Some facts Relating to the New Mass
The following is taken from the book "The Order of Melchisedec" by Michael Davies. Copyright 1979, 1993. Published by Roman Catholic Books, P.O. Box 2286, Ft. Collins, CO 80522. ($18.50, includes S&H). These Appendixes are posted with the kind permission of Roman Catholic Books. Appendix 3: The Participation of Protestant Observers in the Compilat- ion of the New Catholic Liturgical Texts On 3 May 1970 Documentation Catholique published the text of a speech made by Pope Paul VI to the members of the Consilium, the body respon- sible for implementing the very generalized principles of liturgical reform included in the Liturgy Constitution of Vatican II. I have shown in Pope John's Council the extent to which this reform not only failed to correspond with the revisions envisaged by the Council Fath- ers but acted in formal contradiction with both the Liturgy Constit- ution and the papally approved liturgical movement. The cover of this issue of Documentation Catholique was devoted to a picture of Pope Paul VI posing with the six Protestant Observers who had been invited to participate in the work of the Consilium. This photograph proved to be a source of astonishment and even scandal to large numbers of the faithful who had had no idea that Protestants had played any part in the compilation of the new Catholic rites. It res- ulted in public controversy in a number of countries, which was foll- owed by official denials that the Observers had, in fact, played any part in the compilation of the new rites. These denials have since been cited by apologists for the official reform as "refutations" of the allegation that Protestant Observers had taken an active part in the compilation of the new rites. There is, however, a considerable difference between a denial and a refutation, and these particular denials are totally gratuitous and contradict the available evidence. In the July/August 1974 issue of Notiatae, official journal of the Consilium, Archbishop Bugnini (its secretary) claimed that the Obser- vers confined their role simply to observing (pp.249-50). Here are his exact words: What role did the "Observers" play in the Consilium? Nothing more than that of- "Observers" - First of all, they only took part in the study meetings. In the second place, they behaved with impeccable discretion. They never intervened in the dis- cussions and never asked to speak. On 25 February 1976 the Director of the Vatican Press Office gave the following reply to a question by the journalist Georges Huber as to whether the Protestant Observers had participated in the elaboration of the New Mass: The Protestant Observers did not participate in the elaboration of the New Missal. This denial was printed in Documentation Catholique on 4 July 1976. In contrast with this, Mgr. W.W. Baum (now Cardinal Baum), an ardent ecumenist, made the following statement in a personal interview with the Detroit News on 27 June 1967: They are not simply there as observers, BUT AS CONSULTANTS AS WELL, and they PARTICIPATE FULLY in the discussions on Catholic liturgical renewal. It wouldn't mean much if they just listened, but they contributed. (My emphasis) In order to place this statement in its correct context it must be made clear that, at the time he made it, Mgr. Baum was executive dir- ector of the American Catholic Bishops' Commission on Ecumenical Aff- airs, and the first Catholic spokesman ever invited to address the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, an American Protestant denomination. During his address he revealed to the delegates that Protestant scholars "have had a voice" in the revision of the Catholic liturgy. As a follow-up to this revelation, Harold Acharhern, Relig- ious Correspondent of the Detroit News, obtained the interview with Mgr. Baum from which I have quoted. The account given by Cardinal Baum, and the denials issued by Arch- bishop Bugnini and the Vatican Press Office are clearly contradictory. In order to discover the truth I wrote to one of the Observers, Canon Ronald Jasper. Before giving his reply it is necessary to explain the manner in which the Consilium did its work. Firstly, there were the study sessions during which the practical details of the reform were worked out, discussed and modified. Then there were the formal (plen- ary) meetings during which the draft rites which had been compiled in the study sessions were debated and voted upon. In my letter to Canon Jasper I explained that I was working on a series of books on the lit- urgical reform and that I particularly wished to know whether the Ob- servers had a voice in the new rites of Mass and Ordination. In his reply, dated 10 February 1977, he explained that the Observers rece- ived all the documents from the drafters of the new rite in the same way as did other members of the Consilium. They were then present at the debates when they were presented by the experts and debated by the Consilium, but the Observers were not allowed to join the debate. In the afternoon, however, they always had an informal meeting with the periti who had prepared the draft services, and at these meetings they were certainlyallowed to comment and criticize and make suggest- ions. It was then for the periti to decide whether any of their points were worth taking up when the general debates in the Consilium were resumed. But, explained Canon Jasper, in conclusion, these informal meetings were a complete free-for-all, and there was a very frank ex- change of views. Exactly the same process took place during the course of Vatican II. The Protestant Observers, while not allowed to speak in the plenary sessions, were able to take an active in the informal discussions where the real work of drafting the documents was done. Their influ- ence is visible in the finalized documents themselves, and evidence of it is provided in Chapter IX of Pope John's Council. In addition to this evidence, the following testimonies are extremely relevant. Archdeacon Pawley, an Anglican Observer, reveals that: in the course of the Council itself the fullest courtesies and opportunities for communication and exchange were allowed to the Observers at every stage, and traces of the process can be recog- nized in the documents themselves. 1 Robert McAfee Brown, a Presbyterian Observer, remarks that: Particularly during the discussion on ecumenism, it was apparent that many bishops wanted to know what Protestant reactions were to statements in the schema about Protestantism, and wanted to elicit Protestant opinions on how the schema could be improved. Thus, although we had no direct "voice" on the Council floor, we did indeed have an indirect voice through the many contacts that were possible with the Fathers and their indispensable right arms, the periti. 2 Dr. McAfee Brown also reveals that there were occasions when the Ob- servers were able to have a direct voice on the Council floor. "Is there anything you Observers want said on the Council floor about De Oecumenismo?" one bishop asked. The Observers then put their views in writing, to be incorporated into written interventions made on their behalf by bishops. 3 Thus, although it could be argued that officially, the Observers played no part in drafting the conciliar documents, as they could nei- ther vote nor speak in the debates, it is clear that they were able to influence the final format of these documents. This is precisely what took place with the formulation of the new liturgical rites by the post-conciliar Consilium. Notes for Appendix III 1. B. & M. Pawley, Rome and Canterbury through Four Centuries (London, 1974), p. 343 2. R. M. Brown, Observer in Rome (London, 1964), pp. 227-8 3. Ibid., p. 173
Appendix 10 The Indefectibility of the Church The indefectibility of the Church is a teaching fundamental to the nature of Catholicism. It assures us that the Church is divinely con- stituted, and because Our Lord has promised that the gates of Hell will never prevail against it, its divine constitution will endure un- changed until He comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead. In other words, the Church will remain in every essential resp- ect precisely as Our Lord constituted it until the end of time. It will always be a visible, hierarchically governed Church whose bishops are in full Communion with the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ. It will always teach faithfully the Gospel entrusted to it by Our Lord, and impart the grace necessary for the faithful to live up to the de- mands of the Gospel through the sacraments instituted by Our Lord. The doctrine of indefectibility guarantees that the supreme authority in the Church, the Roman Pontiff, could never impose or authorize for universal use throughout the Church any liturgical rite or practice that was contrary to sound doctrine, could invalidate the Sacrament, or undermine Catholic belief. In this instance the Roman Rite can be considered as equivalent to universal as it includes the overwhelming majority of Catholics throughout the world, and is proper to the Holy See itself. Thus, if the Latin Ordinal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1968, or the Latin Missal promulgated by him in 1970, are examined carefully, they will be found to contain nothing incompatible with the Catholic faith. But only the Latin typical editions of sacramental rites come within the scope of the Church's indefectibility. Vernacular translations are, by their very nature, not imposed or authorized for the universal Church, and the possibility that they may contain erroneous or harmful elements cannot be excluded. A vernacular version of a sacramental form could result in invalidity if it did not reproduce the exact sense of the Latin text. This does not mean that it must be an abso- lutely literal translation, but if it departs from the Latin to the extent of involving a significant change of meaning, then the sacra- ment will not be valid. It is true that all vernacular translations receive Papal approval, but this merely indicates that the Pope and the curial department concerned presume that a national hierarchy, or group of hierarchies linked on the basis of a common langauge, has en- sured that translations into their languages are accurate. The almost countless vernacular versions of sacramental rites in the world today preclude the least possibility of any pope being able to vet them all personally for reasons of time, apart from ignorance of almost all the languages concerned. Mass is now said in Esperanto and Pidgin English, a fact which almost defies credibility, and does indeed do so when one hears the Pidgin form of the Consecration. The aftermath of Vatican II proves how prudent the Popes were prior to the Council to insist upon the use of uniform Latin text for sacra- mental rites throughout the world. The Church could not be considered a perfect, visible supernatural society (and it is of divine faith that the Church possesses these characteristics) if the possibility existed of it offering its memb- ers invalid sacraments. If ever a pope approved an invalid sacramental rite the faithful would be deprived of a means of holiness necesary for their salvation, and hence the Church would have failed, and the gates of hell would have triumphed. In other words, Our Lord would have made a promise that He could not keep and hence He could not have been divine, which would mean that our entire religion is a mockery. This is precisely what is claimed by those alleging that any of the sacramental rites promulgated since Vatican II are invalid. Concess- ions such as the permission for Communion in the hand, granted to specific countries, are also excluded from the scope of indefectibil- ity. Where the reception of Holy Communion is concerned, the norm for the Roman Rite is still Communion on the tongue, even though in almost every country Communion in the hand has become the norm. But in every instance of the authorization of this practice the permission given has been from the norm of Communion on the tongue. It is perfectly legitimate to argue that by surrendering to the fait accompli of Comm- union in the hand in country after country the Holy See has contribu- ted to the weakening of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. True as this may be, and I have not the least doubt that it is true, it does not compromise the doctrine of indefectibility as no blanket permiss- ion for Communion in the hand for the universal Church has ever been given. The doctrine of indefectibility most certainly does not require us to believe that new sacramental rites promulgated with papal authority are ipso facto superior to those that they are intended to replace. It is perfectly permissible to claim that such a rite gives liturgical expression to the doctrine of the sacrament it enshrines less effect- ively than its predecessor, thus weakening the principle lex orandi lex credendi. It is equally permissible to argue that the prayers and ceremonies of a new rite are less effective in raising the hearts and minds of the faithful to Almighty God, and evoking in them the senti- ments and dispositions most likely to ensure fruitful reception of the Sacrament. All that the doctrine of indefectibility requires us to be- lieve is that at the very least in its Latin Typical Edition, any sac- ramental rite approved by a Pope will be valid, contain no heresy, and nothing overtly harmful to the faithful participating in it. Theologians make a distinction between the Pope 'sentiendo' (giving sentence) and the Pope 'disserendo' (giving an opinion). When Pope Paul VI promulgated the New Mass he "gave sentence" and guaranteed its validity. When, in his discourse of 19 November 1969, he claimed that it expressesCatholic Eucharistic teaching more clearly than the Trid- entine Mass, he expressed an opinion. An opinion, even the opinion of the Sovereign Pontiff, deserves respect only to the extent to which it corresponds with reality. The new sacramental rites promulgated since the Second Vatican Coun- cil can be seen as a paradigm of the divine and human aspects of the Church. Pope Paul VI displayed lamentable human weakness in agreeing to replace rites whose origin is lost in the mists of Christian anti- quity by the artificially concocted creations of commitee advised by Protestants. The divine nature of the Church, and the practical appli- cation of the doctrine of indefectibility, can be seen in the fact that the new rites are undoubtedly valid and convey the same sacra- mental grace as those that they have replaced, butwhich, we must hope, will be restored one day. Acceptance of the doctrine of indefectibil- ity by no means precludes our working and praying for this end. In his Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" of 2 July 1988, Pope John Paul II required the implementation of the necessary measures to guarantee re- spect for the rightful aspirations "of those Catholic faithful atta- ched to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition." The Motu Proprio was soon implemented by authorizing the use of all the pre-conciliar sacramental rites by such orders as the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Benedictine Monks of Le Barroux, and so it is now beyond doubt that both the pre- and post conciliar rites co- exist within the Roman Rite. This must be regarded as no more than an interim measure in the process of their total restoration. In his encyclical 'Iucanda Sane' commemorating the thirteenth centen- ary of the death of St. Gregory the Great, Pope St. Pius X wrote: Never throughout the course of the ages has supernatural power been lacking in the Church; never have the promises of Christ failed. They remain as powerful today as when they filled the heart of Gregory with consolation. Rather, having withstood the test of time and the change of circum- stances and events, they possess even greater assurance.