Q. Whether the Novus Ordo, being self-defined as a memorial meal, is by this fact incapable of effecting a valid consecration in itself?
A. It is essential to any Sacrament that it be a sign; by Christ's institution it is essential to the Mass, according to which it is a rite, that it be a commemorative ritual of consecration. Now since it is essential to a Sacrament that it be a sign; if the nature of the signification of a Sacament be altered the essence of the Sacament must be destroyed; for what signifies another is not the same sign, unless one speaks of equivocal signs.
But the Mass, as instituted by Christ, is of its nature equivocal; but equivocation is twofold, according to affirmation and according to negation; according to affirmation when one thing signifies two or more potentially complementary truths, according to negation when they do not. The former befits the Creator in revealing; the latter the evil one in deceiving. This is clear from the deposit of faith, where the verser of Scripture themselves have many layers of signification, all of which are true; and from experience, where charlatans use one sense of a sign against another to work a crime.
As instituted by Christ the Mass signifies both a Sacrifice and a Sacred Meal; and these two are complementary, since the Meal exists as a consequent of the Sacrifice; and not only as a consequent but as a proper and necessary means of participating in the fruit of the Sacrifice. Hence any sacramental ritual that contains such a twofold signification of sacrifice and consequent meal sufficiently retains the nature proper to the ritual instituted by Christ and therefore, mutatis mutandis, is capable of effecting a valid consecration.
Since the Mass of Paul VI is self-defined as a memorial meal, inasmuch as the Mass as a Memorial Meal is not opposed but rather complementary as a proper consequent to the Mass as a Sacrifice, such a self-definition is not opposed to the proper signification, strictly speaking. And this is especially true since things for us are rightly defined by their effects and consequents, since these are nearer to us that the causes. However for this to be in accord with truth it is necessary that the one aspect not be accompanied by a denial or studied silence of the other. To preach the Gospel in part is not infidelity, so long as one intends to preach the whole Gospel at the proper and necessary time. Now since the Catholic faith in the Mass is more immediate to the efficacy of the Rite by reason of its immateriality and presence in the soul of the minister, when it is present, a deficient self-definition is not sufficient to render its enactment of the consecration invalid at all times and in all circumstances, since what is not adverted to is not intended; and the minister being subject to vertibility and frailty is does not in actuality at all times and places conform his intention with the definition in the introductory of the Missal; if he were however, and this to exclude separate the one aspect from the other, and hence destroy the proper signification of the Mass as a Meal consequent to the Sacrifice, he hence does not do what the Church intends, and hence the ritual is not efficacious, since signification is essential to any Sacrament; and with the signification changed the Sacrament is destroyed. To this extent, and in this manner, such a deficient self-definition is at the very least dangerous to the proper signification of any actual use of the rite; but whether this infact occurs is heavily dependent on the dispositions of the minister, since the deficiency of itself is not in itself contradictory of the proper signification, as stated above.
Q. Whether the capability of a rite to effect a valid Sacrament is sufficient for catholicity?
A. What is Catholic is what pertains to the Mystical Body of Christ as universal; and for this it is necessary that a thing be in identity to the Church. Now to be in identity to a thing is to be in accord with the reckoning of its principles. Moreover the principles of the Church are first all nations, as matter, being the potential membership; and for this is required that a thing be complementary to human nature itself; second, the profession of the faith and morals taught by Christ, as the form, which necessitates reference to an infallible teaching authority handed down throughout the ages; third, Christ Himself, as founder, being the efficient cause of the Church Herself, and for this identity with the sacramental institution of Christ is a prerequisite; and fourth, the honor and glory of God, being the end for which Christ established His Church and directly all His acts and works.
Now a rite which is capable of effecting a valid Sacrament is one which is not opposed in the matter and form of the sacramental rite; the matter of the rite is all the things and actions which it contains; the form of a rite is the signification it proposes. The matter of a sacramental rite requires that the minister does what the Church does; the form of the sacramental rite requires that the faith of the Church in doing what She does is, at the very least, not contradicted or polluted by those which effect the rite. Hence for a capable rite there is required at least the form and matter of the Sacrament as instituted by Christ and promulgated by the Church, not without those things which are not opposed to a profession of Catholic faith in the Sacrament. Hence a mere and bare enactment of the sacramental formula and valid sacramental matter is sufficient for a valid sacramental rite in itself, prior to a consideration of the necessity of the minister intending to do what the Church does. And there being no other accompanying circumstances or things to oppose this, the rite in of itself is catholic since such is in identity with the Church according to matter, form, founder and purpose, as is clear from a simple application of the above principles.
But although a thing in itself may be catholic, for this to be sufficient in relation to others, it is clear from above, that it is required that its use and or accompanying circumstances do not oppose this; and hence it is that the Church has wisely provided for rituals to accompany and expound the riches granted Her by Her Lord and Founder, so that in the execution of His command to remember and sanctify, that which He gave might be fruitful in those recieving it by reason of their proper disposition.
That a recipient of a sacrament be properly disposed there is necessary faith and penance, charity and cognition of the sacramental reality, at least in adults. Faith so that what is given is received by a mind capable of it; penance that what is given is not unjustly received, charity, that what is given is not unfriendly received, cognition that what is given is not ignorantly received. The first requires that the recipient profess the entire Catholic faith at least in toto, without any pertinacious denial; the second that sorrow be expressed for what is lacking; the third that conformity of wills is manifested with that of Christ; the fourth that the same which is given is the same which is actually accepted.
Wherefore the traditional rituals of the Church expressed openly what Christ taught, especially in regard to the Sacrament to be recieved; demanded a recognition by the recipient of his own unworthiness; moved him to charity for God both for His own sake and out of gratitude for His largess; and finally, awakened him to the mystery to which becomes a participant through the rite.
Now since the honor and glory of God is the end or purpose of the Church, what pertains to this is intrinsic to what it means to be Catholic; hence what is more in harmony with this principle is more catholic, and what diverts from this is not catholic.
Moreover what is in harmony with a thing promotes it; and what diverts from a thing is an obstacle to this promotion. Hence even a sacramental rite that is sufficient for a valid consecration can be reckoned more or less catholic or opposed to catholicity according to this measure.
Hence it is that all that accompanies a sacramental rite instituted by Christ be an ecclesiastic ritual which expressed the faith of the Church purely and accurately; and that fraud be avoided this must be done in harmony with Scripture and Tradition and in a manner at least as clear as precedent forms; it must be a ritual that demands the recognition of fault and unworthiness, and hence must explicity require the confession of sins and the recognition of original sin, and their punishment; it must be a ritual that moves the recipients to charity for God and Christ, and hence must be commemorative of the great deeds He has done in saving us unworthy sinners; and it must be a ritual that fosters the actual cognition of the Sacrament for what it is at the moment it is received, and hence it must require that it be given in a manner that makes visible the faith and penance and charity which the recipient must have.
Hence it is that a rite capable of effecting a valid confection of a Sacrament is not sufficiently catholic in of itself, without the fulfilment of these effective characteristics.
Q. Whether the Rite of Paul VI is suffiently Catholic?
A. This must be addressed in regard to each sacramental rite. For brevity sake the Novus Ordo Missae will be the confine of the present response.
It sesms that the Novus Ordo Missae is not sufficiently Catholic; and this for the following reasons:
1. It does not express the Catholic Faith in regard to the Mass purely and accurately since it is silent as regard the propitiatory value of the mass, and at least in comparison with the previous litugrical form it is of much less clarity,
2. While it retains a shortened Confiteor, nearly all other parts of the ritual, which formerly where frequently intersected with expressions of the unworthiness of the minister and recipients, of sin, punishment, the Fall and man's inability to repent by his own power, are greatly diminished as can be seen by any linguistic study of the two rituals,
3. While the New Rite does not lack the aspect of the memorial meal, whereby it does efficaciously move minister and recipients to acts of charity for Christ; nevertheless this is greatly reduced by its emphasis on the horizontal dimension of the ritual enacted, especially through lack of genuflection, silence, and orientation to the Tabernacle, and the sign of peace immediately before communion.
4. It avoids the fostering of a proper cognition of the Sacrament in the recipient, in that it
a) hides the Mystery of Transubstantiation by communion in the hand, communion while standing, and lay and diaconal eucharistic ministers,
b) hides the inferiority of man by eliminating the division of the sacred and profane (sanctuary and nave) via the altar rail, the reversal of the minister from versus tabernacle (God) to versus populum, and the unworthiness of man, by reducing the first confiteor and eliminating the second, leaving the recipient to remain kneeling and in silence for long periods during the rite, etc.
c) encourages emphasis on love of neighbor in that it proposes a community meal, rather than on love of Christ Crucified, present before, above all, and at the center of all else; and this is manifest most of all in the removal of the Tabernacle,
d) indisposes the faithful by a much reduced opportunity to practice mental prayer in meditating on the Passion of Christ during the rite
In conclusion, since what is catholic is essential to the very nature of the Church, a rite that is not sufficiently catholic cannot avoid being detrimental to the unity, faith, morals and salvation of the members of the Church. It is therefore a very grave danger to the commong good of the Church; and therefore all the members of the Church have the right and duty to oppose its propagation and continued domination. Indeed this right and duty pertains to the very essence of their fidelity to Christ as Catholics; and hence may be regarded as the hallmark of their own catholicity, inasmuch as they properly understand what it means to be a catholic.