In Episode 7 of Our Catholic Faith Today, we answer the question: "What is the Novus Ordo Missae?"
In this FAQ video, we briefly examine the New Mass and its origins and consequences, such as its focus on man, the breakdown of the priest's sacrificial role, the diminishing of respect to the Blessed Sacrament, and the introduction of many abuses—which have contributed to a loss of religious vocations and lower attendance at Mass.
In opposition to the negative effects of the New Mass, Fr. Steven McDonald explains in the video how the immemorial Roman Mass focuses on God and the true propiatory nature of the Holy Sacrifice and the priesthood, and how the rite directs man to God. The fruits of the traditional Mass are also apparent with abundant vocations and reverential worship—thus the Mass of All Time has the power to effect a true restoration in the Church.
Ecumenical foundation of New Mass
The Novus Ordo Missae was introduced in April 1969 by Pope Paul VI and from the start was intended to have an ecumenical nature as declared by its chief architect, Annibale Bugnini in 1965:
We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren—that is, for the Protestants.”
To accomplish this ecumenical goal the assistance of six Protestant ministers was solicited. The effectiveness of their suggestions can be gauged by this statement given by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani in his preface to the Brief Critical Study of the New Order of the Mass:
...the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery."
The practical conclusion of this "striking departure" was summarized in the Brief Critical Study:
It is evident that the Novus Ordo has no intention of presenting the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent, to which, nonetheless, the Catholic conscience is bound forever. With the promulgation of the Novus Ordo, the loyal Catholic is thus faced with a most tragic alternative."
Consequently, we can see the justification given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (who actually chaired the Critical Study's committee) for his (and his priestly society's) fidelity to the traditional Roman Mass:
How can I agree to abandon the Mass of All Time or to admit to place it at the same level as the Novus Ordo, created by Annibale Bugnini, with the participation of Protestants to make of it an equivocal supper that eliminates totally the Offertory, and touches the very words of the Consecration?"