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Need for Creed

Texas CatholicHerald, 5/10/11

David Wood continues to deepen, nurture, and celebrate the Living Liturgy. He has fought his way to the end of the Credo. The major update from the incumbent invalid worship is the return of the first word to the singular, to agree with the original Latin credo (not credimus). In a sense this return is an advance; in the postconciliar “Church” it is hard enough to clarify what I believe. Let us not try to imagine what we believe!

He then advances another return, from “worship” to “adore,” which on its face appears to agree better with the Latin adoratur. If he continues in this vein he may eventually arrive at our own conclusion that all will be well if the improvers return about fifty years to the Mass as traditionally celebrated and eventually established by law to protect it from Reformation innovations re-introduced in the wake of the Second Vatican Council’s ecumenical intent, though not, as pretended, on the Council’s orders. Of course, this laudable return will not solve the problem of the rapidly vanishing celebrant.

Wood, undismayed, treats the Creed historically, perhaps to demonstrate that it was not said by the Apostles. He never states that it had been formulated to exclude the Arian heresy, also re-introduced in the postconciliar “Liturgy,” though never encountered by the Apostles. He then compares “we acknowledge” (an almost reluctant phrase) with “I confess,” both of which he compares with the original confiteor.

Then he hauls in the Apostles’ Creed, which is older than the Nicene Creed, and will at this late date be sometimes substituted for the usual Nicene. Of course it contains Christ’s (unexplained) descent into hell. More confusion?

But he has dropped the Creeds and in the next issue, Texas Catholic Herald, 5/24/11, he wades into differences in the current and new versions of that Preparation of the Gifts that replaced the Offertory at which our assistance was required in order to satisfy our Sunday and Holy Day obligation.

“… the entire Mass is a primary vehicle of our expression of self-giving, self-sacrifice to God. We offer ourselves and God gives us Himself in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.” This self-appreciative, useless reciprocation has replaced the Spotless Victim of our ancient Offertory, the only Sacrifice acceptable to God.

The Church explains Christ’s descent into hell as into the limbo of the Fathers, where all the just awaited the redemption to be achieved through the Sacrifice of the Cross – the equivalent by definition of the Sacrifice of the Mass. So what was the value of the merits of the lives of all the holy men of the ages, that they were kept from heaven until the sufficient Sacrifice had been offered? When we offer ourselves – not even saved yet (if ever) – what can we claim to have merited?

This innovation has contradicted both doctrine and practice of the Church from the time of the Apostles’ Creed, and the very substitution invalidates both the current and the prospective Liturgies.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Vol. IX, p. 256b:

In the New Testament, Christ refers by various names and figures to the place or state which Catholic tradition has agreed to call the limbus patrum. In Matt. 8:11, it is spoken of under the figure of a banquet "with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven" (cf. Luke 8:29; 14:15), and in Matt. 25:10 under the figure of a marriage feast to which the prudent virgins are admitted, while in the parable of Lazarus and Dives it is called "Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22) and in Christ’s words to the penitent thief on Calvary the name paradise is used (Luke 23:43). St. Paul teaches (Eph. 4:9) that before ascending into Heaven Christ "also descended first into the lower parts of the earth," and St. Peter still more explicitly teaches that "being put to death indeed, in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit," Christ went and "preached to those souls that were in prison, which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noah" (I Pet 3:18-20).

It is principally on the strength of these Scriptural texts, harmonized with the general doctrine of the Fall and Redemption of mankind, that Catholic tradition has defended the existence of the limbus patrum as a temporary state or place of happiness distinct from Purgatory. As a result of the Fall, Heaven was closed against men. Actual possession of the beatific vision was postponed, even for those already purified from sin, until the Redemption should have been historically completed by Christ’s visible ascendancy into Heaven. Consequently, the just who had lived under the Old Dispensation, and who, either at death or after a course of purgatorial discipline, had attained the perfect holiness required for entrance into glory, were obliged to await the coming of the Incarnate Son of God and the full accomplishment of His visible earthly mission. Meanwhile they were "in prison," as St. Peter says; but, as Christ’s own words to the penitent thief and in the parable of Lazarus clearly imply, their condition was one of happiness, notwithstanding the postponement of the higher bliss to which they looked forward. (end of excerpt)

Translation, Offertory prayers, traditional Mass:

Receive, holy Father, almighty eternal God, this spotless Victim, Which I Thy unworthy servant offer to Thee, my living and true God, for my countless sins, offenses, and negligences, and for all here; but also for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that for me and them It may avail for salvation unto life eternal. Amen.

We offer Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, imploring Thy clemency: that it may ascend with the savor of sweetness in the sight of Thy Divine Majesty for our and the whole world’s salvation.  Amen.

The priest presents the spotless Victim, our sole spiritual asset, for propitiary purposes far beyond the unmentioned and negligible value of crops and human efforts.

The deliberate omission of these prayers and their heretical replacement combine to define the current Liturgy and its proposed improvement as a non-Catholic and invalid form of worship incapable of producing a sacrament or a sacrifice.

Until these liturgies were introduced we had what even the innovators admit was a true and valid Mass, celebrated by a priest ordained chiefly for this purpose. Not only was there no need to replace it, replacement violated divine law. We must conclude that the innovators imposed the sorry and blasphemous replacement liturgy purposely to destroy the known chief purposes of religion: worship of God, and salvation.

Can we believe this of genuine Vicars of Christ?

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