[quote=jpusateri]I met a man this weekend who claims that the “new” mass is invalid. Primarily, he says, because the concept of the sacrifice is wrong.
I explained that I understood that the one sacrifice of Jesus’ death and the sacrifice of the mass are the same and that the mass re-presents (not symbolically, but literally) that sacrifice today. We offer that once for all sacrifice to God at the mass for sins committed NOW, both appeasing God’s wrath (propitiation) and for remission of sins (through Grace given to us and through Christ’s righteousness).
He disagrees and says that we USED TO believe (pre vatican II?) that Jesus actually died at every mass.
So his argument hinges on an alleged CHANGE between then and now. Is there any substance to this claim? Has the understanding of what happens in the sacrifice of the mass caused Catholicism to change?
I understand how we regard the mass today, but is there someone who can say that it is doctrinally different than before?
He also quotes Quo Primum wherein it states that the changes that were made to the Mass then are unchangeable in perpetuity. Insights?
Well, it’s clear that his understanding of Catholic theology is seriously defective. He’s been listening to too many Protestant anti-Catholics because that was precisely the claim they made to prove that Catholics were not scriptural people. The Mass is a re-presentation of the death of Jesus on the cross made in the context of His resurrection. This is, and was, the Catholic understanding. In fact, the Council of Trent makes this quite clear:
Forasmuch as, under the former Testament, according to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, there was no perfection, because of the weakness of the Levitical priesthood; there was need, God, the Father of mercies, so ordaining, that another priest should rise, according to the order of Melchisedech, our Lord Jesus Christ, who might consummate, and lead to what is perfect, as many as were to be sanctified. He, therefore, our God and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once on the altar of the cross unto God the Father, by means of his death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that His priesthood was not to be extinguished by His death, in the last supper, on the night in which He was betrayed,–that He might leave, to His own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the cross, might be represented, and the memory thereof remain even unto the end of the world, and its salutary virtue be applied to the remission of those sins which we daily commit,–declaring Himself constituted a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech, He offered up to God the Father His own body and blood under the species of bread and wine; and, under the symbols of those same things, He delivered (His own body and blood) to be received by His apostles, whom He then constituted priests of the New Testament; and by those words, Do this in commemoration of me, He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood, to offer (them); even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught.
This is from the 22nd Session. The emphasis is mine and shows that what you stated is quite correct.
As for Quo Primum – it is a disciplinary document based upon internal evidence that was in force “in perpetuity” which is pope-speak meaning “for an indeterminate period of time.” It certainly doesn’t mean “forever” because no pope can bind another in matters of discipline.