Authoritative Figures and the deficiencies in the New Mass

Essays providing food for thought

Brief quotations from various authoratives within the Church

"The Ottaviani Intervention"

"both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent" (cover letter by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci)


"I: History of the Change.
The new form of Mass was substantially rejected by the Episcopal Synod, was never submitted to the collegial judgment of the Episcopal Conferences and was never asked for by the people. It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.

II : Definition of the Mass.
By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the 'supper' and the 'memorial' instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

III : Presentation of the Ends.
The three ends of the Mass are altered- : no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only "spiritually" (not substantially) changed.

IV : and of the essence.
The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated.

V : and of the four elements of the sacrifice.
The position of both priest and people is falsified and the Celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister, while the true nature of the Church is intolerably misrepresented.

VI : The destruction of unity.
The abandonment of Latin sweeps away for good and all unity of worship. This may have its effect on unity of belief and the New Order has no intention of standing for the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent to which the Catholic conscience is bound.

VII : The alienation of the Orthodox.
While pleasing various dissenting groups, the New Order will alienate the East.

VIII : The abandonment of defences. -
The New Order teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the purity of the Catholic religion and dismantles all defences of the deposit of Faith. "

- from the report attached to the Ottaviani Intervention, Brief Summary, pages 3 and 4.

Archbishop R.J. Dwyer of Portland, Oregon

"We are in a veritable landslide of vulgarization. What was intended by Vatican Council II as a means of making the liturgy more easily understood by the average Christian, has turned out to be something more like an orgy of stripping it of all sense of reverence, bringing it down to the level of commonness where the very people for whom the changes were made now only yawn out of sheer boredom with the banality of the result."

- The Clarion Parish Bulletin (Glenview, Ill.), 26 July 1970.

"Archbishop R.J. Dwyer accepted with the benefit of hindsight, that the great mistake of the Council Fathers was "to allow the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy to fall into the hands of the men who were either unscrupulous or incompetent. This is the so-called 'Liturgical Establishment,' a Sacred Cow which acts more like a white elephant as it tramples the shards of a shattered liturgy with ponderous abandon."

- Pope Paul's New Mass by Michael Davies (available from The Angelus Press), page 607, quoting Archbishop R.J. Dwyer of Portland, Oregon, from The Tidings, 9 July, 1971.

"Archbishop R.J. Dwyer, writing of the euphoric spirit of the Fathers on the day they voted in favor of the Constitution by 2,147 votes to 4, comments with the sadness and wisdom of hindsight:

- from Pope John's Council by Michael Davies (available from The Angelus Press), page 224, quoting Archbishop R.J. Dwyer in the Twin Circle, 26 October, 1973.

Cardinal Heenan of England and Wales

"When on 7 December 1962, the bishops voted overwhelmingly (1,922 against 11) in favor of the first chapter of the Constitution on the Liturgy they did not realize that they were initiating a process which after the Council would cause confusion and bitterness throughout the Church."

- The Crown of Thorns (London, 1974), p. 367.


"One prelate, who fulfilled important functions during the Council, has expressed himself very strongly on this matter:

- from Pope John's Council by Michael Davies, page 224, quoting a prelate of the Council. With views which obviously go against the grain like that, no wonder Davies decides not to print his name!

Father Louis Bouyer

"Fr. Louis Bouyer, an outstanding figure in the pre-conciliar Liturgical Movement, claims that

- from Pope John's Council by Michael Davies, page 224, quoting Fr. Louis Bouyer in The Decomposition of Catholicism, page 99 (London 1970). In Davies' booklet Liturgical Shipwreck 25 Years of the New Mass, he writes:

"In 1964 Father Bouyer wrote an enthusiastic appreciation of the Liturgy Constitution entitled The Liturgy Revived, which predicted the flowering of a great liturgical renewal. He had become totally disillusioned by 1968 and wrote a scathing denunciation of the manner in which the reform was developing in practice, entitled The Decomposition of Catholicism, in which he states that not only is there formal opposition between what the Council required and what we actually have, but that, in practice, the reform constitutes a repudiation of the papally approved liturgical movement to which he had contributed" (see the above quotation)

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand

Considered as the Doctor of the 20th century Church by Pope Pius XII.

"The new liturgy was simply not formed by saints, homines religiosi, and artistically gifted men, but has been worked out by so-called experts, who are not aware that in our time there is a lack of talent for such things. Today is a time of incredible talent for technology and medical research, but not for the organic shaping of the expression of the religious world. We live in a world without poetry, and this means that we should approach the treasures handed on from more fortunate times with twice as much reverence, and not with the illusion that we can do it better ourselves ... The new liturgy is without splendour, flattened and undifferentiated. It no longer draws us into the true experience of the liturgical year; we are deprived of this experience through the catastrophic elimination of the hierarchy of feasts, octaves, many great feasts of saints ... Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy, he could not have done it better."

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Devastated Vineyard, page 70-71, quoted in Pope Paul's New Mass by Michael Davies, page 134.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith

"Certainly, the results [of Vatican II] seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to a dissension which - to use the words of Pope Paul VI - seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence which had developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said then years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church"

- L'Osservatore Romano (English edition), 24 December, 1984.

"What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product."

- Cardinal Ratzinger's Preface to the book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Mgr. Klaus Gamber (quoted below).

The Reform of the Roman Litugy

by Mgr. Klaus Gamber
with a forward by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Doctrine of Faith

Before I quote Mgr. Gamber himself, I will allow Cardinal Ratzinger to introduce him:

"Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and, thanks to his incredibly rich knowledge, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy. As a man who knew and loved history, he showed us the multiple forms and paths of liturgical development; as a man who looked at history from the inside, he saw in this development and its fruit the intangible reflection of the eternal liturgy, that which is not the object of our action but which can continue marvellously to mature and blossom if we unite ourselves intimately with its mystery. The death of this eminent man and priest should spur us on; his work should give us a new impetus" (from Cardinal Ratzinger's preface to the book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, by Mgr. Klaus Gamber)

Mgr. Gamber in his book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, endorsed by Cardinal Ratzinger above:

"[O]r are these changes to be understood as the deliberate destruction of the traditional order? - because the newly placed "accents" clearly contradict the traditional faith from which the traditional rite had developed... most of the reforms have proved to be simply unnecessary" (page 59)

"What exactly did the new liturgy do to bring about the "active participation" (actuosa participatio) of the faithful that had been intended by the Council? The obvious answer is: Nothing - at least nothing that could not have been achieved without making major changes to the traditional rite" (page 60)

"Although the argument is used over and over again by the people responsible for creating the new Mass, they cannot claim that what they have done is what the Council actually wanted ... the new Ordo of the Mass that has now emerged would not have been endorsed by the majority of the Council Fathers" (page 61)

"The real destruction of the traditional Mass, of the traditional Roman Rite, with a history of more than one thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which is was based, a faith that had been the source of our piety and of our courage to bear witness to Christ and His Church, the inspiration of countless Catholics over many centuries" (page 102)

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Last modified 6th June 1999, by David Joyce.