Rorate Caeli

Now available from Loreto Publications: Don Pietro Leone’s “The Destruction of the Roman Rite”

By Don Pietro Leone

I write this brief note to avert readers of the publication of the definitive English version of the book thus entitled by Loreto Publications, now available on ‘Amazon’. Readers may remember having read it in installments on Rorate Caeli some years ago.

I was inspired to write this book on reading ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’ by Michael Davies, with all the depth, clarity, logical coherence, and scintillating wit characteristic of that great man - whom I was also happy to have known personally.  I combined this material with a synthesis of other important works on the topic: the critique of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, a study on the readings by the German ‘Una Voce Korrespondenz’, a brief but important analysis of some of the propers by Lorenzo Bianchi, and ‘The Work of Human Hands’ by Fr. Anthony Cekada.

This last book, the fruit of 30 years of study, is remarkable for its scholarship and breadth of source material, as also for its mordant humour. It reveals a background similar to that which Professor de Mattei describes in ‘The Second Vatican Council, a Story Never Written’ - a background of ignorance, worldliness, superficiality, dishonesty and heresy.  The background to the preparation of the Mass texts contrasts with that of the Conciliar texts principally in respect to the chaos of the former and to the discipline of the latter. I am grateful to a French priest friend for a number of important quotations and insights, the fruit, this time, of no less than 40 years of study.

My intention, as I wrote in the book in question, is neither to make war nor peace, but simply to make a clear and concise synthesis of the facts as they are, and to draw the necessary conclusions - one of the most notable being the involvement of the Devil in this vast and utterly appalling work of destruction.

The book falls into two main parts: the first on the Protestantism of the Mass, the second on its Anthropocentrism. In the former I attempt to show how the principal changes adduced to the rite of Mass were all anticipated by the Heretics Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer, and how they all militate, in one way or another, against the dogma of the sacrificial nature of the Holy Mass. In the latter I attempt to go deeper and show how the same changes, as well as others, are anthropocentric in character. This is in fact already evident in the fact that the essence of Lutheranism, Protestantism, as indeed of all heresy and sin, is egoism, which, in the theological context, amounts to anthropocentrism: the exaltation of man in the place of God.

The Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in order to suffer: ultimately in order to accomplish the Holy Sacrifice of Mount Calvary. The denial of the sacrificial nature of the Mass may therefore be understood as an attack on His Most Sacred Humanity. The Anthropocentrism of the New Mass, by contrast, may in its turn be understood as an attack on His Divinity. Combining these two elements, we can see the destruction of the Old Rite together with the creation of the New as an attack on Our Blessed Lord Himself: both in His Humanity and His Divinity. That that is also the deepest meaning of the liturgical revolution is clear, in virtue of the fact that what lends a thing its deepest meaning is its relation to God.

May this short book serve to enlighten the faithful concerning a matter which touches us all and to enkindle in them a more profound knowledge and love of Our Blessed Lord in the Sacrifice of His Thrice-Holy Love; May it hasten the universal return of the only Rite known as ‘Roman’ that is worthy of the name, that is worthy of God, of His Crucified Love for man, and of Our Holy Mother the Church: to His eternal glory and to the sanctification of the elect. Amen.

On the Commemoration of Our Holy Mother of Mount Carmel A.D. 2017