How to Explain Why the Novus Ordo Mass is Licit

By | September 14, 2019

Linda is in the state of California and
you’re up next with Tim. Hi Linda. Hi, thank you. My question is, could you shed
some light on, or how would you answer Catholics who say the Novus Ordo Mass is
not licit? They didn’t say invalid, they just said there were things wrong
with it. Right, yes. I–what I would do, Linda, and believe me I do this all the
time and I have for many years, is I ask them to specify: what is it about
the mass that you would say is illicit? Because you really have to get
from them what it is that they’re talking about. I could throw out some
examples of things that I know they would say; for example, in the words of
institution, before the Mass of Paul VI, or the the New Roman Missal, was
promulgated in 1969, you used to have, within the words of institution, the
priest would say “The mystery of faith,” “Mysterium fidei.” And during the reforms
of Vatican II, they rightly took that out, and this was one of the many good
reforms that happened as a result of Vatican II and in the post-conciliar
documents, because that’s not found in any of the institution narratives that
we find in the Gospels or in the book of Acts; it’s not found in any of the Eastern
Rites, none of them have that “Mysterium fidei,” so it was removed from there and
made an acclamation after the words of institution. So now we have the
congregation announcing “The mystery of faith, Christ has died, Christ is risen,” you know,
that sort of thing. Now, they would argue that the Pope did not have
the authority to do that because, you know, Pope St. Pius V, in “Quo Primum,”
when he promulgated what we call now the Tridentine Mass, or the mass of
Saint Pius V, said in that document that no one
has the authority to change…you know, I don’t have the document in front of me,
but in not so many words, he says words to the effect of: no one has the
authority to change this. Now, unfortunately that’s a fundamental
blunder on the part of these folks who don’t understand that Quo Primum was
principally a juridical document, so the Popes always use the language that “no
one has the authority to change this,” because he’s exercising his his
authority as Pope. But it pre– it’s understood that he doesn’t have the
power to bind a Pope–a future Pope–to that which is by nature malleable; it’s
by nature changeable, because it is juridical in nature. So there’s a
fundamental misunderstanding of Quo Primum that then leads to folks saying,
“Well then the Pope has no authority to change this all these
centuries later;” and the problem with that is, Linda, there were changes made in the
Tridentine Mass many times over the centuries, last by Pope Pius XII, you
know, in the 1940s, 1950s. So again, what I would say, Linda, is you take them one by
one. Find out: “Okay, what is it that you say is illicit, let’s talk about it and
we can do it one by one.” Now there’s a great book I would recommend, by James
Likoudis and Kenneth Whitehead, that goes through these wonderfully; again, by
James Likoudis, that’s “L-I-K-O-U-D-I-S,” and Kenneth Whitehead. The book is called “The
Pope, The Council, and The Mass.” In fact, they just had, a few years ago, a new edition
of that book come out. I have both the old and the new, it’s outstanding. But
it’ll go through just about every point anybody who calls into question
of the liceity of the Novus Ordo is going to make. But does does that help at all,
Linda? Yeah, yeah it does. One thing that was mentioned was, you know, the direction,
the east, and should we be facing God or facing the people, and I think that my
thought on that was that Jesus gave us two Commandments: love the
Lord thy God, and the other one was your neighbor as yourself,
and there’s room enough for all of us in here, some people go for the one direction, some people go the other direction. Well there’s–that’s a good way to put it, Linda; what’s
happening here is we’re majoring on the minors. Now I happen to agree–and by the
way, so did Pope Benedict XVI, and so does Cardinal Lorenzo and others,
that we should in fact face ad orientem, as we say, or to or to the East; it’s a
very ancient tradition, a rich tradition. In fact, I’d recommend Pope Benedict– then
Cardinal Ratzinger’s–book “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” where he makes the argument
for that. And I think there is a good argument for the good and the truth
of having the priests facing to the East, but that is not part of the ESSENCE
of the liturgy that is unchangeable. So even though we can say, “Well, you
know, there is something lost in losing this,” and there’s there’s much to
be said in its favor, like you said Linda, that’s not a hill to
die on and it’s certainly not something to separate over and it’s absolutely not
a reason to say that the Mass of Paul VI is then it illicit. Okay,
Linda? Thank you very much! All, right thank you. You’re very welcome.

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