By: Fr. José Miguel Marqués Campo
Ordained as I was on Pentecost Sunday, 26 May 1996, I find it compelling to share some liturgical doctrinal thoughts on the mystery of Pentecost, as presented by the Novus Ordo liturgy… and let’s just say I much prefer celebrating according to the Vetus Ordo, the diocesan Traditional Latin Mass.
Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi… The law of (liturgical) prayer is the law of belief, and also the law of living that faith.
Shown above is the Proper Preface for Pentecost according to the latest official Novus Ordo versions in Latin (2002), and subsequent official translations in English (2011) and in Castilian Spanish (2016).
There are unfortunate doctrinal issues that can be traced to Vatican II’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes §22 which includes this line: “For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man.”
The accurate English translation of the Latin text says that in order to consume or complete the Paschal Sacrament or Mystery, the Holy Spirit is bestowed today by the Father on those who acquire filial adoption by uniting them with his Only Begotten Son. Ah… but how precisely are we “united” to Christ?
Certainly, it is true enough that the Incarnation of He who eternally exists as the Son of the Father, and both are likewise One with the Holy Ghost, does indeed unite Himself with our human nature, but… is that sufficient for our obtaining filial adoption?
Well, the fact of the matter is that neither the Latin nor English texts explain that unspecified union with Christ, that is, beyond assuming a true human nature like ours, albeit without sin, obviously, but… the Castilian Spanish translation of the Latin text, however, does shed a most interesting light.
Though a less accurate translation from the Latin in the literal sense, it paradoxically completes the underlying theology of Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes §22 implicitly present in the Latin and English texts by stating:
Pues para llevar a plenitud el Misterio Pascual, enviaste hoy el Espíritu Santo sobre los que habías adoptado como hijos por la Encarnación de tu Unigénito / For in order to fulfill the Paschal Mystery, the Father sends the Holy Spirit today over those who have been filially adopted by the Incarnation of his Only Begotten Son.
Did you read that carefully?
So, according to this Novus Ordo Preface for Pentecost we allegedly acquire (presumably divine) filial adoption in virtue of the Incarnation of the Father’s Son.
In other words, not acquiring filial adoption by receiving Christ, indeed the Incarnate Logos, through Faith and Baptism, mind you, but rather through the Incarnation, only. As in without necessarily believing in Christ, and therefore without necessarily receiving Holy Baptism. Hmmm… oh, really?
And therein precisely lies the doctrinal problem, a most serious error at that. The Holy Catholic Church has NEVER taught that divine filial adoption was acquired solely upon the Incarnation of the Eternal Logos or Word.
One could rightly observe that the Incarnation provides the possibility for Baptism, certainly. Just like the Incarnation provides human nature to the Eternal Logos so that God, as a Man, may offer Himself up as the High Priest on the Cross for our Redemption.
But the Incarnation, by itself, does NOT redeem us without the Sacrifice of the Cross, the only way we can receive the grace of Baptism, by mystically uniting us with Christ’s Passion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection, and furthermore provides for our divine filial adoption.
So, it is quite reasonable to infer and conclude that the doctrinal statement claimed in the post-conciliar liturgy by the Preface for Pentecost, is based on the conciliar theology that is mentioned in Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes, and its problematic §22.
Holy Mother Church has ALWAYS taught that divine filial adoption was acquired by evangelisation that fosters the necessary conversion to Christ, accepting Christ, professing the Catholic and Apostolic FAITH in Christ, and thereby receive BAPTISM.
The previous version of this same Preface, at least in the Castilian Spanish edition, mentioned the sending of the Holy Spirit over those whom God the Father has adopted as children “por su participación en Cristo” / “by their participation in Christ.” It is a more literal translation of the previous (and current) Latin version.
But the previous Latin and translation aren’t particularly good either, since they both are merely being faithful to the reference in Gaudium et Spes §22, and therefore are merely indeterminate as to how that union/participation in Christ is to be understood.
So again, here we have yet another example of the typical conciliar and post-conciliar way of saying things: if you’re Catholic, you will naturally understand that participation in Christ must surely mean through Faith and Baptism.
If you’re a Modernist, you will understand that participation in Christ can mean solely through the Incarnation, or indeed can mean anything you want it to mean.
The latest official Latin and English texts of the Preface for Pentecost in the Novus Ordo continue to express an indeterminate comprehension of acquiring filial adoption by participation in Christ.
But the latest Castilian Spanish—again, this time a less literal translation of the Latin—has the enormous merit of specifying just how exactly we are to understand the conciliar theology of Gaudium et Spes §22, by boldly claiming that we acquire filial adoption through the Incarnation!
So, when Francis proudly claims that only the Novus Ordo expresses the understanding of the faith after Vatican II, he is quite right… and that is precisely what is so wrong.
As can readily be seen, this doctrinal viewpoint is sadly NOT Catholic. But by no means is this the only doctrinal error that manages to get in the officially approved liturgical translations.
The problem in this particular case is that the doctrinal error of filial adoption merely through the Incarnation is likewise implicit in the original Latin text of the Novus Ordo Missæ, which of course serves as the text from which all the vernacular translations are based.
If, as the Preface claims were true, then all human beings are considered children of God by virtue of the Eternal Logos or Word being made Man, that His being made Flesh unites all of us to Him “in some fashion”… but not necessarily by converting to Christ, not necessarily professing faith in Christ and not necessarily receiving Baptism in Christ.
If so, then why does the Church have to evangelise at all? Does not this likewise imply that Baptism therefore, is no longer necessary for salvation? Continuing down the path of doctrinal chaos, does not this also imply that the Church is no longer necessary for salvation either?
But Father, isn’t that going a bit too far? I think not. Here’s some rather damning proof:
The new “archbishop” of Algeria, recently appointed by Francis, claims exactly that: Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Yes, he actually said that. And if that were not bad enough, goes further by claiming that the Church should really stop trying to evangelise. Yes, he actually said that, too. Hardly surprising, really.
It’s perfectly logical to make such outlandish claims, for just as there is a remarkably beautiful internal logic of truths in the Holy Catholic Faith, so there too is a fascinating internal logic of errors among the heretics, apostates, and of late, idolaters. Who by the way, have never ceased being willfully blind hypocrites, bent as they are in filtering out the gnats and swallowing the camels (cf Mt 23:24).
Why, you ask, can a purported successor of the apostles claim that the Church should stop evangelising and stop considering Baptism necessary for eternal salvation?
Can anyone in their right Catholic mind even entertain the ludicrous idea of the Apostles not wanting to evangelise, in order to not incorporate into Noah’s New Ark, the Barque of Peter, the Holy Catholic Church—outside of which there is no salvation—when that was precisely their Christ-given mission?
And by Baptism we mean not only the Sacrament, per se, but also the traditional doctrine of the Church regarding Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood.
Well, because for these Modernists, it is a sure thing that Catholics are actually missing out, you see, on “certain salvific truths” by other religions, like Islam and Protestantism, specifically, as the Francis-appointed “archbishop” of Algeria claims.
Let us not forget the infamous Abu Dhabi document where Francis put his signature alongside the signature of an Islamic Iman, whereby he agrees that it is thanks to God’s wisdom that different religions exist…
And even more so: it was Francis himself who, in an attempt to justify his apostate signature, later went on to say that he was merely expounding on the inter- religious doctrine espoused by Vatican II… So, there you have it.
What an insolent blasphemy to claim that God Himself, in his infinite wisdom, should want peoples to worship in diverse religions, which necessarily means worshipping diverse gods. Utterly staggering the sheer apostasy revealed by this frankly remarkable statement.
Imagine the innocent and righteous Joseph, beloved son of the Patriarch Jacob, betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave to Egypt: he would absolutely shudder with abhorrence at the mere thought of adapting his divinely revealed faith for the myriad of false Egyptian gods! And God, in his providential mercy, gave great administrative talents to the ever-faithful Joseph, who in turn was favoured by the pharaoh of his time, becoming none other than the Viceroy of Egypt.
But whereas Joseph steadfastly refused to worship false idols, this is precisely what Israel did, after Jacob, Joseph, and his siblings died, when they had migrated to Egypt and gradually inculturated themselves and worshipped the Egyptian deities. Four hundred and thirty years of harsh slavery was the result.
When the descendant sons of Israel finally had had enough, they clamoured to God for deliverance. And God listened to their plea. He sent Moses, as leader and liberator, and his brother, Aaron and his sons, as his priests, to offer the exceedingly specific liturgical worship God had asked of his own. Some today would call that mere “rigidity” and “rubricism.”
And oh, that abominable golden calf, just when God was giving Moses the Law for his people! And precisely during the Exodus, which had caused much grief to Ramses II, the obstinate pharaoh, by whose fault Egypt was severely punished with ten terrible plagues.
And, of course, the temptation to tamper with the liturgy, and not worship according to what God wants of us.
That is exactly what happened to Aaron’s first and second born priest-sons, Nadab and Abihu, who, daring to burn an unholy incense in the Tabernacle containing the newly constructed Ark of the Covenant—everything according to God’s specifications—were fulminated by the fiery Spirit of God.
I can’t but marvel at the ruination of the post-conciliar era, with a chronic and ever critical shortage of priestly and religious vacations, emptying seminaries, closing parishes, scandals, a veritable spiritual desert to rival the Egyptian deserts, and ask: Could this possibly have anything to do with not offering a liturgy that is according to God’s will? One cannot but wonder…
King David’s son and heir, Solomon, started off praying for wisdom to govern the Kingdom of Israel, and God was very pleased and granted it to him copiously. But then, King Solomon, lured by his many pagan women, entertained their many false gods and worshipped them. His reign ended in ruinous division: a northern kingdom (Israel) and a southern kingdom (Judea).
The temptation to follow false pagan gods and idols is always a problem, is it not?
Francis, who has scandalised us with Pachamama worship in the Vatican gardens, the Basilica of St. Peter, and a parish church in Rome (and as of this article, plans to undergo some other indigenous ritual in his upcoming visit to Canada) seemingly ignores or outright rejects what Almighty God Himself revealed to his chosen people through Moses in the Old Testament, as a fundamental and perpetual Law: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” (Ex 20:2; Dt 5:6).
Please read that again. And yet again.
My goodness, talk about unequivocally manifest, unequivocally clear, unequivocally unambiguous doctrine! What’s not to understand? Not taking God at His word, that was the problem of Adam and Eve in the primordial Garden, and throughout salvation history.
And please! It is utterly pointless to pretend to justify that, well, what Francis really means is that it is God’s “permissive” will that other religions should exist, that it’s not his “active” will, etc. Bishop Athanasius Schneider specifically questioned him on this, during a private meeting. And Francis merely replied privately that his signed statement could be understood to mean God’s passive will… Could be understood, he said. Not should be understood, but could be understood.
Could, as in not necessarily because there could also be other interpretations. So
for some, Francis really means God’s passive will, for others Francis really means God’s active will. Please! Which is it? They can’t both be true! But… who cares what each of us thinks what Francis meant to say?
And as expected, the signed text with the Iman remained completely unaltered, naturally. And no public clarification was ever issued as to exactly what Francis meant. Why of course not. Clarity of exposition is not the Modernist way. So, we are left with the scandalous text as he signed it, as is, because what he signed is exactly what he means by a natural reading of it. But in the end, to each his own interpretation of what Francis “really” means.
The problem is, the varied, opposing, and even contradictory interpretations of what “Francis means” do not matter. At all. No. What really matters is what Francis means to say. And we must get accustomed to taking Francis at his word: he always says what he means, and always means what he says.
If he says something that doesn’t sound Catholic, well, no need to worry, keep calm, and carry on: that’s because it isn’t Catholic. And on those rare occasions where Francis says something that surprisingly sounds Catholic, well, then that is cause for some concern: we must have a care for it is most likely a ruse to confuse the ignorant, and most likely an ominous presage that something wayward is afoot.
The clearly erroneous doctrine expressed in a liturgical text by which we supposedly obtain the grace of filial adoption merely through the Incarnation of Christ, that is, without Catholic Faith and without Baptism, also implies that Divine Revelation is incomplete, and therefore lacking. That there are supposedly other “truths” revealed by God to other religions of the world, that are just as efficacious for salvation.
But this is simply just another heresy, strongly condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his extraordinary encyclical on the pernicious doctrines of the Modernists, Pascendi Dominici Gregis (08-IX-1907).
The saintly pope rejected the liberal Protestant and Modernist idea of the evolution of religion through the error of “new revelations,” which include the intrinsic salvific nature of other religions. Thus, he condemned the proposition that: “Revelation, which is the object of Catholic Faith, was not terminated with the Apostles.” (1958 Denzinger §2021).
Indeed, why then did the Apostles even bother extending the civilisation of the Gospel and the Cross to procure new children of God in Christ, precisely through: Preaching Christ, calling to a Conversion to Christ, Faith in Christ, and receiving Baptism in Christ?
The fact that the Apostles were merely obeying the rather explicit will of Christ to baptise the nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and to teach the nations what He had taught them (cf Mt 28:19-20) means nothing for the Modernists.
But then, how are we to understand why the Church, from apostolic times, established missions all over the world and throughout the centuries?
Along with the contemplative St. Therése of Lisieux, as Patroness of the Catholic Missions, why then did another Patron Saint of the Catholic Missions, our very own St. Francis Xavier (from Navarra, Spain), evangelise India and Japan in the XVI century?
What to make, then, when in one of his letters to St. Ignatius of Loyola, tells him that his arms were so tired by countless Baptisms? Why did he bother baptising so many souls if they were already united to Christ through His Incarnation and were already children of God?
The next three centuries in Japan witnessed a most brutal persecution of Catholics there. So, for some 300 years, Japanese Catholics managed to maintain the true Faith, through solid catechesis and prayer, despite the cruelest of persecutions, deprived of missionary priests, deprived of the sacraments, that is, except for Baptism, since the conditions for its validity are minimal and anyone with the right intention and form can validly baptise.
This story in itself is rather extraordinary. What a most impressive work of evangelisation and catechesis that provided for the subsistence of the Catholic Faith in the most humanly impossible of conditions, for three centuries!
So then, did St. Francis Xavier waste his time, poor fellow!, because he lived four centuries before Vatican II’s renowned zeal for ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue? To the detriment of a true missionary spirit, of course.
Why then did the Dominican bishop, St. Melchior of Quirós, the only canonised saint from my home province of Asturias, travel so far from home, and joined in the cruelest martyrdom with over a hundred other missionaries from Spain and France, to what was formerly Indochina and later known as Vietnam, in the XIX century?
St. Melchior of Quirós was tied down on the ground by chains and wild horses were bidden to run in opposite directions, ripping the saintly bishop’s limbs apart. His local liturgical feast day in the Archdiocese of Oviedo is 28 July. As Tertullian said in the III century: the precious blood of the martyrs is the seed for new Christians! And with blood copiously shed by a dismembering body, for the love of Christ, love for the Church, and love for precious souls… what a glorious way to enter the Kingdom of God!
But lo!… after Vatican II, we are seemingly much more modern and sophisticated in our faith. Whatever Francis and those who think like him mean by a more mature post-conciliar faith, we can be certain that yes, indeed, such a mature faith that by its fruits, is rotten. By their fruits ye shall know them, dixit Dominus.
All that suffering by the saints… for nothing? Ah, if only those 100+ missionary martyrs could have benefitted by that wonderful, implicit Vatican II doctrine, expressed as such in the post-conciliar liturgy, that all human beings are already children of God through Christ’s Incarnation! Why, that changes everything!
No need to undertake long, perilous travels, no need to evangelise, no need to upset the local civil authorities who won’t be welcoming of wicked European missionary imperialists, no need to bother catechising the local peoples, no need to baptise souls until your arms felt like falling off, no need to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (in laced Latin!), for the salvation of the living and the dead, no need to establish the social dimension of the Reign of Christ the King over hearts and societies… and certainly, no need to die a cruel martyr’s death, for nothing!
It’s precisely this erroneous doctrine, promoted discreetly through the Novus Ordo liturgy, that does NOT evangelise and furthers the cause of false ecumenism and false inter-religious dialogue, that of late has reached bewildering, idolatrous heights under Francis. And on Pentecost of all days!
Let us remember the great Apostle ad Gentes, St. Paul, when he admonishes us: Without Faith, it is impossible to please God (Hb 11:6). And also: For if I preach the Gospel, it is no glory to me, for a necessity lieth upon me: for woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel (I Cor 9:16).
One additional aspect of the Novus Ordo Preface for Pentecost that needs to be addressed, is the interesting change regarding the “gift of tongues” that was made in the latest Castilian Spanish version of 2016.
The previous version made an allusion to the story of the Tower of Babel (cf Gn 11), whereby God punished the insolence of man trying to conquer the heavens, by confusing their tongues: reúnes en la confesión de una misma fe a los que el pecado había dividido en diversidad de lenguas / you unite in the confession of one same faith what sin had divided in diverse tongues. This was well expressed, actually.
The newer Preface for Pentecost, however, changes the meaning of the previous text: reunió la diversidad de lenguas en la confesión de una misma fe / united the diversity of tongues in the confession of one same faith.
To be clear, neither the previous nor the latest versions of the Preface are incorrect in their expressing the “gift of tongues” in the mystery of Pentecost.
But… whereas the previous Preface specifically referenced God’s punishment of diverse tongues, the newer Preface decidedly omits the allusion to the sin of pride in the construction of the Tower of Babel, and very specifically, omits the punishment of God which consisted precisely in the resulting confusion of the diversity of tongues.
It is precisely the mystery of Pentecost, whereby the outpouring of the Holy Ghost is the remedy for the pride of the Tower of Babel, consisting in the “gift of tongues.”
Instead of the divine punishment of diversity of tongues which causes confusion among the nations, all those peoples from everywhere, who are listening to the Apostles on Pentecost preach in the tongues the Apostles natively speak, are graced with learning about Christ in their own varied native tongues.
The fact of the matter is that, since Pentecost, in the history of evangelisation, it is in preaching and catechesis that diverse tongues are spoken.
But never in the history of the Church—neither in the Oriental rites nor in the Western rites—has a purely contemporary vernacular ever been used in the sacred liturgy. That is, until the post-Vatican II “reform.”
The Novus Ordo liturgy suffers from an acute case of anti-Pentecost Babel. It is a cacophony of tongues, rare moments of contemplative silence, and also a veritable variety of rites, within the Rite, for no two Novus Ordo liturgies are the same.
What with no-chasuble, alb & stole Masses, felt-banner Masses, clown Masses, rock Masses, dancing incense bowls Masses, stereotypical ethnic Masses, liberation theology Masses, clap-your-hands Masses, inclusive, come-as-you-are & all-are-welcome LGTBI Masses, and blessings with guitars Masses, ad nauseam, you never know what entertainment to expect next.
It’s no wonder why the late William F. Buckley Jr. lamented that the Novus Ordo was an “aesthetic ordeal” in that it distracted him so badly, preventing him from being able to pray.
So much for the only expression of the law of prayer of the one and only “Roman Rite,” Francis dixit.
Francis’ much referenced “God of surprises” and his deep concern for preserving the unity of worship in the Church—at the expense of eradicating what he and his minions consider to be the unspeakable evils of the Traditional Latin Mass—is indeed quite manifest in the Novus Ordo.
Need I remind the kind readers of the harsh words of our Lord towards the hypocrisy of the Gospel Pharisees (cf Mt 23)?
So, while many still celebrate the “new springtime” and “new Pentecost” that never came after Vatican II, this even “newer Pentecost” will further guarantee it.
And finally, one more thing… what may not be apparent, is that the newer Novus Ordo Preface for Pentecost is likely also a subversive attack against the use of one liturgical language—Latin—whereby peoples belonging to the true Roman Rite all over the world, can celebrate the redemptive mysteries of Christ in one beautiful and sacred tongue (as they have for uncounted centuries)… and understand them in their own native tongues, just as in the perennial Pentecost of old.