SSPX Asia 1998: Priestly Ordination: The New Rite Vs. The Old Rite
SSPX Newsletter of the District of Asia - December 1998

Priestly Ordination: The New Rite  Vs.  The Old Rite

On June 18, 1968, Pope Paul VI promulgated a new rite for the priestly ordination.          

The matter and the form of the sacrament [1] remained almost the same as in the rite promulgated by Pope Pius XII in November 1948. There are only two small changes in the form, which do not however affect the meaning of the sacrament; in fact, they specify it better. [There are others who do not agree, see here, here, here, and here, for example. - The Catacombs]

The novelty and danger of the new rite consists especially in the abolition of the two ceremonies by which the bishop clearly explains the powers of the Catholic priest:

1)  In relation to the power to offer Mass:

Old Rite

“Receive the power to offer the Sacrifice to God and to celebrate Masses for the living and the dead.”

New Rite

“Let our Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Father anointed by the Holy Ghost and by fortitude, guard you in order that you may offer the sacrifice to God and sanctify the Christian people.”

2)  In relation to the power to hear confession:

Old Rite

The second imposition of hands along with a quote of Our Lord Himself:  “Receive  the Holy Ghost, whose sins you  shall  forgive, they are forgiven them, and  whose  sins you shall retain, they are retained.”(John 20:22)

New Rite

Abolished completely

These two ceremonies in the traditional rite of ordination indicated clearly that the priest has two powers:

1.  The first, on the physical Body of Christ, consisting in offering the Sacrifice for the living and the dead.

2.  The second, on the mystical Body of Christ i.e. the sanctification of the faithful, especially by the forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of Confession.

While these two powers are mentioned in the new formulas, it is not done very clearly:

-  The Sacrifice is no longer for the living and the dead.

- The sanctification of the faithful does not come firstly by the forgiveness of sins, which puts souls in the state of grace.


It is now manifest that the intention leading all these changes in the new rite of ordination is the same intention which lead all the changes in the new order of Mass, i.e. the desire to get closer to the Protestant doctrines.

For Luther, founder of Protestantism, “To be a Christian means to have the Gospel and to believe in Christ.  This faith brings forgiveness of sins and divine grace.” [2]

·  Also for him, the Mass is only a simple commemoration of the Last Supper, and not the unbloody renewal of the unique Sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross, applying the merits of the Passion for the remission of sins.  All of this is useless according to him because faith is sufficient in order to be saved.

·  There is no need of the Sacrament of Penance because our faith in Christ is sufficient to obtain the forgiveness of sins.

·  And the priest is a simple preacher.

To answer these errors of Luther, the Council of Trent promulgated the following anathemas:

·“If anyone says that the sacrifice of the Mass is one only of praise and thanksgiving, or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a propitiatory one, or that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions and other necessities, let him be anathema.”  (Canon 3 on the Sacrifice of the Mass)

·“If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine Mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.” (Canon 12 concerning justification)

The abolition of this precision in the new rite of the priestly ordination (even if the rite remains valid in itself by the unchanged matter and form) makes the doctrine expressed by the new rite dangerously close to the Protestant doctrine.  This is not surprising since the end of all the liturgical reforms after the Vatican II Council was ecumenism.

Something else, which is also not surprising, alas, is that now, many new priests do not know anymore what the priesthood is.  Consequently, this leads to all priestly problems, such as married priests (at least 70,000 priests have abandoned their priesthood since the last Council).

And do the bishops themselves know well what a priest is?  We hope so, because with this new rite, some bishops could have an intention opposite to the intention of the Church when they ordain priests, and in that case the ordination would be invalid, or at least doubtful.

[1]The matter of a sacrament is the sensible thing made use of in effecting the sacrament.  For the priestly ordination, it is the first imposition of the hands made by the bishop. The form is the words, which are pronounced in order to effect the sacrament.  For the priestly ordination, it is some of the words of the consecratory preface.

[2]The Facts About Luther, by Msgr. O’Hare, TAN Books, p.101

[Emphasis mine.]
"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

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)