The New Lectionary and Hell (Short Form)

A PREVIOUS post, The Novus Ordo and Corpus Christi “Lite,” noted that the new lectionary (cycle of scripture readings) for the Mass of Paul VI omitted a scripture passage which appeared in the old Missal, apparently because the passage was at odds with various tenets of modernist theology.

Missing something?

Needless to say, the reformers couldn’t  possibly have omitted every such passage from the lectionary, otherwise there would have been little left to read. How, then, did they proceed? The Introduction to the new lectionary lays down the principles:

• Scripture passages that are “truly difficult,” which present “serious literary, critical or exegetical problems” or which the faithful “may find too difficult to understand” are not employed on Sundays.

• In certain passages appointed to be read to the people, individual verses have occasionally been omitted, since they were deemed to be “of little pastoral worth, or involving truly difficult questions.”

• In some cases, individual verses in a reading are optional; in others, an entirely different reading may be substituted. “Pastoral reasons” and the ability of the people “to understand difficult texts correctly” will determine which option the priest chooses.  (See Work of Human Hands, 265)

One such “difficult” passage occurs in the Gospel in the traditional Missal for tomorrow, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost:

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother: Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say: Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother; and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. (Mt 5:20–25)

The difficult bit for the modernist, of course, is the line in bold: “whosoever shall say: Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Thus, while the passage we have quoted above does indeed appear in the new lectionary for the Sixth Sunday of the Year in Year A (Lectionary §77), it is in a “long form” of the reading, for which an alternate and optional “short form” is provided. The latter omits the offending phrase.

So, take your pick: the hell or the non-hell option.

This is but one example in the new lectionary of how the men who promised us “more scripture” gave us less of its message. For other examples, see Work of Human Hands, 265–72.

The fate of Postcommunion prayer in the traditional Missal for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost is also of interest:

Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we whom Thou hast fed with the heavenly Gift, may be cleansed from our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies.

More “negative” theology — and even worse, the last few words could be construed as referring to the devil!

So, in the Missal of Paul VI the prayer has been entirely suppressed.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

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  1. Tradd Caddy
    Posted June 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Dear Father Cekada,

    Your book is fantastic. A Catholic can look up anything he wants in the Index and find the corresponding Catholic arguments against the new liturgy. I have actually used some passages of your book to help a friend who is still locked up in the SSPX branch of the Novus Ordo. Because your book is full of scholarship, she was pretty much unable to refute it.

    We all love your blog!

  2. Posted June 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    As regards SSPX: One should note, however, that much material in the book simply confirms in greater detail what Archbishop Lefebvre and many other traditionalists said from the beginning: the Novus Ordo is an ecumenical and a modernist rite.
    Thanks for the attaboy. Please spread the word about how to get the book.

  3. Agustin T.
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Fr. Cekada, the novus ordus people use this phrase “work of human hands” in their Mass, and in the Spanish so called Mass, they prefer to use: “fruto de la tierra y del trabajo del hombre” which is more precised. I always wonder why they chose that kind of phrase since it is only human beings or men who have hands who can work the land and not the rest of other God´s creatures who cannot produce our daily bread. Most likely they were already were influenced by the radical feminist movement.

  4. Traddy Caddy
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    But at my friend’s SSPX chapel, the priest there (who was ordained in the Novus Ordo) says that the New Mass is the “ordinary rite” of the Catholic Church.

    In fact, all the people who go the that chapel also refer to the New Mass as the Ordinary Mass of the Catholic Church.

    The priest has a giant portrait of Archbishop Lefebvre next to that of Benedict XVI in his sanctuary.

    Are you saying your book confirms the Lefebvrists? But the Lefebvrists at my friend’s chapel say that the New Mass is valid and ordinary. True, they also call it modernist and ecumenical. But that means to me that they consider “modernist and ecumenical” to be “valid and ordinary.”

    So, what part of Lefevbrism is your book confirming, Father?

    I am confused now.

  5. Posted June 28, 2010 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    That entire gospel was not read on this 5th Sunday after Pentecost (Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time), at least not in U.S. Novus Ordo masses. This (Lk. 9:51-62) was read instead, according to the USCCB website.

  6. Posted June 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that feminism was to blame.

    In Work of Human Hands (287–88) I present evidence demonstrating that the idea behind the phrase “work of human hands” in the Preparation of the Gifts (“Offertory”) comes from the modernist heretic Teilhard de Chardin, and was inserted into the prayer at the behest of Paul VI.

  7. Posted June 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting and very distressing information about SSPX. It seems that the faithful in your chapel have really bought into the dangerous ideas behind the “negotiations” with the Vatican.

    I tend to operate under the presumption that most of the SSPX laity have the same outlook as they did when I was associated with the organization. (This the case with old-timers that I occasionally run into.) But I suppose this is an anachronism. They’re bound to be influenced towards compromise, after all the talk of negotiation.

    In any event, I discuss the perils of the SSPX coexistence policy in the last chapter of WHH.

  8. Posted June 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the confusion. You are correct.

    The explanation is this: The reformers changed the whole liturgical calendar, so in the New Mass, there is no 5th Sunday after Pentecost. At the same time, they also changed the whole cycle of scripture readings, so yesterday you did indeed get the passage from St. Luke.

    However, for the Sixth Sunday of the Year in Year A when the passage from St. Matthew is employed at the New Mass (Lectionary §77) a “short form” Gospel is provided as an option. This allows you to skip the “difficult” idea of hell.

    Options like this were one of the many tools the reformers employed to undermine Catholic doctrines that contradicted ecumenism or modernism.

  9. Traddy Caddy
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Fr. Cekada, for your clarification. This is helpful.

  10. JM+JT
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    The “negotiations” are not as negotiated as some might think. This is practically a mini council the Pope and the SSPX have going on behind closed doors. They speak about liturgical matters quite thoroughly. I’m sure Abp. Fellay’s panel makes that clear to the Holy Father and other Cardinals and Theologians in his pontifical presence. I cannot speak any evil against these talks, I am not there, I do not know what they talk about. I trust in Abp. Fellay to make it as supernaturally clear as he can; thus, we must pray and not worry.

  11. Posted July 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Since I have come back to the Holy Mass of the classical rite of the Tridentine Liturgy, I have discovered many aberrations in the NOM liturgy.

    1. The Archangel Michael has been chased out of the Mass and the Liturgical Calender. He had two feast days, May 8 and September 29.

    Whose work is this? Of course, his adversary Lucifer, who owns the NOM as his Mass.

    2. July 1 is the Feast of the Presious Blood. This important feast was also obliterated.

    Why? The modernists don’t believe in the redemption of Christ’s Blood.

    And so one can go on in discovering the evil works of Satan — indeed his smoke has penetrated the Conciliar Church.

    Kyrie Eleison!

  12. Posted July 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Teilhard de Chardin was behind the “Preparation of the Gifts” phrase “work of human hands”? I never know that. That is one of those phrases in the Novus Ordo that has always struck me as humanistic; it fits in well with the predominately banquet, instead of sacrificial conception of the Mass, though.

  13. A. Torm
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Fr. Cekada, I´,ve ordered your book and have not read it yet because I am overseas right now, but in regard the issue of the invitatory prayer: “pray my brothers and sisters that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.” I understand that they will reverse it into ” that my sacrifice and yours….”.Was this last invitatory prayer the original prayer form in the Old Tridentine Mass.? I believe that there was an intent to wrogfully indoctrinate the faithful into the priesthood of all believers Protestant theology, and therefore dimisnish the role of the priest as the one mediator between men and God. What do you think?

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