Paul VI & Liturgical Abuse – The Trutheditor
[Yesterday] mark[ed] the 50th anniversary of the first “Mass in Italian” to be ever celebrated, an event deemed important enough to be celebrated by the current Pope with a special commemorative Mass at the same church in Rome (Parrocchia di Ognissanti, Via Appia Nuova, 244) where it took place. The original Mass was celebrated by Paul VI on March 7, 1965 which happened to be that year’s First Sunday of Lent. The repeatedly vandalized plaque now marking the event (see source) goes so far as to say that it was this event that inaugurated the liturgical reform decreed by Vatican II. (The text of the plaque says, “On March 7, 1965, His Holiness Paul VI, inaugurating the liturgical reform decreed by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, deigned to celebrate in this temple the first mass in Italian language, amidst the emotion and joy of an entire people, forever faithful and grateful.”) …
Nevertheless it is not true, as is sometimes implied in blogs oriented to the “Reform of the Reform”, that the 1965 Missal only allowed a modest use of the vernacular. The permission for the use of the vernacular in Inter oecumenici is sweeping and includes all the parts said or sung by the congregation:
57. For Masses, whether sung or recited, celebrated with a congregation, the competent, territorial ecclesiastical authority on approval, that is, confirmation, of its decisions by the Holy See, may introduce the vernacular into:
a. the proclaiming of the lessons, epistle, and gospel; the universal prayer or prayer of the faithful;
b. as befits the circumstances of the place, the chants of the Ordinary of the Mass, namely, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus-Benedictus, Agnus Dei, as well as the introit, offertory, and communion antiphons and the chants between the readings;
c. acclamations, greeting, and dialogue formularies, the Ecce Agnus Dei, Domine, non sum dignus, Corpus Christi at the communion of the faithful, and the Lord’s Prayer with its introduction and embolism.Granted, this same document (# 59) also stipulates that:
Pastors shall carefully see to it that the Christian faithful, especially members of lay religious institutes, also know how to recite or sing together in Latin, mainly with simple melodies, the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass proper to them.
This Sunday marks a memorable date in the spiritual history of the Church, because the spoken language officially enters the liturgical worship, as you have already seen this morning. The Church has considered this measure right and proper – the Council has suggested and deliberated it – and this in order to render its prayer intelligible and make it understood. The welfare of the people demands this care, so as to make possible the active participation of the faithful in the public worship of the Church. It is a sacrifice that the Church has made of her own language, Latin; a sacred, sober, beautiful language, extremely expressive and elegant. She has sacrificed the traditions of centuries and above all she sacrifices the unity of language among the various peoples, in homage to this greater universality, in order to reach all.And this [also] for you, faithful, so that you may know better [how to] join yourselves to the Church’s prayer, so that you may know [how to] pass from a state of simple spectators to that of participating and active faithful, and if you truly know how to correspond to this attention of the Church, you will have the great joy, the merit and the chance of a true spiritual renewal.And now let us also pray to the Madonna, we will pray to her still in Latin for now, so she can grant us this desire of an active and authentic spiritual life, and that she may grant us this reawakened sense of community, of fraternity, of the collectivity that prays together, of the people of God, so that we will certainly have assured to us the advantages of this great liturgical reform.
The now new way of praying, of celebrating Holy Mass is extraordinary. The new form of the liturgy is inaugurated today in all the parishes and churches in the world, for all masses followed by the people. It is a great event, which will have to be recalled as the beginning of a thriving spiritual life, as a new effort in corresponding at the great dialogue between God and man.
Pope Paul VI also gave communion to the faithful who were standing:
This was no accident; during the General Audience of March 17, 1965 Paul VI issued a scathing attack against the critics of the liturgical reform, and he explicitly includes among his targets those who criticize communion while standing. His remarks go beyond the critics of the liturgical reform and engages in a number of stereotypes of the faithful who attended Mass in the pre-Conciliar era, stereotypes startlingly similar to what liturgical progressivists have not ceased to repeat ever since.
Intentionally celebrating the Mass facing the people, displacing the altar from the sanctuary (and in fact doing away with a tangible “sanctuary” in the traditional sense), covering up or removing the high altar, the use of a “table-altar”, communion no longer received while kneeling … we are often assured by “conservative” writers that these had nothing to do either with Paul VI or Vatican II, and in fact became widespread only years later, and against the express will of both. However, the records of this Mass and of Masses publicly celebrated by Paul VI in the years immediately after 1965 show that he was at the vanguard of these changes. This is ironic given the tendency in some Reform of the Reform circles to point to the “1965 Missal” as the way to resacralization and the return to tradition for the wider Church — a Missal whose very birth was attended by many of the innovations now deplored by these same circles.
Equally of note is that these innovations, which many in the Reform of the Reform camp assert have nothing to do with Vatican II because these are not mentioned in the actual text of Sacrosanctum Concilium, were already taking place in Rome itself, with the Pope’s own endorsement and in his presence, long before the Council ended on December 8, 1965. Source
Please make sure you click on the source to read the above article in full. Could this Pope Paul VI who endorsed wholesale liturgical abuse in his new Mass from the get-go, be the same Pope Paul VI portrayed as hand-wringing and full of regret at the devastation wrought post-Vatican II, wondering from whence came “the smoke of Satan” that had “entered the Temple of God”? Read the Rorate Caeli article and then share your thoughts…
That Pope Paul VI the original Mass said in the venacular on Sunday 7th March 1965 is awful in itself. Archbishop Bugnini author of the New Mass, is quoted in L’Osservatore Romano of 19th March 1965:-
“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants”.
That statement was made 12 days after Pope Paul celebrated the original Mass in the venacular on the 7th March 1965. If anything it should have alerted His Holiness of the dangers of tampering with the Mass of all time. That he is in the vanguard of changes is awful in itself.
Sad to say abuses of the Novus Ordo Mass has proliferated over the years. It has impacted on how people act/dress etc while attending Mass. How great is the loss of faith nowadays?
How are the other Sacraments affected since that fateful day? See this video link.
And who will try to make us believe that the “dissenters” are on the side of the traditionalists? Dissenters compared to whom and to what?
We are attending the “new Mass” with self-abnegation, precisely in fidelity to the Holy Church and impious people call us dissenters!… The new liturgy, even celebrated in dignity, is only just bearable; a novelty was introduced relatively recently: the words of consecration are sometimes sung there, so they lose their imperious character and become therefore purely narrative, as in a story, and this may cast doubt on the validity of the sacrament… In the new liturgy, all fantasies are allowed, it is the most complete indiscipline, if not anarchy!!!
We have no lessons to learn from “mercenaries” who betrayed the Holy Church and will have, like everyone else, to be accountable. How can we celebrate such a disastrous event, a reform which is the main cause of the desertification of our churches? I cannot find strong enough words to stigmatize as it should be those unworthy pastors…
In the “new liturgy”, the meaning of the Mass is altered by the signs and deeds; there is no place for contemplation, people applaud and jig up and down during the celebration, Holy Communion is distributed anyhow, the loss of the sacred is significant etc…
We must not celebrate a disaster; what a shame! it is an affront to the Honour of Almighty God, a crime of lese Divine Majesty; ultimately it is a sacrilege!
This is simply unacceptable. LD
I agree, you have expressed it exactly as I did not.
This indeed is one of the greatest of spiritual chastisements in the late 20th/early 21st century.
That’s amazing about Pope Paul VI. I’m afraid I was one of those who thought the abuses crept in over time and Pope Paul VI was not to blame. That article was a real eye-opener for me.
The abuses on the video I’ve seen before but they always come as a shock. I wonder what Paul VI would say if he saw that video now?
I, too, was stunned at the article above. Like Margaret Mary, I thought Paul VI was weak and didn’t really know what was going on. Archbishop Bugnini was such a conniving character, I believed that he hid a lot of what the Consilium were doing until it was too late. This article clearly shows otherwise.
It’s interesting that this Mass took place in 1965. Wasn’t this the year that the bishops rejected the older brother of the Novus Ordo, the “Normative Mass”? Yet, here was the Pope himself celebrating something very similar. Im assuming this Mass that Paul VI was some sort of hybrid Mass to soften up the ground for the real Mass od the Freemasons. Four years later, the Novus Ordo was imposes upon the Catholic world and the dismantling of the Faith accelerated. How calculated and cunning!
I hope everyone clicks and reads the whole article because some of the photographs are beyond belief. Even before the Council finished they were butchering the Mass. I think we can conclude that the enemy within had set out to destroy the Roman Rite for many years prior to the Council. This grand scale revolution must have been planned well in advance.
God forgive me, but Paul VI was certainly a useful idiot.
I have to admit that I too was shocked to read that Pope Paul VI celebrated a vernacular Mass as early as 1965. I was even more shocked to read that he had arranged for the high altar and Sanctuary of that unfortunate church to be hidden behind drapes while he performed his innovation at a table. And now we also learn that the U.S. bishops were tinkering with a vernacular liturgy even before Paul VI, 1964 to be precise.
As far as I understood it the first public performance, and I mean performance, for that is what the New Mass is, took place in Rome before the Synod of Bishops in 1967 and was a total flop, the majority of bishops present rejecting it as dangerously innovative. But it seems Paul VI wasn’t really interested in what his bishops had to say, so greatly was he influenced by Annibale Bugnini who, by 1974, was sufficiently emboldened as to declare the New Mass “a major conquest of the Catholic Church”.
The Conciliar document responsible for this conquest was Bugnini’s own Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document so cleverly ambiguous that it can truly be said to be of demonic origin.
Archbishop Lefebvre and other senior theologians of the time recognised what was happening and did their utmost to correct the glaring errors in SC. But with a Pope driving the rebellion it was clear even then that no one in the Church was going to prevent this usurpation of the ancient Catholic liturgy with the new Lutheran pretender.
It is quite easy today, on hindsight and by bitter experience, for Catholics to read through SC and spot the obvious time bombs that later exploded with such devastating consequences for the Church. But it wasn’t quite so easy back in the day. The problem now is that a majority have become so indifferent to divine truth after fifty years of this Protestantised Mass that they simply no longer care.
Having recently attended a Novus Ordo funeral, I can testify first hand just how the Faith is lost. It’s all about human respect and personal party pieces now with just the words of consecration remaining to give legality to the proceedings, and they all think it’s wonderful. It’s all so fake and superficial.
How any Pope, prelate, priest of lay person with a modicum of Catholicism left in them can uphold the Novus Ordo Mass this far down the line, seeing the apostasy it has engendered in the universal Church, is a mystery that defies reason. “Diabolical disorientation” is the only explanation for such blindness.
“The problem now is that a majority have become so indifferent to divine truth after fifty years of this Protestantised Mass that they simply no longer care.”
That is so true, so sadly true. Any time I speak with fellow Catholics, that’s the feeling I get, they just don’t care. As long as “the Church” “allows” it, that’s fine with them. Some Catholics!
Yes, some Catholics indeed! Certainly not the kind of Catholics martyrs are made of!
Rampant heretics who are genuinely convinced by their heresy are easier to win back to the truth than indifferent Catholics. Indifference is death to the soul.
I heartily agree, fellow Catholics just don’t care- As long as the Church allows it, that’s fine with them . They don’t bother to think.
How very true that, Archbishop Lefebvre and other theologians recognized, at the time, what was happening with the New Mass and especially,that it could not have been easy. History tells us of the heroic efforts of the monks to preserve precious manuscripts and carefully transcribed works of the ancient world from the marauding barbarians, and I believe, history will tell a similar tale of the heroic Archbishop who fought to preserve what was even more precious- the truths of the Faith handed down from the Apostles, untarnished, unadulterated – in God’s time, that is!
That was incredible! I too, had believed, Paul VI had never intended to destroy the Church, that he was somehow used by the slick Archbishop Bugnini to pave the way for the mass of the masons.
It was so heartbreaking to hear of the high altars being replaced by plain granite, and wooden table-altars being brought in, as if that sufficed to bear the King of Kings.
The now new way of praying, ….The new form of the liturgy….. a great event….to be recalled as the beginning of a thriving spiritual life, as a new effort in corresponding at the great dialogue between God and man Thriving spiritual life? In the dwindling Mass attendance? In the closing of churches across the world? Corresponding to the great dialogue between God and man- this puzzled me the most, is it to mean we ‘interpret’ differently what God is saying to man after 1500+years of having understood what He said?
Isn’t it 2000 years we’ve understood what He said? LOL!
What is really twisted about this business of the New Mass is the argument that lay people have to be saying and doing things to profit from it. This is a perverse and Protestant notion.
There was no lay activity by the faithful at the foot of the Cross on Calvary, only silent meditation and union with Our Lord’s sufferings. The active ones were those who were crucifying and mocking Our Saviour, not recognising the supernatural reality of what was happening, just like the Modernist innovators of today.
How clever the devil has been to make the latter behaviour appear the more acceptable to God in the name of liturgical reform!
This is brilliant There was no lay activity by the faithful at the foot of the Cross on Calvary, only silent meditation and union with Our Lord’s sufferings
MM, 2000 years it is! 😀
I recall vividly that in 1968, 3 yrs after the NO mass was installed, . Pope. Paul 6th was reported in the newspapers as suffering immensly over a huge defection of clergy and nuns from their vocations worldwide. . Older and orthodox priests were allowed to “retire”.Everything changed overnight. Pope Paul stated that “THROUGH Some unknown source Satan had entered “etc. He laisized those who asked.
This is the great mystery of iniquity in our time. We have Popes bewailing the crisis in the Church while apparently not recognising that they are the cause of it by their Modernist innovations.
The said thing is after this the ecumenists started the Spirit of Vatican II, which was a movement to get rid of everything Catholic. In many dioceses people were appointed to openly lie about the changes of Vatican II. I have listened to diocesan officials and priests tell the people that no Church has the full truth. We all share together. When they are challenged on their quoting this as Vataican II they simply ask if you are the only one going to heaven. Another Diocesan official announced that Catholics were forbidden to read the bible prior to Vatican II. Then of course the Pope s Supremacy is in Love and not Authority. Then there is the nun telling catechists that we must stop giving children all these childish devotions. Recently I was in a group when Papal Infallibility came up, Asked to comment their came the reply We have moved on. So here we have the real truth. The mainstream Church is divided into two groups those who are clever and have moved on from the Catholic Faith and those who are simply stupid backward Catholics. I belong to a Church of compromise, the Liturgy is Catholic to please the backward people but the teachings are anti-catholiic to please those who have moved on. What a mess!
And that’s what the Pope wants, a mess! He told young people at WYD to go into their dioceses and create a mess!
I remember reading somewhere, sometime, the difference between the two Masses. If a baby (the faithful), is crying, and is given water (the New Mass), to drink’ the baby is still hungry and crying. But give the baby milk ( the True Mass) then the baby rests quite contentedly in his Mother’s ( Church) bosom.
Today, I rang a friend of mine who – as I’ve done myself – has pulled out one of the multitude of ambiguities in Vatican II documents, when writing to the press or in discussions in order to argue that this or that isn’t really the fault of the Council.
I told him that I (and I hoped he) would now be done with that because that would categorise us, now, as “useful idiots” and I have no intention of adding to their already huge numbers. Once I’d filled him in with some details from this thread, my friend, happily, saw the light and he, too, will stop effectively making excuses for “the Council” and call a spade a very real spade from this day forward.
The revelations about Pope Paul VI in the article above have really impressed on me the nature and extent of the evil wrought by this Council in a way that I hadn’t understood previously.
No wonder the powers-that-be are suppressing the Third Secret of Fatima, to the extent where one of them (whose name escapes me right now) has said that he believes it will never be revealed.
Somebody is forgetting about Judgement Day.
Editor, no serious commentator would disagree that the documents of Vatican II (like, it must be said, those of other ecumenical councils which were celebrated much less publicly and whose archives are infinitely less complete) contain ambiguities which are born of the compromises worked out between the contending factions within its bosom. This is one of the reasons why Vatican II is such a hermeneutical quagmire for histoirans and theologians, many of whom continue to make of it what they will in a process of ‘ongoing interpretation’ which sees this council as the philosopher’s stone of the modern Church.
As for Paul VI, he was, at least in his first period, a man of the left, a progressive with a progressive’s disdain for tradition, especially for human gradition as it gets in the way of man’s development. I think that he changed in his second period, i.e from 1968 to 1978.
Let it not be forgotten that his first celebration of Mass in the vernacular was in March of 1965. His Council was still in session (it would be closed in December with the Immaculate Conception) and had not even yet promulgated Lumen gentium, a document which was to cause him much heartache because some his fellow travellers, more to the left of him, sought to use it as an occasion to usurp Papal prerogative. Hence the famous Nota Esplicativa Previa which, together with Humanae Vitae, demonstrates not only this Pope’s occasional great courage, but also the state of division of the Council Fathers and their theological advisers.
In the Roman spring of 1965, it must have seemed like everything in the garden was rosy. An ecumenical council was beginning to bear fruit in the life of ordinary believers who could at last hear God’s word proclaimed and pray to him in their native language. The Church was finally where people are at, and soon everyone, atheists as well as Catholics, would be joining in in a new civilization of love. Paul VI was on the throne of Peter, JFK, if he hadn’t been assassinated, would have been iat the beginning of his second term in the Whithouse, Beatlemania was in full swing. What was not to like?
But icy winds were rising in the north and preparing to blow down to Rome which would severely chasten Pope Paul’s enthusiasm for reform. The Pope would be submerged under the reaction to Humanae Vitae in 1968 and would never recover as the will to novelty in every facet of the like of the Church brought him pain after pain.
But was Paul VI a bad man? I do not think as much bad as seriously misguided. He was undoutedly very holy in his personal life as numerous witnesses have testified. He was just, like many public men have turned out to be, on the wrong side of history. I would contend that historically and prophetically he and his fellow travellers got it spectacularly wrong while Cardinal Ottaviani got it right, but the fact is that theirs was the prevailing mindset in the culture of their times.
It is enormously difficult to interpret history, especially when it is in full flow. To this extent, there Paul VI there is a lesson for all of us, and I think that it has to do with the Church-World relationship. When I was a lot younger I knew a nun who had for most of her life been the cook of her community. One day in her kitchen, talking about these very issues (she was deeply disturbed by communion in the hand) she said to me, ‘Don’t they see that the more the Church moves in the direction of the World, the more the World seeks to flee her?’ Not an original thought by any stretch of the imagination, but food for thought indeed in view of the holiness of this bride of Christ.
The ‘sin’ of Paul VI probably lies in the degree to which he thought Church and World could be reconciled.
I would contend that Paul VI got the Church-World relationship wrong, but I failed to state in what terms.
Obviously Church and World are not two equivalent expressions. They are two radically different realities,even if they have been created for each other and full fidelity to God’s plan of redemption would see them merge as the world converts to Chirst and is subsumed in the Church.
Paul VI fatally underestimated the world’s underlying resistance to the attraction of the Church. In trying to attract the World he exposed the Church to stresses that are still with us and will be for a long time to come. It is almost as if his raising of the bastions allowed the citadel to be overwhelmed.
But the story is far from over. It has been a part of Christianity since its inception and is still alive today in the Francis phenomenon. For Francis, let us be aware is even less sure of the Church-World relation than was Paul VI and will in his turn get badly bitten.
I think you are very kind in what amounts to a defence of Pope Paul VI. You point to Humanae Vitae as evidence of his courage – but there was no need for HV. He gave false hope to ignorant Catholics that the Church had the authority to change the natural law when he appointed his Commission to examine the issues. Then he dashed those false hopes by (inevitably) re-stating the truth – that the Church’s duty is merely to proclaim and promote God’s natural moral law. And it is thanks to HV that we now have Catholics, like everyone else (including Pope Francis!) using the language of the secularist by speaking of “responsible family planning” and “responsible parenthood”. So, HV may not have gone too well for Pope Paul VI when he gave an account of his pontificate to His Maker.
HV aside – and I do not wish to take away from the fact that in that document the Pope did restate the Catholic prohibition on contraception, a fact which falls into the category of “thankful for small mercies” – the fact remains that Pope Paul VI played a much greater role in the introduction of the new Mass, complete with liturgical abuses, that many of us realised.
As for your remark that “Francis… is even less sure of the Church-World relation…” I’m speechless. “Francis” is an outright Modernist, who is only too well aware of the “Church-World” relationship, and enthusiastic to have the Church conform to the world. That is clear from his just about every utterance. Pope Francis needs our prayers – urgently. That’s about the nicest thing I can say about him.
You appear to be seeking to excuse Pope Paul VI in a way that really doesn’t fit with the intellect of the man. I think St. Pius X summed this Pontiff and his fellow innovators up more precisely in Lamentabili Sane.
I agree with you that Paul VI later became more concerned with the way the Council had turned out, as did Joseph Ratzinger. But let us not forget that he could have stopped the rot with his Apostolic authority at any time, and yet he did nothing.
A classic example of this failure can be seen in Memoriale Domini where he laments the illicit introduction and spread of Communion in the hand (by Cardinal Suenens). Now, he begins well in that document by stating that Communion on the tongue is to remain the practice of the Church (which is still in force today), but then he opens the flood gates by permitting indults in those countries where “the contrary usage” has already become established, and then further exacerbates the problem by indicating that Bishops Conferences throughout the world may also apply for a Church indult to introduce this “contrary usage” into their respective dioceses. The result is that this horrendous and illicit practice is now in every parish in the world by indult as if it were the norm.
I’m sorry to say that I reject this idea of a saintly Pope who nevertheless sets the Church on a path of auto-destruction by his innovative behaviour and manifest weakness of rule. The Church’s posthumous condemnation of Pope Honorius I suggests to me that one day all the Popes of Vatican II are going to come under very close scrutiny by more Traditional successors, and it will not be for the purpose of confirming their canonisation!
“Editor, no serious commentator would disagree that the documents of Vatican II (like, it must be said, those of other ecumenical councils which were celebrated much less publicly and whose archives are infinitely less complete) contain ambiguities which are born of the compromises worked out between the contending factions within its bosom.”
I can’t pretend to have read the documents of every Council prior to Vatican II but those I have read – notably Trent – contain NO ambiguities. Read any of them – and read Pascendi – and quote me an ambiguity. They are crystal clear, with commands and anathemas spelt out in words of one syllable.
At no time in her history, has the Catholic Church been in such turmoil as a direct result of a Council. Never. The Second Council of Constantinople in the sixth century was about the closest in type to VII; it was ambiguous and caused confusion about Catholic doctrine but even that Council doesn’t come close to the turmoil caused by Vatican II. Later, Pope Gregory the Great told bishops to ignore the Second Council of Constantinople and its ambiguous teaching. “Just pretend it never took place,” was his advice. That will be the fate of Vatican II one day because although Pope John XXIII stated at the outset that the Second Vatican Council was to be no dogmatic Council, that it would remain on a purely pastoral level, its wish list is applied rigorously, as though it WERE in fact, dogma.
So, please don’t let’s keep trying to give the impression that this is just another one of those things. The fact of the matter is, Vatican II is unique and will be – without a shred of doubt – condemned by a future pontiff in the same way that Constantinople II was condemned by Gregory the Great.
I would disagree that the Nota Esplicativa Previa, (concerning Lumen Genitum), was a sign of Pope Pauls courage – on the contrary, I would suggest it was a sign of his great weakness.
Any Pope worth his salt would surely throw out an ambiguous or unclear document in its entirety. He wouldn’t accept a dissatisfactory document and attach a weak note, which future readers may not even be made aware of. That Pope Paul chose to do so is surely indicative of his weakness (cowardice?) in the face of poisonous elements at the Council.
Let me say at once that to judge history is no easy matter, and it is even more difficult to judge the intentions of the men who make history. But we cannot and must not fail to judge history, for to fail in our judgement of it is eventually to repeat its mistakes.
It is essential to keep the question of the liturgical reform in the context not only of the whole reform movement inspired, or at least concomitant with, Vatican II. This, in my opinion, is essential, for if we look upon the reform in isolation we will fail to see precisely why it has been such a momentous failure and such a set back for the Church in so many different ways.
First of all, we have to see where the whole ‘Vatican II’ ethos springs from. This is the ethos which not only erects this Council into ‘the Council’, i.e. a law not only unto itself, conveniently forgetting all that went before, but authorizes every Tom, Dick or Harry to interpret it at his will. And there can be no doubt that the ethos which would later give birth to Vatican II in the mind of Pope John XXIII had been fermenting in European cultures since at least the end of the First World War, and probably long before. It is part of the same cultural movement which has seen the inexorable rise of the now triumphant liberal culture which cannot be separated from the rise and domination of Western culture by the mass media, leading to the transformation of everything in society from politics to the Church. These are phenomena which are incredibly complex, but comon to them all is the exaltation of the individual, and of individual free will, at the expense of wider society.
To cut a long story very short, what I am trying to argue is that the liturgical reform in the Roman Catholic Church as a phenomenon is akin to other concomitant phenomena like the lowering of the age of majority from 21 to 18 (and soon to 16); the abolition of the death penalty when a majority in the country were in favour of its retention; the abolition of grammar schools and their replacement by comprehensive education based on a false notion of equality; the legalisation of abortion and the surge in ‘wimmin’s rights’; the destruction of the traditional family and the rise of individualism; the relentless drive towards euthanasia on demand; and the social acceptability of illicit drug use which is leading to the hoisting of the white flag in the supposed ‘war on drugs’ which we have never had the courage really to fight. I could go on and on and on. But my basic contention is that the left’s takeover of Western society has been inexorable to the point where today it stands unchallenged by the great liberal consensus which dominates Western thought and whose dogmas precious few have the courage to question, especially as regards its aggressive secularism. (How left became liberal is another matter, as is how liberalism became liberal fascism.)
The Church has not been, could not have been, extraneous to all of this. The men who designed the liturgical reform are men of the left, which is to say that they naturally share a bottom-up vision of society (as opposed to a top-down one) which tends to glorify the indididual and man as such. Thus their actions tend to the identification of a lowest common denominator Under whose ceiling they think will contain the greatest number in the greatest happiness. In the Church, this has been manifested above all in the liturgical reform, especially the Novus Ordo, precisely because the liturgy is the high point of the life of Church, almost, but not exclusively, her raison d’être. Outside the Church, it has been manifested in the exaltation of individual liberty which must be in debt to no-one or nothing, be it society, morality, nature, or, especially, God. The liturgical reform is thus essentially one of a piece with modernity.
But how does this help us in our present state? Well, the dominant liberal consensus is far more fragile than it looks. Even aside from economic considerations, including some mightily parlous demographics, just look at what the dogma of multiculturalism has done for Britain and the West. The West has repudiated the true God only to find false gods biting ever more menacingly at its heels. Not only, but the exaltation of the individual has weakened society to breaking point. Despite appearances to the contrary, these are extremely dangerous times for Christians, especially for Catholics. As society begins to pay for its follies in terms of a world bereft of love and in prey of loneliness and depression, a scapegoat will, as always, be sought. I just wonder if it will be us.
On the other hand, we have always to be attentive to the rise of a new order. The West might repudiate its follies and return to the God of Jesus Christ. And when if it does, the Church will once again require a liturgy that tends to the glorification of God rather than man.
I would guess that precious few of us who contribute to this blog will see the official demise of the Novus Ordo and the other liturgical reforms in our lifetimes. What we have to do is trust in Providence and try to remain faithful ourselves as we seek to propagate to as many among our fellow humanity as possible the ancient liturgical forms, not just as ends in themselves, which is the fount of much spiritual sterility, but for what they are really, i.e. the reflection and celebration of our Catholic and Apostolic faith.
With all due respect, I’d turn the majority of your post around and say that – while certainly the “liberal” faction waiting in the wings to get the Church they craved were behind the Council – which is why Pius XII refused to give in to their demands for a Council – all the immorality you list (abortion etc.) is a result of the withdrawal of grace from Church and world following the introduction of the new Mass and other aberrations following “that Council”.
As for your conclusion, that “precious few of us will see the official demise of the novus ordo” … Perhaps you are correct, although according to Cardinal Ranjith, my all time favourite Cardinal – the novus ordo will be gone in a generation. With parishes being closed and merged right, left and centre (no pun intended) all over the place, including here in Scotland, I think he’s being more than generous. Personally, I think that, as it becomes perhaps more difficult for people to get to the new Mass, they’ll fall away in even greater numbers than is currently the case.
What you describe is the spread of Communism into all the Christian nations of the West, and even into the highest echelons of the Church. This is what Our Lady of Fatima predicted when she said that “Russia will spread her errors…”
What you also describe is the temporary universal triumph of Freemasonry, whose theoreticians, authors and peddlers are also those of Communism, as Our Lady again predicted for our time at Quito some 400 years ago.
In fine, you describe the Apocalyptic apostasy from God and the rise of Antichrist described in Sacred Scripture as reserved for the last times of the world.
You’re quite correct to say that this was all a long time in the making, not something that just happened overnight.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century was step one in Lucifer’s process, The French Revolution step two, the Russian Revolution step three, and Vatican II and the cultural revolution of the 1960s steps four and five, these latter two interdependent and crucial to the victory of the father of darkness disguised as an angel of light.
I think it was Lenin who once said, and I paraphrase a little: “We need one world war to establish Communism in Russia, a second to establish it in Eastern Europe and a third to establish it globally.”
In this regard, Archbishop Lefebvre said: “I have lived through three world wars, the third being Vatican II.” His Grace was absolutely right. It was only by means of the quite deliberately planned and executed revolution of Vatican II that the barriers of grace were lowered and free reign was given to Satan to unleash his universal final push to eliminate from the face of the earth all that is called holy. Vatican II, in other words, was the Trojan Horse, the “smoke of Satan” as Pope Paul VI put it, that entered and compromised the City of God and brought the entire world to the edge of the abyss.
Once the obstacles of authoritative Catholic teaching and dogma were compromised, not to mention the sacred liturgy, the field was open to the infernal enemy to take control and secure the ruin of souls on a grand scale. And the tragedy of it all is that a majority in the Catholic hierarchy, even today, remain blind to what they have done and are perfectly content in their Conciliar sloth to watch the world go to Hell in a hand cart.
The great comfort we have right now amidst this universal upheaval is Our Lord’s promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church.
At Quito and Fatima, Our Lady also made promises. The Quito promise is that she will intervene in a sudden and miraculous way just when it appears that evil has triumphed over the Church and the Christian family. The Fatima promise, very similar to Quito, promises a late but certain triumph of her Immaculate Heart followed by a time of holy peace in the world.
The Pope and the Bishops of the world have been given the key to end this unprecedented crisis in the Church and in the world; it is the fulfillment of Our Lady’s request for a public and solemn consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
The problem is, as you have pointed out, we are not exactly living in times of great ecclesiastical humility and obedience to heaven. That’s the stumbling block. When senior Churchmen finally realise that their alternative agenda to God’s has led the Church and the world down the road to near-destruction, then perhaps they will finally bow the knee and call on the great Mother of God for help. Until them we can only expect things to get worse.
The issue is not whether particular reforms were specifically mentioned, but whether they were envisaged by the participants, and whether The Supreme Pontiff, who alone has Universal jurisdiction, and approves texts, mandated them.
I also refer you to reports on Rorate Caeli where Cardinal Sarah, and Cardinal Burke, lament the fact that the liturgy is being weaponised. To quote Cardinal Sarah, speaking of Pope Benedict, attempts to reconcile dissidents: “Alas, he did not succeed completely, because ones and others have “clutched” to their rite by excluding themselves mutually. In the Church, each one must be able to celebrate according to his sensibility. It is one of the conditions for the reconciliation. It is also necessary to bring people to the beauty of the liturgy, to its sacrality. The Eucharist is not a “meal among mates”, it is a sacred mystery. If we celebrate it with beauty and fervor, we will reach a reconciliation, this is clear. Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that it is God who reconciles, and that will take time.”
And yet, Cardinal Burke appears to hint at using his largely honorific role, as a “Trojan Horse” in a revolt against longstanding reform, mandated by The Council and The Pope.
Those who “weaponise” the Mass are those who have tried to outlaw the ancient Mass – nobody else.
I’ve only recently attended a Novus Ordo funeral Mass, my first attendance at a Novus Ordo Mass in about ten years. Believe me when I tell you that I could not wait to get away from that horrible experience. God forbid that I ever end up with a send off like that!
Please, please, never tell us again on this blog that this Novus Ordo Mass is in any way conducive to holiness. It is a sham, a pretend liturgy that only retains legality by the words of consecration. Otherwise it is a Protestant service which by degrees robs all who frequent it of their Catholic Faith. May Our Lord have mercy on the souls of all those Conciliar Popes who have abused their authority by supplanting the ancient sacred liturgy of the Church, of the saints and martyrs, with this insulting vernacular parody.
To quote Pope Benedict: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture”
And Ecclesia Dei: “The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the last edition prepared under Pope John XXIII, are two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively as ordinaria and extraordinaria: they are two usages of the one Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church. On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honor.”
“The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.”
As much as I liked Pope Benedict, I felt that statement from him (about both forms of the latin rite being “the same”) was deeply patronising.
(I dont think he meant to be patronsing, but was rather clutching at whatever straws were available to him in this matter)
His statement about “no contradiction” is shown to be false through several statements from those involved in creating the new mass at the time; they referred to it in various ways, but what was common was the boast that this was “completely new”.
Archbishop Bugnini himself, who was the co-inventor of the new mass, referred to it as: ” a fundamental renovation … a total change … a new creation”.
I think Pope Benedict was relying on people of the modern era being unaware of these prior statements which, at the time, went completely uncontested.
Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict has proved to be one of the greatest theologians, and leaders, The Church has ever had. I think most would rate his views above those you, and people like you, express. As wiser people than me have counselled, Follow Peter.
I take it you are aware that Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict upholds the separation of Church and State, a proposition which is condemned as heresy by the Church’s Magisterium?
I take it you are also aware that Joseph Ratzinger’s name appeared on the Holy Index of theologians “suspected of heresy” during the reign of Pius XII?
Archbishop Lefebvre spoke with Cardinal Ratzinger on a number of occasions and related that he had had to correct the Cardinal on a view points of theology, corrections which His Eminence gratefully acknowledged at the time.
So I’m sorry to disagree with you yet again, but Joseph Ratzinger is anything but a Catholic theological giant. Quite the contrary, in fact.
It is precisely to uphold the freedom of The Church the separation of Church and State is necessary.
The fact JR became Head of The C.D.F. and, later, The Pope suggests premature judgements are futile. Galileo was condemned by the Church. Are you going to argue that, in fact, Galileo was wrong? Not all “judgements” are correct, or to be definitively held eternally.
That Joseph Ratzinger accepted correction speaks of his humility. The fact that another Archbishop always thought themselves right might speak of their arrogance.
Separation of Church and State is a proposition irrevocably condemned as heresy by the infallible Magisterium of the Church. Neither you nor any one else can talk your way around that established truth.
Nor is there such a thing as the evolution of dogmas. Those who argue to the contrary on that one are guilty of another heresy, as amply laid out in the combined infallible Syllabi of Popes Pius IX and X.
A “truth” asserted when holders of The Papal Office, wrongly, wielded secular power. Render unto Caesar….
Is this your “personal opinion” or the teaching of the Church’s infallible Magisterium?
At least one former Pope, and Head of The C.D.F, says your understanding of historical documents, and their binding nature, is wrong, and he, and his successors, maintain separation of Church and state is correct. I, therefore, do not need to express a personal opinion, but seek to be guided by The Magisterium. May I suggest you do likewise?
It is clear from what I have said previously that Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict is at odds with the Magisterial teaching of the Church in the matter of separation of Church and State.
I will give him one credit, though, which is that, unlike you, he never proposed his contrary teaching with Magisterial authority. His was, and remains, personal opinion expressed in personal writings, not formal Church documents.
Again, you need to properly understand what constitutes Magisterial teaching and authority. I believe this confusion on your part is why you have fallen into so many errors, especially the error of blind obedience.
Now, I really think we should stop this back and forth exchange to allow others the chance to comment on the thread subject. It is unfair on both our parts to start hogging the thread to the exclusion of other contributors. I hope you will respect this and act accordingly. I will not be answering any more of your comments for a while.
The opinions espoused by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict were expressed whilst he was either Head of The CDF or Pope and should be heard in that context.
Cardinal Burke, aged 66?, has in effect been retired from high office because of his personal opinions.
“The opinions espoused by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict were expressed whilst he was either Head of The CDF or Pope and should be heard in that context.”
I did hear them in that context and they are still heretical. Magisterial teaching is not subject to personal opinion, not even a Pope’s.
Just few moments go was an old interview with the then Cardinal Ratzinger, in which he points out that the so called Missal of Pope Saint Pius v was a modification of one last modified a hundred years before, and it “his” Missal that was first modified in 1614. The Second Vatican Council did not first meet until 1963? So Justin was a protestant, and in 1614 the Reforms of the Second Vatican Council began?
You consult Ladybird Books on History and Theology?
“Cardinal Burke, aged 66?, has in effect been retired from high office because of his personal opinions.”
I must have missed that. What are Cardinal Burke’s personal opinions that led to his being “retired”?
Actually Galileo was wrong! Listen to what this Cardinal had to say, “ At the time of Galileo the Church remained much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself. The process against Galileo was reasonable and just ” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in a speech delivered in Parma, Italy, March 15, 1990.
The argument Cardinal Ratzinger was more complex than your over simplification. He was critical of him opening a Pandora’s Box.
Pope Saint John Paul said:
“Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture….”
—Pope John Paul II, L’Osservatore Romano N. 44 (1264) – November 4, 1992
The case of Galileo is a red herring because it doesn’t involve dogma. His was a typical case of opposing opinions in a matter that really didn’t alter anything of the Catholic Faith. This is just side tracking the real issue.
It seems that even JPII and Benedict XVI couldn’t agree on Galileo, so I think we should move on from this distraction.
On the contrary the Theologians of the time thought he was denying a dogma. They were wrong.
What the theologians of the time thought is of no consequence today. We ARE now discussing dogma.
The theologians of Galileo’s day, like the theologians of Cardinal Kasper’s day, had no authority whatsoever to pronounce or define Catholic dogma. Theologians speculate and ruminate, they generally make nuisances of themselves, but they have absolutely NO authority whatsoever.
And so it shall come to pass that, in times to come, when some numpty comes onto this blog and says “Well, the theologians of the 21st century believed the divorced and remarried should be allowed Holy Communion”, we’ll all be on there in a jiffy to remind the numpty or, perhaps, the CS of that time, that theologians have no authority whatsoever.
Blah de blah…
To quote Pope Saint Pius V, 14 July, 1570:
“… in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription – except, however, if more than two hundred years’ standing.”
Since, by that final quote given in your post at 11.29, Pope Benedict contradicts Pope Saint Pius V, I am not bound by it. For, while I recognise that the new Mass may be valid assuming correct words of Consecration, it cannot be licit – reference Quo Primum, Bull of Pope Saint Pius V, quoted, in part, above.
Pope Saint Pius V over reached his authority in making that statement, as no liturgical document can bind a future Pope, or Council.
It was later Popes who over-reached their authority when they moved from organic liturgical changes, as exemplified by John XXIII’s 1962 inclusion of the name of St. Joseph into the Canon, to outright liturgical re-writing after the fashion of the Protestant Reformers.
You need to try to understand Papal authority a little better than you do at present.
As the progress of ages shows my understanding of Papal Authority is correct I will rest content.
As has been pointed out before, your scholarship on the use of the words The Eucharist, to speak of The Holy Mass, predated Protestantism by centuries, and Latin entered universal usage centuries after Jesus founded The Church, and it waited until saint Jerome did the translation for Holy Scripture, which is pretty central to our faith, to appear in Latin.
I’m not going down this silly route with you again.
Then none of the documents on the modern liturgy can ever bind us!
I disagree with you though, as Quo Primum was a papal bull, not just a document of no authority.
Well, you may choose to believe that rubbish from Pope Benedict XVI and Ecclesia Dei but give some of us credit for having actually investigated the claim and proved it groundless.
Good God, man! A child of the age of reason could attend both the ancient and new Masses and tell you that they are not remotely the same.
Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, writing on behalf of many Roman theologians of note at the launch of the New Mass, gave us the correct understanding of what was going on. They wrote:“The New Mass represents in whole and in its individual parts a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass…”
And so it has proved with the New Mass now reduced in every practical sense to a Protestant meal service. The only part that remains Catholic and lends legality to the proceedings is the part with the words of consecration, assuming of course that the priest still believes what the Church believes given all the Protestant guff he participates in up to and beyond those essential words.
As always, you are quoting particular people who express a personal opinion which finds no echo in Papal or Conciliar Teaching, as espoused by The Magisterium in Communion with Rome. Listen to The Pope, The Councils, and The wider Magisterium and not a random collective of individuals either in your seeking to deny, or promote, you limited world view,
Nonsense! You have clearly not studied the history of events, preferring to remain a slave to blind obedience.
I’m sorry to say that you’re contributions to these debates are now beyond ridiculous. Those “particular people” you speak of were the most senior Churchmen of the time, Cardinal Ottaviani being Prefect of the Holy Office.
Neither were their opinions “personal.” These great liturgists and theologians were echoing the teaching of the Council of Trent against the “personal opinion” of a liberal Pope and a crowd of suspect (in some cases proscribed) liberal theologians at that non-doctrinal Council we call Vatican II.
No one with a true Catholic understanding of Magisterial teaching and authority could argue as you do. You just keep arguing for blind obedience to errant Popes and prelates. This is a great heresy, not remotely consistent with the freedom God has accorded to the children of His Church. Obedience to the Pope is vital, yes, but only when the Pope remains obedient to God and the Faith handed down. How often must we remind you of this truth, CS?
No Church Document, or Papal Pronouncement, provides any reason to believe they were expressing a personal opinion.
Cardinal Burke, for example, is “bigging up” his honorific role, usually, given to people who need a lesser role, and is threatening to abuse that role to further a highly personal agenda. Cardinals, and Archbishops, can, do over egg the pudding. Thankfully, Cardinal Burke has been seen for what he is.
No Church Document, or Papal Pronouncement, provides any reason to believe they were doing other than expressing a personal opinion.
Cardinal Burke, for example, is “bigging up” his honorific role, usually, given to people who need a lesser role, and is threatening to abuse that role to further a highly personal agenda. Cardinals, and Archbishops, can, do over egg the pudding. Thankfully, Cardinal Burke has been seen for what he is.
Now you’re getting desperate!
What “highly personal agenda” would that be, CS?
BTW,what’s your opinion about Fr Timothy Scott’s tweet regarding Cardinal Burke?
It is highly interesting that the Pope spoke of ‘sacrifice’ in terms of the annihilation of Latin in the Mass, but yet the ‘banal on the spot fabrication’ (to quote Benedict XVI) of his lap-dog, Annibale Bugnini, has barely any sacrificial elements in it. Also, when he spoke of Latin in such fond terms by stating: ‘It is a sacrifice that the Church has made of her own language, Latin; a sacred, sober, beautiful language, extremely expressive and elegant. She has sacrificed the traditions of centuries and above all she sacrifices the unity of language among the various peoples’, did he not realise that this is the greatest and most watertight argument for retaining the Tridentine Mass? The New Mass, it is patent to see, from the motivations of Bugnini, to the Ottavianni Intervention and to the comments of Paul VI about the ‘smoke of Satan’, is not an oblation to God, but a Masonic oblation to the Devil. Paul VI, Bugnini and Ottavianni foresaw what would happen, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar, and we are sadly living the consequences. Archbishop Lefebvre was a sign of contradiction, and the reason the Popes and hierarchy despised him and the Society so much was because he proved them and their innovations wrong. Pope Paul VI will be canonised, and when he is canonised, he will be the patron saint of thundering disgraces.
Hmmm … Yes, Paul VI was a weak fool and Bugnini was a cunning fox, who appeared to have a hold over his superior. Bugnini acted without fear of reproach and the weak fool could do nothing. Sound familiar? St A & Ed?
I hope I’m misunderstanding your concluding words, but if not, which is it – is “Ed” a weak fool or a cunning fox?
And does dear ole “Ed” = Moi?
St A & Ed=St Andrew’s & Edinburgh. Weak leadership, lead by a weak fool with cunning foxes running riot in the press and elsewhere and nothing the weak fool could do about it, because the cunning foxes had a “hold” over the weak fool.
Phew! Fancy me confusing myself with the entire Archdiocese of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh. Talk about getting above myself!
Sarto, yes indeed. And St A & E, and countless other examples exist and have existed in the Church largely because that particular weak fool ascended to the papal throne.
The issues are perhaps clearer in the original Latin:
* ne in posterum perpetuis futuris temporibus …ritum consuevit vel debet alias quam juxta Missalis a nobis editi formulam … indulto, consuetudine, privilegio, etiam juramento, confirmatione Apostolica, vel aliis quibusvis facultatibus munitae sint; nisi … consuetudine, quae, vel ipsa institutio super ducentos annos Missarum celebrandarum … immutandum esse decernendo, sub indignationis nostrae poena, hac nostra perpetuo valitura constitutione statuimus et ordinamus. Mandantes … omnibus … Patriarchis, Administratoribus, aliisque personis quacumque Ecclesiastica dignitate fulgentibus, etiamsi Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinales, aut cujusvis alterius gradus et praeeminentiae fuerint, illis in virtute sanctae obedientiae praecipientes … Atque ut hoc ipsum Missale in Missa decantanda ….eoque libere et licite uti possint et valeant … tenore praesentium, etiam perpetuo concedimus et indulgemus.
Please identify the source of that quote. The document name, any essential further details (paragraph number for example, date, author etc). It is entirely UNacademic (if not downright ridiculous) to post a quote in any language allegedly to make something “clearer” without as much as naming the source.
So, stop playing games. I suspect the reason is that you’ve taken the quote out of context, and hope we won’t notice, but we did. We await your confirmation that you know the source etc, so that we can properly respond.
First of an apology for a slow response but that this discussion is resting on an uncertain foundation. There has been a complete misunderstanding of an old bull, ‘Quo primum’.
According to the Blog’s Editor
“to quote Pope Saint Pius V, 14 July, 1570: ‘… We grant and concede in perpetuity that … this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely …this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid … notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees … and notwithstanding the practice and custom … except … if more than two hundred years’ standing.’ Since … Pope Benedict contradicts Pope Saint Pius V, I am not bound by it. For, while I recognise that the new Mass may be valid assuming correct words of Consecration, it cannot be licit – reference Quo Primum, Bull of Pope Saint Pius V, quoted, in part, above.”
[Since the translation omits some key passages and massively changes the word order, I have added the Latin in a separate post above.*]
People are entitled to say that Paul VI and Benedict XVI (or indeed Pius V) were mistaken in the changes they made. But there is a difference between a change being unwise or ill-advised and it being “illicit”, allowing people to claim the older custom is still “binding”.
It is not true to suggest that a bull of Pius V cannot be overturned by Benedict XVI. One deed may be abrogated or derogated by a subsequent grant. Again, the Latin makes it clear that text was binding on “even cardinals” (etiamsi …. Cardinales) and that under obedience (“in virtute … obedientiae) but it never ever says it was binding on Pius himself (he changed the new Missal) or his successors (a long list of whom made changes).
The legal principles that a legislator cannot bind their successions, or require their “obedience” are so basic (axiomatic indeed) that they did not need stating. Pius V cannot possibly have imagined a situation where a lay person (still less a woman) would have had the temerity to imagine otherwise. Or dare suggest such changes, made by the relevant authority, might be illicit.
The late, great, Dr John Dowden studied all the known papal bulls relating to Scotland. They were historically of two type: time-limited or “perpetual”. In the former case they are promulgated for a fixed or determinable time, after which they expired. Alternatively, bulls were (and can be) granted without limit of time – in this sense they are a grant in “perpetuity”. But “hac nostra perpetuo valitura constitutione statuimus et ordinamus …. tenore praesentium, etiam perpetuo concedimus et indulgemus” only means valid indefinitely, valid without specified limit of time and until further order is taken. But such a grant does not bind either the grantor or their successors at law: they are perfectly free to change the bull in detail or indeed revoke the grant entirely. It is a fallacy to think that “perpetual” in this context means irreformable.
Look at the text; Pius V cancels what predecessors mandated (“confirmatione Apostolica, vel aliis quibusvis facultatibus”). By the same token his successors could do the same to Quo primum: Pius V’s breviary was drastically cut about (and its Psalter proscribed) – in this case by none other than Pius X. He expected his followers to obey the living pope of Rome rather than cite derogated documents of long dead popes to justify opposition.
Disagree with the recent authorities by all means, say they are mistaken (Elizabeth I saw that point long ago) but it is best not to misinterpret historical texts to argue that refusal to accept a new order can be justified by some old bull. The word “perpetual” needs to be read in its proper historical and legal context – and the good Dr Dowden worked all that out ages ago.
“Mistaken” the changes may be, “foolish” perhaps; “illicit” they are not.
“People are entitled to say that Paul VI and Benedict XVI (or indeed Pius V) were mistaken in the changes they made. But there is a difference between a change being unwise or ill-advised and it being “illicit”, allowing people to claim the older custom is still “binding”. “
COMMENT FROM ME POSTED ON A PREVOUS BLOG ON THE SUBJECT OF THE NEW MASS…
The new Mass is “licit” only in a very limited way. I have published, more than once, the Vatican’s own response to two dubia (doubts) submitted by a bishop in South America asking this very question about legitimacy, on behalf of a layperson.
He asked two questions: (1) is the new Mass “legitimate” in the sense that it is permitted by the Church or (2) is it “legitimate” because it is neither doctrinally unorthodox or otherwise displeasing to God.
Here, yet again, is the (incredible) response of the Vatican:
Pontificia Commissio Ecclesia Dei
Vatican City, 23 May 2012
This Pontifical Commission has received, via your Excellency’s good offices, a copy of a correspondence from [name blacked out] placing before the Commission two dubia as to the interpretation of article 19 of this Commission’s Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.
The first [dubium] asked whether legitimas in UE, article 19, is to be understood as meaning:
(a) Duly promulgated by appropriate procedures of ecclesiastical law (ius ecclesiasticum); or
(b) In accord with both ecclesiastical law and divine law (ius divinum), that is, neither doctrinally unorthodox nor otherwise displeasing to God.
This Pontifical Commission would limit itself to saying that legitimas is to be understood in the sense of 1(a).
The second [dubium] is responded to by this answer.
With the hope that Your Excellency will communicate the contents of this letter to the individual concerned, this Pontifical Commission takes this opportunity to renew its sentiments of esteem.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Mons. Guido Pozzo
In other words, the new Mass is “licit” only because the Church permits it. Not because it is pleasing to God, so it stands to reason that there can be no obligation on Catholics to attend any Mass that even the Vatican will not affirm as wholly doctrinally orthodox and pleasing to God.
If your local butcher refused to affirm that the meat you are about to purchase is wholly nourishing and free from poison, would you go ahead and buy it anyway? END OF PREVIOUS COMMENT.
So, really don’t you go worrying your wee Anglican head about papal bulls and the like. Sleep easy, especially if, like moi, you really do need your beauty sleep 😀
Yourself and your late namesake, being schismatics, are hardly qualified to interpret Papal documents and lecture Catholics on obedience to the Supreme Pontiff. I am pleased to see, however, that you are personally warming to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, even if you are wrong to do so on this occasion. There may be hope for you yet!
The problem for you right now is that you are still imbued with the Protestant mindset, which, like that of the Pharisees in the Gospels, is very astute at manipulating the letter of the law to the great detriment of its spirit.
Henry VIII, founder of your Sect, was the first to employ this tactic for his own ends. What Anglicanism has since legislated to adopt, particularly in our time, admirably demonstrates the folly of supplanting Revelation with Relativism.
Now it seems to me that while you would normally reject Papal infallibility you have rather chosen on this occasion to argue in favour of a kind of Papal divinity, which is to say a divine right of Popes to alter the Catholic religion at will and according to whim. This is a great error.
The primary duty of the Successor of St. Peter is to ensure the preservation and transmission of the sacred deposit of faith handed down through the centuries. This obviously includes the heart of the Catholic Faith which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
What Paul VI did was scrap two thousand years of liturgical usage and replace it with a new creation of dubious Protestant origin to accommodate the condemned error of ecumenism, which error he had tragically succumbed to.
If you examine the ancient Latin liturgy, which, incidentally, St. Pius V merely codified for use by the Church in perpetuity in his Bull Quo Primum, you will quickly discover that throughout the centuries, from St. Peter to Pius XII, not a single prayer was subtracted from the Mass. Prayers were added over time, but nothing was ever subtracted.
So what Paul VI did in fact was shocking and unheard of. His new liturgy stripped away many of the ancient prayers and priestly gestures of the Mass, particularly those which emphasised Our Lord’s Sacrifice and Transubstantiation. Yes, he left in the words of consecration so that his Mass could still be valid. But it no longer even remotely resembled the Mass he was elected to preserve and hand down.
Now, you argue that he had the authority to make this cataclysmic alteration to the liturgy. Well then, you clearly do not understand the nature of the authentic magisterium of the Catholic Church, which is fundamentally identifiable by consistency in teaching and practice.
If you look at what Paul VI actually did with this New Mass; he replaced the universal liturgical language of the Church with the language of the Tower of Babel, turned the priest away from God to face the people, replaced the high altar with a table and incorporated a lay participation in the Mass that was certainly not present on Calvary, except on the part of those who were actively crucifying the Lord! These changes were all in line with Luther’s Reformation meal service. And yet you argue that he had the authority to do this? Well you would, wouldn’t you!
But what of the bitter fruits of that act of Paul VI? In the years since his New Mass was imposed vocations to the priesthood and religious life have plummeted to the extent that thousands of seminaries and religious houses have closed, tens of thousands of parishes have been shut down, and millions of Catholics have abandoned the Faith while many more tens of thousands remain within and at odds with the moral teaching of the Church.
Luther was absolutely right when he said: “destroy the Mass and you will destroy the Catholic Church.” That’s why Our Lord did not permit Paul VI to issue a formal abrogation of the ancient Latin liturgy, a fact that Pope Benedict XVI clearly confirmed in Summorum Pontificum in refutation of 40 years of liberal claims to the contrary.
I suggest you read Quo Primum again, the entire document, and especially the part at the end where the saintly Pope Pius V warns that they who alter any part of the ancient Mass to its detriment will incur the wrath of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. The “perpetuity” cited in Quo Primum was evidently not intended as you suggest, but rather as a perpetual warning that was to stand till the end of time.
In this regard, I also refer you to the Ottaviani Intervention which quotes the Council of Trent on the Mass, which Quo Primum confirmed, especially the part that speaks of the Latin language as representing a barrier to any heresy that may arise to threaten the integrity of the Sacrifice.
And remember that observation of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci: “The New Mass represents in whole and in part a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass. In other words, it was constructed around Protestant theology which tragedy is pretty obvious today in almost every parish on earth.
No, the New Mass may be valid but it’s not licit by any stretch of ecclesiastical law. In this matter we may justly claim that obedience to God takes precedence over obedience to men.
Well said – absolutely spot on.
I’ve had an email from a married couple in Scotland today, praising our humble enterprise to the skies. Here’s what they say about the blog and this thread in particular:
May I also say that the CT blog of late has been excellent in bringing things to light especially the blog on Pope Paul and this has clarified a number of thoughts I have had over many years and has clarified and affirmed many of them. The contributions of the bloggers redound to the glory of God and Holy Mother Church, thank you all and God bless you all. END.
So, keep up the good work, everyone, and thank you to the kind readers who wrote to support and encourage us – your thoughtfulness is much appreciated.
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