What About those Six Protestants and the New Mass?
Putting Catholic Answers back into the
apologists Tim Staples and Patrick Coffin hosted again
the topic of “Radical Traditionalism” during the evening
of August 12th. For all intents and purposes, this
re-run was damage control, as back in May, the two hosts
managed (during their previous same-titled show) to
offend every type of Catholic who attends the
traditional Mass, whether out of preference or doctrinal
During the second show, Tradition was not
well-represented by callers, and – to put it mildly –
the hosts made a quick dinner of them. One caller in
particular erroneously affirmed that Quo Primum
said the Mass could not be changed and the New Mass was
invalid because its consecration formula omitted the
phrase “Mysterium Fidei”.
In all fairness, the radio show’s hosts ably and
correctly replied to this caller’s mistaken statements.
But the situation altered dramatically when the caller
parlayed their corrections with a spot-on assertion: six
Protestants helped to create the Novus Ordo Missae.
The hosts replied “this is a myth” and cited a
book which supposedly (and “authoritatively”) upheld
their position. They went on to state that like at
other previous ecumenical councils, there were
Protestant observers at the Second Vatican Council, but
simply to watch the proceedings and not contribute.
It seems that neither they (nor their favored authors)
have read Michael Davis’ works on the New Mass (such as
Pope Paul’s New Mass,
The Roman Rite Destroyed,
Cranmer’s Godly Order,
Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II), or the
Second Vatican Council (Pope
John’s Council), let alone Fr. Wiltgen’s classic
The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, Romano
Iota Unum or Roberto de Mattei’s recently
The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story.
In fact, this is a situation in which the proof
(Protestantism) can be undeniably found in the pudding.
But before addressing the “myth” about the New
Mass’ fabrication, one point concerning ecumenical
councils needs to be made – as in fact, it set the stage
for the Consilium’s liturgical revolution.
Protestants were for example invited to the First
Vatican Council (1868-1870), but this was in the
authentic spirit of ecumenism – in an attempt to
effect their conversion to the One, True, Holy and
Apostolic Faith. Not however to advocate their heresies
or errors as acceptable treatises. During Vatican II
though, the liberal Council Fathers enabled the
Protestant observers’ ideas to be introduced within the
conciliar texts. This is an indisputable fact of which
ample evidence can be found in the aforementioned titles
– and which has been boasted about by Catholics and
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Returning to the “myth” that Protestant observers
did not contribute in creating the New Mass, to hold
this position is to deny the obvious – not only in fact,
but also in substance. In the first place, an ecumenical
liturgy that would no longer offend Protestants was Fr.
Annibale Bugnini’s intention from the get-go as he
declared in 1965:
We must strip from our
Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy
everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block
for our separated brethren that is for the
Protestants… [my emphasis]
While we learn from the close confidant of Pope Paul VI,
The intention of Pope
Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass,
was to reform the Catholic Liturgy in such a way that
it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy.
There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to
remove, or, at least to correct, or, at least to relax,
what was too Catholic in the traditional sense in the
Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass
closer to the Calvinist mass” [my emphasis].
To accomplish this ecumenical goal, the Consilium
enlisted the help of these Protestant observers:
A. Raymond George (Methodist)
Ronald Jaspar (Anglican)
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian)
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran)
Eugene Brand (Lutheran)
Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).
Their contribution in creating the New Mass was
immortalized in a picture taken of them during an
audience with Pope Paul VI after thanking them for their
assistance. The image was subsequently published in
L’Osservatore Romano on April 23, 1970 with the
title: “Commission Holds Final Meeting, Pope Commends
Work of Consilium”.
In addition to the self-evidence of this photograph, we
also have verifying testimony from several persons, the
most well-known being the aforementioned Anglican
Jaspar, who described to Michael Davies how the
Protestant contributors gave their input, often
But let’s pretend this picture does not exist, nor any
credible testimonies from Protestants who were actually
there. Even without these we still have more than
sufficient evidence of Proof Protestant in the Pudding:
in the texts of the Novus Ordo Missae itself.
For example, the Ottaviani Intervention clearly shows
that the New Mass does not conform to the doctrines as
infallibly defined by the Council of Trent – that is,
the very Catholic beliefs about the Mass, the Blessed
Sacrament and priesthood which Protestants reject.
But the most telling pudding proof comes from the
Protestants themselves, who affirmed (in reference to
the official edition and not merely a bad implementation
of it), that they too could use Pope Paul’s new missal
since the objectionable content such as “a false
perspective of sacrifice offered to God” has been “abandoned”
in “the new Eucharistic Prayers”. Or that “...nothing
in the renewed Catholic Mass need really trouble the
Evangelical Protestant”. Many more such
testimonies exist, but space is fleeting here – so
cf. Michael Davies again!
Even more significant were their actions. After
declaring the doctrinal suitability of the Novus Ordo
Missae, Episcopalians and Lutherans adopted its
texts nearly verbatim. Obviously this indicates “a
fundamental change of doctrine”, because they
were unwilling to do this with the undeniably orthodox
texts of the 1962 Missale Romanum.
Time and again, we find “conservatives” denying these
indisputable facts concerning the theological
deficiencies of the Novus Ordo. While I could
conclude with a quote from Archbishop Lefebvre wherein
he affirms that the New Mass, even when said with piety
is nevertheless impregnated with a Protestant spirit – I
won’t. Rather, I will give the words of a post-conciliar
French liturgist, Fr. Henri Denis, who at least had the
intellectual honesty to say:
To claim that everything has changed is quite simply to
be honest about what has happened.
In some of the debates with traditionalists it has
sometimes become the accepted practice to say that
nothing has been changed. It would be better far to have
the courage to admit that the Church has made important
modifications and that she had good reason to do so.
Why not acknowledge that religion has changed…?”
Of course, the Catholic Church is Christ and thus cannot
change her doctrine given to her by the Divine Word –
but wayward churchmen certainly can try,
while claiming it's a Church teaching, and when this
occurs we must remember the Spanish proverb: Obedience
is the servant of Faith, not Faith of obedience; or as
St. Peter put it: “we must obey God before men.”
This is the essence of the struggle that Catholics find
themselves in today: obey what the Church has handed
down (Tradition) or adhere to the errors of men
1 The book cited was The Pope, the Council, and the
Mass: Answers to Questions the Traditionalists Have
Asked by James Likoudis and Kenneth Whitehead.
Sufficient time does not exist here to refute the
fallacies related to our topic, let alone the entire
book, a neo-conservative masterpiece.
2 And in L’Osservatore Romano no less!
3 Cf. chapter IX in Davies’ Pope John’s
Council, and furthermore the
2001 conference given by Fr. Franz Schmidberger
which revealed that the source of Lumen Gentium’s
ecumenical phrase of “subsist in” was actually from a
4 Apropos, December 19, 1993 and again in
Christian Order, October 1994.
5 Note, he has been mistakenly listed as “Dr. Smith” in
some publications; the correct list of names can be
found in Michael Davis’ works.
6 Jean Guitton quoting a Protestant publication in the
December 10, 1969 issue of La Croix.
7 As quoted from M.G. Siegvalt (Protestant professor of
dogmatic theology) in La Croix on November 22,
8 As asserted by Cardinal Alfons Stickler in November
2004, in support of the Ottaviani Intervention.
9 Des Sacrements et des Hommes (Paris, 1977), p.
34 – English translation from Michael Davies.