A DEFENCE OF THE PAULINE MASS
by John N. Lupia, Ph. D.
1. Did Pope Paul VI have authorization to create a New Mass?
This issue is the one most central to the debate. Many so-called traditionalists charge that the
Pauline Mass is invalid and Pope Paul VI did not have the authority to change the Tridentine Mass.
The Tridentine Mass is supposedly the only Mass that has been preserved for 2000 years, with
little change. Finally, the charge is that Pope St. Pius V definitively declared that this Mass
promulgated was never to be altered, changed. Let us look at some of the most important texts
"This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was
given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least
200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been
continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no
wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we
have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to
celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate
or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding. .
All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals,
which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution,
which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be
added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be
changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure. .
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or
whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church,
or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience
to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by
Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other
missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in
celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal. .
Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and
concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever,
this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of
incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are
superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever
title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise
declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that
this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full
force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any
general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding
the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial
prescription - except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing."
Here we have a papal decree that at first glance seems to be unalterable in any way. In order
to understand this decree we must examine the meaning of the term, and how Pope Pius V himself
understood the text, how subsequent popes dealt with the issue, and if indeed there was any
precedent for the changes in the Pauline Rite Mass. Also Was the Tridentine decree only a
reaffirmation of 1500 years of an unchanged Mass, from at least the time of Pope Gregory, as is
often alleged? Unfortunately, it seems that 20th century people, read 20th century language in
understanding 16th century Church documents.
A careful reading of the text shows that Pope St. Pius V never intended by Quo
Primum that further revision of the Roman Missal could never be made, or that no
other form of the Roman Mass, could henceforth never be said (as alleged by those against the
New Mass). In fact even in Quo Primum he provided for the
celebration of other forms of the Mass: rites which had been followed for more than 200 years
were specifically exempted from the provisions of Quo Primum
and from the use of the St. Pius V Roman Missal (Whitehead, pp. 54-55).
None of the popes who followed St. Pius V felt bound to not make alterations of the Roman rite.
These alterations were done long before the New Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI. As Father
Joseph Jungmann, who has done the most thorough study of the Roman rite explains "Some real
changes since the sixteenth century in the rubrics and in the text of the Missal of Pius V have
resulted in certain instances from papal orders, such as Pope Urban VII Pope Clement XII, Pope
Leo XIII, and Pope Pius X." (Father Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, Its Origins and
Development, 1950, revised by Charles K. Riepe, Christian Classics, 1974, p. 105).
An interesting parallel is in 1568 the Apostolic Constitution Quod a
Vobix. Here the Pope established the new Roman Breviary with forceful language fully
as strong as used in Quo Primum. The so-called Traditionalist
view, if to be consistent, (just as they highlight there be absolutely no change to the Missal)
would have to argue that there could be no change to the Roman Breviary. If that was the case,
why did St. Pope Pius X, not hesitate to revise the Roman Breviary in 1911 by means of his own
Apostolic Constitution Divino Afflatu? Just as Pope Pius X made
a revision, so did Pope Paul VI revise the Roman Missal by means of his Apostolic Constitution
Missale Romanum. There were no so-called traditionalists
around complaining that Pope St. Pius did not have such authority. The reason is that the Popes
did have the authority to revise the Roman Breviary, as well as the Missal.
Quod a Vobis says this about the Breviary, just as
Quo Primum says about the Roman Missal:
"Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this letter or heedlessly to venture to go
contrary to this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult
declaration, will decree and prohibition. Should anyone, however, presume to commit such an
act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles
Peter and Paul."
This was a conventional legal formula in papal documents of the day, not something binding on
future popes. As Whitehead notes: "Certainly Pope St. Pius X considered it so when he revised
the Roman Breviary in 1911 in spite of the identical caveat contained in St. Pius V's
Quod a Vobis. He specifically says that he is ordering a "new
arrangement" of the Roman Breviary "issued by St. Pius V and revised by Clement VIII, Urban
VIII and Leo XIII,"... When Pope Pius X revised the Roman breviary, he even concluded his
Apostolic Constitution Divino Afflatu with an ecclesiastical
caveat against anyone daring to change his decision which was the established legal form to be
attached to papal decree in his time. This was stated even while he was revising this 'in
perpetuity' document of the 16th century!! Thus popes using such language do not stop future
popes from making changes; it is remarkably similar to the caveat in Quo
Primum." (Whitehead, p. 57). Prior to Vatican II, other changes were made to the
Missal by Pope Pius XII and John XXIII as well.
Did Pope Paul VI have the authority to repeal the Apostolic Constitution, Quo
Primum? Technically, he did not abrogate the Roman Missal, but he did replace it by
the new revised Roman Missal and derogated the use of the older Missal. Pope Paul VI possessed
the same papal authority as Pope St. Pius V. The principle is explicitly recognized by the Code of
Canon Law. Canon 22 states that "if the later law is equally general or equally particular with the
former one" - and both Quo Primum and Missale
Romanum are equally Apostolic Constitutions dealing with exactly the same subject
matter of the former law. A later law repeals the former one, "if it contains an explicit statement
to that effect, a repealing clause." Pope Paul Vi's Missale Romanum did exactly that. It both
mentions Quo Primum and says that what he is promulgating
is promulgated "notwithstanding, as far as is necessary, Apostolic Constitutions and Ordinances
issued by our Predecessors and other prescriptions worthy of special mention and derogation."
(Whitehead, 58, 59)
What about the language in Quo Primum that says it is to
apply "henceforth, now, and forever" and that "this present document cannot be revoked or
Modified"? In perpetuity means that they are to last indefinitely, that no specific date or time is
set in advance when this will automatically lapse; Thus it will remain in force until subsequently modified by legitimate authority. That legitimate authority is in fact future popes. For example, Clement XIV wrote Dominus ac Redemptor in 1773 which suppressed the Society of Jesus, and he declared that this measure should be "perpetuo validas"; but this in no way prevented his successor Pius VII from reestablishing the
Society of Jesus anyway in Sollicitudo Omnium of August 7,
1814. The mere use of the term perpetual did not mean that a subsequent Pope no longer had
the authority to revive the religious order which the previous Pope had dissolved. "Perpetual"
merely means here until some further legitimate enactment is carried out by a sovereign Pontiff.
(Whitehead, p. 59-60).
We must remember the text of Quo Primum shows that Pope
Pius V recognized that his Mass was a NEW RITE, not the same thing that had been celebrated
for 15 centuries. A pure reading of the text of the New Testament institution of the Eucharist by
Christ, and very early rites showed that since then there were many changes over the years,
though the substance was maintained. That is the same thing maintained by Pope Paul VI when
he instituted the New Mass. The Council of Trent called for Pope Pius V to do a revised Roman
Missal, just as Pope Paul VI did a revised Roman Missal at the request of Vatican II. The Council
of Trent writes: "In the dispensation of the sacraments, provided their substance is preserved,
the Church has always had the power to determine or change, according to circumstances, times
and places, what she judges more expedient for the benefit of those receiving them or for the
veneration of the sacraments." (Council of Trent, 21st Session). Pope Pius XII in
Mediator Dei explained, as circumstances warrant, "public
worship is organized, developed and enriched by NEW RITES, CEREMONIES, and regulations
(#22)." (Whitehead, p. 46-47).
Anathemas are attached to those who disobey Papal decrees, based on Papal Authority as
affirmed by Vatican Council I. Those who refuse to recognize Papal authority on
Novus Ordo (thinking that they know tradition better) are
condemned by the decrees of Vatican I, a decree that on the surface they accept.
"If anyone should say that the Roman Pontiff has merely the function of inspection or
direction but not full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, not only in matters
pertaining to faith and morals, but also in matters pertaining to the discipline and government of
the Church throughout the entire world, or that he has only the principal share, but not the full
plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate over all
Churches and over each individual Church, over all shepherds and all the faithful, and over each
individual one of these: let him be anathema" (Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constitution of the
Church of Christ, #3).
We thus see papal primacy is in faith, morals, and discipline. If we do not, anathemas are
attached. Any so-called Traditionalist, who rejects the validity of the Pauline Rite Mass, lets
himself be anathematized. Pope Pius IX declares that any attempt to evade Church discipline
on the ground that faith and morals are not involved goes contrary to Catholic doctrine; It is
part of Catholic faith and morals.(Whitehead, p. 49-50). Pope Pius IX also taught that "it is as
contrary to the divine constitution of the Church as it is to perpetual and constant tradition for
anyone to attempt to prove the catholicity of his faith and truly call himself a Catholic when he
fails in obedience to the Apostolic See." (Pope Pius IX, Quartus
Supra to the Armenians, January 6, 1873). We are called not to disobedience, but
II. The Sacrifice of the Mass
Some argue that one of the big deficiencies of the Pauline Rite Mass, is that it is only termed a
communal meal, a memorial meal, and has done away or at least drastically reduced the emphasis
on the Sacrifice of the Mass. This was supposedly done to appeal to Protestant observers, who
supposedly helped to write the Mass.
Indeed the Mass is a memorial, but that is not a lessening of tradition or scripture. Jesus told
his apostles "Do this as a memorial of Me". The term memorial (or "anamnesis" in the Greek)
means that when the priest utters the words of consecration, he brings about or represents the
same mystery which Christ brought about at the Last Supper on "the night before He suffered."
The one sacrifice of the Cross is thus rendered present, though in an unbloody manner, and the
divine Victim of the Cross is both offerer and offered in the Church's liturgical rite .(Whitehead,
There were no doubt Protestant observers of the working sessions of the Commission.
Protestants do not generally believe Christ can be made present; thus there can be no sacrifice.
They only believe in the "priesthood of all believers," not a ministerial priesthood. Let us see
whether Catholic doctrine was watered down in these areas. What did the Vatican II Church
officially declare about the Mass in reference to Pauline Rite Mass?"
"Hence, the Mass, the Lord's Supper, is at the same time and inseparably:
In the foreword to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal
- A sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated
- a memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said "do this in memory of me" (Lk. 22:19).
- a sacred banquet in which, through the communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the People
of God share the benefits of the Paschal Sacrifice, renew the New Covenant which God has made
with man once for all through the Blood of Christ. (Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic
Mystery Eucharisticum Mysterium, #C1."
The Sacrificial character of the Mass was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent in accordance
with the universal tradition of the Church (Session 22, Sep. 17, 1562). The Second Vatican
Council has enunciated this same teaching once again, and made this highly significant comment:
"At the Last Supper our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He
did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross until he should come again;"
(Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy #47).
This foreword describes the New Order of the Mass as a sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving,
propitiation and satisfaction, thus affirming doctrines that Protestants specifically deny. The
Pauline Mass affirms these things; it was not designed to please Protestants by compromising
Catholic doctrine whatsoever (Whitehead, p. 80).
What about the charge of the Mass being Protestantized? After all, there is more hymn singing,
vernacular liturgy, a greater emphasis on the Scriptures, etc. The fact is that "the early church
had some of the same things-hymn singing, vernacular liturgy, greater emphasis on the
Scriptures- and that, finally, the fact that the Church has adopted these particular things today
means that they are really compatible with Catholic worship." (Whitehead, 82).
One thing that must be noted of the input of Protestant observers at Vatican II. On July 4,
1976, the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship unequivocally declared: "The Protestant
observers did not participate in the composition of the texts of the new Missal." (Documentation
Catholique #58, 1976, page 649). What is clear in the Pauline Rite Mass? It reflects the
Eucharistic Sacrifice as a propitiatory work offered for the living and the dead; concerning the
Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ;
concerning the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints; concerning prayer for the
dead- are all points on which Protestants continue to disagree with the Catholic Church but all
of which are explicitly present in the Pauline Rite Mass. (Whitehead, p. 85).
For those who say the Mass is Protestantized, there is one question to ask?
Do you know of one Protestant church who celebrates the Pauline Rite liturgy and any of the
4 Eucharistic prayers? No, the proof is in the pudding. No Protestant services recognize any of
these distinctly Catholic doctrines. Max Thurian, a Calvinist monk at the time, wrote the following
in reference to Protestantism and the Pauline Rite Mass:
"Recently a Protestant commission was given the task of revising the prayers
of the Last Supper. It was proposed that they adopt the second Catholic Eucharistic Prayer
(inspired by St. Hippolytus). That proposition was rejected, because the commission considered
that the doctrine implied in that prayer did not correspond to the actual common faith of
Protestants... the invocation of the Spirit on the bread and wine presupposed Transubstantiation."
(Max Thurian, Quoted in La Croix (Paris), June 15, 1977.) Notice that the second Eucharistic
prayer was inspired by the ancient tradition of St. Hippolytus. Not only was there not a single
non-Catholic who participated in the work of the post-conciliar Commission headed by Cardinal
Lercaro of Bologna, there were no Protestants back in the 3rd Century, from which this
Eucharistic prayer is based on. It is distinctively Catholic."
The Tridentine decree gave an impression that the sacrifice of bread and wine came during the
offertory. Actually there is only one sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ accomplished during
the consecration of the elements. Many eminent liturgists even during the days of St. Pius V
discussed a reform of the Roman Canon to eliminate a misunderstanding of the meaning of
sacrifice. The Tridentine Mass could give an impression that the offering of bread and wine
constituted the sacrifice of Christ when it said, for example "We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the
Chalice of salvation." and "Receive O Holy father.. this immaculate host which I...offer Thee...,".
This caused some to think that this is when the sacrifice of Christ took place. In actuality, the
salvific sacrifice of Christ was on Calvary, and the sacrifice is perpetually renewed on the altar
AT THE MOMENT OF CONSECRATION by a validly-ordained priest, and not before. The Council of
Trent clearly teaches this (Council of Trent, Thirteenth Session, Decree
on the Most Holy Eucharist) (Whitehead, 120).
The Pauline Rite Mass teaches clearly that the anamnesis, the prayer which follows the words of
consecration "makes memory" of the death and resurrection by the priest offering his body and
blood (made present by Transubstantiation ) to the Father.
The first Eucharistic prayer retains much of the Roman Canon. It is too long to recite here but it
maintains the idea that it is sacrifice. The traditional Roman canon retains the place of
preeminence among the four chief Eucharistic Prayers. For example, it includes: "Through him we
ask you to accept and bless these gifts we offer you in sacrifice.... We offer you this sacrifice
of praise." These are similar to the Tridentine Mass.
Eucharistic Prayer II is substantially that of St. Hippolytus that goes back to the year
215 AD, and declares:
"In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving
If any objections are made to the above prayer, one is objecting to the most treasured, and
ancient of Eucharistic prayers, (and by no means Protestant).
Eucharistic Prayer III says:
We offer you in thanksgiving THIS HOLY AND LIVING SACRIFICE. Look with favor on your
Church's offering, and see the Victim, whose death has reconciled us to your self.
Eucharistic Prayer IV says:
We offer you his body and blood, THE ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE which brings salvation to the
whole world. (Whitehead, 120-121)
We thus see in the prayers that Pauline Rite Mass maintains completely Catholic
orthodoxy-because it is a sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ who is both Priest and
Victim, and who offers Himself as a victim in propitiation for the living and dead.
III. What about Cardinal Ottaviani's Letter?
The Ottaviani Intervention is one of the most often peddled pieces of the so-called traditionalist
movement. Cardinal Ottaviani expressed many concerns about the New Mass, and the so-called
traditionalists have played this letter up very much. If you go to any site that rejects the Pauline
Rite Mass, this letter by the Cardinal will probably be very prominent. Let us look parts of the
letter and his most strenuous objection. This is tied into to objections to the Sacrifice of the
Eucharist. Cardinal Ottaviani did have sincere problems with some of the changes, no doubt.
He wrote this before New Mass
"The Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements,
susceptible of widely differing evaluations, which appear to be implied or taken for
granted-represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology
of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent. . . . Therefore,
we most earnestly beseech your Holiness not to deprive us--at a time of such painful divisions
and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the Church--of the
possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St.
Pius V, so highly praised by your Holiness and so deeply venerated and loved by the whole
Catholic Church" (In Triumph. December, 1969).
The first thing to note that this criticism was leveled before the final version of the Pauline Rite
Mass was completed. However, few of those in the schismatic circles who circulate the
"Ottaviani Intervention", publish Cardinal Ottaviani comments
on the final version of the Pauline Rite Mass AFTER IT WAS OFFICIALLY PROMULGATED. Pope
Paul VI gave two general audiences in regards to the Pauline Rite Mass. Cardinal Ottaviani
responded to this by writing:
"I have REJOICED PROFOUNDLY to read the Discourse by the Holy Father on the question of the
new Ordo Missae, and ESPECIALLY THE DOCTRINAL PRECISIONS CONTAINED IN HIS DISCOURSES
at the public Audiences of November 19 and 26, after which I believe, NO ONE CAN ANY LONGER
BE GENUINELY SCANDALIZED. As for the rest, a prudent and intelligent catechesis must be
undertaken to solve some legitimate perplexities which the text is capable of arousing. In this
sense I wish your 'Doctrinal Note' [on the Pauline Rite Mass] and the activity of the Militia
Sanctae Mariae WIDE DIFFUSION AND SUCCESS." (Whitehead, 129, Letter from his eminence
Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani to Dom Gerard Lafond, O.S.B., in Documentation Catholique, #67,
1970, pages 215-216 and 343)
The Cardinal Ottaviani published later yet another very relevant public statement in which he said:
"The Beauty of the Church is equally resplendent in the variety of the liturgical rites which enrich
her divine cult-when they are legitimate and conform to the faith. Precisely the LEGITIMACY OF
THEIR ORIGIN PROTECTS AND GUARDS THEM AGAINST INFILTRATION OF ERRORS. . . .The PURITY
AND UNITY OF THE FAITH is in this manner also UPHELD BY THE SUPREME MAGISTERIUM OF THE
POPE THROUGH THE LITURGICAL LAWS." (In Cruzado Espanol, May 25, 1970)
What was Cardinal Ottaviani's view of who truly followed the Roman Catholic faith? What was his
view of the papacy?
"The words of Christ 'feed my sheep' are words which have been addressed only to his
vicar, and it follows that whoever would wish to be counted among the Flock of Christ must
submit to the Universal Pastor appointed by Christ. No one can be a exception to this rule, not
even Bishops." (Whitehead, 130, From Leroy Philippe, "Pierre a Parle," Chevaliers #32, 1976).
The two ensuing letters by Cardinal Ottaviani, after "the Ottaviani intervention" have been a
matter of public record for all to see. However, none of those who use this intervention as a
way to smear the Pauline Rite Mass, ever let people in on the fact that Ottaviani subsequently
wrote that no one could any longer be scandalized. The fact that people continue to publish his
original attacks on the Pauline Rite Mass without letting anybody seeing his ensuing letters show
deceit of the so-called Traditionalist movement. Maybe we can give the benefit of the doubt
and say that many who do tout his original intervention do not know of his subsequent letters in
which he affirmed the purity of the faith that was preserved in the Pauline Rite Mass;
Nevertheless, these ensuing letters show that indeed that Cardinal Ottaviani did not end up
holding the position of those who reject the Pauline Rite Mass. No doubt he was attached to
the Tridentine Mass, and in fact now, for those who get indults, that is fine. But Cardinal
Ottaviani in the end rejoiced over the fact that the Pauline Rite Mass was preserved and
protected against the infiltration of errors and that the Supreme Magisterium upheld the purity
and unity of the faith.
As one of the most erudite Thomistic theologians of our time, Charles Cardinal Journet, in referring
to the Pauline Rite Mass, writes:
"Let me take care to say, there is no renouncing of anything essential. . . The substance of the
Mass remains absolutely the same: there is the Offertory, the Consecration. . . And the Sovereign
Pontiff has recalled expressly what was not expressed sufficiently in the rubrics of the new Ordo:
that the Mass is a sacrifice. He has recalled that there is a change of bread and wine into the
Body and Blood of Christ. All these things, which are not Protestant, are truly Catholic- and also
orthodox. Thus there is the reaffirmation of the classic Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist
sacrifice." (Whitehead, 131, from Cardinal Journet and the New Order of the Mass, in
Documentation Catholique #9, May 1, 1977, pages 444-445).
IV. Is "For All" an Invalid Translation of "Pro Vobis et Pro Multis"?
So-called traditionalists charge that it is a mistranslation of the Latin text "Pro
Vobis et Pro Multus", when it is translated as "For you and for All Men" instead of "For
you and for many". This supposedly implies the heretical idea that all men will necessarily be
saved. Also, the so-called Traditionalists will argue that the formula for consecration, fixed for
All Time by Christ, was "For Many". Therefore the consecration "For All" renders the consecration
invalid, or to the less extreme, at least say that this is a corruption and altering of Jesus' words.
Is it a heretical idea that Christ died for all men, and thus "For Many" is an invalid idea? On the
contrary, scripture and tradition teach unhesitatingly that Christ died for all men. No doubt the
efficaciousness of the redemption will not save all men, but it is scripture and Church doctrine
that Christ died for all:
He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole
world.(1 John 2:2) For as in Adam ALL DIE, so also in Christ shall ALL BE made alive"(1 Cor. 15:22);
He... did not spare his own son but gave him up for us ALL...(Rom. 8:32).
In actuality, the consecratory offering has never been the place to go to find the explicit doctrine
on how many will be saved. In fact the church has never said, that by this phrase "For Many",
has EVER BEEN the defining factor of how many people will be saved. In reality, our Lord said that
few will be saved, as when our Lord said "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Mt. 22:14).
He also said "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it
are few" (Mt. 7:14). The emphasis, is thus not on the extent of salvation, but on who Christ died
for. Once we see this, an English understanding of the term "For Many" would indeed make the
Tridentine Mass heretical, and show scripture and tradition to be contradictory. After all, the
church has always taught that Christ died for all, not merely many. If we held that here is where
we teach that "Christ died for many, and not all", the Catholic Church would be teaching a pile of
contradictions, as I know most traditionalists do not hold.
In fact, the use of many, and for all, in the bible are interchangeable. For
example, in Rom. 5:15, Paul writes:
For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the
free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
If Christ died only for many, and could not mean all, we would have scripture contradicting
Trent, which as faithful Catholics understand, is not possible. The Church teaches as dogma
that original sin effects all, not many. Not only does Scripture not contradict Trent, Paul also
uses the word for all in the very same section Paul wrote in Romans 5:12:
Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death
spread to all men because all men sinned.
As Whitehead points out, "the Hebrew and Aramaic words of "many" familiar to the Apostles, had
a common meaning of "the all who are many" or an "undefined multitude" The bible on occasion
uses all and many interchangeably" (Whitehead, 101), as we saw with Paul.
Whitehead quotes the great biblical scholar, Pierre Benoit, O.P., who writes of the word "many"
in the scriptures (Whitehead, 101):
"The word which we translate as 'many' stresses the sense of a great number and does
not exclude anyone. . .Jesus certainly makes this fullness of salvation his own and it is the whole
of mankind to the end of space and time that he includes in the 'many' for whom he was going
to give his life as a 'ransom' (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). (Benoit, Pierre, O.P. "The Accounts
of the Institution and What they Imply," in "The Eucharist in the New Testament: A symposium",
Helicon Press, Baltimore and Dublin, 1964, page 80.) This is right in line with the great Doctors of
the Church, as St. Thomas referencing the other great Doctor, St. Augustine on the issue:
The Council of Trent's Catechism and St. Thomas Aquinas himself did hold that the consecratory
formula should include the phrase 'for many' instead of 'for all'. They did justify the use of the
consecration formula in that day. In the same way, the Council of Florence, when endeavoring
to achieve union with the Armenian Orthodox Church did set forth a statement of the necessity
of the formula which said "for many." (Whitehead, 107). Although that was the case, none said
this was the only way that valid consecrations have taken in the past, or valid consecrations in
the future can be said.
"St. Augustine explains 'multi' to mean 'all men'; and this manner of speaking is frequently
found in sacred scripture. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa
Theologica, Question 75, Reply to Objection 2).
The Council of Trent recognized that the words "For you and for many" are not found in that form
in the New Testament. Those words were "joined together by the Catholic Church under the
guidance of the Spirit of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 226). The Council of Trent
Catechism thus recognizes that it is the Church who determines what the proper form of a
sacrament must be (Whitehead, 106). There is no hint that the Catechism was mandating that
those precise words "For you and for many" be used for all time. In fact, during the institution
of the original Eucharist itself, when Jesus consecrated the first Eucharist, we have different
formulas in scripture. Although the gospels of Mark and Matthew have Jesus using the formula
"for many" (although not "For you and for many" as the Tridentine rite has it), Luke and Paul do
not use the phrase 'for many' at all. Paul probably wrote the first consecration in scripture,
1 Cor. 11:23-26:
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the
night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said,
'This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also the cup,
after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink
it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim
the Lord's death until he comes"
St. Paul reports receiving this consecratory formula from the Lord himself (by apostolic
tradition)(v. 23). Notice, however, that he did not use the words "for many" or "for all". The
same with St. Luke (Lk. 22:14-20). What so-called Traditionalist would have the nerve to say
that his consecrations were not valid because Paul does not use the phrase 'for many'!
A study done by Dom Leclerq finds that there have been no fewer than 89 variations in the
formulas for consecration in the history of the Church. (Whitehead, 109, Dom Leclerq, Dictionnaire
d'Archeologie Chretienne et de Liturgie (Col. 730-750). Of these variations there are a number
where not only the phrase "for many' but other words of the "Tridentine' form (Such as Mystery
of Faith) of the consecration are not to be found.
The Catholic Church has never been limited to the Roman rite. It recognizes nine rites, which has
its own right and proper way of doing things, including the celebration of the Eucharist, as
Atwatter's Catholic Dictionary points out before Vatican II (Latin, Byzantine, Armenian, Chaldean,
Coptic, Ethiopic, Malabar, Maronite and Syrian rites):
The Mass of St. Hippolytus, which dates from the 3rd century, does not use the phrase for
many, but "This is my body, which is broken for you", and "This is my Blood which is shed for you".
The following recognized Oriental Liturgies do not include "for many" in the consecration of the
chalice: Catholic Ethiopian Rite, "Take, drink, this is my blood which is shed for you for the
remission of sins." (From King, Archdale A., Rites of Eastern Christendom, Catholic Book Agency,
Rome, 1947. Vol. 1, pp. 641-642). The same goes with the Liturgy of the Abyssinian Jacobites.
Although most Eastern rites do presently use the phrase 'for many', in the ancient Eucharistic
prayers many did not use that phrase. All of these Eucharistic prayers have been recognized by
the Catholic Church.
Finally a few examples that Whitehead provides of Eucharistic prayers dating back to the 7th
century in books published by the Holy See include the Anaphora (Eucharistic prayer) of the Lord
"And as often as ye do this, make memorial of Me. And likewise also the cup, putting wine
into it, giving thanks, blessing (three signings of the cross) and sanctifying, Thou gavest unto
them. Truly, This is Thy Blood which was shed for our sins."
The Anaphora of the Evangelist John also does not use the 'for many' formula.
Thus, the formulas that do not include "for many" are historic, and have long been recognized by
the Catholic Church. The fact that the phrase is not included in the English translation of the
Latin formula is thus not an innovation of Pauline Rite Mass.
V. The Mystery of Faith
Some So-called Traditionalists will argue that the removal of the words "Mysterium
Fidei" (or Mystery of Faith from the words of consecration and their use instead for
acclamation deliberately downgrades or denies the belief in the real presence.
The important facts stated in reference to scripture and early Church history in reference to "For
Many" is even more present in this case of the term mystery of faith. Nowhere in any of the four
accounts of the institution of the Eucharist in the bible, is there any reference to the term
mystery of faith. It is obvious that the consecrations were valid, even though Jesus and the
apostles did not use the term mystery of faith, either during the consecration, or after the
consecration. The very fact that Jesus did not use the term 'Mystery of Faith' during the
consecration was reason for Pope Paul VI to move it to another part of the liturgy. If anyone
gets dogmatic that it is essential to the consecration, this fact blows this objection away.
The same issues in regards to the history of the use of the term 'For Many' is relevant to 'Mystery
of Faith'. There are many rites long recognized by the Church as valid that do not use the term
'Mystery of Faith'. This shows that it does not directly touch the issue of a valid consecration.
As Whitehead notes, actually it may be more appropriate to put the term 'Mystery of Faith' during
the time of acclamation, instead of during the consecration, as done during the Tridentine Mass
because:"The words of consecration involve an action as contrasted to a declaiming; and these
words of consecration are, of course, substantially the actual words of Jesus Christ ... In a sense
they are really words of a declamatory nature, and thus not so strictly a part of the great Action
or Deed of the consecration...They constitute more of ...a sort of declaration of what the
consecration has brought about. So it is also appropriate and fitting that these words be said
AFTER the words of consecration which actually effect the Transubstantiation of the bread and
wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ." (Whitehead, 114) .
The declaration of this great 'Mystery of Faith' signifies that the awesome Transubstantiation of
the elements has taken place. The term "Mystery of Faith" does not make it take place. An
important item is Paul's written account of the institution of the Eucharist that he orally received
(by oral tradition) from the Lord, 1 Cor. 11:23-27:
11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus
the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he
brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance
of me. 25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup
is the new covenant in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me. 26
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be
guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Let us note the order of this Eucharistic institution according to Paul. First, after telling us that
he orally received this from the Lord, (through the apostles)(v. 23), Paul then gives us the words
of consecration (vv. 24-25). After Paul records the consecration, he next gives us the
acclamation in 1 Cor. 11:26 "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim
the death of the Lord until He comes." One of the Pauline Rite Mass acclamations, is almost word
for word from Paul's letter, the most ancient tradition as recorded in scripture. The Pauline Rite
Mass acclamation is:
"When you eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come
in glory." Also, we see that this acclamation fits exactly the biblical pattern. First, we see Paul
record the consecration. After that is the acclamation, which looks forward to the Lord's coming.
How can the Novus Order be in error when its follows the biblical pattern, the most ancient of
Pope Paul VI in no way intended to downplay the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Pope
Paul wrote in the Mysterium Fidei, for example, that "Nor it is
allowable to discuss the mystery of Transubstantiation without mentioning what the Council of
Trent stated about the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body
and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ."
In the Pauline Rite Mass transubstantiation is affirmed, and as we saw earlier, Protestants would
never adopt the prayers of the Pauline Rite Mass specifically because it affirms Transubstantiation
(among the other specifically Catholic doctrines found in the Pauline Rite Mass that are not found
in any form of Protestantism).
In Sum, we see that most of the major attacks on Pauline Rite Mass are
groundless, unscriptural, and unhistorical. There are no doubt abuses of the Pauline Rite Mass
by many. However, Catholics can affirm that the Gates of Hell will never prevail against the
Church, Matt. 16:18. The Sacrifice of the Eucharist, central to the worship of our Lord Jesus
Christ, will never fail. We can rejoice in our worship of the One True God, who offered himself
to his Father for our very salvation. One thing we can be sure, as reflected by St. Cyril of
"Christ said indicating the bread and wine: 'This is My Body,' and 'This is
My Blood,' in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by
the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ's Body and Blood, and by receiving
these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy." (St. Cyril of Alexandria,
Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew, Quoted in Pope Paul Vi's Encyclical Mysterium
John N. Lupia was trained in biblical studies and archaeology at Seton Hall University's Divinity
School, (B. A. 1976). His graduate studies in biblical scholarship were at the Immaculate
Conception Seminary. He studied under Msgr. James Turro, one of the contributors to the Jerome
Biblical Commentary. He went on to graduate studies in art history and archaeology at City
College of the City University of New York, (M. A. 1982). He served as an extern in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Museum, and the Jewish Museum. He went on for his
Ph. D. in art history at Rutgers University, studying under James H. Stubblebine. He served as
his graduate research assistant for several articles and his book Assisi and the Rise of the
Vernacular. Later, he was made a graduate fellow of Rutgers School of Information and Library
Studies (MLS 1993). He served as an intern at Princeton University's Special Collections in the
Marquand Art Library. He taught art history and archaeology for over fifteen years at various
universities. He served as a leading contributor for Macmillan Publishers Dictionary of Art; 35
volumes, 1995. Mr. Lupia is listed in Catholic Biblical Associations Member Directory; Gale
Publishers, The Directory of American Scholars; 5 volumes, 1998 edition; ABI's International
Directory of Distinguished Leadership, 10th ed; and IBC's Directory. He has been a member of
the Society of Biblical Literature; College Arts Association of America; the Catholic Biblical
Association of America; the American Society of Papyrologists.
Among many other activities, John Lupia is also Moderator of Roman Catholic News at:
John Lupia on Traditionalism: True and False
See also Matt1618's Defense of the Novus Ordo
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