The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

The New Mass Is a Valid Catholic Mass

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 376 times Debate No: 94993
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)





      • Round #1: Acceptance only.
      • Rounds #2-3: Argument and rebuttal.

      • Round #4: Rebuttal and summation.

      • Accepting this debate implies stipulating there is at minimum one valid Catholic Mass and the Catholic faith exists; accepting does not require my opponent be a follower of Catholicism.

      • Use of Google Docs or any other method to avoid the time constraints or to modify arguments after submission is a violation of conduct.

Any rule violation constitutes grounds for a 7 point loss.

I will argue the New Mass is not a valid Catholic Mass.

New Mass- any Mass with changes introduced after the papacy of Pope Pius XII.



My thanks to Con (Throwback) for instigating this debate. It is an interesting topic that I have never debated, and I look forward to a spirited debate on a grave matter of eternal significance.

As per the rules of this debate I will wait until next round to make any arguments / rebuttals. I now invite Con to make his opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I welcome my opponent to this debate. I wish him the best and expect to be pushed to learn from it. I concede that he is representing a position in which he firmly believes, and I would not diminish in the acts of anyone who defends what they believe. I seek to do the same and I believe the evidence will weigh in favor of Con.

All biblical references used by Con, unless specifically stated otherwise, are taken from the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible with Challoner Notes. The English and Latin are availabe online at .

Con Position: The New Mass is not a valid Mass.

Con will demonstrate in this debate that as Catholics, it is imperative that we show our allegiance to the truth, wherever that leads, and guided with the knowledge that the Catholic Church has the authority to establish rules for the actions of its ministers and followers, and more to the point of this topic, the general councils with the Pope and/or the Pope acting alone may establish rules governing on faith and morals for the entire Catholic faith are to be followed by all Catholics.

The Primacy of Peter

“Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (1) This is a focal point for Catholicism, as in this moment is understood the setting aside of Peter as the head of the Apostles. His given name was Simon Bar-Jona, but Christ declared him Peter, meaning Rock (petrus is the Latin for rock) “Et ego dico tibi, quia tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam....” (emphasis added to the Latin of “thou art Peter”) (2). It is also clear when reading in Latin, that the declaration of Simon Bar-Jona as Peter and a reference to the rock upon which Christ would build his Church are not 2 thoughts, but one-’tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram’, petrus and petram being 2 declensions of the same Latin noun. Christ also gives the reason for this primacy of Peter. It was not because he knew and declared Jesus to be the Christ. Peter was certainly not the only to know it, and not even the first to say it. Christ gives the reason: “because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee”, Peter gained this knowledge without human aid due to the preeminence of the office which he was to hold.

The Apostles appointed successors as early as the replacement of Judas who hanged himself after his betrayal of Christ. “And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (3) It is right then that the lawful successors to St. Peter’s Bishopric should possess the primacy which he held.

Taking the authority given to the Apostles and Peter, the Church has recognized its teaching authority and put it into practice, “whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” above. This is a core difference between Catholicism and those religions which broke from it, using personal interpretation of Scripture to establish their rule. This authority to expound upon and expand beyond the words in Holy Scripture belongs the the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

As Catholics there are certain beliefs which we must hold. They are ‘de fide definata’, defined of faith, or definition of faith. For the Catholic, this is the infallible, the highest degree of certainty of any teaching. It is truth defined. It is therefore infallible, immutable, and unchanging truth. Denial of any ‘de fide definata’ by a Catholic incurs automatically the loss of membership in the Catholic faith, whether that loss be known or secret.

Catholicism has as its central point the Sacrifice of the Mass. This is considered the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross (4)

This extremely brief synopsis of some teaching of relevant beliefs of Catholicism is presented in order to demonstrate the weightiness for Catholics of a papal decree, where the Pope exercises his office as the pastor of all Catholics to give instruction to the universal church in matters of faith and morals. Under these circumstances, and only under these is the papal infallibility applicable. “The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra (de fide definata)” (5), where ex Cathedra refers to his position as pastor of the entire body of the faithful.

Considering these, I argue the decree “Quo Primum” given ex Cathedra by Pope St. Pius V on July 14, 1570. (6) In it is announced that a universal rite of offering Mass has been developed, and it is to be used in all Churches throughout the world, with the rare exception of those already in existence at that time and using another form continuously from in beginning and for at least 200 years. They are permitted to continue in the right they were so using, or could use the form being then publish. Without exception, all others were to begin use of the form being promulgated in 1570 alone. Also, within this same Quo Primum, Pope St. Pius V makes it very clear, several times, that this rite of offering Mass would remain in force for all time without changes, deletions or additions.

Hence, it is clearly prohibited for anyone to introduce any other Mass. This is not a preference; it is de fide definata. His papal decree specifying one single rite of Mass for all time did not cease to be a papal decree with his death. Things such as “in perpetuity” and “henceforth, now and forever” have a clear and distinct meaning. The new Mass is without question not the same Mass in use from the time of Pope St. Pius V in 1570 until the death of Pope Pius XII. For irrefutable proof that the Mass in the Missale Romanum (Roman Missal) of Pope St. Pius V was in use until the 1960’s one need only review the encyclical of Pope Paul VI, “Missale Romanum” published April 3, 1969. (7) In it, Pope Paul VI comments on the rite of Mass in use as ordered by Pope Pius V after the Council of Trent, and proceeds to give reasons for the forthcoming revisions (remember, ‘without changes, deletions or additions’, ‘henceforth’, ‘in perpetuity’, ‘now and forever’?). So we have proof from Pope Paul VI himself in his own writing that his actions effect changes of that one true Mass which remains unchanged in perpetuity!

Any one and all of these changes from the Mass as declared the one true Mass forever by Pope St. Pius V render the new Mass invalid. They are strictly forbidden, de fide definata, and any other Mass is thereby a non Catholic enterprise, and is not valid. These de fide definata decrees are not suggestions; they are not guides; they are completely binding upon Catholicism. When only one Mass is enumerated by the successor of St. Peter, for all time, for a Catholic this has meaning; that no other Mass is valid, for all time, but would be instead an offense in direct violation of Catholicism. The Mass cannot be both in violation of a definition of faith and also in accordance with it. Such a concept is convoluted and requires excellent mental gymnastics at best, and is deceitful and corrupt at worst.

  1. Matthew 16:16-19

  2. Matthew 16:18

  3. Acts of the Apostles 1:24-26


  5. “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” Dr. Ludwig Ott, p. 286






My thanks to Con for his clear opening argument. As we are both Catholics there is much in agreement between us - which will greatly simplify the debate, because we will fully agree on many of the fundamentals upon which the debate hinges.

In this section I will note the areas that I am in agreement with Con.

1) I take no exception to the use of the Douay-Rheims English translation of the Bible.

2) Catholics must show allegiance to the truth.

3) The Pope is the successor of Peter and has the authority to loose and bind.

4) The Pope is infallible when he speaks Ex-Cathedra

5) The Sacrifice of the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary in the Eucharist - (the source and summit of the Christian life).


From 882 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." [1]

Essentially the Pope is the supreme executive, legislative and judicial office all rolled into one man. However, there are two laws: ecclesiastical laws, which are man-made and divine laws which are ordained by God. Thus, how a new pope is chosen can be changed by the Pope - because this is a man-made law. That there is a Pope cannot be changed, because it was Christ Himself who instituted the office.

By this Papal authority, Paul VI promulgated a new Order of Mass (Novus Ordo) in 1969; Apostolic Constitution titled Missale Romanum. [2]

Con's opening argument is based on the authority of Popes to set forth the rules and structures that the Holy Mass is to adhere to. As such my argument is:

A valid Pope has validly promulgated a New Rite of the Mass, and thus it is valid.

The remainder of my argument will focus on refuting Con's assertions that the Pope did not have this authority.


The crux of my opponent's argument is not that Popes do not have this authority, but rather that Pope Paul VI did not have the authority to do this due to Pope St. Pius V's encyclical Quo Primum. Con asserts that this document is not only an absolute legislative decree, but is also an infallible, and thus irrevocable, decree on the part of the Pope.

I intend to show that an absolute ban on any changes to the mass from that day in absolute perpetuity was neither the intent of the Pope, nor within his authority to bind future Popes in this manner.


I will first argue that the intent was not to prevent any changes to the mass by future popes. First of all one has to understand the sweeping language in the writing style of the times. The Pope most certainly has the authority to dictate which form of the mass must be adhered to. It also certainly seemed that there were many forms of the mass at the time - as Pope St. Pius V noted that only masses that had "been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years" [3] were exempt from this decree.

It is also important to note that this decree was issued 7 years after the Council of Trent. The Catholic Church was in effect cleaning house of any heresies, aberrations, etc. that may have become introduced into the liturgy in the 50ish years following the Protestant Revolt. Thus the Pope was making sure that the liturgy was free of any heretical practices that may have crept into the various local liturgies.

He used the strongest language possible due the high reverence for, and centrality of, the Mass to the Catholic faith. It went so far as to impose fines on printers who printed non-conforming versions of the missals - 100 gold ducats and forfeiture of the printed missals in lands obedient to the Pope and excommunication to those outside of those lands.[3]

Now it is important to note from Quo Primum who this document is applied to:

We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence [3]

It is important to note that the Pope St. Pius V notes that even cardinals must obey his edict. However, it is important to note that he doesn't say popes. He mentions cardinals by name because they are the highest ranking church officials after the pope. Had Pope St. Pius V intended to bind his successor, those with the very highest possible authority, he wouldn't have specifically mentioned the second highest authorities by name, but instead would have mentioned himself and his successors.

This is a clear indication that he was writing according to the style of the times. In fact just one year after Quo Primum was published, Pope St. Pius V altered the missal by adding the feast of our Lady of the Rosary. Additionally, Con is not arguing that when Pius XII made alterations to the mass in 1965, they were invalid. Yet he attempts to use the Baroque language of the document to imply that when Pope Paul VI did something it was invalid.

I have clearly shown that the intent of the encyclical cannot be what Con argued.


Con has stated that the prohibition against changing the Mass was an infallible papal decree. As such we need to look at what makes a Papal proclamation infallible and thus binding on all Catholics in perpetuity.

For something to be infallible Vatican I listed the requisite conditions: [4]

1. "the Roman Pontiff"
2. "speaks ex cathedra (that is, when in the discharge of his office and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority)
3. "he defines"
4. "that a doctrine concerning faith or moral"
5. "must be held by the whole Church"

While everything that the Church does has some relationship to faith and morals, it does not mean that the exact form of the mass is not a definition of faith or morals. The liturgical directives that the priest follows are intended to draw forth the mysteries of the faith.

This is made obvious in the fact that there are exemptions being made to the rule being instituted. Let's compare this to a recent Infallible proclamation:

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful. [5]

This is what an infallible statement looks like. It is infallible because this has been the constant belief of the Church. There are no exceptions for communities that have some other tradition older than 200 years regarding Mary's Immaculate Conception. This is a doctrine of the Catholic Faith. It is Tradition and not tradition.

The fact that there are numerous rites with differing yet valid forms of the Mass, attests to the fact that the mass promulgated by Pope St. Pius V cannot be a doctrine of the Church, but is rather a discipline.

As such Pope St. Pius could bind his successors against changes to the mass. The reason that an infallible proclamation is binding on all successive popes is because it is a divine law or reality. If on the other hand the liturgical directives are a matter of policy that affect faith, but are not faith themselves, then the Pope cannot bind his successor.

For Con to substantiate his claim he would have to show the Jesus on the road Emmaus, or the early Christians performed mass according to the Pius V missal.


I have clearly shown that Con's argument does not survive scrutiny on two levels. Pope St. Pius V had neither the intention nor the authority to prevent any and all changes to the rites of the Holy Mass.

I look forward to Con's rebuttals.


Debate Round No. 2


Without prejudice to my position, I forfeit this round to Pro to move this debate toward completion and the voting period, to allow him to achieve a win.


Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 3


Without prejudice to my position, I forfeit this round to Pro to move this debate toward completion and the voting period, to allow him to achieve a win.


My thanks to Con for setting forth the debate.

I had been looking forward to a bit more back and forth on the topic.

Best wishes to Con.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 1 month ago
Ok. Good to know some standards haven't been unilaterally changed without notice.
Posted by whiteflame 1 month ago
>Reported vote: dsjpk5// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Concession in round three. This used to be enough, but I wouldn't be surprised if this vote was removed. Let's find out... someone report this vote.

[*Reason for non-removal*] Con clearly conceded in R3, and that is sufficient reason to award a win to Pro.
Posted by BackCommander 1 month ago
@dsjpk5 I reported your vote to see if concession is enough.
Posted by Throwback 1 month ago
I would ask all voters to cast their vote in favor of pro. I am asking this irrespective of any notion of which position is more reasonable. I withheld further discussion after my initial argument for this purpose, to allow the opposition to prevail in my absence. I ask all to vote accordingly.
Posted by one2one 2 months ago
I'll be following this :)
Posted by Throwback 2 months ago
It's an open debate, my friend, but you are also welcome.
Posted by Geogeer 2 months ago
I'm assuming this is for me. ;-)

I'm out of town this weekend... I'll see early next week.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ThinkBig 1 month ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear forfeit.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 month ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession in round three. This used to be enough, but I wouldn't be surprised if this vote was removed. Let's find out... someone report this vote.