Effective September 14, 2007
Pope Revives Traditional Latin Mass
by David Martin
What has been regarded since Vatican II as a liturgical tombstone has come to life again through the pen of Pope Benedict XVI. After much deliberation and discussion over the past several months, the Pope has come forward with his Moto Proprio reaffirming the legality of the pre-conciliar Latin Mass, so that priests everywhere can say the old Mass without permission* from their bishop.
The 3 page document entitled Summorum Pontificum constitutes a milestone in Church history which could very well set the stage and turn the tables back in the right direction. The pope’s objective is to integrate the old Tridentine Mass with the mainstream of Catholic worship so that Catholics everywhere can avail themselves of this essential liturgy that has formed the very backbone of the Church through the centuries.
The pope’s action seems to mark the beginning of a long awaited renewal which could very well go down to be one of the great epochs of Church history. For we are witnessing today the profanation of the temple and the scattering of the bands of God’s holy people. (Daniel 12) So the pope is setting the true altar back into place so as to start paving the way for a restoration.
TOOL FOR UNITY
He is seeing the old Mass as a powerful lever to restore unity to the Church against the influence of the new Mass that has divided the Church since Vatican II. Because with the Mass said today in the language of each country (vernacular), this has fostered the idea that the Church is something that is secular and divided, as opposed to holy and universal. So the pope is reintroducing the old Mass to help bring about a true unity as it existed before Vatican II.
This is the basic liturgy used by the Church from the earliest times. It was first codified in Latin by Pope Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century, at which time it became the official liturgy of the Church under Rome. Then with some revision, this same Mass was restated and finalized at the Council of Trent that convened from 1545 to 1563.
In the centuries to follow this would remain in force as an everlasting ordinance, in keeping with the edict of Pius V concerning the old missal: “This present constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall ever remain valid and have the force of law.” We might see the old Mass as the eternal torch that led the way and illuminated the Church for centuries.
But following the Second Vatican Council, this eternal beacon was removed from the Church so that the Church in our time has lapsed into a state of spiritual darkness. The infernal enemy broke into the Church at Vatican II, prompting Pope Paul VI to make his famous statement: "From some fissure the smoke of Satan entered into the temple of God."
This is not to imply that the Mass of Vatican II is invalid, but that its liturgy is defective. A new order of apostasy has ensued since the Council with the sheep being scattered in all directions, because Christ is no longer central before the public eye. The new rites have steered the people away from their God, so the old rite is needed to pull the faithful back into focus so that Christ is lifted up in center view before the Church.
And thankfully, we have a pope who has come forward to restore the traditional rite. If he allows the old and the new Mass to coexist side by side for the moment, it is for diplomatic reasons to help facilitate the return of the ancient rite without undue repercussions.
Because one thing is for certain: the pope does not favor the new rite over the old, nor is he particularly fond of it. He is a connoisseur of excellence, and knows full well that the splendors of the old rite are needed to restore grace and beauty to the Church. But he will not address this point with the bishops right now for fear of losing their support, and therefore is allowing the new rite to stand at parody with the old.
However, we must not lose sight of his benevolence and his commission from God to now save the Church. God (through the hand of Pope Benedict) has deigned to deliver the Church from bondage, that it may not have to labor any longer for this Masonic pyramid bearing the inscription Novus Ordo Seclorum. Forty years of Modernist oppression has kept the people in chains. It’s time that they be released, that they may go out and sacrifice freely to their God as they had for 2000 years.
We can only pray that the pope will stand fully with God, like Moses with his staff, and not be swayed by the Pharaos in purple hats who are trying to oppress the flock. Because the battle to suppress the true Faith will most certainly continue in the time to come. Pope John Paul II prophesied the present crisis while still a cardinal in 1976: "We are now facing the final battle between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel, and the anti-gospel. It is a trial that the entire Church must take up" (Cardinal Wojtyla (J.P. II) speaking at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976).
* Technically, this permission was never needed, since the old rite was never legally overturned. Hence, the Moto Proprio makes official what is already the case so as to encourage wider use of the old Mass.