Encyclical on the Eucharist

Source: FSSPX News


On Holy Thursday the Pope published a long awaited encyclical on the Holy Eucharist. The nature of the subject, intimately connected with the Holy Mass, was a cause for both hope and fear. It has to be admitted that our hopes were realized, more than our fears, and that this text gives back a rightful place, generally forgotten or denied, to the Tradition of the Church. However, it also gives cause for concern, and certain aspects of it reveal that there is still a long way to go before Rome’s complete return to Tradition.

We can feel nothing but satisfaction in finding a vigorous recall of the sacrificial nature of the Holy Mass. The Council of Trent, thought to be totally outmoded, comes back in to favor in support of this reaffirmation. In the same line, the doctrine of the “Pascal Mystery”, the theological basis of the Novus Ordo, is reviewed in a traditional sense, continuing, however to spread ambiguity, and maintaining a theological explanation of the Holy Sacrifice which is both inadequate and ambiguous.

The position and role of the priest are mentioned in a clearer and more traditional manner than in recent pontifical documents.

However, a serious deficiency appears in the omission of the doctrine of propitiation. This aspect of the Holy Sacrifice is actually absent – without a doubt, deliberately. Let us not forget the current trend of adopting the error of universal Redemption, which persists in all the major documents of the pontificate which tackle this question, directly or indirectly.

Numerous disciplinary calls will comfort those who have fought so long for the eradication of abuses. The encyclical also announces one or two decrees which will be implemented by the dicasteries concerned (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship), and meant to strengthen the fight against liturgical decay: communion, Sunday obligation, liturgical norms having to be respected.

However, the obligatory ecumenical passages completely undermine such reminders. We can safely say that, so long as the ecumenical movement is carried by the spirit which animates it, disciplinary calls will have little effect, as the two things are linked.

In conclusion, we must rejoice at the undeniable theological progress which this encyclical realizes and the disciplinary effort that it wishes to carry out, in order to stop the insane decline, which the liturgy has suffered in the last thirty years. All the same, we deplore the fact that the doctrine of propitiation, the glaring omission from post-Vatican II liturgy and theology, still has to go through its purgatory.