Mr Jerome Burrough, in his letter of October 20, states that the old Mass "is indeed the Sacrifice of Calvary repeated". Surely "repeated" is not correct?
I have always understood that Christ's Sacrifice was a "once and for all sacrifice" (Heb) and that the Mass we take part in is a representation of Christ's Sacrifice. (Council of Trent September 175. 1562). "We know that Christ once raised from the dead does not die any more" (Rom 6: 9).
Another point I would make is that far from "not remotely resembling" a sacrificial offering, the vernacular rite makes it quite clear that that is what is intended: These gifts we offer you in sacrifice We offer you this sacrifice of praise This holy and perfect sacrifice We offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice Look upon this sacrifice . . a living sacrifice of praise.
These are all taken from the vernacular Mass. If they are not clear, then I know not what is.
(Mn) P. Pantcheff Alderney Channel Islands May I be allowed to reply to Fr Clifford Howell (November 10), who builds up some very unfair deductions from what I said, until he leads himself to the conclusion that I said that the aim of the new rite was to deceive the faithful. I neither suggested nor have ever thought anything so offensive.
I did speak of the old rite preserving the Faith, but in that context it was surely obvious that I was speaking of belief in the Sacrifice of the Mass, not in the whole spread of faith. He quotes Pope Paul VI's assertion that "nothing has been changed of the substance ..." Of course it hasn't, but I was speaking of the form, and much has changed in that, Fr Howell then castigates me quite properly — for using the words "the sacrifice of Calvary repeated". I used the word "repeated" loosely and I should not have done so and am sorry that I did.
1 should have used any of the words he suggested, or perhaps better still, left out the word "repeated" altogether so that my sentence would have read much as the Penny Catechism reads — "the Holy Mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the Cross".
lie also said that I contradict the Pope and refuse assent. I was not contradicting him because I did not say anything about the substance. I regularly give my assent by being at Mass in the new rite several times each week.
On Fr Howell's criticism of the old Offertory Prayers using words such as "Immaculate Host before the Consecration, I can only quote Mgr Ronadl Knox that the Mass is a continuous action and "from the Preface to the Priest's Communion, the sacrifice is being made". "The Mass in Slow Motion" 1 am then taken to task for writing o the lack of references to sacrifice, but 1 was speaking of the Ordinary — the unchanging parts of the MaSS — and I still defy anyone to lay side by side Eucharistic Prayer II and the old Roman Canon and pretend that the first "resembles or much refers to a sacrificial offering".
i• 1 am not speaking of the substance — the Pope has preserved that by his assurance — but of the form which is equally used by our separated brethren with their different belief in their Series III which, perhaps significantly was composed before our sand, after all, the Consilium did have six Protestant advisers.
I am also supposed to have accused the Pope and the Consilium of deliberately plotting to confuse the faithful. That is too ridiculous to deserve comment, but if the form was not to be an ecumenical gesture so that it could be interpreted in two different ways, it is a coincidence that that is exactly what has happened; so that an Anglican bishop happily uses the three new Eucharistic Prayers but shuns the old Roman Canaon even in its present abbreviated form.
Lastly, having frequently read statements into my letter which I did not make Fr Howell, ends by praying that I repent and abjure them. If I had said what he deduced, I most certainly would.
Jerome Burrough Boars Hill, Oxford.