At yesterday’s the General Audience, Francis continued his series on the Mass. He began:
Taking up the catechesis on the Eucharistic Celebration…
Let’s stop here for a moment.
I must admit, the phrase “Eucharistic Celebration” – the word “celebration” in particular – raises my hackles.
Yes, many faithful churchmen have referred to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in such a way, but when a man like Francis does so, you can bet your bottom dollar that he means something very different.
What’s more, there can be no doubt that the average undernourished Novus Ordo Catholic hears, and experiences, something very different as well.
In English, the verb “celebrate” has a number of meanings.
It comes from the Latin celebrare – to perform – and it is this from which the Church derived the name for a letter whereby a priest may obtain permission to offer Mass in another diocese; it is called a celebret.
The Latin celebrare can also mean to honor or to glorify.
In current (if not common) usage, the word “celebrate” can mean to perform a solemn religious ceremony publicly and with appropriate rites.
All of the aforementioned meanings are the sense in which churchmen like Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ottaviani employed the word “celebration” with respect to Holy Mass.
The word “celebrate” can also, and more commonly, mean to mark something by festivities, or to engage in a joyful social gathering, and there can be no doubt that this is precisely the way in which it is employed, received and acted upon in Novus Ordo Land.
That rant out of the way, let’s now look at the content of this week’s General Audience wherein Francis focused on the “penitential act.”
He began by pointing out that “the priest’s invitation is addressed to the whole community in prayer, because we are all sinners.”
Those familiar with the Traditional Roman Rite recognize the profound significance of this statement better than most as the Confiteor, in the Mass of Ages, is first recited by the priest individually, and then by the servers on behalf of the faithful.
It is no mere coincidence that the ecumenically-sensitive architects of the Novus Ordo did away with this; the point being to diminish the unique identity of the priest as he who offers the Holy Sacrifice in persona Christi.
Addressing this matter in his Brief Critical study of the New Order of Mass, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani said:
The Confiteor which has now become collective, he [the priest] is no longer judge, witness and intercessor with God; so it is logical that he is no longer empowered to give the absolution, which has been suppressed. He is integrated with the fratres.
Also suppressed in the Novus Ordo is the bodily disposition of both the priest and the faithful as, in the Traditional Mass, a profound bow accompanies recitation of the Confiteor.
Ironically, Francis said in his treatment of the new “penitential act”:
One who is aware of his miseries lowers his eyes with humility.
And yet, not in the Novus Ordo.
Francis made mention of the fact that the Novus Ordo version of the Confiteor, unlike the traditional form, includes the phrase “and for what I have failed to do,” saying:
Yes, also in omissions, namely, of having neglected to do the good that one could have done.
Of this additional confession, Cardinal Ottaviani said:
In all this welter of curtailment a single enrichment only: the mention of omission in the accusation of sins at the Confiteor.
In fact, in his entire study on the Novus Ordo, this is the solitary element that His Excellency saw fit to praise!
Overall, yesterday’s General Audience contained much that is unobjectionable, and yet the Devil being the Devil…
Speaking of those rare occasions in the Novus Ordo when, “From time to time on Sundays, especially in Easter Time, instead of the customary Penitential Act, the blessing and sprinkling of water may take place as a reminder of Baptism,” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal – 51), Francis said:
Especially on Sunday, the blessing and the aspersion of water can be carried out in memory of our Baptism, which erases all sins.
Wait just a minute.
Did “the people’s Pope” just declare that the “sprinkling of water” in the Novus Ordo “erases all sins” (in Italian, cancella tutti i peccati), both venial and mortal?
If he did, can anyone really be surprised?
After all, this is the same Francis who stated:
It can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation [that is, those involving adultery or fornication] are living in a state of mortal sin. (Amoris Laetitia 301)
Clearly, the distinction between venial and mortal has been blurred, if not eradicated altogether, by Francis already.
Be that as it may, having watched the video and noting his inflections, it is apparent to me that Francis was speaking of Baptism as that which wipes out all sin; not the aspersion of water.
There’s no telling how many people actually took the time to watch the video (and can understand the Italian) versus the number of those who simply read the text.
Admittedly, the number of each is relatively small, and yet, one can easily imagine that many among the latter group, especially given the source, came away with a false understanding.
Oh well, confusion is simply part and parcel of life in the Church at this dreadful moment in time when a purveyor of heresies, who isn’t even Catholic in any meaningful sense of the word, is left to go about virtually unchallenged, acting as if he is the pope, and offering “catechesis” on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Tune in next week to discover how, presumably, he will manage to mangle the Gloria.