I finally got around to reading Pope St Pius V’s Quo Primum Decree on the Roman Missal. I had read an article which pointed out the portion of the decree in which the Holy Father permits Missals which have been in use for over 200 years to continue being utilitized during Mass. The author postulates that because there is an exception made for one portion of the Church, the decree is not binding on all the faithful, and therefore lacks that element which will make the decree ex cathedra. This is all confusing to me. God is not the Author of confusion. Therefore, I recognize that I have more to learn regarding the issue of which Missal is the ‘real’ Missal of Rome. The current Tridentine Mass uses the 1962 Missal, which I recall has been modified from the St Pius V Missal. What is most interesting to me regarding Quo Primum Decree is the De Defectibus Decree, found in the Roman Missal. It states that if any changes are made to the words of consecration, involving a change in meaning, the consecration is invalid. This has caused a hotly debated question as to whether or not the consecration of the Novus Ordo is valid. The Latin ‘Qui pro vobis et pro multis Effendetus in remissionem peccatorum’ has been translated into English thusly: ‘It [the Blood] will be shed for you and for all, so that sins may be forgiven.’ The correct translation? ‘which [Blood] shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.’ There is a different meaning between shed for ‘all’ vs for ‘many.’ But is the meaning of the consecration itself changed? ‘This is my Body’, and ‘This is my Blood’ remain the same, and the meaning is unchanged–the bread and wine are now the actual Body and Blood of our Lord. The intention of the priest at the consecration is to bring about, through the authority of Holy Orders, the transubstantiation of the elements. Is the transubstantiation nullified if the priest says ‘for all’ instead of ‘for many’? I suppose that is the main point of contention. In keeping with the context of the decree, since the Holy Father allowed other Missals to be used, it would make sense to find out what was in those Missals. Were the words of consecration different in those? Is the consecration valid if the intent of the priest is to transubstantiate, using the precise words of our Lord, ‘this is My Body’, ‘this is My Blood’?
Fr Nestor, my associate priest, told us that the power of Jesus’ words is the only means by which the elements can change. It is the authority of the Word Himself, given via Apostolic succession to the priesthood, which can allow the priest to give us the Eucharist. Fr Nestor went on to say that ‘no other words’ can ever effect the change. However, as he is a Novus Ordo priest, Fr Nestor usese the phrase ‘for all.’
It seems like splitting hairs to me. No one disputes the necessity of relying on the power of Christ Himself, using His words, to cause the bread and the wine to be changed. Does the phrase ‘for all’ negate the intent of the priest, or the power of Christ?
Here how the De Defectibus Decree reads: ‘If any omission or alteration is made in the formula of consecration of the Body and Blood, involving a change in meaning, the consecration is invalid. Any addition made without altering the meaning does not invalidate the consecration but the celebrant commits a mortal sin.’
Does this mean that all of the Novus Ordo priests are in mortal sin? Is this papal decree binding today?
I will be researching this.