Sacred Mass According to Church Law Fr Gregorius Hesse
Partial transcription. Emphasis is added
“The Mass, due to the oldest principle of Mass - Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi - the Law of what has to be prayed, would determine the Law of what has to be believed. Therefore the Mass is not just a matter of Faith, it is the basis of our Faith. We do not believe what is not celebrated in Mass, and we believe what is celebrated in Mass.
A decree [Quo Primum] therefore ruling over the entire structure of Mass, and not just little details, would certainly bind the successor of the Pope who has issued the decree.
... In the past, Catholics had a strong sense of Tradition. Pope Pius V did not proclaim or publish anything new. He canonized what he found. There was nothing new in the Missal of St Pius V of 1570. He canonized the Mass because he did not give his successors the right to change the Mass ever again. ...
Canon 13 of the 7th Session of the Council of Trent Canons on the Sacraments in General says that whosoever says that the accustomed and rites handed down in the practice of the sacraments may be held in disdain or something may be omitted or added to them or they may be changed into new rites by whomsoever pastor of the Church..., let him be accursed.
Archbishop Lefebvre had grave theological reasons for using the 1962 Missal, and the reason why the SSPX decided to use the 1962 Missal - but not unreservedly so - with modifications - is because of the Law of Self Defence. ...The Archbishop considered it absolutely wrong not to repeat the Confiteor, Misereatur, and Indulgentiam before the Communion of the Faithful. He said it was wrong to cancel that because it would make Communion a part of Mass. ... The Communion of the Faithful is not part of Mass. ... The fact that Communion to the Faithful is distributed during Mass does not make it a part of Mass. ... The Communion does not belong to the fulfillment of the Sacrifice. The Sacrifice of Mass is complete, absolutely complete, with the priest’s Communion.
The Mass, yes, it starts with In nomine Patris, but it is not Mass before the priest has communicated, before the priest has completed the Sacrifice of Christ. So this is the essential part of Mass. Therefore and for that reason, Pius XII called it a lie when you try to attribute the character of a meal to Mass. He said that’s a lie. Paul VI said there is a character of meal to Mass. Well, Paul VI was a heretic. There is no character of meal to Mass. When a priest communicates, this is not character of a meal – it is the consumption of the Sacrifice, the completion of the Sacrifice only now, the moment
the priest communicates, the Sacrifice of Mass is complete and not a second before. And therefore the Communion of the Faithful has to be distinct from the Communion of the priest.
The Law of Self Defence is very strict.
(Fr Hesse does not use the 1962 Missal but he does not judge groups who do because they have bound themselves by the Law of Self Defence.)
They are as a group – not as individuals - under the Law of Self Defence.
Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated – not appointed – bishops so that they would be able to ordain priests. This is called the Bishop Who Ordains (Auxiliary Bishop). To appoint Bishop Williamson as Bishop of North America would be a schismatic act.
The Archbishop consecrated four bishops in order to do Confirmations and Ordinations. That’s all the Archbishop wanted, and even if he had wanted more, he would not have been allowed to do it. He would have never done it. He operated under the Law of Self Defence.
The Law of Self Defence is very strict in Catholic Moral Theology. You are not allowed to go beyond the necessary means to get rid of the actual situation against which you have to defend yourself. If a bum in the street threatens me with words, I am not allowed to shoot him. If he draws a knife, then I’ll shoot him, but not before. ...
There is another Law of Self Defence where you have to act right now. ...
Archbishop Lefebvre obeyed the Law of Self Defence by saying that the 1962 Missal was the last edition of the Roman Missal – as a matter of fact it was - that was somewhat acceptable.
Why? The 1962 Missal has all the documents such as Quo Primum ... that show the continuity of the Missal, to show that the Popes bound themselves to the documents of their predecessors, that they would not change the Roman Rite of the Mass.
No Pope until Paul VI dared to leave out the Quo Primum or any one of the documents of his predecessors, which is the most unusual thing in Church history. It’s the only example as a matter of fact of all Church history that all of the documents of all the Popes touching the book would be found in the very same book. So the Popes until John XXIII included could not abolish Quo Primum and could not go against it. ...While Pius XII and John XXIII felt bound by Quo Primum, they might have gone too far with the changes they did (such as the changes to the Holy Week). The final judgement on the Missal of 1962 will be pronounced by a future Pope and not by anybody else.
Another characteristic of the Old Missal: Until 1962, generally speaking, the priest had to say the Judica me at the beginning and the Last Gospel at the end of Mass. In 1965 Paul VI issued a new Roman Missal without the Judica me and without the Last
Gospel. In 1967 he reissued another one and now you have almost everything in the vernacular, and then in 1969 he came up with the crime of the century – the new Missal. So you can see that 1962 is certainly, despite of all the changes that I don’t like and don’t accept, in continuity with Mass of Pius V. Archbishop Lefebvre had to act according to the Law of Self Defence.
Do not go beyond what is necessary to remedy the situation.
(Here Fr Hesse recognizes that he himself, by rejecting the 1962 Missal, submits himself to a “certain risk” because he pronounces a judgement “on something that will eventually have to be judged by a Pope”.)
Without Archbishop Lefebvre we would not have priests anymore who celebrate the Old Mass. They would die out or they would be among the very, very curious characters who celebrate the Old Mass and say the Old Breviary but get themselves ordained secretly by modern bishops.
(Fr Hesse explains that when he was ordained in the New Rite, he did not know better. He attributes his decision to celebrate only the Old Rite to the “graces of the Office”.)
I was not ordained in the New Rite in order to swindle myself into the priesthood, and I do not consider Traditional priests who say the Old Mass but get themselves ordained by Novus Ordo bishops serious. ...
Priests who celebrate the Old Mass should be ordained by bishops who celebrate the Old Mass, who only celebrate the Old Mass, because if you reject the New Mass, you have to have good reasons. It is not sufficient and is not allowed to reject the New Mass simply because you don’t like it. ... I reject the New Mass because it is against the proven Will of God, it is illicit and it is conducing towards heresy. In some translations it is directly heretical. I reject the New Mass because of reasons of Faith.
Anybody who says that you can accept Vatican II and to a point you can accept the New Rite - he does not reject the New Mass for reasons of Faith. He rejects the New Mass because he does not like it or because he has what they call ‘theological reasons’. They are running a museum, that’s all.
If you run a museum, it doesn’t matter who ordains you. But if you don’t, if you say the New Mass is part of another Church - which is the only answer to the Indefectibility of the Church and the Infallibility of the Church - you say that Vatican II is not Catholic, you say the New Mass is not Catholic - then you have to celebrate the Old Mass for reasons of Faith.
It’s impossible to believe in the Indefectibility of the Church and the Infallibility of the Church, and at the same time reject the New Mass which the Pope celebrates every day. Impossible! There is only one solution to this problem – and this is not
the solution in the sense of finding a way out – it is a solution in the sense of finding what is true.
Now, the New Mass is not part of the Latin Rite. It is not part of the Catholic Church. It does not belong to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is still indefectible. The Catholic Church is still infallible. But the priests who say the New Mass are not part of the Catholic Church – objectively, mind you. The great vast majority of priests who celebrate the New Mass think this is what they have to do – that does not put them subjectively outside the Church.
Many priests today pronounce heresy and they believe that this is in accordance with the Faith. They do not commit the sin of heresy. They are not in the sin of heresy objectively, and they are not subjectively heretics.
Objectively however, if I say something that is against the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, I am immediately in error. If I want to be in error, then I am a heretic. But if I just make a mistake, that does not make me a heretic, but I might have pronounced a heresy. I might by mistake pronounce a heresy, but objectively and independent of the state of the soul of the person. ...
A Russian Orthodox priest living in Siberia who rejects the Papal Primacy, Papal Infallibility, and thus is both a schismatic and a heretic. But if he doesn’t know that he is a schismatic and a heretic, then he does not commit the sin of schism or heresy. However, objectively speaking, he is.
The Infallibility of the Church is still there because priests who celebrate the New Mass, and especially the priests who foster the New Mass and defend it, they are outside the Church objectively. How God will judge them, I don’t know and it’s none of my business. ‘Judge not that you may not be judged’. Anybody who says that Fr Hesse said they are all in heresy and will all go to Hell is committing a grave sin against the 8th Commandment. I just said – objectively – they are outside the Church. Subjectively – I don’t know. I don’t want to know, God only can judge. ...
Anybody who does not contradict Tradition belongs to the Catholic Church. Anybody who contradicts Tradition does not belong to the Catholic Church.
It’s people like the bishops who say the New Mass who put themselves outside of the Church. ...
Priests who celebrate the Old Mass, not for reasons of Faith but because they just prefer it, they put themselves objectively outside of the Church.
Anybody who signs Vatican II puts himself objectively outside of the Church. You cannot sign heresy. You must not.
You cannot defend Vatican II. I’ve tried for 10 years to interpret Vatican II in a Catholic way. It’s not possible. It’s in direct contradiction to Tradition. It’s in direct contradiction to the Magisterium. ...
The new Liturgy will be judged and discarded by the Church.
I reject the reasons for celebrating the Old Mass by priests who at the same time objectively – and may it be only for diplomatic reasons – agree with Vatican II. There is no way that you can agree with heresy even for diplomatic reasons, for reasons of emergency. To agree with heresy cannot be part of Self Defence.
Therefore Archbishop Lefebvre, for reasons of Self Defence, used the 1962 Mass which is still in continuity with the Mass of Pius V, but the 1965 is half way over to the New Mass, and is therefore unacceptable.”