Validity? Let Tradition Answer!
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There has been much talk about validity in the last several months in Resistance circles: validity of sacraments, validity of ordinations, validity of Orthodox ministers, etc. It is always good to remind ourselves that validity does not necessarily equal 'grace-giving'. Nor does the validity of a sacrament necessitate an obligation to partake of it if it is not licit, if it leads to error, if it is poisoned. All of the quotes from traditional bishops and priests below may perhaps be summarized in this way:

The New Rites of the Conciliar Church lead to error and heresy, particularly of Protestantism and Ecumenism. They were formulated to lead to the 'cult of man' and away from the cult of God; to be man-centered rather than God-centered; hence poisonous.  The Church has already spoken on how we must treat these New Rites. We treat of them as we would any other, perhaps valid but nonetheless, schismatic rites and schismatic ministers:  We do NOT approach them! Validity is not enough! 

Let these authorities, whom all Catholics respect, remind us of how the Church sees and settles these questions! 



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1917 Catholic Encyclopedia

Thus ... it is not lawful to act on mere probability when the validity of the sacraments is in question. Again, it is not lawful to act on mere probability when there is question of gaining an end which is obligatory, since certain means must be employed to gain a certainly required end. Hence, when eternal salvation is at stake, it is not lawful to be content with uncertain means. www.newadvent.org/cathen/12441a.htm



Archbishop Lefebvre

  • It must be understood immediately that we do not hold to the absurd idea that if the New Mass is valid, we are free to assist at itThe Church has always forbidden the faithful to assist at the Masses of heretics and schismatics even when they are valid. It is clear that no one can assist at sacrilegious Masses or at Masses which endanger our faith.…All these innovations are authorized. One can fairly say without exaggeration that most of these [new] Masses are sacrilegious acts which pervert the Faith by diminishing it. The de-sacralization is such that these Masses risk the loss of their supernatural character, their mysterium fidei; they would then be no more than acts of natural religion. These New Masses are not only incapable of fulfilling our Sunday obligation, but are such that we must apply to them the canonical rules which the Church customarily applies to communicatio in sacris with Orthodox Churches and Protestant sects.” (The New Mass and the Pope, November, 8, 1979)

  • The radical and extensive changes made in the Roman Rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and their resemblance to the modifications made by Luther oblige Catholics who remain loyal to their faith to question the validity of this new rite.”(Écône, February 2, 1977)

  • Your perplexity takes perhaps the following form: may I assist at a sacrilegious Mass which is nevertheless valid, in the absence of any other, in order to satisfy my Sunday obligation? The answer is simple: these Masses cannot be the object of an obligation; we must moreover apply to them the rules of moral theology and Canon Law as regards the participation or the attendance at an action which endangers the faith or may be sacrilegious. The New Mass, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is subject to the same reservations since it is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.” (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Ch. 4)

  • The current problem of the Mass is an extremely serious problem for the Holy Church. I believe that if the dioceses and seminaries and works that are currently done are struck with sterility, it is because the recent deviations drew upon us the divine curse. All the efforts that are made to hang on to what is being lost, to reorganize, reconstruct, rebuild, all that is struck with sterility, because we no longer have the true source of holiness which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Profaned as it is, it no longer gives grace, it no longer makes grace pass.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, August 1972, priestly retreat)

  • My dear friends, we have been betrayed. Betrayed by all of those who ought to be giving us the truth, who ought to be teaching the Ten Commandments, who ought to be teaching us the true catechism, who ought to be giving us the true Mass – the one that the Church has always loved; the one that was said by the Saints; the one that has sanctified generations and generations! Likewise, they must give us all the Sacraments, without any doubt concerning their validity, Sacraments which are certainly valid. It is a duty for us to ask them for these things and they have a duty to give them to us. [...] We have the duty not to collaborate in the Church's destruction. But, on the contrary, to work – to work ardently, calmly, serenely, for the Church's construction, for the re-construction of the Church, for the preservation of the Church. Each one of you can do your duty in this regard-in your villages, in your parishes, in your institutions, in your professions – wherever you are. Set up true parishes, Catholic parishes. And let these Catholic parishes be confided to true priests. (Sermon - Ordinations June 29, 1978)

  • In many cases, Masses by their translation, by the intention (of the celebrant), for many reasons are probably no longer valid. But, nevertheless, personally, I have always said, in fact, that if the Mass was said according to the rite approved by Pope Paul VI, in Latin, and with the intention of doing what the Church does, and, obviously, with the (valid) matter also, by a priest who is a real Catholic priest, I think that the Mass is in effect valid, although it does not necessarily follow that because it is valid we must inevitably attend it. (Interview with the Houston Chronicle, May 1983)

  • My judgment is, given that this [New] Mass, as I had occasion to remark when interrogated by the Holy Office, is that this Mass is a Mass which has been poisoned, and one cannot oblige a person in conscience to receive poison. Consequently, if these people do not wish to go to Mass on Sunday, for example, because they are aware that it is a poison for their souls, they are certainly not committing a mortal sin. (ibid.)

  • What we can say, objectively, as a general rule, is that it is a danger to the faith to attend such Masses. Subjectively, we must take into consideration the individual, and consequently we must know how to judge as a (good) pastor and not only purely in an objective manner, as if we had nothing to do with human beings who find themselves by consequences in diverse circumstances. (ibid.)

  • Obviously, the orthodoxy of the priest does not change the quality or the situation of the New Mass. (Even if a priest is well intentioned, a doubtful Mass will remain doubtful.) This is what they tell me in Rome: "You say that the Mass of the Pope is not good; you say that the Mass of certain cardinals is not good." I must reply "yes," because this concerns an objective question, that this Mass was made with the help of Protestants, finalized in a spirit of ecumenical protestantism, and that the essential elements of the Mass are tainted more or less. Consequently, the faith is no longer expressed as it should be expressed, in such a way that the people finish by having an ecumenical spirit and a Protestant spirit, which is excessively dangerous. (ibid.)

  • The Conciliar Church, having now reached everywhere, is spreading errors contrary to the Catholic Faith and, as a result of these errors, it has corrupted the sources of grace, which are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. This false church is in a ever-deeper state of rupture with the Catholic Church. Resulting on theses principles and facts is the absolute need to continue the Catholic episcopacy in order to continue the Catholic Church. … This is how the succession of the bishops came about in the early Church in union with Rome, as we are too in union with Catholic Rome and not modernist Rome.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Sermon)

  • "It is all wasted because the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, desecrated as it is, no longer confers grace and no longer transmits it." (Open Letter to Confused Catholics Ch. III pg. 19.) 

  • “… So, if someone asks me: ‘I only have Mass of St. Pius V once a month. So what should I do on the other Sundays? Should I go to the New Mass if I do not have the Mass of St. Pius V?’ I reply: Just because something is poisoned, obviously it is not going to poison you if you go on the odd occasion, but to go regularly on Sunday like that, little by little the notions will be lost, the dogmas will diminish. They will become accustomed to this ambiance which is no longer Catholic and they will very slowly lose the Faith in the Real Presence, lose the Faith in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and have a spirituality, since the prayers are changed and they have modified everything, in the sense of another spirituality. It is a new conception of Christian spirituality. There is no longer any ascetical effort, no longer a combat against sin, no longer a spiritual combat. There is a great need to combat against our own tendencies, against our faults, against everything which leads us to sin. So I would say to them: Listen, I cannot advise you to go to something which is evil. Myself, I would not go because I would not want to take in this atmosphere. I cannot. It is stronger than me. I cannot go. I would not go. So I advise you not to go.” (Spiritual Conference at Écône, 25th June, 1981)

  • This Mass is poisoned, it is bad and it leads to the loss of faith little by little. We are clearly obliged to reject it.” (The Mass of All Times, p.353) 

  • ... because priests and faithful have a strict right to have shepherds who profess the Catholic Faith in its entirety, essential for the salvation of their souls, and to have priests who are true Catholic priests. Secondly, because the Conciliar Church, having now reached everywhere, is spreading errors contrary to the Catholic Faith and, as a result of these errors, it has corrupted the sources of grace, which are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the SacramentsThis false Church is in an ever-deeper state of rupture with the Catholic Church.” (Letter to Bishop Castro de Mayer, December 1990)
  • "Fr. Williamson tells me some of you have a difficulty in understanding, concerning the New Rite of ordination, and over the 'New Rite' Sacraments. The rule of theology for the condition of validity of Sacraments, can be found in (your manuals) of Theology. We must perform an application of these conditions. . .to the new rite Sacraments of the reform of Vatican II. In some cases it is very difficult to know if it is valid or not. Especially in the vernacular translations of the form of the sacraments. In Latin it is easier to know if its valid or invalid, but in the vernacular, it is very difficult to know if some words invalidate a sacrament. So we must do, in some cases, a detailed study of that case. You know that many priests today change the form of the Sacrament! That is. another difficulty in determining validity or invalidity, e.g. 'What did this bishop say when he did this sacrament? A bishop said, e.g. concerning the form of Confirmation... that it was certainly valid (in the vernacular).' We ask; 'Well, what did he say? What did he do?' We must perform an examination of these things before we can say they are valid or invalid. We must study each case." (Conferences to the Seminarians in Ridgefield, April 25, 1983)

  • "It is very difficult, as in the case of the ordination of new priests, because ...what do they have as the intention when they perform the Sacraments? What is a Sacrament for the young priest now (in the Conciliar Church)? Is it a sign, a symbol? (For them)... it has no signification. Many of these young priests, they do not know what 'Grace' is... they do not know. They do not believe in Original Sin. What do they do when they give the Sacrament of Baptism? What do they think this Sacrament does? They do not know! (ibid.)

  • "It is very difficult, we know that. But we cannot saying 'All the Sacraments are invalids' , without performing an examination, . .we cannot say that. We must do a study. For example you may say, in this country (they do this), in this diocese, (they do that), etc... we must consider these things before passing judgment. We cannot say, 'a priori', that all sacraments are invalid. . .no. . .For example, we. do not know what oil they use for the Sacrament of Confirmation. (ibid.)

  • "If you read in your dictionary of theology about the Sacrament of Confirmation, the conclusion is that, if (as was the case before Vatican II), they do not use olive oil, then it is not a valid Confirmation. But now, in the new Canon Law, either olive oil or 'other oils' may be used! Valid? Invalid? If they use olive oil or peanut oil? It is invalid if it is not olive oil, because in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, they say we must use olive oil, not any other oil, for validity. The situation is very difficult now for us... but I think after 10 or 20 years it will be even. more difficult for you, because the situation is getting progressively worse with time. . .they change ...no rite to give the Sacrament (no rule), etc." (ibid.)

  • "Now, for priestly ordinations it is the same situation. We must see what they have done in each case, and to determine if the form was: valid or not, we must do a study. In some cases, some theologians are against the validity, while some theologians are for validity, etc." (ibid.)

  • "In the Anglican Ordinations you know that the Church spent 3 &1/2 centuries (studying its validity), before finally giving a decision about the validity of Anglican Ordinations, i.e., that they are invalid. It is only after 350 years that we are finally sure that the Anglican Ordinations are invalid! (laughingly) Oh... it is very difficult to come to a decision (on the new rite) in one week!” (ibid.)

  • "If we think truly that a Sacrament is (most likely) invalid, then we must redo the Sacrament conditionally. (ibid.)


  • "In practice, we must study each sacrament, each circumstance where these sacraments are given. One bishop said the words of Confirmation with another form? We do not know. We must investigate and find out which form. The same with the oil he used, etc. Perhaps its valid, invalid...we must do an inquisition.  (ibid.)

  • "... we believe that what the Catholics have taught, what the Popes have taught, what the Councils have taught for twenty centuries, we cannot possibly abandon. We cannot possibly change our faith: we have our Credo, and we will keep it till we die. We cannot change our Credo, we cannot change the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we cannot change our Sacraments, changing them into human works, purely human, which no longer carry the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because, in fact, we feel and are convinced that in the last fifteen years something has happened in the Church, something has happened in the Church which has introduced into the highest summits of the Church, and into those who ought to defend our faith, a poison, a virus, which makes them adore the golden calf of this age, adore, in some sense, the errors of this age. To adopt the world, they wish to adopt also the errors of the world; by opening on to the world, they wish also to open themselves to the errors of the world, those errors which say, for example, that all religions are of equal worth. We cannot accept that, those errors which say that the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ is now an impossibility and should no longer be sought. We do not accept that." (ibid.)

  • So, something has happened in the Church: the Church since the Council, already some time before the Council, during the Council, and throughout the reforms, has chosen to take a new direction, to have Her new priests, Her new priesthood, a new type of priest as has been said, She has chosen to have a new Sacrifice of the Mass, or rather let us say a new Eucharist; She has chosen to have a new catechism, She has chosen to have new seminaries, She has chosen to reform Her religious congregations.  (On the Occasion of the First Solemn Mass of Fr. Denis Roch 1976)

  • And so they reformed the Mass, [they made] the New Mass, the new sacraments, the new catechisms, the new Bible. All is changed by the spirit of ecumenism, to be closer to the Protestants. And the result is that many Catholics abandon their Faith and many become Protestants, or another religion, or they abandon all religion. We can see in your seminaries, in your convents, in your monasteries—where are the vocations? That is the destruction of the Church! So we must keep our Catholic Faith. We must remain in the Tradition of the Catholic Church! Doing that, we follow all Popes before the Council until Pope Pius XII. He was a very holy Pope and he remained in the Catholic Faith. (Changes in the Sacraments...we are like Protestants 1985)
  • "By your attitude of refusal of the New Order of Mass and the new rites, you give the impression that these rites are invalid. "

    It is one thing to say that they are invalid, and another to say that they are bad. 
    We say that they are bad because the intention which governed these changes is bad. It is that expressed by Mgr. Bugniniin the L'OsservatoreRomano of 19 March 1965. The modifications introduced into the rites are also opposed to the doctrine of the Holy Mass and the Sacraments. Our pastoral attitude which refuses these reforms follows from this. The facts confirm our pastoral action. We are witnessing the loss of faith among the faithful and the clergy. When the Faith runs the risk of being changed or perverted nothing must be neglected to avoid this perversion. This is an elementary moral principle. (Principles and Directives - 1982 General Chapter)

  • With regard to validity, moral theology and Canon Law indicate the necessary conditions: A validly ordained minister, the correct matter and form, and the intention of doing what the Church does, i.e., what she has always done and has the intention of doing and that which she will always do. It should be noted that the study of this validity should especially be made from now on with the translations which are in use, given that Latin is no longer used. In this case it is easy to reveal the wrong ideas of the liturgical commissions which profit from this to use Protestant terminology. The confusion is total, and the danger of invalidity is very great. In this domain "auto-destructions" causes havoc. This is yet another important incentive to refuse the reforms and to draw one's inspiration for pastoral action from the attitude of the Church with regard to schismatic and heretical sects.(Ibid.)



Bishop de Castro Mayer
  • It seems to me preferable that scandal be given rather than a situation be maintained in which one slides into heresy. After considerable thought on the matter, I am convinced that one cannot take part in the New Mass, and even just to be present one must have a serious reason. We cannot collaborate in spreading a rite which, even if it is not heretical, leads to heresy. This is the rule I am giving my friends.” (Letter to Archbishop Lefebvre, 29th Jan., 1970)




Bishop Tissier
  • Clearly, we cannot accept this faked new rite of ordination that leaves doubts concerning the validity of numerous ordinations done according to the new rite. Thus this new rite of ordination is not Catholic. And so we will of course faithfully continue to transmit the real and valid priesthood by the traditional priestly rite of ordination.” Questionable priestly ordinations in the Conciliar Church


Fr. Gregory Hesse 
  • "Based on what has been stated by Archbishop Lefebvre, namely that the Newmass is a "schismatic rite", we would like to quote Pope Leo XIII and Saint Thomas Aquinas to prove that even though a schismatic sacrament may be valid, it does not have the guarantee of the graces and fruits that normally would flow from them, and also that they are like an amputated member of body (Church):
    "From this it follows also that they cannot promise themselves any of the graces and fruits of the perpetual sacrifice and of the sacraments which although they are sacrilegiously administered are none the less valid and serve in some measure to form an appearance of piety, which St Paul mentions I Corinthians chapter 13 and which St. Augustine speaks of at greater length." (Serm. LXXI, in Matth., 32) Pope Leo XIII Eximia Leatitia, July 19, 1893, to the bishops of Poitiers

    "The form of the branch may still be visible, even apart from the wine, but the invisible life of the root can be preserved only in union with the stock. That is why the corporal sacraments, which some keep and use outside the unity of Christ, can preserve the appearance of piety. But the invisible and spiritual virtue of true piety cannot abide there anymore than feeling can remain in an amputated member." (Sermon of St. Augustine on the Gospel of St. Matthew). So there's no grace that flows from their sacraments.

    "And since the conservation of the Eucharist is a power which follows the power of Order, such persons as are separated from the Church by heresy, schism, or excommunication, can indeed consecrate the Eucharist, which on being consecrated by them contains Christ's true body and blood; but they act wrongly and sin by doing so; and in consequence they do not receive the fruit of the sacrifice, which is a spiritual sacrifice." St. Thomas Aquinas [IIIa q. 82 art. 7, c]

    "The priest, in reciting the prayers of the Mass, speaks in the person of the church, in whose unity he remains; but in consecrating the sacrament he speaks in the person of Christ, whose place he holds by the power of his Orders. Consequently, a priest severed from the unity of the Church celebrates Mass, not having lost the power of Order, he consecrates Christ's true body and blood; but because he is severed from the unity of the Church, his prayers have no efficacy. St. Thomas Aquinas [IIIa q. 82 art. 7, ad 3um]


  • The New Mass “is not a work of the Church.” It is “schismatic, it’s also doubtful.” “How can you fulfil your Sunday obligation at a Mass that’s not pleasing to God? It’s absurd! … You’d rather stay home than go to the New Mass.”   (www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaGLel1_uXY - 33m.ff.)

 
Fr. David Hewko
  • "The moral theology of the Church insists that we are not allowed to be “probabiliorists” with the sacraments, but always take the safest side ensuring validity and legitimacy, that is, the “tutiorist” position." (Brief Statement of Fr. Hewko - February 2019)



Father Peter Scott
  • However, regardless of the gravity of the sacrilege, the New Mass still remains a sacrilege, and it is still in itself sinful. Furthermore, it is never permitted to knowingly and willingly participate in an evil or sinful thing, even if it is only venially sinful. […] Consequently, it is not permissible for a traditional Catholic, who understands that the New Mass is insulting to Our Divine Savior, to assist at the New Mass, and this even if there is no danger of scandal to others or of the perversion of one’s own Faith (as in an older person, for example), and even if it is the only Mass available.” (Fr. Peter Scott, “Questions & Answers”, The Angelus magazine, September 2002)
  • It would, indeed, be tragic if all traditional priests did not have moral certitude as to their ordination, and if there existed two different grades of priests, a higher grade ordained in Tradition, and a lower grade. It is for this reason that the superiors have the right to insist on conditional re-ordination for any priest turning towards Tradition, and will only accept ordinations in the conciliar Church after having investigated both priestly and episcopal ordinations and established moral certitude.

    Archbishop Lefebvre clearly recognized his obligation of providing priests concerning whose ordination there was no doubt. It was one of the reasons for the episcopal consecrations of 1988, as he declared in the sermon for the occasion:

    You well know, my dear brethren, that there can be no priests without bishops. When God calls me—this will certainly not be long—from whom would these seminarians receive the sacrament of Orders? From conciliar bishops, who, due to their doubtful intentions, confer doubtful sacraments? This is not possible."
    He continued, explaining that he could not leave the faithful orphans, nor abandon the seminarians who entrusted themselves to him, for “they came to our seminaries, despite all the difficulties that they have encountered, in order to receive a true ordination to the priesthood...” (Fr. Francois Laisney, Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican, p.120). He considered it his duty to guarantee the certitude of the sacrament of holy orders by the consecration of bishops in the traditional rite, who would then ordain only in the traditional rite.

    We must observe the same balance as Archbishop Lefebvre. On the one hand, it is our duty to avoid the excess of sedevacantism, which unreasonably denies the very validity and existence of the post-conciliar Church and its priesthood. On the other hand, however, we must likewise reject the laxist and liberal approach that does not take seriously the real doubts that can arise concerning the validity of priestly ordinations in the post-conciliar Church, failing to consider the enormous importance and necessity of a certainly valid priesthood for the good of the Church, for the eternal salvation of souls, and for the tranquility of the consciences of the faithful. Given the gravity of these issues, it is not even a slight doubt that is acceptable. Hence the duty of examining in each particular case the vernacular form of priestly ordination, the intention of the ordaining bishop, the rite of consecration of the ordaining bishop, and the intention of the consecrators.

    Just as the superiors take seriously their duty of guaranteeing the moral certitude of the holy orders of their priests, whether by means of conditional ordination or careful investigation (when possible), so also must priests who join the Society accept conditional ordination in case of even slight positive doubt, and so also must the faithful recognize that each case is different and accept the decision of those who alone are in a position to perform the necessary investigations.

    For regardless of the technical question of the validity of a priest’s holy orders, we all recognize the Catholic sense that tells us that there can be no mixing of the illegitimate new rites with the traditional Catholic rites, a principle so simply elucidated by Archbishop Lefebvre on June 29, 1976:

    "We are not of this religion. We do not accept this new religion. We are of the religion of all time, of the Catholic religion. We are not of that universal religion, as they call it today. It is no longer the Catholic religion. We are not of that liberal, modernist religion that has its worship, its priests, its faith, its catechisms, its Bible."
    (Fr. Peter Scott,"Must priests who come to Tradition be re-ordained?" Angelus 2007)


Fr. Matthias Gaudron
  • Q.65 - Is it permissible to take part in the New Mass? 

    Even if the New Mass is valid, it is displeasing to God inasmuch as it is ecumenical and protestantising; moreover it represents a danger to our faith in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Thus it must be rejected. Whoever has understood the problem of the New Mass must no longer attend it because he would be deliberately endangering his faith, and at the same time this would be encouraging others to do likewise be seeming to assent to the reforms. 

    Surely one may attend a New Mass when it is devoutly and piously celebrated by a Catholic priest with an absolutely unquestionable faith?

    The celebrant is not the issue, but the rite he uses. … The New Mass is one of the main sources of the current crisis of faith. It is thus imperative to distance oneself from it.” 

  • Q.66 - May one attend the New Mass in some circumstances? 

    One should apply the rules analogous to those governing attendance at non-Catholic ceremonies to attendance at the New Mass. One may attend for family or professional reasons, but without actively participating; and, of course, one does not go to Communion.” (Fr. Matthias Gaudron, ‘Catechism of the Crisis in the Church,’ Q65ff (Angelus Press 2010 edition, p.152 ff.)



Fr. Wathen [Disclaimer: The Catacombs does not in any way support the Feeneyite position which was held by Fr. Wathen at some point.]
  • The "New Mass" is one of the productions of the Revolution, one of its tools of subversion, and the language of the "New Mass" is in the genre of the Revolution. Those who mean to assess the "New Mass" should not expect to find in it that clarity of thought and intention which one expects in the articulations of the Sacred Magisterium of the Church. They should not expect to find clear-cut affirmations or negations. They will find truth suggested - as well as many shades of its opposite. The only consistency they will find is the effort to confuse and to mislead, a refusal to debate fairly, but no legally admissible evidence of the conspiracy that is afoot. For this reason, the authors of the "New Mass" cannot be convicted of heresy. An ordinary heretic boldly teaches his false belief, firmly denies traditional dogma, and, sometimes, is willing to die in defense of his contentions. The Revolutionary will seem to believe whatever it serves his immediate purpose to believe, will take any shape which pragmatic need dictates. (Fr. James Wathen, The Great Sacrilege)

  • For this reason also, the effort to decide the validity of the "New Mass" (or, I suspect, of any of the other new Sacramental rites) through analysis of its language is doomed to failure, for all the good it would do. The celebrant of the True Mass must intend to do what the Church intends. But how will you ever be able to guess the true intention of the Church when the formulation of its rites is now in the hands of men whose purpose is deliberately devious and indefinable, whose use of words and whose every act is compulsively nebulous and evasive? How will you ever prove the intentions of their ritual formulations when their own thinking is fluid, and basically nihilistic? Their intention is directly related to the condition of those whom their use of language is meant to influence. Their language does not have objective intention, but dialectic direction; their words are chosen always with a view to inching the thought of the masses into the direction of the Revolutionary negations; away, therefore, from objective truth and toward Communism; away from supernatural verities, dogmas, and laws, and toward dialectical materialism, naturalism, cynicism, narcissism, and nihilism. This intention is behind the insatiable need to change the rites of the Church, to change the nomenclature, to change all the prayers, to abolish all the traditions, to ban the merely customary-without regard to any objective benefit or principle. (ibid.)

  • The Church forbids us to act under doubt where a question of morality or liceity exists in a case where the Mass or the Sacraments are concerned. In a word, one is bound in conscience to choose the safer course. (Fr. James Wathen, The Great Sacrilege)



Fr. Carl Pulvermacher - Questions and Answers series in The Angelus
  • Q. My daughter, raised as a good Catholic, feels that whenever she goes to Mass she is going to a valid Mass and that she is receiving a valid Eucharist even if it is bread from the supermarket. Can the Novus Ordo be valid? W.E.B., Morgan City, La.

    A. The possibility of being valid or invalid is always present. Sometimes we have to say, ‘Who knows?” Archbishop Lefebvre holds that the Novus Ordo can be valid if all points needed for validity are observed, namely matter, form, priest, and intention. However, he does not approve of the new Service and never says it himself, nor does he permit anyone else to say it. His saying the Novus Ordo is not “per se" invalid is not the same as saying that it is “per se”’ valid. He holds that there are such heretical and Protestant elements in it that it must be always avoided. Another priest has rightly said that the new Ordo is at best a valid sacrilegeThe True Mass should not be said in a place where the new Ordo is said, and when the Pope reinstates it, separate churches will be used. (Fr. Pulvermacher, The Angelus: April 1981)


  • Q. If the Novus Ordo Masses and recent ordinations are not intrinsically invalid, they must be capable of conferring grace. Does this follow? If they can confer grace, why are we warned (in the pages of your magazine, and in statements by His Grace, unless I am deceived by my memory) to avoid the New Mass? What about my elderly parents who live four hundred miles from a traditionalist Mass station? Should they not attend their local church until a place for the ancient Mass is within reach? A.P.N., Houston, Tx.

    A. You refer, of course, to the Michael Davies book review in our May issue. 
    When Mr. Davies or the Archbishop say that the New Mass and Sacraments are not per se, or intrinsically, of  themselves, or of their very nature, invalid, they do not mean to say that they are good or grace giving. The Greek Orthodox Mass and sacraments can be valid. Even so, I must avoid them. The Church, the Pope, in the fullness of their authority, cannot approve for all the faithful a rite that is certainly invalid. This would deny the dogma of infallibility. The new Rite of Mass approved by Pope Paul VI, sad to say, was developed with the assistance of six Protestant theologians. Cardinal Ottaviani, a Catholic theologian of repute, warned Pope Paul VI that this new rite was a notable departure from Catholic theology and practice. It is my opinion that this new rite, in the way it is said now, is often doubtfully valid and is poisoned or spoiled. Please consult the interview of Archbishop Lefebvre in this issue for more and better clarification. As for your parents attending Mass and receiving the Sacraments, it is a crying shame that they have to endure such a hardship for their faith. I recommend that they stay away from the New Mass and Sacraments, but keep their Sundays and Holy Days the best they can—by prayer, scripture reading, catechism study, spiritual and corporal works of mercy. (Fr. Pulvermacher, The Angelus: June 1982)

  • Q. There is no chapel, nor mission—no place where the True Mass is said anywhere with-in my reach. Yet I cannot accept the Novus Ordo Missae which is all there is at my parish church. What does one do in these circumstances? V.M.D., Thousand Oaks, California.

    A. The Novus Ordo Missae is Protestant and leads to apostacy from the Faith. As time goes by it becomes increasingly more likely that this new mass can be both sinful and invalid. You are never obliged to go to a Protestant service to fulfill your Sunday Obligation. One youngster in Kansas City called it a ‘‘Nervous Service’ or a “Nervous Ordeal.”’ The Third Commandment of God must always be kept sacred even when you are prevented from going to Mass. I recommend prayer, Scripture reading, spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the like. God does expect us to keep His Commandments, but we are not obliged to do what is physically or morally impossible. (Fr. Pulvermacher, The Angelus: November 1980)


  • Q. We started going to our parish church (Novus Ordo, of course) on the Sundays there was no traditional Mass here. My question is this. Is it wrong to go to our parish church when the traditional Mass is only available so infrequently? Is it wrong to receive Communion or any other Sacrament in the Novus Ordo church? Is the bread and wine really transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ at the Novus Ordo Mass? S. P., Kasson, Minn.

    A. Here we get down to the bare facts. In all questions like this I always advise people to avoid attending the New Mass, as well as the altered Sacraments. I do not say they are always invalid. However, this alone doesn't make them good. The New Mass is not grace-giving. It is not our Catholic Mass. The only reason it was created was to destroy our true Mass. This excuse of people not being able to understand the Latin language is silly. We were always instructed to follow with our English (or other) missals. Latin is still the official language of the Church. Anybody telling me the New Mass in Latin is easier to understand than the Tridentine Mass is surely joking. The real thing is better than the substitute. (Fr. Pulvermacher, The Angelus: March 1984)


  • Q. Several people objected to my saying, in last month's column, that the New Mass was not grace giving. "It is heresy to hold a valid Mass is not grace giving."

    A. First of all, there is a difference between validity and grace-giving. I believe the one may be present without the other. Surely, I do not claim that in every case the New Mass is invalid. I hate to make comparisons but I know you would agree that a valid Satanic mass (Black Mass) would not be grace giving. I certainly do not hold the New Mass is the same as a Black Mass. I merely look at the fruits. So far I have not seen a Catholic who has advanced in holiness because of the graces of the New Mass. No Novus Ordo priest or lay person that I know of has even come close to being lifted to the honors of the Altar—sainthood. Of course, you might say that 15 or 20 years is not enough time to tell. However, we can look at the miserable condition of the papacy, the episcopacy, the priesthood, the brotherhood and sisterhood, and the laity—single and married—and we find it easier to say "no grace giving," than "grace giving." We have material eyes and cannot see the state of grace, so we cannot prove it one way or the other. All we can do is to look at the results of the New Mass. Has anyone ever dreamed that in most of our churches such sacrilegious things could take place as clown liturgies, dancing girls, homosexual masses, Jewish and Protestant liturgies? Our Lord said, "Let no one lead you astray." "By their fruits you shall know them." "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." I have yet to see a single Catholic who has truly benefited from the New Mass. Never have I seen a Novus Ordo convent or a monastery where religious life was not in a state of decline. When we had the true Mass, normal progress was seen. When we adopted the Novus Ordo, we have seen normal decline. I dare any person—cleric or lay—to prove the grace-givingness of the New Ordo liturgy! (Fr. Pulvermacher, The Angelus: April 1984)


  • Q. If I were to take your advice I would not attend a Mass from one year end to another. If we lived in happier times and the Tridentine Mass was as available as the other, then I would go all the way with you. But, sad to say, this is not the case ... I am afraid if people took your advice they would eventually drift away from the Church and lose their faith ... I am sorry to say that I believe your advice to be totally wrong and immeasurably harmful. F. G., Hants, England.

    A. My advice was, and still is, the same. It seems to be insane to say: "Don't go to the Novus Ordo Mass even under the best of circumstances!" I do not deny that in some cases it could be valid. It might be said with some dignity by a validly ordained, sad, old priest. You might cry with him over the memory of the Holy Mass of all times, which he misses. Christ could be present by transubstantiation. In spite of everything, it is not good and should be avoided. It is an invention of enemies of the Church. It is Protestant and leads to Protestantism. The only reason why it was invented and brought into the Church was for the purpose of destroying our true Mass. The devil hates our Holy Mass and he will do anything to stop it or slow it down. He can even make us feel sorry for the New Mass and for the good priests who obediently say it with sorrow. I am sure there are many good Catholics who go to it with sorrow because they want to be obedient children of Holy Mother Church. I will not judge them, or you —God knows all things. However, because of what I know of the New Mass, I shall never advise anyone to go to it, even if it is sometimes valid. I do not want to give advice that is wrong or harmful. (Fr. Pulvermacher, The Angelus: May 1984)




Fr. Scott Gardner 
  • "One of the biggest–and, unfortunately, one of the most common–mistakes traditional Catholics make in questions concerning the sacraments is to confuse the issues of validity and lawfulness. To some, “valid” means “good or pleasing,” and, likewise, “bad or displeasing” means “invalid.” Nothing could be further from the truth. ... The Church has established laws for conferring the Sacraments precisely to prevent them from being abused by bad circumstances even though they are valid. Sacraments may certainly be valid but unlawful; what is valid is not always good for souls. … Since the Church has established laws for the (at least hopefully) fruitful administration of the sacraments, it behooves all sacramental ministers to follow those laws for the good of the souls to whom they are ministering. They must be concerned not only with the validity of the Sacraments they confer, but with making sure that they are lawful. 

    "The same principle holds true in the conferring of Holy Orders, and, in fact, Holy Mother Church is even more concerned, so to speak, with the validity and lawfulness of Holy Orders because this sacrament has such a far-reaching influence on souls. The priest must not receive Holy Orders for himself primarily, but for others. His ministry will influence untold numbers of souls–for good or ill–and the Church, following St. Paul’s exhortation, will not allow bishops to “impose hands lightly on any man,” lest they “be partaker in other men’s sins.” The Church considers the personal responsibility of an ordaining bishop for a new priest’s soul and for the souls that the new priest will influence–again, for good or ill. She has thus made some fairly stringent guidelines, through her “accumulated prudence,” for the lawful conferral of Holy Orders, and anyone–whether bishop or ordinand–who lightly sets these guidelines aside is imprudent, to say the least." (Fr. Scott Gardener, Validity is Not Enough, Part 1)



  • "For an ordination to be valid on the part of the one being ordained, it is necessary only that he be a baptized male who has at least the habitual intention of receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Of course, this presupposes that the bishop conferring the ordination is himself validly consecrated, that he uses the essential form, and has the intention of doing what the Church does. These are the only requirements for a valid ordination; sometimes, however, a particular valid ordination could indeed be a bad idea. Stalin could have received Holy Orders validly if he had so desired, and if he had been able to find a bishop to ordain him. ...Validity is truly not enough. The Church has told us for centuries which warning signs to heed in order that an ordination may be lawful and have a greater chance of glorifying God and sanctifying souls. We ignore those signs at our peril."  (Fr. Scott Gardener, Validity is Not Enough, Part 2)  



  • "Grace is an essentially supernatural reality. It cannot be “felt” with the senses, experienced by the emotions. Certainly, the actual graces sent by God to direct us can, by His permission, cause an emotional response within our souls, but practically anything can cause an emotional response within our souls!"  (Fr. Scott Gardener, Validity is Not Enough, Part 3)

  • "It is only necessary to look around at the veritable avalanche of disasters following from imprudent ordinations to see the source of so much evil. That source is not God. However kind or otherwise commendable such a priest or bishop may be, if he has received–or given–holy orders to a man, or in a way, not willed by God, he is in great danger. He puts souls in danger. He must, somehow, come to his senses and seek a way out by petitioning Rome for laicization. He must further do serious penance. He must not neglect to repair the harm he may have done to souls, and he must not stand on his dignity– the dignity of an order that has been usurped. These may seem like harsh words, but the reality is harsher, and God is just as well as merciful!"

    "
    For the faithful, it is time to wake up to the danger that such irregular ordinations pose to the common good of the Church. Validity is not enough! “Valid” is not the same thing as good or fruitful. Men who have no vocations, who do not know how to conduct themselves, much less how to form others, are circulating all over the place. They might represent less of a danger to the Church if they were not priests, for they are priests who have taken the priesthood to themselves, by themselves. They have, as likely as not, received this priesthood from bishops who have behaved likewise. Although they may be friends or even relatives, do not fall into the trap. In that way lies anarchy, chaos, and finally madness. The ultimate answer lies in common sense, enlightened by Faith: examine the fruits and trust only those who can show good fruits. These fruits will be the result of God’s blessing on those who follow the accumulated prudence of the Church, who is our mother and teacher." (Fr. Scott Gardener, Validity is Not Enough, Part 4)



Dominicans of Avrille


Fr. Wickens

  • Spiritual death is more critical than physical death. Everyone knows that. … With the countless irreverent liturgies and invalid Masses, along with the virtual disappearance of Confession, there has been a drastic reduction in the graces of salvation. Sanctifying grace is absolutely necessary for salvation. There is no other way to avoid eternal damnation. Incorporation into the very life of Christ is a sine qua non for spiritual life of the soul. Lectures, books, cassette tapes, workshops, committees (Renew, Sex Ed, New Creation Catechisms), anniversary parties, and fund-raising galas... none of these confer sanctifying grace—only valid Sacraments can do this. At the rate we are going, in ten years, there will be virtually no Faith, and few valid Sacraments. Doesn't this bother conservatives? Do they not see their children and grandchildren losing their salvation? It seems to us that a gifted holy instrument of God has been given to us: Archbishop Lefebvre. (Fr. Wickens, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: A Living Saint, Angelus: January 1989)
  • The priests of the Society of St. Pius X, the Society founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, are validly ordained, offer valid Masses, and confer valid Sacraments. And besides validity, these Masses universally emanate reverence, fear of the Lord, love our of Crucified Savior, and doctrinal integrity. Can you say that about your local diocese? Or local parish church or school? Does your pastor use valid matter for Mass? Does he look upon the Mass primarily as the re-enactment of Christ's sacrificial death on Calvary (this was infallibly defined by the Council of Trent)? Does your pastor, when he approaches the "table," possess the proper intention?* If the celebrant does not believe in transubstantiation, then there is no valid sacrifice. Otherwise, if the maxim "ecclesia supplet" is applied, then every Lutheran and Presbyterian minister (if he has valid orders) would be offering up valid Masses. It is a fact that the bishops both of Ontario, Canada, and Boston, Massachusetts, have admitted that one-half of their priests do not believe in transubstantiation! Therefore, one-half of the Masses in Ontario and Boston are invalid. No sanctifying grace is given; souls are deprived of the means to salvation. Doesn't this bother "conservatives" and "pseudo-conservatives"? Don't they care about saving souls? (ibid.)
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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