Is the Novus Ordo Evil?

Unfortunately, some who identify themselves as “Catholics” claim the Novus Ordo, even when properly celebrated with piety, is poisonous and “evil.” For instance, the Society of St. Pius X openly states:

“The dissimulation of Catholic elements and the pandering to Protestants which are evident in the Novus Ordo Missae render it a danger to our faith, and, as such, evil, given that it lacks the good which the sacred rite of Mass ought to have.”

It further quotes Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the SSPX, who said:

“The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, …is impregnated with the spirit of  Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.”

Is this true? Is the Novus Ordo, even when properly celebrated, poisonous and evil? Rather than get bogged down in an endless debate on whether the Novus Ordo is sufficiently Catholic the proximate rule of faith, i.e., the Catholic magisterium, assures us of the contrary. Pope Gregory XVI in Quo Graviora, says:

“These men want to utterly reform the holy institution of sacramental penance. They insolently slander the Church and falsely accuse it of error, and their shamelessness should be deplored even more. They claim that the Church, by ordering annual confession, allowing indulgences as an added condition of fulfilling confession, and permitting private Eucharist and daily works of piety, has weakened that salutary tradition and subtracted from its power and efficacy. The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth — all of which truth is taught by the Holy Spirit. Should the church be able to order, yield to, or permit those things which tend toward the destruction of souls and the disgrace and detriment of the sacrament instituted by Christ? Those proponents of new ideas who are eager to foster true piety in the people should consider that, with the frequency of the sacraments diminished or entirely eliminated, religion slowly languishes and finally perishes.” (Emphasis mine)

Much like the protestants who claim the church has permitted evil in its liturgical life, many “Catholics” today have bought into the same claim – though their specific grievances may be different. Nonetheless, they are equally condemned by the words of the pope above.

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