"I'm not a scholar or an academic. I'm just passionate about the liturgy."
I smiled at the words of a kindred soul. It was a sunny Friday in Paris and I was chatting with Kevin Mathy, the willpower and funding behind Roman Catholic Archive.
Like not a few passionate Americans, he decided to actualize that passion by creating Roman Catholic Archive, which has a very ambitious project as its first product: a pre-1955 altar missal.
As most know, the 1962 "red line" was established by the Modernist Vatican authorities in the early 1980s and has been respected by both the SSPX and FSSP. This has had the follow-on effect that the 2007 Motu helped to collapse the position of some "holdout" groups like the ICKSP, who had previously "stubbornly" held on to the pre-1955.
By having a Missal they "owned" the Modernist Vatican authorities were creating a precedent whereby they could tinker with the 1962 Missal. It was already compromised in a number of ways, including having inside it, lock, stock, and barrel, the Novus Ordo Holy Week. Those who cleave to the 1962 may be completely oblivious to the danger awaiting them.
Pre-1955 is a true red line. It declares a refusal to have anything to do with the liturgical terrorists who erected the maimèd rites which would be the mess of pottage for any Catholic born after 1970.
What fascinated me was Kevin's disclosure that he has received pre-orders for this Missal from priests of the Society of St Pius X, the Fraternity of St Peter, and various other Motu groups. All of these priests were bypassing the beautiful and established 1962 option that Angelus Press offered and were opting for this missal from a startup company.
"Why do you think, Kevin?"
"It's obvious, don't you think? They say pre-55 in their private Masses."
The implications were staggering. If the people who saw themselves as within the "official Church" were willing to engage in this private "disobedience" on the liturgy, what else was brewing?
At some point, would people, having calmly assessed the 1962 Missal as unacceptable, start to look at matters like the New Rite of Episcopal Consecration? Fr. Michael Oswalt, the first priest absolutely ordained in the post-Vatican II era after having been invalidly ordained in the Novus Ordo, could not surely be the only one honest enough to do the research...and to follow its conclusions.
We'll have Kevin on Restoration Radio later this season to give you a bit more backstory on what it takes to put a missal together, from scratch, in our post-Bugnini liturgical publishing landscape.
For now, please consider supporting his work. If buying a missal is not within your budget, please consider writing him and asking him how to send in your own donations - of any size.
Roman Catholic Archive is the sponsor for Fr. Anthony Cekada's Work of Human Hands radio show on the Restoration Radio Network.