Are the mistranslations 'abuses'?
It should be clear that in the above discussion of the NOM I have made reference to the rite as used by the most conservative post-Conciliar Catholics. Any reference to such entities as 'clown masses,' 'marahuana masses,' 'guitar masses,' etc., would immediately have raised the defensive cry that such are 'abuses.' (The allowance of such side-shows, participation in them by the hierarchy, and the fact that they have never been clearly condemned, significantly undermines the abuse argument.)
However, one must clearly deal with the issue of mistranslations. These are not and cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be dismissed as 'abuses' enforced by those who surround the poor beleaguered 'popes.'
Several points should be made. 1) Latin is for all practical purposes a dead liturgical language. Those who point to the Latin original to prove the Catholicity of the vernacular, or who use the Latin to exonerate the 'popes' of heresy must recognize this fact. 2) Almost every defect in the NOM we have discussed applies to the Latin version as much as to the English. 3) We have given evidence that critical aspects of the translations have had direct papal approval, and we shall show below that they are advocated by official curial documents. 4) The mistranslations have been in use for decades, and complaints about them, as with the NOM itself, have been repeatedly ignored by Rome and the post-Conciliar 'popes.' The mistranslations are therefore not 'abuses,' but an integral part of the Liturgical revolution.
One might well ask why those who felt the vernacular would allow greater participation on the part of the laity (such being required as they now are the celebrants), did not use the already available translations of the old Mass. The answer is given by Father Philip Hughes. Discussing Cranmer's new (Anglican/Episcopal) rite, which shares so many features with the NOM, he stated that 'such a proceeding would have advertised only the more loudly the conflict between the newly-imposed doctrine and the older belief. The new service was indeed in English, and in better English almost than any man before or since has ever devised. But it was also a careful re-modeling of the service and a re-writing of its prayers such that every sign that this rite was ever, or was ever meant to be, a sacrifice itself efficacious for the living and the dead, was entirely removed'(Rome and the Counter Reformation).
It should also be emphasized that the errors in translation are paralleled in all the various vernaculars used. Further, the pattern they follow was first outlined in Inter Oecumenici (1964), and further delineated in subsequent Vatican pronouncements.(such as DOL 843 and 871). There can be no doubt but that they have the clear approval of the Pope, for Archbishop Bugnini informs us in his memoirs that Paul VI reserved to himself the approval of the translations of the Canon, and above all, the Words of Consecration. (As we noted above, this was also confirmed by Archbishop Weakland.) In English-speaking countries the organization responsible for translations is the 'International Committee for English in the Liturgy' (ICEL). It is one of the most powerful organizations within the New Church and has the authority to overrule even National Bishops' Conferences in certain matters. Its complex and far-reaching tentacles are described by Gary Potter in The Liturgy Club.
Christopher Monckton, former editor of The Universe, informs us that in the English version of the NOM there are over 400 mistranslations from the Latin (Faith, Nov. 1979). Of far greater importance is the pattern they follow. According to Michael Davies, the 'motivating force' which they follow is 'precisely the same... [as that] behind the official Latin version of the New Mass, i.e., a tendency to minimize the liturgical expression of Catholic eucharistic teaching which is not acceptable to the Protestants.' Mr. Monckton describes this two-stage pattern in the following terms: 'The errors display a common theme which reveals the intentions of the translators. Tat theme is the dilution or removal of allusions and references to those doctrines of the Mass which are specifically and peculiarly Catholic... The thoroughness and determination with which these teachings which distinguish Catholic beliefs from those of other Christians have been removed is demonstrated by many minor omissions which are often repeated.'
But the errors are not just limited to the Order of the Mass itself, that is, to the Creed or the Eucharistic Prayers. The entire new Missal in its official vernacular version is packed with outrageous translation errors. Father Anthony Cekada,a priest who celebrates the traditional Mass, did a study of this question and presented the results in a lecture given in Detroit on October 25, 1986. To quote him directly: '... The fraud is not confined to the translations of the new Eucharistic Prayers and the other more or less fixed parts of the New Mass you hear in English every Sunday. I recently came across a Latin-English Missal produced by a 'conservative' organization which promotes celebrating the New Mass in Latin. I compared the 34 sets of Orations for the Sundays in Ordinary Time (Dominicae per Annum) in Paul VI's Missal to their English translations.'
'The American liturgical mafia completed the process of de-Catholicing which Rome began. [i.e., first stage in Latin, second in the vernacular] Phrases and expressions in the 'translated' Orations which allude to 'negative' ideas are suppressed; pleasing God or appeasing His wrath, Christ's Passion, our need for worthiness, our wickedness, error, the weakness of human nature, sins which 'burden the conscience,' and putting aside our own inclinations, as are expressions referring to the human will and our minds and bodies.'
'The translators also downplayed or omitted ideas non-Catholics consider 'offensive.' Heretics will be pleased to note that the translations do not speak of the faithful or of the offering of Christ as the victim at Mass, and Jews and Moslems will be delighted to note that phrases referring to the perfection of the sacrifices of the Old Testament in that of the Nw, and the redemption for 'those who believe in Christ' have been excised. And Martin Luther himself would have had no problems reciting those prayers in which the translators have suppressed the notion of performing good works.'
'But the greatest outrage that the translators perpetrated was consistently leaving out the word 'grace' from their translations. It appears in the Latin original of the Orations 11 times, but not once in the official English version. Thus, the word which is fundamental to Catholic teaching on the Fall of man, the Redemption, sin, justification and the entire sacramental system has utterly disappeared without a trace...'
All this may not bother those who have become inured to the NOM by weekly attendance. However, I would ask any reader who retains some sense of the Catholic faith to consider the horror of being buried by the NOM funeral rites. In the Latin original of Paul VI's Missal there are 114 possible funeral Orations (prayers). The word 'soul'(anima) only occurs in two of them, and these are not only 'optional,' but when translated into English, have this offensive word expunged. Those who have attended NOM funerals will note that, not only is no sacrifice offered 'for the living and the dead, ' but that at no time is the congregation asked to pray for the soul of the departed - at least not within the rite. Of course if all men are saved, the importance of all this becomes minimal. But then why bother to attend the NOM at all.
CHAPTER XII, part 16
THE LITURGICAL REVOLUTION
Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) - Conclusion
The NOM has caused havoc among the Catholic faithful, a fact evident even to the Lutheran sociologist Dr. Berger: 'The Liturgical Revolution - no other term will do - is a mistake... touching millions of Catholics at the very core of their religious belief. Let me only mention the sudden abolition, and indeed, prohibition of the Latin Mass, the transposition of the officiating priest from the front to the back of the altar (the first change symbolically diminished the universality of the Mass, the second, its transcendent reference) and the massive assault on a wide variety of forms of popular piety... If a thoroughly malicious sociologist, bent on injuring the Catholic community as much as possible, had been able to advisor to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.'
While almost every phrase of the NOM and the General Instruction are open to widely differing interpretations, the overall result is a Protestant rite with some superficially Catholic 'scaffolding.' The innovators 'editing' - nay, butchering - of the ancient texts, reveals a clear-cut pattern of 'accommodation' to Protestant errors. Nowhere is the NOM clearly presented as an immolative or propitiatory sacrifice. Nowhere is it clearly stated that a sacrificial act is performed by a priest acting independently of the assembly and acting in persona Christi. Indeed, it is repeatedly affirmed that it is the ontological 'people of God' who celebrate the rite. No immolation, no propitiation and no sacrificing priest! Now, if such is the case, whatever the NOM is, it is not a Catholic Mass.
The resulting concoction is however admirably suited to use by any and all Christian denominations - indeed, it is harbinger of the universal religion which Ecumaniacs have in view.
Despite this, is it possible that a true immolative sacrifice can occurs within the setting of the NOM ? It one accepts Paul VI's definition, if one accepts the wording of the rite in its literal meaning, and if one believes in the Church's constant teaching on sacramental theology, one cannot see how such is possible.
Many conservative post-Conciliar Catholics try to avoid the issue by insisting that every phrase and word of both the Instruction and the rite can be interpreted in an orthodox manner. Others assure us that we can accept the NOM while rejecting the Instruction completely. But such requires a kind of 'pretzel' mentality and avoids the natural obligation to understand the teaching and instructions of the Church in the plain sense of the language used. The children of such Catholics, not having the advantage of the old teaching, will invariably fall victim to the obvious meaning of the words, that is, if they bother to attend it at all. As a recent Catholic journal noted, in the United States there has been a 50 percent drop in those people who even call themselves Catholic (i.e. register as such, whether they practice or not)..
Obedience is always brought forth as a defense for the NOM . While the issue was discussed in an earlier chapter, those who use this argument should recognize the obligation for their obedience to be 'total.' One cannot talk of obedience to the NOM without obedience to the pernicious teaching of the General Instruction that accompanies it. And similarly, one cannot talk of obedience to either unless one understands them in the plain sense of the language used. Finally, obedience requires that one respect the constant teaching of the Church that one should eschew any sacrament in which there is doubt about validity. Those who would attend or say the NOM after considering the issues raised in this chapter are obliged in conscience to refute beyond doubt all that we have said.
Consider once again the traditional Mass. As Father M. Jean-Jacques Olier, the famous cure of Saint-Suplice put it: 'one must know that this Sacrifice is the Sacrifice of Heaven... a Sacrifice offered up in Paradise which, at the same time is offered up here on earth, and they differ only in that here on earth the Sacrifice remains unseen.' What power! What a sacred action! The Divine made present on our altars! St. Alphonsus Liguori tells us that 'the entire Church cannot give to God so much honor, nor obtain so many graces, as a single priest by celebrating a single Mass.' Indeed, as he also says, the sacerdotal dignity is so great that it 'surpasses the dignity of angels.'
It is then easily to understand why, in almost every major city of the world, there are priests and lay people who refuse to have anything to do with the NOM , and who continue to say or attend the ancient Mass at great personal sacrifice. It should not be forgotten that the Apostolic Bull Quo Primum guarantees their right to do so. Those who would deny us this right, risk 'incurring the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.' That is to say, the risk their eternal damnation.
To conclude this discussion of the NOM , let us consider two last quotes, the first from St. Thomas Aquinas, and the second from St. Basil.
'Falsehood in outward worship occurs on the part of the worshiper, and especially, 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 as Christ delivered it''(Summa, II-II, Q. 93, A. 1).
'Religious people keep silence, but every 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 offense is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our Father's 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 their spiritual worship...' (Ep. 243).
CHAPTER XII, part 17
THE LITURGICAL REVOLUTION
FOOTNOTES to CHAPTER XII, part 13-16:
(36) Below are given all the known forms from the various rites which the Church has always accepted as valid. (There are 76 such rites in various languages, but they all fall into one of the patterns given below.) Note that the only significant variation relates to the words Mysterium fidei. These two words are said to have been added to the words of Christ by the Apostles - an act entirely within their province and function, for Revelation comes to us both from Christ and the Apostles. The reason for the other minor variations is that the various Apostles established the Mass separately in various parts of the world to which they were dispatched. Thus 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).
All use the same formula for the Consecration of the Bread.
For the wine: Byzantine Rite: 'This is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.'
Armenian Rite: '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 is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.'
Ethiopic Rite: 'This is My blood of the New covenant, which shall be poured out and offered for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life of you and of many.'
Marionite Rite: As in the Latin rite.
Chaldean Rite: '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 Rite: '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.
The most complete listing is given in Rev. J.M. Neale and Rev. R. F. Littledale's The Liturgies of Ss. Mark, James, Clement, Chrysostome, and Basil and the Church of Malabar, London: Hayes, date uncertain.
(37) In the General Instruction that accompanies the new mass, these words are referred to as 'the words of the Lord,' rather than, as in the rubrics attached to the traditional rite, the 'Words of Consecration.' I am aware that the second version of the General Instruction was amended in paragraph 55d to read 'Institution narrative and consecration,' but this in no way changes the import of what we have said. Consecration can, in the context of the NOM, simply mean that the bread and wine are 'set apart' for sacred use.
(38) Certain words in the sacramental forms are said to be essential. Others are said to be substantial because they are so intimately connected with the essential words that any change in them involves a change in meaning. Still others are required for the integrity or completeness of the form. Needless to say, anyone who believes in the power of the form will hesitate to tinker with in in any way.
(39) See chapter on Tradition for source.
(40) Father Joseph A. Jungmann, S.J., The Mass of the Roman rite: Its Origins and Development, N.Y.: Benzinger, 1950. Dom Gueranger also noted that 'it is to the Apostles that those ceremonies go back... The Apostolic liturgy is found entirely outside of Scripture; it belongs to the domain of Tradition' (Institutiones Liturgique)
(41) De Sacro altaris Mysterio, quoted by De la Taille, The Mystery of the Faith, Thesis XXVI and XXV.
(42) This is by no means an isolated quotation. consider the following: '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).
(43) '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' (Summa, III, Q. 60, Art. 8).
In fairness to the post-Conciliar Church it should be explained that they do not accept the traditional criteria for sacramental validity. In accord with modernist theory the sacraments should reflect the faith of the people and hence not have any 'fixed' quality.
(44) Father P. Chas. Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law (1917), London: Herder, 1925.
(45) Joachim Jeremias (recently deceased) was a Protestant who specifically denied the possibility of transubstantiation. His contention that there was no word for 'all' in Aramaic is also proved false by referring to the Porta Linguarum Orientalium. (Interdum, No. 2 Menlo California, 1970. All this is not a matter of quibbling over inconsequential details. The council of Nicea fought over the issue of adding one letter to the word homoousios which changed the meaning of the term. As Leo XIII said: '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, [emphasis mine] like a drop of poison, the purity and simplicity of the faith which we have received through tradition from God and through the Apostles'(Satis cognitum).
(46) St. Thomas Aquinas expresses the same opinion in the Summa, III, Q 78, Art. 3.
(47) It also confirms St. Thomas's contention that these words are 'determinations of the predicate.'
(48) See also John Paul II's Encyclical Redemptor Hominis and Father Louis-Marie de Blignieres, John-Paul II and Catholic Doctrine, Soc. Pius V: N.Y., 1983.
(49) Many conservative post-Conciliar Catholics argue that the removal of the tabernacles was an 'abuse'. They are wrong. It was mandated directly by Rome with the suggestion that they be removed to side chapels. See Anthony A. Cekada, 'A Response', The Roman Catholic, January 1987.
(50) Benedict XIV, Constitution Accepimus, 1746.
(51) Quoted from The Works of Thomas Cranmer, Vol I. The assumption here is that the various actions of the priest in the traditional Mass are arbitrary and without metaphysical meaning. That such is not the case is clearly shown by Father James Meagher, D.D., How Christ said the First Mass, Ill: TAN, 1984. The NOM however.is clearly the product of arbitrary and purely human decisions.
(52) It is of interest that the practice of the priest facing the congregation was practiced among priests working with the boy Scouts and other youth movements in Italy as early as 1933. The chaplain of the Catholic Youth Movement was at that time Father Giovani Battista Montini. (Father Francesco Ricossa, 'The Liturgical Revolution', The Roman Catholic, vol IX, No 2, Feb. 1987.
(53) Source in reference No. 51.
(54) Taken from the Introduction to Patrick Henry Omlor, Questioning the Validity of the Masses using the New All-English Canon, Reno, Nev.:Athanasius Press, 1969
(55) Rev. Heribert Jone, Moral Theology, Westminster, Md.: Newman, 1952.
(56) Canon J.M. Herve, Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae, Paris,: Berche et Pagis, 1934.
(57) Canon 844. Code of Canon Law, Text and Commentary, N.Y.: Paulist, 1985.
(59) The Constitution contains both the Novus Ordo Missae and the General Instruction. Needless to say, this Instruction is an embarrassment to conservative Novus Ordo Catholics.
(60) The term 'president' (praestoos in Greek) is found in the First Apology of St. Justin Martyr. According to Father Cekada, Justin Martyr used the term in writing to the emperor so as to avoid the confusion with the priests of the Greek religion. In the context of the new 'mass' 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.
(61) Thomas Richstatter O.F.M., Liturgical Law Today: New Style, New Spirit, Chicago: Fransciscan, 1977/
(62) The New Order of Mass, Official Text of Instruction, English Version and Commentary, translated by the Monks of Mount Angel Abbey, Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minn., 1977
(63) Archbishop Lefebvre insists that members of his Fraternity use the Missal of John XXIII, which is a half-way house between the traditional Mass and the NOM. While it almost certainly retains validity (provided the priest is truly ordained), it remains, as it has been described, 'half-way Bugnini.' This is also the Mass which the post-Conciliar Church allows as part of its 'Indult'. (Some traditional Catholics call it the 'Insult' Mass.) Those interested in a detailed comparison between the traditional Mass and this concoction will find it in The Roman Catholic, Vol. VI, Sept 1984.
(64) Triumph, May, 1968.
(65) Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Febuary, 1979