Why On Earth Do We Need Una Voce Scotland Or The Latin Mass Society?

FR JOHN BOLLAN, St Joseph’s Parish, Diocese of Paisley writes:

“I’m conscious of a dissonance in my own mind with regards to Mass in the Extraordinary form (sic).  It appeals to me aesthetically… And yet I make excuses. Perhaps my principal concern is that this Mass should not be a vehicle of protest or nostalgia, but something free of such baggage. In other words, the Mass is no place for the grinding of axes…” Click here to read the entire article (and click on image right, to watch a Traditional Latin Mass on video).

Attempting to uncover this priest’s age (he is kinder in his remarks about the Traditional Latin Mass than priests of the older generation although unfortunately he uses the modernist name “Extraordinary Form” and appears blissfully unaware that there IS a need to “grind axes”) I discovered an interesting incidental detail: that clergy lists seem to be disappearing from some diocesan websites; on one site, for example, there is a list of deceased clergy but not the parish priests still alive and, we presume, well.  Curious.

Anyway, while reflecting on Fr Bollan’s piece on the Mass published in the Scottish Catholic Observer, consider, too, the following piece written by Ellen, a member of the Catholic Truth team:

Ellen writes…

I was shocked by the article by Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society in England and Wales, published in the Catholic Herald, 1st September, 2017.
[Ed: in which he calls for “liturgical pluralism”: “Rather than throw every parish into confusion with a new top-down reform, it is better to foster the existing liturgical pluralism, which includes the reformed Roman rite…” [ i.e. the novus ordo – the new Mass]

Both the Latin Mass Society and Una Voce Scotland were established for the preservation and restoration of the Tridentine Rite of Mass. The chairmen of both these Societies seem to have lost sight of these aims.

I am really troubled by the hatred of the Traditional Mass that we have encountered recently from Novus Ordo going Catholics. The ignorance of these Catholics is appalling; they don’t see anything wrong in their going along with all the novelties introduced and which have in turn destroyed their true Sensus Fidelis.

What horrifies me is that the above Societies are spending their time and their subscribers’ hard earned cash on promoting heresies and on the cult of personalities. They have always, from their establishment, been too subservient to their bishops in the hope of a few scraps from the table instead of fighting for the right of every Catholic to serve God in the way Catholics have worshipped since time immemorial.

I think the time has come when all good priests who say that they prefer the Traditional Mass would stand up and say this Mass only. The parishioners are so entrenched in the new ways that they would require much education but with good leadership and encouragement it could be done. When the Cure D’Ars was first appointed to that parish, no-one attended Mass; he persevered and with his prayers and holiness eventually it became a great parish. Priests today must see that the real answer to their problems is the lack of that holiness. This can only come from the Holy Mass and Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

We, the laity who are aware and love the Mass must really rally round and not accept anything less. And if we truly love our neighbour we must try to encourage them to seek the nourishment they would receive from the truth rather than the insipid falsehoods peddled to them by false shepherds. END.

Comment:

When she speaks of the the hatred of the Traditional Mass that we have encountered recently from Novus Ordo going Catholics” Ellen refers to various conversations we have had in the context of spreading the Fatima Message.  The minute the issue of the new Mass is raised, so are hackles, and a tangible atmosphere of animosity and, yes, hatred quickly becomes evident – and this, we must emphasise, among the older generation, who should know better.  Safer to recommend attending a Salvation Army service than a traditional Latin Mass.

It’s all about what we enjoy, what we find beneficial – the very concept of offering true worship to God  doesn’t arise.  It didn’t arise, either, in Father Bollan’s piece. His claim that “the Mass should not be a vehicle of protest or nostalgia” is only partly correct; martyrs, like our own Scottish Saint, John Ogilvie SJ, died in defence of the Mass. It was essential to protest attacks on the Mass during the Protestant Reformation (more accurately, “revolution”) as it is essential, lamentably, to protest attacks upon it now – in the form a new Mass created in the most worrying of circumstances and for the express purpose of making it acceptable to Protestants.  Pictured below, Pope Paul VI with the six Protestant Ministers who actively contributed to the creation of the new Mass –  click on the photo to read an article on the subject, and see Michael Davies: Pope Paul’s New Mass for thoroughly academic coverage of this scandal, in the context of the history of the Novus Ordo Missae.

From Left: A. Raymond George (Methodist),     Ronald Jaspar (Anglican),
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian),
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran),
  Eugene Brand (Lutheran),
Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).


Father Bollan is right about the nostalgia though.  There should be no need for “nostalgia” – the Mass for which St John Ogilvie and the other martyrs gave their lives should be available in our parishes on a daily basis; it’s a dead cert that there would be sufficient priests to make it available daily, had the Second Vatican Council never darkened the doorstep of the Catholic world.  As it is, we have priests here today and gone tomorrow, because the new Mass does not nourish them – little wonder that it’s easier to find that needle in the haystack than a lengthy clergy list on diocesan websites today. 

So, things have developed quickly, from the pleasure at having a new Mass in the vernacular, to hatred of the Mass that nourished Catholic souls, and raised them to sanctity for many centuries.  How come Catholics have moved so far away from the very fundamentals of Catholic life and the truths of our Catholic Faith? And how come the organisations allegedly set up to preserve the ancient Mass for us, have decided to go along to get along, after all?

For,  Una Voce Scotland (UVS) and the Latin Mass Society (LMS) appear intent on organising everything and anything except a simple Low Mass in the local parish; instead they are organising sung Masses, High Masses, you name it, with members of the episcopate, including the recent visit to Scotland of Cardinal Burke, invited for the purpose of drawing large crowds, and perhaps some kind of kudos. Who knows.  What we do know is that some of us love the Low Mass, the peace, the reverence, the time to concentrate of the prayers of the Mass, the action of Calvary, but, it seems, that is not good enough for the Chief Executives who seek higher things, in a manner of (satirical) speaking.  

Perhaps it’s time to replace UVS and the LMS … or, on second thoughts,  perhaps not. Is it a case of “better the devil(s) you know…?”  Or is there any need for such groups at all, given that they are all too ready, as  Ellen writes, to accept the crumbs that fall from the episcopal table. Shouldn’t every knowledgeable Catholic simply encourage others to seek out a chapel of the Society of Saint Pius X, and go there for Mass, until they can persuade their Parish Priest to provide one in their local church? After all, it is to the sacrifice of Archbishop Lefebvre that the Chairmen of UVS and the LMS owe their living, so to speak.  But for that saintly Archbishop, there would BE no traditional Latin Mass available to us in this “post-Catholic” Catholic Church…  Below, to remind us all of that truth, is a short video clip on the subject. Then, share your thoughts…

Separating The Mass From Its Purpose…

From the Catholic Herald, 8th September, 2017…

Matthew Schmitz is right that young Catholics are more traditionally-minded. But that doesn’t always mean the Old Rite

Everyone, including Catholics, wants to figure out millennials, the much-maligned generation to which I undeniably belong. 

Last week, my fellow native Nebraskan Matthew Schmitz wrote a piece for the Catholic Herald entitled “The Kids Are Old Rite”. Schmitz argued that the younger generation today – us millennials – are trending increasingly traditional, much to the dismay of some older, more liberal generations of Catholics.

On that point, generally, I don’t disagree. I see in myself and among my fellow millennial Catholics a desire to return to more orthodox practices, teachings and ways of thinking. We saw what happened when our parents’ generation flung open Pandora’s box – sexually, religiously, morally – and we’re not loving the results. Divorce, abortion, and the breakdown of the family have had less than desirable effects on the society we’ve inherited.

In particular, the quotes from Archbishop Augustine DiNoia that Schmitz included on the subject were spot on:

My sense is that these twenty- and thirty-somethings have been radicalised by their experience … in a way that we were not.” After “God-knows-what kinds of personal and social experiences”, they have come to know “moral chaos, personally and socially, and they want no part of it”. A sense of narrow escape guides their vocations. “It is as if they had gone to the edge of an abyss and pulled back.

However, the piece implies that young people are increasingly preferring the Old Rite – the Traditional Latin Mass – over the Novus Ordo, and that the “liturgy wars” of old will now be divided along generational lines.

But based on my experience, and that of my peers, I don’t think it’s true that we’re clamouring for the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) in large numbers. I also don’t think we’re interested in reviving the so-called “liturgy wars” of old.

I have some friends who prefer the TLM, or the Byzantine rite. But they’re still the exception, rather than the norm, among my wide circle of Catholic friends that comes with living in a Catholic millennial hub like Denver.

My TLM friends think that the old rite is beautiful, but they aren’t going to go so far as to “shove it down the throats” of others, as one of my friends put it.  
 
From what I have seen, the Traditional Latin Mass appeals to some Catholics, but I don’t think it will ever become the norm again. I personally prefer the Novus Ordo Mass, because it’s the form with which I grew up and with which I am most familiar. I’ve gone to public school my whole life and have never formally been taught Latin, and so I prefer a Mass I understand.

An unscientific poll of my young people friends tends to agree – we haven’t been taught Latin like the previous generations, and we don’t see what’s wrong with a prayerful and reverent Novus Ordo Mass.

Judging by the ever-growing crowd of young people at the Novus Ordo Mass I attend weekly, at which we chant the opening antiphons in English and have incense galore, we’re looking for reverence, but at a Mass we understand.

In true millennial fashion, however, I’d like to take a moment to check my privilege.

As a daughter of the notoriously traditional Lincoln Diocese in Nebraska, I never felt the need to seek out more reverent, prayerful forms of Mass, because the Novus Ordo Masses I grew up with were lacking in neither. Similarly, when I made the move to Denver three years ago, I had little trouble finding a Novus Ordo Mass that was celebrated beautifully and reverently.

I realise that the story might be different if I had lived in other dioceses. Given the choice between the Latin or a questionable liturgical dance Mass, I’d choose Latin any day.

At the end of the day, it’s hard enough to be a young Catholic today, that I think most of us recognise that can’t let “liturgy wars” bring us down.

Do you feel closest to God while wearing a veil and chanting Latin? Great. Is the Novus Order Mass in English, with the promise of coffee and donuts afterwards, the only way to get your butt into a pew on Sunday? More power to you.

We’re just happy you’re here, because we want you to meet Jesus.    Source – Catholic Herald, 8/9/17          

                                 

Comment:

Support for the above thesis / praise for the novus ordo came from an unexpected source in last week’s Catholic Herald – none other than Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society (LMS):

“Rather than throw every parish into confusion with a new top-down reform, it is better to foster the existing liturgical pluralism, which includes the reformed Roman Rite [Ed: the novus ordo, the new Mass], the Ordinariate Use, the growing presence of Eastern Catholic Rites, and the pre-conciliar Latin liturgy, now widely available once more. Among these, surely, we have something for everyone… the liturgy should not be a battlefield, it is a table at which the Catholic soul is nourished.”  Joseph Shaw: After the ‘liturgy wars’, a pluralistic truce? Catholic Herald,  1/9/17.

What seems to have been forgotten by these writers is  the fact that the Mass is not for us.  This appears to be an error peculiar to our times, for although there are various rites within the Church, the novus ordo alone appears designed to cater for personal whims of taste and fashion of various types – for example, popular music, lay activity.  But the Mass is not for us, in that sense.  The Roman Rite  was approved centuries ago by the Church, in the form we now term “the traditional Latin Mass”  for the purpose of offering true worship to God – not because the locals found it entertaining, or held their attention or suited their imagined “spiritual” needs. 

So, how can this concept of “pluralistic truce” be justified in the current crisis of Faith in the Church?  Is the Mass primarily a “table at which the Catholic soul is nourished” or an altar on which the Holy Sacrifice of the Lamb is re-presented to the Father in order to offer Him true worship, which is wholly orthodox and pleasing to God… Does our often superficial “enjoyment” of Mass in the vernacular, easily understood with popular music and easy on the ear and conscience homilies, trump our duty to offer the worship which has nourished saints and martyrs down the centuries, and is manifestly pleasing to God? Think: “by their fruits…” 

In summary: what’s your take on a “pluralistic truce”?    But before you answer, check out this critique of the new Mass

Earth to Archbishop of Glasgow…Hello!

Our blogger, Gabriel Syme writes:

Look at this jaw dropping story from the Church in Scotland.

Scottish Catholics are “too wishy-washy” about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has warned.
Click here to read entire Herald Scotland article 

While advocating robust, confident Catholicism is admirable, this is hilarious coming from the Scottish Bishops. Their only priority for decades has been to play down Catholicism in order to pander to ecumenism and the secular world.    

The statement also ignores the fact that modern Catholics (including in Scotland) are the most ignorant and poorly instructed in all history. This because they have not been taught the faith properly and deliberately so – because properly instructed Catholics reject ecumenism and the like.

In 13 years at Catholic schools and many years in novus ordo parishes I learned literally nothing about the Catholic faith, beyond the Our Father, Hail Mary and the rudiments of the nativity story. I always knew I had not been properly taught, but even so was shocked at the extent of my ignorance, when (in my 30s) I first held a Baltimore Catechsim No 1 (which is aimed at small children).

I struggled to answer even the obvious and basic questions listed therein. Of course, I knew what a Bar Mitzvah was, and knew some Hebrew Phrases (but not a word of Latin). And I could describe the good work a Protestant minister had done with gangs in New York City. But I could not have given a coherent answer as to why God made me.
(Fortunately, thanks to Catholic Truth and the SSPX I have been able to back-fill much of this missing knowledge).

And so Archbishop Tartaglia can hardly call Catholics wishy-washy, because modern Catholics do not know the Catholic faith, nor are they equipped to defend it.

Another reason Catholics struggle to speak out to defend the faith (even if able) is because should you do so, in a modern parish or Catholic organisation, you can bet on being immediately savaged by other “Catholics” whose lives conflict with Church teaching and do not like being reminded of it. This is one reason I withdrew from participation in modern parishes / organisations – its all a facade, there’s no substance to it.

For example, we discussed St Brides LGBT welcome recently. Who in that parish now would be confident to speak out on (e.g.) sexual morality when it is clear that the Parish Priest does not support that morality and when the local homosexual MP and his ‘husband’ are in the next pew?

I can only conclude that Archbishop Tartaglia is completely out of touch with the results of the non-teaching in the Scottish Church.

Comment:

Gabriel Syme’s insightful assessment of the state of the Scottish Church was underlined by the announcement, on – of all days – the Feast of the Assumption, yesterday, that yet another priest of the archdiocese was leaving active ministry. Only in this case, the priest in question – Father Gerald Walsh – has only been ordained for 6 years. Reflect: a young man like Fr Walsh can go through the entire Catholic education system following the syllabus issued by the Scottish Catholic Education Service, thus approved by the Scottish Bishops, and learn sweet nothing about the Catholic religion. Then, feeling called to the priesthood (although goodness knows how this comes about given the widespread ignorance of true Catholicism is anybody’s guess), a candidate goes on to seminary to be further mal-formed in the Faith.  Little wonder so many abandon the ministry, sometimes after only a handful of years, as in the case of Fr Gerald Walsh, ordained in 2011, his resignation announced on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, 2017.  More sad than words can express. 

The Mass-goer who contacted us to report Fr Walsh’s resignation after the morning Mass in St James’s Crookston, where the Archbishop himself made the announcement, opined that the Archbishop seemed more concerned with the fact that this latest “ex-priest” now created a situation that meant more work for him and for the priest in a neighbouring parish who would now administer both parishes. 

“Wishy-washy”?  I think the Archbishop needs to look at his own Catholicity, or lack thereof, before labelling the rest of us  “wishy-washy”; from what I hear, he is not exactly setting the heather on fire with his zealous leadership of either clergy or laity.  

The key question for this thread is this:  how on earth is the Church in Scotland EVER going to attract genuine and lasting vocations, if the Hierarchy don’t restore what has been lost of the glorious Catholic religion?  

But, where to begin?  Reform the schools?  Begin teaching the Faith?  Nobody can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes, so young men who haven’t been taught a thing about true Catholicism, are hardly going to make terrific priests.  What on EARTH is going to keep them living a single, celibate life in today’s permissive society if they’ve essentially been taught a false religion?

And is it any surprise that the new Mass isn’t keeping young priests? Countless saints not only stayed faithful throughout their lives, but actually GAVE their lives in order to preserve the Mass.  Who’s ever going to sacrifice their lives for this complete break with Catholic Tradition known as the Novus Ordo Missae, which no saint or martyr returning to earth today would recognise as the Mass?  That’s what’s known as a “rhetorical question”…  

Imagine you’re on the telephone line from Earth to Archbishop Tartaglia.  He is keen to have your advice (well, it’s only a pretend game)… What will you say to him – where would you advise him to start, in order to begin to restore the Faith in Scotland? 

American Layman to “Reboot the faith” in the [Dying] Archdiocese of Glasgow…

One of the world’s top Catholic speakers is coming to Glasgow – with a mission to reboot the Catholic faith of the Archdiocese.

Chris Stefanick is currently selling out events across America in his ministry which presents the Catholic faith in all its beauty, power and truth in an engaging and uplifting way.

He has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the areas of marriage and family life, laity, and youth. This month he brings Reboot Live to Glasgow.
Glasgow University’s historic Bute Hall has been booked for Thursday July 27 for the event and organisers are hoping for a sellout.

Fr Joe Lappin, Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese, who has been instrumental in bringing Chris Stefanick to Scotland said: “Reboot Live will be like no ordinary Church event. Chris’s dynamic presentation will bring people to tears, to laughter, and most importantly, to Christ. He presents the Gospel in all its beauty to a world much in need of the joy only Jesus can bring.

“It’s like hearing the Gospel for the first time. We all need a ‘faith boost’ from time to time. This is like no other faith event you’ve ever been to. We hope those who come along will reach out to their family and friends who have fallen away from the faith, who have lost touch with the Lord and His Church and invite them to come home.”

One attendee at a recent event said: “We can’t believe it. We had a man at the event last week who hasn’t been to Church in 50 years. I saw him at Mass yesterday. He told me he is so grateful for the event because it finally opened his heart to God. He just needed an invitation to the right thing. We haven’t felt this joy-filled leaving the church in a very long time.”

Fr Lappin said: “I became aware of Chris Stefanick through his website: www.reallifecatholic.com. It contains some great resources that we use with teachers and we recommend them to make use of his material in the classroom. Of particular help are his short videos which can be informative, instructional and inspirational.

The event in Glasgow can only be described as guided by the Holy Spirit. On the spur of the moment I contacted Chris by email to explore the possibility of him coming over to do some youth, teacher and parish events. In the meantime, he was planning to come to Britain on holiday with his family this summer.”

Chris Stefanick said: “One evening I was praying about going to the United Kingdom and whether to break the family holiday with some ministry work. I asked the Lord about getting to Scotland – if I was going to England, how could I reach out and present the beautiful message of the Gospel in Scotland? I left it with the Lord, went to bed and when I got up the next morning Fr Joe’s email was waiting for me with an invitation to Glasgow.”

Since that initial contact, a great team of volunteers has offered time and talents to organise the event and presentations have been made to the priests of the Archdiocese, the Head Teachers and many of the school staff to promote the event.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “When I was in Philadelphia recently I was struck by the Archbishop of that city – Archbishop Charles Chaput’s view of the Reboot phenomenon. He said to me, ‘Chris Stefanick is recognised as one of the most creative ministers to youth and young adults in the United States. He has extended his ministry to parish communities as well. He brings deep personal faith and an exciting energy to the Reboot programme. Chris Stefanick practises what he preaches. And what he preaches is exciting and Catholic.’ With a recommendation like that I think we are in for a great event in Glasgow.”  Source – Flourish

Comment:

When a fellow parishioner handed me a copy of Flourish, this morning, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I groaned.  When  I saw the headline: “Reboot the faith” and read the above article, I groaned again.  “One more gimmick to add to the list.” I thought. I then watched a couple of the videos, and realised that the young man, Chris Stefanick, whom I initially and very uncharitably dubbed “the new Michael Voris”,  appears to be a very well-meaning person, who loves the Faith.  My next thought was, “But, wait: is the Faith which he loves, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith as it has been handed down to us from the apostles, or is it the changed faith that has come down to us from the Fathers of Vatican II?”  So, I went in search of a video talk on the Mass and found the video below.

I’m not quite sure why, but it seems to me – I have a kind of sense, albeit having only watched it once – that Chris is a step away from the Traditional Latin Mass, if he’s not there already, but then, is it remotely likely that a TLM attending Catholic would be invited to “reboot the faith” in the highly modernist archdiocese of Glasgow?  You tell me!

Sung Mass, Low Mass: Does God Care?

Comment:

I’ve been asked to post this thread, in order to discuss the issues surrounding the strong preference of some people, priests included, for a regular sung Mass, whereas others among us prefer the peace of the low Mass as seen in the video above.  I tried to find a sung Mass on video, but all searches led to Solemn High Masses – if anyone can find a straightforward sung Mass on video, please feel free to post it in the comments section, so that those who are unfamiliar with the Traditional Latin Mass might take the time to view both the low and the sung Masses on film.  Remember, to post a video straight onto the page, simply right click on the video, select “copy embed code” and then select “paste” to post the video in your comment box.

There is a school of thought which argues that the more ceremonial there is in the Mass, the greater glory that is given to God. Others believe that the simplicity of Calvary, where there was no music, means that God is best adored in the ordinary low Mass.  Share your thoughts…

Chartres Pilgrimage & Young Catholics

Comment:

The funeral of one of the victims of the Manchester terror attack, a 14 year old Catholic  girl from Scotland, took place today. Her Parish Priest preached a homily in which he naturally praised the teenager, and said:  “In 14 years [she] packed a lot into her 14 years. 14 happy years. That’s so important for us to remember today – [she] was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. The last thing in [her] life was happiness – she had spent a wonderful weekend away [from Scotland] going shopping, going to nice Cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idols (sic) concert – Ariana – she was the happiest she had ever been- and that’s what we hold onto today- the happiness of [her] life… ”  

I couldn’t help contrasting this priest’s assessment of a happy teenage life with a recent conversation I had with another 14 year old – a young Scots boy who is currently participating in the Chartres pilgrimage.  Last week he was very excited about the pilgrimage, telling me details of the event, explaining that he would be able to win graces; he was also, of course, excited at the prospect of his first ever trip abroad, first plane journey and looking forward to meeting young people with whom he has been in internet contact through his homeschooling programme.  Yet, through all of his excitement, he was keen to go to Confession before making the trip.  “Between the possibility of a plane crash” he said “and a possible terrorist attack, I want to be ready to go to my judgment!”  At one time, that was the standard Catholic attitude to death: to be prepared, not least when going on a long journey. 

Pray for the repose of the soul of the young Scots girl struck down so cruelly in the Manchester attack, given the possibility that hers was an un-provided death.  And let’s pray, too, that more and more young people are led, by Divine Providence, one way or another, into the traditional Faith.  I’m told that the Chartres Pilgrimage is a very effective way to do this. What do you think?

Did Padre Pio Say The New Mass?

padre-pio2

The following article, by  Father Ladis J. Cizik is published on The Remnant site here

Saint Padre Pio was the first stigmatized Priest in the Church, sent from God to be a sign for our times. Francesco Forgione (born 1887) received the five wounds of Christ only after ordination (1910) when he began offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and became known as Padre Pio. These visible and bleeding wounds of Christ, which he had received on September 20, 1918, had disappeared from Padre Pio by the time that he completed his last Mass on September 22, 1968 – two days after the 50th Anniversary. The wounds were related to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Padre Pio was sent as a visible sign of the Sacrificial nature of the Mass. In 1968, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was undergoing changes in the wake of Vatican II to transform it from the unbloody God-centered re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary into a man-centered memorial meal. The stigmatized Padre Pio is a sign of contradiction to this Protestantized Modernistic thinking.

Like Saint Padre Pio, all priests are ordained, in a special way, to offer Sacrifice to Almighty God, in the Person of Christ (in Persona Christi).   At the Altar of the Cross, the priest stands in Persona Christi, to re-present the Sacrifice of Calvary to the faithful through time and space for all generations from the time of Christ until the end of time. Padre Pio, who was a stamped representative of Our Lord, a living Crucifix, was sent to remind us of the unique character of the priest who is ordained to offer Sacrifice, and not to ‘preside’ at a community meal. There were no banquet tables set up at Calvary on that first Good Friday.

Anyone can ‘preside.’ Only a Priest can offer Sacrifice and effect Transubstantiation, thereby changing bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. The Divine Victim, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is then offered to God the Father by the priest as a propitiatory Sacrifice for our sins at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Saint Padre Pio, a priest forever, offered Sacrifice. He was not a ‘presider.’

When it was announced that experimental changes to the Traditional Latin Mass, so loved by Saint Padre Pio, would take place in the mid-1960’s, Pio did not hesitate to request permission from Rome to continue offering the Immemorial Tridentine Mass. It is said that permission was granted in consideration of his advanced age, fragile health, and poor eyesight.   

By the time the Novus Ordo Liturgy was promulgated by Paul VI on April 3, 1969, Padre Pio had been dead for six months. The full Novus Ordo ‘Sacramentary,’ with all its revised prayers, would be published in 1970 – over one year after the dead body of Padre Pio was placed in his tomb. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that Saint Padre Pio never said the Novus Ordo Mass. Hence, it is false and misleading for anyone to suggest otherwise. 

Misinformation

Words written by two Capuchin priests, who actually knew and lived with Padre Pio, have become the genesis of fallacious theories proposing that Padre Pio said the Novus Ordo Mass. One of those priests, Father Pellegrino Funicelli, who was with Padre Pio when he died, wrote in his 1991 book, Padre Pio’s Jack of All Trades (pp. 401-402):

“In 1966-67 Padre Pio received permission from the Holy See to celebrate Mass in Latin, and seated. However, the Holy See allowed this under two conditions: That he celebrate facing the people, and that he use the new rite of the Eucharistic Prayer.”

The statements from this book, which are just now making their rounds on the internet, are deceptive. The Holy See gave permission to Padre Pio to offer the Traditional Latin Mass. This was not merely permission for a “Mass in Latin,” such as, saying the Novus Ordo in Latin. To use the “new rite of the Eucharistic Prayer” cannot mean to replace the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass. It would be absurd to expect that an elderly, weak, frail, vision-impaired Padre Pio would be able to read the words and learn the rubrics of a new ‘Eucharistic Prayer.’ Besides, the permission from Rome for Pio and other elderly Priests was to use the entire Missal, including the Canon of the Mass – which they had presumably memorized over many decades of recitation. Father Pellegrino continues:

“… knowing the conditions, he (Padre Pio) begged the Superior to teach him the new form of the doxology. After he had seen how he should raise the paten, with the Host and the chalice, he thanked the Superior and appeared to be satisfied … During the night he called to me and said: ‘Do me a favor. Go get the chalice and the paten in the little church and let me see the new rite once again … I must perform the rite precisely as the Church desires.’”

Given what was said, one would expect to find pictures or videos of Padre Pio holding the Chalice in one hand and the Paten in the other, chanting: ‘Through Him, with Him, in Him,’ etc. Such photos and/or videos do NOT exist. There are NONE. How can this be explained?

A former aide to Padre Pio, who answered his English-speaking correspondence, Padre Ermelindo di Capua, is quoted online as saying: 

“He (Padre Pio) used to say Mass according to the new order. By 1968 (when Padre Pio died) the new order was not yet complete, but had changed some things from Latin into the Italian language. He attempted to say Mass according to the new disposition of the Church. He tried to learn and adapt himself to the new rules of the Mass. There was still some Latin. It wasn’t  completely changed. The Canon I don’t remember exactly.”

Padre Ermelindo’s comments, as quoted, cannot be taken to mean that Padre Pio abandoned the Traditional Latin Mass in favor of the “new order” (Novus Ordo). After his remarks came out in 2013, I corresponded with Father Ermelindo and asked him whether he had any photos or videos of Padre Pio proving conclusively that he said the “new order” of the Mass. He said that he had no such evidence.

So, how does one resolve this issue?   It is often said: ‘Seeing is believing.’ In this case, ‘seeing’ for myself was veryhelpful in understanding what to make of the words spoken by Padre Pio’s fellow friars. I looked at hundreds of photos and dozens of videos capturing Padre Pio’s various Masses. Most importantly, I closely studied available video of Padre Pio’s Last Mass from September 22, 1968.   If there were any novelties added to Padre Pio’s Mass, they would surely be on display in that final Mass. I found that the words of Padre Pio’s brother Capuchin friars were being incorrectly interpreted in favor of a Novus Ordo apologia.

Seeing is Believing

Seeing is believing. Here is what one can see with their own eyes concerning that Last Mass of Saint Padre Pio:

As Padre Pio was led from the sacristy, he passed between the Traditional High Altar to his left and the Novus Ordo altar/table to his right on his way to his seat (sedilia), from which he would lead the Confiteor and Gloria, and say the Opening Prayer. He would be helped out of his chair and led to the Novus Ordo altar/table, where he would offer his Last Mass facing the people.   Padre Pio was obviously too weak to have climbed the three steps to the High Altar. In addition, the ‘Liturgical experiment’ of Mass facing the people from a free-standing altar/table was obviously in full swing at San Giovanni Rotondo, as it was in other parts of the world at that time.

Padre Pio was accompanied by a deacon and subdeacon indicating that this was a Solemn High Mass. Padre Pio’s Superior ordered him to offer a High Mass on this day and the weakened Pio obeyed. Note that the Novus Ordo Liturgy does not distinguish between a High and Low Mass; nor does it have subdeacons. This was a Traditional Latin Mass.

Padre Pio was wearing a white Fiddle-back vestment with a Maniple on his left arm. Such traditional liturgical garb is not worn in a Novus Ordo Liturgy.

Throughout the video evidence, Padre Pio only said the prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass, including the Canon, and spoke them in Latin. This is during the time when Priests were ordered to say the Mass in the vernacular. In my library, I have a 1966 “Sacramentary” where all of the prayers are to be said in English. Padre Pio had permission, however, to continue offering the Traditional Latin Mass from a pre-Vatican II Missale Romanum.

At the Suscipe, Sancte Pater, Padre Pio makes the Sign of the Cross with the Paten, and then allows the Host to slip off the Paten onto the Corporal. At the Sanctus, bells can be heard ringing three times at Padre Pio’s Last Mass. Both of these Traditional Latin Mass rubrics were eliminated from the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

In the Canon of the Mass there are numerous evidences that Padre Pio is NOT saying any new ‘Eucharistic Prayer,’ but is continuing to pray the Roman Canon, as he had always done. At the Quam oblationem, Padre Pio can be observed making multiple Signs of the Cross over the offerings. Just prior to the Consecration, Padre Pio made the Sign of the Cross over the Host at the benedixit in the Qui pridie prayer. Padre Pio also made the Sign of the Cross over the Chalice at the benedixit in the Simili modo prayer. Three separate bells were rung at each Consecration. Signs of the Cross were made by Padre Pio at the Unde et memores prayer. Padre Pio would not separate his thumbs and forefingers after the Consecration until after the ablutions. These rubrics, from the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass, are NOT found anywhere in the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

As for the claim that Padre Pio practiced the “new form of the doxology … raising the paten, with the Host and the chalice,” there is NO evidence of this happening at Padre Pio’s Last Mass or at any other of his Masses. This “new form of the doxology” in the Novus Ordo replaced the “Minor Elevation” of the Traditional Latin Mass. However, in Padre Pio’s Last Mass, at the Minor Elevation, Padre Pio can be seen taking the Consecrated Host in his right hand and making Signs of the Cross over the Chalice and the Altar as is traditionally done at the Per Ip+sum, et cum Ip+so, et in Ip+so prayer. Padre Pio followed the Traditional Latin Mass Roman Canon here, and throughout the Mass, and did not succumb to the innovation of a “new form of the doxology.”

Padre Pio said the Per omnia saecula saeculorum before the Pater noster. Also, after fragmenting the Consecrated Host at the Qui tecum, Padre Pio is seen chanting Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Pio clearly said the Pax+Domini sit+simper vobis+cum while making the Sign of the Cross over the Chalice with the Sacred Particle. Both of thesePer omnia saecula saeculorum prayers, as well as the Signs of the Cross with the Fragment, all done in the Traditional Latin Mass, were excised from the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

At the Agnus Dei, Padre Pio struck his chest. He can later be seen making the Sign of the Cross with the Consecrated Host over the Paten before consuming It. These are hallmarks of the Traditional Latin Mass. Padre Pio performs the ablutions of the Chalice and his fingers with wine and water after Communion. In the Novus Ordo Liturgy, only water is used.

In the permission that Padre Pio received to continue offering the Traditional Latin Mass, it is generally agreed that he was given specific permission to use the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the year. In Padre Pio’s Last Mass, the Proper Postcommunio prayer for the Immaculate Conception at the end of the Traditional Latin Mass can clearly be discerned:“Sacramenta quae sumpsimus, Domine Deus noster, illius in nobis culpae vulnera reparent; a qua immaculatem beate Mariae Conceptionem singulariter praeservasti. Per Dominum…”   

Having provided evidence that Padre Pio’s Last Mass was indeed the Traditional Latin Mass, there were however, at least two innovations that occurred: Mass on an altar/table facing the people; and the subdeacon read the Epistle in Italian from a pulpit facing the people. In addition, although they may have been edited out of the videos that I viewed, there was no evidence of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar or the Last Gospel, noting that these were typical omissions during the post-Vatican II time of ‘experimentation.’ 

The Mass was changing throughout the world and before Padre Pio’s own eyes. As a weakened, nearly-blind Religious Order Priest, subject to obedience to his Superior, and not strong enough to offer effective resistance, Padre Pio was led by the will of others and was physically directed throughout his Last Mass. Weakened as his vision was, Padre Pio could see enough to know that it was time for him to leave this world. In fact, that very day of his Last Mass, his tomb was blessed and he would die at 2:30am the following morning, September 23, 1968.

CONCLUSION

For nearly all of Padre Pio’s life on earth he offered the Traditional Latin Mass exactly according to the Roman Missal of the Great Pope Saint Pius V, which priests had used for centuries without change, prior to the time of Vatican Council II. When he fell victim to the ‘Liturgical experiments’ prior to the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass, his stigmata began to, and eventually, disappear – just as the Sacrificial nature of the Mass began to disappear.

As a dying old weakened man with failing eyesight, Padre Pio was like a lamb being led to slaughter at his Last Mass. Padre Pio would be the perfect imitation of Christ, ‘in Persona Christi’ to the extreme, to the very end. As a weakened Padre Pio was led by a group of men to the altar/table to ‘face the people,’ he was exposed to the crowd and put on public display, much like Our Divine Lord Jesus was as He hung dying on the Cross at Calvary. As the Son of God’s side was pierced by a lance and the last drops of His Precious Blood drained from His Body, so too was it claimed that after that Last Mass, Padre Pio’s body was practically devoid of blood.

Padre Pio collapsed at the conclusion of his Last Mass and had to be carried off into the sacristy, to his cell, where he was soon to pass from this world with his last words, “Jesu et Maria”(Jesus and Mary) on his lips. As the Traditional Latin Mass faded from this world, replaced almost everywhere by the Novus Ordo Mass, so too did Saint Padre Pio make his painful exit from the sanctuary. The priest acting ‘in Persona Christi’ at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass would be replaced by a ‘presider’ at a ‘community meal.’ 

However, just as Jesus rose from the dead, the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass that would not die, is making a comeback. God would not permit the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted by Him and offered to Him, to disappear from this world. Padre Pio, the Saint of the Traditional Latin Mass, continues to be an inspiration and an intercessor for all priests and seminarians who are called by God to dedicate their lives to the Mass of the Ages. 

There always was, and still is, a remnant of the faithful who stayed with the Traditional Latin Mass. Always remember, and let no one ever discourage you: “…At the present time there is a remnant left, selected out of grace” (Romans 11:5). We are that remnant. Saint Padre Pio is our saint. 

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