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The Destruction of the Christian
Tradition (Part 3)


Rama P. Coomaraswamy

Source: Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 13, No. 1 & 2. (Winter-Spring, 1979). © World Wisdom, Inc.

To read Part 2 of this series of articles, Tradition by Rama P. Coomaraswamy as it appeared in the Summer-Autumn 1978 edition of Studies in Comparative Religion">click here.

The “Novus Ordo Missae”

ONE final problem remained. The Reformers feared that “nothing would come out of the Council”. Even though they had managed to insert in the “official” Documents of the Council their false ideas, they knew that this alone was insufficient. After all, how many Catholics ever read the Canons of the Council of Trent? (What need was there when the clergy could be trusted?) How many would wade through the tedious and ambiguous statements of the New Council? Change would occur far too slowly for the impatient innovators. The greater majority of the faithful had never asked for the Council (the Curia had opposed it also), and were perfectly content with the way the Church had always been. Even John XXIII had acknowledged and praised it as being “Vibrant with vitality”. For most people things would have gone on much as before. It was absolutely necessary to introduce into the fabric of the every-day life of the Christian, all these new ideas, the “new economy of the Gospel”. How then to achieve this? The answer was obvious. One had to “reform” the Liturgy.

It was only logical that they should—indeed they absolutely had to—attack the liturgy directly. What is extraordinary is the degree to which all this was and had been predicted. Pope Leo XIII had stated in his Apostolicae Curae that the modernists and reformers (they had other designations then) “knew only too well the intimate bond which united faith and worship, lex credendi and lex orandi: and so, under the pretext of restoring the order of the liturgy to its primitive form, they corrupted it in many respects to bring it into accord with the errors of the innovators.” The abbé Guéranger described what resulted over 100 years ago in an article entitled “The Anti-Liturgical Heresy.”[1] It has also been predicted that the true Mass would be taken away from us. Listen to the words of Saint Alphonse de Liguori, a doctor of the Church:

The devil has always attempted, by means of the heretics, to deprive the world of the Mass, making them precursors of the Anti-Christ, who, before anything else, will try to abolish and will actually abolish the Holy Sacrament of the altar, as a punishment for the sins of men, according to the prediction of Daniel ‘And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice’ (Daniel viii:12).

What then are we to think when we find Paul VI thanking the six Protestant “observers” for helping in the creation of the Novus Ordo Missae—for assisting in the “re-editing in a new manner liturgical texts tried and tested by long usage, or establishing formulas which are completely new . . . (thus) imparting greater theological value to the liturgical texts so that the lex orandi conformed better with the lex credendi”(L’Osservatore Romano, May 11, 1970).[2] Quite apart from admitting the scandal of non-Catholic involvement in the creation of this new “rite”, the statement implies that either the liturgical texts ‘prior to 1969 did not possess that degree of theological value which was desirable, or that the lex credendi had changed! Should we have any doubt about which of these two alternatives to choose, the Protestants have resolved them for us. The Superior Consistory of the Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine (Evangelical Lutheran) publicly acknowledged that Lutherans could take part in the “Catholic Eucharistic celebration”, because it allowed them to “use these new Eucharistic prayers with which they felt at home”. And why did they feel at home with them? Because they had “the advantage of giving a different interpretation to the theology of the sacrifice than they were accustomed to attribute to Catholics.” Another Protestant theologian, Dr. Jaraslav Pelikan, has stated that the Vatican II “Constitution on the Liturgy”, “does not merely tinker with the formalities of liturgical worship, but seeks to form and to reform the very life of the Church”. He states further that this Constitution represents, on the part of the Post-conciliar Church, “the acceptance, however belated, of the liturgical programme set forth by the Reformers”. And what was this aim? It was to destroy the Mass, and in so doing, to destroy the Church. “Tolle Missam, tolle ecclesiam. Dr. M. G. Siegvalt, a Professor of dogmatic theology in the Protestant faculty at Strasbourg has testified that “nothing in the renewed Mass need really trouble the evangelical Protestant”.

Before considering the Novus Ordo Missae in detail, it is necessary for the reader to have some idea of the “central” position the traditional Mass has always had in the traditional Catholic Church. As St. Alphonse dé Liguori said:

The Mass is the most beautiful and the best thing in the Church. At the Mass, Jesus Christ giveth Himself to us by means of the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, which is the end and the purpose of all other Sacraments.

“The celebration of the Mass”, says Gihr, “is the most worthy and most perfect divine service, for it procures to the Most High a worship and a veneration which millions of words would be incapable of rendering Him…It is a unique sacrifice (and) infinitely excels in value and dignity, in power and efficacy, all the many prayers of the Church and of the faithful…As often as this memorial sacrifice is celebrated, the work of redemption is performed…It is the soul and the heart of the liturgy of the Church; it is the mystical chalice which presents to our lips the sweet fruit of the passion of the God-Man—that is grace.” Pope Urban VIII said of it:

If there is anything divine among the possessions of men, which the citizens of Heaven might covet (were covetousness possible for them), it would certainly be the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, whose blessing is such that in it man possesses a certain anticipation of Heaven while still on earth, even having before their eyes and taking into their hands the very Maker of both Heaven and earth. How greatly must mortals strive that the most awesome privilege be guarded with due cult and reverence, and take care lest their negligence offend the eyes of the angels, who watch with envious adoration. —Si Quid Est

Not only is the Mass the most sacred and central act of worship in the Church, and, as Faber said, “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven”, it is also, as Pius XI said, “the most important organ of the ordinary magisterium of the Church”. Having been in greater part established by Christ and the Apostles, “it is a theological locus of the first importance in knowing the living Tradition of the Church” (Father Henry, O.P.). If the Christian Revelation comes to us in Scripture and Tradition, then the Mass is that Organ that is the most important vehicle for the passing on of Tradition. Through it we learn how the Apostles taught and acted.

Christ’s example was the norm for the Apostles at the celebration of the Sacrifice. They did, first, only that which Christ had done before. According to His directions and under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they observed other things besides, namely, according to circumstances; they added various prayers and observances, in order to celebrate the Holy Mysteries as worthily and as edifyingly as possible. Those constituant portions of the sacrificial rite, which are found in all the ancient liturgies, have incontestably their origin from Apostolic times and tradition: the essential and fundamental features of the sacrificial rite, introduced and enlarged upon by the Apostles, were preserved with fidelity and reverence in the mystical blessings, the use of lights, incense, vestments and many things of that nature, she (the Church) employs by Apostolic prescription and tradition[3]

Now, there is no question but that throughout the ages, prayers and practices were added to the Apostolic foundation, but the central core or “Canon” (meaning “rule”)has been fixed throughout history. As Sir William Palmer, a non-Catholic historian has stated:

There seems nothing unreasonable in thinking that the Roman Liturgy, as used in the time of Gregory the Great may have existed from a period of the most remote antiquity, and perhaps there are nearly as good reasons for referring its original composition to the Apostolic age…

Historical research has instructed us that Pope St. Gregory added to the prayer Hanc Igitur of the Canon, the phrase Diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerari, and that Pope St Leo added the phrase Sanctum Sacrificium immaculatam hostiam (440-461). Apart from these minor additions (not deletions), the Canon in use today by the traditional Church is the same as that used in the time of Pope St. Damasus in the year 366-384. Thus it is that Chapter IV, Session XII of the Council of Trent states:

For it (the Canon) is composed out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the Apostles, and the pious institutions of the holy pontifs.

Finally, Father Louis Bouyer, a convert from Luther’s sect prior to Vatican II, and currently “in obedience” to the New and Post-conciliar Church, wrote prior to the Council:

The Roman Canon, as it is today, goes back to Gregory the Great. There is not, in the east or in the West, a Eucharistic prayer remaining in use to this day that can boast of such antiquity. In the eyes not only of the Orthodox, but of Anglicans and even those Protestants who have still to some extent, a feeling for tradition. TO JETTISON IT WOULD BE A REJECTION OF ANY CLAIM ON THE PART OF THE ROMAN CHURCH TO REPRESENT THE TRUE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Historical evidence prior to St. Damasus is sparse. After all, before the reign of Constantine (who died in 337), the Church was under constant persecution. Any claim to “return to primitive practice” other than that which retains in toto this Canon is patently false. But what of additions to the Canon—that is to say, the prayers used before and after it. These are also of ancient origin.

Consider for example the reading of Scripture. The first Gospel was written as best we know, eight years after the Crucifixion, and the Apocalypse many years later. We know that it was the custom to read from Scripture and other Sacred writings (such as the “Shepherd of Hermes”) before the Canon, because St. Procop who was martyred in the year 303 had the function of translating these readings into the vernacular. Scripture was “canonized” in the year 317, and the Scriptural readings used in the Mass of the traditional Church today were fixed by St. Damasus I in the Fourth Century. In the Fifth Century St. Celestine I introduced the Introit and the Gradual—and what are these? They are selected readings from the Psalms appropriate to the season and the Feast. In the Sixth Century St. Gregory added the Kyrie Eleison though in point of fact the phrase is Biblical and its use goes back to the time of Christ—“Lord have mercy upon me”. In the Seventh, St. Sergius “introduced” the Agnus Dei. Over the centuries then, various additions were made, both in liturgical prayers used, as well as in customs. The practice of the priest saying “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat…” (May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve…) when he gives, out Communion is said to date from the time of the Albigensian heretics who denied the “Real Presence”. Also, the various great religious orders often inserted special prayers of their own. But throughout all this the Canon (which incidentally includes the Words of Consecration) remained intact. Finally, at the time of the Reformation when the authority of tradition was being questioned, and when innovations and novelties of all sorts were being introduced, it became necessary to codify and “fix” for all time the most Holy Mass so as to protect it from any possible corruption. This was achieved over the course of several pontificates; scholars went back to all the original documents available; any errors that had crept in were eliminated, and the Roman Missal and Breviary were published by Saint Pope Pius V in accordance with the wish expressed by the Fathers of the Council of Trent. This publication of the Roman Missal was accompanied by the proclamation of the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum.[4]  From henceforth this Missal was to be used throughout the Roman Church by all her members, though exceptions were made in favor of certain religious orders like the Dominicans who had said essentially the same Mass with slightly different ceremonies for at least 200 years prior to that time. Thus, even today, should one have the privilege of hearing a traditional Dominican Mass, one would recognize certain minor variations, but would be easily able to follow it with the standard Roman Missal. This Quo Primum is to be found in the front of every Missal published since 1570 and has been re-published and re-proclaimed by every Pope—some 42 in all—from Pius V to John XXIII. Of course, this is no longer true of the Post-conciliar Church which without officially abrogating it (can it be abrogated?), has disobeyed this law. Not only has the new Church disobeyed this Apostolic Constitution, it has ordered that all the traditional Roman Missals in stock be burnt and destroyed, and forbidden the use of this Missal—the traditional Mass—to those it is responsible for guiding![5]

In providing the reader with this background material, we have clearly shown that, as the great liturgical scholar Abbé Guéranger said:

It is to the Apostles that those ceremonies go back that accompany the administration of the sacraments, the establishment of the sacramental’s, the principal feasts…The Apostolic liturgy is found entirely outside of Scripture; it belongs to the domain of Tradition.

and we have further exposed the lie promulgated by the “‘Pope’ and the Bishops in union with him” in claiming—as has been done time after time—that in forcing the Novus Ordo Missae down the throats of the laity, they have done exactly what Pius V did in his Quo Primum following the Council of Trent. To quote Paul VI, the perpetrator of this act:

Let us clearly understand the reasons why this serious change has been introduced …(it is) an obedience to the Council (La Croix, Sept. 4, 1970)…In no different way did our holy predecessor Pius V make obligatory the Missal reformed under his authority, following the Council of Trent (Custos, Quid de Nocte).
*          *          *


It is our contention, despite appearances to the contrary, and one that can easily be proved, that the Novus Ordo Missae, or “mass” of the Post-conciliar Church is a radical departure from the traditional Mass of the Church of All Times. It cannot be said of this new “service” that “it is composed out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the Apostles, and the pious institutions also of holy pontiffs”. True, it uses many Scriptural passages and phrases taken from the words of Christ or the Apostles, but these are of an innocuous nature, inoffensive to the Reformed Churches, and are fundamentally similar to those found in the most liberal of the various Pretestant services. Just as we know who wrote the Anglican and the Lutheran forms of worship, so also do we know who wrote the New “mass”. The Novus Ordo has in no instance returned to “primitive practice”. True that it uses a “Eucharistic prayer” similar to that of Hippolytus and written in the third century—but it has significantly altered this prayer, and Hippolytus was in “schism” at the time that he wrote it down. The Novus Ordo Missae is a skilful blending of the Anglican and Lutheran services, and in many places follows them verbatim—this is particularly true of those phrases used by the Reformers to specifically deny the Real Presence and the sacrificial nature of the rite. It is a study in ambiguity which allows of its meaning to be taken in different ways. It has dropped approximately 80% of the traditional Mass, and only retained those portions that are least likely to give offence to the Protestants. “Its chief innovation”, that is to say, its chief departure from tradition, according to Paul VI, is in “the Eucharistic prayer”, the central core or “Canon” of the Mass. It has changed the Words of Consecration from those traditionally used by the Church since time immemorial, words fixed by the decrees of Ecumenical Councils, thus changing the “form” of the Sacrament. In the vernacular it has mistranslated these words so as to change their meaning (or “substance”, as the theologians say), and thus brought into the most serious doubt their ability to effect the Transubstantiation. The Words of Consecration, even in the Latin version, are said in a manner that allows them to be understood as part of a historical narrative, which makes their efficacy dubious and entirely dependent upon the priest’s personal beliefs and “intention”. In the vernacular version portions of the service teach overt heresy. The definition or description of the Mass in the Novus Ordo Missae is false. The New “mass” was substantially rejected by the Episcopal Synod consisting of over 160 theologians whose function it was to approve it. As Cardinal Ottaviani stated, it “represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent”, and as the Episcopal Synod said, “it teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the purity of the Catholic religion and dismantles all defenses of the deposit of Faith.” In summary, the Novus Ordo Missae is a “parody[6] intentionally foisted upon the faithful to deprive them of the true Mass without their being aware of it. And yet, despite all this (which we will consider in detail), Paul VI assured us:

Let everyone understand well that nothing has been changed in the essence of our traditional Mass…There is nothing in this idea, absolutely…The new rite, the Mass, is the same as always. If anything, its identity has been made more recognizable in certain of its aspects.” (Allocution, Nov. 26 1969),


It is in the name of tradition that we ask all our sons and daughters, all the Catholic communities, to celebrate with dignity and fervour the renewed liturgy. The adoption of the New Ordo Missae is certainly not left to the free choice of priests or faithful…The New Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old…” (Custos, Quid de Nocte, May 24, 1976).
*          *          *

It is well known that the reformers hated the traditional Mass. Listen to the words of Luther. He called it an “abomination”, a “false blasphemous cult”, and instructed the rulers under his influence to “attack the idolators” and to suppress their worship as much as possible. He repeatedly denied its true sacrificial nature and hated the “abominable Canon in which the Mass is made a sacrifice”. As he put it, “the Mass is not a Sacrifice…Call it benediction, Eucharist, the Lord’s table, the Lord’s supper, memory of the Lord, or whatever you like, just so long as you do not dirty it with the name of a sacrifice or an action.” Indeed, he went so far as to say “I affirm that all brothels, murderers, robberies, crimes, adulteries are less wicked than this abomination of the Popish Mass.” As to the Canon or core of the Mass, he stated:

That abominable Canon is a confluence of puddles of slimy water, which have made of the Mass a sacrifice. The Mass is not a sacrifice; it is not the act of a sacrificing priest. Together with the Canon, we discard all that implies an oblation.

In words that are almost prophetic he noted that “when the Mass has been overthrown, I think we shall have overthrown the Papacy. I think it is in the Mass, as on a rock, that the Papacy wholly rests…everything will of necessity collapse when their sacrilegious and abominable Mass collapses.”

When we come to the Anglicans we fare little better. While their phraseology was more restrained (one of the finer English traits), it is quite clear that they also denied the “Real Presence”. Texts current during the time of the Reformation describe the Blessed Sacrament as “a vile cake to be made God and man”, and the Mass itself as “the worshipping of God made of fine flour”. The Anglican theology denied that the Mass was a “sacrifice” as Catholics understood it, and allowed only for three ways of using the term: the sacrifice of thanksgiving; benevolence and liberality to the poor, and the mortifying of our bodies. None of these requires an altar. As Cranmer said, “the form of a table shall more move the simple from the superstitious opinions of the Popish Mass into the right use of the Lord’s supper. For the use of an altar is to make a sacrifice upon it: the use of a table is to serve for men to eat upon”.[7] Cranmer and the reformers specifically denied the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and if the First Book of Common Prayer, due to the ambiguous use of language, was capable of a Catholic interpretation, changes were made in the Second Book of Prayer to specifically exclude this possibility. Should any doubt remain as to their attitude, the reader is referred to the “Thirty-nine Articles” that every Anglican clergyman must adhere to, and which “no man hereafter shall either print, or preach, to draw the Article aside in any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof . . .” The list of articles which are de fide for the Anglicans includes one—number thirty-one—that states that the Mass as understood by the Council of Trent is a “blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit”.

Under these circumstances, it is a remarkable thing that both Lutherans and Anglicans—to say nothing of the other “separated brethren”, find absolutely no objection to participating in the Novus Ordo Missae,and indeed, in using it themselves as an alternative form of worship. Do they find the New “mass” to be a “blasphemous fable” and “more wicked than all brothels, murderers, robberies, crimes and adulteries”? The answer is a resounding NO! They can almost be said to love it. They have even made changes in their own “rites” to conform to it. Let us listen to the statement of the Superior Consistory of the Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine again. Dated December 8, 1973, in it, the Protestants publicly acknowledge their willingness to take part in the “Catholic Eucharistic celebration”, because it allowed them to “use these new Eucharistic prayers with which they felt at home”. And again, why did they feel at home with them? Because they had “the advantage of giving a DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION to the theology of the sacrifice than they were accustomed to attribute to Catholicism”. Perhaps the Holy Spirit has guided them to see a change where Paul VI and the Bishops in union with him cannot see one. Yet we are repeatedly told—to quote this same individual—“nothing has been changed in our traditional Mass”.

Those who wish to follow this discussion with care would do well to obtain a “People’s Mass Book” from the pews of the New Church, and to search for an old Roman Missal such as their parents—yea, their great grand-parents used. We shall however attempt to present the facts in such a manner as not to require this effort.

The changes made, we are told, are “minor”. Minor though they may be (and the reader can judge their “minority” for himself), they are precisely those changes that bring the Novus Ordo into line with Lutheran and Anglican “Theology”. I shall only in passing call attention to the deletion of such phrases as “breaking the bonds of sin and crushing the power of hell”, so offensive to those who cannot accept the doctrine of “original sin”. What is particularly offensive is the addition to the roman Canon, in Anaphora I[8]  (Purporting to be the same as the traditional Canon) of the new Mass, the words for us in a totally ambiguous context. In Cranmer’s first edition of the Book of Prayer, he prefaced, the words of Institution (the Words of Consecration) with this phrase: “Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech. thee; and with Thy Holy Spirit and Word vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these thy gifts and creation of bread and wine that they may be made unto us the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved son, Jesus Christ.” This formula was attacked on the grounds that it was capable of being construed as effecting transubstantiation! To this Cranmer indignantly replied: “We do not pray absolutely that the bread and wine may be made the body and blood of Christ, but that unto us in that holy mystery they may be made so; that is to say, that we may so worthily receive the same that we may be partakers of Christ’s body and blood, and that therefore in spirit and in truth we may be spiritually nourished.” It is of course true that in the traditional Roman Canon the phrase nobis (for us) is to be found, The Quam Oblationem states: “Be pleased to make this same offering wholly blessed, to consecrate it and approve it, making it reasonable and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood…” But here the sense is unequivocal, for the transubstantiation has been prepared for by the magnificent Te Igitur, Memento Domine and Hanc Igitur. In Cranmer’s Second Book of Common Prayer however, and in the Novus Ordos “Anaphora II”, these preliminary prayers are omitted, thus we follow in the New “mass”, Cranmer’s sense with exactitude. For the consecration there is no preparation whatsoever. After the Benedictus, the celebrant merely says “You are truly holy, Lord, the fount of holiness” and then immediately prays that “these gifts may be made for us (words not in the original Hippalytus prayer—and why in the world would anyone insert them but to make the prayer conform to Anglican theology) the Body and Blood.” In the Traditional Roman Canon, it is quite impossible to understand “nobis”in the Cranmerian sense; In Anaphora I, it is at best equivocal; in Anaphora II it is almost impossible to understand “for us” in any other way than as the Reformers do. What makes it even more offensive is that the instruction of the Concilium orders us to make this ersatz Canon, Anaphora II, the one in ordinary use, and further, indicates that it is to be the one utilized for the catechetical instruction of the youth in the nature of the Eucharistic prayer.

Now, the Novus Ordo Missae is replete with this pattern of using Protestant phraseology, especially in the official ‘ICEL’ translation.[9] Thus the Quam Oblationem which immediately precedes the Consecration in two (of the four) ersatz Canons, should read “do thou, O God, deign to bless what we offer, and make it approved, effective, right and wholly pleasing in every way…” is now translated as “make it truly spiritual and acceptable”, or as “make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and in truth. Apart from the fact that these are mistranslations (by scholars yet!), there is nothing per se wrong with such phrases as “truly spiritual”, or “in spirit and in truth”,except that in the historical context of the Reformation they become a serious affront to the Divine Majesty, Wycliffe, Ridley, Coverdale, Cranmer, Latimer, Grindall, Jewell, Beacon and the Book of Common Prayer all use this phrase “spiritual” precisely to deny, and with the full intent of denying, the Transubstantiation. To quote Cranmer directly: “Therefore…we do not pray absolutely that the bread and wine may be made the body and blood of Christ, but…that therewith in spirit and in truth we may be spiritually nourished.” Similarly, in the New “canon”, the phrase “and praise is gratuitously added to the statement giving thanks. There is no such phrase in the original Latin, and it is derived from the statement of Luther that “the Mass may be called a sacrifice, if it be understood as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, not a work, nor propitiatory” (De Use. Sacram Euch. Salut.)No wonder then that the Episcopal Synod responsible for passing judgment on the New “mass” stated:

The three ends of the Mass are altered; no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only “spiritually” (not substantially) changed.

Now, any single one of these “innovations” might pass unnoticed or be “innocent”, but all of them taken together force on us the conclusion that someone is intentionally attempting (or more exactly, succeeding), in Protestantizing the Mass.

 What we see in all this misuse of language is a pattern of intentional “ambiguity”. We have already called attention to the modernist technique of using the equivocal phrase in order to insinuate their (mis-)understanding of the truth into orthodox minds. Bugnini and the others responsible for writing the Novus Ordo again followed the lead of Luther and Cranmer. The First Prayer Book of Edward VI could not be convicted of overt heresy, for it was adroitly framed and contained no express denial of Catholic doctrine; it was as Richard Cheyney, Lord Bishop of Gloucester said, “expressly designed to suit persons of various and even contradictory religious views: Catholic; not-so-very Catholic; ex-Catholic; non-Catholic; and anti-Catholic!”[10] This would, in the Latin version, also seem to be true of the Novus Ordo. As T. M. Parker, an Anglican theologian said, it was “an ingenious essay in ambiguity, purposely worded in such a manner that the more conservative could place their own construction on it, while the reformers would interpret it in their own sense and would recognize it as an instrument for furthering the next stage of the religious revolution”. Many points of Catholic doctrine are not specifically denied, but only omitted. Others are stated in such a manner—and this is especially true in the “ICEL” translation—that multiple interpretations can be placed upon them. As the Protestant writer A. G. Dickens said of Cranmer’s service:

Though wholly in the English language, this Prayer Book remained a masterpiece of compromise, even of studied ambiguity. While it did not specifically deny Catholic doctrine, its ambiguous phrases were understood by its author in a Protestant sense and were intended to enable Protestants to use it with good conscience.

It is ambiguity that allows both Catholics and Protestants to utilize the Novus Ordo Missae. It was the same ambiguity that encouraged Richard Cheyney to attempt the impossible reconciliation between the reformers and the Papists—“to smooth matters over…to escape the terrible severe penalties, and in the end become able to leave the lump of English error, by the mere preliminary of attendance at the service of Common Prayer according to law”. This poor individual was used by the Reformers until he was no longer necessary.

Other techniques were brought into play in order gently to insinuate the Novus Ordo into the hearts and minds of the faithful. As with Cranmer’s several “Prayer Books”, so also with the Novus Ordo introduced in stages. As Cardinal Heenan said in a pastoral letter:

It would have been foolhardy to introduce all the changes at once. It was obviously wise to change gradually and gently. If all the changes had been introduced at once, you would have been shocked.

It was important to keep appearance intact. The outer ceremonies were the last to be changed. As Comrade Lenin said, “Keep the shell, but empty it of its substance.” Luther had already used this technique with great success. To quote Grisar’s famous study on Luther, “One who entered the parish church at Wittenberg after Luther’s victory, discovered that the same vestments were used for divine service as of yore, and heard the same old Latin hymns. The Host was elevated and exhibited at the Consecration. In the eyes of the people it was the same Mass as before, despite the fact that Luther omitted all prayers which represented the sacred function as a Sacrifice. The people were intentionally kept in the dark on this point. ‘We cannot draw the common people away from the Sacrament, and it will probably be thus until the gospel is well understood’, said Luther. The rite of celebration of the Mass he explained as ‘a purely external thing’, and said further that ‘the damnable words referring to the Sacrifice could be omitted all the more readily, since the ordinary Christian would not notice the omission and hence there was no danger of scandal. The words in question, especially those of the Canon, are pronounced almost inaudibly in the Popish Church’.” The actual Lutheran service used today is based on Luther’s prayer book published in 1523 and 1526. The first part of the Mass is retained, but the Offertory, Canon and references to the sacrificial nature of the rite are dropped. The Collect, Epistle and Gospel, as in the traditional Mass, vary according to the Sunday of the year. The Creed is followed by a sermon which is the principal part of the service. Ordinarily, the “Lord’s supper” is administered only a few times during the year; the Latin and the elevation of the Host have been deleted; vestments and lighted candles are still retained.

When we come to the Anglican service, we find it a cross between the Lutheran service and the Novus Ordo Missae. As iswell known, Luther was in touch by correspondence with the English reformers. The service is begun with the Introit (the whole Psalm being sung). The Judica me (the priest going to the altar of God—also taken from the Psalms), and the Confiteor are both omitted. The confession of sins to Our Lady, the angels and the saints, and the request for their intercession is hardly compatible with the Protestant doctrine of Justification. In the Novus Ordo Missae we also do not confess to them, though we do still ask for their intercession. The Kyrie and Gloria follow as with Luther. Then they have the Credo and two exhortations taken from the 1548 Order of Communion. The sermon becomes a central issue. It is however, after the sermon that the greatest changes occur, for it is the Canon that most explicitly expresses Catholic belief. As Luther said, “all that abomination called the Offertory, and from this point almost everything stinks of oblation”. Luther did away with it entirely. The Anglicans solved the problem by radically altering it. As Cardinal Gasquet explains, Cranmer “substituted a new prayer of about the same length as the old Canon, leaving in it a few shreds of the ancient one, but divesting it of its character of sacrifice and oblation”. It was this pattern that those responsible for writing the Novus Ordo followed.

For both Luther and the Anglicans the service was “a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving”. (Note how often this phrase occurs in the “People’s Mass Book”) In no place in either service is the Transubstantiation specifically denied. Luther added the phrase to the Words of Consecration “quod pro vobis traditur”and dropped both the Mysterium fidei and the words pro multis. He specifically considered that what remained was part of a “narrative” of the Lord’s Supper. He further designated the service as being divided into two parts, the “Liturgy of the Word”, and the “Liturgy of the Eucharist”. (The identification of the “Word” with God as in John i:2 was by implication denied, as was indeed the meaning of the phrase “and the Word was made flesh”as in John i:14. The “Word” is now to be identified with Scripture only. The word “Eucharist” is acceptable for it means literally “thanksgiving”.) He also instituted communion in both species,[11] the distribution of communion by lay men and women, the use of ordinary bread for the service, the use of vessels made of any substance, the suppression of the altar stone and the use of a table covered with a single piece of cloth, the need for the “priest” to face the people (no longer an “intercessor” between man and God who performs a sacrifice upon an altar, but one who is a “leader of his community”, and who gathers together the “people of God” around the table to partake of the “Lord’s supper”), and the leaving of the host on the Paten instead of placing it after consecration on the Corporal. Now almost all these “customs” which Luther and the Novus Ordo disregard are of either Apostolic or ecclesiastical Tradition. Thus it is with reason that the Episcopal Synod already referred to in rejecting the Novus Ordo said that:

The position of both priest and people is falsified and the celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister, while the true nature of the Church is intolerably misrepresented…By a series of equivocations the emphasis (in the Novus Ordo ) is obsessively placed upon the “supper” and the “memorial” instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary…The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated…It (the New “mass”) has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.

And yet we are told: “Nothing has been changed in the essence of our traditional Mass…” and even more, it is “in the name of tradition that we ask all our sons and daughters, all the Catholic communities, to celebrate with dignity and fervour the renewed liturgy”. Yes, in the “name of Tradition” we are asked to destroy the Tradition.

*          *          *

It is often said, by those who would defend the New Church that “a few external movements and words added or cut off do not touch the Mass or change it”. Let us for a moment examine just what these few changes are.

The Novus Ordo has abolished the Offertory, one of the principal parts of the traditional Mass. The Susipe Sancte Pater, the Deus qui Humanae, the Offerimus Tibi, the Veni Sanctificator, the Lavabo (Ps. xxv). and the Suscipe Sancta are all gone. Turn to the old missal and read these prayers. Note how many concepts that the New Church finds objectionable are clearly proclaimed within them. Only the Orate Fratres with the Susipiat have been retained. Of course, all the prayers said at the foot of the altar (not a table), the Aufer a Nobis, the Oramus Te, the Munda Cor meum and the Dominus Sit are gone. As to the Canon, if the “president”[12] chooses not to use the “Eucharistic Prayer Number One” (which is falsely claimed to be the old Roman Canon, and which being the longest Anaphora, is rarely in fact used), the following six prayers before the questionable Consecration are dropped: Te Igitur, Memento Domine, Communicantes, Hanc Igitur, Quam Oblationem and the Qui Pridie. After the consecration, the following seven prayers are dropped, the Unde et Memores, Supra Quae Propitio, Supplices Te Rogamus, Memento Etiam, Nobis quoque Peccatoribus, the Per Quem haec Omnia and the Per Ipsum. as if this was not enough, the following prayers that used to follow the Pater Noster are also dropped, the Libera Nos Panem Coelestem, Quid Retribuam, the second-Confiteor and its Absolutionem (which absolution was also dropped at the start of “mass” so that the post-conciliar Catholic is not reminded of the need to approach the “sacrament” in a reasonable state of “purity”) the Domine Non sum Dignus, the Quod Ore, the Corpus Tuum, the Placeat Tibi and the Last Gospel, all of which call specific attention to the Real Presence.

Not mentioned in this list are the changes made in the prayers that are retained (such as we have discussed above), and the changes made in the Words of Consecration (to be discussed below). Nor do I include the many genuflections, the many signs of the Cross and the numerous versicles that have been deleted. Clearly, if only on the basis of the above list, somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of the traditional Mass has been “sacrificed” on the “altar” of “unity with the Protestants”. Yet Paul VI and the Bishops in union with him repeatedly assure us that—“Let everyone understand well that nothing has been changed in the essence of our traditional Mass…”

*          *          *

It is claimed, by the modernists who have “captured” the Church, that the Novus Ordo Missae is in many places a “return to primitive practice”, As Paul VI said in his Apostolic Constitution, since the time of Pius V and the Council of Trent:

Other ancient sources (of the liturgy) have been discovered…and liturgical formulas of the Eastern Church have been studied. Many wish that these doctrinal and spiritual riches be not hidden in libraries, but be brought to light to illuminate and nourish the minds and spirits of Christians.

Several points must be made. First of all, it is a typical Protestant ploy to claim to be returning to “primitive simplicity”. The Church has always been accused of adding a whole host of prescriptions to the pure Christianity of Love that Christ founded. Where did Christ ever forbid abortion (is it not murder?). Where did he ask us to fast during Lent? Where did he tell us about the sign of the Cross? This is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Of course not, such things come to us through the medium of tradition. It is a typical example of sawing off the branches, yea even the trunk, in an attempt to expose the “roots”, as if the trunk and branches were not a legitimate and even an essential aspect of the growth and manifestation of the tradition throughout time. Hypocrisy this clearly is, for if man has “progressed” and “evolved” since the primitive times of the Apostles, surely going back to “primitive practice” is the last thing that is necessary. Actually both these techniques of attacking the Tradition leave very little behind in the middle that is not innocuous and innocent. But let us at least give some consideration to the argument.

First of all, we are never told just what these “ancient sources” are that have been discovered. It is true that Hippolytus’s writings came to light during the last century, but in them nothing is to be found that changes the conclusions of previous scholars. The Dead Sea scrolls have done nothing but affirm the accuracy of the texts that have come down to us, and despite their historical value, have in no way changed our understanding of the times in which they were hidden away to protect them from the Roman hoards. As to the Eastern liturgies, they have always been available to us, they have always been recognized by the Church as valid liturgies going back to Apostolic times. They have always been so similar to our own that apart from linguistic differences one can find parallels to all the essential parts of our traditional Mass. Indeed, the Roman Church has accepted them intact and without change in the various “uniate” Churches that have returned to communion with Rome. Finally, unless one wishes to point to such prayers as the Our Father, not one prayer in the Novus Ordo has been taken from the Eastern Liturgies. What then of the claim to return to “primitive practice”?

There are in the Novus Ordo only two prayers that have any claim to be a return to “primitive practice”. These are the words from the new Offertory: “Benedictus tu Deus noster, Rex universi…”Blessed are you, our God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth…” and the “Anaphora” or “Eucharistic Prayer Number Two” which is said to be taken from Hippolytus. We shall consider each of them in turn.

As to the first, as Jungmann states in his last book on the Mass, this is a “reconstructed” prayer, and is “probably the very words used at the blessing of bread and wine in a Jewish meal at the time of Christ”. Anyone who has had the privilege of being invited to participate at a formal Jewish dinner will recognize them. Before starting to eat, the Rabbi says these words as he slices the bread and drinks the wine. This prayer is the Jewish “grace before meals” and nothing more. And how appropriate for the Protestants in Rome to have their new “service”, the “memorial to the Lord’s Supper”, introduced with “grace before meals”. No one has ever denied their consistency.

As for Hippolytus’ “Anaphora”, Father John Barry Ryan, a liturgical modernist in “obedience” to the Post-conciliar Church, frankly calls its author a “schismatic”, and has stated that his prayer was a “model” on which “Anaphora II”, an entirely “New Creation” was based. He further tells us that it was the heresiarch Hans Kung who first suggested its use—though in a modified form of course.[13] Finally, while it has nothing to do with the authenticity or the validity of the prayer, it should be noted that, as Josef Jungmann states, Hippolytus “allowed himself to be chosen as an anti-Pope, though because he was subsequently martyred for the faith, we may rightly conclude that before his death, he returned to the unity of the Church” (The Early Liturgy).Those who are interested in comparing the original form of Hippolytus’ prayer with that used by the Novus Ordo will find it in Cipriano Vagaggini’s book[14] —another interesting individual, as he was the author in greater part of Anaphora IV, the “Arian” Canon. (Notitiae, 1974, p. 249-52.)From what healthy roots this “vine” has sprung!

As to returning to the “primitive practice” of the Church, this is but another way of “picking and choosing” just what the modernists think Christianity should be. It is true that there were certain Churches in which the priest had to face the people—occasionally architectural restrictions imposed by the desire to have the altar face the east, forced this alternative on those responsible for the decision. On other occasions, a Church was enlarged and the sacredness of an altar led to the decision not to move it (many of the early altars were sepulchers built over the graves of saints). During the time of persecution the laity, with appropriate reverence, were allowed to transport the Eucharist. But what about the all-night vigils? What about the practice of the laity saying the office? We hear of no return to “primitive practice” where it involves intensifying the spiritual life of the faithful—only when it allows the reformers to destroy what has been accepted practice for hundreds or years. Surely this is one of the most hypocritical ploys that the Reformers have come up with!

*          *          *

In the Novus Ordo Missae, and particularly in the vernacular, the context in which the Words of Consecration are said can with the greatest ease be understood as being “historical”. That is to say, as the priest repeats the words ascribed to Christ, and without in any way “abusing” his privilege, the context is such that he can understand them as part of the “Narration of the Institution”, as a re-telling of the story of what happened some two thousand years ago. In the “Missal” on the “table” from which the minister reads, the words in question are still capitalized, but in the “People’s Mass Book” (which is often used by the priest, and is the only one used by the laity), there is no way to tell which words are those ascribed to Christ and which are part of the narration. No capitals are used. Indeed, the words are not even found in a separate paragraph. Now it is these words that perfect the sacrament. Listen to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas:

The consecration is accomplished by the words and expressions of the Lord Jesus. Because, by all the other words spoken, praise is rendered to God, prayer is put up for the people, for kings, and others; but when the time comes for perfecting the Sacrament, the priest uses no longer his own words, but the words of Christ. Therefore, it is Christ’s words that perfect the sacrament.

To say the Words of Consecration as part of a narrative clearly invalidates the Mass (both the traditional and any other).

The words of Consecration have to be said, not merely as a historical narrative of words used once by our Lord—as the Celebrant recites them, e.g., in the accounts of the Last Supper, which are read in the Mass in Holy Week, or on the Feast of Corpus Christi—but as a present affirmation by the priest speaking in the person of Christ, and intending to effect something, here and now, by the pronouncing of these words…

           —Rev. J. O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass

It is important that this doctrine be understood, even by those who may not accept it, for we are not expounding here any personal views, but only the teaching of Holy Mother Church.

The Form of Consecration, fait considered to be a prayer of the priest. Rather, it is the evocation of a direct and most glorious act from God Himself. Through his pronunciation of the Consecration Form, the priest’s humanity and individuality become identified with the infinite power and redemptive intention of Christ on the Cross. At this point the priest speaks as if he were Christ Himself, and Christ act, through the priest’s will both as the Consecrator and the Oblation, the Eternal High-Priest and the saving Victim, the supreme Mediator and the mutual gift.

I repeat, in the Novus Ordo Missae, all the Words of Consecration (if such they be) are part of the “Narration of the Institution”.[15] Not only are most of Luther’s changes incorporated—changes he made to stress the narrative aspect—but the entire setting is one in which, unless the “president” makes a positive intention to the contrary—a narrative is clearly implied. Without the proper “intention”, no sacrament is confected.

*          *          *

This leads us to consider another very important aspect of the problem. As Father Howard Morrison and the editorial staff of The Wanderer admit, even when said according to the wishes of Paul VI, no consecration occurs in the Novus Ordo if the proper intention is lacking on the part of the “president”. Of course, in the traditional Mass, it was also possible for the priest positively to intend not to consecrate, and thus to invalidate the confection of the Sacred Species. However, in saying the rite correctly, he assumed the proper intention automatically, and as long as he intended to do what the Church intends, the validity of the Mass could be presumed. As long as the priest did not specifically intend not to consecrate,no problem arose, and should such have been his intention, he committed a clear act of sacrilege.

In the Novus Ordo Missae,the wording of the rite no longer automatically supplies this intention. Indeed, it is necessary for the “president” specifically to intend to consecrate for the Sacred Species to be effected. It follows then, as The Wanderer admits, that one must positively ascertain in each and every individual case that the priest has a truly Catholic intention if one is to consider his action as “valid”. If the priest is a modernist, or an atheist, or if he himself does not believe in the “Real Presence”, one must presume that consecration has not occurred.[16] Hence the warning of the Episcopal Synod previously referred to:

The words of consecration, as they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo (in Latin) may be valid according to the intention of the ministering priest. But they may not be, for they are so no longer ex vi verborum (by the force of the words used) or more precisely, in virtue of the modus significandi (way of signifying) which they have had till now in the Mass.

A further warning is added which if one knows anything about the way priests are being trained in the Post-conciliar seminaries, is truly pertinent:[17]

Will priests who, in the near future, have not had the traditional training and who rely on the No vus Ordo in order to “do what the Church does”, make a valid consecration? One may be permitted to doubt it.
*          *          *

Let us pause in the narration of this dastardly subterfuge to make certain points. All that we have said is true of the Novus Ordo,whether it be said in Latin or the vernacular. Unquestionably, in the vernacular it is more offensive than in the Latin, and unquestionably the use of Latin prevents the priest from introducing still further changes in accordance with his personal judgment—not only by adding a prayer here and there, but by changing further the prayers that are supposedly “fixed”. We are not talking of abuses,but of the text as it officially stands, and as each Post-conciliar priest is supposed to adhere to them. Now the reader will ask two questions. How can this be? Why has no one done anything about it? With regard to the first question, it is truly hard to understand how it can ‘be, but it is. All that I have said is true and cannot be controverted. The situation is prefigured in Scripture. Consider Daniel ix:27 “The Victim and the Sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the Temple, the abomination of desolation”,and in Daniel xi:31, “and they shall defile the sanctuary of strength and shall take away the continual sacrifice”. Listen to Malachi i:7: “You offered polluted bread upon My altars, and you say, wherein have we polluted Thee?” And Jeremias speaks in God’s name when he says “My tabernacle is laid waste, all My cords are broken: My children are gone out from Me, and they are not…Because the pastors have done foolishly, and have not sought the Lord: therefore have they not understood, and all their flock is scattered.”And further, we find Ezekiel saying “Her priests have despised my law, and have defiled my sanctuaries: they have put no difference between holy and profane.”Consider the words of St. Cyril:

Let no one at that day say in his heart…‘unless God willed it, He would not have permitted it’. No: The Apostle forewarns you, saying beforehand, ‘God shall send them a strong delusion’, not that they may be excused, but condemned.

Nor is it true that there have been no protests. Thousands upon thousands of signatures have been sent to Rome in petitions asking for the old Mass to be given back. They have been ignored. When over 400 pilgrims walked (yes, walked) from France to Rome to petition Paul VI for the old Mass, he refused to see them. He was too busy. He was entertaining a soccer team. He could not claim that there was insufficient time to schedule an appointment for the pilgrims. They had requested it months before and their journey was carried in many of the newspapers. They were simply ignored. Books have been written and open challenges laid down to debate the issue. They have been ignored. The New Church dares not debate the issues and only cries out again and again to the mournful faithful, “you must obey”. It is a false obedience that is asked. The Episcopal Synod appointed by Paul VI to review the Novus Ordo Missae substantially rejected it. They gave their reasons in a brief but accurate summary. The Church has never published this report. One is to this day unsure how it was “smuggled” out of the Vatican. However, we have this report and have quoted from it. It is added as an appendix to this book. When the Latin Mass Society in England sent a copy of it to every priest in Britain, the English hierarchy instructed their clergy under obedience not to read it, but to throw it in the waste-paper basket. This report is an unequivocal condemnation of the New “mass It has never been answered by the New Church, just ignored. Imagine an attack on the old and traditional Mass made during the years of the English Reformation. By God, dozens of books were published and smuggled into England to defend it. And yet the report which has been abroad some ten years has never been answered. But we have not told the whole story.

It is quite clear that the entire Mass centers on the “Words of Consecration”, and it is with this topic that we shall next deal. Let the reader remember that without these few words, the Roman Mass is nothing—not entirely nothing, for the prayers are beautiful and the doctrine they teach sublime, but relatively speaking, nothing.

*          *          *

It is admitted by many conservative Post-conciliar Catholics that much of what we have said is true. They argue however that despite all this, “Consecration” still occurs, and that they go to the New “mass” for the Sacrament, and simply ignore what the priest has to say. Such a statement assumes that the act of Consecration is valid—and valid under almost any circumstances. It is however, only valid providing the “matter”, “form”, “minister” and “intention” are all valid. Let us assume for the moment that the “form” of the Sacrament in the Novus Ordo has not been changed, and that a validly ordained priest intended to confect the Sacred Species with the new ersatz Canon of his choice. Consecration might occur under such circumstances.

Accordingly, it must be held that if the priest were to pronounce only the aforesaid words (the Words of Consecration) with the intention of consecrating the sacrament, this sacrament would be valid because the intention would cause these words to be understood as spoken in the person of Christ, even though the words were pronounced without those that proceed (i.e. the Canon in its entirety). The priest however, would sin gravely in consecrating thus, as he would not be observing the rite of the Church.  —St. Thomas, Summa., III, 78, I.

To place the contention in a proper context, consider the possibility of a priest saying the proper Words of Consecration during a “Black” or “Satanic” Mass. Would consecration occur? According to St. Thomas, absolutely not, for the priest would not be intending to do what the Church intends. Further, there would be a conflict of intention involved in doing what is holy and what is sacrilegious. Now consider the possibility of a priest confecting the Sacred Species using the proper formula within a Lutheran or an Anglican service.[18] Here again, almost any priest before the Council would have said that he was committing a sacrilege and that the consecration was invalid because of the sacrilegious context and the improper intention incorporated into the rite. But what, pray, is the difference between using the proper words in an Anglican or a Lutheran service, and using them in the Novus Ordo Missae?I challenge anyone, in the light of the definition and description of the Mass as originally given in Paragraph 7 of the General Instructions on the New “mass”, and in the light of the historical parallels that we have clearly demonstrated, to show me a difference.[19]

Sacrilege is defined by St. Thomas as “the irreverent treatment of sacred things”. In his discussion on the topic, St. Thomas makes several distinctions, and notes that since the Eucharist is the most sacred possession of the Church, sacrilege with regard to the Sacrament is a “Most heinous sin” (Summa III Q. 80, Ar. 5). Unfortunately, despite the fact that in all likelihood no consecration occurs in the Novus Ordo, objective sacrilege is still committed. And if the priest is aware of all that we have so far said, and that the new “mass” is a parody, this sacrilege becomes subjective in character. But what of the Words of Consecration?

*          *          *

The Words of Consecration used in the Roman Catholic Church derive from Tradition. They are said by the theologians to be given us in specie:[20]

Christ determined what special graces were to be conferred by means of external rites: for some sacraments (e.g. Baptism, the Eucharist) He determined minutely (in specie)the matter and form: for others He determined only in a general way (in Genere)that there should be an external ceremony, by which special graces were to be conferred, leaving to the Apostle or to the Church the power to determine whatever He had not determined—e.g. to prescribe the matter and form of the Sacraments of Confirmation and of Holy Orders.

Further, the “form” of the Sacrament has been fixed by tradition since Apostolic times. It has been “canonically” fixed since the so-called “Armenian Decree” of the Council of Florence (1438-1445). The Council of Trent in a solemn decree guaranteed the authenticity of the sacramental forms laid down in the then to be written Catechism—as it says in Session XXIV, Chapter 7: “The form will be prescribed for each of the Sacraments by the Holy Council in a Catechism, which the Bishops shall have faithfully translated into the language of the people.” This Catechism in turn states:

with regard to the consecration of the wine it is necessary…that the priest know and understand well its form. We are, then, firmly to believe that it consists in the following words (the “Form” is Capitalized):

Who the day before He suffered took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and with His eyes lifted up to heaven, to You, God, His almighty Father, giving thanks to You, He blessed broke and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and eat you all of this


In like manner, after He had supped, taking also this glorious chalice into His holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to You, He blessed and gave it to His disciples saying: Take and drink you all of this,


As the Catechism continues, “of this form no one can doubt”. Taken from the “People’s Mass Book,” the following is the “form” used in the Novus Ordo Missae:No words are capitalized and they are given in a running fashion so that they form part of the “narration of the institution” without any distinction. However, in the Latin original the italicized words appear in capitals:

Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: this is my body which will be given up for you. When supper was ended, he took the cup. 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 men so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

We have said that the Form of the Words of Consecration come to us from Tradition. The innovators who created the Novus Ordo argue that in changing the form, they are “bringing it into line with Scripture”. Now, there is absolutely no reason why this should be done. Scripture is not a greater source of revelation than Tradition. Imagine the hue and cry that would be raised if we were to change Scripture to bring it into line with Tradition! It isfrom Tradition that we receive the form, and not from Scripture. Listen to the words of Cardinal Manning:

We neither derive our religion from the Scriptures, nor does it depend upon them. Our faith was in the world before the New Testament was written.

As Joseph Jungmann states:

In all the known liturgies, the core of the eucharistia, and therefore of the Mass, is formed by the narrative of the institution and the words of consecration. Our very first observation in this regard is the remarkable fact that the texts of the account of institution, among them in particular the most ancient (whether as handed down or as reconstructed by comparative studies), are never simply a Scripture text restated. They go back to pre-Biblical Tradition. Here we face an outgrowth of the fact that the Eucharist was celebrated long before the evangelists and St. Paul set out to record the Gospel story.

Indeed, one could suspect that the Scriptural accounts intentionally avoided giving the correct form lest it be profaned. Listen to St. Thomas Aquinas again:

The Evangelists did not intend to hand down the forms of the Sacraments which in the primitive Church had to be kept concealed, as Dionysius observes at the close of his book on the ecclesiastical hierarchy: their object was to write the story of Christ. (Summa, III, 78, Art. 3)[21]

No one can doubt but that the New Church has gone against tradition as well as the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils and the Catechism of the Council of Trent in changing the form of the sacrament. It is not a matter of debate as to whether she has the right to do so:

The Church is forbidden to change, or even touch, the matter of form of any sacrament. She may indeed change or abolish or introduce something in the non-essential rites or ‘ceremonial’ parts used in the administration of the sacraments, such as processions, prayers or hymns before or after the actual words of the form are recited… —Pope Leo XIII, Apostolicae Curae

Defenders of the New Church will of course argue that such is only an opinion, and like the form itself, isnot part of what istermed de fide.Whether this istrue or not, when we come to the “substance” of the form, no debate ispossible. The “Substance” of a Sacrament is said to consist ofthose elements which are absolutely necessary in order for the Sacrament to be effective. Quite clearly the statement “This is My Body; This is My Blood” are substantial and cannot be deleted. Now the Church has never absolutely defined what words are essential tothe form of the Sacrament, and theologians have debated the issue throughout the ages.[22] St. Thomas Aquinas and the great majority of the theologians before the 20th Century claim that all the words belong to the “substance of the Sacrament”.

It is well known that to the Church there belongs no right whatsoever to innovate anything on the substance of the Sacraments.
—Pope Saint Pius X Ex quo nono.

It (the Council of Trent) declares furthermore that this power has always been in the Church, that in the administration of the sacraments, without violating their substance. she may determine or change whatever she may judge to be more expedient for the benefit of those who receive them…
Session XXl, Chapter 2

The crux of the debate about “substance” resolves around the issue of “meaning”. In the Novus Ordo Missae,when said in Latin, no one can absolutely state that the substance of the formula has been altered. The phrases that have been added or removed do not clearly or necessarily change the meaning of the words. In the vernacular however, (and in all the various languages used), as we shall show, the meaning, and thence the “substance” has been altered. Now

It is clear, if any substantial part of the sacramental form is suppressed, that the essential sense of the words is destroyed; and consequently the sacrament is invalid.
—St. Thomas, Summa III, Q. 60, Art. 8

If anyone omits or changes anything in the form of the consecration of the Body and Blood, and in this change of words, does not mean the same thing, then he does not affect the Sacrament.
De Defectibus, Missa Rom.

Another argument put forth by the modernists is that in the various rites that exist, (some 76 in all), and that the Church has always recognized as valid, the consecratory form varies greatly. This is of course a half-truth. There are minor variations. Some have the phrase “which will be given up for you”, and others omit the Mysterium fidei, the “Mystery of the Faith”. (This phrase is said by tradition to have been inserted by the Apostles, an insertion that was entirely within their function to make—and this fact perhaps explains why it is not to be found in all the 76 known “forms”). It was after all, the Apostles that established these different forms in various parts of-the world, and not Bugnini and his cohorts. We list some of these below.[23]

In any event, within the Roman rite, and it is within this framework that we in the West “live and breathe”, the traditional “form” of the Sacrament has been fixed since time immemorial; it has been “codified” in the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils and proclaimed in the Catechism of the Council of Trent. To change it is a grave sin.

Thus in the form of the Eucharist,—for this is My Body…the omission of the word for…does not cause the sacrament to be invalid; although perhaps he who makes the omission may sin from negligence or contempt.
—Summa Ill, Q, 60. Art. 8.

If anyone omits or changes anything in the form of the Consecration of the Body and Blood, and in this change of words the words do not mean the same thing, then he does not affect the Sacrament. If words are added which do not alter the meaning, then the Sacrament is valid, but the celebrant commits a mortal sin in making such an addition.
Missale Romanuni, De Defectibus

It will of course be argued that all this insistence upon the correct words being used is a sort of “legalism”, and has little to do with that “love” which Christ bore witness to. After all, what are a few words here and there? If we accept this position however, we must admit that the entire Counter-Reformation was absurd. Surely we must also admit that the various Lutheran and Anglican “rites” have been valid from the day they were instituted. We must also admit that the Anglican orders are valid—and indeed, as Bernard Haring has claimed, that the Lutheran ministers (at least those in Europe, for this sect has no “Bishops” in America) are also validly ordained. And surely then, we can also change around a few—or for that fact many—of the words of Scripture. Let us leave out a few of the “riots” in the Ten Commandments. Let us “pick and choose” to our heart’s content. The important thing to realize is that the Reformers made these changes precisely to deny the Sacrificial nature of the Mass. The Novus Ordo follows these significant changes almost verbatim. The Mass is, after all, one of our most sacred possessions. As Pope Innocent I said in the year 416:

Who does not know and consider that what was delivered to the Roman Church by St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and is to this day kept (by it), ought to be observed by all, and that no practice should be substituted or added…

And, how can what is a mortal sin one day be other than a mortal sin the next? How can the “constant” Church become so “fickle”? Regardless of how we view the issues, one thing is clear from what has been so far said. The New and Post-conciliar Church has changed the form of the sacrament. This in itself is a most dastardly act, even apart from considerations of validity. In thus attacking the heart of the Mass, the New Church both declares herself and exposes herself to be a “despoiler” of all that is most sacred. In this one act she has presumed to alter the very words of Christ; she has gone against Tradition and Apostolic custom; she has altered the customs and disciplines adhered to by the Fathers of the Church and innumerable saints; she has disregarded the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils and gone against the Council of Trent; She has disobeyed numerous laws and statements to be found in the various organs of the teaching Magisterium. When she is reprimanded, she loudly protests that “it is valid; it is more Scriptural; it is adapted to the needs of modern man, and it helps to promote unity!” Unity with whom? But we have yet to consider in more detail the issue of “substantia”. If the changes are minor and “accidental”, no matter how offensive, the formula may still be valid. If the changes are “substantial”, if the meaning of the formula has been changed, then clearly the Sacred Species is not confected.

According to St. Thomas:

Some have maintained that the words ‘This is the Chalice of My Blood’ alone belong to the substance of the form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words that follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ’s blood; consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression. And on this account others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words ‘As often as ye shall do this’. (Not including these words, for the priest puts down the Chalice when he comes to them—Ed.) Hence it is that the priest pronounces all the words, under the same rite and manner, holding the chalice in his hands. (Summa, III, Q. 78, Art. 3)

Most theologians of the Church agree with this position, namely that the form of the Sacrament has been fixed since time immemorial, and that the “substance” includes all of the above specified words. Admittedly there are some, such as St. Bonaventura and Cajetan who hold that “This is the Chalice of My Blood” would suffice for Validity (these words being essential), though it should be noted in passing that when Pope Saint Pius V ordered the works of Cajetan to be published, he also ordered that this opinion (and only this opinion) should be struck from them. Furthermore, even the Cajetan Thomists admit that these latter words (i.e. “which shall be shed for you and for many…”) do indeed belong to the substance of the form, even though they deny their necessity for validity. That is to say, they distinguish between what is of the “substance” and what is of the “essence”. Hence they assert that while these latter words are not essential for the validity of the Sacrament, they are nevertheless necessary for the integrity or completeness of the form, and therefore belong to the substance. It would appear, then, that the New Church has not only attacked and changed the form of the Sacrament; it has also—in the various vernacular usages— also altered the Substance! The mistranslating of “multis”as to make it read for all men”changes the meaning of the formula, as we shall clearly demonstrate. In doing so the Conciliar Church adds injury to insult. Such an act is clearly illicit, for it goes against the laws of the Church and as such is contrary to the will of God. As Father Joseph Pohle says in his Dogmatic Treatise on “The Sacraments”: “Had the Church received from her Divine Founder the power to institute Sacraments, she would also have the power of changing the substance of the sacrament…But this is not so…”

It is of course theoretically conceivable that the “form” can be altered without changing the meaning of the formula. Should such be the case, consecration might still occur. It is a change in meaning that invalidates all possibility of confecting the Species—it is this that characterizes a “substantial” change. The New Church holds that she still retains the essential words “This is My Body…This is My Blood”. These words are also retained in the Reformation services. But it is important to remember that, as St. Thomas says, “the words which follow ‘This is My Blood’ are determinations of the predicate.” Thus, if the priest were to say, “This is My Blood and by this statement I mean a symbol and not the reality”, clearly he would not consecrate because the second phrase would alter the meaning of the predicate. In the Novus Ordo Missae,in the vernacular the substitution of the words “for all men”in place of “for many”clearly alters the meaning of the predicate and thus “the essential sense of the words is destroyed”. This being so, according to the opinion of St. Thomas, it follows that “THE SACRAMENT IS CLEARLY RENDERED INVALID”.

The New Church of course argues that “many” means “all”, or something along these lines. (In passing, it is worth noting that the Post-conciliar “Popes” have used “all”—tutti—when saying the Novus Ordo in the vernacular). She argues that there was no such word as “all” in the Aramaic, or that when Christ said “many”, He really meant “all”. She will quote for you all sorts of philological studies to prove it. To all this I say “nonsense”. The first person to come up with this silly idea was a Protestant theologian named Joachim Jeremias (recently deceased) who personally denied the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Even a child knows the difference between “all” and “many”. As for the argument that no such word as “all” exists in Aramaic, this is proved false by referring to the Porta Linguarum Orientalium. None of the 76 forms of Consecration in a wide variety of languages uses “all” in place of “many”, and above all, the Greek form established by the Apostles does not.[24] And are we to change all the “manys” in the Bible to “alls”?—it would be insanity.

Now, superficially, it may seem that changing “many” to “all” is not a very important issue. After all, what is in a word? The problem is, this is a very important word:

Nothing is more dangerous than the heretics who, while conserving almost all the remainder of the Church’s teaching intact, corrupt WITH A SINGLE WORD, like a drop of poison, the purity and the simplicity of the faith which we have received through tradition from God and through the Apostles. —Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum

In order to understand how all men alters the sense of the words, one must turn to the Church’s teaching on the difference between efficacy and sufficiency. It is a truth of our Faith that Christ died for all men without exception. And He is the propitiation of our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world (1 John ii:2). Thus His act of Sacrifice has sufficiency. It is also a truth of our faith that not all men are saved, but some indeed suffer eternal damnation. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God”(Ps. ix:18). Hence it follows that the efficacy or effectiveness of Christ’s act is not communicated to all men, but only unto those who are actually saved. This is why St. Thomas states in Summa III, Q. 78, Art. 3 and elsewhere that for all men was NOT used, and for many was. Such was hardly a “slip of the tongue” or a casual opinion, for the same point is made by the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew (xxvi:28), some from Luke (xxii:20), but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all: but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but too many of the human race. When therefore Our Lord said: For you, He meant either those who were present, or those chosen from among the Jewish disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added and for many, He wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews and Gentiles. With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation.

This opinion is further confirmed by St. Alphonsus Liguori:

The words Pro vobis et pro muftis (‘For you and for many’) are used to distinguish the virtue of the Blood of Christ from its fruits: for the blood of Our Savior is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to, a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious Blood is (itself) sufficiently (Sufficienter)able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually (efficaciter)it does not save all—it saves only those who cooperate with grace.
Treatise on the Holy Eucharist

This then is the teaching of the Church. It has always been the teaching of the Church, and as the great scholar Pope Benedict XIV said, St. Thomas’ opinion “explains correctly” Christ’s use of “for many” as opposed to “for all men”. (De Sacrasanctae Missae Sacrificio ii:XIV). Now, when one sees the care with which those responsible for writing the Novus Ordo Missae changed the many details of even those prayers that were retained, one cannot assume that they were ignorant men. And certainly this error has been repeatedly pointed out to those responsible, and complaint upon complaint has been totally ignored. Why then the persistence of the “innovators” in the use of this offensive distortion? The answer is to be found in the new concept of “unity” which will be discussed in the next section. Suffice it to say for the present that it is a reflection of the heresy called apocatastasis,the false doctrine which teaches that a time will come when all free creatures will attain to salvation: that is to say, a final restoration for all mankind. Now this belief in universal salvation is to be found among the Anabaptists, the Moravian Brethren, the Christadelphians, among rationalistic Protestants and among the Universalists. It is also a concept that is fully Teilhardian. While not openly expressed in the Documents of Vatican II, the concepts of “salvation history”, the “birth of a new humanism” and the idea that man is saved as a member of the community rather than as an individual are all highly suggestive of this error. Also conducive to the acceptance of this heresy is the ecumenical idea that those outside the Church, no matter what they believe (and how they behave) have “access to the community of salvation”. Whether or not we can prove that the “innovators” intended either to teach false doctrine or to invalidate the consecration, the fact remains that, under the circumstances which we have pointed out, a false doctrine is implied, the laws of the Church are ignored, the teaching of the Church is contradicted and the consecration is rendered extremely doubtful.

In practice, THE VERY RAISING OF QUESTIONS OR DOUBTS ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF A GIVEN MANNER OF CONFECTING A SACRAMENT—IF THIS QUESTION IS BASED ON AN APPARENT DEFECT OF MATTER OR OF FORM—WOULD NECESSITATE THE STRICT ABSTENTION FROM USE OF THAT DOUBTFUL MANNER OF PERFORMING THE SACRAMENTAL ACT, UNTIL THE DOUBTS ARE RESOLVED. This same statement would apply pari passu to the laity receiving the doubtful Sacrament. IN CONFECTING THE SACRAMENTS, ALL PRIESTS ARE OBLIGED TO FOLLOW THE “MEDIUM CERTIUM”.[25] As traditional Catholic theology teaches, “Matter and Form must be certainly valid. Hence, one may not follow a probable opinion and use either doubtful matter or form. Acting otherwise, one commits a sacrilege.”[26]

No wonder then that traditional theologians like J. M. Hervé, instruct the priest to

Omit nothing of the form, add nothing, change nothing; Beware of transmuting, corrupting, or interrupting the words.

Yes indeed, beware of all the New Church has done!

*          *          *

Who then was responsible for writing this new “mass”? Clearly, not the Apostles, or even the Church Fathers, for it was created after the Second Vatican Council. It was in fact written by a committee of individuals gathered together in a “concilium” under the direction of a certain Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. This individual was the instigator and persistent advocate of the so-called “youth Masses”, and the person who insisted on continuing the “yea, yea Masses” in Rome, and who got his way despite the protest of Rome’s Vicar General, Cardinal Dell’Acqua. During the reign of John XXIII before the modernists had consolidated their gains, he was dismissed from the Lateran University where he was a teacher of liturgy precisely because he held such ideas—only to become, later, secretary of the Congregation dealing with liturgical reform. Now, according to Michael Davies, a most careful scholar, this individual was and is a FREEMASON![27] It is of course well known that the Freemasons have always dreamed of destroying the traditional Church, both by attacking it from without and by infiltrating it from within. This organization has been condemned by every Pope since Clement XII (1730-1740) to Pius XII, and in the traditional Church, to be a Freemason is to be automatically EXCOMMUNICATED.[28]

Further, this strange individual was assisted by six non-Catholic “observers”. We know their names because Paul VI has publicly thanked them for their help (L’Osservatore Romano, May 11, 1970).[29] Of course, the New Church has persistently claimed that their presence at the meeting of the Concilium was strictly restricted to their capacity as “observers”, and that they had no active function in the creation of the parody that is called the Novus Ordo Missae. (Notitiae, 1974, pp. 249-252, presents the “defense” in ambiguous form). Unfortunately for the innovators, this has been contradicted by both the “observers”, and the other “Catholics” present. Mgr. Baum has stated that the observers “were not simply observers, but also consultants as well, and fully participated in the discussions on renewing the Catholic liturgy. Their presence would have been meaningless if they were only listeners; they also contributed”. As Canon Jasper, one of the non-Catholic observers said in a letter to Michael Davies dated February 10, 1977:

“However, after lunch, we always gathered together informally with the periti (experts) who prepared the agenda, and at these meetings we were most certainly authorized to make comments, suggestions and criticisms. It was of course up the the periti to decide whether some of our observations should be brought into the general discussions of the Concilium. But these informal meetings were carried on in perfect freedom—a complete free for all—and the exchanges of opinion were very open…”[30]

And so we have a “mass” that could well be called “Bugnini’s mass”, a service that is truly “ecumenical” and fully approved by the World Council of Churches, whose representative was also present at its creation, a form of worship that can be described as a “FREEMASONIC MEAL”, a “mass” created with the assistance of excommunicated apostates and other individuals who not only did not believe in the Real Presence, but who also denied many of the other teachings of Holy Mother Church. Bugnini has said that “the liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church” (Notitiae,April 1974, p. 126). One wonders just who the conqueror is. No wonder then that it is in fact a monstrosity.

Let us be quite clear. Scandalous as all this is, our criticism of the Novus Ordo Missae is made on theological grounds alone. It would be a dissipation to argue that its authors were not even Catholic, for theoretically it is even possible for satan to come up with something that is valid despite himself.

*          *          *

Now, in the face of the facts so far presented, one must legitimately ask what Paul VI had to say about all this. Let us quote him directly:

It would be well to understand the motives for such a great change introduced (into the Mass)…It is the will of Christ. It is the breath of the Spirit calling the Church to this mutation…(General audience, Nov. 26, 1969)

Paul VI, in using the term “mutation”, quite apart from the scientific implications of abnormality, has used a term familiar to anyone trained in theology. It is the term used in discussing just these issues that can invalidate the sacrament. To quote Father Felix Cappello, S.J. of the Gregorian University in his text De Sacramentis: Mutatio substantialis materiae aut formae semper reddit invalidum sacramentum (“A substantial mutation in the matter or form of the Sacrament, always renders it invalid…”). He continues: Accidentalis contra, nunquam officit valori sacramenti; set culpam inducit, gravem vel modo voluntaria sit, pro mutationis gravitate aut parvitate  (“Accidental changes however do not affect the validity of the Sacrament, but are sinful, the gravity of the sin being dependent upon the seriousness of the change, and on the basis of whether or not it is voluntary…”).

Paul VI is of course fully responsible for introducing the Novus Ordo Missae, whether he personally wrote it or not. As Cardinal Heenan stated in the forward to the English translation of the text:

It is important to realize that the revision has been carried out under the Holy Father’s personal supervision.

What then is Paul VI’s concept of the Mass? Let us turn to his description or definition as given in Section 7 of his Apostolic Constitution:

The Lord’s Supper is an assembly or gathering together of the people of God, with a priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. For this reason the promise of Christ is particularly true of a local congregation of the Church: ‘where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.[31]  

How similar this definition is to that of Cranmer:

Christ is present whensoever the Church prayeth unto Him, and is gathered together in His name. And the bread and wine be made unto us the body and blood of Christ (as it is in the Book of Common Prayer), but not by changing the substance of the bread and wine into the natural substance of Christ’s natural body and blood, but that in the godly using of of them they may be unto the receivers Christ’s body and blood… —The Works of T. Cranmer, Vol 1

Returning to the Apostolic Constitution on the Novus Ordo again, this document of Paul VI contains other statements such as: “the Mass is the culminating action by which God in Christ sanctifies the world and men adore the Father…”, or “the Eucharistic celebration, in which the priest acts for the salvation of the people…” neither of which statements helps us understand Paul VI’s definition of the Mass in any other sense than that signified by the words he uses in Paragraph 7. Reading still further, we find that “the Eucharistic prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification is the centre of the entire celebration”, and Paragraph 48 states: “when he instituted the paschal sacrifice and meal, he handed it over to his disciples for them to do it in his memory”. Now, while there are still some allusions to the nature of the Sacrifice as a Catholic must understand it, they are only allusions. The word “Transubstantiation” is conspicuously absent and the only reference to the Real Presence is in a footnote—number 63—which in turn refers without quotation to the Council of Trent. One is reminded of Luther’s words: “call it benediction, Eucharist (which means ‘thanksgiving’), the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s table, memory of the Lord, or whatever you like, just so long as you do not dirty it with the name of a sacrifice or an action”. As the members of the Episcopal Synod stated:

By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the ‘supper’ and the ‘memorial’ instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

As to the statement that Our Lord is present in the Mass because “two or three are gathered together in His name”, this could certainly imply that He is just as present—and in the same sense—in any Protestant service—or for that matter in my home during evening prayers. And if this is so, then what is the purpose of the Mass? Here again the Novus Ordo suggests a heretical answer—note, I do not say gives, but only suggests—“a common posture, as a sign which both expresses and fosters the inner spirit and purpose of the community…” (Paragraph 20).

Paul VI has stated that the “New Mass” was “mandated” by the Second Vatican Council:

The reform which is about to be brought into being is therefore a response to an authoritative mandate from the Church. It is an act of obedience. It is an act of coherence of the Church with itself. It is a step forward for her authentic tradition. It is a demonstration of fidelity and vitality, to which we must all give prompt assent.

Allcoution, Nov. 26, 1969

Now there is no evidence that the Council Fathers ever envisaged anything like the Novus Ordo Missae when they signed the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Apart from certain individuals like Cardinal Leinart and his côterie, the majority would doubtless have been shocked at what was happening. Listen to the words of Archbishop R. J. Dwyer:

Who dreamed on that day (when the Council Fathers voted for the Liturgy Constitution) that within a few years, far less than a decade, the Latin past of the Church would be all but expunged, that it would be reduced to a memory fading in the middle distance? The thought of it would have horrified us, but it seemed so far beyond the realm of the possible as to be ridiculous. So we laughed it off. —Twin Circle, Oct. 26, 1973

The Constitution states that the liturgy is made up of unchangeable elements divinely instituted and of elements subject to change. Surely the “unchangeable elements” referred to the Canon and above all to the form and substance of the Sacrament. As one reads the Novus Ordo, one finds that the only unchangeable elements are such words as “alleluia” (why not in the vernacular?) and certain prayers such as the Our Father and the Gloria[32] that have always been acceptable to the Protestants. Indeed, such an opinion is strengthened if one reads the Council Daybook (a sort of running log) for Nov. 5, 1962 where is states that “it was insisted that the Canon of the Mass especially should remain intact…”

Returning to Paul VI’s statement quoted above, we note that if we are “faithful” and “vital” we will give our “prompt assent”. I am not sure just what it means to be “vital” but I am sure that if we are faithful, we can never give anything but our prompt rejection. As for the changes having anything to do with “authentic tradition”, that is patently absurd. Since when has it been traditional to fool around with the Canon and to change the very words of Christ.

*          *          *

What then is left of the traditional Mass after all these changes? What elements remain to give the “parody” some semblance of the real thing? After the “president” enters the sanctuary and says “good morning” (the Sign of the Cross is a rarity), we start out with a truncated confession that is made to “our brothers and sisters”. Like the Anglicans, we no longer confess to the Blessed Virgin, the angels and the saints. We have dropped, or rather, we are denied, the traditional formula of sacramental absolution which starts “Indulgentiam…”(Must we come to the “supper” with unwashed hands?) We proceed then to the “Liturgy of the Word” (another Reformation concept as we have already pointed out) or “Scriptural readings” taken from the new and false translations, interspaced with a “Responsorial Psalm” such as Luther introduced into his Worship service. (The use of three Scriptural readings instead of two is also a Lutheran innovation.) We are still allowed the Gloria (falsely and incompletely rendered—with the emphasis that peace is given to all men, and not to “men of good will. We say the Credo (as do Lutherans and Anglicans) but with the “communitarian” “we believe…” and not the correct “I believe…” We then have a few “bidding” prayers in which the priest or selected members of the “community” suggest or ask us to pray for certain purposes (often quite profane).[33] After this we have a sermon. In an “ecumenical” community, this may even be given by a visiting Protestant clergyman; otherwise it consists of a lecture in the “New Theology”. Orthodoxy and spiritual content is an almost unbelievable rarity.

Then one or two laymen are selected at random to bring the sacred vessels to the “table”. We used to be taught that only those in Holy Orders or “Sacristans” could handle these so sacred vessels. These “gifts” are brought forward with the money from the weekly collection and you now have the “offertory” as conceived in the Novus Ordo.

Next comes the “Liturgy of the Eucharist”. Please note a subtle (or is it really such a subtle?) point. The “mass” is divided into the “Liturgy of the Word”, and the “Liturgy of the Eucharist”. What a lovely word Eucharist is, and how the modernists love it. It means thanksgiving and can be used to disguise their absence of belief. This in effect teaches us that the Sacred Species is not the “Word made Flesh”, and that it is in Scripture only that the Word of God is to be found. Of course, we have already been “softened up” for the change in emphasis. After all, the tabernacle has been replaced by the Bible.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist is initiated with the prayer “Benedictus Tu Deus…” (Blessed are you O Lord, ruler of the universe), which is as we have pointed out above, the Jewish “grace before meals”. From this we go into one of the ersatz “canons” followed by the Narratio institutionis (or the “narration of the Institution”). The dubious consecration is followed by the “Proclamation of the Mystery of the Faith”: “Christ has died, Christ has risen. Christ will come again!” And what has such a statement to do with the fact that Christ is presumably at that very moment present upon the “table”? Is this acclamation a denial that transubstantiation has occurred? But then, alas, ambiguity is what the New Church feeds on.

Communion follows. Kneeling is no longer permitted (the Anglicans also forbade it). When the priest distributes the “host”, he no longer says the traditional Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi…“May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ…” He frequently uses the word “Eucharist”. Further, we are “encouraged” to take communion in the hand as Luther also advocated, and distribution is given by “extraordinary administrators of the Eucharist”, who are in fact laymen and women without consecrated hands. In some of the more “advanced” parishes, where ordinary bread (another Lutheran innovation) has been “consecrated”, we can pick our piece out of a basket, and let the “crumbs” fall where they will. During and after Communion we are regaled with the latest “folk-tunes” (“Kumbaya” being a favorite—though I am told this statement “dates” me) accompanied by badly played guitars.

Now, I have left out only two items. (The Our Father with its “Doxology”, (“For Thine is the Kingdom; the power and the glory…” a perfectly legitimate phrase, but one always insisted upon by the Protestants,[34] and the “Kiss of Peace”, where we are encouraged to greet our neighbors and to exchange with them such worldly amenities as phone numbers. (Some Churches have had to place a time limit on this communitarian activity!) We conclude with a final blessing (also received standing) and exit to the accompaniment of guitars and tambourines.

Please understand, I am nowhere in all this referring to the so-called “abuses” that the Novus Ordo is subjected to. Of course, according to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “competent territorial ecclesiastical authority” can allow for “even more radical adaptions of the liturgy”. This same power—the local ordinary in practice—can grant permission for “the necessary preliminary experiments over a determined period”. When bewildered Catholics protest at a “dance mass” or a “yoga mass”, they are informed that it is done with the permission of appropriate authority on an experimental basis. “Abuses” carried on with Episcopal permission (or neglect) and under “obedience”, however, is not what we have been discussing in the above paragraphs, but the New PARODIAL mass as performed by conservative priests with “decorum and dignity”.

Provision was of course made for those priests who could not accept the changes. They were free to say the old Mass sine populo—that is, alone and in retirement (needless to say, another innovation, as Cardinal Ottaviani has pointed out). It is unfortunate that many older priests—and many, not so old—took advantage of this option; instead of being foci of resistance to these stupid changes, they retired into obscurity (with full financial support by the New Church). As for the laity, no such charity was extended to them. The traditional Mass was and is forbidden. “The New Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old…” as Paul VI instructed us. One is reminded of the words of Thomas Cromwell, the ravisher of Ireland:

I had rather that Mahometanism were permitted amongst us than that one of God’s children should be persecuted…I meddle not with any man’s conscience. But if by liberty of conscience you mean liberty to exercise the Mass, I judge it best to use plain dealing, and to let you know…that will not be allowed of. —English Liberty, 1650

And yet, despite this, Paul VI assures us:

Let everyone understand well that nothing has been changed in the essence of our traditional Mass…There is nothing, absolutely nothing to this idea…The New rite, the Mass is the same as always…If anything, its identity has been made more recognizable in certain of its aspects…It is in the name of tradition that we ask all our sons and daughters, all the Catholic communities, to celebrate with dignity and fervor the renewed liturgy… —Allocution, Nov. 26, 1969 and Custos, Quid de Nocte

Enough has been said of the Novus Ordo Missae to show that it is indeed a PARODY created as a substitution intended to replace our traditional Mass. But, it is only an imitation or a mimicry. It is in fact a burlesque, created by those who have usurped the magisterial function; it is a “sop” and a “Christmas Game” to befuddle the faithful. Much more could be said. Its ugliness is proverbial; it is boring and dull; it has introduced the language and the customs of the marketplace into the sanctuary; it has “turned off” thousands of the youth, but all this to what effect, if by now the reader is not convinced. One last point requires mentioning. Would traditional Catholics ever accept some form of accommodation with the New “mass”? Would they accept a situation where one could choose which service one went to—a sort of situation that exists in the Anglican Church where some are “high” and some are of “low” persuasion? (This is not to imply that “high” Anglicans have a valid Mass.) The answer must be NO! One cannot mix oil and water. Such an aggiornamento would be as false as one made with the Lutherans or the Unitarians. The reason is simple. It is not a matter of intolerance. The new “mass” is not Catholic and never can be Catholic and we “cannot bear the yoke with unbelievers”.[35] One can do no better than to conclude this section with a quotation from the Angelic Doctor:

Falsehood in outward worship occurs on the part of the worshipper, and expecially, in common worship which is offered by ministers impersonating the whole Church. For even as he would be guilty of falsehood who would, in the name of another person, proffer things that are not committed to him, so too does a man-incur the guilt of falsehood who, on the part of the Church, gives worship to God contrary to the manner established by the Church or divine authority, and according to the ecclesiastical custom. Hence St. Ambrose says: ‘he is unworthy who celebrates the mystery otherwise than Christ delivered it’.Summa II-III Q. 93, A. 1

Novus Ordo

“Father in heaven, it is right that we should give you thanks and glory; You alone are God, living and true…”

Traditional Canon

“It is truly meet and just, right and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give  thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, father Almighty, everlasting God. Who with the only begotten Son and the Holy Ghost, art One God, One Lord: not in the oneness of a single person, but in the trinity of one substance…”

Considering the fact that as Jungmann says “the entire teaching of the Church is contained in the liturgy” (Handing on the Faith), this is a most instructive piece of skullduggery. In the Latin version of the Novus Ordo the words “Unus Deus”,or “One God…living and true”, are to be found, and no explicit heresy is taught. However, even in the Latin, the faithful are not clearly taught the doctrine of the Trinity. True, this doctrine is alluded to in the Creed, but it is certainly not expressed there with the same precision and clarity of thought (what a striking economy of language is used in our traditional Canon!). When Anaphora IV is used, this doctrine is nowhere else taught. When we come to the vernacular, the translating of Unus Deus as “You alone are God” is a clear and explicit teaching of heresy. Look up the meaning of “alone”. The statement is a denial of the doctrine of the Trinity. It is for this reason that some theologians refer to this Canon as the “Arian Canon”. Another example of a “return to primitive practice!”

As St. Basil said at the time of the Arian heresy:

Religious people keep silence, but ever blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude with groans and tears to the Lord of Heaven (Ep. 92)… Matters have come to this pass; the people have left their houses of prayer and assemble in deserts. To this they submit, because they will have no part in the wicked Arian leaven (Ep. 242) Only one offence is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions... Joy and spiritual cheerfulness are no more; our feasts are turned into mourning; our houses of prayer are shut up, our altars deprived of the spiritual worship (Ep. 243).

To read Part 4 of this series of articles, Tradition’ by Rama P. Coomaraswamy as it appeared in the Summer-Autumn 1979 edition of ‘Studies in Comparative Religion’">click here.

Editor's note regarding this series of essays:  Rama P. Coomaraswamy first published The Destruction of the Christian Tradition in 1972. The series of essays that appeared in Studies was accomplished by choosing extended and representative portions of the book and then presenting them in five parts. A later edition of the same book, in its totality, was published by World Wisdom in 2006 under the guidance of Dr. Coomaraswamy, including some revisions. Readers are encouraged to refer to this volume should they need a fuller context for some of the facts and observations in the extracts which were published as articles in Studies.



[1] A translation is available in Studies in Comparative Religion, Summer 1975 (Pates Manor Bedfont, Middlesex, England) and will be available in The Roman Catholic (Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y.) soon.

[2]lex credendi”, literally, the law of belief; “lex grandi”, the law of prayer.

[3] Dr. Nicholas Gihr. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Herder: N.Y. 1929.

[4] A “Constitution” is defined as “an irreformable statement of what the Church’s belief is” (Louis Bouyer, The Liturgy Revived), and “the binding force of pontifical constitutions is…beyond question” (Catholic Encyclopedia). We quote from this Constitution:

“We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons-of whatever ecclestical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank of pre-eminence and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics. They must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal…Furthermore, by these presents (this law), in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that for the chanting or reading of this Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious of whatever order or by whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is to be forced or coerced to alter this Missal and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remains always valid and retains its full force…Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this letter, or heedlessly to venture to go contrary to this notice of Our Permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Would anyone however presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.” (italics mine).

[5] Many authorities can be called upon to prove this contention. To quote but a few, the late Archbishop Hallinan of Atlanta (USA) noted that “We have come to the end of an era”. Father Gelineau, S.J., a liturgical “peritus” from the Council said of the Novus Ordo, “It is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.” Father Henri Denis states: “To claim that everything has changed is quite simply to be honest about what has happened.” Father Louis Bouyer has said, “There is practically no liturgy worthy of the name today in the Catholic Church.” More recently he has stated “The Catholic liturgy has been overthrown under the pretext of rendering it more compatible with the contemporary outlook — but in reality to conform it with the buffooneries that the religious orders were induced to impose, whether they liked it or not, upon the other clergy.” I am indebted to Michael Davies’ The Roman Rite Destroyed for these quotations. Many others could be cited.

[6] A “Parody”, according to Webster’s dictionary, is “a writing in which the language and style of the author is imitated or mimicked; a burlesque; a feeble or ridiculous imitation of an action”.

[7] Altars were destroyed and replaced by wooden tables throughout England. Altar stones were incorporated into Church steps in order to force the faithful to walk on them when entering the Church. (The Church under Queen Elizabeth, F. G. Lee, Thomas Baker: London, 1896).

[8] The Novus Ordo has four exchangeable “Canons”, or “eucharistic prayers”. They are also called “Anaphoras”. The first is a parody of the traditional Roman Canon in which the above changes are made to bring it into line with Reformation theology. The second is taken from Hippolytus’ Canon though similar alterations are made. The others are entirely new creations. There is a move abroad to introduce 100 new alternative ersatz Canons and many of these are already being used by the “up-to-date” clergy on an “experimental” basis.

[9] “ICEL”, or International Committee for English in the Liturgy is one of the most powerful organizations within the New Church, capable of “overuling” even National Bishop’s Conferences. Its complex and far reaching organization is described in Gary Potter’s “The Liturgy Club”, Triumph, May 1968.

[10] Louise I. Guiney, Blessed Edmund Campion, Benzinger: N.Y., 1910. Even the reformers admitted the ambiguity of their work. Dryander wrote to Zurich (concerning the First Book of Common Prayer) that it harboured “Every kind of deception by ambiguity or trickery of language” Liturgies of the Western Church, Bard Thompson, New Amer. Lib.: N.Y. 1974).

[11] Communion under both species was practiced in the primitive Church, and is still practiced in the Eastern Uniate rites. The issue is discussed in detail in Session XXI of the Council of Trent. See Dogmatic Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, TAN: Rockford III, 1977.

[12] The term “president” is taken from Justin Martyr where it is used in the sense of one “presiding” over the gifts. Obviously, in the present context it is impossible to divorce the meaning of this word from its political connotations. This ambiguity is most satisfying to those who in line with Protestant theology, consider the “minister” not as one called (“vocation”) by God, but as a person chosen by the congregation.

[13] John Barry Ryan, The Eucharistic Prayer, Paulist Press: N.Y., 1974.

[14] Cipriano Vagaggini, The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform, Alba House: N.Y., 1966.

[15] The term “Institution refers to the Institution of the Sacrament by Christ, and is a perfectly legitimate theological term. The idea that the. Mass is a “narrative” however, is patently false. Despite this, official French Catechisms make such statements as that “At the heart of the Mass lies a story…” The Official French Missal published with the approval of the hierarchy states that the Mass is simply the memorial of the unique sacrifice accomplished once! (“Il s’agit simplement de faire mémoire de l’unique sacrifice déjà accompli.”). This statement has been repeated in more than one edition, and despite the protest of the faithful. It is overtly heretical. It would however appear to be the “official” teaching of the Conciliar Church—another accommodation to Protestant “theology”.

[16] The Wanderer, St. Paul, Minn., June 16, 1977. This is perhaps the most “conservative” publication of the Post-conciliar Church in North America. It is unwittingly one of the most valuable sources of documentation of “The Destruction of the Christian Tradition” available today. In future years, its pages will provide a “historical document” of the greatest importance.

[17] To quote Father Robert Burns, C.S.P., editorial writer for The Wanderer (Aug. 10, 1978): “Many newly ordained priests are either formal or material heretics on the day of their ordination. This is so, because their teachers embraced modernist errors and passed them along to their students. The students, after Ordination, in turn propagated these errors, either in catechetical teaching or in pulpit preaching. The same situation is also true in the cases of many older priests who return to schools of theology for updating courses or ‘retooling in ‘theology’.” Further witness to this sad state of affairs is drawn from the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, (January 1975). To quote its editor: “I have a confession to make to our readers. Often I have been asked to print some good articles in the field of moral theology. The sad fact is that I have had to reject over 90% of the material sent to me on the subject. The principal reason for the rejections has been that the articles either espoused or assumed the relativism and subjectivism which are the basis of situational ethics. Moreover, most of those articles were written by professors in’ Catholic colleges and seminaries.”

[18] Many Anglican “priests” have had their “orders” validated by going to the Greek Orthodox Church. The Words of Consecration used in the Anglican service are: “Hear us (O merciful Father) we beseech thee: and with thy holy spirit and worde, vouchsafe to blesse and sanctify these thy gyfts, and creatures of bread and wyne, that they maie be unto us the bodye and bloude of thy moste derely beloued sonne Jesus Christe. Who in the same nyght that he was betrayed: tooke breade, and when he had blessed, and geuen thankes: he brake it, and gaue it to his disciples, saying: Take, eate, this is my bodye which is giuen for you, do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he toke the cuppe, and when he had geuen thankes, he gaue it to them, saiying: drynk ye all of this, for this is my bloude of the newe Testament, whyche is shed for you and for many, for the remission of synnes: do this as oft as you shall drinke it in remembrance of me.” Surely these words have an equal validity to those used in the Novus Ordo—and perhaps, an even greater validity, as the phrase “for all men” instead of “for many” is not used.

[19] The “definition” or “Description” of the New “mass” given in Paragraph 7 of Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution is discussed below.

[20] “The form of this Sacrament is pronounced as if Christ were speaking in person, so that it is given to be understood that the minister does nothing in perfecting this Sacrament, except to pronounce the words of Christ”. (Summa, III, Q. 78, Art. 1).

[21] The fact that modern scholars have re-dated the writings of Dionysius changes nothing. Such scholars appear to be more interested in dating works than in understanding their content.

[22] The difference between what is “essential” and what is “substantial” is not pertinent to the issue, but will he discussed in later paragraphs briefly.

[23] Byzantine: “This is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Armenian: “This is My blood of the new testament which is shed for you and for many for the expiation and forgiveness of sins.”

Coptic: “For this is My blood of the New covenant, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins.”

Ethiopic: “This is My blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sin.”

Syrian: “This is My Blood, of the new covenant, which shall be poured out and offered for the forgiveness of the sins and eternal life of you and of many.”

Maronite: As in the Latin Rite.

Chaldean: “This is My blood of the New covenant, the mystery of faith, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Malabar: “For this is the chalice of my blood of the New and Eternal Testament, the Mystery of Faith, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins.”

[24] As St. Thomas informs us, “James the brother of the Lord according to the flesh, and Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, edited the rite of celebrating the Mass”. Summa III, Q. 83, Art. 4.

[25] Quoted by Patrick Omlor in his book Questioning the Validity of the Masses using the New All-English Canon, Athanasius Press, Reno, Nevada, 1969.

[26] Rev. Heribert Jone, Moral Theology, Newman: Westminster, Md., 1952.

[27] Michael Davies, Pope John’s Council, Augustine Publ. Co., Devon, England, 1977. “A priest placed what he claimed was documentary evidence proving that Mgr. Bugnini was a Mason into the hands of the Pope himself and warned that if drastic action was not taken, he would be bound in conscience to make the facts public.” What followed was the exiling of Bugnini and the dissolving of the Congregation. Michael Davies, having investigated the facts, is willing to stand warrant for their truth.

[28] To those who are familiar with the centuries of conflict between the Catholic Church and the Freemasons, such a fact is indeed shocking. Even on the lowest level, entry into Freemasonry involves a rite in which the applicant “enters into light from darkness”. He then swears to obey and keep secret things he is totally unaware of. Such acts are simply not possible to the Catholic. Freemasonry, according to authorized spokesman F. Limousin (writing under the pen-name of Hiram) is a Religion. To quote him:

“Freemasonry is an association…an institution…so it is said…but it is not that at all. Let us lift up the veils risking even to evoke numberless protestations. FREE masonry IS A CHURCH: It is the Counter-Church, Counter-Catholicism: It is the Other Church—the Church of HERESY AND FREE-THOUGHT” It is opposed to “the Catholic Church…the first Church…the Church of dogmatism and of orthodoxy.”

Those interested in further information are referred to The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled, by the Cardinal of Chile, Christian Book Club of America, Hawthorne, Calif. 1971.

Now consider the following statements of Yves Marsaudon, State Minister, Supreme Council of France (Scottish Rite of Freemasonry):

“The sense of universalism that is rampant in Rome these days is very close to our purpose for existence. Thus, we are unable to ignore the Second Vatican Council and its consequences…With all our hearts we support the ‘Revolution of John XXIII’…This courageous concept of the Freedom of Thought that lies at the core of our Freemasonic lodges, has spread in a truly magnificent manner right under the Dome of Saint Peter’…”

Again, he states elsewhere:

“Born in our Masonic Lodges, freedom of expression has now spread beautifully over the Dome of St. Peter’s . . . this is the Revolution of Paul VI. It is clear that Paul VI, not content to merely follow the policy of his predecessor, does in fact intend to go much further ...”

Both “over” and “under” the Dome of St. Peter’s! Needless to say, the New Church has officially lifted the ban on Catholics being Freemasons, and “Catholics” may freely join Masonic lodges as long as they do not plot against the Church. Of course, the Freemasons have no intention of plotting against the Post-conciliar Church—it is a tool in their hands, whether witting or unwitting.

[29] Paul VI’s photograph with the six heretics is published in this source, as well as his famous statement that the New “mass” re-edited “in a new manner liturgical texts tried and tested by long usage, or established formulas which are completely new…(thus) imparting greater theological value to the liturgical texts so that the lex orandi conformed better with the lex credendi.” Either the texts prior to 1969 did not possess that degree of theological value which was desirable, or the lex credendi was changed.

[30] Itinéraries (Paris), April 1977.

[31] This is the definition given in the first edition of the Apostolic Constitution. It has since been “revised”, but those responsible for the revision have made it quite clear that the change does not alter the essential theological meaning or intent.

[32] In Latin the Gloria is retained intact. In the vernacular, it is mistranslated and large segments are deleted. Twin Circle, Oct. 26, 1973

[33] “Bidding prayers” were introduced by King Henry VIII with the intention of using carefully phrased petitions in the vernacular by means of which the people’s thoughts should be directed in correct political and theological channels. For a full discussion see Hugh Ross Williamson, A Revision to the Reforms of Cranmer, the Modern Mass, TAN Rockford, IL, 1971.

[34] Those of us who went to “public” school in America, at a time when prayer in the classroom was still allowed, will remember that the Our Father was said in common with the Protestants, but that this doxology was said by them alone. Catholic students kept quiet. This “silly” practice was one of the first things that aroused my interest in the Catholic Church.

[35] At the risk of “overkill”, and for the sake of completing our intention of proving all the contentions we made at the start of this section, we must show that the Novus Ordo in translation teaches overt heresy.

Original editorial inclusion that followed the essay in Studies:
Ye are inferior in stature in comparison with your predecessors; and so, also, (will be) your posterity than yourselves: even as creation is already grown old, and is already past the strength of youth.
IV Ezra, v.55.

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