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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) – The new “Mass in Pandemic Times”, published April 1 by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, has been stripped of all reference to “the wrath of God”.
The liturgy, approved by Pope Francis, eliminates all prayers emphasizing “repentance” – references that abound in the “Recordare dominates testamenti” [Remember, Lord, thy covenant] Votive mass – composed and used for the delivery of the plagues since the black plague in the middle of the 14th century.
In the decree authorizing the new mass, Cdl. Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, explained that his dicastery had received numerous requests for “a specific mass to implore God to end this pandemic”.
The theological differences between the two votive masses – the old created at the request of Pope Clement VI in Avignon and the new one created under Pope Francis – are the most striking in the Collect.
In the collection of the old “Mass for the deliverance of death in times of plague”, the priest implores God to “remove the scourge of your anger” and “welcomes with forgiveness the return of your people to you… as long as he is faithful to your service. “
The Collect – a prayer to bring together the intentions of the people and provide the theme for the day’s liturgy – also alludes to 2 Peter 3: 9 describing a “God, who does not want the death of the sinner but who must repent. “
In contrast, the new collection “Mass in times of pandemic” asks God to “look with compassion on the afflicted, to grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to the mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength in health care workers, the wisdom of our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love. “
“This new version does not express a true Catholic understanding of the pandemic,” said prominent English writer Nick Donnelly to Church Militant, “but instead presents a sanitized caricature of God that completely ignores the divine truth revealed in the ‘Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition; that the plague can express the wrath of God before the human race plunged into the depths of sinful depravity. “
Deacon Donnelly explains:
The new liturgy presents an emasculated God who is reduced to playing only a role in supporting the primary agency of human activity. Nowhere in this humanist liturgy is there recognition that God, by his permissive will, has enabled this pandemic to call humanity to repentance; the new liturgy also does not recognize it as having the sole authority and power to end the pandemic.
The introit of the old mass begs God: “Be attentive, O Lord, to your covenant and say to the destructive angel: now hold your hand, and let the earth not be desolate, and do not destroy all souls alive. “
The new liturgy presents an emasculated God who is reduced to playing only a role in supporting the primary agency of human activity.
In the new Mass, the Introit starts from the principle that “the Lord has borne our infirmities and he has borne our sorrows” (Isaiah 53: 4).
There is an overwhelming emphasis on divine compassion in the recommended readings of the Old Testament, the Epistle and the Gospel of the New Mass. “The Lord’s unwavering love never stops, his mercies never stop; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, ”reads part of the text of Lamentations 3: 17-26.
But reading the Old Testament for pre-Vatican II mass tells the story of God sending “a plague on Israel” and the angel of the Lord killing 70,000 men. It is only after King David has built an altar and offered sacrifices that God shows mercy and withdraws the plague (2 Kings 24: 15–19; 25).
Reading the epistle in the new Mass to Saint Paul in the Romans asking, “If God is for us, who can be against us? “And ending with the theme of nothingness in all of creation, having the power to” separate ourselves from the love of God who is in Jesus Christ Our Lord “.
Significantly, reading the Gospel is the story of Jesus soothing the storm of Mark 4: 35–41 – a text that formed the basis of Pope Francis’ sermon Urbi et Orbi.
The Offertorium of the Old Mass (Numbers 16:48) underlines the sacrificial nature of the mass: “The high priest stood between the dead and the living, having a golden censer in his hand: and offering the sacrifice of frankincense, it soothed the wrath of God and the affliction of the Lord ceased. “
The new mass replaces this with a bland “prayer over the offerings” asking God to accept “the gifts we offer in this time of peril” so that they can “become for us, by your power, a source of healing and peace ”.
The post-communion prayer in the old Mass reads as follows: “Hear us graciously, O God our Savior: deliver your people from the terrors of your anger and assure them of this security which is the gift of your mercy. “
In the new Mass, the priest prays after communion: “O God, from whose hand we have received the medicine of eternal life, grant that by this sacrament we can glorify ourselves in the fullness of heavenly healing. “
Leading Italian Catholic historian Professor Roberto de Mattei told Church Militant that he was “shocked that in Pope Francis’ sermon Urbi et Orbi last Friday, as in this new liturgy, God asks for healing and deliverance , but there is no single word recognizing man’s sins and without appeal to penance and conversion. “
“It seems to be a challenge to God, in the sense that we ask God to free us from the plague, but we don’t want to do what God asks us to do,” said the historian.
Professor Mattei, who recently wrote The love of the papacy and filial resistance to the pope in the history of the Church, explained how “throughout history there have been many collective disasters such as wars, epidemics, famines and earthquakes, which are different from individual disasters”.
“Regarding collective disaster, the Church with its popes and saints has always taught that the cause of these cataclysms are the sins of man and therefore the only remedy is penance, prayer and conversion,” he said. he commented, noting that the angel of Fatima had asked “Penance, penance, penance, and what better time for the pope to launch a public appeal for penance than during Lent and Holy Week? “
Catholics visiting the New Liturgical Movement website, who downloaded the documents for the new Mass before the Vatican published them on its dicastery website, mocked the new liturgy by calling it a “joke of the April Fools ”, noting that the new mass was“ in a tone distinctly different from the mass at the time of the plague of the missal in 1962. ”
“Strangely enough, the texts of the” Mass in times of a pandemic “nowhere indicate what the decree claims to be its purpose:” to implore God to put an end to this pandemic “, observed a reader.
Regarding collective disasters, the Church has always taught that the cause of these cataclysms are human sins and therefore the only remedy is penance, prayer and conversion.
“Consolation” is the key word here. [The New Mass] seems very Protestant. In fact, the Collect prayer and Good Friday could be used in any Lutheran assembly, “said one commentator, while other Catholics on social media commented on Pope Francis believing in” the wrath of the nature but not the wrath of God. “
“All the popes and bishops before Vatican II would have thought that it was blindly obvious that God would have allowed this pandemic to express its indignation and anger against a generation which killed 2 billion babies by abortion and the death of millions people by man – causes poverty and disease in the poorest countries in the world, “said deacon Donnelly.
Pope Francis also approved a special intention to be used in this year’s Good Friday liturgy. The texts can be used for any mass with immediate effect during the pandemic, except for solemnities; Advent, Lent and Easter season Sundays; the Easter octave; All Saints’ Day; Ash Wednesday; and Holy Week.
The Mass “Recordare dominates testamenti” was removed from the new missals following the liturgical revision of Vatican II.
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