Traditional Latin (‘Tridentine’) Mass
A Revolution in the Church?
Primary Sources Include: Davies, Amerio
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“Commands vs. Urgings”- The Church, who represents Christ on earth, now seems to prefer to urge rather command. But did Christ simply urge or did he command? Urgings, of course, are not the same as “commands”, but instead give people the idea that such urgings may be discarded/ignored, or at least that one’s assent is not absolutely mandatory. Persons may not realize that the salvation of their eternal souls depends upon following such “urgings”.
New Practices Favored at the Expense of Traditional Doctrine – Not only are “new practices” favored, but old practices may be looked down on, seemingly forbidden, etc. This may occur even despite the fact that the “new practices” have been condemned by popes and saints (or even Scripture – e.g. 1 Cor. 11:5-10, 1 Cor. 14:33-35, 2 Jn. 1:10-11).
New Martyrology – A new martyrology has been issued, which eliminates various persons who have been venerated by Catholics for centuries. This seems to imply that the Church has been “fast and loose” with the facts for many years. Even the Second Vatican Council’s ordering of the new martyrology seems to destroy confidence in the Church’s traditional records – “The accounts of martyrdom or the lives of the saints are to accord with the facts of history.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium)
Changed Religious Profession/Renewal of Vows – According to the Second Vatican Council: “Moreover, a rite of religious profession and renewal of vows shall be drawn up in order to achieve greater unity, sobriety, and dignity.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium) Interestingly, however, religious orders were flourishing before the Council. Since the Council, however, religious life has been in a state of crisis. One is left to wonder why such rites which were supposedly “less unified, sober and dignified” had done such a fine job for the Church for so long – whereas newer, “more unified, sober, dignified”, rites have seen the “near collapse” of religious orders. Furthermore, some may find it offensive that our ancestors’ practices are were disdainfully judged to have been wanting in “unity, sobriety, and dignity”.
Changed Marriage Rite – Although the Second Vatican Council called for the marriage rite to be “revised and enriched so that it will more clearly signify the grace of the sacrament and will emphasize the spouses’ duties” (Sacrosanctum Concilium), the new marriage rite “utterly fails to adequately convey the most important principles of marriage” – e.g. that the husband is the head of the family (Eph. 5:23, 1 Cor. 11:3), that obedience is owed by the wife (Gen. 3:16), that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children (1917 Code of Canon Law: “Can. 1013 § 1 The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; the secondary [end] is mutual support and a remedy for concupiscence.”), etc. Note: Click here for ‘Marriage / Family / Home’ Reflections (Catholic Life Section)
Increased Toleration of ‘Mixed Marriages’ – Despite the Church’s continual warnings and prohibitions against the dangers of mixed marriages [e.g. “Can. 1060 Most severely does the Church prohibit everywhere that marriage be entered into by two baptized persons, one of whom is Catholic, and the other belonging to a heretical or schismatic sect; indeed, if there is a danger of perversion to the Catholic spouse and children, that marriage is forbidden even by divine law.” (1917 Code of Canon Law)], such marriages are today are often tolerated, or even thought of as “progress”. This is contrary to almost innumerable warnings of the Church against such marriages, which lead to serious dangers for Catholics. Note: Click here for more information on ‘Mixed Marriages’ (Catholic Life Section)
Changed Funeral Rite – Previously, a deceased Catholic could expect that his funeral would be conducted with great reverence. The seriousness of sin and judgment would be clear. The priest would wear black. Persons would know that the soul of the deceased may stand in great need of prayers, etc. With the new rite, all is changed. The priest may wear white. The rite may be conducted with little reverence. Rather than seriousness of sin and judgment, one may hear a near ‘canonization’ of the person. Only the best catechized Catholics would know that the soul of the departed probably stood in great need of prayers. And, in fact, one may not think of the deceased’s soul at all, since the word “soul” may not even be mentioned once in the entire rite! Should the eternal soul of the deceased person be saved, but in purgatory, he or she may well suffer much longer these great pains since there seems to be little or no emphasis on their sufferings or need for prayer. Note: For more information on purgatory try here (‘Purgatory Release Project’ / Catholic Activities Section). As stated by Amerio: “[Formerly a funeral service was] an expression of piety and an occasion of intercession, and the body was honored with candles, incensation and aspersion with holy water. The officiating priest pronounced no panegyric, and was even forbidden to stay and listen to a funeral oration delivered by someone else. [The rite itself was the same for everyone, and was not altered by the fact of accidental additions of pomp and ceremony for some people. Praise was not to be given to anyone, but prayers were offered for all. The importation of the Protestant custom of laudatory speech about the dead person is wholly undesirable. Often the priest has not know the person in question and then, invidiously says nothing, or says something inappropriate about him. The humbler sort of people often have nothing said about them at all, while at the funerals of those who have held some prominent position in the world the priest goes on a length, irrespective of whether the man was religious or not.] Remembrance and prayers for the deceased were repeated on the seventh and thirtieth days after his death, and on the anniversary, when the Office of the Dead was often sung. Detailed provisions were made regarding these matters in wills, including the endowment of Masses, bequests for pious works, indulgences to be offered up, and specifications regarding the tomb.” The loss of such precious traditions may cause the soul severe torment in purgatory (try here for more information).
Revisions to Sacramentals
Cutting off From the Past / Great Break With Tradition – It may appear that the Church has been taken over by “a group determined to cut itself off from its past”. In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, “the liturgical traditions of a millennium are cast aside and the teaching which these traditions enshrined is ignored” (Davies)
Changed Exorcisms – Ancient prayers and practices used in exorcisms – which have been proven effective – may have been abandoned in the wake of Vatican II. The new procedures have been criticized by exorcists [e.g. for failing to actually include an actual exorcism – “an exorcism is not a prayer to God; exorcism is a command issued to the Devil in the name of God. The very word exorcism tells you that – exorcizo, I adjure” [As one priest (“Fr. X”) says, “As with the so-called ‘exorcism’ in the modern Rite of Baptism, simply placing the sub-heading Exorcism does not make what follows an exorcism”], by giving the appearance that the priest does not have special power to cast out the devil, by omitting important directives in use for hundreds of years, for “scandalously [refusing] to bless objects but only persons”, etc.], and even Pope Paul VI has said, “I do not know why we have shortened exorcisms: I am not sure that it was very realistic or fitting.” Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome, has said “The declarations contained in the new Ritual are very serious and very damaging. They are the fruit of ignorance and inexperience.” He also comments that the long awaited ritual “has turned into a farce. An incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us acting against the demon.” He also uses terms such as “absurd”, “masterstroke of incompetence”, “absolutely ineffectual”, and refers to “grave errors” in the ritual, and says that “We have a clergy and an episcopate who no longer believe in the devil, in exorcisms, in the extraordinary evil that the devil can cause, nor in the power that Jesus has given us to drive out demons.” He complains that exorcists are now “up against a wall of rejection and derision” from various high-ranking prelates.
Changed Blessing of Holy Water – The new rite may entirely exclude both a blessing and the traditional exorcism! One priest (“Fr. X”) has stated that “[The Book of Blessings] is a book of non-blessings. To take but one example, the ‘blessing’ of holy water outside of Mass contains no actually blessing of the water. The closest thing to it is a prayer to God asking for certain effects by the use of this water. The so-called ‘Prayer of blessing’ (in Latin and English) refrains from using the world ‘bless’ even once, and there is no Sign of the Cross made over the water. The Devil must have laughed when that ‘Book of Blessings’ was issued. The traditional exorcism of water and salt, and all the other Roman Ritual’s traditional prayers against the devil and his influence were almost completely abolished.”
Controversies / Scandals – Certain persons even at the highest levels of the Church have been involved in various controversies / scandals (not to mention the clerical scandals)
Lost Historical Continuity
Blurring of Distinction Between Priest & Laity / Apparent Loss of Respect for Priest – Enthralled with the “prestige” of being a ‘lay reader’ or ‘lay minister’ or otherwise feeling “empowered”, many of the faithful have lost the sense of the ministerial priesthood and have come to believe there is little difference between themselves and the priest. They increasingly encroach on his responsibilities, even to the possible loss of eternal souls (click here for an example). They often have insufficient knowledge of the faith and frequently act inappropriately. They have even called for the priesthood to be brought down more – they might advocate the elimination of celibacy, women priests, priestless ‘liturgies’, etc. Most of the faithful have taken to calling the priest by his first name (e.g. “Fr. Bob”) instead of the more respectful form (e.g. Fr. Smith). Biblical instructions such as “With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests” (Sirach 7:29) and “…treat him as sacred, because I, the LORD, who have consecrated him, am sacred” (Lev. 21:8) may seem foreign to most Catholics nowadays.
Many Priests Have Lost Gravity of Conduct – “What sad effects would not arise if that gravity of conduct which belongs to the priest, should be in any way lessened; if he should yield with lightness to the charm of every novelty; if he should deport himself with pretentious indocility towards his superiors; if he should lose that weight and measure in discussion which is so necessary, particularly in matters of faith and morals.” (Pope Leo XIII, “Fin Dal Principio”, 1902 A.D.)
Priests & Nuns May Now Wear Lay Dress – “And forasmuch as, though the habit does not make the monk, it is nevertheless needful that clerics always wear a dress suitable to their proper order, that by the decency of their outward apparel they may show forth the inward correctness of their morals; but to such a pitch, in these days, have the contempt of religion and the rashness of some grown, as that, making but little account of their own dignity, and of the clerical honor, they even wear in public the dress of laymen – setting their feet in different paths, one of God, the other of the flesh; – for this cause, all ecclesiastical persons, howsoever exempted, who are either in sacred orders or in possession of any manner of dignities, personates, or other offices, or benefices ecclesiastical; if, after having been admonished by their own bishop, even by a public edict, they shall not wear a becoming clerical dress, suitable to their order and dignity, and in conformity with the ordinance and mandate of the said bishop, they may, and ought to be, compelled thereunto, by suspension from their orders, office, benefice, and from the fruits, revenues, and proceeds of the said benefices; and also, if, after having been once rebuked, they offend again herein, (they are to be coerced) even by deprivation of the said offices and benefices; pursuant to the constitution of Clement V published in the Council of Vienne, and beginning Quoniam, which is hereby renewed and enlarged.” (Council of Trent)
Community Emphasized at the Expense of Individual Piety
Lost Protection Against Errors (e.g. in Missal)
Introduction of Undignified Elements into Churches (e.g. offensive modern art) – “[I]t is necessary that the spirit of the sacred liturgy and its directives should exercise such a salutary influence on them that nothing improper be introduced nor anything unworthy of the dignity of the house of God or detrimental to the sacred functions or opposed to solid piety.” (Pope Pius XII, “Mediator Dei”, 1947 A.D.)
Apparent Forgetfulness of Evil, Ruin of Souls, Damnation, Etc.
Adoption of “Constant Innovation” – It has gotten to the point that many post-conciliar documents may be looked over for what they now allow, rather than what they prevent. As Pope Pius VI lamented many years ago, “Who would not be fearful at the present condition of the Christian people? The divine love by which we abide in God and God in us grows very cold as sins and wickedness increase every day. Who would not be shocked when considering that We have undertaken the task of guarding and protecting the Church at a time when many plots are laid against orthodox religion, when the safe guidance of the sacred canons is rashly despised, and when confusion is spread wide by men maddened by a monstrous desire of innovation, who attack the very bases of rational nature and attempt to overthrow them?” (Pope Pius VI, “Inscrutabile”, 1775 A.D.)
Loss of the “Clear Conviction of the Heavenly Virtue” of Sacraments – “Not only are the faithful to be taught that confession was instituted by our Lord. They are also to be reminded that, by authority of the Church, certain rites and solemn ceremonies have been added which, although not essential to the Sacrament, serve to place its dignity more fully before the eyes of the penitent, and to prepare his soul, so that kindled with devotion, he may more easily receive the grace of God. When, with uncovered head and bended knees, with eyes fixed on the earth and hands raised in supplication, and with other indications of Christian humility not essential to the Sacrament, we confess our sins, our minds are thus deeply impressed with a clear conviction of the heavenly virtue of the Sacrament, and also of the necessity of most earnestly beseeching and imploring the mercy of God.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
Shift of Focus From the Spiritual to Earthly – Such shifts can be dangerous and lead us on the path of secular humanism. Clearly, the Church should be focused on spiritual matters rather than worldly matters. It is clear that the concept of ‘heaven on earth’ is impossible given the Fall, and to push such ideas will inevitably lead to disappointment. We must remember that simple “good works” are not enough – we are not justified by good deeds alone. In fact, most persons have at least some good works to their credit. We must remember that all the good works in the world are of no avail whatsoever to our salvation should we die with the guilt of a single mortal sin on our soul. Further, it is said that “‘natural goodness’ can entice people away from true goodness – that which is done for love of God”. We must further remember that it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6) and that “without faith, every human labor is empty” (St. Fulgence of Ruspe)
Adoption of Seemingly Endless, Fruitless Dialogue – “The word dialogue represents the biggest change in the mentality of the Church after the council, only compatible in its importance with the change wrought by the word liberty in the last century. The word was completely unknown and unused in the Church’s teaching before the council. It does not occur once in any previous council, or in papal encyclicals, or in sermons or in pastoral practice. In the Vatican II documents it occurs 28 times, twelve of them in the decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio. Nonetheless, through its lighting spread and an enormous broadening in meaning, this word, which is very new in the Catholic Church, became the master-word determining post-conciliar thinking, and a catch-all category in the newfangled mentality. People not only talk about ecumenical dialogue, dialogue between the Church and the world, ecclesiastical dialogue, but by an enormous catachresis, a dialogical structure is attributed to theology, pedagogy, catechesis, the Trinity, the history of salvation, schools, families, the priesthood, the sacraments, redemption, and to everything else that had existed in the Church for centuries without the concept being in anybody’s mind or the word occurring in the language.” (Amerio)
Apparent Abandonment of Scholasticism & Criticism of Scholastic Theology – “The theology of Thomasism has been attacked and even discarded in some circles despite the fact that it was highly regarded by so many popes throughout the centuries”
“Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is on the way to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for this system.” (Pope St. Pius X, “Pascendi Dominici Gregis”, 1907 A.D.)
Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: “The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences.” (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.)
“For these reasons most learned men, in former ages especially, of the highest repute in theology and philosophy, after mastering with infinite pains the immortal works of Thomas, gave themselves up not so much to be instructed in his angelic wisdom as to be nourished upon it. It is known that nearly all the founders and lawgivers of the religious orders commanded their members to study and religiously adhere to the teachings of St. Thomas, fearful least any of them should swerve even in the slightest degree from the footsteps of so great a man… And we know how in those great homes of human wisdom, as in his own kingdom, Thomas reigned supreme; and that the minds of all, of teachers as well as of taught, rested in wonderful harmony under the shield and authority of the Angelic Doctor… But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull ‘In Ordine;’ Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull ‘Pretiosus,’ and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows luster from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull ‘Mirabilis’ that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors; others, such as Clement XII in the bull ‘Verbo Dei,’ affirm that most fruitful blessings have spread abroad from his writings over the whole Church, and that he is worthy of the honor which is bestowed on the greatest Doctors of the Church, on Gregory and Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome; while others have not hesitated to propose St. Thomas for the exemplar and master of the universities and great centers of learning whom they may follow with unfaltering feet. On which point the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: ‘It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same.’ Innocent XII, followed the example of Urban in the case of the University of Louvain, in the letter in the form of a brief addressed to that university on February 6, 1694, and Benedict XIV in the letter in the form of a brief addressed on August 26, 1752, to the Dionysian College in Granada; while to these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: ‘His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.’ The ecumenical councils, also, where blossoms the flower of all earthly wisdom, have always been careful to hold Thomas Aquinas in singular honor. In the Councils of Lyons, Vienna, Florence, and the Vatican one might almost say that Thomas took part and presided over the deliberations and decrees of the Fathers, contending against the errors of the Greeks, of heretics and rationalists, with invincible force and with the happiest results. But the chief and special glory of Thomas, one which he has shared with none of the Catholic Doctors, is that the Fathers of Trent made it part of the order of conclave to lay upon the altar, together with sacred Scripture and the decrees of the supreme Pontiffs, the ‘Summa’ of Thomas Aquinas, whence to seek counsel, reason, and inspiration. A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man – namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony. Therefore, venerable brethren, as often as We contemplate the good, the force, and the singular advantages to be derived from his philosophic discipline which Our Fathers so dearly loved. We think it hazardous that its special honor should not always and everywhere remain, especially when it is established that daily experience, and the judgment of the greatest men, and, to crown all, the voice of the Church, have favored the Scholastic philosophy. Moreover, to the old teaching a novel system of philosophy has succeeded here and there, in which We fail to perceive those desirable and wholesome fruits which the Church and civil society itself would prefer. For it pleased the struggling innovators of the sixteenth century to philosophize without any respect for faith, the power of inventing in accordance with his own pleasure and bent being asked and given in turn by each one. Hence, it was natural that systems of philosophy multiplied beyond measure, and conclusions differing and clashing one with another arose about those matters even which are the most important in human knowledge. From a mass of conclusions men often come to wavering and doubt; and who knows not how easily the mind slips from doubt to error? But, as men are apt to follow the lead given them, this new pursuit seems to have caught the souls of certain Catholic philosophers, who, throwing aside the patrimony of ancient wisdom, chose rather to build up a new edifice than to strengthen and complete the old by aid of the new – ill-advisedly, in sooth, and not without detriment to the sciences. For, a multiform system of this kind, which depends on the authority and choice of any professor, has a foundation open to change, and consequently gives us a philosophy not firm, and stable, and robust like that of old, but tottering and feeble. And if, perchance, it sometimes finds itself scarcely equal to sustain the shock of its foes, it should recognize that the cause and the blame lie in itself. In saying this We have no intention of discountenancing the learned and able men who bring their industry and erudition, and, what is more, the wealth of new discoveries, to the service of philosophy; for, of course, We understand that this tends to the development of learning. But one should be very careful lest all or his chief labor be exhausted in these pursuits and in mere erudition. And the same thing is true of sacred theology, which, indeed, may be assisted and illustrated by all kinds of erudition, though it is absolutely necessary to approach it in the grave manner of the Scholastics, in order that, the forces of revelation and reason being united in it, it may continue to be ‘the invincible bulwark of the faith.'” (Pope Leo XIII, “Aeterni Patris”, 1879 A.D.) (emphasis added)
Lack of Respect For Feelings of the Faithful When Implementing Changes – “No consideration was given for the faithful when the Mass switched to the new rite – they were told that they should accept the new rite with ‘joyous enthusiasm’ and even had been told that the old Mass – the only Mass they knew, the very Mass that produced countless saints, the only Mass that their forefathers worshiped in, the Mass so highly praised even by those outside the Church – the Mass (in its essentials) which was used from nearly the beginning of the Church and guided by the Holy Spirit for hundreds and more years allowed people to be ‘lazy’ and that the Mass concocted by ‘experts’ in the 1960’s would be better for them.” This was despite the proven great fruit of the old practices, despite the fact that the prelates imposing such changes had taken an oath against Modernism, despite the fact that tradition was supposed to be respected, and despite the fact that certain practices inherently had rights – as granted by longstanding tradition [“It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church … Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set.” (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)] as well as by papal documents (e.g. the perpetually valid Quo Primum). As Davies says, “While St. Paul opposed any attempt to force Gentile converts to adopt Jewish customs, hence his celebrated rebuke to St. Peter in Galatians 2, neither he nor the other Apostles considered it necessary for Jewish Christians to abandon their traditional rites. Commenting on this, Cardinal Newman writes: ‘But they neither abandoned the Jewish rites themselves nor obliged any others to do so who were used to them. Custom was quite a sufficient reason for retaining them; every Christian was to remain in the state in which he was called… Now from this obedience to the Jewish law, enjoined and displayed by Our Blessed Lord and His Apostles, we learn the great importance of retaining those religious forms to which we are accustomed, even though they are in themselves indifferent, or not of Divine origin… Granting that the forms are not immediately from God, still long use has made them divine to us; for the spirit of religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of men, to unsettle and dislodge the religious principle itself. In most minds usage has so identified them with the notion of religion, that the one cannot be extirpated without the other. Their faith will not bear transplanting… In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether.'”
A ‘Right’ to ‘Religious Liberty’ Seems to Have Been Invented – Although the Second Vatican Council’s document on religious freedom states that it “leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ”, the document is also seen to grant a new right to “indiscriminate, public religious liberty.” Faithful Catholics see that this concept of an indiscriminate, public religious liberty went from went from ‘insanity’ to a supposed ‘right’, from a “liberty of perdition” to “human progress”. “If it is a human right, why did Moses not recognize such a right? Nor hundreds of popes, nor saints, nor councils?” At what point, then, did error and heresy acquire rights? As Fahey has stated, “Nothingness can have no rights since it has no existence. It is impossible for a thing which does not exist to have any rights. Therefore to attribute rights to a non-existent entity is an injustice. But what are you doing if you attribute rights to error except attributing them to a non-existent entity? It is enough to consider what truth and error are in order to understand this. Truth is found in the intellect in the measure in which the intellect is in exact conformity with reality. When the intellect has an idea which is not in conformity with reality, then we have an error. But what is really happening in such a case? I have in my mind the idea of something as if this thing formed part of the order of being. I attribute it rights in my mind, as if it were portion of the divine scheme of things. But it is not so in reality. In point of fact it is a baseless creation of my own mind. How can I take as the foundation of my life and of my actions a ‘reality’ which is no reality? What can be the outcome of such an aberration? Precisely what happens in the case of any structure raised without foundation. If I take as a basis for my life and action an idea of my own to which nothing real or objective corresponds the whole intellectual and social edifice I raise on that basis is of necessity bound to crumble. There can be no other solid foundation for action and life than an objective reality. This then is why truth alone has the right to exist in the individual and in the social order. From no point of view can error claim this right. When it gets a footing in a mind or among the multitude, it usurps rights not belonging to it, it is unjust. Evil is the privation of the being and goodness due to a thing. Now error is the specific evil of the intelligence, the privation of the grasp of the order of the world which the intelligence is meant to have. It is a malady to be cured, a disease to be healed, a cancer to be eradicated, not a perfection to be extolled and proclaimed worthy of respect… Our Lord came down to restore the Divine Life of Grace to the human race and to each individual in it. For this end He revealed truth to the world. This truth belongs to Him in virtue of His divine right and also in virtue of His work of redemption. If this truth belongs to Him and is given to the world by Him in a well-defined sense and for a very definite purpose, then to ruin or lessen it is to commit an injustice. It is to sacrifice the rights of Jesus Christ… Certainly there is no place for anything but truth.” Note: This does not mean one is forced to be Catholic – such an idea has always been condemned, but rather that those who preach a false religion be legitimately prevented from doing so. For more on ‘Religious Liberty’ click here (Catholic Life Reflections).
It should be noted that the above is only a partial list of changes, and barely touches on the many changes made to the Mass – changes which have had a dramatic impact on the lives of Catholics. Note: For a more thorough discussion of the changes to the Mass, click here. Note also that not all changes may be authorized – some may not be, and some may just be ‘tolerated.’
Finally, one should note that all these changes have consequences. Note: Click here for ‘Fruits of Vatican II’.
“Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions.” (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)
“It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church… Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set.” (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)
“It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old.” (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and “greatest theologian in the history of the Church”)
“The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions – especially when they do not run counter to the faith – are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down” (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)
“[I]t is not the part of prudence to neglect that which antiquity in its long experience has approved and which is also taught by apostolic authority.” (Pope Leo XIII, “Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae”, 1899 A.D.)
“A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church that was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate.” (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)
“Keep the talent of the Catholic faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute one thing for another; I do not want you impudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing.” (St. Vincent of Lerins)
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions that you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter’ (2 Thes. 2:15). From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further.” (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)
“‘Guard,’ says [St. Paul], ‘what has been committed’ (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower.” (St. Vincent of Lerins)
“Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain ‘restoration and regeneration’ for [the Church] as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a ‘foundation may be laid of a new human institution,’ and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing ‘may become a human church.'” (Pope Gregory XVI, “Mirari Vos”, 1832 A.D.)
“First of all [Modernists (or liberals – the ‘worst enemies of the Church’ – click here)] lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change, and must change, and in this way they pass to what may be said to be, among the chief of their doctrines, that of Evolution. To the laws of evolution everything is subject – dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself” (Pope St. Pius X, “Pascendi Dominici Gregis”, 1907 A.D.)
“The whole question of the present condition of the Church can be summed up as follows: is the essence of Catholicism preserved? Do the changes that have occurred allow the same essence to continue in existence amidst changing circumstances, or do they turn it into something else?… A legitimate development of an idea occurs when it expands within itself; a mutation happens when it goes beyond its own limits and moves towards something else.” (Amerio)
“The innovations in the Novus Ordo Missae, and on the other hand the things of eternal value relegated to an inferior or different place (if indeed they are still to be found at all), could well turn into a certainly the suspicion, already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by Christians can be altered or silenced without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. Recent reforms have amply shown that fresh changes in the liturgy could not but lead to utter bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who are already giving signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith. Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonizing crisis of conscience of which numberless instances come to our notice daily.” (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)