The Dangers of Attacking the Validity of the Novus Ordo
Courageous Priest Note. Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke is a “say the black and do the red” kind of priest. This article is not about which form of the rite is better. The abuses occurring during Novus Ordo Masses are well-documented. What Father makes clear is that the abuses are the fault of the priest. They do not affect the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass. The two issues must be separated. Abuses do not change the validity of the Mass. It perfectly acceptable to hate the abuses occurring. It is even fine to have a strong distaste for the Novus Ordo. Let’s remember, Rome has spoken. Let us consider someone who attacks the Novus Ordo Mass so successfully that someone decides not to attend Mass. Who’s culpable? In all things charity. Personally, I love the Extraordinary Form and drive many miles to attend a faithful one. I detest the abuses and irreverence which can (and do) occur in the Novus Ordo, but that does not change whether the Mass is valid or not. Charitable discussion is encouraged.
By Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke:
Unwarranted criticism of the ‘Novus Ordo’: “Instead of incurring sin to ourselves through such unwarranted and ignorant criticism of a valid liturgical Rite, we can quietly begin to attend the Mass in any of the other Rites that are in communion with Rome…” unless, of course, we think that the other Rites too are defective. Let us focus on living our faith.
Someone recently posted: “The Novus Ordo is feminized. It represents divergent spiritual expression and theology; it avoids homilies on hard teaching, and teaches the primacy of conscience over a well defined set of rules for our conduct. The Novus Ordo represents the subjective and shifting sand”. It is wrong to define a liturgical Rite on the basis of defects encountered among individual priests and members of a congregation. A Rite represents a church tradition about how the sacraments are to be celebrated. There are about 20 liturgical Rites present in the Church today. Of these, the ordinary form of the Latin Rite, despicably referred to as the Novus Ordo by some people, has been the target of unremitting negative attacks. The way the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered in the ‘Novus Ordo” is stipulated in the Roman Missal. What is to be said by the priest is printed in black and what he is to do is printed in red. If the rubric were followed, as stipulated, the ‘Novus Ordo’ mass would be reverential as it is meant to be.
When a priest offers the Mass in a distracted manner, then that is his personal fault that has nothing to do with the Rite. If a priest were to add words and make gestures that are not in accord with the laid-down rubrics, then that is his fault. If a priest were to preach uninspiring homilies at Mass, then that is a personal problem that has nothing to do with the Rite. If the congregation were irreverent at Mass, then that is their fault for there is no place where the Church officially stipulates that the Mass be participated in irreverently. If anyone thinks otherwise let him or her present the document.
It is about time we stopped conflating individual defects with a perfect liturgical Rite into a liturgical entity despicably referred to as Novus Ordo. Instead of incurring sin to ourselves through such unwarranted and ignorant criticism of a valid liturgical Rite, we can quietly begin to attend the Mass in any of the other Rites that are in communion with Rome…unless, of course, we think that the other Rites too are defective. Let us focus on living our faith.
Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke