Thank you for your
feedback. I noticed in your comment that you feel the Novus Ordo Mass ('Ordinary
Form'/OF) fosters "active participation", yet by this comment I believe what you
really mean is "active external participation." There is often little silence in
a Novus Ordo Mass, which is typically not conducive to fostering true
participation of the internal sort. As Pope Pius XII said in Mediator Dei (On
The Sacred Liturgy)...
element of divine worship must be interior."
Those who attempt to
achieve 'active participation' of the interior sort may have quite a hard time
doing so at a 'noisy' Novus Ordo Mass.
Also, regarding the
'personal devotions' during Mass that you seem to view negatively, please
consider this quotation from Pope Pius XII...
"So varied and
diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be
moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns and
liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the
same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who, then, would say,
on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in
the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method
which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate
on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite
prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially
in harmony with them." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)
Although you state
that Catholics previously "did not understand what was being said" during Mass,
I would point out that they may or may not have known the meaning of specific
Latin terms, but Catholics in the past generally understood what was going on
much better in the Traditional Latin Mass than Catholics do today with Mass in
the vernacular. This is proven by various facts (for example by the fact that
the majority of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, the fact that
so many Catholics find the 'sign of peace' to be the highlight of the Mass, the
fact that so few Catholics seem to view the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the
re-presentation of Calvary, etc.).
taken in the Novus Ordo Mass, it is true that the issues are NOT just with
'liberties' taken by priests. Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci wrote the 'Ottaviani
Intervention' which is highly critical of the Novus Ordo Mass based on a 'pure
version' of the Novus Ordo with NO liberties taken. Pope Benedict XVI was also
referring to the Novus Ordo WITHOUT liberties when he called it "banal"...
"...in the place
of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the
organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and
replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal,
on-the-spot product." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)
To be sure, liberties
taken by priests make the situation worse, but the issues are not exclusively
with that. Both of the following quotations from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci
were based on the 'most perfect' form of the Novus Ordo Mass, with NO liberties
taken... (emphasis added)
"To abandon a
liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of
unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the
countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division -
a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the
integrity of the Catholic Faith - is, we feel bound in conscience to
proclaim, an incalculable error." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci)
"We have limited
ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most
seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our observations touch upon
deviations which are typical. To prepare a complete study of all the
pitfalls, dangers and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the
new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics or instructions, would be a vast
undertaking." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci)
And these types of
quotes could be multiplied many times over.
As far as priests'
abuses not invalidating Novus Ordo Masses, this is true to an extent, but it is
also true that some abuses have resulted in invalid Masses (e.g. when there has
been incorrect form or mater). I believe there have been cases where invalid
Novus Ordo Masses have occurred for years due to incorrect matter.
We agree that it is
wise to be wary (or even very wary) in order to protect your Catholic faith, but
please do keep in mind that the Church may, unfortunately from time to time,
allow things that are problematic. This is simply a fact born out by history
(for example, consider some modern 'sex ed' programs). It is unprecedented in
the 2,000 year history of the Church that a liturgy fabricated by men – with
the help of Protestant observers! – was imposed on the entire Catholic
population as it was with the Novus Ordo, and statistics prove that this new
liturgy has come with great consequence. Reasonable 'criticism' (or really just
stating the facts) that is based in truth is just and proper. Faithful Catholics
are not called to deny truth or pretend it does not exist. The truth is the
You may want to ask
yourself why you do not seem to be troubled by the fact that changes made to the
Mass parallel those made by Protestants in 16th century (changes that were made
by them to destroy Catholics' faith) or by the fact that Protestants may
use the Novus Ordo Mass in their 'churches'. [BTW, you can find more
information concerning the above online and also in various publications (books
by Michael Davies come to mind).] Again, these issues have nothing to do
with 'liberties' taken by priests but with the actual rite itself.
The above being said,
if you find an actual error on our site, please let us know.
Thanks again for
contacting us. We appreciate hearing from you.
Reminder: We make no guarantee whatsoever regarding any item herein. Items herein may be the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect our views.
All applicable items may be subject to change at any time without notice. Utilize any link(s) appearing on this page at your own risk.
For more terms information, see "Important Notice" below.