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On 30 June 1968, pope Paul VI pronounced his Credo in which the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass "celebrated by the priest in the Person of Christ in virtue of the power he received in the Sacrament of Order" was very clearly, unambiguously, and correctly expressed. Twelve days earlier, Pope Paul VI had signed the Apostolic Constitution in which he approved and imposed the new ritual of the ordination of deacon, priest, and bishop. In this book the author examines the new rite of ordination to the priesthood and exposes its differences with the former one used in the Roman rite for a number of centuries, enjoying the highest authority.
There can be no doubt of the validity of the New Rite but there are certain features which the author deplores. A number of prayers and ceremonies have been suppressed which, in the Old Rite, served clearly to express the most essential character and duty of priesthood: to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass. This is a sign of a tendency which can be observed in other official liturgical innovations (not to mention illegal ones). It is a matter of great concern for many Catholics that this and similar things are done at a time when the sacrificial character of what is now commonly called the "celebration of the Eucharist" is questioned or even denied by many who do not leave the Catholic Church.
Mr. Davies gives an impressive exposition of the facts and the meaning he attaches to them in the light of Trent, the Pontifical letter Apostolicae Curae of Pope Leo XIII, other official documents, and also the Canterbury Declaration on Ministry and Ordination in the Anglican and Catholic Churches. He rightly rejects the latter completely as a totally ambiguous document.
This is a rich and scholarly book which should be in the hands of all who study post-conciliar developments in the official Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Christ.