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"Extreme antipathy to the liturgy of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite"

In a CIA (Catholic Investigative Agency) program entitled "Weapons of MASS Destruction", Michael Voris portrays the origins and nature of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in such a way as to lead him to conclude that, while it is a valid Mass, it is such a violent rupture with past forms of worship that it is "not authentic Catholic worship".

The program is a rehash of the usual over-simplifications which elevate certain problems and internal struggles over liturgical renewal into a total indictment of the Novus Ordo, a case made primarily on the basis of preferring some traditional commentators over others, and pitting the judgment of favorite authors against the popes who superintended the changes to the liturgy.

While a particularly noteworthy case of the problem with RealCatholicTV's tendency toward extremism, it is exactly this tendency which negatively colors so much of their otherwise well-intentioned programming.

Some specific examples of the fallacies of the video are:

  • The video "poisons the well" by asserting that one of the chief architects of the Novus Ordo was believed by some to be a Mason intent on the destruction of the Church. Even though the video admits that the person in question denied the charge to his death, and also admits that the charge cannot be proven, it is repeated again and again as if it explains how the Novus Ordo was developed.
  • The video builds up certain personalities, such as Dietrich von Hildebrand, and then pits them against the judgment of Pope Paul VI. Thus we are led to believe that von Hildebrand had such unimpeachable opinions that when he disagreed with Pope Paul VI on the liturgy, it must have been Paul VI who was weak, emotional and just plain wrong. In general, in fact, the video relies on the opinions of a small group of what we might call semi-Traditionalist authors and adopts their opinions as the de facto Catholic position.
  • The video claims--in an egregious error--that there was only one Mass in the Church before the 1960's, implying that it is a horrendous sin to attempt to change the liturgy significantly at any time, and therefore stacking the deck against the Conciliar call for liturgical renewal.
  • The video makes a false dichotomy between reforming the liturgy in itself and reforming our understanding of it, as if only the latter is permissible, which is false and misleading.

The result of the video is that the viewer is led to doubt the Catholicity of the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, which is the liturgical home of the vast majority of Catholics worldwide. But the mind of the Church on this matter in the letter Pope Benedict wrote explaining his widening of the use of the old liturgy in Summorum Pontificum is that the Novus Ordo remains the ordinary form of the rite of the Catholic Church, and that the deformations associated with it arise chiefly from the failure to observe the rubrics and instead opt for constant unjustified experimentation.

In this letter, Benedict affirmed the rite itself, which is precisely what RealCatholicTV denigrates, by saying: "The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal."

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