Sermon for the VIIIth Sunday after Pentecost Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy - New Hamburg, Ontario
Rev. Father Marcel Stannus | FSSPX
The Catholic world was shocked this past Friday, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to hear issued by the Holy Father in Rome a severe restriction of the traditional Mass, and the revocation of the famous Motu Proprio of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. In his own Motu Proprio, Francis declared the Traditional Mass was a source of division and contention in the Church; that Catholics could only be allowed to attend the Traditional Mass if they accepted Vatican II and the New Mass that followed it; that the Mass was exiled from parish churches, and that priests and faithful required special permission to celebrate or attend this Mass.
By this decision, Catholics would seem to be placed in a dilemma. A dilemma is a situation where we are obliged to choose one of two options, but both lead to disaster.
Either refuse the authority of the Holy Father in a matter of liturgical discipline, and therefore become Protestant, since Protestants refuse the authority of the Roman Pontiff.
Or accept the novelties of Vatican II and the New Mass and become Protestant.
Faithful Catholic wish to hold to the infallible teaching of the First Vatican Council in Pastor Aeternus: “Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.”
And on the other hand, faithful Catholics wish to avoid the New Mass which tends to make us Protestant.
Why does the New Mass make us Protestant? Because as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci pointed out in their letter to Paul VI, the “Novus Ordo 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.” What is Catholic Theology if not the truth of our Catholic Faith, without which we cannot be saved?
What are the fruits of the New Mass? As we heard last Sunday, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. These fruits are evident, they are all around us: apostasy, heresy, massive abandon of the religious life and of the priesthood, and the loss of Faith in the Real Presence. This should be a surprise for no-one, because the author of the New Mass, Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, stated that the purpose of the New Mass was to remove even the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren. And that is why six Protestant theologians were summoned to write the New Mass.
If you bake a cake with Protestant ingredients, do not expect it to come out of the oven tasting Catholic.
What does Session XXII of the Council of Trent teach?
Canon 1. If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God; or that to be offered is nothing else than that Christ is given to us to eat, let him be anathema.
Canon 3. If anyone says that the sacrifice of the mass is one only of praise and thanksgiving; or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a propitiatory one; or that it profits him only who receives, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be anathema.
Canon 6. If anyone says that the canon of the mass contains errors and is therefore to be abrogated, let him be anathema.
Canon 7. If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs which the Catholic Church uses in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety rather than stimulants to piety, let him be anathema.
Canon 9. If anyone says that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular tongue only; or that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice because it is contrary to the institution of Christ, let him be anathema.
The Council of Trent was extremely clear because it was targeting the pernicious errors of Martin Luther, who said:
“Having triumphed over the Mass, I think we have triumphed over the whole papacy. For upon the Mass as upon a rock is built the whole papacy with its monasteries, its bishoprics, its colleges, its altars, its ministers, its doctrines, and leans on it with its whole weight. And all these things must fall with the sacrilegious and abominable Mass. - Martin Luther
In adhering to the Mass of All Time, we are faithful to the prescription of Pope St. Pius V in his bull Quo Primum published on July 14th, 1570, referring to the Missal codified by him following the Council of Trent:
Now therefore, in order that all everywhere may adopt and observe what has been delivered to them by the Holy Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of the other churches, it shall be unlawful henceforth and forever throughout the Christian world to sing or to read Masses according to any formula other than that of this Missal published by Us…
All other churches aforesaid are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be wholly and entirely rejected; and by this present Constitution, which shall have the force of law in perpetuity, We order and enjoin under pain of Our displeasure that nothing be added to Our newly published Missal, nothing omitted therefrom, and nothing whatsoever altered therein…
Furthermore, by these presents and by virtue of Our Apostolic authority We give and grant in perpetuity that for the singing or reading of Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal may be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may be freely and lawfully used. Nor shall bishops, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious of whatsoever Order or by whatsoever title designated, be obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than enjoined by Us…
Accordingly, no one whosoever is permitted to infringe or rashly contravene this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, direction, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree and prohibition. Should any person venture to do so, let him understand that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
Dear faithful, the dilemma presented is a false dilemma - that is to say, there is a solution. We are not going to hand over our churches to a Protestant Mass, just as we are not going to abandon our love of the papacy and of Rome.
The authority of the pope is not unlimited; as one priest put it, the pope is the successor of Peter, not the successor of Jesus Christ. The authority of the Holy Father cannot be legitimately used to destroy the Church, and Catholics are in no wise bound to abandon the Mass of all time, just as Catholics cannot be obliged by any authority to accept false religious liberty, false ecumenism, false collegiality, and a false conception of the Church.
I hasten to mention the following points, made by our district superior, Fr. David Sherry:
- The motu proprio Traditionis Custodes does not and will not change the determination of the Society of St. Pius X, heir of Archbishop Lefebvre, to continue exclusively celebrating the Mass of All Time and transmitting “what we have received” – the unchanging Catholic Faith, which, unless we profess, we cannot be saved.
- The use by the Society of Saint Pius X of the Mass of All Time has never been dependent on tolerations or permissions other than that codified by Saint Pius V in the bull Quo Primum Tempore. • Our refusal to celebrate the new mass is not based on subjective preferences or on the supposed inability of the Pope to legislate in liturgical matters; but on the fact that the new Mass is a Protestantised mass which attacks and undermines the Faith. The Faith is primordial, not human law or individual preference.
- Given that there can be no moral obligation to celebrate or assist at a Mass which undermines our faith, and that the Traditional Mass has never been abrogated, it is perfectly legal and moral to continue celebrating this Mass.
- The efforts of the pope to limit the celebration of the traditional Mass, expression of our Faith, must be considered as an unjust law and of no effect.
- Those who rush to judgement to say that this is proof that Pope Francis is not the pope are judging where they have no competence to judge. If my parents tell me to do something sinful, I must not obey; but they remain my parents.
- Let us pray and renew our resolution to remain faithful to the Faith with God’s help.
In the sermon for his priestly jubilee, given at St. Nicolas de Chardonnay, in Paris, France, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre proclaimed the following:
I shall finish, my dearly beloved brethren, by what I shall call my testament. Testament - that is a very profound word - because I want it to be the echo of the testament of Our Lord: Novi et aeterni testamenti. Novi et aeterni testamenti - it is the priest who recites these words at the consecration of the Precious Blood - Hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei: novi et aeterni testamenti. This inheritance which Jesus Christ gave to us, it is His Sacrifice, it is His Blood, it is His Cross. the ferment of all Christian civilization and of all that is necessary for salvation.
And I say to you as well: for the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the love of the Church, for the love of the pope, for the love of bishops, of priests, of all the faithful, for the salvation of the world, for the salvation of souls, keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep the Mass of All Time!