The Orthodox Roman Catholic

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith. For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever. Creed of St Athanasius

MISSALE ROMANUM--THE LITURGICAL BATTLE BETWEEN THE TWO MASSES


"But you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep hear My Voice and I know them and they follow Me and I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand." (John 10:26-28)



The big question is whether the "Novus Ordo Missae" or the "Missa Latina Tridentina" or both can equally feed and nourish, tend and defend all the orthodox Roman Catholic souls that the Divine Lord so ardently wishes to save as the Good Shepherd.    

Let us hear the authoritative words of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the Good Shepherd of all orthodox Roman Catholic souls addressed to His sheep:

"But you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear My Voice and I know them and they follow Me and I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand." (John 10:26-28)    

From these so beautiful, loving words of Our Divine Lord for us as the Good Shepherd, we see Him establishing the rules of eternal life with His sheepfold:

a.   We must be members of His flock to be saved.

b.    Those souls in the Good Shepherd’s



"But you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep hear My Voice and I know them and they follow Me and I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand." (John 10:26-28)



The big question is whether the "Novus Ordo Missae" or the "Missa Latina Tridentina" or both can equally feed and nourish, tend and defend all the orthodox Roman Catholic souls that the Divine Lord so ardently wishes to save as the Good Shepherd.    

Let us hear the authoritative words of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the Good Shepherd of all orthodox Roman Catholic souls addressed to His sheep:

"But you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear My Voice and I know them and they follow Me and I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand." (John 10:26-28)    

From these so beautiful, loving words of Our Divine Lord for us as the Good Shepherd, we see Him establishing the rules of eternal life with His sheepfold:

a.   We must be members of His flock to be saved.

b.    Those souls in the Good Shepherd’s flock will never be snatched away from Him.

c.     Christ’s sheep have a huge moral obligation to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice.

d.     The good Shepherd must recognize those who are His Sheep, for they will have certain notable characteristics like no others.

e.     Those who follow the Good Shepherd will receive everlasting life and never perish.    

And if we are to study these most instructive words of the Good Shepherd on who shall be saved and who shall not, we must consider them in terms of the most effective means of salvation the orthodox Roman Catholic faith has taught us for centuries to pursue: the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.   

And when we consider the characteristics of the Good Shepherd’s orthodox sheep, from Our Lord’s description of His sheep, in terms of the
"Novus Ordo Missae" and the "Missa Latina Tridentina" Masses, one asks whether an orthodox Roman Catholic’s soul may safely attend either one of the two masses at will, and still remain equally secure as a sheep in Christ’s fold.

We must, indeed, emphasize here the word "equally" secure.    Ostensibly, a modernist Catholic of today would avoid the "old" Mass and gravitate toward the "
Novus Ordo Missae", while the orthodox Roman Catholic would prefer to attend the "Missa Latina Tridentina" to remain a faithful Catholic. Why is this?   

In reality, the Church today recognizes both masses as being equally valid and, furthermore, legitimate forms of salvific worship; for the priest’s words of institution "
ex opere operato" ("from the work accomplished"), which reach back centuries to the Upper Room, irrefutably define this eternal truth in their repetition of Christ’s Own Divine Words: "This is My Body" and "This is My Blood."   Here, there is no argument possible, but are both masses equally appreciated and equally efficacious? A mighty question, indeed!    

Apparently, Pope Benedict XVI does not believe both Masses, the "
Missa Latina Tridentina" and the "Novus Ordo Missae" are equally appreciated or even equally efficacious for he has decided that the "Missa Latina Tridentina" must – at any moment now through a "motu proprio" of the Vicar of Christ—be given the fullest possible freedom of usage in the Latin Rite of the Church by any priest, anytime, whenever he wishes to offer it.    

Clearly, Benedict XVI views this situation as critical or he would not be acting so authoritatively at this point in Catholic history.  It appears there are some very serious questions going through the mind of this saintly pope, as he realizes, like no other, that the Lord’s flock has been scattered.  This flock—Christ’s chosen flock for all eternity and which clearly resides within the orthodox Roman Catholic Church alone—has been given a promise for all eternity that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This salient fact Pope Benedict XVI, undoubtedly, recognizes as he views the wreckage in the Church since Vatican II from the liturgical warfare between these two masses, the "N
ovus Ordo Missae" and the "Missa Latina Tridentina.

Indeed, it is this quiet, unassuming Shepherd that appears to be so sensitive to the lost sheep in his pasture who have been hovering aimlessly around the "
Missa Latina Tridentina" for the past forty years in total frustration: unable to worship freely, to love God through the most orthodox Roman Catholic prayer of the centuries, the "Missa Latina Tridentina."  Yes, Pope Benedict XVI senses their pain and he is acting forthrightly.    

Furthermore, he is fully cognizant that this undertaking shall be an epic effort to bring to an end this liturgical battle between these two masses that has plagued Holy Mother Church for the past four decades since Vatican II. It is clear, only he, Pope Benedict XVI, will be able to solve this seemingly insoluble dilemma in the Church which has given the once orthodox Roman Catholic Church two masses, two lectionaries, two priesthoods, two liturgies, and two traditions. Why?

Not only because he is authoritatively acting upon it, like no other pontiff since his reign, but also because he has so intimately lived through the before and after and comprehends it all better than any one else, for he has chaired the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for many years under Pope John Paul II.  Here, he has most intimately witnessed the devastating wreckage upon the faith from this new experiment in the liturgy after 2000 years, the "
Novus Ordo Missae."    

That Benedict XVI is a highly contemplative pope and a loving one, who so resembles His Divine Master, can be seen first in the choice of the subject matter of his first letter: "
Ubi Caritas" or "Where there is charity," and, secondly, this so strong desire of his to bring all of Christ’s sheep back into the Good Shepherd’s flock. This loving sensitivity for each and every lost sheep is so reflective of the Divine Shepherd who so ardently yearns for all orthodox Roman Catholic souls to be within his sheepfold.    

Make no mistake about it, the untended sheep of the last forty years, who so desperately need to be drawn back into the fold and loved, are those sheep now that Pope Benedict XVI vigorously is pursuing as Christ’s Vicar—the lost flock that has been floundering around the "
Missa Latina Tridentina" for the past forty years in abject misery.    

Truly, what a great act of love Christ the Divine Shepherd is showing towards His sheep at this time in history by the strategic election of Benedict XVI to the throne of Peter, but also the way this Shepherd of Peter, Benedict XVI, -- right before our eyes—is gathering in these wandering sheep of Christ’s fold, the orthodox Roman Catholic sheep who have been scattered by the hireling shepherds and wolves of the last forty years. --to be continued—


J. Hughes Dunphy