Skip to comments.Gutting the Gospels: The Sacrilegious Stripping of the Novus Ordo Lectionary
Posted on 04/18/2004 7:39:36 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
When the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgica (Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy) released its new creation called the Novus Ordo Missae, very few people were aware that a full-scale liturgical revolution had been set in motion. This New Order of the Mass (hereafter, NOM) was not, as some claimed, merely a "restoration" of the Traditional Mass. Rather, it was a complete, wall-to-wall, top-to-bottom innovation - a brand new creation, conceived in the minds of the members of the Concilium. Far from an organic development of the Traditional Mass, this was a new entity altogether, an entity which borrowed here and there from the content of the Traditional Mass.
When one compares the two liturgies, the Traditional Mass (hereafter, TM) and the NOM, one finds striking differences in every single area of the liturgy. Dr. Thomas Droleskey has recently written a book on the changes in the rubrics; Kevin Tierney and I have been working on a manuscript that focuses on the changes to the propers of the Mass (the introits, collects, secrets, communion prayers, etc.); many other books have been written to describe the changes to the overall form of the Mass, including the commons (the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Canon of the Mass, etc.).
What has not been discussed in great detail, and which I will cover in this manuscript, are the many changes that were made to the Lectionary of Readings (the weekly epistle and Gospel readings). I had stumbled upon these gross anomalies quite by accident whilst comparing the propers of the two liturgies one evening, and was immediately intrigued (and horrified) by what I found.
How many times have you heard it said that the New Lectionary of the NOM more fully opened up the treasures of Sacred Scripture for the faithful, allowing them (some say) to hear the entire bible read during the course of a three-year period? At first glance, this may seem true. The Lectionary was changed from a one-year cycle of readings to a three-year cycle; surely this would mean that more Scripture would be covered over the course of three years. In addition to the traditional epistle and Gospel reading, a reading from the Old Testament was added to the New Lectionary; this, too, adds to the illusion that more Scripture is being read to the faithful during the Mass.
As I began to examine the actual content of the readings, however, I discovered something shocking: the readings were not at all "seamless," as some had claimed. The Lectionary would, for example, take the faithful through St. Matthew chapter 3, verses 1-6 on one Sunday, skip verses 7-11, and continue on the next Sunday with verses 12-20. This example is fabricated the purposes of illustration, but you get the point: certain verses, sometimes entire sections of verses in fact, were just simply missing from the Lectionary. What purpose would this serve?
I began to investigate more closely, searching my bible and reading the verses that had been passed over in the NOM Lectionary to see what they said. Time after time, I found the exact same thing: the verses that had been excised from the Lectionary consistently dealt with the same subjects. In every case, the offending verses spoke of miracles that could not be otherwise explained by natural causes, of Our Lords continual confrontation with the Jews and the Jewish leaders, of the uselessness of material goods and worldly wealth, of the necessity of self-denial and bodily mortification, of sin and the possibility of damnation, of hell, of the role of women in the home and in the Church, and other such subjects that would normally be deemed "offensive" to modern ears.
The same patterns could be detected equally in the Gospels and epistles alike! In the process of giving the faithful a "more complete" bible, the revolutionaries had managed to complete strip the Sacred Scriptures of anything that offended Modern Man, of anything that was ... well, "too Catholic."
I firmly believe that, having examined the content of these readings several times, these clear patterns are in no way coincidental. The passages were (as it becomes clear upon close scrutiny and examining the Lectionary on the whole) very skillfully and deliberated edited in order to present a Christ and Christendom that in no way conflicts with Modern Mans inclinations. The Christ of the New Lectionary is loving, joyful, peaceful, calling all men to life, inviting all men to participate in the resurrection, exhorting us to love each other and help the needy. In short, the New Christ is fully humanitarian, the quintessential member (and founder) of the Civilization of Love.
Now, it is true, Our Lord certainly was loving, joyful, concerned with the welfare of mankind, etc., but the Gospels also present us with a Christ who warns us of sin, hell, damnation, the dangers of money and worldly possessions. This side of Our Lords ministry has been carefully removed from the New Lectionary, effectively giving us the "Hippie Christ" of the 60s and 70s.
It is my hope that many will read the facts I am about to present, and carefully consider whether the NOM is not truly a wholesale revolution, calculated to de-Catholicize the Christian world through constant exposure to a lop-sided liturgy, and in particular, through an imbalanced presentation of the Gospels.
This work is prayerfully dedicated to St. Jerome, whose careful and constant labor produced for the Church the Latin Vulgate edition of Sacred Scripture.
St. Jerome, pray for us.
Sample from Chapter 4, "Gagging the Gospel of St. John"
Authors note: In this and each of the following chapters, the Gospel texts that were removed will be referenced, followed by a commentary on the content of those verses and the probable reasons why they were deleted from the New Lectionary. I repeat again for the sake of clarity: the verses referenced here are those have been removed in the New Lectionary version of the Gospels.
It is rather amazing that this text should be removed, for it contains Our Lords discourse with Nicodemus, one of the Jewish teachers. In this discourse, Our Lord utters the famous words, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." This verse affirms the necessity of water baptism for salvation - not the something the modern church is keen on affirming.
This passage also highlights Our Lords confrontation with the Jewish leaders. He chastises Nicodemus - who, it must be pointed out again, was a Pharisee - and says, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony." That last line, "you do not receive our testimony," is a condemnation of the Pharisees for rejecting the Messiah.
The New Lectionary does include the rather tame words of Our Lord in John 3:16, which affirms that "God so loved the world," but it cuts out these verses, which highlight the opposite side of the Gospel coin: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him."
Again we see how the modern church carefully avoids any hint of damnation and the "wrath of God."
The New Lectionary once again interrupts the flow of a discourse of Our Lord (this time, with the woman at the well) by making certain verses in the middle of the discourse optional. Which verses? We read: "Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband, and come here. The woman answered him, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You are right in saying, "I have no husband"; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly."
I can only speculate that these verses might be deemed offensive because they highlight the immorality of, for lack of a better term, "shacking up" with someone who is not your spouse. Unfortunately, however, there are many "Novus Ordo Catholics" who are doing this very thing, and the liberal priests in those parishes are loath to say anything about it.
We will see this pattern of excising condemnations of immoral living become even clearer in the next volume, when we examine the New Lectionarys version of St. Pauls epistles.
There is little wonder why this entire chapter was removed. In it, we read of Our Lord healing the lame man who sat by the pool of Beth-zatha. Not only is this story another account of the miraculous and supernatural, but it contains yet another confrontation between Our Lord and the Pharisees, who were angry that Our Lord healed the man on the Sabbath. St. John tells us, "And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath."
St. John further tells us, "This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God."
Our Lord responds with very harsh words, words that still ring out as a condemnation of the Jews of our day who do not accept Christ: "He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him." He continues with such words as, "His voice you have never heard ... you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent. You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life ... yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life ... I know that you have not the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me ... Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me."
Our Lord also speaks of the possibility of damnation: "the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment."
Miracles, anti-Semitism, and damnation: three very good reasons to remove this chapter in its entirety.
Chapter 1: Mangling St. Matthew Chapter 2: Messing with St. Mark Chapter 3: Laundering St. Luke Chapter 4: Gagging the Gospel of St. John
The Tridentine Mass covers the same Scriptures, every year. The Novus Ordo covers six times the Scripture that the Tridentine does, over a three year cycle.
Quibbling over what is "left out" indicts the Tridentine six times over!
The author of this piece misses the point.
The Novus Ordo covers six times the quantity of Scripture that the Tridentine Mass covers.
Nit picking over what is left out and why obscures the fact that the Tridentine Mass just doesn't expose Catholics to much Scripture, at all.
You guys are hilarious!
Focusing on "which" scriptures are omitted indicts the Tridentine Mass, first and foremost, since the Novus Ordo delivers six times the number of Scripture readings that the Tridentine does.
The Lectionary would, for example, take the faithful through St. Matthew chapter 3, verses 1-6 on one Sunday, skip verses 7-11, and continue on the next Sunday with verses 12-20.
Yeeesh! A real example would be nice.
Okay, now I see that the author is talking about the weekly readings only.
If it's 'mandated' it would be a surprise to many in Europe, who never hear this OT reading.
Another "mandate" of VII which was actually a "mandate" from USCC?
There is no rotation of Scriptures at a Tridentine Mass.
You will hear the same epistle and Gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter that you heard last year, and the year before that, and that you will hear next year.
There are many Tridentine Mass advocates who seem willing to admit that the cycle of A, B, and C readings, and the addition of a third reading, is an improvement, and they would even be willing to consider the adaptation of more Scripture.
But, they seem to be few in number.
The breadth of your knowledge, historical perspective and honesty is unparalleled. Not only Catholics, but all Christians, would benefit from reading your posts.
'Splain. This is news to many, I'm sure.
Every Papal Mass that I've ever observed has two readings (with a Reponsorial) and the Gospel.
I'm going to the GIRM which, I suspect, requires the OT reading.