'IVIE contention of Hugh Ross Williamson (March 27) that .1" "no vernacular Mass in the new rite can be valid" on account of one single word, or, as he put it, because "the Church authorities have enacted a change in Our Lord's words at the Last Supper—"all" for "many" goes well beyond the boundaries of Catholic orthodoxy.
How can he reconcile his recent attitude to Church Authorities in general, and to the new ruling in the Liturgy of the Mass in particular, with his Catholic conscience, is not for me to query. But it is very disturbing to see eminent people meddling in matters in which they have no authoritative competence, causing only embarrassment and confusion even among those who otherwise admire them.
Now to the point in question. Hugh Ross Williamson is pompously quoting a condemnation by the Council of Trent regarding the nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and I expect that he is also aware of the condemnation by the Church of the Protestant doctrine of predestination, and specially of the condemnation of Cornelius Jansen's proposition saying that "Christ did not die or shed his blood for all men" (Pope Innocent X, 1653).
I do not assume for a moment that Hugh Ross Williamson wishes to adhere to the above errors by insisting on the word "pro muhis" in the Holy Mass. The only likely explanation for his insistence may be the fact that he is so much under the spell of Latin words that he puts the letter above the spirit disregarding the real meaning of the words he wants to defend.
He alleges that the Church authorities have enacted a change in Our Lord's words at the Last Supper. What were the exact words of Our Lord? Even a superficial checking of the relevant 'biblical texts will show that it is far from evident what exact words Our Lord used at the Last Supper.
Matthew (26,28) and Mark (14,24) are quoting Our Lard saying "shed for many." Luke (22,20) quotes `!shed for you." St. Paul (1 Con 11,25) simply quotes: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." — Are they contradicting each other? Certainly not.
Neither does St. Paul contradict himself when he writes to the Romans (5,15): "If it is certain that through one man's fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift", and then he puts the same truth differently in 1 Cor. 15,22: "Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ"; or more explicitly in 2 Cor: 5,15: ". . . the reason He died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them."
(Fr.) G. Tutto Retford, Notts.
IF Hugh Ross Williamson 2studies sacramental theo• logy more thoroughly he will see that the New Rite of Mass is valid.
(Fr.) Paine Howell Cheadle, Staffs.