In your issue of October 20 Mr Jerome Burroughs says that Fr Rice's letter about the Tridentine Mass "should not pass without corn ment". The same applies to his own letter which contains several statements that are false and at least one which is offensive to loyal Catholics.
"The fundamental reason for
retaining the old Mass", he says,
"was to preserve the Faith". This is
tantamount to saying that, unless the old Mass is retained, the Faith will be lost. What nonsense!
Pope Paul VI, in public audience on November 19, 1969, asserted that the new rite "is a demonstration of fidelity and vitality to to which all must give prompt assent. Keep this clearly in mind: nothing has been changed of the substance of our traditional Mass. It is, and remains, the same Mass that we have always had." Mr Burroughs contradicts the Pope and refuses assent.
He goes on to say that "the old Mass demonstrates in words and gesture that this is indeed the Sacrifice of Cavalry repeated". This is false. If it were true. the old Mass would have been heretical. Though in many respects inferior to the new rite, it is orthodox.
The Sacrifice of Calvary is not repeated and cannot be repeated. Hebrews 7:27, 9:23-27 and 10:1014 ("We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all"). In the Mass the sacrifice of Calvary is "perpetuated", "continued", "made present", but it is not repeated. Cf Mediator Del nn, 80, 83, 175. Council of Trent, Doctrine de SS, Missae Sacrificio c,l, Mysterium Fidel nn, 7, 27.
"No one without prejudice and with belief could claim that the new rite remotely resembles, or much refers to, a sacrificial offering-. In the
new nte (as also in the old. the Eucharistic Liturgy begins with the Preparation of the Gifts.
The essential actions are unchanged: bread and wine are ceremonially placed on the altar. The prayers are indeed changed — and for the better. For they do not refer to bread as the "immaculate host" or to the wine as the "chalice of salvation" before they are consecrated. The priest, however,
makes it clear that they soon will be, for he asks the people to pray "that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable".
Then he says a "Prayer over the Gifts" which, in many instances, explicitly refers to the sacrifice in view of which they have been placed upon the altar.
Here are some samples: Advent: "May the gifts we offer be a continual sacrifice ..." Christmas: "accept this sacrifice ..." Epiphany: "not gold, frankincense and myrrh, but the sacrifice they symbolise ..." Lent: "By this sacrifice ..." may this sacrifice help ...," "by the grace of this sacrifice ..."
There are heaps of examples from all the other seasons. Anybody "without prejudice and with faith" who works through the "Prayers over the Gifts" in the new Missal will discover scores of references to sacrifice.
Anybody who shuts his eyes to these numerous references to sacrifice has deliberately blinded himself by prejudice.
But there is worse to follow. Mr Burroughs says the aim of the new rite was ecumenism: "to produce a form able to be interpreted by our separated brethren and ourselves in two separate ways."
This accuses the Consilium of several cardinals, a dozen or so bishops and scores of experts appointed by the Pope to produce the
flew, of deliberately plotting to
deceive the faithful by concocting an ambiguous rite — an equivocation purposely designed to mislead the people.
And because the Pope carefully kept himself well informed about what the Consilium was doing, attended a number of its meetings,
and several times personally in tervencd in its decisions, it would follow that Pope Paul VI was an accessory after the fact of this crime, and most share the guilt.
The Pope said (November 20, 1969) that the new rite "aimed at associating the assembly of the faithful more closely and effectively with the official rite which constitutes the Mass".
But Mr Burroughs says it was aimed at deceiving the faithful. That is a blatant calumny which loyal Catholics resent. May God give him the grace to repent and abjure his errors.
(Fr) Clifford Howell S. J. Prescot, Lancashire