One of the primary faults of the conciliar text is that it encourages an exaggerated, and ultimately false, understanding of human dignity; an error that is taken even to the point of asserting a degree of autonomy that man simply does not possess.
As we shall see, this brand of anthropocentrism engenders a threefold revolt against Christ the Eternal High Priest, Christ the Prophet, and Christ the King.
The Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, provides the most stunning example of this encroachment right from its very opening:
A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.
Had this sentence been subjected to the scrutiny of any one of the pre-conciliar popes, there can be little doubt that he would have objected by reminding all concerned that man must act according to God’s judgment such as it is rendered by Christ the King; He to whom all authority has been given, lest he ultimately find himself judged to be unworthy of eternal life.
What’s more, he most certainly would have pointed out that fallen man is prone to evil; he therefore stands in need of a teacher in order to develop a “sense of duty” toward goodness and truth. This, of course, is precisely the role of Holy Mother Church as she guides the affairs of men in the name of her Founder and Head, Christ the Prophet.
Furthermore, as it pertains to the purpose for which the Declaration is written, religion, he surely would have made it clear that man is utterly incapable of upholding the first demand of justice – namely, to offer unto to God the worship that He is due – apart from the actions of Christ the High Priest such as they are continually carried out in the Church by His sacred ministers.
As it is, Dignitatis Humanae went on to insist that man has the right to freely practice whatever religion he so happens to judge worthy of his participation; worshipping God in whatever manner he may see fit, with the only possible exception being activities that disturb the “just public order” as defined in a purely secular way.
Many of the Council’s defenders readily acknowledge that this represents not just a novelty, but an about face; i.e., it is tantamount to a rejection of that which was once held to be true.
Former priest Gregory Baum (a Council peritus who participated in the drafting of Dignitatis Humanae), for example, pulled no punches in a 2005 interview with CNS:
‘The Catholic Church had condemned religious freedom [as conceived by the Council] in the 19th century,’ Baum stated, speculating that those bishops and theologians who resisted the Murray-inspired text did so because they ‘didn’t want to admit that the Church was wrong.’
Make no mistake, Baum is a pertinacious heretic, but he does well to insist that in order for the Council to be right in this matter, the traditional doctrine must have been wrong.
And what exactly is the primary difference between the two?
The traditional teaching is founded squarely upon the Sovereign Rights of Jesus Christ – Priest, Prophet and King. As such, it stresses mankind’s obligations toward Him and the one true religion that He Himself established for our salvation.
The conciliar approach, by contrast, is based upon an overblown sense of human dignity wherein each individual man is imagined to enjoy religious autonomy; with the emphasis therefore placed upon a supposed license “to act on one’s own judgment” in such matters apart from any obligation to truth.
The right to [religious freedom] continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it… (cf DH 2)
As the CNS article correctly stated:
This was a sharp departure from centuries of church teaching that complete religious freedom belonged only to the Catholic Church as an institution because it contained the fullness of divine truth.
The conciliar proposition, in other words, represents a new way of believing; so much so that to embrace it is to undergo nothing less profound than a conversion:
Archbishop Wojtyla was “keen on the document” and it “converted him to human rights,” said Baum.
More accurately stated, acceptance of the Council’s treatment of religious liberty demands conversion to a revolutionary idea; namely, the assertion of human rights over and against the Sovereign Rights of Jesus Christ.
Q: And what, sir, would you do if you could be king for a day?
A: Whatever I damned well please!
Indeed, he who enjoys sovereignty has many options from which to choose in life; including as it pertains to what, who and how he will worship.
According to Pope Benedict XVI, writing in an essay that was published by L’Osservatore Romano in October of 2012, this “right and freedom to choose” is precisely what the Council stressed on behalf of man:
At stake [in the Declaration on Religious Freedom] was the freedom to choose and practise religion and the freedom to change it, as fundamental human rights and freedoms.
The suggestion that man enjoys such “rights and freedoms” as these has been rejected many times by the Church as that which is incompatible with the true Faith. For instance, Pope Pius IX condemned the following false proposition as an example of “indifferentism” and “latitudinarianism” in his Syllabus of Errors:
“Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” (Pope Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors – 15)
[Note: Latitudinarianism is the belief that matters of doctrine, liturgical practice, and ecclesiastical organization are of little importance. Sound familiar?]
Indeed, what the Council proposes in the matter of religious liberty amounts to a revolution; one that demands a new manner of believing.
Lex orandi, lex credendi…
In order for the children of the Church to believe differently, however, the revolutionaries knew very well that it would be necessary for them to pray differently as well; most especially in the Mass, lest the tension between the two impede their conversion to that newchurch wherein humankind would be priest, prophet and king.
Enter the Novus Ordo Missae; a rite fit for sovereign man if for no other reason than the fact that it is readily available in a plethora of styles, with one to suit practically every liturgical taste imaginable; e.g., there are quiet Masses, children’s Masses, contemporary Masses, ethnic Masses, and even homo Masses all within easy driving distance of many Catholics.
The Novus Ordo also provides numerous opportunities for the laity to engage in a little sacerdotal role play should they so desire; e.g., as lectures, cantors and even “Eucharistic ministers.”
This smorgasbord of choices for the post-conciliar Catholic liturgical consumer isn’t just for the laity, mind you, as the priest-celebrant is also invited to assert his “right to choose.” Indeed, the new Mass places any number of options at the celebrant’s disposal; so many, in fact, that he will inevitably put his own personal stamp on the liturgy whether he intends to or not.
The anthropocentrism of the Novus Ordo goes well beyond mere liturgical choices; extending all the way to the very rite itself, and most notably so in the very centerpiece of the Mass.
In the Traditional Latin Mass, the Offertory puts human dignity, the priesthood, and our reliance upon Christ in their proper perspective straightaway as the priest begins:
Accept, O Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences, and for all here present; also for all faithful Christians both living and dead, that it may profit me and them for salvation unto life everlasting. Amen.
The very purpose of the Mass is thus established; it is the “spotless” Sacrifice offered in the present moment as propitiation for our sins; the fruits of our redemption made available unto salvation. It is made clear in these words that this is the work of Christ, and what’s more, we are given to know that the priest carries it out in a unique and singular way as he acts in persona Christi.
And why is this Sacrificial offering necessary?
The priest continues:
O God, Who, in creating human nature, did wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restored it…
Human nature was created with a certain dignity indeed, and yet we acknowledge that this dignity was so diminished by sin as to stand in need of restoration, both once and for all in light of original sin, as well as continually thanks to our personal and “innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences” – a restoration made possible only by the fruits of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on the Cross – the same made present and available in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Furthermore, we can discern in these words the reality that he who draws near to Christ – the Same who both dignifies and restores – enjoys human dignity in a greater degree than he who shuns the Lord and His saving work.
According to Martin Luther, however, the traditional Offertory was an “utter abomination” since “from here on, almost everything smacks and savors of sacrifice.”
This was untenable for Luther given his belief that “faith alone makes righteous and fulfils the law;” as such, he saw no need for, and in fact could not accept, the re-presentation of Our Lord’s Sacrifice such as it is carried out in the Mass.
Let us, therefore, repudiate everything that smacks of sacrifice, together with the entire canon and retain only that which is pure and holy, and so order our mass. (Formula Missa, 1523)
The protestant service would thus be a merely human act, albeit in the belief that Christ would be present “where two or three are gathered in His name.” (cf Mt. 18:20)
According to John Courtney Murray, architect of Dignitatis Humanae, concern for protestant sensibilities played a major role in the matter of religious liberty:
The declaration has opened the way toward new confidence in ecumenical relations and a new straightforwardness in relationships between the church and the world. (John Courtney Murray, Religious Liberty: An End and a Beginning, 1966)
Indeed, these ecumenical aims were well-served by the Declaration on Religious Freedom, and they would be served all the better once the Mass was rewritten in such way as to reflect and reinforce the Council’s anthropocentrism; thus, at the very least, making the rite less objectionable to the protestant.
And so it is that Luther’s directives were duly taken up by Annibale Bugnini and his merry band of liturgical revisionists in the crafting of the Novus Ordo, beginning with the wholesale elimination of the traditional Offertory.
In its place, the new Mass features human dignity on display as the laity-come-priest carry up “the gifts.”
The priest, for his part, now all but disavows his unique identity as he recites two Jewish “Baruchas,” or blessings:
Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread [and later, “this wine”] to offer, which earth has given [“fruit of the vine”] and human hands have made [“work of human hands”]. It will become for us the bread of life [“our spiritual drink”]…
The general thrust of these Barucha prayers concern mankind offering something to God, albeit from the gifts of His creation; i.e., these prayers speak of a decidedly human act.
For the Jew living before the coming of the Christ, the Eternal High Priest, this type of liturgical action made perfect sense given the fact that this is all they could possibly do under the Old Covenant. They had no way of entering into the very work of God; much less offering to Him that which is truly worthy.
Even so, their sacrificial offerings had no efficacy unto salvation; they simply served to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah and the New Covenant that He would establish.
For the Protestant, a liturgy wherein mankind offers something to God also makes sense given his belief in sola fide; he thus imagines himself sufficiently righteous as to make an acceptable offering to God on his own without the intermediation of a priest who can act sacramentally on his behalf in the person of Christ.
Such an offering as this is merely symbolic of the soaring dignity that the Protestant is convinced that he presently enjoys as a believer; a dignity that nothing short of unbelief can take away.
“As, therefore, faith alone makes righteous, and brings the Spirit, and produces pleasure in good, eternal works, so unbelief alone commits sin…” (Martin Luther)
It is for this reason that the liturgical revolutionaries saw fit to eliminate from the Mass those elements that communicate the unique and indispensable role of the priest; e.g., the priest’s Confiteor (separate from that of the faithful), his personal Domine non sum dignus, and the Placeat tibi at the end of Mass, just to name a few.
All of this having been said, the Novus Ordo Missae isn’t just an invitation to Protestantism; in truth, it is far more dangerous than that:
It is the lex orandi that begets the false belief that every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true – the same espoused by the Second Vatican Council – a threefold assault against Christ the Eternal High Priest, Christ the Prophet, and Christ the King, and the gateway to precisely the “indifferentism” and “latitudinarianism” against which Pope Pius IX had warned.
A Very Dear Friend of Mine had gone to a Tridentine Latin Mass one night, and the Next Morning, she was at a Low Novus Ordo Mass.
She noticed right away that it looked like a Protestant Liturgy for a Wedding. In short, she felt uncomfortable with the “Low NO.”
One Mass was developed over Centuries, while the other was copied from Heretics.
Why was the Holy See so anxious to force the NOVUS ORDO on The Faithful? Even Mainline Protestants are uncomfortable with it.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
“In conferring the Sacraments, as also in the consecration in Mass, it is never allowed to adopt a probable course of action as to validity and to abandon the safer course. The contrary was explicitly condemned by Pope Innocent XI [1670-1676]. To do so would be a grievous sin against religion, namely an act of irreverence towards what Christ Our Lord has instituted. It would be a grievous sin against charity, as the recipient would probably be deprived of the graces and effects of the sacrament. It would be a grievous sin against justice, as the recipient has a right to valid sacraments.” http://www.the-pope.com/saccha12.html
Ever mindful how does Psalms 23:6 fit in Louie’s article on the New Mass and Vatican II? Goodness of God will NOT follow those who remove Christ the King in the Mass!
Thanks Louie for the article! God Bless!
He is there…Body
“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
“..men should act on their own judgment..” Is that what Hitler thought? One example of many who have acted on their own judgment without regard for the judgment of God.
What frightens me most about the New Order Mass is NOT that Christ is NOT present in the Holy Eucharist, but that He IS present and profaned and desecrated at every “mass”. A very holy Traditional priest once referred to the N.O. Mass as “The Mass of Satan”. At the time, I thought he was very harsh. As time goes by, I tend to agree. There are many good and holy Catholics who attend this “mass”. They deserve better!
Ever Mindful (ever banging the same dr…tambourine!)
The Real Presence is indeed the point of Mass.
So how does the novus ordo help convey that? Compared to the rite of the true Mass?
By removing altar rails so those receiving Holy Communion don’t even kneel before their Lord, is that really conveyed? What about for the children who are used queueing in McDonalds to be handed their happy meal, how is the queue to be handed God in their hand possibly psychologically affirming the Real Presence you like to convince us you still hold is in fact something real.
Have you ever attended the Mass of ages? Holy Mass?
Nice piece, Uncle Louie
I am in complete agreement with Louie and for the past nine years I have been attending the Latin mass in my archdiocese as well as the SSPX chapel. The SSPX mass time worked well while we were caring for my husbands bedridden dad and his mom was still withit enough to leave him with her during the mass time …now we’re caring for her and her needs require a woman’s attention so I am forced due to time constraints to attend the 7 o’clock mass at the NO parish in my neighborhood and you can imagine how difficult it is to go backward after having the true mass all these years…that said I am always reminded the Our Divine Savior is truly present there as well and it is a source of solace and I spend the mass praying the rosary for the priest and parishioners there .
“Woe to those times when the dispensers of the divine word, having themselves nought but halved or use principles, give but weak; shriveled seed to the souls entrusted to them! The Holy Ghost is not bound to supply their insufficiency; ordinarily speaking, He does not supply it, for such is not the way established by Christ for the sanctification of the members of His Church. The common Mother, however, has supplementary aid for such of her children as may be thus treated.‑ it is her liturgy. There they will find, not only the holy sacrifice which will support them, and the graces of the Sacrament of love which will nourish spiritual life within them, but moreover, the surest rule of conduct and the sublimest teaching of every virtue.”
“Liberalism has taken root in the Church; therefore the moral compromise of the men of the Church with the men of Satan – now an open agreement- no more struggle, no more struggle against Satan, no more war against those who proclaim independence in regard to God – that is finished. And this pact was signed openly on the occasion of the Council, publicly, with the Freemasons, with the Protestants, with the Communists. We were present at this marriage, at this adulterous, abominable union, between the men of the Church and the revolution and the ideas, which go against God and Our Lord Jesus Christ, against His reign. This is abominable!”
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
“In the face of the constant progress of the auto demolition of the Church, the Mystical Body of Our Lord, which is the living Church, reacts and demands that the hierarchy help it to survive, not die. Numerous members of the Mystical Body go to extraordinary lengths in order to survive, doing all they can to find faithful priests and bishops who will give them the sources of life.
In such a predicament, it is the law of survival which commands, and no positive law, even ecclesiastical, can contradict this primary and fundamental law. Authority, law in the Church, as in all society, is at the service of life, and ultimately supernatural life, which is life eternal.”
Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
“Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
Rachel was indeed beautiful, and Jacob’s first love….Leah was in comparison plain, with no sparkle in her eyes…and yet fruitful…very fruitful, producing six sons…
Perhaps it is possible that the ” ugly Novus Ordo” might yet produce many sons indeed…
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Ever Mindful – “Rachel was indeed beautiful, and Jacob’s first love….Leah was in comparison plain, with no sparkle in her eyes…and yet fruitful…very fruitful, producing six sons…”
Nice attempt at spinning this as if to compare it to the Novus Ordo. Especially given that Leah was the wife the foolish Jacob was obligated to take, but instead God in an ironic manner turned the tables on him given he himself had deviously robbed his older brother of his heritage by starving him, and was now deviously tricked. It is also a foreshadowing of the New and Old Testament and those who would inherit the New Covenant with God. The Latin Mass inherited that of the Jewish Temple rituals. There will be no new covenant, and there will therefore be no new mass or ritual to follow that one. So you’ve misunderstood and misapplied the comparison, if anything it makes the Novus Ordo out to be an imposter. An Anti-Mass that will trick many in the last days.
Ever Mindful – “Perhaps it is possible that the ” ugly Novus Ordo” might yet produce many sons indeed…”
Your ‘possible (probably)’ is not good enough, and anything it might produce seems definitively proven to be less tasteful that the fruit of the trees the Old Mass produced. We want the fruit God gave us, not a genetically modified novelty, which may possess some of the benefits of the natural fruit but which is usually laced with unhealthy consequences.
To the indifferent, Jesus taught no dogmatic doctrine, only some vague ethic about the universal brotherhood of man. The indifferent “believer” feels the only essential of his religion is to service the natural morality; things such as such as social justice and physical charity. Therefore he feels free to jettison revealed religion, doctrine, dogma, prayer and liturgy for the “more important” things, and feels no need to convert the unbeliever.
Michael F Poulin
Thanks, Louie, I REALLY learned something important from you regarding the Mass. Just the little bit you wrote regarding the old Mass sacrifice and the Jewish old offerings. WOW. Thanks. I get it. I’ve only had the privilege of 3 or 4 Latin Masses so I’m emaciated. Also, anyone commenting above who can’t see the Truth of all Louie so kindly and clearly explained for our benefit, take it up with Our Lady. She warned us of all this in the 1600s. Our Lady of Good Success! She warned us ALL about the end of the 20th century. Why? Because she loves us. Louie has just pointed his finger at it. Louie, I think you’ve said that she’s the one who called you to this mission, if I’m not mistaken. Right? Keep up the great work. She always chooses the right people for her jobs. I pray your reward will be GREAT in Heaven.
While most liberal Catholics are indeed guilty of ignoring the faith and keeping only natural charity, most conservatives keep the faith but also seem to lag in charity directed to ones neighbor (for the sake of God). Just because we are legally permitted to do something doesn’t mean its ideal in keeping the beatitudes. Many conservatives know their faith on an intellectual level, but in loving their neighbor they either lag behind or try to say they love God first (to try to justify their self-serving profane politics). If someone were to dare to tell them to love their enemies and to do good to those who hate them some would give all sorts of excuses as to why they shouldn’t (because “liberal” charity is “false charity”–and it sounds too “liberal” or “effeminate”).
You see the heroic virtues and sacrifices of the saints, and how many Catholics are attempting to imitate them (whether “liberal” or “conservative”)?
Thank you, Louie, once again, for masterfully guiding us through the rabbit hole of modernism.
“produce many sons??” What kind of sons?????
Sorry for being late to this article, and repetitive here, but….oh my, this article is a masterpiece.
I submit these thoughts inspired by this article:
We do not possess the right and freedom to choose to worship Satan —- which is mortal sin —- for doing so would be tantamount to freely choosing to become a slave, a state which utterly denies us any rights or freedoms. Therefore, human rights and freedoms are not absolute, but rooted in the correct knowledge and proper worship of God.
All good points…I shall ponder and reflect
DH, Dec. 7, 1965: “A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.”
Just 20 years after the end of WWII, 100 million killed; 1945 was the demise of the Nazi regime with its Holocaust. Soviet Union still on the march, at least 60 million killed in peacetime. Maoism, at least 60 million killed in peacetime, 1965 was the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. Khmer Rouge murdering 1/3 of Cambodians, in the future. Other massacres in the future.
It was the 60s, so maybe the Council was just a bad LSD trip and today we’re suffering flashbacks.
While I should preface that I far prefer the TLM by the FSSP, and pray for a Holy Father to allow the celebration of the pre-55 Holy Week, I do regularly attend and maintain communion with my the diocesan Novus Ordo of my territorial parish.
I do think you doth protest a bit too much. That said, while I stipulate the Offertory is deficient, as is reverence every element that makes up a proper Mass is there, even if the horrible plethora of options should be strictly curtailed. I’m specifically just as bothered by the explicit Epiclesis and the abandonment of a thousand years of Catholic theology and apologetics against the Eastern schismatics as I am about the elements that were… muted to appease Lutheran sensibilities, especially in the dreadful work by ICEL only just recently corrected.
Wholesale, something like the 1965 Missal is not nearly so objectionable… it does make a certain amount of sense for the variable parts of a Mass (Oratio, readings, and other propers) to be in the vernacular, it doesn’t make any sense for the unchanging parts, especially the Canon.
This points to a larger problem seen well before the Council, probably as far back as the 1920’s…. the routine use of laics in place of the Minor Orders… I’m reminded of Session XXII of Trent, specifically Ch 17 calling for the restoration and reminded that this was a cyclical problem.
This is also apparent in Sacred Orders, specifically the lack of proper deacons and subdeacons outside of seminary, instead of priests performing those lower orders. That the heretics attacked the sacerdotal priesthood with such frequence and vehemence, we perhaps overemphasized the priesthood at the cost of every other Order, both Minor and Major.
This ultimately points to a problem identified well before the war, even in the late 19th century perhaps as it was the justification used by St. Pius X in the then radical adjustment to the centuries old psalter arrangement in the Breviary. That it was justified by papal authority alone makes in retrospect somewhat surprising it only took 5 decades for the same justification to be used in the radical adjustment to the Missal.
It’s not hard to find a half a dozen examples of many Popes, themselves unimpeachable on either orthodoxy or tradition, who nevertheless made questionably necessary adjustments to the Missal or Breviary instead of just passing on what they received. If the Eastern schismatics showed us what happened when Tradition was unbound by Authority, the post Conciliar period shows us what happens when Authority sees itself as unbound by Tradition.
Sorry, Trent Session XXIII, Ch 17, not XXII.
The quote before was cut by the WP formatting:
“The Novus Ordo also provides numerous opportunities for the laity to engage in a little sacerdotal role play should they so desire; e.g., as lectures, cantors and even “Eucharistic ministers.”