Trasitional Latin Mass Novus Ordo Mass
Table of Contents
Correlation and Causation Fallacy
The Smoke of Satan and Liturgical Reform
“Smoke” Equals Absence of Holy Spirit, Disunity, and Lack of CharityThe Economy of GraceCan The Celebrant Affect the Perfection of the Sacrament?
Includes Sections:External Actual GraceInternal Actual Grace
Reasons to Believe That the Miraculous Hosts Were Consecrated at NOMSummary of The Testing and Results of Each of the MiraclesCan the Miracles be Fraudulent
Quo Primum“Intent” as a Requirement for a Valid Consecration of the HostThe Form (Words) Used for Consecration
First event: BaptismSecond event: The Crucifixion; Re–presented at Mass
Includes Section:Jesus makes our prayers, sufferings, acts, words, etc., a perfect offering to our Father.
Do the Standard Traditionalist Claims Listed Above Justify a Judgment of Inferiority and/or Invalidity of a Mass?
Novus Ordo Mass: Inferior? NO! Valid? Yes! Proof Within!!
To be sure, I am not claiming the ability to make a judgment of formal heresy. That would belong to God, the Church, and the individual. I can judge the material, but not the person.HERESY. Commonly refers to a doctrinal belief held in opposition to the recognized standards of an established system of thought. Theologically, it means an opinion at variance with the authorized teachings of any church, notably the Christian, and especially when this promotes separation from the main body of faithful believers. In the Roman Catholic Church, heresy has a very specific meaning. Anyone who, after receiving baptism, while remaining nominally a Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith is considered a heretic. Accordingly four elements must be verified to constitute formal heresy [emphasis SML]: previous valid baptism, which need not have been in the Catholic Church; external profession of still being a Christian, otherwise a person becomes an apostate; outright denial or positive doubt regarding a truth that the Catholic Church has actually proposed as revealed by God; and the disbelief must be morally culpable, where a nominal Christian refuses to accept what he knows is a doctrinal imperative. Objectively, therefore, to become a heretic in the strict canonical sense and be excommunicated from the faithful, one must deny or question a truth that is taught not merely on the authority of the Church but on the word of God revealed in the Scriptures or sacred tradition. Subjectively a person must recognize his obligation to believe. If he or she acts in good faith, as with most persons brought up in non-Catholic surroundings, the heresy is only material and implies neither guilt nor sin against faith [I believe most, if not all, Traditionalists making such claims would belong in this latter category — SML]. (Etym. Latin haeresis, from the Greek hairesis, a taking, choice, sect, heresy.) [John Hardon, Catholic Dictionary: An Abridged and Updated Edition of Modern Catholic Dictionary (p. 206), The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group, Kindle Edition.]
The Various Reasons Why Some Prefer Mass Form “A” Over Form “B”
— Receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
— The atmosphere of reverence/sense of sacredness.—Beautiful music.—Homilies that are faithful to the Magisterium.—Kneeling for the reception of the Eucharist.
— Receive Jesus in the Eucharist.— Understanding what is being said as part of the Liturgy of the Mass and, when appropriate, participating in that Liturgy.— Able to focus more fully on the Liturgy of the Mass.— Kneel for Eucharist, should one so desire.— Greater sense of community.— A fuller realization that Jesus is joining my offering with his own offering. Among the eternal benefits of this Nuptial Union on the Cross is the fact that our imperfect offering is made perfect and pleasing to our Father.
In his book Liturgical Piety, Louis Bouyer defines a liturgical movement as, “the natural response arising in the Church to the perception that many people have lost that knowledge and understanding of the liturgy which should belong to Christians, both clergy and laity, and, in consequence, have lost the right use of the liturgy also.”This definition accurately describes the Roman Catholic liturgical scene during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Council of Trent in the latter half of the sixteenth century had imposed a strict central control on the Roman Rite in reaction to the chaotic state of the liturgy in the several centuries preceding the Reformation. … The long-range effect was debilitating. Joseph Jungmann in his history of the Mass of the Roman Rite says of the post-Tridentine period: “… the forces of further evolution were often channeled into the narrow bed of a very inadequate devotional life instead of gathering strength for new forms of liturgical expression.” The modern liturgical movement, then, came as reaction to the paralysis resulting from the post-Tridentine era. …Through his writing and daily liturgical celebration, Guéranger attempted to restore the liturgy to an earlier, purer form, involving active participation especially in the beauty of the chant. …Official recognition of the growing liturgical movement had begun to appear in the very first years of the twentieth century. Pope Pius X published a motu proprio on 22 November 1903 expressing the conviction that would serve as the charter for those involved in liturgical reform: that the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian spirit is active participation in the liturgy of the Church. …To complete the picture of the liturgical movement in Europe prior to 1925, we would have to include mention of the contribution of theological research and publication which accompanied the movement and would prove its firm grounding in the decades ahead. Johann Adam Möhler (1796–1838) led the field of patristic research at the University of Tübingen and moved away from the Counter Reformation stress on the structural and hierarchical elements of the Church to a sense of the Church as life in Christ, of the Church as the body of Christ.Pius X’s “active participation in the liturgy of the Church as the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian spirit” was hardly understood by American Catholics, let alone practiced. Even though by the 1920s frequent Communion was becoming more common, there was still a sense of distance between the people and the action of the Mass. People saw the Mass and sacraments as a holy drama being enacted before them for their benefit and ultimate salvation but had no understanding that what they witnessed in a spirit of reverential awe should be participative drama, to engage their bodies, their voices, and their hearts. They did not know themselves as the body of Christ worshiping the Father.The distance between the people and the altar deprived them of their sense of being one in the body of Christ. Their silence and the variety of private devotions to which they gave themselves during a Mass expressed and fostered a sense of individualism and, therefore, of less responsibility for one another as members of the one body. …The 1940s saw many more local efforts to bring Catholic congregations in parishes and schools into the mainstream of liturgical piety. While the rituals of Mass and sacraments remained themselves unchanged, measures were introduced to encourage participation in the services. Joseph Stedman’s My Sunday Missal, first published in 1932, now became more popular in use along with similar weekday missals and other such aids to help people follow along with the action of the Mass. The pamphlet Community Mass: Missa Recitata (1938), invited the actual vocal participation of the worshiping congregation in the Latin responses usually prayed by the Mass servers alone. …During the same decade two papal encyclicals were published by Pius XII: Mystici Corporis Christi on the Church as the body of Christ in 1943 and Mediator Dei on the liturgy in 1947. …After the publication of Mediator Dei, those interested in liturgical reform began to press for change in the rites themselves. The Vernacular Society was formed in 1946. The publication of Joseph Jungmann’s definitive history of the Roman Mass just after World War II had made it evident that the Mass had a long history of change through the centuries and that the Missal of Pius V in the wake of the Council of Trent had given an impression of stability (even rigidity) that was actually quite out of character with the preceding sixteen centuries. …
Whereas the practice of the Missa Recitata or Dialog Mass had previously been left to the initiative of the local parish, the Congregation of Rites in 1958 published an instruction encouraging active participation by the congregation in the prayers of the Mass and in the singing of vernacular hymns. …While thirty years later most American Catholics are satisfied and even enthusiastic about the results of liturgical change, those early days of the late 1960s and early 1970s witnessed widespread confusion and, in some quarters, hostility.[Michael Glazier and Monika K. Hellwig, The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004), 489–492.]
Why Critics Believe the NOM is Inferior or Even Invalid
Reasons the NOM Is Believed by Traditionalists to be Invalid
— There are different flavors (so to speak) of the belief that there is no longer a valid pope occupying the Chair of Peter. The historical point at which the Chair became vacant (a view known as Sedevacantism) depends on the individual Sedevacantist’s interpretation. As a result of this belief, they also believe there are no longer any valid priestly ordinations. Because the Chair became vacant, no new bishops, which means no new priests. Thus, invalid Masses.— Many Traditionalists interpret the Encyclical Quo Primum (promulgated by Pope Pius V in 1570) to mean that all Roman rite Masses must be celebrated in Latin. According to Traditionalists, the Mass is invalid if not compliant with this interpretation. See the following Endnote to read about the actual value of Latin. See here for an example of the Traditionalist belief.— There are two components required for a Sacrament to be valid: Form (the words spoken) and matter (a physical substance, e.g., water in Baptism). Many Traditionalists believe the Form used to consecrate the sacred species after 2VC is incorrect and, therefore, invalid. They believe only the 1962 missal contains the correct Form. We examine this further in the Section titled Theological and Liturgical Conclusions, item #3.There are many reasons why the Traditionalist positions listed above are wrong and why 2VC was right. However, in “The Proof is in the Transubstantiation” section below, I will quickly and easily prove why the former is wrong. Not just wrong, but heretically so.
Reasons it is Believed to be Less Efficacious/Less Holy
— Because there is no mention in the 2VC document Sacrosanctum Concilium restricting receiving the consecrated Host in the hand, it is now allowed.— Because there is no mention in the 2VC document Sacrosanctum Concilium restricting receiving the Eucharist standing up, it is now allowed.— No mention of the priest facing the congregation vs. ad orientem, so they face the congregation.— No mention of pausing to shake hands with your neighbors after the Consecration.— No mention of altar girls.— No mention of the type of music that is acceptable and authorized for use.— etc.
I find, however, that those traditionalists who are merely interested in older forms of the liturgy tend to absorb by osmosis the many spiritual and intellectual problems that characterize the [Traditionalist] movement. In particular, they come to see the earlier Form of the Roman Rite not as a matter of personal preference, but rather as objectively superior, due to its supposed antiquity and Perfection. This inaccurate understanding frequently produces an attitude of superiority toward other Catholics and the hierarchy.
I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that “in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions”.[Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter“Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796] But I am nonetheless saddened that the instrumental use of Missale Romanum of 1962 [pre-2VC Missal] is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the “true Church”.[Pope Francis, “Letter of the Holy Father Francis to The Bishops of The Whole World, That Accompanies The Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Data, “Traditionis Custodes,” Libreria Editrice Vaticana, https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2021/documents/20210716-lettera-vescovi-liturgia.html, 16 July 2021 (accessed 09/12/2022).]
We come now to traditionalist problems which are actually affecting the process of recouping their tradition … These are just general problems that you see pretty much across the board in almost every traditionalist apostolate. I just want people to be aware that these are the kinds of problems that we’re up against and why it’s actually causing damage to the traditional movement and why the tradition isn’t being recouped as quickly.
Since Ripperger characterizes the above problems as widespread, would that give the NOM adherents justification to say the TLM is inferior to the NOM? After all, in number three above, some priests admit that people going to the “New Rite” tend to be less prone to the sin of pride than Traditionalists. To be sure, I am being a bit facetious here. Both Forms are equally efficacious.1). Becoming Gnostic and Elitist: “They're constantly looking down and bad-mouthing everybody who goes to the New Mass, and things of that sort. Somehow or another they're special. But there's a darker side to this Gnostic aspect. Aside from the fact that it's rooted in pride and it's rude and it's haughty and it's presumptuous, because they presume that it's on their side and not on the grace of God that they can do these things, but there's a dark side.” [Ibid.]2. Impurity: Every Gnostic movement always suffers from grave problems of the impurity and so is the traditionalist movement. This is a serious problem. …This is something that traditional priests are starting to discuss because it's becoming a serious problem. Why is this? Well it's pride. Pride is the vice in which a person judges himself greater than he is. So what does God do? He allows you to lapse into the lowest, basest, vulgarest forms of sins in order to lower your estimation of yourself. Well what's happening is, because traditionalists are so proud, they're really following into serious problems regarding the sixth commandment and it's across the board. [Ibid.]3). Generational Spirits: “What's a generational spirit? It's one in which if parents commit particular kinds of sins, they open the door to demons [Fr. Ripperger is an exorcist] inserting themselves into their family life, and it gets passed from generation to generation. Now my own estimation of this is, is that the generational spirit is pride. … seeing it almost it's across the board … there's some estimates by some priests that it's worse than is among the New Rite people… It's already happening among the youth of the traditional movement.” [Ibid.]4). Isolationist Attitude: “You're not going to attract people. Why? Because there's a natural human psychology. People aren't going to go to some place where they know people are looking down on them.” [Ibid.]5). Depression and Despair:6). Anger: “Anger’s a real problem among traditionalists. We have to be sure that the problems in the church do not affect our charity, and we have to stop detracting against the Magisterium. Okay, why? Because in the end it destroys people's ability to the virtue of piety. How can you expect people to want to submit themselves to Christ’s legitimate authority handed on through the Magisterium if you're constantly running down the bishops and the priests and the Pope and things of that sort?” [Ibid.]7). Disrespect Of Authority and The Magisterium: “This negative attitude towards the Magisterium is one of the reasons why the Magisterium has been so slow to give us anything. … Then they allow their filial devotion to the office of the papacy to wane; that is not making the proper distinctions between the man and the office. It doesn't matter what the man does. The fact of the matter is we must be faithful and loyal to the office.” [Ibid.]8). Loose, Reckless Argumentation: “Engaging in argumentation when they are intellectually unprepared out of a desire to defend what they think is true. This is a serious problem. I've read so much literature by a traditionalist that has theological error in it because they raced in where they were unprepared to defend.” [Ibid.]9). Bullying People: “We have to be sure that we're not always trying to seek to beat up on people. This is part of the whole anger thing. Yeah, it's true that the state of the church is bad, but that doesn't mean that when you see people doing something wrong, you beat up on them.” [Ibid.]10). Driving Others Away: “And so what does this all mean? Trads, in my experience, tend to drive more away than they attract very often. And this means that we have to do some serious self-reflecting about how we're behaving in relationship to other people to make sure that they are able to see the value of the tradition.” [Ibid.]
1). “[T]raditionalism isn’t [Catholicism] . . . Instead, it is an ideological mask more identifiably in the shape of true Catholicism. It is, in some respects, a long-running Live Action Roleplay — a LARP — in which participants act out what they think Catholicism looked like in ‘the good old days’ while perpetually running down any kind of Catholicism (or Catholic who practices it) that isn’t traditionalism.”2). “He [Skojec] has also made some comments along the same lines on his Twitter page: ... the cult-like mentalities of many Catholics, the sewer that is the traditionalist ‘movement,’. . . (5-28-21). TraditionalISM features some of the most toxic people I’ve ever met. (5-27-21). … There is a virulent strain of anti-Semitism in Traditional Catholicism, and I detest it. It strangely seems to be worse among younger trads, usually young men. … But as long as people keep sniping at me from the right, I’m going to keep punching back. We [traditionalists] are our own worst enemies.” The divisiveness and the infighting of the smoke of Satan is clearly evident in Skojec’s views on Traditionalism.3). “There was a time when I was an ‘angry trad,’ when I lashed out at others as I clawed for a spiritual inheritance I felt was stolen from me [via Second Vatican Council]. While this is probably a natural reaction, I now know it gained me nothing. There is no value in promoting the beauty of something when one’s conduct in so doing is itself repulsive (…) However justified it may be, traditional angst has always been counterproductive.”4). “[Y]oung advocates of traditional liturgy like me found ourselves heading to worship God every Sunday in the company of individuals who, as often as not, seemed dour and judgmental. They spoke in effusive terms when they described their Mass, but appeared pained when they actually attended it. No smiles ever seemed to touch their lips, and they would glare at women (like my wife) who would at times forget their chapel veils, or wear makeup, or fail to provide some means of instant corporal punishment at the first sign of a squirming toddler. In short, they had become terrified of novelty, and accustomed to betrayal, they had seemingly lost the capacity for joy....That joylessness became the traditionalist brand, and they spread it everywhere they went. From the condemning, anonymous masses who pass judgment on all things Catholic on forums.”
The Economy of Grace
Can The Celebrant Affect the Perfection of the Sacrament?
When a sacrament is celebrated according to the norms of the Church and in faith, we believe that it confers the Grace it signifies. While a human being is the minister of the Sacrament, Christ Himself is the one who is at work: He baptizes, He confirms, He absolves, He changes the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, He unites a couple in marriage, He ordains, and He anoints. Acting in His sacraments, Christ communicates the Grace – that sharing in the divine life and love of God– offered through each Sacrament. (Confer the Catechism, #1127-28.)
Therefore, the Church has taught that the sacraments act ex opere operato, that is “by the very fact of the action’s being performed.” The efficacy of the Sacrament does not depend upon the human minister [who is in Persona Christi] – whether a bishop, priest, deacon, or layperson – being free of mortal sin and thereby in a state of Grace. Here then is the distinction between Christ who instituted the sacraments and acts through them to communicate His Grace, and the human person who acts as Christ’s minister in performing the Sacrament.
Every Sacrament Communicates Both Sanctifying and Actual Grace
Catholic theology commonly defines actual graces as internal and immediate illuminations of the intellect and inspirations of the human will. They are internal because they are conferred on either of the two spiritual faculties, which alone can perform salutary actions that positively lead a person towards the beatific vision. Later on, we shall examine in detail the much neglected external graces, whose number and variety are myriad [i.e., an indefinite number; innumerable] but which are either not internal because, originating outside the intellect and will or, though internal to the spiritual faculties, they are not strictly graces but the native movements of the [spiritual] soul.
The immediacy of actual graces is an elusive concept. It does not mean that whenever God gives an actual grace, He dispenses with such external media as preaching, spiritual reading, exhortation or good example. On the contrary, He normally uses such means as the occasion for conferring internal light or strength. The Grace is called immediate because it does not arise by means of purely natural causation, such as would be inherent in the native powers of the soul or as God supplies by the general concursus He gives to all secondary causes. God enters the faculty in a special and gratuitous manner, so that the mind or will are now able to produce acts that are essentially superior to anything a man could perform naturally and without such divine influx. [Hmm! Another blow to the rational used by Traditionlists to justify the claim of the superiority of the TLM — SML]
While insisting on the existence of immediate actual graces in the intellect, we do not question there are also mediate graces for the mind. Such would be any one of a countless number of ways [emphasis SML] that God may enlighten us, in keeping with His supernatural providence. In other words the mental image or operation arises spontaneously and naturally according to the laws of psychology, even though God may have generously directed certain factors outside the mind in our favor.
Similarly we may speak of mediate inspirations of the will, that follow naturally on a previous mental illumination which the mind presents to the appetitive faculty. God may also have so arranged things that the antecedent knowledge was not the bare fruit of our own thinking but supernaturally infused, or at least we came by this knowledge with providential help. Unless the essence of the inspiration is itself supernatural, it is still mediate and not an actual grace in the strict theological sense.
Actual Grace is distinct from Sanctifying Grace (as discussed above). However, Actual Grace is also sanctifying (small ‘s’). To clarify the distinction between the two, recall that Sanctifying grace is a direct communication between God and the spiritual soul through which the spiritual soul is deified. On the other hand, small ‘s’ sanctifying Grace is God’s communication to the spiritual soul through many different means, e.g., preacher, art, music, geographical landscape, etc. Thus, we can appreciate a saying used by many of the saints when they exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of all things for sanctifying His elect through one another.” There are numerous modes through which this sanctification can occur. The most noticeable modes of sanctification are: 1) purification of the heart and body; 2) illumination of the intellect (as Augustine tells us, you cannot love what you do not know); and 3) union with God.
An exhaustive tabulation of the various types of external [Actual] Grace is impossible. They are too numerous and varied to allow strict classification, and too complex to describe except in the most generic way. Yet certain broad lines of emphasis appear regularly in ascetical literature, which goes back to the homilies of Origen and Augustine, and may be found in all the classic writers on the spiritual life.
As a general principle, the love of God transforms into Grace everything which is good, and does not limit the transformation only to things which appear good to us. For divine love is present in all creatures, with the sole exception of those which are sinful and contrary to the law of God.
As the Apostle says (Rom. 13:1), “those things that are of God are well ordered.” Now the order of things consists in this, that things are led to God by other things, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv). And hence since Grace is ordained to lead men to God, this takes place in a certain order, so that some are led to God by others. And thus, there is a twofold grace: one whereby man himself is united to God, and this is called ‘sanctifying grace’; the other is that whereby one man cooperates with another in leading him to God, and this gift is called ‘gratuitous grace’ [a type or form of Actual grace — SML], since it is bestowed on a man beyond the capability of nature, and beyond the merit of the person. But whereas it is bestowed on a man, not to justify him, but rather that he may cooperate in the justification of another, it is not called sanctifying Grace.
The Proof is in the Transubstantiation
The Seven Eucharistic Miracles
1). Buenos Aires, Argentina — 1992. It is highly likely that, in this miraculous event, the unveiled Host was consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass. See the reasoning below.2). Buenos Aires, Argentina — 1994. It is highly likely this miraculous Host was consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass. See the reasoning below.3). Buenos Aires, Argentina — 1996. In this miracle, it is highly likely that the miraculous Host was consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass. See the reasoning below.4 & 5). Betania, Venezuela — There are two miracles in Betania involving the same miraculous Host: A) 1991 — There is insufficient evidence to substantially indicate which Form of the Mass the miraculous Host of 1991 was consecrated. However, there is no listing in the Worldwide Directory of Traditional Latin Masses of any Tridentine Masses offered in the entirety Venezuela. This, coupled with some video evidence, would seem to indicate that the prish in which the Mass was celebrated, used the 1969 Roman Missal (i.e., the new Rite). Read on.
B) In 1998, a new miracle occurred involving the very same original 1991 miraculous Host. In the latest miracle, the 1991 Host, when exposed for viewing, appeared to be on fire while simultaneously pulsating in the manner of a human heart. The pulsations lasted for about 30 seconds, then returned to its previous miraculous state (i.e., the sacramental veil was still lifted, but the heart tissue was no longer pulsating). The 1998 video of the pulsating heart begins by showing the Mass being said prior to opening the door of the specially designed Tabernacle in the Shrine, thus exposing the miraculous Host. The Mass in the video was clearly a Novus Ordo Mass. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that the 1998 Mass was somehow related to the miracle of the pulsating heart, but not as part of the consecration of it. It would also be accurate to say that the hosts consecrated in the Mass, which was digitally recorded in 1998, were Transubstantiated into the very same Person of Jesus Christ as was present in the special Tabernacle (containing the entire humanity and Divinity of the Son of God) located just a few feet away from the altar.6). Tixtla, Mexico — 2006. It is highly likely that the miraculous host was consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass. See the reasons below.7). Legnica, Poland — 2013. It is likely (but not certain) that the miraculous host from this parish was consecrated at a Tridentine Mass.
Reasons to Believe That Five of the Seven Miraculous Hosts Were Consecrated at a NOM
— In all Tridentine Masses, only the consecrated hands of an Ordained minister (via the Sacrament of Holy Orders) can touch the consecrated host. It is for this very reason that EOMHCs are forbidden to distribute Holy Communion. Thus, EOMHCs serve no purpose at a Tridentine Mass. Thus, there would be no reason for them to be present at a TLM. Therefore, the presence of an EOHMC indicates the Host was consecrated at a Novus Ordo Mass.— The miracle at Tixtla in Mexico contains more than one fact that makes it highly likely the miraculous Host was consecrated during a Novus Ordo Mass. First, a nun participated in the distribution of Communion. A nun is not an Ordained minister. Thus (for the same reasons cited above), she could not perform that function (of EOMHC) at a Tridentine Mass. Second, the altar was set up so that the celebrant would face the laity during Mass. In the Tridentine Mass, the celebrant faces the High Altar (upon which is the Tabernacle).— Furthermore, then auxiliary bishop of the Argentine capital, the Jesuit who would become Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, later Pope Francis, was the Ordinary for the Archdiocese where the miracles took place. It is well known that Bergoglio was/is not, to say the least, a fan of the TLM.— Finally, as of 2022, neither Saint Mary Parish in Buenos Aires, Tixtla in Mexico, nor any Venezuelan parish are listed in the Worldwide Directory of Traditional Latin Masses as locations offering the Tridentine (aka TLM) Mass. While this source does not present any evidence that can be described as conclusive, it does help to strengthen the assertion.
Summary of The Testing and Results of Each of the Miracles
- Buenos Aires (results from all three miracles):
1) “[Cardiologist and Researcher Franco] Serafini provides an exhaustive description of the team of scientists who studied the samples: from Dr. Robert Lawrence of Delta Pathology Associates in Stockton, California, and Dr. Peter Ellis of Sydney University Australia, to the now elderly Lanciano miracle scholar in Italy, Professor Linoli Arezzo. Subsequently, the opinion of a prestigious and definitive team was requested. The team was led by Dr. Frederick Zugibe, primary care physician and cardiologist in Rockland County, New York.”
2) “Dr. Zugibe studied the samples without knowing the origin of the [organic] material; the Australian scientists did not want to influence his expert opinion. Dr. Zugibe had been performing autopsies for over 30 years, an expert in analyzing the heart, in particular.” We read:
— “This sample was alive, at the time it was collected,” said Zugibe. It’s incredible that it would have been preserved for so long, explains Serafini. Then, in his conclusive opinion of March 2005, Dr. Zugibe specified that the substance consisted in human blood, which contained intact white blood cells, and “living” heart muscle, from the left ventricular myocardium. He declared that the tissue alterations are compatible with a recent myocardial infarction, by the obstruction of a coronary artery followed by a thrombosis or by a severe trauma to the chest in the region above the heart. Thus, it was living and wounded heart tissue. … Moreover, the heart showed dynamic activity (alive) at the moment when you brought me the sample.” “Why?” I ask him. “Because we found some intact white blood cells and white blood cells are transported only by the blood and thus if white blood cells are here, it is because at the moment in which you brought me the sample it was pulsating.”— “It is important to note that if blood is drawn from a person, after 15 minutes the white blood cells disintegrate. Thus, it is absolutely unexplainable from the scientific point of view that in 2005 white blood cells were found in the sample of 1996. This demonstrates that the heart had dynamic activity at the instant in which the samples were collected.”
- Tixtla, Mexico:
1) “The Bishop of the place, Most Reverend Alejo Zavala Castro, then convened a Theological Commission of investigation and, in October 2009, he invited Doctor Ricardo Castañón Gómez, to take on the leadership of the program of scientific research whose purpose was in fact that of verifying the said event. The Mexican Ecclesiastical authorities turned to Doctor Castañón Gómez because they were aware that, in the years 1999-2006, the scientist had conducted some studies on two consecrated Hosts that also bled in the Parish of Saint Mary, in Buenos Aires.”2) “The reddish substance analyzed corresponds to blood in which there are hemoglobin and DNA of human origin.”3) “In 2010, by means of a study of digital microscopic penetration through the shooting of ultraviolet rays and intense white light it was demonstrated that the tissue seen in the upper part of the Host showed some dry coagulated blood. The analyses showed moreover that under the Blood already coagulated beyond some structures of the white Host, there was also the presence of fresh Blood. Also this analysis confirmed the fact that the blood was not placed by someone from the exterior because if it were like this it could not remain fresh for so much time (from 2006 to 2010) only in the internal part of the Host.”5) “When there is the presence of human DNA one thinks that also the genetic profile can be automatically obtained. Interestingly in all the studies performed on the images that sweated blood or in the consecrated Hosts that have bled the presence of DNA was found, but when the work of sequencing to extract the genetic profile was done, they were never able to obtain it. The theologians say that since Jesus does not have a father, his father is the Holy Spirit, it is not possible to obtain his genetic profile.”6) “By analyzing the Host, it was observed that it was human blood of type AB and that it corresponded to tissue. Then an analysis was done of phytochemical markers which confirmed that it was live cardiac muscle. No study exists that can maintain alive a cardiac tissue in this situation. Normally after 48 hours the tissue dies, here 3 months passed before the result could be obtained and this is truly unexplainable for science.”
- Legnica, Poland:
1) “The Bishop … established a special theological scientific commission to analyze the event. We noticed that over time the stain on the Host changed color from deep red to red brown (...). The sample was taken directly by the scientists on 26 January 2014. For the priests the miracle was evident. The commission checked if It was some fungus, mold or another external agent (...). The Wrocław Forensic Medicine Institute immediately excluded the presence of bacteria or fungi as a cause for the Host turning red.”2) “A second histopathological analysis pointed out that some fragments seemed to belong to myocardial tissue. An additional opinion was sought using the same samples at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Szczecin without specifying where the samples came from. The Institute used a different analysis method. After the analysis, The Pomeranian Medical University’s Department of Histopathology in Szczecin announced that “tissue fragments containing fragmented parts of cross-striated muscle” was found in the histopathological image. This is similar to “human heart muscle with alterations that often appear during the agony. We have not tested the blood found on the Host, we only know that human DNA was found.” The results of the analysis were presented to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which recognised the supernatural nature of the event. It is striking that the examination results were similar to those of the Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle of 700 A.D. and other Miracles that occurred recently such as Sokolka in 2008, in Poland, Tixtla in 2006 in Mexico, and Buenos Aires, in Argentina in 1996.”
- Betania, Venezuela:
1) “[In the 1991 miracle,] The Host of the Miracle was subjected to some special studies, requested by the then Bishop of Los Teques, H. E. Most Reverend Pio Bello Ricardo, and the results confirmed that the blood was human blood of type AB positive which matches the one found in the cloth of the Shroud of Turin and in the Host of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, that occurred in Italy in 750 AD and was analyzed by 500 commissions of the World Health Organization.”2) There was a second miracle of the Eucharist in 1998. Notably, it involved the same miraculous Host of 1991. This miracle was discussed earlier in this article, so the testing results on the 1991 miracle would also apply to this (1998) miracle. The latter miracle also includes a video of the event. Like the newest miracle in Mexico on July 24, 2022, the 1998 Host pulsated for about thirty seconds. In both Betania and in Mexico, the pulsating hosts generated a visible electromagnetic field. The difference between the two is this: the beating heart in Betania radiated a range of fiery hues within the generated electromagnetic field. The EMR field generated in Mexico was more monochromatic.
Can the Miracles be Fraudulent.
Demons cannot access our intellects, [but] it does not mean they cannot influence them. By dredging up (and “jumbling up”) the various images stored in our sense memory, they can indirectly affect our intellect and will. According to Saint Thomas, they cannot put images in our memory that were not already there. They can only access previously stored sense data, presenting them to us in various combinations in a provocative way. What an incentive to keep our memory free of all sinful images! We must therefore be on our guard, and not give ammunition to the Enemy by our imprudent use of the Internet, TV, and other media that “the rulers of the world of this darkness” influence so heavily.
“Imagination” in the philosophical sense is not what it is in common parlance. It is the repository not only of visual images (“pictures”), but also of phantasms derived from the other four external senses. So, included in the potential diabolic arsenal are other phantasms, e.g., sound bites of uncharitable things we or others have said, which may easily arouse us to anger, hatred, depression, or discouragement. And yes, the demons want to stir all those things up in us.
As Satan is called not only “the tempter” (Matt. 4:3), but also “a liar and the father thereof” (John 8:44), we know that his malefice includes lying deception. This goes for his fellow demons, too. Given what has been said of their power over the sense memory and imagination, they are capable of presenting images in our brains that we later make into ideas in our minds.
The same reverence is shown to it as was shown at first, which would not be done if Christ were not truly there, to Whom we show reverence of latria. Therefore, when such apparition occurs, Christ is under the Sacrament… as was said already, this is not deception, because it is done “to represent the truth,” namely, to show by this miraculous apparition that Christ’s body and blood are truly in this Sacrament. And thus, it is clear that as the dimensions remain, which are the foundation of the other accidents, as we shall see later on (Q. 77, A. 2), the body of Christ truly remains in this Sacrament.
Theological and Liturgical Conclusions
Is The Novus Ordo Mass Invalid
1. Quo Primum
2. “Intent” as a Requirement for a Valid Consecration of the Host
In the Summa, St. Thomas affirms: The minister’s “intention is required, whereby he subjects himself to the principal agent; that is, it is necessary that he intend to do that which Christ and the Church do.” (Part III, q. 64, a. 8).
Msgr. Glenn offers an interpretation of this text:
“The one who confers a sacrament must truly intend to confer it. He must employ the determinate matter or sign. He must mean the words [the Form] which make the sign sacramentally significant. If the intention of the minister [that is, the person who administers the Sacrament] is amiss, the Sacrament is not validly conferred.”
The crux of intentio interna lies in the fact that it is directed to inner signification of the sacramental rite, not merely the external execution of the rite. And external intention does not appear to fulfill the requirement of the priest doing what the Church does. As stated by Ludwig Ott above, to confect the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and simultaneously confect the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass supports the requirement for intentio interna, which mandates belief in Transubstantiation.
It is not necessary for the priest to have the specific intention that Transubstantiation take place so long as he has the general intention to celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist, even if he has a very erroneous understanding of that Sacrament. …Thus, for the Eucharist, but also for other sacraments, only the general intention to “do the thing that Christians do” is needed for validity: “Objectively considered, the intention of doing what the Church does suffices. The minister, therefore, does not need to intend what the Church intends, namely to produce the effects of the sacraments. . . . It suffices if he has the intention of performing the religious action as it is current among Christians” (Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 344). This is also the interpretation of Aquinas (ST III:64:9-10).
— “Then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You [i.e., God] alone [emphasis SML] know the hearts of all the sons of men” (1 Kings 8:39).
— “Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21).
— “I am He who searches the minds and hearts” (Rev. 2:23).
— “But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, Who tries the feelings and the heart” (Jeremiah 11:20).
— “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
— “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Mt. 7:1-5).
By denying the intrinsic efficacy [emphasis SML] of the sacraments the Donatists claimed the sacraments could be celebrated validly only by those in the state of grace. They required the re-baptism of any Catholic who came over to their sect.
Donatists had the outward forms of Catholicism, including bishops, priests, and deacons, Mass, and the veneration of the relics of martyrs. The heresy of Donatism lay not primarily in the denial of particular Catholic doctrines but in the assertion that only “sinless” men could administer the sacraments validly.
1). “In the eleventh century a heretical doctrine that denied the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist gained currency and spread rapidly throughout Europe. Even some of the priests came under its poisonous influence. One such victim was Bernardo Oliver, parish priest of Ivorra. Lingering doubts about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist constantly haunted him. Miracle: One day while celebrating Mass Fr Bernardo was shocked to find the wine in his chalice turn [into] Blood which in turn began to overflow the chalice onto the corporal, from the corporal to the altar-cloth, and from there finally on to the ground. The celebrant was overawed at this development. Kneeling down he adored the Lord in the Eucharist and recited an act of faith [which, by the very desire/necessity to do so, shows that in the priest’s own opinion, faith was not present before this miracle — SML] with a joyful heart.”2). “A priest-monk of the Order of St. Basil was celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Latin Rite. Although his name is unknown, it is reported in an ancient document that he was ‘… versed in the sciences of the world, but ignorant in that of God.’ Having suffered from recurrent doubts regarding Transubstantiation (the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ), he had just spoken the solemn words of Consecration when the host was suddenly changed into a circle of flesh, and the wine was transformed into visible blood. Bewildered at first by the prodigy which he had witnessed, he eventually regained his composure, and while weeping joyously, he spoke to the congregation: “O fortunate witnesses, to whom the Blessed God, to confound my unbelief [emphasis SML], has wished to reveal Himself visible to our eyes! Come, brethren, and marvel at our God, so close to us. Behold the flesh and blood of our Most Beloved Christ.”
[The priests] are the workers who have the keys to the wine cellar, that is, the blood poured forth from this vine [the Eucharist at Mass] ... (And this blood is so perfect in itself that you [the communicant] cannot be deprived of its benefits through any fault in the minister.)
[St. Catherine of Sienna, The Dialogue, Suzanne Noffke, O.P (
997 MacArthur Blvd., Mahwah, NJ 07430: Paulist Press, 1980)
, p.62-63.] ...So you see, in no way can the heat and color and brightness that are fused in this light be divided — not by the scant desire the soul brings to this sacrament, nor by any fault in the soul who receives it or in the one who administers it. It is like the sun, which is not contaminated by the filth it shines on. Nothing can contaminate or divide the gentle light in this sacrament. Its brightness is never diminished and it never strays from its orbit, though the whole world shares in the light and heat of this Sun. So this Word, this Sun, my only-begotten Son, never strays from me, the eternal Sun and Father. In the mystic body of holy Church he is administered to everyone who will receive him. He remains wholly with me and wholly you have him, God and human, just as I told you in the example of the lamp. Though all the world should ask for his light, all would have it whole, and whole it would remain.
[St. Catherine of Sienna, The Dialogue, Suzanne Noffke, O.P (
997 MacArthur Blvd., Mahwah, NJ 07430: Paulist Press, 1980)
, p. 209.]
3. The Form (Words) Used for Consecration
1). Luke: “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’” (Lk. 22:19-20).2). Mark: “Take; this is my body’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many’” (Mk. 14:22-24).3). Matthew: “Take, eat; this is my body” “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant” (Mt. 26:26-28).
Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, to Thee, God, His almighty Father, giving thanks to Thee, blessed it (+), broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take ye and eat ye all of this: for this is my body.In like manner, after He had supped, taking also into His holy and venerable hands this goodly chalice again giving thanks to Thee, He blessed it (+), and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take ye, and drink ye all of this: for this is the chalice of my blood, of the new and everlasting testament, the mystery of faith, which for you and for many shall be shed unto the remission of sins.
On the night he was betrayed, he took bread and gave you thanks and praise. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you.
When supper was ended, he took the cup. (Luke 22:20) Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.
Traditionalists Claim the Novus Ordo Mass is Less Holy, Less Efficacious
Sanctifying and Actual Grace Through the Mass
“The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the postulate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church [emphasis SML] namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
Fr. Chad Ripperger and Traditionalist Thought.
We must also sharply distinguish between the intrinsic and the extrinsic value of the Mass (valor intrinsecus, extrinsecus). As for its intrinsic value, it seems beyond doubt that, in view of the infinite worth of Christ as the Victim and High Priest in one Person, the sacrifice must be regarded as of infinite value, just as the sacrifice of the Last Supper and that of the Cross. ...But when we turn to the Mass as a sacrifice of impetration [obtaining by prayer or petition] and expiation, the case is different. While we must always regard its intrinsic value as infinite, since it is the sacrifice of the God-Man Himself, its extrinsic value [i.e., the value of the Actual graces] must necessarily be finite in consequence of the limitations of man. The scope of the so-called “fruits of the Mass” is limited.[The Catholic Encyclopedia (The Gilmary Society, New York, 1913), vol. 10, p. 17.]
Jesus can never be separated from his Mystical Body any more than his Divinity can be separated from his humanity. For the Mystical Body of Christ is Christ’s Incarnation, prolonged through space and time [emphasis SML]. Sheen explains that the Church “continues Christ, expresses Christ, develops all the virtualities, potentialities of Christ, makes it possible for Him to extend Himself beyond the space of Palestine and the space of thirty-three years to prolong his influence unto all times and to all men—in a word, it de-temporalizes and de-localizes Christ so that He belongs to all ages and all souls.”
His human nature is as entire and intact as any human nature; He is as perfectly human as any of us, being man in the truest sense of the term. And although the human nature in Christ is something new (for He assumed it in hypostatic union only at the Incarnation), nevertheless the personality [all emphasis SML] of that human nature is not new, but eternal. Such was the meaning of our Lord when answering the Jews concerning the death of Abraham and His comparative age: “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made [past tense —SML] I am [present tense, the eternal now]” (Jn 8:58). … Each of the actions of His human nature is to be attributed to His Person. But His Person is the Person of God—therefore, each and every action of His human nature had an infinite value because it was done by the Person of God. Hence, a sigh, a word, or a tear would have been sufficient to have redeemed the world, because it was the sigh, the word, or the tear of God.
The Value of the “Extrinsic(s)” at Mass
Essentially or partially (according to many theologians) actual grace is a supernatural motion or promotion of the mind and will to a certain salutary act. God takes the initiative physically. If I say “yes,” God “moves along with me” and I (my grace-moved will) produce the act under God, so that the act proceeds from God and from me moving under God. God starts the process in my mind and will. I assent. God and I produce the act. The salutary value of it is due to God [thus possessing eternal value — SML]: He is acting with an eye to the Beatific Vision.
God is the God of the present, and He uses things which move me now. Often His starting point is a prayer, but not always. Sometimes it is love of mother, sickness, death, or any apparently fortuitous event. God works in many ways. He appeals to people in different ways and to the same person in different ways at different periods of life. We outgrow certain things. So He calls, draws us in another way [Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., “Grace Considered Extensively,” The Real Presence Association / Inter Mirifica, http://www.therealpresence.org, 1998 (accessed 09/06/2022)].
God gives actual grace, that is, a supernatural impulsion, to the will; the will thus moved moves the intellect to make its act of assent. … The whole process is attributed to God.* This does not leave prayer and intellectual inquiry no function at all; but their function is solely preparatory: in the production of the virtue of faith itself they have no direct role. …
God, we say, moves the will, which moves the intellect. But God does not do violence to nature. He does not force either will or intellect to act against the nature He has given them. The function of prayer and humility [including at Mass — SML] is so to prepare the will that when the impulsion comes from God it is ready to go with that impulsion, with no violence done to its own nature as a will. .[Frank J. Sheed, Theology and Sanity (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993), 406.]
“Whatever God wills absolutely, is done (otherwise He would not be omnipotent), although what He wills antecedently (or only conditionally) may not be done,” for in this instance God permits the opposite evil for the sake of a greater good.
Quesnel’s propositions (Denz., nos. 1359-75) were also condemned [emphasis SML] for the same reason, that is, for denying sufficient grace and reducing all internal grace to efficacious, under which, for him, liberty from necessity would not remain. Similarly, the twenty-one propositions of the Synod of Pistoia (Denz., no. 1521) were condemned. The motive for their condemnation, as set down, is that, like the Jansenists, they hold “the interior grace of Christ is not given to him by whom it is resisted. . . . but only that is properly the grace of Christ which makes us act.” Hence, according to the Pistoians, the only sufficient grace which is given is external, such as preaching or good example.
The same limitation applies to the mind. “Let us understand this if we can. Sometimes God so deals even with His holy ones as not to give them either the assured knowledge or the conquering delight for performing a certain good work, to make them realize that they receive what light they need to illumine their darkness not of themselves but from Him. He is the one who bestows the serenity that causes the earth of their souls to bear fruit. When we plead with Him to grant us help to practice and perfect our justice, what else are we asking but to have opened what is closed, and to make pleasant what is not to our taste?”
In the anti-Pelagian writings of St. Augustine we have the first detailed exposition of the nature of actual Grace. “It is God,” he quoted St. Paul, “who of His good pleasure works in you both the will and the performance. Wherein the apostle clearly shows that even our good will is performed in us by the operation of God [emphasis — SML]. Indeed, unless the will have something occur to it by which it is attracted and invited, it can never be moved; this occurrence is not in the power of man” but only of God.
First event: Baptism
If Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church is his bride, then Christian Baptism is more than just a sign of repentance, an ordinance, or a ritual of initiation; it is the bridal bath by which Jesus cleanses us from sin so that we can be united to God.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25–27).
With these words, Paul is describing Baptism in terms of an ancient Jewish wedding custom. As New Testament scholar Peter Williamson puts it: “In both Jewish and Greek cultures of that time, the immediate cosmetic preparation of the bride included a bath with fragrant oils so that she could be as clean and as beautiful as possible [for presentation to the Bridegroom — SML]. Baptism, Paul is saying, is the Church’s bridal bath that prepares her to be united to her bridegroom.” Notice one key difference between this Jewish custom and the mystery of Baptism. In an ordinary Jewish nuptial bath it was the bride herself or her attendants who would wash and anoint her. When the Church is washed with water, however, it is the Bridegroom himself who bathes his bride in the waters of Baptism, so that she might be “holy” (Greek hagios) and cleansed from sin. Strikingly, in later Jewish tradition the betrothal of a Jewish bridegroom and bride actually came to be known as “making holy” or “consecration” (Hebrew qiddushin)—because the bride was “made holy” or “set apart” (Hebrew qadosh) for her husband.
Second event: The Crucifixion; Re–presented at Mass
If Jesus is the Bridegroom Messiah and the sinful human race is his bride-to-be, then when exactly is his wedding day? And how is he married to his bride? Given everything we’ve seen so far about the Last Supper being his wedding banquet and the water from his side the nuptial bath, the reader has probably already guessed the answer: Jesus’ wedding day is the day of his death, the day of his Crucifixion. … In Jesus’ own words: “the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; cf. Mark 10:45). But none of these notions gets us quite all the way to the idea that the Crucifixion was also a marriage. In what sense can it be described in this way? What possible resemblance could there be between the brutal and bloody methods of Roman Crucifixion and the beauty and joy of a wedding?
The parable of the Sons of the Bridechamber stands out as one of the most important passages in the Gospels. It is the only passage in which Jesus explicitly refers to himself as ‘the bridegroom’ (Mark 2:19).
Can the sons of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day (Mark 2:19–20).
In the parable of the Sons of the Bridechamber, Jesus is answering the question by drawing an analogy between himself and his disciples and the bridegroom and the male members of an ancient Jewish wedding celebration. … Jesus clearly identifies himself as ‘the bridegroom’ (Greek ho nymphios) (Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34). He does so to suggest that the present time, while he and his disciples are [still] together, is like an ancient Jewish wedding feast: it’s a time for celebration, not for fasting. (Ibid., p. 86).
Although the wedding celebration lasted for a whole week, the climax of the wedding was the night of consummation, on which the bridegroom would consummate the marriage in the bridal chamber and not emerge until morning. It was only on that day—the wedding day—that the bridegroom would finally be separated from his groomsmen and be joined to his bride, leaving the sons of the bridechamber to “mourn” the loss of their friend. … If Jesus is the bridegroom and his disciples are the sons of the bridechamber, then the day on which he will be “taken away” from them can only mean one thing: the day of his passion and death.
In the Old Testament the shared enjoyment of bread and salt, or of salt alone, served to establish lasting covenants (cf. Num 18:19; 2 Chron 13:5; cf. Hauck, TDNT I, p. 228). Salt is regarded as a guarantee of durability. It is a remedy against putrefaction, against the corruption that pertains to the nature of death. To eat is always to hold death at bay — it is a way of preserving life [see Jn. 6:53-56 quote in previous paragraph— SML]. The “eating of salt” by Jesus after the Resurrection, which we therefore encounter as a sign of new and everlasting life, points to the risen Lord’s new banquet with his followers. It is a covenant-event, and in this sense it has an inner association with the Last Supper, when the Lord established the New Covenant. So the mysterious cipher of eating salt expresses an inner bond between the meal on the eve of Jesus’ Passion and the risen Lord’s new table fellowship: he gives himself to his followers as food and thus makes them sharers in his life, in life itself [through a one-flesh relationship, as seen by two people (Jesus and each of us) walking between the one-flesh of the animal)].
How the four stages of the soul, to which belong the five aforesaid states of tears [which flow from the spiritual soul — containing the inner heart — SML], produce tears of infinite value [emphasis — SML]: and how God wishes to be served as the Infinite, and not as anything finite. “These five states are like five principal canals which are filled with abundant tears of infinite value, all of which give life if they are disciplined in virtue, as I have said to thee. Thou [St. Catherine] askest how their value can be infinite. I do not say that in this life your tears can become infinite, but I call them infinite, on account of the infinite desire of your soul from which they proceed. I have already told thee how tears come from the heart, and how the heart distributes them to the eye, having gathered them in its own fiery desire. As, when green wood is on the fire, the moisture it contains groans on account of the heat, because the wood is green, so does the heart, made green again by the renovation of Grace drawn into itself among its self-love which dries up the soul, so that fiery desire and tears are united. And inasmuch as desire is never ended, it is never satisfied in this life, but the more the soul loves the less she seems to herself to love. Thus, is holy desire, which is founded in love, exercised, and with this desire the eye weeps. But when the soul is separated from the body and has reached Me, her End, she does not on that account abandon desire, so as to no longer yearn for Me or love her neighbour, for love has entered into her like a woman bearing the fruits of all other virtues. It is true that suffering is over and ended, as I have said to thee, for the soul that desires Me possesses Me in very truth, without any fear of ever losing that which she has so long desired; but, in this way, hunger is kept up, because those who are hungry are satisfied, and as soon as they are satisfied hunger, again; in this way their satiety is without disgust, and their hunger without suffering, for, in Me, no perfection is wanting.
“Thus is your desire infinite [emphasis SML], otherwise it would be worth nothing, nor would any virtue of yours have any life if you served Me with anything finite. For I, Who am the Infinite God, wish to be served by you with infinite service, and the only infinite thing you possess is the affection and desire of your souls [emphasis SML]. In this sense I said that there were tears of infinite value, and this is true as regards their mode, of which I have spoken, namely, of the infinite desire which is united to the tears.
“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover [the Eucharist is how our holy desire is purified and offered to the Father] with you before I suffer.” (Lk 22:15) These words of Jesus, with which the account of the Last Supper opens, are the crevice through which we are given the surprising possibility of intuiting the depth of the love of the persons of the Most Holy Trinity for us. …
St. Catherine says the body and spiritual soul will be eternally imprinted with the fruits that the body and spiritual soul did together. At our resurrection on Judgment Day, our bodies will be “imprinted” with the fruits of the sufferings and labors endured by the body in partnership with the inner heart in the practice of virtue. Upon our resurrection, our body becomes immortal and glorified, i.e., eternal. Outside of space and time. This imprinted ornamentation, so to speak, will not occur through the power of the body but through the power of the spiritual soul, as it was before the fall. This imprinting makes sense in light of the philosophical understanding that the soul, which is eternal, is the substantial form of the body..We may not even be aware of it, but every time we go to Mass, the first reason is that we are drawn there by his desire for us [just as our Father is drawn to us by holy desire — SML]. For our part, the possible response — which is also the most demanding asceticism — is, as always, that surrender to this love, that letting ourselves be drawn by him. Indeed, every reception of communion of the Body and Blood of Christ was already desired by him in the Last Supper [emphasis SML]. …Liturgical silence is something much more grand: it is a symbol of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit who animates the entire action of the celebration. For this reason it constitutes a point of arrival within a liturgical sequence. Precisely because it is a symbol of the Spirit, it has the power to express the Spirit’s multifaceted action. In this way, going over again the moments I just mentioned, silence moves to sorrow for sin and the desire for conversion [emphasis SML]. It awakens a readiness to hear the Word and awakens prayer. It disposes us to adore the Body and Blood of Christ. It suggests to each one, in the intimacy of communion, what the Spirit would effect in our lives to conform us to the Bread broken.
Regular Claims Made by Many Traditionalists:
Extrinsic Value of Mass varies based on: [in each of the following points, consideration of the Heresy Note above will help determine whether or not heresy is being propagated]
1). the current state of holiness of the whole Catholic Church [false and potentially heretical based on the claim it results in a superior Mass to the NOM — SML — SML]2). status as a priest (Pope > Bishop > Priest > Priest without faculties (no extrinsic merit) [false and heretical relative to the claims that priests celebrating Novus Ordo Masses are not validly ordained — SML]3) holiness of the priest [false and propagates the heresy of Donatism — SML]4) degree of virtue and Grace of the faithful [false when conflating individual value, but also heretical when applying it to the Mass itself — SML]5) decora (greater beauty = greater merit) [False. Actual Grace is individual and custom designed by God to maximally draw each individual to a closer relationship via an increase in holy desire. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is also an error for Traditionalists to assume the types of beauty listed above are the ONLY types of beauty God communicates through the Mass. Also, heretical based on the claim it results in a superior Mass to the NOM — SML]6) the Ritual itself [this point is too vague to accurately evaluate — SML]
Communion kneeling, on the tongue, and by a priest only versus Communion standing and in the hand, in the hand, and often by Extraordinary Ministers [False. These are not sacrilege. However, they are a heresy when based on the claim it results in a superior Mass to the NOM Furthermore, since Eucharistic miracles have occurred involving hosts consecrated in the 1969 Roman Missal, following the General Instructions of the Roman Missal (aka GIRM), the claims in this assertion are absolutely disproven — SML]
Decora is superior in Latin Mass:
1). More Pomp [while the description may be true, the conclusion reached is still potentially heretical based on the claim it results in a superior Mass to the NOM — SML]
2). Greater Beauty [while the description may be true, the conclusion reached is both wrong and potentially heretical based on the claim it results in a “superior” Mass to the NOM — SML]
The Ritual itself is superior in Latin Mass
1). Ad Orientum (priest facing away from the people toward God) is more God centered [while the description may be true, the conclusion reached is both wrong and potentially heretical — see Heresy Note above — SML]2). More solemn [while the description may be true, the conclusion reached is both wrong and potentially heretical based on the claim it results in a “superior” Mass to the NOM — SML]Less overt improvisation [that is probably true but is still heretical based on the claim it results in a “superior” Mass to the NOM — SML]3). Latin > English
Other TLM Benefits:
1). Tradition- (used traditionally by the Church) [To say the Latin is the “Tradition” of the Church is subjective and not historically accurate. Furthermore, citing Quo Primum, claims have been made by many Traditionalists that Mass must be celebrated in Latin. If not, the Mass is said to be invalid. Eucharistic miracles involving hosts consecrated in Novus Ordo Masses prove the falsity of that claim. If the claim citing Quo Primum is false, then the claim is also a propagation of Donatism — SML]
2. Unity (same language across the entire Church) [Hmm! Then why are there so many Traditionalist groups who are either in Schism or very close to it. One could cut the disunity existing within the Church with a knife — SML]
3). Unchangeable (the vernacular meanings change after many years) [This is true. That is why each new Missal is first written in Latin, then translated into the vernacular. When the vernacular suffers definition drift when compared to the Latin original, the vernacular translation is adjusted. That is one of the reasons given for the new translation of the Roman Missal which was approved by the Vatican in 2010]
4). Sacred (one of the three languages on the Cross of Christ; with Greek and Hebrew) [see the refutation for “Tradition” above — SML]
Do the Regular Traditionalist Claims Justify a Judgment of Inferiority and/or Invalidity of a Valid Mass?
1) The first question is: Do the claimants believe that the ten to fifteen items represent the totality of intrinsic and extrinsic Actual Graces communicated via the Mass?
a) If yes, claimants commit a heretical error by placing Jesus’ power into a finite box, the size of which is determined by fallen men who claim there are only ten to fifteen Actual Extrinsic Graces (and completely ignoring Actual Intrinsic Graces) available through the Mass. As was revealed earlier, Jesus custom designs Actual Graces to meet the unique needs of each communicant such that we can say there are as many types of Actual Graces as there are people who have, are, and will live.Here is a good analogy (hat tip to Fr. Bruce): You take your friends to a four-star restaurant. You tell the waiter you want to sample their best dishes so that you can judge their food's quality. Surprisingly, they bring out a dinner salad, a Salisbury steak dish, and some corn. In effect, they are telling you these three items are all that they have from which to please your palate. Obviously, the restaurant is not giving you the best dishes with which to impress you. They didn’t even give you a selection from which to choose. The dishes are prepared well and taste good but not impressive. They didn’t even try to find out what are your favorite foods. Jesus, on the other hand, has an infinite supply of dishes; he knows exactly the foods you love and are the healthiest for you; without even asking. Through the Mass, Jesus will custom-plan and cook the dishes that will give you the perfect dining experience.
b) If no, they cannot make a correct judgment about the superiority or inferiority of any Form of Mass when compared to a different Form. It is the height of Pharisaic-like pride to claim that capability. They cannot read the hearts of every Mass attendee to determine whether he or she freely choose to cooperate with the grace or not. The pride necessary to believe that is monumental.
i) There is a Scripture passage that conveys that pride. It says:
[Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray [one in a superior temple (in my fallible judgment — SML) and the other to an inferior temple (in my fallible judgment) — SML], one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men [who I have the abiliy to judge accurately — SML], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14).
2) Do the claimants assert possessing the knowledge to accurately judge whether each communicant will cooperate with the grace(s) given, or not?
a) If yes to question #2, claimants are violating Scripture teachings (i.e., words of Truth) that tell us only God can judge hearts. Therefore, they make themselves liars. In fact, no man can judge whether one Mass is inferior/superior to a different Form of Mass. Furthermore, they can’t even judge the degree to which it is so. And, of course, there is that pride issue again. Complicating the problem is the fact that Efficacious Grace, when not cooperated with, does not disappear. Instead, of being truly sufficient grace (remember St. Paul and his thorn in the flesh), it becomes merely sufficient. Sanctifying Grace builds upon our human nature. All Actual Grace, even Sufficient Actual Grace, can be described as helping to perfect our human nature. Thus, it is fruitful.
b) If no, how can they justify doing it? To make an accurate assessment, they would have to answer in the affirmative to question #2, then judge the heart and will of every Mass attendee in every Form of the Mass throughout the world. I would be helpful to recall the quote used by Ripperger on the extrinsic value of the Mass. It reads:
But when we turn to the Mass as a sacrifice of impetration [obtaining by prayer or petition] and expiation, the case is different. While we must always regard its intrinsic value as infinite, since it is the sacrifice of the God-Man Himself, its extrinsic value [i.e., the value of the Actual graces] must necessarily be finite in consequence of the limitations of man. The scope of the so-called “fruits of the Mass” is limited [The Catholic Encyclopedia (The Gilmary Society, New York, 1913), vol. 10, p. 17].
Remember, this was written in 1913, before the Novus Ordo Mass even came into existence. The Mass that it was written about was the TLM, using the pre-1969 Missal. So, when the Gilmore Society tells us the “extrinsic value must necessarily be finite in consequence of the limitations of man. The scope of the so-called ‘fruits of the Mass’ is limited,” it is referring to the TLM, which is touted as being superior to the NOM. So apparently, the ten to fifteen graces they claim make the Mass superior, are not subject to those same finite limitations of which the Catholic Encyclopedia informs us. Therefore, they are actually answering yes to question #2 above. They believe they are capable of quantifying the finite consequences vis a vis the fruits.
To Those Members of the Clergy Who Identify With the (so-called) Traditional Latin Mass
The continual rediscovery of the beauty of the Liturgy is not the search for a ritual aesthetic [and yet, it is almost exclusively this ritual beauty that Traditionalists claim the TLM is superior to the NOM — SML], which is content by only a careful exterior observance of a rite or is satisfied by a scrupulous observance of the rubrics [n. 22]. …If there were lacking our astonishment at the fact that the paschal mystery is rendered present in the concreteness of sacramental signs, we would truly risk being impermeable to the ocean of grace that floods every celebration [n. 24; emphasis SML]. …The fundamental question is this: how do we recover the capacity to live completely the liturgical action? This was the objective of the Council’s reform [n. 27]. …We owe to the Council — and to the liturgical movement that preceded it — the rediscovery of a theological understanding of the Liturgy and of its importance in the life of the Church. As the general principles spelled out in Sacrosanctum Concilium have been fundamental for the reform of the liturgy, they continue to be fundamental for the promotion of that full, conscious, active, and fruitful celebration (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 11; 14), in the liturgy “the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 14) [n. 16].
While the liberal permission to use the older Mass has not promoted the hoped-for healing of the rift with members of the Society of St. Pius X, established by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the archbishop said, “what we have got now is a movement within the Church herself, seemingly endorsed by her leaders, that sows division by undermining the reforms of the Second Vatican Council through the rejection of the most important of them: the reform of the Roman Rite. … Since St. John Paul allowed some use of the older liturgy and, especially since Summorum Pontificum, Di Noia said, “the thing has gotten totally out of control and become a movement, especially in the U.S., France, and England — a movement that aggressively promotes the Traditional Latin Mass among young people and others as if this ‘Extraordinary Form’ were the true liturgy for the true Church.”
“[The archbishop] wanted [the FSSP] to concelebrate for the Chrism Mass during Holy Week, but we haven’t done it for years, as we have reservations on the New Mass and we don’t celebrate at the same pace,” … Contacted by CNA to discuss the claim, the Archdiocese’s communication office lamented that, as the Fraternity is committed exclusively to celebrating the extraordinary, its priests refuse to “occasionally concelebrate with other priests in the ordinary form.”
I find, however, that those traditionalists who are merely interested in older forms of the liturgy tend to absorb by osmosis the many spiritual and intellectual problems that characterize the [Traditionalist] movement. In particular, they come to see the earlier Form of the Roman Rite not as a matter of personal preference, but rather as objectively superior, due to its supposed antiquity and Perfection. This inaccurate understanding frequently produces an attitude of superiority toward other Catholics and the hierarchy.
Other Resources That Defend the Liturgical Reform of Second Vatican Council
1). Theologian Ronald L. Conte Jr., In Defense of Pope Francis.
This work of Roman Catholic theology defends Pope Francis and the papacy itself based on the indefectibility of the Church and the prevenient grace of God. The author argues that Pope Francis is a valid Pope, and that no valid Pope can ever fall into apostasy, heresy, or schism, nor can he ever teach material heresy.
2). Apologist Dave Armstrong, Reflections on Radical Catholic Reactionaries.
Dave Armstrong has “sought to analyze the premises, presuppositions, logical and ecclesiological ‘bottom lines’ and (in a word), the spirit of a false and divisive radical Catholic reactionary strain of thought held by a distinctive and tiny sub-group of Catholics. The term ‘traditionalism’ has been co-opted by groups and schools of thought within Catholicism that vary quite widely. …The book doesn't oppose the Tridentine Mass, or traditional liturgical practice and devotion (nor traditional morality and catechesis), but rather, far more radical ideas held by some Catholics.”
3). Dave Armstrong, Pope Francis Explained: Survey of Myths, Legends, and Catholic Defenses in Harmony with Tradition.
It seems that everyone wants to make the pope into their own image. Those outside the Church want him to be so-called "progressive" and are more than willing to project this attribute onto him, in a huge campaign of wishful thinking. But radical Catholic reactionaries, on the extreme right on the Catholic ecclesiological spectrum, become alarmed that the Church is compromising itself. A third group of obedient orthodox Catholics understand the pope's role and the nature and status of Catholic dogmas (which do not change), yet are confused by something a new pope says or does.4). By Joseph A. Jungmann (Author), Francis A. Brunner (Translator), The Mass Of The Roman Rite : Its Origins and Development (Missarum Sollemnia) (2 Volume Set).
Quote from a review: [This book] is a magisterial treatment of the development of the Western liturgical tradition from its beginnings at the Last Supper through the changes which were instituted as a result of the Council of Trent. It is an invaluable source for the process by which the western rite developed. Fr. Jungmann throughout shows amply the variety of liturgical forms that developed in the west (examples from the gallican, mozarabic, sarum, etc.) and the gradual unification into the Roman Rite. Fr. Jungmann approaches his subject with awe and respect and at the same time is a relentless historical critic - this is a very difficult position to maintain. A large part of the value of this book is found in the author's ability to walk that narrow line. This book was influential with the Liturgical Reformers who changed so much after the Vatican Council II (though the changes wrought by the reformers far exceeded spirit and text of Fr. Jungmann's work).
1). Dr. Jeff Mirus, “Vatican II on the Liturgy: Particular Norms & the Eucharist.”Dr. Mirus writes a series of article summarizing The Second Vatican Council. I will list only Those articles dealing with Liturgy.“Vatican II on the Liturgy: Overview & General Norms”“Vatican II on the Liturgy: Introduction.”2). Dr. Jeff Mirus, “Questions raised by Pope Francis’ document on the liturgy.”
This article is excellent for helping us to understand the differences that exist between the Novus Ordo Mass as the Council envisioned it, versus how it is actually being celebrated.
3). Dave Armstrong, “Infallibility, Councils, and Levels of Church Authority.”
Explanation of the Subtleties of Church Teaching and Debate with Several Radical Catholic Reactionaries
4). The 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia:
Infallibility of Ecumenical Councils:Infallibility of Popes:5). Dave Armstrong, “Is a Catholic at Liberty to Selectively Choose Which Catholic Dogmas He Will Abide By?”
The late Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J., was one of the leading catechists in the world and one of the most respected Catholic priests; adviser to Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, and catechist of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity (I have a Tribute Page about him now, and I knew him personally), used to frequently say: “to doubt even one received dogma of the Catholic Church is to lose the supernatural virtue of faith.”
6). Matt1618: This website can be thought of as the depository of great articles which refute every false claim made by Traditionalist.