At the General Audience on November 8, Francis announced that he intends to offer a teaching on Holy Mass in the weeks ahead.
It is my intention to follow and to comment upon this upcoming series as it unfolds.
In doing so I hope to provide a more traditional (aka Catholic) catechesis for those readers who may benefit from it or perhaps know of others who will.
What I expect to encounter from Francis in the coming weeks are a number of important truths comingled with half-truths, errors, and noteworthy omissions, the sum total of which will leave the faithful with a deficient, and likely a quasi-Protestant, understanding of what Holy Mass truly is.
Already in the first sentence, a red flag has been raised:
We begin today a new series of catechesis, which will look at the “heart” of the Church, that is, the Eucharist. It is fundamental for us Christians to understand well the value and meaning of the Holy Mass to always live more fully our relationship with God.
[NOTE: At present, the complete audience is available only in Italian. Here I will provide my own translation as best I can, recognizing that there may be room for improvement in certain places. If and when necessary, I will alert reads to important clarifications.]
So, what makes the introductory sentence above suspect?
A fundamental and widespread error among even the most devout of Novus Ordo Catholics, priests as well as laity, is to equate, for all intents and purposes, Holy Mass with the Eucharist, and that is precisely what is taking place here.
The Holy See (and Francis) is billing this new series as a multi-part treatment on “La Santa Messa” – the Holy Mass. And yet, the introductory words indicate that it is “a new series of catechesis, which will look at … the Eucharist,” as if the two are strictly interchangeable.
This mindset, which again, is very common today, serves to distort one’s perception of the true nature of the Mass.
Francis reinforced the misconception in various ways as he continued:
We cannot forget the great number of Christians who, throughout the world, in two thousand years of history, have endured death to defend the Eucharist; and those who, even today, risk life to participate in Sunday Mass.
To be clear, in so speaking, Francis is not simply saying that participation in Sunday Mass is to “celebrate the Eucharist,” a phrase he later invokes.
Rather, he makes it quite clear that he is speaking of reception of the Eucharist.
Does Amoris Laetitia come to mind?
Francis says of those Christians facing persecution in the fourth century:
And they replied, “Without Sunday we cannot live,” which meant, if we cannot celebrate the Eucharist, we cannot live, our Christian life will die.
In fact, Jesus told his disciples: “If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day “(Jn 6: 53-54).
Pay close attention to what Francis has done: He has constructed a foundation for the catechesis to follow upon the false idea that to assist at Sunday Mass necessarily entails receiving Holy Communion – with the implication being, every Sunday.
I have little doubt that some of our more “conservative” readers do not as yet see the problem.
I would remind them that while the first precept of the Church (according to the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church) reads, “You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor” (CCC 2042), the third precept reads:
“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.” (ibid)
As most regular readers of this space are well aware, there is no contradiction between these two precepts. We’ll return to the danger associated with the misconception under discussion momentarily.
Francis went on to pay tribute, of course, to the Second Vatican Council, saying that it was necessary to implement “with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an adequate renewal of the liturgy.”
He went on to say that the Council Fathers emphasized “the liturgical formation of the faithful.”
This is true, or half-true in any case as the Council also stressed the necessity of providing liturgical instruction to priests, that they may “understand ever more fully what it is that they are doing when they perform sacred rites.” (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 18)
Indeed, it is necessary for all of us to grow in our awareness of what Holy Mass truly is. I would point out, however, that the Council Fathers were speaking of the Traditional Latin Mass – the one they celebrated daily; not the Novus Ordo Missae – the same of which Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:
We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it [the Traditional Roman Rite] — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.” (Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Preface to “The Reform of the Roman Rite” by Msgr. Klaus Gamber)
Be that as it may, let’s bear in mind that Francis intends to form the faithful in the “fabrication” as he went on to say:
Many times we go there [to Mass], we look at things, we chat with others while the priest celebrates the Eucharist … and we do not celebrate near him.
Well, at least he didn’t say “we do not celebrate with him,” as if to make explicit the decidedly post-conciliar idea that Mass without the people is somehow deficient.
In any case, he went on to address those who are distracted at Mass, or might even say, “Father, the Masses are boring,” or more specifically, “the priests are boring.”
Ah, convert the priests, but it is the Lord who stays there!
In this, Francis is providing a key insight into the nature of the Novus Ordo.
The rite itself demands of the priest a certain “liturgical stage presence” as I like to call it; i.e., a manner of speaking, moving, and acting that will presumably engage the faithful and stir within them what amounts to pious emotions.
Even the most ardent supporter of the new Mass will plainly admit that the personality of the priest weighs very heavily on their liturgical “experience.”
In fact, pretty much every Novus Ordo Catholic I have ever known has taken steps to avoid the Mass of Fr. Dullard in favor of that of Fr. Festive, or Fr. Funny, or Fr. Finocchio or whomever their own particular favorite “presider” might be.
Speaking of this, Francis asks:
Why at a certain point does the priest presiding over the celebration say, “Lift up your hearts”?
The priest as presider; precisely what Cardinal Ottaviani warned Pope Paul VI would happen should he promulgate the new Mass:
Not a word do we now find as to the priest’s power to sacrifice, or about his act of consecration, the bringing about through him of the Eucharistic Presence. He now appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister.
In conclusion, as promised, let’s briefly touch on the danger associated with not just equating Holy Mass with the Eucharist, but on what we might more properly consider a hyper-focus on receiving the Eucharist at Mass – the same, which let us not forget, Francis plainly encouraged by way of his so-called “catechesis.”
There isn’t a “conservative” Catholic alive who hasn’t lamented certain deficiencies in the way the Novus Ordo Mass is offered; from outright liturgical abuses to all manner of liturgical laxities and liberties.
For many, finding that elusive “reverent Novus Ordo” is as daunting a task as hunting down Big Foot, and so ultimately they must comfort themselves with the idea, “Well, at least I can receive the Eucharist!”
This mindset is such that the importance of the rite itself – how it is conducted and what it communicates by way of its tangible signs – becomes all but negligible, with the Mass being nothing more than a necessary vehicle, oftentimes endured as much as it is edifying, for receiving Holy Communion.
By this measure, admission to a hospital where one might receive a sick call is sometimes preferable!
The problem with minimizing the importance of the rite is well summed-up in the phrase, “lex orandi statuat legem credendi” – the law of prayer establishes the law of belief.
As Cardinal Ottaviani rightly foresaw, the Novus Ordo has undeniably led to a loss of Catholic faith.
It is often said by “conservative” clergy and faithful alike that the reason so many self-identified Catholics don’t know their faith is due to the lack of good catechesis over the last 50 or so years.
While it is true that catechesis has been lacking, what is almost always overlooked is that the law of prayer in this case has established the deficient law of belief that is so prevalent in our day.
The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist is a prime example.
Consider how often recent popes have clearly taught the doctrine of the Real Presence, as have countless bishops, priests and religious educators.
And yet, in spite of this, survey after survey of Mass-going Catholics reveals a stunning disbelief in the Lord’s Real Presence in the Eucharist.
The reason is simple: The Novus Ordo rite does not establish this belief; in fact, it establishes the contrary, and it is far more effective in forming the people than any papal encyclical, sermon or text book ever will be.
We have covered enough for today. We’ll resume this examination of Francis’ new series next week, God willing!
In closing, you had this to say:
“The reason is simple: The Novus Ordo rite does not establish this belief; in fact, it establishes the contrary, and it is far more effective in forming the people than any papal encyclical, sermon or text book ever will be.”
It is for all to understand now, that which you have precisely as pristinely edified here in this article, quoting first Cardinal Ottaviani and then with your own closing statement, that the so called “conciliar church”, that same church of the so called, “novus ordo missae”, simply cannot have a valid Consecration, as being cannot both be and not be, at the same time, and under the same respect. Firstly, how do we know this and more specifically, how do we know this with divine certitude? We know this because the Holy Catholic Church infallibly teaches that in order for a Sacrament which has been first commanded, then ordered, as established by the Son of God as valid, as He alone created them ex nihilo, it must without any exception, contain proper matter, proper form, and proper intent. Cardinal Ottaviani firstly and now you speak into this reality as Truth. The intent, as Holy Catholic Church teaches infallibly must be the same, as identical intent, which the Church has always had for Her holy Sacraments, since they were instituted by the Son of God made true Man here, when He walked in this world. Changing the metaphysical form of the Sacrament, which is to change the language of the Sacrament, causes that which was the Holy Sacrament, now to be a sacrament not of Christ’s Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, period and end. This is the metaphysical certitude which cannot be breached in Truth. To breach it is to place an absolute affront to the law of non-contradiction, which as applied commands that the Consecration cannot both be the Consecration and not be the Consecration, at the same time and under the same respect. The “same respect” here, is in the respect of proper matter, proper form, and proper intent, deFide. We see that Cardinal Ottaviani believed as you also edify, that the intent of the sacrament of the novus ordo missae IS NOT the intent of Holy Mother Church, which is to perfectly edify the true Sacrificial offering of the priest, in persona Christi, transmitting without doubt, the belief in the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, offered through the Mystery of Faith in Her Transubstantiation. I pray this helps. In caritas.
All I know is that when I first read about this, I thought now the stage is being set for whatever changes they may have planned and how very thankful I am that I no longer have to be confused about what it is I believe, what is the correct teaching of the true Catholic Church, the proper way to assist at the Mass and what the proper Mass is. I realize more and more what a blessing it is to be freed from the N.O. confusion and I am finding myself feeling sorry for those, especially my family members, who cannot see through this and will have to continually try to figure out what it is they are still to believe. I suppose more prayer and penance is in order.
Oops one question, where’s Ginger?
The N.O. V2 establishment does NOT believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. The N.O. “mass” is Protestant at best. It is the Great Deception.
Excellent article, Louie. I look forward to your insight the next time Francis shares his profound wisdom with us little people.
So if the Pope is a scourge, the SSPX are weaklings and the FSSP are no better, where is the true Church, Terrible Tom A? Scratch a “fake trad” and you’ll find a Protestant.
Bergogio is not a scourge, unless of course you’re still crazy enough to think that these vatican 2 boys could actually be valid popes (lol). Bergoglio is nothing more than any other protestant person who merits no attention.
The Church is where it always is. If you’re actually wondering where it is than you are currently lost.
The SSPX is obviously lost…and the FSSP was a sad vatican 2 joke from its inception.
Laughable coming from the layman clown (Mr. Selfie) who people regard as the Vicar of Christ on earth.
Thats the mystery Prof Q. I have no idea where it is. But by simple reasoning, one should conclude that the NO V2 sect no longer professes the Catholic faith. They are the ones professing a protestant faith, they are the ones promoting a protestant liturgy.
Scratch Bergoglio and you’ll find a Secular Humanist.
Good Friday afternoon Tom A,
In Truth, Who Is Jesus the Christ, there is no mystery as to where Holy Mother Church Is, as She simply Is where She has always been, since Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God gave Her to us in being at Pentecost, by the Power of the Third Divine Person, Who Is the Holy Ghost our Blessed Paraclete, of our most Holy and Blessed Triune Godhead. The God Who just Is, in His Three Divine Persons, Who Is perfect as infinite Simplicity Himself, is one pristine proof of the heresy which the so called “second vatican council” teaches in “Lumen Gentium”–16. This teaching as from the apostate church of the Antichrist, calling itself “Catholic”, while all dressed up in the temporal edifice of the Church, at once devoid of all things Christ Jesus–the Sacraments, as it claims the “Moslems”, “…together with us [those who hold the One True Faith] they adore the one merciful God…”. If this could be true, it would divorce the Catholic Church and Her Faith of its Wellspring, the most Holy and Blessed Trinity, and as thus we know with divine certitude that the wellspring of vatican council ii, is NOT the Catholic Church, as it blasphemes the One, True Church, as it deems the Moslems’, false god who is a singular deity, to be the same God Who simply Is in His Triune Personhood as God.
Holy Mother Church Is where She can only be, as where She has only ever been as Jesus the Christ commanded Her there, within the deepest interiority of the human person, each and every human person (although today in the world writ large, there exist a paltry few), who holds the True Faith. This holding of the Faith can only occur when the human person is free of the “operation of error” to believe the lie as the Truth. This “operation of error” speaks firstly to “the revolt” as Saint Paul calls it in 2 Thess 2 verse 3, the Great Apostasy, which effects the Baptized, such that they believe the lie, which is the apostate church, as though it is the Truth, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. That is to be known as epistemologically with divine certitude, as Christ Jesus our Lord, our God, our Redeemer, and our King, commanded this into being in the Holy Gospel of John, chapter 14, as He prepared His disciples for His Holy Death and departure from this world in His human nature. There He commanded that: Soon I will be leaving you. I will be returning to the Father Who loves Me and if you love Me, you will be glad for Me. But the Father will not leave you ALONE. He will send you the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Paraclete, Who will remind you of all that I taught you and teach you more. The world will NOT know Him nor see Him but you will. This is His Church, Who in accordance with His Holy and perfect Will, SHOULD have as the Successor of Peter, Her Vicar of Christ, until the end of time, as was infallibly proclaimed at the true Vatican Council. That said, Christ did not say that She WILL have the Successor of Peter until the end of time, as His Church’s Vatican Council did not say “WILL” have and as He did not command this in the Holy Gospel of Matthew 16:18. There, He Willed that His Church will prevail until the end of time, not His Vicar. The Holy Catholic Church remains “visible” until the end of time without Her Vicar of Christ present, as She is a Mystical Body, which in Her metaphysical form then as the Mystical Body is NOT visible, as She has never been. She is only visible by the nature of Her metaphysical matter, which is composed of all the human persons who hold the One True Faith, period and end.
As you well know Tom A, Christ’s Church is Mystical, as is His Body and spotless Bride the Church. As It is Mystical, Christ’s Church is the metaphysical form of the Mystical Body, His Church, and the metaphysical matter is composed of all those and only those human persons, who hold the One, True Faith, which can only be held in Truth, apart from the reception of the “operation of error”, which by the very command of God, causes the belief of the lie, which is the apostate church of the Antichrist, to be believed as the Truth, which is Christ’s True Church, consequent to the free will assent of each and every human person who holds it. This “operation of error” is a Supernatural operation sent by God, as Saint Paul inerrantly prophesies in 2 Thess 2, verses 10,11:
“And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”
We see that Saint Paul inerrantly proclaims, “…to them that perish…”, who are lost, “…in all seduction of iniquity…”, these are the human persons who receive the “operation of error” as they have no love for Truth, Who is the Son of God made true Man, Jesus the Christ, as He commanded Himself to be in the Holy Gospel of John, chapter 14. “To them that perish”, as to all those who will spend an eternity in hell. As Almighty God Wills all of His miserable human creatures the Beatific Vision, we know with divine certitude that God does not send them the “operation of error” in accordance with His active Will, rather in accordance with the will of His miserable creatures as Lucifer, who proclaimed, “Non Servium”. I pray this helps as we know this is hard, as Christ Jesus commanded that He came not to bring peace but the sword, as it is in division that the truth springs forth and is plainly seen. God bless and keep you and yours’. In caritas.
Yes I agree, its the likes of Prof Q that cant seem to grasp what is meant by the Church being a Divine Institution. He wants to see and touch bricks and mortar.
Why oh WHY is Barnhardt telling people if TLM isn’t available to go to the Novus Ordo anyways?!
“My advice is the same as what I suspect the Apostles would say: Go to Mass while you still can, even if it is Novus Ordo…”
Her logic here is absurd. Because folks acted poorly at the Crucifixion, the NO is still better than nothing?!
Dear prisca ann,
Reading Ann for a long time, it is only now clear that she holds the “operation of error”, to believe the lie as the Truth, as this is objectively, as existentially understood. Why and how so? Because as proved in “Lumen Gentium” 16, that council from Lucifer which calls itself Catholic, teaches heresy as objective heresy, as it denies the very Triune Personhood of the Blessed and most Holy Trinity as God Himself in its very, “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church”, so called, “Lumen Gentium”, at point 16. Those who hold the One, True Faith know with divine certitude that heresy cannot be held and taught by the Church of Jesus Christ or the gates of hell have prevailed against Her. The Luciferian deception that the so called, “second vatican council” is a “pastoral council” and therefore it did not “define” anything new dogmatically matters not one iota of one iota in reality as Truth Himself. Aside from this reality as Truth, as opposed to the reality as deception, a so called “pastoral” reality is a reality which, “gives guidance”, as to be “pastoral” is to “give guidance”, which is to “teach”. We know with the infallible certitude of the Church and Her true teaching, that when “defining” or “teaching”, Holy Mother Church cannot err or the gates of hell have prevailed, which cannot ever happen by the divine command of the Son of God.
Even as one receives the “operation of error”, and might argue that not only did “vcii” not define but it did not “teach anything new” either, and therefore we do not have to give our “free will assent”, one is receiving the lie as the Truth, because “nowhere” as “anywhere”, and in any context can a true Pope, in union with his true Bishops, teach ANYTHING which is in opposition to previously defined teaching as the Deposit of Faith and this by the charism of Ecclesiastical infallibility, as if they could, once again the gates of hell have prevailed, and Peter has then lost his faith, which Christ Jesus our Lord and God Himself commanded in Luke 22: 31,32 simply cannot ever happen. If Peter, in his Successors, could lose their personal faith, then He could preach and teach in opposition to Dogmatic Truth, and if he did, as if he could, again, the gates of hell have prevailed against every Catholic who would believe his heresy as Truth, as heresy is in opposition to Faith, whether in a sermon, a letter, an Apostolic Constitution, etc, etc. Since the Holy Catholic Church, as Her Mystical Body, is the metaphysical form of the Church, the metaphysical matter is every Baptized person who holds the One, True, Faith, and is thus unified as one in communion with Her, as Church. As this is the ontological reality as Truth, if one single Baptized person was to accept heresy in any teaching of the Holy Roman Pontiff, whether it be a private conversation or from any form of communication with or by him, the gates of hell would have then prevailed against Holy Mother Church, in that one very person who holds the Faith as the Church, which cannot happen by divine command. As to get to Heaven, deFide, one must be inside the Church, as “extra ecclesia nulla salus” (outside the Church, there is no salvation), it only follows then by right reason, that anyone who holds the One, True Faith, is thus, “inside the Church” as a member of Her Mystical Body, and as the very metaphysical matter of the Church, which is ontologically inseparable from the Church, as the metaphysical form CANNOT, as it DOES NOT, exist apart from its metaphysical matter which informs it. Metaphysical “form” and “matter” do not in themselves have metaphysical “being”, and as thus they do not exist, as they are literally as actually the “first principles” (the Angelic Doctor’s term) of Almighty God’s creative Act, and as thus they exist in Him alone, apart from His created reality in being.
In closing prisca ann, each and every human person who holds the One, True, Catholic Faith, is the “matter” of the Church, and as thus he is “the visible Church” in Her metaphysical accidentals, as the “form” of the Church is perfectly inseparable from the “matter” of the Church, because neither is extant as apart from the other, and therefore can only exist in the created cosmos united as one. Once the “matter” is separate from the “form”, as Almighty God has created His cosmos ex nihilo, from nothing, there simply can only be “nothing” as “nihilo” left. As the “something” of which we are speaking is the “Holy Catholic Church”, we know by the command of Christ Jesus Himself, that the Church prevails until the end of time, and as we know that with divine certitude, we know that the Holy Roman Pontiff can never speak heresy because he can never lose his personal faith, as if he could and then as a result of his loss of personal faith, one as one of the Baptized received into his intellect that heresy and then willfully accepted it as Truth, the gates of hell then prevailed against Christ’s Church, His Mystical Body and spotless Bride. Ann Barnhardt is outside the Catholic Church where there is no salvation, deFide, as objectively understood, as she believes that the “conciliar church” of the Antichrist is the Catholic Church, which it cannot be, with metaphysical certitude. Let us join together in prayer, fasting, and suffering, for her conversion. Amen. Alleluia. Thanks be to God. In caritas.
Same place it always goes during times of severe persecution—-underground and into the shadows.
Prof Q’s concept of the Church is akin to a Knights of Columbus convention–nothing more than card carrying members who pay dues. No doctrine required.
Barnhardt is a train wreck at times, but I tolerate her since she is a convert and maybe doesn’t know any better. She is dead wrong about the Novus Ordo—it is the keystone in the entire edifice and must be eradicated and boycotted at all costs.
The Eucharist includes both the sacrament and the sacrifice of the Mass. By immediately mentioning the Mass, in the same sentence, PF seems to be deliberately explicitly ruling out the interpretation of “Eucharist” as simply “reception of the Eucharist” abstracted from sacrifice.
Or is your point that given what he’s done in the past, we should be interpreting his words to mean the opposite of what they say?
“PF seems to be deliberately explicitly ruling out the interpretation of “Eucharist” as simply “reception of the Eucharist” abstracted from sacrifice”.
If you do a pew survey or ask your New Mass attending friends and relatives, about 95% of them hold this exact same view; people say that the Vatican II Church never “catechized” anyone.