The simplistic criticism of Paul VI's New Mass, as evidenced by Philip Robinson (June 2003), misses the essential fact that the culture which has produced so much dissent has similarly produced disobedience regarding the rubrics. This followed on from dissent against Humanae Vitae (1968), for example, and was associated with erroneous ideas concerning the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The fault lies with abuses in celebration and not with the New Mass per se and derives from the erroneous formation of seminarians or re-formation of mature priests. Those bishops who have renewed seminary formation in keeping with Pope John Paul II's Pastores Dabo Vobis, and keep the dissenters away from "re-forming" their older priests, have faithful priests who adhere to the rubrics, preach well, and thus celebrate and re-present a valid, licit, and holy sacrifice for all who wish to join with them. Such fidelity can be further underlined with a return of Latin responses and chant as decreed by Vatican II for the Ordo Missae.
While the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium permitted introduction of the vernacular it also called for the retention of Latin, Gregorian chant and the traditional heritage of sacred music (Nos 36, 114, 116), and specifically decreed: "Nevertheless care must be taken to ensure that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them" (54).
Many faithful Catholics encounter abuses in the liturgy from those who distort Vatican II. The value of the faithfully celebrated New Mass may be gauged from the fact that few of the high-profile faithful converts of the last 15 years have chosen the much-revered Tridentine Mass in preference to the New Mass.
PETER D HOWARD