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Distinctions Necessary

The Council works from dangerous greys to black. A Catholic seeks out white to stay on track.

The principle that cancer of the liver will kill me without my necessarily having lung cancer (cf. the EC of Nov. 29) is annoying, because it means that I may need to distinguish instead of indulging myself in blanket condemnations, but distinctions are common sense and correspond to reality. So in today’s universal confusion, to stay in touch with reality there are times when I need to recognize that a mixture of good and bad will be bad as a whole, but that does not mean that its good parts, as parts, are bad, any more than that the goodness of the good parts means that the whole is good.

Take for instance the Novus Ordo Mass. The new Rite as a whole so diminishes the expression of essential Catholic truths (the Real Presence, the Sacrifice, the sacrificing priesthood, etc.) that it is as a whole so bad that no priest should use it, nor Catholic attend it. But that does not mean that that part of the Mass which is the sacramental Form of Consecration of the bread and wine is bad or invalid. “This is my Body” is certainly valid, “This is the chalice of my Blood” is most likely to be valid, and it is certainly not invalidated by the new rite as a whole being so uncatholic. Therefore if I say that the new Mass must always be avoided, I am telling the truth, but if I say it is always invalid, I am not telling the truth and sooner or later I will pay the penalty for exaggerating.

Similarly with the new Rite of priestly Ordination. The new Rite as a whole has severely diminished the expression of essential truths of the Catholic priesthood, especially that it is a sacrificing priesthood, but that part of the new Rite which is the sacramental Form is, at any rate in the new Latin version, if anything stronger (by the “et” instead of “ut”) than the old Latin version. Therefore assuming that the ordaining bishop is a true bishop and had the true sacramental Intention, it is simply not true to say that no priest ordained in the new Rite can be a true priest. And if one says it, sooner or later one will pay some penalty for departing from the truth.

Now from the de-catholicisation of these two new Rites as wholes, while one may not argue that their sacramental Forms are invalid, one may well argue that in the end they will undermine and invalidate the priest’s or bishop’s sacramental Intention, but that is a different argument, no longer in black and white but, alas, in grey. For indeed the argument is that the steady use of de-catholicised Rites will slowly so alter the priest’s or bishop’s concept of what the Church does with those Rites that in the end he will no longer have the Catholic Intention to do what the Church does, Intention necessary for validity of the sacrament. In other words, white will only gradually turn through grey to black. But who, other than Almighty God, can know for certain when the grey turns into black? Once more, I must take care if I want to discern and know the truth.

This playing between white and black, this ambiguity, is what is properly diabolical in the Conciliar reform of the sacramental Rites. If I wish to tell the truth, I will not yet say that they have destroyed the Catholic sacraments, but they are certainly undermining them, and so if I wish to keep the Catholic Faith, I will certainly as a whole avoid them.

Kyrie eleison.

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