By Efrain Cortes
"The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity."
(Pope Pius XII Mediator Dei, par. 61. November 20, 1947)
Fellow Catholics, it is of the utmost importance that these words written fifty eight years ago by the great Pope Pius XII, be echoed powerfully throughout the radical traditionalist ranks that have devilishly arisen in recent years within the bosom of Holy Mother Church. Let these words of that great Pontiff serve as a sign of contradiction for those who in our present time, in their blind obsession to recapture "antiquity," slander and malign the most sacred liturgy of that humble and pious servant, Pope Paul VI.
In past writings, 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' has referred to this demonic poison that threatens the faith of loyal Catholics, this poison which emboldens arrogant and proud men to raise their voices against the sacred liturgy of All Mighty God, as a virus, an infection, and a vile concoction. And we must admit, this poor choice of words fails miserably in describing the great peril that the radical traditionalist heresy presents to the faith of loyal Catholics.
Now, it has been with heartfelt sorrow that we have witnessed some of our own brother Catholics succumb to the devilish allure of this radical traditionalist trap in the Lexington diocese. However, this unfortunate reality should serve not as a source of discouragement, intimidation, or despair. But on the contrary fellow Catholics, it should serve as a source of conviction in wiping out this heinous virus, it should serve as a source of strength in neutralizing this devilish infection, and it should serve as a source of confidence that the dark forces that have devised this vile concoction, will be pummeled and beaten back into their fiery hell through the omnipotent power of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! It is in this way that we will ensure that not one more Catholic brother is ever again infected by the horrible sting of that deceitful scorpion, the head of the radical traditionalist movement - Satan.
This fellow Catholics, is exactly what 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' intends to do today.
With the aid of the Barque of Peter (The Church), and through the omnipotent power of The Lord, Jesus Christ, 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' will pummel and beat back those dark forces who seek the downfall of loyal Catholics in the Lexington diocese and abroad. We will further disarm the great deceiver by exposing his crafty lies, and hence, weakening his assault on that divine treasure that transcends the limits of time through its intimate dance with eternity. We will stand courageously firm in the truths of Holy Mother Church and defend her most sacred liturgy to the bitter end. We will obliterate the arguments of straw that advance the wicked lie that the liturgy of Pope Paul VI is invalid. We will demonstrate, in convincing fashion, that many are the holes that accompany this diabolical error.
Now, in the not-so distant past 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' has addressed the lie that the English translation of "for all" instead of "for many" in the consecration of the wine, render the liturgy of Pope Paul VI invalid. But as it has come to our attention that this error threatens to creep into the ranks of the Lexington clergy, 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' has deemed it most proper to once again deal with this topic in much greater detail. Let's have some fun fellow Catholics, shall we?
Now, there are those within the Lexington clergy and laity who will argue that "In the holy gospels...and for the entire history of the church in each and every Catholic rite until the late 20th century, the form (words) of consecration [for the wine] have been, "For this is the chalice of my blood which will be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins." Well fellow Catholics, those who would advance this wild and baseless theory might be surprise to find that herein, lies hole number one!
You see, while it is true that the gospels of Matthew and Mark contain the words "for many" in their written accounts of the consecration form for the wine, the gospel of Luke, it is well known, does not contain those words. The gospel of Luke reads as follows:
"And likewise the cup, after they had eaten, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you."
And so from the very outset, the radical traditionalist argument falls! The argument has not one leg to stand on. But perhaps most damaging to those who would ascribe to this straw-argument, is St. Paul's written account for the consecration form, which incidentally, is the first such account historically written in the scriptures. St. Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 reads:
"For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
Take note fellow Catholics that St. Paul specifically tells us that he has received this consecration form from Christ himself. But yet, the words "for many" are nowhere to be found. How then can any rational Catholic attempt to advance the argument that every consecration form recorded in the scriptures uses the words "for many," when the very first form ever recorded in those scriptures is completely devoid of those words? Do we see what the radical traditionalist virus can do to a Catholic?
Are we Having fun yet fellow Catholics? Good, let us proceed with hole number two.
So what about those Catholic rites that emerged in the early church after those recorded in Holy Scripture, did they all use the words "for many?" The answer to this question is absolutely not!
In fact fellow Catholics, some radical traditionalists may be astounded to find that some of the most ancient Eastern Catholic rites on record, actually used the words "all" and "for all" in their anaphoras (consecration prayer) for the wine. The ancient Eastern Rite of St. Mark is one such Catholic rite.
The original text for the anaphora for the wine in this ancient Catholic rite reads as follows:
Likewise also the cup blended with wine and water, He gave thanks, blessed it and sanctified it and gave it to his holy disciples, and said: This is my blood of the new covenant; take, drink of it all of you for your propitiation and that of all the true faithful and for everlasting life.
Now, is it not ironic fellow Catholics that the radical traditionalist attack on the ”New Mass" rests, in part, on the consecration form that is recorded in the gospel of Mark. But yet, we find that historically the ancient Eastern Rite attributed to the great evangelist himself, used the word all in its consecration form and not the word "many?" And if the word "all" truly renders the consecration form invalid, as the radical traditionalists assert, then why is there not one account of any Early Church Father, any Pope, any Church Council, or any doctor of the Church condemning such a blatant sacrilege? Why is historically no one accused of inserting words into the mouth of St. Mark? But yet today, in our very diocese, we find the self-professed Fathers, the self-professed Popes and Doctors of the Church, leveling these types of accusations at Pope Paul VI, or the Second Vatican Council!
Now, to further bury this great fallacy, let us proceed with another ancient Eastern anaphora. The original text of the anaphora of St. John the Evangelist, reads as follows:
"Take drink of it all of you. This is shed for the life of the world, and for the remission of offenses and the forgiveness of sins for all those who believe in me, forever and ever."
As we can see for ourselves fellow Catholics, this most ancient Catholic rite specifically uses the words "for all" in its consecration form for the wine. But again, the silence from its "would-be" critics in the early church was deafening. Why is that fellow Catholics? It is because this radical traditionalist argument is but one more of Satan's carefully crafted deceptions! And like everyone of the serpent's great lies it sorely lacks in any biblical or historical footing whatsoever. This will become increasingly evident as we unveil the wicked fabrication that lies behind hole number three:
Now, there are those within this very diocese who, in spite of such biblical and historical evidence, will persist in their argumentation, and assert that at the Council of Florence, in his decree, Cantate Domino, Pope Eugene IV infallibly declared what the form of consecration for the wine must be. In that decree, Pope Eugene IV stated:
"...In respect to the form of words which the Holy Roman Church, relying on the teaching and authority of the apostles Peter and Paul, has always been wont to use in the consecration of the Lord's body and blood... It uses this form of words in the consecration of the Lord's body, for this is my body. And of his blood: For this is the chalice of my blood, of the new and eternal testament: the mystery of faith, which will be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins,"
There it is! Say the radicals. The council of Florence infallibly stated in 1442 what the specific form for the consecration of the wine must be. And that form MUST include the words "for many." These words are necessary for consecration! Without them the consecration is null and void and hence, as in the liturgy of Paul VI, we have an invalid mass!
And on the surface, this would appear to be the case. But the question our radical traditionalist friends must ask, is this:
Is this portion of the decree dogmatic (infallible), or merely disciplinary on the part of the Council of Florence?
Well the fact of the matter is fellow Catholics, that this portion of the decree issued by Pope Eugene IV was most certainly disciplinary and not "dogmatic." The council of Florence never made a dogmatic decision as to what constitutes a valid consecration.
You see, while it is true that the question of consecratory validity between the Greek and Latin Fathers of the council was indeed discussed, that discussion specifically centered around whether the words of institution - "This is my body," and "This is my blood" alone effected the change from mere bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, or did the Greek Epiklesis (petition to the Holy spirit, that bread and wine may be converted into the body and blood of Christ), which occurred shortly after, also have a partial consecratory force? This, if you will notice, is an argument quite similar to that of radical traditionalists today. And so it would be most imperative for the great deceiver to twist the truth in this particular instance, because this particular point could make or break the radical traditionalist argument. But as you well know, at 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' we prefer to give you the truth straight - no special effects! So what exactly happened at the Council of Florence?
Well, According to the, New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia,
"In the council for union held at Florence in 1439, Pope Eugene IV urged the Greeks to come to a unanimous agreement with the Roman Faith and subscribe to the words of institution as alone constituting the sacramental form, and to [abandon] the contention that the words of the Epiklesis also possessed a partial consecratory force. But when the Greeks, not without foundation, pleaded that a dogmatic decision would reflect with shame upon their whole ecclesiastical past, the ecumenical synod was satisfied with the oral declaration of Cardinal Bessarion recorded in the minutes of the council for 5 July, 1439 (P.G., CLXI, 491), namely, that the Greeks follow the universal teaching of the Fathers, especially, of blessed John Chrysostom...according to whom the divine words of our redeemer contain the full and entire force of Transubstantiation."
And so you see fellow Catholics, the Council of Florence, at the behest of the Greeks, never issued a dogmatic (infallible) declaration as to what constituted the form of consecration. The Council was "satisfied with the oral declaration of [the Greek] Cardinal Bessarion recorded in the minutes of the council." In this famous declaration Cardinal Bessarion stated:
"As soon as the words of institution have been pronounced, supreme homage and adoration are due to the Holy Eucharist."
It must further be pointed out, that in direct contradiction to radical traditionalist belief, Pope Eugene IV firmly believed that it was the words of institution (This is my body, this is my blood) that "contained the full and entire force of Transubstantiation," not any set of words that may have come after it (such as "for many" or "for all"). So strongly did Eugene IV believe in this teaching, that were it not for the pleadings of the Greeks, he would have issued a dogmatic declaration stating as much. But nonetheless, for any loyal Catholic, the fact that the Council of Florence refers to this teaching as, "the universal teaching of the Fathers," should indeed suffice. And so you see, the portion of this dogmatic decree so often cited by radical traditionalists is, in all actuality, a disciplinary portion of the document attempting to achieve unity between East and West. This, after all, was in part the reason for which the council was convened in the first place. Smile Satan, you are on "Candid Camera."
And so, what may appear to be solid, irrefutable proof for the radical traditionalist argument is, in reality, solid, irrefutable proof against it!
Now, let us move on to hole number four as the radical traditionalist argument begins to rapidly sink.
There are also those within the Lexington clergy and laity who will point to Pope St. Pius V, the Catechism of Trent, and the Council of Trent as further "irrefutable" proof that the "New Mass" is invalid.
First, they point to the document, De Defectibus, wherein the great Pope Pius V addresses certain elements that must be present in order for the priest to achieve a valid consecration. Among those elements, Pope Pius V deals with, are the form and the intention. Now, as to the form, Pope Pius V states:
"The words of consecration, which are the form of this sacrament, are these: For this is my body, and: For this is the chalice of my blood, of the new and eternal testament: the mystery of faith, which will be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins. Now if one were to remove or change anything in the form of the consecration of the body and blood, and in that very change of words the wording would fail to mean the same thing, he would not consecrate the sacrament."
And so, since the words "for many" in the English translation for the "new mass" have been changed to "for all," so goes the argument, the priest no longer "consecrates the sacrament" because the words "for all" mean something altogether different than "for many" (which is exactly what Pius V warns against). Furthermore, the intention of the priest has also changed because with the change of words, the intention of the priest has now become to share the fruits of Christ's blood with "all" men. This, they say, is a contradiction of the teaching of the Catechism of Trent (page 227).
But the million dollar question is: Do the words "for all" truly mean something altogether different than the words "for many?"
'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' will propose that, as evidenced in the Holy Scriptures, the words "all" and "many" mean exactly the same thing and have always been used interchangeably by the Catholic Church. To prove this point, let us first take a look at a couple of very interesting scripture verses:
"...When the sun went down, ALL those who had anyone with different diseases brought them to him; and He, laying hands on everyone of them; healed them and devils went out from MANY.
Now, let us look at the same account as told to us in the gospel of Matthew.
"And when evening came, they brought to him MANY who were possessed with devils. And He cast out the spirits...and ALL who were sick He healed."
Do we see how the gospels use the words "many" and "all" interchangeably? Do we see how the interchangeability of those words does not change the meaning of these separate gospel accounts? Do we see how the words "all" and "many" can absolutely mean the same thing fellow Catholics? The scriptures are replete with such examples. Do we see the problem this irrefutable fact poses for the radical traditionalist argument? This is precisely why the ancient Eastern anaphora of St. Mark Could justifiably use the word "all" as opposed to the word "many" without triggering a firestorm of rebuke from the early Christian Church.
But a much greater blow to the radical traditionalist argument is the little-known fact that Rome, while Pope Paul VI was still in office, settled this matter when replying to a 1970 query. Let's have a look, shall we?
"In certain vernacular versions of the text for consecrating the wine, the words pro multis are translated thus: English, for all; Spanish, por todos, Italian, per tutti.
a. Is there a sufficient reason for introducing this variant and if so, what is it?
b. Is the pertinent traditional teaching in the Catechism of the Council of Trent to be considered superseded?
c. Are all other versions of the Biblical passage in question to be regarded as less accurate?
d. Did something inaccurate and needing correction or emendation in fact slip in when the approval was given for such a version?
The variant involved is fully justified:
a. According to exegetes [experts] the Aramaic word translated in Latin by pro multis has as its meaning “for all”; the many for whom Christ died is without limit; it is equivalent to saying “Christ has died for all.” The words of Saint Augustine are apposite: “See what he gave and you will discover what he bought. The price is Christ’s Blood. What is it worth but the whole world? What, but all peoples? Those who say either that the price is so small that it has purchased only Africans are ungrateful for the price they cost; those who say that they are so important that has been given for them alone are proud” [Enarr. in Ps. 95, 5].
b. The teaching of the Catechism (Trent’s Catechism) is in no way superseded: the distinction that Christ’s death is sufficient for all but efficacious for many remains valid.
c. In the approval of this vernacular variant in the liturgical text nothing inaccurate has slipped in that requires correction or emendation."
(James Akin, Mass Confusion, pg. 120-121)
Take note fellow Catholics, Rome clearly states that, "according to experts" "for many" and "for all" mean the same thing. But just exactly who are these "experts?" Well, how about St. Thomas Aquinas, who when addressing this very issue stated:
"St Augustine explains 'multi' to mean 'all men,' and this manner of speaking is frequently found in Sacred Scripture."
(Summa Theologica, Q. 75, Reply to obj. 2).
And how about St. Jerome, perhaps the greatest scripture scholar that has ever walked the earth, who in a letter to Pope St. Damasus stated the following when commenting upon this very issue:
"All is not to be referred to the total sum of things, but to the majority." St. Jerome further states that this understanding has been "often explained." and goes on to give the following biblical examples: Psalm 13:3, John 10:8, 1 Corinthians 9:22, and Philippians 2:21.
(Letters of St. Jerome, 21, 37)
And so, if the words "many" and "all" mean the same thing, as the Church has consistently taught, then in what way has the wording (an argument which at this point the Council of Florence has rendered irrelevant) or the intention of the priest been changed?
But as with the Council of Florence, this point too is rendered irrelevant by the very document (De Defectibus) which the radicals love to cite.
You see in De Defectibus, Pope St. Pius V tells us exactly what the "intention" required to consecrate the sacrament must be. And that intention has absolutely nothing to do with whether the priest intends to share the fruits of the Lord's blood with "many" or "all" men. In paragraph 23 of the document, Pope Pius V states:
"The intention of consecrating is required"
This, according to Pope Pius V is the only intention required to "consecrate the sacrament." Anything else is pure fabrication inserted into the mouth of the great Pope. It must further be noted, that some of the guidelines introduced by Pius V in this document, such as the "form," are restricted solely to the way in which the Tridentine Rite, is to be celebrated. We know this because in his papal decree, Quo primum, Pope Pius V exempted any Catholic Rite that had been in use for over 200 years from conforming to those guidelines. In Quo primum , Pope Pius V states:
"This new rite [the Tridentine] alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by [the] Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which...cases we in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom."
And so you see, the "form" Pius V introduced in De Defectibus does not apply to such ancient rites as the anaphoras of St's. Mark and John which had been in use for well over 200 years at the time the Tridentine Rite was implemented. And let us not forget that these rites contained the words "all" and "for all" as opposed to the words "many" or "for many" in their forms. And so in exempting these rites, the Pope radical traditionalists love to quote, stands in square opposition to the argument they wish to advance when quoting him.
Now, it is in light of such compelling evidence against the radical traditionalist argument that one would be remiss if one failed to ask the following questions:
How is it that Holy Mother Church can apply the interchangeability of the words "many" and "all" to the Sacred Scriptures without so much as a peep from radical traditionalists? But yet, when Holy Mother Church chooses to apply that same interchangeability of words to her sacraments, radical traditionalists are quick to point fingers, denounce the Vicar of Christ on earth, and cast baseless accusations of invalidity against the sacred liturgy of All Mighty God?! What sheer hypocrisy! These radical traditionalists cannot have it both ways. If the interchangeability of these words invalidates one, then for the sake of preserving the slightest bit of consistency and credibility to their argument, it MUST invalidate the other. Wouldn't you say?
Now that, was a-two-for-one. And so let us quickly move on to hole number seven, for the radical traditionalist argument sinks at an alarming rate.
Finally, we come to the Council of Trent. Here we find the radicals making use of canon 13 from session 7 of the Council of Trent. This particular canon reads as follows:
"If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn [Page 56] administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema."
This canon, say radical traditionalists, forbids even the Pope from changing the words of Christ. And they are correct, if the words they are referring to are the words of institution, which the Council of Florence teaches have "the full and entire force of transubstantiation." However, we know that the words they refer to are the words "for many." So let's play along if only for the sake of punching hole number seven into their defective argument.
Notice that canon 13 forbids all ministers from contemning or omitting "the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, and that it forbids every pastor from changing such rites to new ones.
Now first, let us take note that the canon refers to rites in the plural. So this canon does not refer solely to the Tridentine Rite. But rather, it refers to all of the rites that have been received and approved by the Catholic Church. Such as the ones which Pius V exempts in the document Quo Primum. Some of which, as we have seen, use the words "all' and "for all" rather than "many" or "for many." Now, in exempting these rites, is not Pope Pius V, along with Pope Paul VI, guilty of “changing” the words of Christ? But anyhow, the argument the radical traditionalists attempt to advance with this canon is irrelevant. Why is it irrelevant?
First, it is irrelevant because this canon does not apply to the Pope. Take note that the Canon also states that:
"...The received and approved rites of the Catholic Church...may [not] be changed by [any] pastor of the churches to other new ones."
And so if this canon also applies to Popes, then is not Pope Pius V, once more, guilty of committing an act the canon specifically forbids any Pope, under pain of excommunication, from committing? You see, in Quo Primum, when referring to the Tridentine Rite Pope Pius V stated:
"This new rite alone is to be used."
So how can Pope Pius V forbid any future Pope from promulgating a new rite when he, the Pope, has just done the very thing he prohibits other Popes from doing? (For more on this particular point, click on "The danger of Schism From the Right" link provided at the bottom of the page).
But most importantly, it is irrelevant because upon close examination, one who has not been struck by the radical traditionalist virus, quickly realizes that this canon has absolutely nothing to do with the form (words) of the Eucharist (and other sacraments - notice the plural used in the canon). But rather, this canon has everything to do with the rites through which the Eucharist is celebrated. You see, this canon does not say that words cannot be contemned, omitted, or changed. But rather, this canon says that rites cannot be contemned, omitted, or changed. Unless of course, those changes are deemed proper or necessary by the Sovereign Pontiff (the Pope). Which is precisely what Pope Pius XII teaches in paragraph 58 of his encyclical Mediator Dei:
"It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification."
And so it appears that in the end, radical traditionalists have been left with nothing but their zeal for antiquity, which would be admirable, were it not for the foul odor of heresy that rises up from it!
And so, the radical traditionalist argument, with this particular piece of "irrefutable" evidence (canon 13), has now sunk to uncharted depths. "For many" were the holes that led to its destruction. Now let us behold its timely demise from the safe and tranquil shores of Holy Mother Church.
God bless fellow Catholics.
Pray for those who have fallen victim to this diabolical deception.
"Regulations of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See..."
(Pope Paul VI, Sacrosanctum Concilium, General Norms, 22.1).
"The sacred liturgy does, in fact, include divine as well as human elements. the former, instituted as they have been by God, cannot be changed in anyway by men. But the human components admit of various modifications, as the needs of the age, circumstance and the good of the souls may require, and as the ecclesiastical hierarchy, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may have authorized.
(Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, par. 50).
“There is no question that…the Pauline Mass is the valid form in the Latin part of our church. It would be hard to hold that position [that the Pauline Mass is invalid] and call oneself a faithful Catholic."
(Bishop Ronald W. Gainer. The Cross Roads. February 15, 2004 pg. 7).