Hence a universal return of the Latin Mass would be a powerful means of restoring unity to the Church against the influence of the new Mass which has divided the Church since Vatican II. For while the Mass is said in the language of each country (vernacular), the idea is fostered that the Church is something that is secular and divided, as opposed to holy and universal. The return of Latin is needed to help bring about a true unity as it existed before the Council.
However, the tables will never completely be turned back in the right direction unless Rome reverses what was the single most destructive innovation implemented after Vatican II, and that was when they turned the priest around so that he says the Mass facing the people with his back to the tabernacle. (versus populum) What has ensued is a historic shift of focus such that the emphasis today is on the community instead of on God.
This detriment is cited by acclaimed liturgist Monsignor Klaus Gamber, whom Pope Benedict while a cardinal proclaimed as a prophet for our time: "We must draw the necessary conclusion and admit that the celebration facing the people is, in fact, an error. In the final analysis, celebration facing the people is a turning towards man, and away from God." (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, 1993)
Fr. Gamber speaks a pure sentence. The Faithful today have been taken up with all manner of distraction and adulterated teachings (e.g. Amoris Laetita), the reason being Christ is no longer central before the public eye, so the old Mass is needed to pull the faithful back into focus. Christ needs to be lifted up in center-view before the Church so that the Mystical Body can be healed of the many serpentine bites that now afflict it. (Numbers 21:9, John 3:14)
Such a renewal is only Magisterial. The offering of Mass facing the altar (ad orientem) has its roots in the Old Testament and has been the universal norm for the entire span of the New Testament. The Old Testament offerings facing the tabernacle were a figure of Christ's Sacrifice that would continue perpetually in this manner through the priests, so that since the time of Christ there is no evidence of the Church having deviated from this pattern.
This point is affirmed by Monsignor Gamber: "We can say and convincingly demonstrate that neither in the Eastern nor the Western Church was there ever a celebration facing the people." (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy) Even from the time of Abel to the time of Pope Paul VI, the sacrificial offering was always done facing God.
Vatican II marked the first time ever that priests were asked to depart from this age-old pattern. The September 26, 1964, Instruction on the Liturgy, Inter Oecumenici, now ruled that "The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people." (Article 91)
This one change alone served mightily to deflect the Barque from its chartered course. This was the hub that set into motion the new order of liturgical chaos that has caused a wide body of the church to turn its back on Christ. Though some initially thought the liturgical reform was inspired by God[i], the Novus Ordo was born of an aversion for God's goodness and a desire to "turn towards man, and away from God."
It was for this reason that Pope Paul VI, in recounting the destructive aftermath of Vatican II, declared to the world: "From some fissure the smoke of Satan entered into the temple of God." (June 29, 1972) The adversary knew that if he could get his foot in the door, he could use the Church's liturgical apparatus as a tiller to drive the Church shipwreck onto secular coasts.
Monsignor Gamber, whose work was highly praised by Cardinal Ratzinger, had this to say about the change of liturgy: "The liturgical reform welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions, a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests."
Cardinal Ratzinger himself had this to say: "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it—as in a manufacturing process—with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product." (From his preface to The Reform of the Roman Liturgy)
Cardinal Ottaviani, who was special adviser to Pope Paul VI, refuted the New Mass in a letter to His Holiness on September 25, 1969, saying, "The Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass." (From his cover letter to his famous Ottaviani Intervention on the New Mass)
"The Catholic theology of the Mass" is a reference to the Sacred Mysteries. During the elevation of the Host and Chalice, the Sacrifice of Calvary is reenacted, whereby the substance of bread and wine is changed into the very substance of Jesus Christ, so that the substance of bread and wine ceases to be. It is now the substance of Jesus Christ, only and entirely, without any other substance mingling with it. Only the accidents or physical properties of bread and wine remain (e.g. taste, smell, touch), but the substance itself is now Christ, and only Christ. This Divine substance under the appearance of bread and wine is what we call The Mystery of Faith.
All care must be taken to preserve the integrity of the liturgical text as it was given to us by the holy men of God, that it might impart the proper light and understanding concerning this Mystery of Faith—the very heart of the Mass. The liturgy is supposed to enhance our awareness of this Mystery by rendering honor to our Eucharistic King on the altar, but today's liturgy has diverted the attention away from Christ and turned the Mass into an occasion of festive encounter between the congregation and priest.
During an international teleconference on August 30, 2016, Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura lamented the scandal of Mass versus populum, arguing that it turns the Mass into a performance or dialogue. "There's the great temptation when the priest is facing the people to see him as some kind of a performer," the former archbishop of St. Louis said. "Instead of the priest together with the people relating to God, somehow it becomes an interaction between the priest and the people."
This liturgical aberration, when combined with flippant liturgical text spiked with political agenda, make-shift Eucharistic prayers, and casual socializing before Communion with the hand shake of peace, have worked together to bring about what can be called the greatest crisis facing the Church today, namely, the loss of the awareness of the supernatural presence of Christ in his sanctuary. We might say that a form of Eucharistic atheism prevails today, thanks to the modern Mass.
It was for this reason that St. Pope Pius V issued ex-cathedra his superlative papal bull Quo Primum (July 14, 1570), whereby he instituted a perpetual mandate that the Mass of the Council of Trent alone be said. "This present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall ever remain valid and have the force of law." Therein he makes clear that any future efforts to alter or deviate from the Tridentine formula of the Mass will "incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."[ii]
What is interesting is that Pope Paul VI, so often accused of imposing the new Mass, never forbade the old Mass. In 1986, a panel of nine Vatican cardinals concluded that Pope Paul VI never abrogated the Mass of Pius V, nor did he mandate the New Mass, nor did he grant bishops the right to forbid or restrict priests from saying the Tridentine Latin Mass. Pope John Paul II had commissioned the cardinals to look into the legal status of the old Mass, as it was his intention to bring its legality to light.
This laid the groundwork for Benedict XVI to continue the process of liberating the old rite, which he did via Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007), which reaffirmed the legality of the pre-conciliar Latin Mass. The Motu Proprio did not make the old Mass legal, but made official what already was the case, namely, that it always was the right of priests to say the old Mass without permission from their bishops. After all, if priests today do not need permission to say a Mass that was never mandated, they certainly don't need permission to say the Mass that was. Do they need permission to keep the Ten Commandments, too?
If Pope Paul VI had truly mandated the New Mass, he would have specified this, but this was never done. Nowhere in the 1969 Missale Romanum does it mandate that the New Mass has to be said. The document merely mandates the publication of the new missal, ordering that "the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect [are validated] November 30th of this year" and that it "be firm and effective now and in the future." But there is no mention of its use. The document was issued as an indult for those that wanted the new Mass.
Pius V, on the contrary, laid down the law with his subjects, saying, "We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the [Tridentine] Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us." He said: "Let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us" mandating that "This new rite alone is to be used."
THIS IS THE MASS that needs to be returned if the light of true faith is to be preserved. Monsignor Gamber says, "A real change in the contemporary perception of the purpose of the Mass and the Eucharist will occur only when the table altars are removed and Mass is again celebrated at the high altar; when the purpose of the Mass is again seen as an act of adoration and glorification of God... and as the mystical reenactment of the Lord's sacrifice on the cross."
Returning the old Mass would show true pastoral care in that it would give the eternal riches of God back to His people and provide a true renewal in which the light of tradition can again shine through the liturgy and dispel the darkness of our time. Christ instituted his Church that it might be a light to the nations, signified by the Latin word Lumen Gentium. The eternal light emanating from the old Rite is that Lumen Gentium which will attract the world to Christ, but without this light man is deprived of good things and alienated from God.
It is high time that Rome "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking of the Tridentine Mass, accentuated this very point on April 30, 2011: "What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well." (Universae Ecclesia)
Let us clamor then for the restoration of the main altar and that priests everywhere will begin offering the Mass facing the altar. The Vatican's chief liturgist Cardinal Robert Sarah is calling for a universal return of saying the Mass ad orientem, and said on September 7, 2017, that the world has "forgotten about God" because the priests "who are supposed to be 'the light of the world' (Mt 5:14) are not approaching the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed."
In an interview published on September 21, Cardinal Burke was asked which of the liturgical reforms requested by Cardinal Sarah should come first. Burke answered, "Offering the Mass with everyone facing the Lord [ad orientem]." He said, "This will help so much to restore the sense of worship and to show that the Mass is not some kind of social event between the priest and parishioners or the parishioners among themselves."
According to Cardinal Burke, priests effectively assume a pastoral role when they say the Traditional Latin Mass facing the altar. "The priest as our spiritual father is leading us in this worship to lift our minds and hearts to God." (August 30, 2016)
[i] The principal architect of the new Mass was Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, a suspected Freemason who twice was expelled from the Vatican because of suspicious activity. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liturgical-time-bombs-in-vatican-ii-michael-davies/1114285164?ean=9781618904331
[ii] The wrath of Almighty God and SS. Peter and Paul is not incurred by priests who innocently comply with the Novus Ordo thinking it is the right thing to do, but by perpetrators such as those that authored the perfidiousVatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium which, under the guise of restoration, proposed devious changes to the Mass in violation of the everlasting ordinance. Even so, the Mass today remains valid in that it reenacts the Sacrifice of Christ.