Friday, October 13, 2023

Protestants Did Not Develop The Ordinary Form Mass

Did Protestants develop the Ordinary Form of that Mass from St. Paul VI? 

First, let us address the role of Protestants and Catholics in councils of the Catholic Church.

One of the common misconceptions about the Catholic Church is that it was opposed to any dialogue or engagement with the Protestant reformers. However, this is not true. 

In fact, the Council of Trent, which was convened in response to the Protestant Reformation, invited and welcomed Protestant observers to participate in its sessions as observers. According to some sources found on armchair liturgist websites and social media accounts, these observers had some influence on the discussions and even the documents of the Council. This, of course, is NOT true at all!  The Protestants present were merely observers, nothing more.  They had no say in anything. 

The Council of Trent was not a closed or defensive gathering of Catholic bishops. It was an open and ecumenical effort to address the needs and challenges of the Church in a changing world. It sought to clarify and reaffirm the Catholic doctrines that were challenged by the reformers, but also to reform and renew the Church's practices and disciplines. The Council of Trent was not a rejection of dialogue, but an invitation to it.

The same spirit of openness and ecumenism can be seen in the Second Vatican Council, which also invited and welcomed Protestant observers to its sessions. The Second Vatican Council was not a repudiation of Trent, but a continuation of it. It aimed to complete the unfinished task of Vatican I and to update the Church's teachings (in language, not content) and pastoral approaches in light of the modern world. The Second Vatican Council was not a break with tradition, but a renewal of it.

In light of this, some Catholics falsely claim that Vatican II invited Protestants who designed or developed the Ordinary Form of the Mass. They go to the extent of making up quotes and falsely attributing them to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. The above meme shows the fake quotes propagated by these ignorant Catholics and what Bugnini actually stated.  As you can see, Bugnini never said the Liturgy needed to be stripped of anything Catholics to appease Protestants. Like in the Council of Trent, Protestants were there simply as observers. They did not speak, they did not ask questions, they did not give advice, input, or anything of the like. 

St. Pope Paul VI made it clear that the Mass is the same. The Mass of Trent and the Roman Missae are the one and same Mass. The only difference is that some redundant parts were removed. The Ordinary Form from Paul VI is a closer reflection of the Mass rite of the early Church. St. Justin Martyr describes in detail how the Mass was celebrated in the early church in his Apologia. While reading it, you will see that his is nearly describing the Ordinary Form of the Mass from Paul VI almost in precise detail. He does not mention Latin, incense, ad orientum, maniples or anything of the like. This was because these things were not part of the Mass until after the fifth century and more strongly at the Council of Trent when the Roman Rite or Latin Rite was formally codified. 

The claim that Protestants designed the Mass of Paul VI is ridiculous, unfounded and offensive to St. Justin Martyr and the early Christians who celebrated Mass in this manner: simple.  There is nothing wrong with the Mass of Trent or the formulas later on. They are again the one and same Mass. The only differences are the man-made elements added to them throughout the centuries which were removed because they were redundant.   

Both councils, Trent and Vatican II, were expressions of the Church's fidelity to its divine founder and its mission to preach the Gospel to all nations. Both councils were guided by the Holy Spirit and affirmed by the successors of Peter. Both councils were opportunities for dialogue and engagement with other Christians and people of goodwill. Both councils were moments of grace and hope for the Church and the world. 

In conclusion, Vatican II had observers from protestant denominations. They never had a say in anything. Trent invited Protestants as well (session 13, chapter 8). Neither council had any input from Protestants whatsoever.  The meme with Archbishop Bugnini claiming he wanted to strip the Liturgy from anything Catholic to appease Protestants is a fake quote. It shows the extent to which some Catholics maliciously tarnish the faith and malign Bugnini and the Second Vatican Council. Do not be deceived by propagandists of the enemy who wish to harm Holy Mother Church with their lies, spins and conspiracy theories.  

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session 13, chapter 8


Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum

General Audience of November 19, 1969

General Audience of November 26, 1969

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