bible and the Anglican Prayerbook is already archaic.


When Christianity appeared Hellenistic Greek was the common language spoken around the Mediterranean. St. Paul writes to people in Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy in Greek. When the parent rites were finally written down in the fourth and fifth centuries Eastern liturgical language had slightly changed. The Greek of these liturgies (Apost. Const. VIII, St. James, St. Mark, the Byzantine Liturgy) was that of the Fathers of the time, strongly coloured by the Septuagint and the New Testament. These liturgies remained in this form and have never been recast in any modern Greek dialect. Like the text of the Bible, that of a liturgy once fixed becomes sacred. The formulæ used Sunday after Sunday are hallowed by too sacred associations to be changed as long as more or less the same language is used. The common tongue drifts and develops, but the liturgical forms are stereotyped. In the East and West, however, there existed different principles in this matter. Whereas in the West there was no literary language but Latin till far into the Middle Ages, in the East there were such languages, totally unlike Greek, that had a position, a literature, a dignity of their own hardly inferior to that of Greek itself. In the West every educated man spoke and wrote Latin almost to the Renaissance. To translate the Liturgy into a Celtic or Teutonic language would have seemed as absurd as to write a prayerbook now in some vulgar slang. The East was never hellenized as the West was latinized. Great nations, primarily Egypt and Syria, kept their own languages and literatures as part of their national inheritance. The people, owing no allegiance to the Greek language, had no reason to say their prayers in it, and the Liturgy was translated into Coptic in Egypt, into Syriac in Syria and Palestine. So the principle of a uniform liturgical language was broken in the East and people were accustomed to hear the church service in different languages in different places. This uniformity once broken never became an ideal to Eastern Christians and the way was opened for an indefinite multiplication of liturgical tongues. [2]

To again quote the Catholic Encyclopedia on the matter:

The principle of using Latin in church is in no way fundamental. It is a question of discipline that evolved differently in East and West, and may not be defended as either primitive or universal. The authority of the Church could change the liturgical language at any time without sacrificing any important principle. The idea of a universal tongue may seem attractive, but is contradicted by the fact that the Catholic Church uses eight or nine different liturgical languages. Latin preponderates as a result of the greater influence of the Roman patriarchate and its rite, caused by the spread of Western Europeans into new lands and the unhappy schism of so many Easterns (see Fortescue, "Orthodox Eastern Church", 431). Uniformity of rite or liturgical language has never been a Catholic ideal, nor was Latin chosen deliberately as a sacred language. Had there been any such idea the language would have been Hebrew or Greek. [3]
Cardinal Sticker seems to be stuck in a bit of the Counter-reformation mentality on these points and is defending as traditional and unchanging (or theologically important anyway) elements that are not in any way fundamental. He has a right to his opinion of course but frankly this author feels that His Eminence is flat out wrong and there is plenty of evidence to buttress those contentions that could be cited other than these passages from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

{For these self-same reasons Canon 9 established excommunication against those who affirm that the rite of the Roman Church, in which a part of the Canon and the words of consecration are pronounced silently, must be condemned. Even silence has a theological background. }

Without a shadow of doubt there is not enough silence in most Pauline Masses. It would be wonderful for a couple of minutes after communion of either silence or an organ/piano instrumental. A minute or so after each of the reading would also be beneficial to focus on God speaking through His Word. Just because there is a place to sing does not mean that something must be done. The excessive silence and inaction of the Tridentine liturgy is countered by the almost complete lack of silence anywhere in most celebrations of the Pauline liturgy. (Coupled with a mentality that active participation means that one must be constantly doing something.) One can be for active participation in the liturgy - and indeed they should be - but silence is also participation if used incrementally as it fosters meditation. And to use a secular example, the difference between a good musician and a master is that the latter knows how to utilize dynamics effectively. What is played and how it is played is what determines a good artist or performer. There is no feeling or sense of awe in a musician that merely cranks out a ton of notes just to be playing. A master can apply the occasional rushed flourish (creating a sense of tension in spots) but the primary emphasis is on phrasing of notes, tone, and (on a stringed instrument) vibrato. And of course to set the mood silence is a valuable element when used incrementally. These principles can also be applied to the liturgy.

Silence sometimes can speak volumes especially when used to allow the congregation to meditate on the mysteries unfolding before them. A short pause between the Kyrie and the Gloria is one example. Likewise some time after each reading and the Gospel perhaps. Another pause after the Gospel reading, the Sermon, and Creed. Not to mention for some time after the bidding prayers preceding the Offertory (where the faithful offer their own intentions silently). And that is not all.

Silence in a few moments before, during, and after the Consecration would be well placed as that is the apex of the Mass. And also after communion for a few minutes so that those who receive the Lord can have time to reflect upon the great mystery of what they have received. These are examples of silence speaking volumes and they in no way detract from active participation of the congregation in the liturgy. In fact, they arguably improve such participation dramatically and cannot possibly be detrimental to the cultivation and maintenance of faith. (And at the most would add about five minutes total to the length of mass: hardly something that would be an inconvenience by any stretch of the imagination.)

{Finally, in the first canon of the reform decree, in the twenty-second session of the Council of Trent, we find other regulations which have a somewhat disciplinary character but also complete the doctrinal part-for nothing is more fit to guide worshipers to a deepened understanding of the mystery than the life and example of the ministers of cult. These ministers should mold their lives and behavior to this end, and that is reflected in their dress, their bearing, their speech.

In all this they should be dignified, modest and religious. They also are to avoid even slight faults since in their case they would be considered grave. Thus superiors were to demand of the sacred ministers the living out of the whole tradition of proper clerical behavior. }

If the ministers do not listen (or if "experts" misinform them) then it matters not what is legislated. The problems today is a breakdown in clerical discipline and it has nothing to do with the changing of the rite as it was not handled in a dignified manner before the reform Trent’s provisions notwithstanding. Now it is at times not handled in a dignified manner Vatican II’s provisions notwithstanding. Going back to the TM will not fix this problem as it existed long before the reform took place and when the TM was the rite of the Western Church for the most part. That these problems started a long time before the liturgical reform is a fact that it seems that 'traditionalists' want to sweep under the rug and not admit to.

{The Mass of Pius V and the Mass of Paul VI

Now we can better appreciate and understand the theological background and foundation of the discussions and regulations of the Council of Trent concerning the Mass as the summit of the sacred liturgy. In response to the serious challenge of Protestantism we can now understand the theological attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass, not only for that particular historical period but also as a pattern for the Church and liturgical reform of Vatican II. }

The Cardinal’s foundation of argument is of questionable strength in many places up to this point. Thus, his conclusions are not likely to be without their problems.

{In the first place, we have to determine here the correct meaning of this reform. As in the case of the Tridentine Mass, we emphasize the importance of a correct understanding of what was understood by the Mass of Pope Pius V which fulfilled the wishes of the Council fathers at Trent.

Now, we must underline what should be considered the correct name of the Mass of the Second Vatican Council: the Mass of the post-Conciliar liturgical commission. A simple glance at the liturgical constitution of the Second Vatican Council immediately illustrates that the will of the Council and the will of the liturgical commission often do not coincide, and are even evidently contrary. }

We shall see. Certainly in some areas the implementation does not seem to be fully in line with the will of the Council. However, that does not mean that the problems are as drastic in this department as they are often portrayed.

{We'll briefly examine the main differences between the two liturgical reforms as well as what we might term their theological attractiveness.

Firstly, in the light of the Protestant heresy, the Mass of Pius V emphasized the central truth of the Mass as a sacrifice, based on the theological discussions and specific regulations of the Council. The Mass of Paul VI (so-called because the liturgical commission for the reform after Vatican 11 worked under the ultimate responsibility of the Pope) emphasizes rather the integral part of the Mass, Communion, with the result that the sacrifice is transformed into what could be termed a meal. The great importance given to the readings and to preaching in the new Mass, and even the faculty given to the priest to add private speeches and explications, is another reflection of what can be called an adaptation to the Protestant idea of worship.... }

How sad that His Eminence appears to be a bit deficient in understanding the ancient duel metaphor understanding of the Mass. To quote from the Rt. Rev. Dom Fernand Cabrol on the matter:

From the very beginning of the Church there existed an essential rite, distinct from that of the synagogue; a rite which, from the first moment, seems to take the lead amongst all others, of which in a manner it is the center. It consists of the reproduction and reconstruction of Our Lord's last repast, of the Last Supper in the Cenacle.
This rite is found everywhere. We have quoted the texts of Clement of Rome, of Ignatius of Antioch, of Justin, etc. But we could have multiplied our witnesses. A Christian traveler of the third century, Abercius, who had journeyed through the East as well as the West, tells us in a famous inscription:
"My name is Abercius: I am the disciple of a Holy Shepherd Who feeds His flocks of sheep on mountains and on plains; Who has eyes so large that their glance reaches everywhere. He it is Who has taught me the faithful Scriptures. He it is Who sent me to Rome.... I have also seen the plain of Syria and all its towns-- Nisibis on the borders of the Euphrates. Everywhere I went I found brethren. Paul was my companion. Faith led me everywhere; everywhere it served as my food, a fish from the spring, very great and pure, caught by a Holy Virgin; continuously she gave it to eat to her friends; she also has a delicious wine, which she gives with the bread."
This rite, considered as a banquet and a sacrifice, has banished ail the other sacrifices. Although the Church borrowed so largely from the Jewish liturgy, she left them their sacrifices. Those who attempt to discover analogies between the rites of paganism and those of the Christians cannot deny that the peaceful and unbloody Sacrifice of the altar has put an end to all sacrifices of blood. That river of blood which flowed through all pagan temples has been stopped by the Sacrifice of the Lamb.
This rite was accomplished with bread and wine. (Certain eccentrics are pointed out, such as the "Aquarians" or "Hydroparastes," who, already prohibitionists, forbade all wine, even at Mass.) Those who partook of it wished to renew the scene in the Cenacle in relation to the Sacrifice of the Cross; and were persuaded that under the species of bread and wine they received the Body and Blood of Christ.
The rite, as has been remarked, presents numerous variants when it is studied according to the testimony of different Churches, and great liberty of interpretation and improvisation still reigns; but the general and essential features are the same. What is called the Eucharist, the fraction, the "anaphora," the eulogy, the synaxis, is always and for all the same rite as that which we call the Mass. [4]
The intention of the liturgical reform was to restore a more fully orbed understanding of the mystery of the Mass. This duel element emphasis had begun to gradually vanish in the ninth and tenth centuries when an over-clericalizing begin to take place. This was when the Church started using non-plural prayer forms, multiplying prayers such as a double confiteor, and emphasizing a near caste system when it came to the priest and the laity. This narrowing of scope coupled with a near-sole emphasis on the Mass as a sacrifice started around the time of the heresy of Berengarius (eleventh century). The Protestants in the sixteenth century reacted against this narrowing of perspective and asserted the ancient neglected element of a community meal. In doing this though, they unfortunately denied the sacrificial understanding of the Mass. Trent in response defined the sacrifice of the Mass against these errors. In the spirit of one extreme begetting another extreme, most Catholics since the time of Trent have difficulty seeing the Mass as anything but a sacrifice. (Or seeing any of the liturgical functions being performed by someone other than the priest, other clergy, or altar servers.) In neglecting the fuller scope of understanding the Mass, the underlying concept of the covenant is nearly unknown by most Catholics. Ironically, it took Reformed scholarship to bring this theme to the forefront again in providing the proper understanding of God’s relationship to his people. And how ironic this is since Catholicism proclaims to be the Church and thus (by extension) the Israel of the perfected covenant. Catholicism is interwoven with covenant themes. However, an unbalanced understanding of the Mass makes this paradigm almost undistinguishable at the very core of our faith.

Vatican II and the liturgical reform sought to restore a proper balanced understanding. That there is in many places an extreme tilt to the other extreme should not surprise, as it is human nature to overcompensate to some extent. Achieving a proper balance is the most difficult of all endeavours and most people - Catholic or not - find it easier to either be an extremist or an indifferentist. Neither position requires much effort. It is unfortunate that Cardinal Stickler appears to misunderstand the very Catholic and traditional concept of inculturation. Inculturation is the secret to the Church’s evangelization of the world once before (and what she will need to do to accomplish this once again). No one denies that there are problems today but the number of people who do not believe in the Real Presence is not as high as secular statistics claim. This is a point that 'Matt1618', Dr. Art Sippo, and this author went over in a full-scale examination of the Mass (in addressing the errors of extreme 'traditionalists'). The problems we face today will be resolved for the most part by the proper implementation of Vatican II, proper catechizing and the reinforcement of discipline. That is the bottom line really.

{French philosopher Jean Guitton says that Pope Paul VI revealed to him that it was his [the Pope's] intention to assimilate as much as possible of the new Catholic liturgy to Protestant worship. Clearly, it is necessary to verify the true meaning of this remark, since all the official statements of Paul VI—especially his excellent eucharistic encyclical Mysterium Fidei of 1965, issued before the end of the Council, as well as the Credo of the People of God demonstrate his absolute orthodoxy. Now, how can we explain this opposite statement? }

Real simple really: the pope wanted a liturgy that would not be a stumbling block to ecumenism while doctrinally remaining solid. That is why the restored liturgy was preceded by the Encyclical Letter Mysterium Fidei which is indeed a marvelous encyclical and is the key to understanding the theology of not only the PM but all Masses regardless of rite. The re-affirmation of the dogmas defined at Trent concerning the Mass in Mysterium Fidei was essential because in reforming the rite it was essential to emphasize that nothing was changing in the area of Catholic dogmatics or beliefs about the Mass. It was and always will be a sacrifice in its essence: the sacrifice of the Son of God eternally made present in an even more perfect manner than the Jewish Passover. To quote the Mishnah on the matter of the Passover (and to show the parallel between the Passover and the Mass in greater outline):

In every generation a person is duty-bound to regard himself AS IF HE PERSONALLY HAS GONE FORTH FROM EGYPT, since it is said, "And you shall tell your son in that day saying, It is because of that which the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt" (Ex. 13:8). Therefore we are duty-bound to thank, praise, glorify, honor, exalt, extol, and bless him who did for our forefathers and for us all these miracles. He brought us forth from slavery to freedom, anguish to joy, mourning to festival, darkness to great light, subjugation to redemption, so we should say before him, Hallelujah. [5]
All Catholics need to recognize the same element present at Mass. The Passover to the Jews was not past but eternally made present once a year. To the Catholic, Calvary is eternally made present at every Mass where the salvation of all from the slavery of sin and death is both celebrated and re-enacted. This point was emphasized in the Encyclical Letter Mysterium Fidei in no uncertain terms:
To make evident the indissoluble bond which exists between faith and devotion, the Fathers of the council, confirming the doctrine which the Church has always held and taught and which was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent, determine to introduce their treatise on the Most Holy Mystery of the Eucharist with the following summary of truths: "At the Last Supper, on the night He was handed over, Our Lord instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood, to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He should come, and thus entrust to the Church, His beloved spouse, the memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of devotion, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is received, the soul is filled with grace and there is given to us the pledge of future glory." [Constit. "De Sacra Liturgia," c. 2. n. 47 A.A.S. LVI, 1964 p. 113.] In these words are highlighted both the sacrifice, which pertains to the essence of the Mass which is celebrated daily, and the sacrament in which the faithful participate in Holy Communion by eating the Flesh of Christ and drinking His Blood, receiving both grace, the beginning of eternal life, and the medicine of immortality. According to the words of Our Lord: "The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood enjoys eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." [John 6:55] [6]
It only makes sense that the dogmatic foundations of the Mass would be reaffirmed before the rite was revised. The purpose of course would be that the misperception of a changing rite means that dogmas have likewise changed would be definitively refuted. (The principle of continuity favours the presumption that dogmas adhere to whatever forms of profession they are given if said formulations change. However, since most people today presume that silence implies that an issue is "open" rather than the converse, Pope Paul felt bound in conscience to issue the above encyclical letter before the opening of the fourth session of the Council - and before the Concilium had started most of the work on the revised Roman Missal.)

{Along these same lines we can try to understand the new position of the altar and the priest. According to the well-founded studies of Msgr. Klaus Gamber concerning the position of the altar in the old basilicas of Rome and elsewhere, the criterion for the old position was not that it should face the worshiping assembly, but rather that it should be turned towards the East, which was the symbol of the rising sun of Christ who was to be worshiped. The completely new position of the altar and priest in facing the assembly, previously forbidden, today becomes an expression of the Mass as a meeting of the community. }

This practice was not uniform throughout the Church. Disciplines and practices were rarely ever uniform and the practice of facing East was a later practice:

Today, as the altar usually has a retable and a tabernacle, the priest when standing before it turns his back to the people; so that when he greets them with "Dominus vobiscum" he is obliged to turn round. The Bishop would be hidden on his "cathedra" at the back of the apse, and could hardly follow the ceremonies, therefore his throne, as well as the stalls of the clergy, have been moved to places before the altar. But if we wish to understand the ancient positions, it will help us to remember that at that time the altar was a "table" (hence its name of "mensa") of wood or stone, forming either a solid block or else raised on four feet, but in any case without a tabernacle; so that the officiating priest would face towards the people, as he does today at "San Clemente". In our own churches, of course, he officiates on the other side of the altar; the Gospel side being the left and that of the Epistle the right. As we explain elsewhere, another consideration has brought about these changes: the PRACTICE of turning in prayer towards the East, the region of that light which is the image of Christ, Who Himself came from the East. The question of the orientation of churches was an important one in Christian architecture from the fourth-twelfth centuries. [7]
Besides, the Church defines the position and she has ever held that the Mass is a sacrifice and a banquet. Perhaps the alteration in direction was in part to re-assert this oft-maligned dual understanding. Perhaps it is a poor choice of procedure. Either way it hardly in any way is doctrinally deficient with the proper understanding and emphasis placed upon it.

Maybe this was one example of inculturating certain elements of Protestant worship into the liturgy. This is not in and of itself bad as long as the proper distinctions are made of course. If His Eminence wants to claim that the proper distinctions are at times not drawn, he will get no objections on that score from this writer.

{Secondly, in the old liturgy the Canon is the center of the Mass as sacrifice.}

The Canon of the Mass today is also the center of the Mass as sacrifice.

{According to the testimony of the Council of Trent, the Canon traces itself back to the tradition of the apostles and was substantially complete at the time of Gregory the Great, 600.}

But the Roman Canon was overhauled dramatically in the fifth century. As Fr. Adrian Fortescue noted in his Catholic Encyclopedia article on the liturgy:

This brings us back to the most difficult question: Why and when was the Roman Liturgy changed from what we see in Justin Martyr to that of Gregory I? The change is radical, especially as regards the most important element of the Mass, the Canon
We have then as the conclusion of this paragraph that at Rome the Eucharistic prayer was fundamentally changed and recast at some uncertain period between the fourth and the sixth and seventh centuries. During the same time the prayers of the faithful before the Offertory disappeared, the Kiss of Peace was transferred to after the Consecration, and the Epiklesis was omitted or mutilated into our "Supplices" prayer. Of the various theories suggested to account for this it seems there is so much in favour of Drews's theory that for the present it must be considered the right one. We must then admit that between the years 400 and 500 a great transformation was made in the Roman Canon" (Euch. u. Busssakr., 86). [8]
The Roman Canon traces itself back to the Apostles the same way that dogmas like Papal Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception are present in the Deposit of Faith: implicitly. It took time and mature reflection to draw them out explicitly and that is the same concerning the liturgy. In addition, the "great transformation" of the canon is in principle no different whatsoever than what happened in the 1960’s. For all we know the old canon may have been cast aside in the same manner as the Roman Canon has been treated by many since 1970. The Roman Canon is still in the rite as an option and if Anaphora Two was forbidden to be used at Sunday Masses the odds are good that it would be used more frequently along with Anaphora Four. It seems that only the second and third Anaphoras are used regularly and while the third is certainly as doctrinally solid and sacrificially explicit as any Catholic could ask for, it is true that Anaphora Two is more implicit. However, this can be corrected by only allowing Anaphora Two to be used during weekdays as intended for the shorter weekday masses.

{The Roman Church never had other canons.}

There is quite a difference between the Roman Canon of the pre-fifth century (which looked more like the Revised Missal’s Anaphora Two) and the later Roman Canon inherited by Pope Gregory the Great in the late sixth century. There is little different in principle between multiple canons and one canon that has been so overhauled that it looks very little like it did in previous time periods.

{Even for the mysterium fidei in the Consecration form, we have evidence from Innocent III, explicitly, at the inauguration of the Archbishop of Lyons. I don't know if the majority of liturgy reformers know about this fact. St. Thomas Aquinas in a special article justifies this mysterium fidei. And the Council of Florence explicitly confirmed the mysterium fidei in the Consecration form. }

It was not present in any Mass canon before the fifth century and to claim that Our Lord said it when He did not is misleading. Besides, with reference to Innocent III's statements about the form of the sacrament, St. Thomas noted that:

There are many opinions on this matter. Some have said that Christ, Who had power of excellence in the sacraments, performed this sacrament without using any form of words, and that afterwards He pronounced the words under which others were to consecrate thereafter. And the words of he words of Pope Innocent III seem to convey the same sense (De Sacr. Alt. Myst. iv), where he says: 'In good sooth it can be said that Christ accomplished this sacrament by His Divine power, and subsequently expressed the form under which those who came after were to consecrate'. But in opposition to this view are the words of the Gospel in which it is said that Christ 'blessed', and this blessing was effected by certain words. Accordingly those words of Innocent are to be considered as expressing an opinion, rather than determining the point. [9]

Since the Eastern Churches did not use "mysterium fidei", it could not be considered an essential constituent of the sacrament. The confirmation of the Council of Florence was because of the reunion of several churches with the Roman Church and the form of the Consecration used at the time by the Roman Church. It was agreed upon for use with the
reuniting Churches to remove any doubts from the minds of those who would question their orthodoxy. This is made clear in the Decree to the Armenians where the aforementioned decision was made. (And the Decree itself indicates by its language to not be confirming a judgment definitively because it spoke of setting forth "a brief schema": hardly words congruent to confirming a teaching in a definitive manner.)

{Now, this mysterium fidei was eliminated in the Consecration words brought about in the new liturgy. Why?}

Because Our Lord never said it and to claim that He "gave it to His disciples saying" and then putting mysterium fidei in the context of Our Lord’s words is to fabricate a mistruth.

{We also find permission given for new canons.}

As Pope Paul noted, there was a conscious attempt to incorporate Eastern formularies into the Revised Missal. All the Eastern rites have divers Anaphoras and this was an element borrowed from the Greek liturgies. To quote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the matter:

It was right and proper to open up the liturgy to the vernacular; even the Council of Trent saw it as a possibility. Furthermore, it is simply untrue to say, as certain integralists do, that drawing up new forms of the Canon of the Mass is a contradiction of Trent. [10]

It is rather interesting that the Cardinal Prefect does not see things in quite the same light as Cardinal Stickler does.

{The second one—which does not mention the sacrificial character of the Mass—with its merit of being the shortest, has virtually supplanted the old Roman Canon everywhere. Thereby, the profound theological insight given by the Council of Trent has been lost. }

The theological insights from the Council of Trent were hardly applicable only to the Roman Canon. However, that Canon 2 does not contain the same theological depth as the other Canons and is also the virtual norm these days is indeed problematical. The shorter canon was intended for weekday Masses. It therefore does not contain the same theological depth as the other longer canons do. In this light the omissions in the shorter canon should not be seen as irregular.

However, Canons 3 and 4 do contain the same explicit theological insights as the Roman Canon (which is still in the Missal as Canon 1) with regards to the nature of the Mass offering (as the Body and Blood of Christ being offered as a sacrifice for sin). Canons 3 and 4 also affirm other Catholic distinctives (communion of saints, prayers for the dead, etc.). Canon 2 does affirm the communion of saints, prayers for the dead, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. However, its reference to the offering as a sacrifice for sin is implicit in the symbols of the rite and not explicit in the words stated. But again one must remember that Canon 2 was intended to be a shorter canon used for weekday Masses. It could be said to be improper for use on Sundays and Holy Days because of this reason. Many priests probably use it because it is shorter. There is a simple solution to this dilemma and it is to disallow this canon from use on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. The author agrees with Cardinal Stickler here on the problem but not the solution to the problem.

{The mystery of the divine Sacrifice is actualized in every rite, though in different ways. In the case of the Latin Mass it was emphasized by the Tridentine Council with the silent reading of the Canon in Latin. This has been discarded by the proclamation of the Canon in the new Mass out loud. }

The early Church must have had no respect for the sacred then since the silent reading of the canon was not an early practice of the Church in the first four centuries. The canon was not only spoken aloud but even at times sung. In fact, the construction of the canon and many of its parts were written in a way to accommodate singing. (A point the author dealt with in his Prescription treatise.) What purpose would this serve if the Canon was never recited aloud??? Obviously there is nothing wrong with a silent reading but there is at the same time nothing wrong with the priest reciting the Canon aloud. Neither is improper and neither "demystifies" the Mass one iota. If anything the louder canon approach almost assures that the laity will not either fall asleep or get distracted in other ways from the goings on at the altar - which is where their attention should be.

The primary emphasis was not on the silent reading of the Canon in Latin but the double consecration of the species. Or to quote the Catholic Encyclopedia on the matter:

Christ, by the double consecration of bread and wine mystically separated His Blood from his Body and thus in a Chalice itself poured out this blood in a sacramental way, it is at once clear that He wished to solemnize the Last Supper not as a sacrament merely but also as a Eucharistic sacrifice. [11]
It is by the double consecration that the mystery of the Eucharist as both sacrament and sacrifice are emphasized. The Revised Missal retains these crucial elements intact.

{Third: the Vatican II reform destroyed or changed the meaning of in much of the rich symbolism in the liturgy (though it remains in the Oriental rites). The importance of this symbolism was emphasized by the Council of Trent.... }

Presumably His Eminence is referring to Gallican elements here. Indeed, the Revised Missal could (and arguably should) be more in tune with the Tridentine certainly. But at the same time, it seems that the Missal itself is more in tune with the older liturgy than it is often celebrated. The appearance of a radical discontinuity of rites has been harmful to the Church and probably no faithful Catholic would disagree. With Cardinal Ratzinger favouring a more Gallicanized PM, odds are very good that it will happen. (The Prefect has a tendency of getting his way a lot when it comes to Church matters.) However, there is also the problem of people not understanding the symbolism. All the rich symbolism in the world in no way helps the Catholic who cannot understand Latin or is not actively involved with the liturgy. Cardinal Stickler appears to not realize that the Council of Trent made many disciplinary decisions that were right and proper for the sixteenth century that are not necessarily right and proper for our time. It is interesting that 'traditionalists' are quick to throw around the charge of "antiquarian" to movements to restore earlier practices when they do not like the particular practice. Yet they speak of such restorations as "right and proper" when it is something they do like. This is both inconsistent and arbitrary .

If the liturgical reforms of the mid twentieth century were wrong for seeking to restore earlier liturgical forms then why was Pope Pius XII not wrong in restoring Holy Week to a form from 1,000 years previous to 1958??? What made Holy Week in the late tenth century so sacred as opposed to Holy Week as celebrated in the time of Innocent III, Gregory the Great, or Callistus I??? The reform of the liturgy after Trent not wrong for seeking to put to put the liturgy more in accord with the "pristine norm of the holy Fathers" (cf. Ap. Const. Quo Primum) even though they fell short of doing this by quite a ways. (Not that they could be blamed for this mind you as they did the best they could with what they had to work with.) And likewise, the reform after Vatican II was not wrong for seeking to adapt some of the pre-sixth century liturgical forms to subsequent practices. But unlike Pope Pius V, Pope Pius XII, and company, the reforms after the Second Vatican Council are criticized for striving to achieve the exact same thing. (Not to mention succeeding in several parameters where the Tridentine reforms failed.) All of this is another example of how the criticisms of the 'traditionalists' are purely arbitrary: they hang the label of 'traditional' on anything they like and dismiss earlier practices as "antiquarian".

{This fact was deplored even by a well-known atheistic psychoanalyst, who called the Second Vatican Council the "Council of Bookkeepers." }

By this "logic", the Counci of Trent was the "Council of Protestant-bashing". What purpose does this kind of comment has in a study of the liturgy and why the views of an atheist psychologist are even relevant here??? This writer wonders if His Eminence thinks that this atheist would have something positive to say about any other General Council.

{Vulgarizing the Mass

There is one theological principle completely overthrown by the liturgical reform but confirmed both by the Council of Trent and by the Second Vatican Council, after a long and sober discussion. (I assisted, and can confirm that the clear resolutions of the final text of the Council constitution substantially reaffirmed it). That principle: the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rite. As in the Council of Trent, so in Vatican II the Council fathers admitted the vernacular only as an exception. }

This is true (to the extent that the Council did seek as a normative measure to preserve the Latin language in the Latin rite). However, the Pope later approved a wider application of the vernacular. Pope Pius XII noted the authority of the Apostolic See concerning the regulation of the Sacred Liturgy in Mediator Dei §58. VC II reaffirmed this in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) §22 (1) and §36. Furthermore, SC §40 allowed the "competent terrestrial authority" (i.e. the Local Ordinary) to allow at their discretion the use of the vernacular subject to approval by the Apostolic See. Pope Paul VI approved of a wide use of the vernacular as he had the prerogative to do. Thus, the wide use of the vernacular is licit.

{But for the reform of Paul VI, the exception has become exclusive. Theological reasons which were stated in both councils for the retention of Latin in the Mass can now be seen to have been justified in the light of the exclusive use of the vernacular introduced by the liturgical reform. The vernacular has often vulgarized the Mass itself, and the translation of the original Latin has resulted in very serious doctrinal misunderstanding and errors.}

Doctrinal misunderstandings have occurred because of poor catechizing not the use of the vernacular. This has been a problem since before the Council and has only gotten worse since the Council. (Although the past 10 years have seen a bit of a recovery-taking place.)

Besides, Cardinal Stickler and other Latin aficionados need to realize the danger that comes from hiding ones head in the sand and refusing to face reality on these issues. The pitiful track-record on evangelizing in countries such as China, Japan, and India (who have combined about 35% of the world’s population) was because of this bonehead insistence on Latinizing other cultures. This is a point that was noted by scholar John Murphy in his mid 1950’s study The Mass  and Liturgical Reform:

The Latin conveys far less to an American than it would to an Italian, and it is even farther removed from the Chinaman. The Oriental must almost change his entire personality to become a Christian; he must adopt a Latin mentality to some extent, if he is going to enter fully into the Church’s liturgical life. That is why Cardinal Constantini could say that "The missionary evangelization of China has not been hindered by the Great Wall, but by the almost unscalable wall of Latin, which we ourselves have surrounded our missionary work." It has brought about a new insistence on the ancient truth, as Father Ganss notes - the truth that the "mission of the Church is to spread the Faith rather than a culture". In other words, she does not desire the acceptance of the Gospel to be conditioned by a previous or simultaneous acceptance of a cultural pattern. [12]
This point was further reinforced in the work when speaking of the situation with regards to the Latin tongue in the West after the eighteenth century:
The situation today in regard to Latin knowledge in no way approximates that of the 16th century. The number of students who study Latin at all has grown astonishingly low. In American high schools the percentage of students studying Latin dropped from 49.05 per cent in 1910 to 16.04 percent in 1934. Since 1934, and especially since 1941, the acceleration of decline has been steadily increasing, although complete statistics have not been published. [13]
If it was this bad in 1941 (and if the acceleration of decline was increasing steadily between 1941 and 1956), the reader needs to ask themselves how much worse it was by the mid 1960’s when Vatican II was in session. It had gotten much worse in that interim and that trend has not ceased up to the present day. Cardinal Ratzinger in The Ratzinger Report noted that "in order to explain the rapid and almost total abandonment of the ancient, common liturgical language, we must take into account a fundamental cultural change in Western education" (pg. 123). John Murphy likewise concurred that:
[I]t would seem that the situation in regard to Latin has changed so radically since the time of Trent that the same judgments could hardly be made now as then. What belonged to the educated men of the 16th century (and not only to the clergy) does not even fit into the educational pattern of many of our most educated men today. Latin has become not only a dead language since that time, but an increasingly unknown language, and apparently, not even the authority of the Church has been able to stem this time. The trend of history, it would seem, has proven a force too powerful to overcome. [14]
The subtle undercurrent which permeates the self-styled 'traditionalist' menatlity when it comes to certain elements of the Mass will be examined shortly. But first the statement by the Cardinal that "theological reasons which were stated in both councils for the retention of Latin in the Mass can now be seen to have been justified" needs to be looked at in greater detail. As the General Instructions on the Roman Missal dealt with this topic reasonably well, it will be cited from it to help with establishing the times and circumstances that vary between now and the sixteenth century - circumstances that seemingly are never taken into account by those who are the most zealous promoters of the TM:
The older Missal belongs to the difficult period of attacks against Catholic teaching on the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the ministerial priesthood, and the real and permanent presence of Christ under the eucharistic elements. St. Pius V was therefore especially concerned with preserving the relatively recent developments in the Church's tradition, then unjustly being assailed, and introduced only very slight changes into the sacred rites. In fact, the Roman Missal of 1570 differs very little from the first printed edition of 1474, which in turn faithfully follows the Missal used at the time of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216). Manuscripts in the Vatican Library provided some verbal emendations, but they seldom allowed research into "ancient and approved authors" to extend beyond the examination of a few liturgical commentaries of the Middle Ages.
Today, on the other hand, countless studies of scholars have enriched the "tradition of the Fathers" that the revisers of the Missal under St. Pius V followed. After the Gregorian Sacramentary was first published in 1571, many critical editions of other ancient Roman and Ambrosian sacramentaries appeared. Ancient Spanish and Gallican liturgical books also became available, bringing to light many prayers of profound spirituality that had hitherto been unknown.
Traditions dating back to the first centuries before the formation of the Eastern and Western rites are also better known today because so many liturgical documents have been discovered. The continuing progress in patristic studies has also illumined eucharistic theology through the teachings of such illustrious saints of Christian antiquity as Irenaeus, Ambrose, Cyril of Jerusalem, and John Chrysostom.
The "Tradition of the Fathers" does not require merely the preservation of what our immediate predecessors have passed on to us. There must also be profound study and understanding of the Church's entire past and of all the ways in which its single faith has been expressed in the quite diverse human and social forms prevailing in Semitic, Greek, and Latin cultures. This broader view shows us how the Holy Spirit endows the people of God with a marvelous fidelity in preserving the deposit of faith unchanged, even though prayers and rites differ so greatly…
As it bears witness to the Roman Church's rule of prayer (lex orandi) and guards the deposit of faith handed down by the later councils, the new Roman Missal in turn marks a major step forward in liturgical tradition. The Fathers of Vatican Council II in reaffirming the dogmatic statements of the Council of Trent were speaking at a far different time in the world's history. They were able therefore to bring forward proposals and measures of a pastoral nature that could not have even been foreseen four centuries ago.
The Council of Trent recognized the great catechetical value of the celebration of Mass, but was unable to bring out all its consequences for the actual life of the Church. Many were pressing for permission to use the vernacular in celebrating the eucharistic sacrifice, but the Council, judging the conditions of that age, felt bound to answer such a request with a reaffirmation of the Church's traditional teaching. This teaching is that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is, first adnd foremost, the action of Christ Himself and therefore the manner in which the faithful take part in the Mass does not affect the efficacy belonging to it. The Council thus stated in firm but measured words: "Although the Mass contains much instruction for the faithful, it did not seem expedient to the Fathers that as a general rule it be celebrated in the vernacular." The Council accordingly anathematized anyone maintaining that "the rite of the Roman Church, in which part of the canon and the words of consecration are spoken in a low voice, should be condemned or that the Mass must be celebrated only in the vernacular."
Although the Council of Trent on the one hand prohibited the use of the vernacular in the Mass, nevertheless, on the other, it did direct pastors to substitute appropriate catechesis: "Lest Christ's flock go hungry. . .the Council commands pastors and others having the care of souls that either personally or through others they frequently give instructions during Mass, especially on Sundays and holydays, on what is read at Mass and that among their instructions they include some explanation of the mystery of this sacrifice." Convened in order to adapt the Church to the contemporary requirements of its apostolic task, Vatican Council II examined thoroughly, as had Trent, the pedagogic and pastoral character of the liturgy. Since no Catholic would now deny the lawfulness and efficacy of a sacred rite celebrated in Latin, the Council was able to acknowledge that "the use of the mother tongue frequently may be of great advantage to the people" and gave permission for its use. The enthusiasm in response to this decision was so great that, under the leadership of the bishops and the Apostolic See, it has resulted in the permission for all liturgical celebrations in which the faithful participate to be in the vernacular for the sake of a better comprehension of the mystery being celebrated.
The use of the vernacular in the liturgy may certainly be considered an important means for presenting more clearly the catechesis on the mystery that is part of the celebration itself. Nevertheless, Vatican Council II also ordered the observance of certain directives, prescribed by the Council of Trent but not obeyed everywhere. Among these are the obligatory homily on Sundays and holydays and the permission to interpose some commentary during the sacred rites themselves.  [15]
The questions regarding the liturgy go far beyond the mere usage of a language that is for all extensive purposes functionally dead today (and justifying its use as if it was for some reason "traditional" to keep Catholics in a state of ignorance). The above passage of the GIRM outline the doctrinal principles behind the declarations of Trent and they are not applicable in the same manner as most 'traditionalists' casually assume. But that is not the only area that is problematical. There is also the point of cultural imperialism that seems to drive the 'traditionalist' movement when it comes to liturgy. They are not merely content to seek to have access to a liturgy that they love. No they are also insistent on ramming it down the throats of those who do not want it and are arrogant enough to claim that to reject it is to reject "Tradition".

This author has grown to hate the term "traditional Catholic" - even when friends of his who are in communion with Rome use it - primarily for this reason. Many friends who style themselves as "Traditional Catholics" - who in accepting the teachings of Vatican II and its importance while preferring the older liturgy - seem unaware of how much they claim as "tradition" is little more than cultural elements. This was also a point that biographer Roy MacGregor-Hastie pointed out in his book Pope Paul VI about Popes Paul VI and John XXIII as monsignors before they were elevated to the papal chair. In speaking of Church evangelization (in areas of the world where converts were nearly impossible to come by), the following points were made which bear reflection:

[The interest of] Monsignor Montini [Paul VI] in Africa, Asia, and Latin America was first roused in 1947 when the British Labour Party granted India its independence…What had to be avoided was the creation of the impression that the Catholic Church was part and partial of the "alien civilization" superimposed on the native civilization of the former coloniel country. China was a case in point. The Catholic Church, as Montini delightedly pointed out to his collegue Tardini, had made a great mistake there centuries ago, a mistake that cost them perhaps six hundred million converts. A Church "too attached to traditional symbols and practices" had brought missionary activity to a halt in China by insisting on banning "non-Christian observances". The Catholic navigators, Italian and Portuguese traders had won the confidence of successive celestial emperors. Missionaries had infiltrated as far as the capital and had succeeded in converting even members of the royal family. There was a chance that the emperor of the day (cured by a medical missionary of some disease) would be converted and there were hopes that this would be another "Constantine" case - that the emperor would declare China to be officially Catholic, a mass conversion. Unfortunately, an emissary from the Vatican (a Tardini of his day) had arrived in China and was astonished to hear firecrackers being let off during Mass. He had immediately ordered an end to this (there was also suspicions of ancestor worship) and that was also the end of Catholicism in China.
Monsignor Montini, discussing the case of China, pointed out that there was a difference between pagan practices and practices de-paganized. A number of survivals from Europe's pagan past were visible in Catholic ceremonies - the penitent's hood during Holy Week processions in Spain for one - but the survival of pagan practices suggested that Catholicism had been stronger, not weakerm than its pagan predecessors. If, in 1949, Mao Tse-Tung had declared the Catholic Church in its entirety persona non gratia, then this was not only because Catholic Italians had been on the side of Japan in the war. To a Nationalist like Mao, the Church must surely be offensive because it stressed too often its European origin in ceremonies which had really nothing to do about faith at all, or at the most were shorthand notes of the dogmas of the faith. What happened in China in 1949, Monsignor Montini said, must not happen elsewhere…
Monsignor Montini was distressed by the prospects for Catholicism, if not Christianity, in South-East Asia as a whole and in Africa…Monsignor Roncalli [John XXIII] had shown himself to be sympathetic to the aspirations of coloniel subjects in France and had gone so far as to point out that it was high time a number of African and Arab cardinals were appointed: there was really no point in having a Chinese Nationalist Cardinal, China having been lost to the Church, if Africa and the rest of Asia, which were still to be saved, were not represented…Pius XII, Tardini, and Ottaviani were not pleased with Monsignor Montini’s meticulous research, nor by his conclusions. [16]
In short, there is a lot more to this then Cardinal Stickler would like there to be. It is disgraceful that so many souls were probably lost centuries ago all over stupid symbols such as European customs and the dead Latin language rammed down the throats of people to whom Latin language and European customs were as alien to them as their customs were (and are) to those of us of European ancestry and culture. This is the biggest danger of the 'traditionalist' movement and they are too stubbornly ignorant to wise up to these matters and deal with the mission of the Church. That mission is preaching the Gospel and helping people achieve salvation, not promulgating as symbols of a 'tradition' elements that are in no way fundamental to the faith. (And insisting doggedly on their adherence imply because it makes the 'traditionalist' feel better that they are not "scandalized" by seeing Natives in head dresses, eastern dance during the liturgy, or other elements of Third World missionary work.) Remember the words of the Apostle James about the sin of partiality (James 2:1,9. 4:11-13). It is the contention of this author that this sin is present in spades among a lot of self-styled 'traditionalists'. Not that Cardinal Stickler is necessarily a 'traditionalist' as that term is generally applied, but his sympathies are seem to be with them in these non-fundamental areas that His Eminence seems to be implying are fundamental.

{Furthermore, the vernacular was not formerly permitted for people who were not only illiterate but also completely different from one another. Now that different languages and dialects can be used in worship, by Catholic people of varying tribes and nations, all living closely in a world that becomes smaller every day, this Babel of common worship results in a loss of external unity in the world-wide Catholic Church which was once unified in a common voice.

Let us consider some of the type of "unity" that Cardinal Stickler is referring to:

Was it wise to print pamphlets and tracts containing only photographs of European dignitaries? Was it necessary that pictures of anonymous saints should have the faces of Italian priests? Was it not dangerous to the climate of African nationalism to give the impression that the Church’s hierarchy of priests and thought consisted exclusively of white men and the products of their minds? Was it not true that for many Africans and Asians, Catholicism was "all of a piece with imperialism" because its images and portraiture showed the Church to be composed (apparently) of men and women with the same colour of skin as coloniel police officers and European merchants?
To the objection that the majority of the Church hierarchy past and present was composed of Europeans, Monsignor Montini and his friends pointed out that perhaps the Church had been in error for many centuries in permitting portraiture of the Madonna as an Italian? Christ and his family were, after all, Semitic. [17]
The universality of Catholicism is that it is adaptable to all peoples regardless of culture, race, or nationality. To insist on a false form of 'traditionalism' that is little more than a form of subtle imperialism does a degree of damage that is immeasurable. This the primary reason why groups such as the Orthodox are often so venomous towards the Catholic Church. They did not appreciate attempts to latinize their culture and they are believers in the same Lord that we are. If people in faiths as well-formed as Orthodoxy can have such a reaction towards the imposition of unnecessary symbols and traditions as "necessary" upon them, that this same principle would not apply to others without the formation in Christian antiquity that the Orthodox Churches have. (Such as in nations that were not Christian at all and had the same attachment to their cultures as the different Eastern Christian cultures do to their own.)

Further, it has become on a number of occasions the cause of internal disunity even in the Mass itself, which should be the spirit and center of external and internal concord among Catholics throughout the world. We have many, many examples of this fact of disunion caused by the vulgar tongue. }

This nonsense was already dealt with earlier. To restate the words of the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Uniformity of rite or liturgical language has never been a Catholic ideal. [18]
Before the twentieth century there was a lot of illiteracy. As the wide use of the vernacular was even prevalent in the so-called "Dark Ages" when literacy was at a rate of less than 20%, this cannot be a valid argument now if it was not a valid argument then. And the Church by her practice refuted this silly and (frankly) stupid argument. This is attempting to cover a third degree burn (poor catechizing) with a band-aid (Latin). The Cardinal should know better than this.

{And another consideration.... Before, every priest in the whole world could say the Mass in Latin for all the communities, and all the priests could understand Latin. Unfortunately, today no priest can say the Mass for all the people in the world. We must admit that, only a few decades after the reform of the liturgical language, we have lost that possibility of praying and singing together even in the great international gatherings, such as Eucharistic conferences, or even during meetings with the Pope, the center of the unity of the Church. No longer can we sing and pray together. }

This continual misunderstanding of the Cardinal about the legitimate diversity that has always been a Catholic ideal is rather distressing. The Eastern Catholic priests could not say the Mass in Latin. Are they not part of the Church too??? Or is the Church consisting of only the Latin Rite now with the Eastern Catholics not "real Catholics" since their priests could not say the Mass in Latin??? Latin is not in any way fundamental for the Catholic Faith. If any language at all could be considered fundamental to the Faith then it would surely be Hebrew or possibly Aramaic. However, just as Hebrew died out in the Jewish nation after the Babylonian Exile, so too did Latin die out as the vernacular in the West at the end of the first millennium. If we are going to speak of one single language then the international tongue today is English. If we were to recreate the kind of atmosphere that existed in the first 18 centuries of church history, here is what we would find.

First Aramaic (when the Church was predominantly Jewish in orientation) would be the tongue of choice moving to Greek (approx 45 AD-about 300 AD) when the Church branched out into evangelizing the Gentiles. Greek at the time was the vernacular tongue of the Roman Empite so that would naturally be the language used to facilitate the widest evangelization possible. While Greek would remain the vernacular in the East, around 250 or so Latin would begin becoming the vernacular tongue. From about 300 AD until about 800 AD, it would be THE tongue in the West used for both learning and liturgy. The full conversion to the Latin language for the liturgy would take place under the pontificate of Pope St. Damasus I (366-384) and precisely because Greek was no longer the vernacular tongue. To follow the ancient liturgical traditions of the Church in the earliest days of evangelization, the vernacular would be the language of the liturgy whenever the tongue was stable enough to accommodate this. The primary reason that vernacular liturgies in English and German were not allowed prior to the "reformation" was quite possibly because those languages were in a state of flux and not stable enough for usage at that time. Also, considering the many doctrinal challenges made by the "reformers", Rome was hardly inclined to give ground in this area in the slightest.

To apply the principle of church history viz. liturgical languages with consistency, this would mean that today the world’s liturgical language would be English as almost all nations speak English at least as a second language. Even after 800 AD the Latin foundation in the various Romance tongues (Italian, French, Spanish, Portugese) made Latin comprehensible to those who spoke the languages which had Latin as the root in its formation. The modern equivalent would be every country speaking English either as a primary tongue or as a secondary language. Like Latin in the Middle Ages, English is now the language of the educated, the language of commerce, etc. To achieve the kind of linguistic monolithicity that the Cardinal speaks of in the same context as the early Church through approximately the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries, the language that would need to be used is English not Latin. Those who clamour for Latin would be akin to those in the early Church who insisted on Aramaic or some form of the Hebrew dialect because Our Lord spoke that language. Surely if we were to give any preference to a language as sacred then it would seem most proper to be that tongue which God Incarnate Himself spoke most commonly when He walked the earth. However, the liturgical language of the Church shifted to predominantly Greek when evangelizing the Gentiles. This shows that no language - not even that which Our Lord and Saviour offered His Body and Blood at the Last Supper - was considered fundamental to the faith. If Aramaic or Hebrew was not considered sacrosanct, then neither is Latin. The modern equivalent to the ancient situations would require the use of English as the "single liturgical language" anyway and it is doubtful that many 'traditionalists' or even Cardinal Stickler would like that idea very much. Yet consistency in applying their monolithic liturgical principles would demand it.

{Finally, we have to consider seriously the behavior of the sacred ministers in the light of the Council of Trent—the behavior of the sacred ministers whose deep relationship with their sacred ministry the Council of Trent emphasized. Correct clerical behavior, dress, bearing, comportment, encourage people to follow what they say and teach. Unfortunately, the wretched behavior of many clerics often obliterates the difference between sacred minister and laity, and emphasizes the difference between the sacred minister and the alter Christus. }

Pinning this all on the PM is problematic because many of the ministers before VC II hardly presided over the sacrifice in a "sacred" manner worthy of representing Christ. (Unless mumbling the Latin and moving through the motions like Jesse Owens represents "sanctity" to the Cardinal.) The rubrics of the PM can legitimately be argued to need tightening up a bit. Hopefully the revised GIRM will have positive effects in this realm - particularly when the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal is promulgated in the near future. (*)

{Summarizing our reflections, we can say the theological attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass corresponds with the theological incorrectness of the Vatican [II] Mass. For this reason the Christi Fidelis of the theological tradition should continue to manifest, in the spirit of obedience to legitimate superiors, the legitimate desire and pastoral preference for the Tridentine Mass.}

There is no "theological incorrectness" of the PM. This is a statement which has been shown to have little if any foundation. What is theologically incorrect is forcing the entire Church to follow one liturgy (predominantly). This is the un-traditional position taken after the Council of Trent which - in formulating its canons and decrees - was not unfamiliar with the various liturgies in use at the time. If the canons of Trent did not apply to all contemporary liturgies in use at the time, then they would have been erroneous for claiming that the "canon of the mass" was without error. For Trent’s decrees to have universal applicability they must have applied to all liturgies extant at the time, even those that were later suppressed by Quo Primum. Doctrinal decrees after all are universally in force. Or to quote Dr. Art Sippo on the matter (as he summarized this so well) with regards to Canon 6 (and by implication all the Canons on the Mass from the Council of Trent):

[They] would apply equally to ALL of the other extant Eucharistic canons at that time in both the East and the West. By extension, [they] 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 reaffirming that any eucharistic liturgy used within the Church which affirmed these teachings either explicitly (or implicitly) was not in error for doing so...
[S]trictly 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 all extant forms of the Mass which quite explicitly affirm Catholic teaching on the Eucharist. Consequently, the PM forms would also be covered by the spirit of Canon 6 in our continued controversy with the Protestants. [19]
The author in his treatise deals more in detail with this element of the equation. Also, Eucharistic Prayer III was based on the Spanish Mozarabic liturgical usages. So looking at the anaphoras in retrospect, it seems that one of the goals of the liturgical restoration was to revise the rite to truly bring out the universality of the Church’s patrimony. What 'traditionalists' so often have problems with is comprehending what true universality of our faith really is. Of the 4 anaphora (canon) prayers we have Anaphora 1 which is the Roman Canon from the Tridentine Missal. Anaphora 2 was based on the more ancient Roman Canon documented in St. Hippolytus’ work The Apostolic Traditions, which (as Dr. Sippo points out) was heavily influential in the East as well as in Africa specifically because it was the canon used by the Roman Church in the second century. The Ethiopian Church today uses the Anaphora of Hippolytus only they refer to it as "The Anaphora of the Apostles". As it has more implicit sacrificial references and is quite short, it was intended for weekday masses and should be reserved for that purpose (and unfortunately has not been).

So to recap briefly (i) Anaphora 1 is the traditional Roman Canon (ii) Anaphora 2 was based in part on the earliest known Roman Canon (iii) Anaphora 3 was based on the Mozarabic liturgies of Spain and (IV) Anaphora 4 was based heavily on the West Syrian Byzantine Anaphoras. The Pauline Missal liturgy, properly implemented and in accordance with its rubrics, is truly "universal" in a manner that the Tridentine Missal is not. Further, the history of the liturgy is nowhere near as simplistic as 'traditionalists' would like them to be. This is again evident in Cardinal Stickler’s essay which is a treatment that is unfortunately much too simplistic and (in some areas) inaccurate. Understand please that the author is not questioning His Eminence's honesty in any way. The only point being made here is that the history of the liturgy is not as clear-cut as he has claimed in his essay. Yes it was not intended to be a comprehensive study on the matter; however, it is still important to be accurate. While having some of the same views with regards to the implementation of the Pauline Missal as the Cardinal does, there is one distinction this author makes. He draws the line when it comes to any areas which the Sovereign Pontiff has approved of (such as the wide use of the vernacular). It also seems that the Cardinal is falling into a trap not at all uncommon to those who prefer the TM - even among the ones who are faithful to Rome: the misguided belief that Catholicity means uniformity.

There is this tendency towards viewing the Mass as some kind of verbal theological treatise and feeling that if certain doctrines were more explicit in the rite that the problems of today would be corrected. With this view it is not uncommon to proclaim that a decrease in belief in the Real Presence or in other doctrines are the fault of the Council or of the Revised Missal. Unfortunately, the blame should go squarely on the shoulders of poor catechizing programs and the secular humanism of today which have had devastating effects on the Church. It is there that our focus should be, not the "tilting at windmills" approach where the naïve assumptions are made that if we just reinstate the Tridentine Missal and impose communion by mouth that all problems would subside. No matter how simplistic or complex a liturgy is, there will always be complexities that the text is capable of arousing. With the TM, many of its ambiguities were covered over by the Latin and properly explained through a prudent catechizing program. The PM, because it is predominantly in the vernacular, tends to have its ambiguities more readily noticable. This makes a prudent catechizing program just as necessary as in earlier times (if not more so) but unfortunately the period of 1950-1990 represented a severe degeneration in quality catechizing programs. In this light, there should be little wonder that there have been problems. Cardinal Ottaviani in retracting his objections to the Pauline Missal noted this necessity himself:

"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." [20]
Prudent catechizing is what will get the Church out of the mess she is in today (along with the implementation of Vatican II in its entirety). A partial restoration of the Pauline liturgy would be a good idea too (restoring some of the Gallican elements that the Cardinal spoke of) but nothing takes the place of an informed laity properly formed in the faith. That is what should be focused on, not the superficialities that unfortunately took up much of what Cardinal Stickler discussed in the essay critiqued here.

Dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel

[(*) The Latin Typical Edition of the Roman Missal was approved by Pope John Paul II in early 2002. It will take between two and three years from that time before the vernacular translations are approved for usage. (Or basically a shade over a year or two from when this note is affixed to the essay you are reading. - I. Shawn McElhinney 1/25/03]


[1] Council of Trent Session XXI: "Decree on the Holy Eucharist", Chapter II (c. 1562)

[2] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Rites" (c. 1913)

[3] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Rites" (c. 1913)

[4] Rt. Rev. Dom Fernand Cabrol: "Mass of the Western Rites" excerpts (c. 1934)

[5] The Mishnah: Pesahim 10:5

[6] Pope Paul VI: Encyclical Letter "Mysterium Fidei" §2  (September 3, 1965)

[7] Rt. Rev. Dom Fernand Cabrol: "Mass of the Western Rites" excerpts (c. 1934)

[8] Catholic Encyclopedia: From Fr. Adrian Fortescue's article "Liturgy" (c. 1913)

[9] St. Thomas Aquinas: "Summa Theologiae" III Q. 78, A. 1 (circa 1270-1273)

[10] Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: "The Ratzinger Report" pg. 120 (c. 1985)

[11] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Mass, Sacrifice of the" (c. 1913)

[12] John Murphy: "Mass and Liturgical Reform", p. 259-260 (c. 1956)

[13] John Murphy: "Mass and Liturgical Reform", p. 326 (c. 1956)

[14] Murphy (ibid.)

[15] General Instructions on the Roman Missal: §7-12 (c. 1975)

[16] Roy MacGregor-Hastie: "Pope Paul VI" pgs. 168-169; 171 (c. 1966)

[17] Roy MacGregor-Hastie: "Pope Paul VI" pg. 173 (c. 1966)

[18] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Rites" (c. 1913)

[19] Dr. Art Sippo: Excerpt from "Detection and Overthrow of the Traditionalist Catholics Falsely So-Called" Part 4 (c. 2000)

[20] Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani circa 1970 as cited by 'Matt1618' in Detection and Overthrow of the Traditionalist Catholics Falsely So-Called Part 2 (c. 2000)

Other Notes:

The citation from the Council of Trent Session XXI was obtained at the following link:

The citations from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) article "Rites" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from "The Mass Of The Western Rites" by the Right Reverend Dom Fernand Cabrol, Sands & Company, 1934 were obtained from the online version of his book which is located at the following link:

The citation from the Mishnah was obtained from the author’s essay on the Real Presence at the following link:

The citation from Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Letter "Mysterium Fidei" was obtained from Appendix B of the project Detection and Overthrow of the Traditionalist Catholics where it can be read in its entirety:

The citation from Fr. Adrian Fortescue's Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) article "Liturgy" was obtained at the following link:

The citation from St. Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologiae" was obtained at the following link:

The citation from Cardinal Ratzinger was taken from his book "The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church" by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (translated by Vittorio Messori); Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1985

The citation from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) article "The Sacrifice of the Mass" was obtained at the following link:

The citations from John Murphy’s book "The Mass and Liturgical Reform", Bruce Publishing Company, 1956, Milwaukee, WI were obtained courtesy of 'Matt1618'. (Thankyou Matt.)

The citation from the 1975 GIRM (General Instructions on the Roman Missal) was obtained at the following link:

The citations dealing with the world views of Monsignor Montini (Paul VI) and Monsignor Roncalli (John XXIII) were taken from the book "Pope Paul VI" written by Roy MacGregor-Hastie, Chauncer Press Ltd, Bungay Suffolk, 1966.

The citations from Dr. Art Sippo and Cardinal Ottaviani were taken from the project titled "Detection and Overthrow of the 'Traditionalist Catholics' Falsely So-Called" and located at the following link:

©2001, "Confusing Culture With 'Tradition'", written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

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