There is only one Mass and one Church. But that one Mass takes many forms.
The Mass of the Last Supper is the Mass of the early Church, with a form that varied greatly, which is the Masses of the various Latin forms from Pope Saint Gregory I to Pope Saint John XXIII, which is the Novus Ordo Mass in any and all languages. There is only one Mass. The Lord Jesus Christ established the Mass, but not in immutable specifics. Regardless of the form, the Mass is One. The claim that only the Traditional Latin Mass should be used in the Church is a blasphemy against Jesus Christ, who only celebrated one Mass at the Last Supper, a Passover solemnity which became the First Mass.
St. Justin the Martyr taught that after His Resurrection, Our Lord taught the Apostles how to say Mass. But they did not say Mass in Latin, nor did they use the Rite that began with Pope Saint Pius V (1500s) or Pope Saint Gregory I before him (600s). If the Lord had wanted the Mass to be always in Latin, always in a particular nearly unchanging form, He would have told us (cf. Jn 14:2). But the Mass celebrated in the early Church had varying forms, varying specifics, thus proving that the Lord only gave His Apostles general instructions as to the form of the Mass.
What is essential to the Mass is found in every form of the Mass, from the Last Supper to the TLM to the Novus Ordo Mass to the Masses that will be celebrated in secret during the time of the Antichrist.
The Mass of the Last Days
The form of the Mass in the Last Days will be stripped bare, like Christ as His scourging. There will be no singing, as that would bring the authorities of the kingdom of the Antichrist to imprison, torture, or kill all who attend Mass, especially the priest. The churches will be closed. Later, the churches will be opened for the false Mass and false Eucharist (the abomination of desolation) of the Antichrist’s false religion. The Mass of the one holy catholic and Apostolic Church will continue in secret. But it will have no altar, no vestments, no candles or incense, no statures, no icons, no stations of the cross, no sanctuary, and only the bare minimum of items needed for a valid Mass.
And the faithful during the Last Days, who risk their lives to attend Mass, will not care one whit whether the Mass is in one language or another, one form or another, or whether they receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue. The Mass will be said very quietly, with great brevity, and then the communicants will disperse for prayer separately, lest they be caught gathering even for prayer.
And at the general Resurrection, the Christians who risked their lives to attend any Mass in any form during the reign of the Antichrist will rise up and condemn the Catholics of today, who refuse Communion and refuse the Mass, unless they have their way for the specifics of form and reception of Communion. Those who say, “I will never receive Communion in the hand” commit blasphemy, rejecting our Lord, received in a manner approved by His Apostolic Church, as if they should be above the Son of God to decide when He can be received and how.
One Timeless Sacrifice
There is only One True Sacrifice to God: the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. All other holy sacrifices for God are merely mystical participations in that One True Sacrifice. Thus, the suffering of Mary at the foot of the Cross was merely a participation in Christ’s One True Sacrifice. Mary does not offer to God her own sufferings for our salvation. Mary offers to God, through Christ, her humble participation in Christ’s One True Sacrifice. Christ is God Incarnate. Only through Christ and in Christ can our sufferings have meaning and value before God. Your sufferings and sacrifices for God are not yours, they are Christ’s. Your sufferings and sacrifices, if they are holy, devout, and humble, are merely a participation in the sufferings of Christ. But, in so far as we participate in Christ’s One True Sacrifice on the Cross, we also participate in the graces and benefits which come from the Cross.
One Consecration of the Eucharist
Whenever a priest or Bishop consecrates the Eucharist, it is really Jesus Christ who consecrates the Eucharist. But Jesus does not consecrate the Eucharist again and again. Jesus Christ consecrated the Eucharist only once, at the Last Supper. Jesus Christ is God and God is beyond Time. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ consecrated the Eucharist in a way which is both beyond Time and Place, and effective throughout Time and Place — wherever and whenever a Mass is celebrated. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ consecrated the Eucharist once for all. That One Act of consecration had the effect of consecrating all Eucharist’s throughout Time and Place, through each priest who says Mass and consecrates bread and wine. All other consecrations of the Eucharist, anywhere and anywhen, are simply that One Consecration effective throughout Time and Place.
“All the communions of a life-time are one communion. All the communions of all men now living are one communion. All the communions of all men, past and future, are one communion.” (Teilhard de Chardin, Le Milieu Divin, p. 124)
All the consecrations of the Eucharist, throughout Time and Place, are One Consecration. All the Masses, throughout Time and Place, are One Mass. The One Mass is the Mass at the Last Supper, celebrated by Jesus Christ. Every Mass is the Mass of the Last Supper, not by imitation or repetition, but by the timeless grace and power of God. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ celebrated the Mass, once for all Time, and consecrated the Eucharist, once for all Time. Every other Mass and consecration of the Eucharist is that same Mass and consecration of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Just as Jesus Christ suffered and died once for all Time and Place, so also did He celebrate the Mass and consecrate the Eucharist once for all Time and Place.
Whenever we attend Mass today, that Mass is truly the Mass of the Last Supper, celebrated by Jesus Christ. Any consecration of the Eucharist, by any priest or bishop who celebrates a Mass today, is truly that one same consecration of the Eucharist by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. Time is no obstacle to God. Would you like to attend the Mass of the Last Supper and receive the Eucharist consecrated by Jesus Christ? When you attend the Sacred Mass on any day of your life, you are truly attending the Mass of the Last Supper, not merely symbolically, but just as if you were at the Last Supper itself, on the night before Christ died for our salvation.
And so the exact form of the Mass does not matter. Jesus did not say Mass in a form that would ever be repeated. He did not establish the Mass in immutable specifics. Instead, the Lord gave to His Church, to the successors of His Apostles, His very authority over the form of the Mass. They blaspheme against Christ who claim that the form of the Mass is according to their own preferences and decisions, rather than the decision of Christ and His Church. They commit idolatry, who exalt one form of the Mass, rejecting all others, for they reject Christ and the Mass that He celebrated, and they reject the authority of His Church. Then they make the TLM into an idol to be worshiped, rejecting Popes and Councils, rejecting the Magisterium and the Keys of Saint Peter, all in order to have one precise form of the Mass in contradiction to the will of God expressed through the Church Christ founded.
Pope Saint Pius V
Did Pius V bind the Church until the end of time? No. Each Pope has the full authority given to Peter and his successors. That is dogma. If one Pope could bind future Popes to his decisions on the Mass, then those future Popes would not have the full authority that the dogma of the Faith tells us they have. So no matter how Pope Saint Pius V worded his decision on the Mass, subsequent Popes can change it. If not, then what authority did Pius V exercise, to change the decisions of his predecessors on the Mass? Jesus did not establish the Traditional Latin Mass. He did not prescribe the Mass to be in Latin, nor to have one very particular form. They disobey Christ who disobey the decisions of the Church on the Mass.
The Church exercises the authority of Christ given to the Roman Pontiff and the body of Bishops over the Mass. She has decided to have the Mass in every language in the world, so that God will be praised in every language in the world. And that is for the greater glory of God. She has decided to change the form of the Mass, while retaining all of its essential elements. Those who disobey the Church based on their own understanding and their own decisions, or that of a subculture which they have exalted above the authority of Christ in His Church, they are schismatics and heretics.
When Pope Francis issued Traditionis Custodes, not only the conservative and traditionalist Catholics objected, but also the schismatic and heretical group SSPX. And the views put forward by the SSPX are the same as those Catholics who reject TC and reject the Novus Ordo Mass. Those who refuse to obey the Second Vatican Council, the Popes from that time, and Pope Francis are refusing to obey Christ.
“Let me explain to you why Pope Francis is wrong about the Mass.”
“Let me explain to you what the word FAITH means.”
The Errors of the SSPX
There is a Statement from the Superior General of the SSPX on the document Traditionis Custodes and the TLM. It contains grave errors on the Faith and the Mass.
“THIS MASS, OUR MASS, MUST REALLY BE FOR US LIKE THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE IN THE GOSPEL, FOR WHICH WE ARE READY TO RENOUNCE EVERYTHING, FOR WHICH WE ARE READY TO SELL EVERYTHING. “
The pearl of great price is us, so that Christ is the one who finds the pearl and sacrifices all by dying for our salvation. Then the pearl of great price is the Gospel in its entirety, which we should be willing to sacrifice everything to obtain.
Reducing the pearl of great price to one particular form of the Mass, and then saying that we should be willing to renounce everything for that form of the Mass is idolatry. It is no different from pagan idolatry. We sacrifice all for Christ and His Gospel, not for the specifics of one form of the Mass. The SSPX is guilty of schism, heresy, and idolatry.
“First of all, we must remember that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the continuation in time of the most bitter struggle that has ever existed: the battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. “
The kingdom of God does not battle a kingdom of Satan. God is all powerful. Satan is just one fallen angel. In the Book of Revelation, God does not battle Satan; rather, God sends Michael, an archangel (the second lowest choir of angels) and a subset of holy angels (lowest choir) to fight Satan and his devils (which group includes angels from various choirs, excluding the highest ones). God does not send all holy angels. God does not send the Seraphim and Cherubim. God does not fight directly; He does not need to do so. He is like a general who sends a small subset of His army to dispatch a minor enemy, at the proper time in the war. There is no great battle between God and Satan.
The kingdom of God battles against sin, the sins of human persons with free will. The kingdom of God is established to save sinners and bring them into eternal life. It is not a war between two kingdoms, good and evil. It is the one kingdom of God, which has some rebellions from time to time and place to place, in this fallen world. But the purpose of the Gospel is to save souls through Christ. Battling Satan is an aside.
The SSPX gives too much credit and power to Satan, and misunderstands the purpose of the Gospel and the kingdom of God.
“This combat culminated at Calvary in the triumph of Our Blessed Lord. It was for this struggle and it was for this victory that he became incarnate. “
The Sacrifice of our Lord was to save sinners from their own sins. It was not a combat between two kingdoms. Christ became incarnate out of love for His creatures, so as to save them from sin for eternal life. Christ became incarnate to suffer and die for us, in love, so that we would imitate him in love and self-sacrifice. It was not the culmination of a battle against Satan, though graces from the Cross accomplish every good purpose in Creation.
“Every Catholic is called to this combat.”
No, we are called to fulfill the two great commandments: love God above all else, love your neighbor as yourself.
“the Tridentine Mass expresses and conveys a conception of Christian life – and consequently, a conception of the Catholic Church – that is absolutely incompatible with the ecclesiology that emerged from the Second Vatican Council. “
The Second Vatican Council is the authority of Christ, the same authority given to Peter and his successors, the same authority given to the Apostolic College led by the Roman Pontiff. Those who reject Vatican II, reject the authority of the Church and are schismatics. If it were the case (it is not) that the TLM were incompatible with any Ecumenical Council, then the TLM would need to be rejected. The Novus Ordo Mass contains all the elements of the Mass established by Christ. The differences are of exterior form, and are not to be idolized.
“On one side is the Mass of All Times. It is the standard of a Church that defies the world and is certain of victory, for its battle is nothing less that the continuation of the battle that Our Blessed Lord waged to destroy sin and to destroy the kingdom of Satan.”
The SSPX and all who reject Vatican II, the Popes since Vatican II, and Pope Francis are on the side of Satan, imitating him in rebelling against the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostolic Church. The Mass of All Times is every and any Mass in any form, not one particular form called the TLM.
The statement from the SSPX then goes on to reject the Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI and his authority as Roman Pontiff. The claim is made that the Church went astray since Vatican II. This type of conflict has occurred many times in the history of the Church, and every time a group rejects an Ecumenical Council, they turn out to be schismatics and heretics.
Eventually, the Roman Pontiff or an Ecumenical Council is going to require all Catholics to accept every teaching of the Second Vatican Council on faith and morals, and to accept the Mass in whatever forms are approved by the Roman Pontiff and the body of Bishops. And those who refuse will be stricken with an anathema.
It might also be the case, if the Roman Pontiff so decides, that a new condition will be added to the Sacrament of the Eucharist, so that without this condition, the Eucharist is not valid. If so, then schismatics will no longer be able to reject the Roman Pontiff or Vatican II and have a valid Eucharist. The consecration will be invalid and the bread and wine will remain just bread and wine — if the Church decides to add
Schism and Heresy
The Heresy plaguing the Church today is based on a rejection of the Magisterium of Popes and Councils, in favor of a conservative subculture. These heretics put their own understanding above magisterial teaching. They will often say that a particular teaching is non-infallible. But even non-infallible teachings have the help of the Holy Spirit, and the protection from grave error promised by Christ (Mt 16:18; Lk 22:32). The opinions of a subculture or one’s own opinions rank lower than non-infallible teachings, not higher. Also, teachings that are infallible are rejected by this same subculture, based on the opinion that these dogmas are non-infallible. Finally, non-infallible teachings and decisions of discipline are claimed to be able to err to any extent, which is a false and heretical claim.
This Heresy is inherently schismatic. It is based on a rejection of Church authority, and an exaltation of a subculture in place of the Magisterium and, eventually, in place of the Church. Some of these heretics have formed their own church, in the SSPX. Others claim to remain in the Catholic Church, but while rejecting anything and everything contrary to their own ideas and the conservative Catholic subculture.
The solution will have to be found, just as in every past heresy and schism, in a new definition of dogma. In my understanding, some of the dogmas that will need to be asserted are already infallibly taught. Other points need clarification to the extent of dogma. I will post my proposed solution to this heresy in another article.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.