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  • David Martin | The Daily Knight

Was the New Mass Really from Pope Paul VI?

David Martin | The Daily Knight

Novus Ordo Missae (OnePeterFive)

Pope Paul VI was perhaps the most exploited pope of history who was blamed for the problems that were advanced in his name. As with the French Revolution, the liturgical revolution of Vatican II was generated by infiltrated Freemasons, but like Queen Antoinette, Pope Paul was the scapegoat that bore the blame for the revolution. For while he made some mistakes, they were minor and made with good intent.

While Pope Paul VI is generally seen as the architect of the New Mass of Vatican II, it’s important to point out that the outline for the Novus Ordo was in the works long before he became pope, i.e. since 1960. The infamous new draft was principally the work of Msgr. Annibale Bugnini who had long been suspected of Freemasonry, and unfortunately his draft was approved by the Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy even before Pope John XXIII had a chance to learn of it. (Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, the Rhine Flows into the Tiber)

The outline, known also as the “Bugnini Draft,” would dominate the discussions in the opening session of Vatican II (1962-1965), after which it would formally be adopted as the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on December 7, 1962. The Constitution would serve as the blueprint for the New Mass to be implemented after the Council, which would be dubbed the Mass of Pope Paul VI.

Hence the blueprint for the “Mass of Pope Paul VI” was finalized and adopted six months before Paul VI was even elected. The pope authored none of it. (Michael Davies, How the Liturgy Fell Apart: The Enigma of Archbishop Bugnini)

Pope Paul Never Abrogated the Old Mass

It should also be pointed out that while Paul VI is often accused of imposing the New Mass, he never forbade the Old Mass. In 1986, a panel of nine Vatican cardinals concluded that Pope Paul VI never abrogated the Mass of Pius V, nor did he mandate the New Mass, nor did he grant bishops the right to forbid or restrict priests from saying the Tridentine Latin Mass. Pope John Paul II had commissioned the cardinals to look into the legal status of the old Mass, as it was his intention to bring its legality to light.

If Pope Paul had truly mandated the New Mass, he would have specified this, but this was never done. Pius V, on the contrary, laid down the law with his subjects, saying, “We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the [Tridentine] Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us.” He said: “Let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us” mandating that “This new rite alone is to be used.” (Quo Primum, July 14, 1570)

Nowhere in the 1969 Missale Romanum does it mandate that the New Mass must be said. The document merely mandates the publication of the new missal, ordering that “the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect [are validated] November 30th of this year” and that it “be firm and effective now and in the future.” But there is no mention of its use.

The decree then validates and makes available the new missal for those who want it, i.e. it is an indult. A Traditionalist priest of the Society of St. Pius X, Father Francois Laisney, points out that “Pope Paul VI did not oblige the use of his [new] Mass, but only permitted it.... There is no clear order, command, or precept imposing it on any priest!” According to Fr. Laisney, the same applies to subsequent decrees on the New Mass, including the 1971 Notification from the Congregation of Divine Worship, of which he says: “One cannot find in this text any clear prohibition for any priest to use the traditional Mass nor an obligation to celebrate only the New Mass.”

Father Laisney speaks a pure sentence. In order for a mandate to exist it must be stated what the mandate is. If a revision is going to be imposed on the universal Church that will alter the worship of millions, it needs to be spelled out in clear, juridical terms. Without this there is no mandate.

Be that as it may, Pope Paul VI did sign for the New Mass in April 1969, which was a mistake on his part. Though the Novus Ordo was not his design, he unfortunately gave in and yielded to the wishes of those who had proposed and designed it, namely, Monsignor Bugnini and his clique.

Perfidious Murmurings

Even so, the pope grew increasingly disturbed at discussions circulating about new formulas for the Mass that were surfacing more and more at Vatican II. Though he had initially reposed hope in the “reform,” even contributing somewhat, he was never attempting to breach tradition or invent a new Mass, nor did he agree with the new formulas being proposed.

On September 3, 1965, Pope Paul said:

“There are some who with reference either to Masses which are celebrated in private, or to the Dogma of Transubstantiation, or to devotion to the Eucharist, spread abroad opinions which disturb the faithful and fill their minds with no little confusion about matters of faith. It is as if everyone were permitted to consign to oblivion doctrine already defined by the Church.”

The pope was refuting Vatican infidels who mocked the Mystery of Faith as superstition and who were opposed to the idea of private Masses. According to these secular humanists, Mass was not Mass unless it was an occasion of festive human encounter, to which Pope Paul sharply disagreed, saying, “It is not allowable to emphasize what is called the ‘communal’ Mass to the disparagement of Masses celebrated in private.… Nor is it 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 of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ.”

The pope also refuted those who spoke of “transignification” and “transfinalization” and who proposed “the opinion according to which, in the Consecrated Hosts which remain after the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass, Christ Our Lord is no longer present.” He warned that “the spread of these and similar opinions does great harm to the faith and devotion to the Divine Eucharist,” stating that “we cannot approve the opinions which they express, and we have the duty to warn you about the grave danger which these opinions involve for correct faith.”

It was in his encyclical “Mysterium Fidei” that these concerns were addressed. Therein he opposed the liturgical reform as it was being proposed and upheld the Tridentine formula of the Mass, arguing that it alone should be used in the Roman Rite for proposing the Mystery of Faith.

The point of the encyclical was to bring into focus the sublime mystery of the Holy Eucharist as the center-piece of our Faith and how the Church may never resort to flippant or careless wording in proposing such mysteries, lest we give rise to irreverent and scandalous notions about the Holy Sacrifice (e.g. the Eucharist is holy bread, the Mass is a meal, the Mass is a community gathering, the Mass is a celebration, etc.) With this premise being established, he goes on to say:

“The Church, therefore, with the long labor of centuries and the help from the Holy Ghost has established a rule of language [Tridentine Liturgy], confirming it with the authority of the Councils. This rule which has often been the watchword and banner of orthodox Faith must be religiously preserved .... Let no one presume to change it at his own pleasure or under the pretext of new knowledge. Who would ever tolerate that the dogmatic formulas used by the ecumenical councils for the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation be judged as no longer appropriate for men of our times and therefore that other formulas be rashly substituted for them? In the same way, it cannot be tolerated that any individual should on his own authority modify the formulas used by the Council of Trent to propose the Eucharistic Mystery for our belief .... These formulas are adapted to all men of all times and all places.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, September 3, 1965)

Clearly, the pope was against the changes in the Mass, but there was little he could do about it since the plan to change the Mass was in full swing and trying to halt it was almost like trying to halt a run-away locomotive going downhill. And whereas the pope did sign for the New Mass, he did so under constraint.

Pope Paul Buckled Under

The pope's performance during this time was certainly not perfect, but by being pressured by innovators who were trying to exact reforms and signatures out of him, he eventually buckled, but in his heart he knew the changes were wrong and that they would rob the Church of its participation in the Mystery of Faith that it had enjoyed through the ages. Consider his lamentation over the coming promulgation of the New Mass which he delivered at the General Audience of November 26, 1969:

“Newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power, and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the Angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church’s values?”

Clearly Pope Paul did not like the direction the Church was moving in, as we also see expressed in his lamentation at the close of Vatican II:

“Profane and secular humanism has revealed itself in its terrible, anticlerical stature, and in one sense has defied the Council. The religion of God made man has met the religion of man who makes himself God.” (December 7, 1965)

The Holy Father also said in 1970, “In many areas the Council has not so far given us peace but rather stirred up troubles and problems that in no way serve to strengthen the Kingdom of God within the Church or within its souls.” (Abp. Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics)

It was on June 29, 1972, that Pope Paul let out with his historic S.O.S. as to why Vatican II failed, when he declared: “From some fissure the smoke of Satan entered into the temple of God.”

Five years later, on the 60th Anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima, the pope enlarged on this when he said:

The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the Faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the highest levels within the Church. (October 13, 1977)

What the pope was giving us was the gist of the Third Secret of Fatima, namely, that Satan would subvert the Church’s ruling body and use it to execute this latter-day misguidance of the Church.

Let it suffice to say that Paul VI was not the flaming modernist that many see him as but was rather a very Marian pope, which is the truest mark of Catholicity. In rebuttal to progressivists that had attacked him at Vatican II over his position on Mary’s Divine Motherhood and Mediatrixship, the pope on November 21, 1964 solemnly declared Mary the Mother of the Church and issued a historic statement on Mariology to the great consternation of his foes. We conclude with this excerpt that it might place his integrity into focus and provide a wholesome meditation for readers as they contemplate the papal mystery of Paul VI.

“Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.” (Lumen Gentium)


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