The Mass of all time: the bulwark of orthodoxy
26 January 2022
by Cristiana Magistris
The motu proprio, Traditionis custodes, of 16 July 2021, and the Responsa ad dubia (who raised the dubia has not been disclosed), of 18 December, have unleashed serious resistance, especially from the juridical point of view, seeing that both decrees present canonical anomalies which are anything but negligible.
Nonetheless, when a legislative text has to be interpreted, the golden rule is to go back to the mens legislatoris — “the mind of the legislator”. Now, upon an objective reading of both documents, the legislator’s mind is quite clear: the reformed Mass of Paul VI is the only expression of the Roman Rite and the so-called “traditional” Mass must slowly but inexorably disappear.
As painful as it may be, this comes as no surprise, being perfectly in line with other magisterial pronouncements of this pontificate and, in part, with those that came before.
The liturgy is dogma prayed. In other words, it is the orthodoxy of the Catholic faith expressed in the official prayer of the Church. When St Pius V restored (not reformed) the Roman Missal of 1570, he wanted not only to bring back the liturgical unity, fragmented by many undue innovations, but to set up a bulwark of the Catholic faith against rampant Protestant heresy, because the traditional Roman Mass contained all the distinctive elements of Catholic dogma that Protestants considered intolerable. In other words, St Pius V knew that it was the Mass which would preserve the Catholic faith.
Since the Second Vatican Council, but with enormous acceleration during the latest pontificate, we have witnessed a systematic dismantling of Catholic dogma. Among the most recent documents and events, we could point to Amoris laetitia, which opens communion to the divorced and remarried, clearly attacking three sacraments: Marriage, Confession, the Eucharist; we could point to how the Pachamama was brought into the Vatican, undermining the first Commandment; we could point to the rampant homosexual mentality, disgracefully promoted by none other than the highest ranking men of the Church, violating the most basic natural law; we could point to the ecumenical and interreligious declarations that, for 50 years, have insinuated all religions to be essentially identical, with evident insult to God and consequent confusion for the faithful.
What is the purpose of this? It was pointed out in the last century by the great son of St Dominic and defender of the faith, Fr Calmel, when he wrote:
“Misled by the chimera of wanting to discover the easy and infallible means to finally achieve the religious unity of the human race, some prelates, who occupy the most important offices, are working to invent a Church without borders, in which all men, dispensed in advance from renouncing the world and Satan, would supposedly find themselves, without delay, in freedom and brotherhood. Dogmas, rites, hierarchy, even ascesis if one so desires, everything would be carried over from the former Church, but all lacking the due protections, intended by the Lord and specified by Tradition, and, for that very reason, completely deprived of the Catholic lifeblood, that is, of grace and holiness.”
One might ask: was it not enough to dismantle dogma in order to reach the chimeric goal of a “religious unity of the human race” and of a “Church without borders”? The answer is NO, it is not enough to dismantle dogma through documents, messages, actions, insinuations and interviews. None of this is sufficient unless the liturgy is destroyed, since it is the liturgy that safeguards dogma. Luther understood this very well, and it is why he harboured an implacable hatred for the papist Mass, because, he said, “it is on the Mass, as on a rock, that the whole papal system is built, with its monasteries, its episcopates, its churches, its altars, its ministers, its doctrine; that is, with all the rest. All this will not fail to collapse once the sacrilegious and abominable (Catholic) Mass is destroyed.”
The liturgy, as the bulwark of Christian dogma, has been seriously weakened, if not yet completely undermined, by the liturgical reform of Paul VI, as illustrious scholars have explained. Since the reform, errors and horrors have entered the precincts of the Church, but the traditional Mass has always continued, and thus the faith has been maintained, albeit for few.
So it is evident that in order to pursue a complete dismantling of dogma it was necessary to tear down the last and most important bulwark: the Mass of all time. Hence the two latest confused documents that go so far as to have the Roman Rite consist in a liturgy invented in a conference room 50 years ago, which, in the future, could be erased with a single stroke, like the liturgies less than 200 years old, eliminated by St Pius V.
In this regard, it should also be noted that the famous liturgist, Klaus Gamber, to the question of whether a pope can modify a rite, replied in the negative, since the pope is the guardian and guarantor of the liturgy (as of dogmas), not its master. According to Father Gamber:
“No document of the Church, not even the Code of Canon Law, expressly says that the pope, as supreme pastor of the Church, has the right to abolish the traditional rite. The plena et suprema potestas of the pope clearly has limits that have been placed upon it[…]. More than one author (Gaetano, Suarez) expresses the opinion that it does not fall within the powers of the pope to abolish the traditional rite[…]. It is certainly not the task of the Apostolic See to destroy a rite of Apostolic Tradition, but its duty is that of maintaining it and handing it down.”
Gamber also stated that the Novus Ordo Missae cannot in any way be defined as the Roman Rite, but, at most, as the Ritus modernus: “We speak rather of the Ritus Romanus and contrast it with the Ritus Modernus”.
Faced with the latest battle directed by modernism against the Mass of all time, Fr Calmel warns us with his luminous intelligence:
“Modernism does not attack openly, but subtly and furtively, introducing misunderstanding everywhere. Therefore confessing the Faith in the face of modernist authorities means rejecting any misunderstanding both in rites and in doctrine. It means holding to Tradition because it, in both its dogmatic definitions and its ritual arrangements, is precise, loyal and irreproachable”.
And, as in a prophetic vision of what was to come and is now before our eyes, he wrote:
“In the face of the authorities who want to impose falsehood in its worst form — the modernist form — and in the midst of a Christian people bewildered by this unheard-of imposture, right away we realise that fully confessing faith in the Church as guardian of the true Mass means, first of all, continuing to celebrate the Mass of all time. If it is true that this does not take place without suffering, it is no less true that the Church, whose true Mass we celebrate, gives us, precisely through this, the strength to bear this pain with courage and easily”.
It is precisely from the celebration of the traditional Mass, which has been marked for death, that priests will draw the courage and strength to resist unjust and — to all appearances — illegal laws. And we can be sure that as long as even one traditional Mass is celebrated in a remote corner of the earth, Catholic dogma will be preserved; the faith will be maintained, even if with immense suffering; just as on Calvary, the only altar in the world, the Holy Virgin safeguarded the faith of the whole Church.