Trent versus Vatican II
What Does the Council of Trent Say about Scripture and Tradition?
Pardon the departure from scholastic thought per se. I post this because I’m in a catholic moral theology class whose professor has loud and long lamented the loss of biblical reflection in catholic moral theology. I have been attempting to argue to some catholic colleagues concerned for my conversion that this is not a coincidence. There’s a good reason that most catholics didn’t really read the Bible much less engage in serious exegesis before the 60’s–because the church didn’t want them to. This post is meant to corroborate some of those claims as well as to bring forward some historical texts for our consideration.
[I wanted to post some quotes from the council of Trent about the relationship of Scripture and tradition and then supplement these with some quotes from Bellarmine and Melchior Cano. Alas, my hours trawling the sordid underbelly of the internet didn't turn anything up. I wasn't even able to find a Latin edition of the council of Trent. Where's your wikipedia now, Jimmy Wales?]
At any rate, I did find the English translation of Trent.
Here are some quotes, followed by my brief interpretation of them:
“. . . this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand; (the Synod) following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament–seeing that one God is the author of both –as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession.” p. 18
2 Interesting points: (1) The word “dictated.” Is a dictation theory of inspiration catholic dogma? (2) The phrase “unwritten traditions.” If there are unwritten but authoritative traditions this would seem to indicate that part of the deposit of faith is located in the written tradition (Scripture) and part of it in the unwritten oral teaching handed down from one bishop to another, no? I wanted to find some quotes from Cano and Bellarmine because I think they both believed that the Word of God was contained “partly” in the Bible and “partly” in the unwritten tradition, alas Google failed me. I’ll have to go to a real mortar and brick library and dig those quotes up later.
“But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts [previous paragraph listed the books of the Bible including the deuterocanon], as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema. Let all, therefore, understand, in what order, and in what manner, the said Synod, after having laid the foundation of the Confession of faith, will proceed, and what testimonies and authorities it will mainly use in confirming dogmas, and in restoring morals in the Church.” p. 19
1 interesting points: (1) The word “anathema”. If you don’t think Tobit is canonical, you are anathema, period. None of that wishy-washy Vatican II ’separated brethren’ nonsense.
“Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,–considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, if it be made known which out of all the Latin editions, now in circulation, of the sacred books, is to be held as authentic,–ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever.” Ibid.
Interesting point: the word “authentic”. This is where I really wish I had a copy of the Latin. Because whatever the Vulgate is, it isn’t authentic. There are serious translation problems in the Vulgate, cf. Rom. 5.12 where Jerome translates eph’ho (because) as in quo (in whom) which got Augustine into all that trouble with original sin.
“Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,–in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, –wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,–whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,–hath held and doth hold; [Page 20] or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published. Contraveners shall be made known by their Ordinaries, and be punished with the penalties by law established.” pp. 19-20
And here’s the nub. Why should a catholic moral theologian try to look in the Bible past proof texts? If the magisterium says that Romans 5.12 means that everybody sinned in Adam, and if the magisterium is always right, then that’s what Romans 5.12 means. You don’t need to be able to read Greek (the Vulgate is “authentic” enough) and you certainly don’t need to do a historical-critical exegesis of the text to try to figure out what it meant in its original context. If original sin is ever taught as a part of the universal and ordinary magisterium on the basis of Romans 5.12 (don’t have a quote handy, but it’s bound to be, right?) then that’s what Romans 5.12 means, exegesis and hermeneutics be damned. If you dare to form your own private judgment, based on your own skill and expertise (as a philologist, say) and point out that Jerome’s translation’s faulty and the dogma based on it questionable, then you should be punished in a court of law for usurping the prerogatives of holy mother church.
Well, color me a protestant, but it seem to me that the way infallibility and teaching authority works in the catholic church would incline aspiring young priests to read the Bible as a big handbook of prooftexts that just confirm what the magisterium infallibly teaches. I’m not trying to offend here–God knows I spent my teenage years reading the Bible as a handbook full of proof texts for a magisterium much less qualified than the catholic one–my point is merely that there is a very, very good reason that catholic laity didn’t read much of the Bible. That was the priest’s job. And there’s a good reason the priests didn’t exegete much of the Bible–the magisterium’s already done that authoritatively.
May 21, 2007 at 8:50 pm
“1 interesting points: (1) The word “anathema”. If you don’t think Tobit is canonical, you are anathema, period. None of that wishy-washy Vatican II ’separated brethren’ nonsense.”
Keep in mind that anathemas only applied to Catholics. The idea is that someone has had the fullness of truth found in the Catholic Church and has chosen to instead reject it. The world of the mid 1500s was much different than the world of the mid 1900s, not only in the religious composition of the populace (how many people had been raised Protestant at the time of Trent), but also their philosophical outlooks and consequently what methods were effective in reaching them pastorally.
studies the actual documents of Vatican II, one finds that the teaching itself
hasn’t changed. Here is a quote from the VII document Lumen Gentium. One might
note the last sentence in the context of Trent and the nature of conversion in
the 16th century vs. the 20th. “14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its
attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture
and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile,
is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the
Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms
He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed
also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men
enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was
made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be
This Rock magazine had an interesting article awhile back on the topic of salvation outside the church. You might find it interesting, though it is written for the layman and not the scholar (See below).
“I wanted to find some quotes from Cano and Bellarmine because I think they both believed that the Word of God was contained “partly” in the Bible and “partly” in the unwritten tradition”
I would be very careful in taking something out of context in this regard, not that I’m saying you are, I’m just encouraging you to be careful. I’ve heard lots of people write about how the Catholic Church teaches this or that in the wake of Dr. Beckwith’s return to Rome. It should be of note that Dr. Beckwith says he can be Catholic and still hold to the ETS statement of faith which states, “the Bible alone and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs.” Rather than trying to explain to you why that is and potentially muddying the waters, I would encourage you to read about why that is true and use then that information to help inform your interpretation of Trent.
“(1) The word
“dictated.” Is a dictation theory of inspiration catholic dogma?”
I could be totally off base here, so feel free to tell me I am. It seems that you are referring to a specific idea which you refer to as a “dictation theory of inspiration.” Was this theory defined back then as you define it now? If such a theory had a specific definition back then, would the same words have been used? My first impression is that two different concepts are being referred to.
Just a thought on your statement of bad reasons to convert. As a husband and father with a full-time job that has practically nothing to do with theology, I’m quite glad that I don’t have to figure out all the doctrines of the Bible from scratch but can rely on a given authority. I don’t think this lets me off the hook from learning or study, especially when it regards how to apply what is known doctrine to my life in 2007. I personally find living out my faith in charity daunting enough without having to prove to myself based on Scripture alone that the Holy Spirit is really God and why the oneness Pentecostals are wrong or whether or not the book of Maccabees should be in the Bible and what that means for whether or not I should consider praying for Grandpa John (God rest his soul). Hey, it’s great to be able to do that and more, but there are some things that I’m glad are settled for me already. I think it gives me greater opportunity to focus on loving my family and teaching them a faith that I can have confidence in. If I was teaching my kids about the Holy Spirit and the apocrypha/deuterocanonicals based on my own sola scriptura study and subjective listening to the Holy Spirit, I would spend much more time studying the basic fundamentals and have far less confidence in the results. Considering certain things to be settled has for me been quite freeing, and I guess you could say it has brought me greater “joy” similar to the man you quoted.
On the topic of bad reasons, I have seen too many conversions for the sake of “marriage,” and would consider that to be a very bad reason to convert. I had a deist classmate once get very upset with me when I told him that I didn’t think he should become a Catholic just because he thought if he didn’t do it now he never would. He had specifically stated that he didn’t believe the creed but didn’t know if he ever would. Despite the lack of belief, he somehow had the urge to go through with this and state that he did at the Easter vigil two weeks later. He heeded my advice to not go through with it and sadly quit studying the faith altogether. While I’m still convinced the reasons he had for joining were bad, I wonder if there was different way I could have approached him that could have helped him to find faith in Christ. Why was it that God placed me in his life and not someone more knowledgeable, eloquent and kind?
God bless your own search for Truth Incarnate.
No Salvation Outside the Church
By Fr. Ray Ryland
Why does the
Catholic Church teach that there is "no salvation outside the Church"? Doesn’t
this contradict Scripture? God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the
knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). "I am the way, and the truth, and the
life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Peter proclaimed to
the Sanhedrin, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Since God intends (plans, wills) that every human being should go to heaven, doesn’t the Church’s teaching greatly restrict the scope of God’s redemption? Does the Church mean—as Protestants and (I suspect) many Catholics believe—that only members of the Catholic Church can be saved?
That is what a priest in Boston, Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J., began teaching in the 1940s. His bishop and the Vatican tried to convince him that his interpretation of the Church’s teaching was wrong. He so persisted in his error that he was finally excommunicated, but by God’s mercy, he was reconciled to the Church before he died in 1978.
In correcting Fr. Feeney in 1949, the Supreme Congregation of the Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) issued a document entitled Suprema Haec Sacra, which stated that " extra ecclesiam, nulla salus" (outside the Church, no salvation) is "an infallible statement." But, it added, "this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church itself understands it."
Note that word dogma. This teaching has been proclaimed by, among others, Pope Pelagius in 585, the Fourth Lateran Council in 1214, Pope Innocent III in 1214, Pope Boniface VIII in 1302, Pope Pius XII, Pope Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Dominus Iesus.
Our point is this: When the Church infallibly teaches extra ecclesiam, nulla salus, it does not say that non-Catholics cannot be saved. In fact, it affirms the contrary. The purpose of the teaching is to tell us how Jesus Christ makes salvation available to all human beings.
Work Out Your Salvation
There are two distinct dimensions of Jesus Christ’s redemption. Objective redemption is what Jesus Christ has accomplished once for all in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension: the redemption of the whole universe. Yet the benefits of that redemption have to be applied unceasingly to Christ’s members throughout their lives. This is subjective redemption. If the benefits of Christ’s redemption are not applied to individuals, they have no share in his objective redemption. Redemption in an individual is an ongoing process. "Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling; for God is at work in you" (Phil. 2:12–13).
How does Jesus Christ work out his redemption in individuals? Through his mystical body. When I was a Protestant, I (like Protestants in general) believed that the phrase "mystical body of Christ" was essentially a metaphor. For Catholics, the phrase is literal truth.
Here’s why: To fulfill his Messianic mission, Jesus Christ took on a human body from his Mother. He lived a natural life in that body. He redeemed the world through that body and no other means. Since his Ascension and until the end of history, Jesus lives on earth in his supernatural body, the body of his members, his mystical body. Having used his physical body to redeem the world, Christ now uses his mystical body to dispense "the divine fruits of the Redemption" (Mystici Corporis 31).
The Church: His Body
What is this mystical body? The true Church of Jesus Christ, not some invisible reality composed of true believers, as the Reformers insisted. In the first public proclamation of the gospel by Peter at Pentecost, he did not invite his listeners to simply align themselves spiritually with other true believers. He summoned them into a society, the Church, which Christ had established. Only by answering that call could they be rescued from the "crooked generation" (Acts 2:40) to which they belonged and be saved.
Paul, at the time of his conversion, had never seen Jesus. Yet recall how Jesus identified himself with his Church when he spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus: "Why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9:4, emphasis added) and "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9:5). Years later, writing to Timothy, Paul ruefully admitted that he had persecuted Jesus by persecuting his Church. He expressed gratitude for Christ appointing him an apostle, "though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him" (1 Tim. 1:13).
The Second Vatican Council says that the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church and the mystical body of Christ "form one complex reality that comes together from a human and a divine element" (Lumen Gentium 8). The Church is "the fullness of him [Christ] who fills all in all" (Eph. 1:23). Now that Jesus has accomplished objective redemption, the "plan of mystery hidden for ages in God" is "that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places" (Eph. 3:9–10).
According to John Paul II, in order to properly understand the Church’s teaching about its role in Christ’s scheme of salvation, two truths must be held together: "the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all humanity" and "the necessity of the Church for salvation" (Redemptoris Missio 18). John Paul taught us that the Church is "the seed, sign, and instrument" of God’s kingdom and referred several times to Vatican II’s designation of the Catholic Church as the "universal sacrament of salvation":
"The Church is the sacrament of salvation for all humankind, and her activity is not limited only to those who accept her message" (RM 20).
"Christ won the Church for himself at the price of his own blood and made the Church his co-worker in the salvation of the world. . . . He carries out his mission through her" (RM 9).
In an address to the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (January 28, 2000), John Paul stated, "The Lord Jesus . . . established his Church as a saving reality: as his body, through which he himself accomplishes salvation in history." He then quoted Vatican II’s teaching that the Church is necessary for salvation.
In 2000 the CDF issued Dominus Iesus, a response to widespread attempts to dilute the Church’s teaching about our Lord and about itself. The English subtitle is itself significant: "On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church." It simply means that Jesus Christ and his Church are indivisible. He is universal Savior who always works through his Church: The only Savior . . . constituted the Church as a salvific mystery: He himself is in the Church and the Church is in him. . . . Therefore, the fullness of Christ’s salvific mystery belongs also to the Church, inseparably united to her Lord (DI 18).
Indeed, Christ and the Church "constitute a single ‘whole Christ’" (DI 16). In
Christ, God has made known his will that "the Church founded by him be the
instrument for the salvation of all humanity" (DI 22). The Catholic Church,
therefore, "has, in God’s plan, an indispensable relationship with the salvation
of every human being" (DI 20).
The key elements of revelation that together undergird extra ecclesiam, nulla salus are these: (1) Jesus Christ is the universal Savior. (2) He has constituted his Church as his mystical body on earth through which he dispenses salvation to the world. (3) He always works through it—though in countless instances outside its visible boundaries. Recall John Paul’s words about the Church quoted above: "Her activity is not limited only to those who accept its message."
Not of this Fold
Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus does not mean that only faithful Roman Catholics can be saved. The Church has never taught that. So where does that leave non-Catholics and non-Christians?
Jesus told his followers, "I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd" (John 10:16). After his Resurrection, Jesus gave the threefold command to Peter: "Feed my lambs. . . . Tend my sheep. . . . Feed my sheep" (John 21:15–17). The word translated as "tend" (poimaine) means "to direct" or "to superintend"—in other words, "to govern." So although there are sheep that are not of Christ’s fold, it is through the Church that they are able to receive his salvation.
People who have never had an opportunity to hear of Christ and his Church—and those Christians whose minds have been closed to the truth of the Church by their conditioning—are not necessarily cut off from God’s mercy. Vatican II phrases the doctrine in these terms:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or
his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by
grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates
of their consciences—those too may achieve eternal salvation (LG 16).
Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery (Gaudium et Spes 22).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
Every man who is ignorant of the gospel of Christ and of his Church but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity (CCC 1260).
Obviously, it is not their ignorance that enables them to be saved. Ignorance
excuses only lack of knowledge. That which opens the salvation of Christ to them
is their conscious effort, under grace, to serve God as well as they can on the
basis of the best information they have about him.
The Church speaks of "implicit desire" or "longing" that can exist in the hearts of those who seek God but are ignorant of the means of his grace. If a person longs for salvation but does not know the divinely established means of salvation, he is said to have an implicit desire for membership in the Church. Non-Catholic Christians know Christ, but they do not know his Church. In their desire to serve him, they implicitly desire to be members of his Church. Non-Christians can be saved, said John Paul, if they seek God with "a sincere heart." In that seeking they are "related" to Christ and to his body the Church (address to the CDF).
On the other hand, the Church has long made it clear that if a person rejects the Church with full knowledge and consent, he puts his soul in danger:
They cannot be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or remain in it (cf. LG 14).
The Catholic Church is "the single and exclusive channel by which the truth and
grace of Christ enter our world of space and time" (Karl Adam, The Spirit of
Catholicism, 179). Those who do not know the Church, even those who fight
against it, can receive these gifts if they honestly seek God and his truth.
But, Adam says, "though it be not the Catholic Church itself that hands them the
bread of truth and grace, yet it is Catholic bread that they eat." And when they
eat of it, "without knowing it or willing it" they are "incorporated in the
supernatural substance of the Church."
Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus.
Fr. Ray Ryland, a convert and former Episcopal priest, holds a Ph.D. in theology from Marquette University and is a contributing editor to This Rock. He writes from Steubenville, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Ruth.
The following article is from: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-955/Vatican-II-5.htm
Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM, L.Th. - 5/4/2007
QUESTION: What was the point of Vatican II, good or bad? Why would the Church have Protestants as advisors at this council?
Why do the changes to the Mass seem so Protestant now, even in Latin?
ANSWER: Dear Roberta:
Vatican II was the continuation of the Vatican 1 Council held in 1869-70. The first Vatican council had a large agenda which could not be completed due to the outbreak of war when the Italian Army entered the city of Rome at the end of Italian unification. As a result, consideration of the pastoral and dogmatic issues on the agenda, with the exception of the role of the Papacy, were left incomplete.
Vatican II continued where Vatican I left off.
The issues of Vatican II had been under discussion since before Vatican I (1860's). Contrary to popular opinion from the detractors of Vatican II, its issues were old by the time Vatican II was convened.
Part of the purpose of Vatican II was to remind the Faithful that they were to be pursuing holiness. There had developed an over-clericization over several centuries that left the laity to think solely in pedestrian ways and to basically be spectators in the liturgy and in the Faith.
Vatican II reminded the Faithful and the clergy that such spectatorship was never the intent of the Church. The Faithful, not just the priests and religious, were to actively pursue holiness. Some of the structures in the Church needed to change to help accomplish that goal.
One such structural change was the revision of the Divine Office. Many abuses had creeped into the practice of the Divine Office and its structure was too complicated for laity to really participate. Thus, the post-conciliar documents made revisions to bring the Divine Office back to its original intent to sanctify the various hours of the day (some priests before had gotten into the habit of saying the Hours all at one time instead of throughout the day), and the structure was simplified to make access to the Divine Office easier for the laity. The Council Fathers also instructed with words, "are to see to it" which seems like and "order" to me, that priests make sure Vespers, at least on Sunday, was made available to the Laity. Few, if any, parishes follow that directive.
There were also many abuses in the Liturgy of the Mass that go back decades before Vatican II. The lack of participation, (i.e., acolytes repeating the responses FOR the people), needed to be changed to bring the congregation back to their proper place of active participation in the Mass. There was also unnecessary redundancies in the Tridentine Mass. The Vatican II Father's recommendation was to remove unnecessary repetition and to restore to the Mass prayer even "more ancient and traditional" than what the Tridentine Mass contained.
In addition, the world's bishops faced tremendous challenges driven by political, social, economic, and technological change, especially as the 1960's emerged. The Church had to discuss ways to address those challenges.
The most succinct statement of purpose for Vatican II was given by Pope John XXIII, when he announced his intention on January 25, 1959 to convene the Council. When asked why the Council was needed, he reportedly opened a window and said, "I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in."
There is much more that could be said, but the bottomline is that Vatican II was a holy council as are ALL ecumenical councils. The teachings of Vatican II were/are needed and are binding upon Catholics.
The problems we saw and are seeing since Vatican II do NOT come from anything the Council Fathers taught. The problems come from liberal Bishops allowing liberal priests to abuse the liturgy to suit themselves. This is what happened before Vatican II, albeit more secretively, and it continued after Vatican II (in more obvious ways).
We must remember that the liberal mess after Vatican II was all caused by PRE-Vatican II bishops and priests.
Pope John Paul II understood the proper interpretation of the Council and lead the Church to fulfill the promise of the Council. Our current Pope continues with that Holy Spirit inspired task.
While there are kinks to still work out, we are moving in the direction inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Those who would disparage the Vatican II council are disparaging the Holy Spirit.
As for Protestant OBSERVERS, not advisors, Pope John XXIII invited other Christian Churches to send observers to the Council. Protestants and Orthodox Churches accepted the invitation. The Pope knew that in the coming years that technology and culture would become more and more intertwined with a diversity of peoples. The Church had to find ways to bring the message of Christ to that diverse world. To do that we must listen to, and not close a deaf ear to, what others have to say. That gives us the needed knowledge to know how to inculturate the world and imbue it with the Gospel message. Thus, non-Catholic observers were invited. These observers had no more power to influence the Council Fathers as you or I do if we go OBSERVE a baseball game and shout our opinions at the umpire. It is the umpire who will decide, not us. With the Council, it was the bishops who decided, not the observers and the decision was made according to the Holy Spirit in concert with Magisterial tradition. We need not fear because non-Catholics were in attendance.
Besides, the beloved Council of Trent invited Protestant advisors, too. The Church welcomes input from any source, but as I said, the Church will always DECIDE according to the Holy Spirit and the Magisterial tradition.
The Mass is not so Protestant now, at least in the way it is suppose to be said. I was born and raised Protestant and was a Baptist Preacher for 15 years. The Catholic Mass is NOT Protestant.
We that said, there are many priests who have taken upon themselves to mess with the Mass. If there is any depreciation of the Mass it is because of the priest celebrant, not because of the Mass itself.
Nevertheless, some people prefer the Tridentine form. Their preferences for form, does not depreciated other forms. And we are talking about form, not substance.
Unfortunately, ultra-traditionalist tend to confuse form for substance. I had one ultra-traditionalist tell me that the Mass after Vatican II was invalid because in the words of the consecration the word "cup" is used instead of "chalice." Such an assertion is ridiculous. First of all, no one but the Magisterium can define what is or is not valid or orthodox. The ultra-traditionalists leave the communion with the Church when they define their own brand of orthodoxy. The use of chalice or cup hardly invalidates the Mass. Second, a chalice IS A CUP.
The substance of the matter is that a vessel of our Lord's blood is offered. Whether or not we call that vessel a cup or a chalice is mere form. I prefer chalice myself, but a rose by any other name is STILL a rose.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I would have to agree with the Ultra Traditionalist that you mentioned. See when I hear the word cup, it could mean anything, for instance Burger King. When I hear the word Chalice I think of God. Therefore, without being technical, there seems to be no logical reason to call it a cup except to devalue the meaning.
Now in the Tridentine rite the liturgy refers to our Blessed Mother as Ever Virgin. In the new Mass rite she is now referred to as simply Virgin. Again why would such a thing be changed unless it were devalue what is Catholic or appeal to such folks as Protestants.
Your a Brother. You took a vow to be this. You wouldn't become a Muslim or something to to serve the Catholic Church. It just doesn't make sence. I could pick apart the Mass all day... but I know you get my point. Not only has the Mass been drastically changed but so has the blessing of Holy Water, Baptism rite, the removal of Relics from Alters, and I can't remember the last time I saw a Tabernacle on the Alter.
I would be a fool to say all Priest prior to Vatican II were perfect angels but for the Church to allow this to happen in such an official form is beyond me.
[In this Apostolic Letter Pope Leo XIII reviews the history of the rite for Holy
Orders introduced under King Edward VI of England for the Church of England,
otherwise known as the Anglican Church (in England) or Episcopalian Church (in
the United States). The pope declared ordinations according to the rite in the
Anglican Ordinal null and void and thus closes the question of validity,
according to Catholic doctrine that there are three essential conditions needed
for the valid conferral of a Sacrament: proper matter, proper form, and proper
[The form (text) was so altered in the Anglican Ordinal as to change
substantially the intention of the rite. In the Anglican form there is no
reference to the priestly power of offering sacrifice, which is essential in the
ordination of priests. Furthermore, the Anglican ordinal rendered the form for
the consecration of bishops invalid by the omission of essential words. Astute
readers will see that the arguments the pope makes against the validity of
Anglican Orders might apply equally to argue the invalidity of the New Order
Worship Service. One can only wonder what Pope Leo would have said when the
Innovators began to impose an unCatholic "New Order of Mass" upon the Church,
starting in 1964.
In Pope Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curae, On the Nullity of Anglican Orders condemns this.
"We have dedicated to the welfare of the noble English nation no small portion of the Apostolic care and charity by which, helped by His grace, we endeavor to fulfill the office and follow in the footsteps of "the Great Pastor of the sheep, Our Lord Jesus Christ". The letter which last year we sent to the English seeking the Kingdom of Christ in the unity of the faith is a special witness of our good will towards England. In it we recalled the memory of the ancient union of the people with Mother Church, and we strove to hasten the day of a happy reconciliation by stirring up men's hearts to offer diligent prayer to God. And, again, more recently, when it seemed good to Us to treat more fully the unity of the Church in a General Letter, England had not the last place in our mind, in the hope that our teaching might both strengthen Catholics and bring the saving light to those divided from us. It is pleasing to acknowledge the generous way in which our zeal and plainness of speech, inspired by no mere human motives, have met the approval of the English people, and this testifies not less to their courtesy than to the solicitude of many for their eternal salvation.
2. With the same mind and intention, we have now determined to turn our consideration to a matter of no less importance, which is closely connected with the same subject and with our desires...
I love the Church and I thank you for your love of the Church as well but I must defend the Traditionalists on this. Because to say they are wrong would be to say the Church was once wrong, that our beloved Saints were wrong, etc...
Roberta, I do not mean to attack you...
See also: "From
Trent to Vatican II: Historical and Theological Investigations"