SSPX Priests in Scotland Reject Pope Pius XII Revised Holy Week Services – Serious Concerns

SSPX Priests in Scotland Reject Pope Pius XII Revised Holy Week Services – Serious Concerns

Martin Blackshaw, aka blogger Athanasius, comments on the Holy Week services this year…

On November 16, 1955, The Sacred Congregation of Rites published the Decree Maxima Redemptionis Nostrae Mysteria, sub-headed “The General Decree for the Revised order of Holy Week as promulgated by Pope Pius XII“.

To emphasise the authority with which the Supreme Pontiff was promulgating this revision, the Document declares: “Those who follow the Roman rite are bound to observe in the future the restored Order of Holy Week, as described in the typical Vatican edition.”

And so it was that the “restored order of Holy Week” of Pius XII formed part of the revised 1962 missal and became the universal norm of the Church.

That this work of Pius XII subsequently enjoyed great success at parish level prior to Vatican II was attested to by many of the world’s bishops at the time. These wrote to the Pope expressing their joy that many more faithful were now participating in the most solemn ceremonies of the liturgical year, whereas before the churches were empty.

The Decree explains the reason for this turnaround:

“…In the beginning these rites were celebrated on the same days of the week and at the same hours of the day at which the sacred mysteries took place. Thus, the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist was recalled on Thursday, in the evening, at the solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper. On Friday a special liturgical service of the Lord’s Passion and Death was celebrated in the afternoon hours. Finally, on the evening of Holy Saturday the solemn vigil was begun, to be concluded the following morning in the joy of the Resurrection.

But in the Middle Ages, for various concomitant reasons, the time for observing the liturgy of these days began to be anticipated to such a degree that—toward the end of the Middle Ages—all these liturgical solemnities were pushed back to the morning hours; certainly, with detriment to the liturgy’s meaning and with confusion between the Gospel accounts and the liturgical representations referring to them. The solemn liturgy of the Easter Vigil especially, having been torn from its own place in the night hours, lost its innate clarity and the sense of its words and symbols. Furthermore, the day of Holy Saturday, invaded by a premature Easter joy, lost its proper sorrowful character as the commemoration of the Lord’s burial…”

In addition to restoring the sacred ceremonies to times more consistent with the Gospel accounts of Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, the revised order also shortened the rubrics by removing what was unnecessary, repetitive, or over-lengthy, thus making the Holy Week ceremonies more pastoral. Such is the wisdom of holy Popes.

Such, too, was the wisdom of Archbishop Lefebvre, who, when asked why he adhered to the 1962 missal, including the revised Holy Week ceremonies, and insisted that the priests of his SSPX do likewise, answered “If it is not dangerous to faith then we must obey”.

His Grace later demonstrated this unwavering fidelity to true obedience when, in 1982, he expelled 9 priests from the SSPX in North America for rejecting, among other things, Pius XII’s revised Holy Week ceremonies. All nine were sedevacantist, of which at least one went on to become a sedevacantist bishop.

Happily, most priests of the SSPX have remained faithful to the spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre in this serious matter, though not all.

In the past few years, that which was once forbidden territory to all but bold schismatics has begun to attract a handful of otherwise sound SSPX priests. These seem to have forgotten the discerning principle set by the saintly founder of their order governing true obedience to the Church’s legitimate authorities.

Hence, influenced by sophistic argument, and perhaps personal preference, they are drawn into the error of medievalism on the false premise that the involvement of Annibale Bugnini in Pius XII’s Holy Week revisions is sufficient in and of itself to nullify the aforementioned Decree of 1955.

While it is certainly true that Bugnini’s 1969 New Mass was, and remains, dangerous to faith, which is why Archbishop Lefebvre rejected it, the same cannot be said of the revised Holy Week ceremonies which the SSPX has faithfully adhered to since its foundation without any detriment to faith.

This is where all Traditional Catholic priests and faithful have to be very careful, paying particular attention to the wise counsel of Archbishop Lefebvre if they are to avoid extremes whereby they end up rejecting, by default, the authority of sound Popes like Pius XII, the Pope who authored Mediator Dei in defence of the sacred liturgy against Modernist adulterations.

This brings me to why I avoided the ceremonies of the Sacred Triduum in our SSPX church in Glasgow this year.

While I have to say from the outset that we have a genuinely good and well-intentioned young priest serving our church in Glasgow, his announcement the week before Palm Sunday that the Holy Week ceremonies would be longer this year than normal set alarm bells ringing.

My worst fears were realised when the Palm Sunday ceremonies turned out to be in accordance with the pre-Pius restoration. It was the first time in 35 years of attending the SSPX that I had experienced Palm Sunday according to “the old books”, as they call them, and I determined that it would be my last.

The service was 2 hours and 15 minutes long in cold temperatures with a poor choir and a bewildered congregation whose standard 1962 missals were of little use.

Quite how such a confusing and drawn-out affair is supposed to engender in the faithful a greater love for the Holy Week ceremonies, not to mention Gregorian chant, escapes me. Maybe I’m just not very holy but by the end of that Palm Sunday service I was yawning my head off and longing for the priest to leave the sanctuary so that I could get to my car for a heat. It was even worse for my 85-year-old mother whose back and knee were killing her as a result of the constant standing.

I have since gathered from other people that the Sacred Triduum was even more protracted and confusing. The only small mercy to be had is that the ceremonies at least remained faithful to the restored evening times, though a comment was made by the priest that he hopes next year to celebrate them in the morning. [Ed: some heard this as referring to the vigil only, but on checking with the author, he writes: “It just doesn’t make sense having a morning ceremony on Holy Saturday and not Holy Thursday and Good Friday as well, which used to be the norm.”]

I cannot conceive of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday being turned into the Lord’s breakfast, or of a Mass of the Resurrection on Holy Saturday being celebrated a whole day before Our Lord rises from the tomb. No, not for me, thank you very much. I now fully understand the liturgical and pastoral wisdom underpinning the revisions of Pius XII.

Convinced that our priest must have been unduly influenced by a superior in this matter of the Holy Week ceremonies, I reviewed the Palm Sunday and Holy Thursday ceremonies in Edinburgh, celebrated by Scotland’s SSPX prior and posted on YouTube.

It was difficult to tell what was going on precisely due to camera angle and long periods of blank screen, but I did hear the prior declare in his sermon how Bugnini had “butchered” the Holy Week ceremonies.

Archbishop Lefebvre must have been spinning in his grave at that assertion, not least because it’s the same as saying that Pius XII, who approved and promulgated the revised ceremonies, butchered them.

It was certainly a very worrying thing to hear, especially since the priest in question generally refuses to say the prayers of the low Mass in audible tone for the faithful to follow, arguing that the “low” in low Mass means it should be celebrated in a whisper. The same priest also once tried to suppress the Leonine prayers after low Mass, again arguing fallaciously that the Church only intended them to recited after private masses.

Most concerning of all, however, has been his disregard for every papal instruction regarding the formation and presentation of Gregorian choirs, especially the following from Saint Pius X, the Patron of the SSPX:

“On the same principle it follows that singers in church have a real liturgical office, and that therefore women, being incapable of exercising such office, cannot be admitted to form part of the choir. Whenever, then, it is desired to employ the acute voices of sopranos and contraltos, these parts must be taken by boys, according to the most ancient usage of the Church… It will also be fitting that singers while singing in church wear the ecclesiastical habit and surplice, and that they be hidden behind gratings when the choir is excessively open to the public gaze.” (Tra Le Sollecitudini Instruction on Sacred Music, November 22, 1903).

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh have poorly trained choirs with women members, especially Edinburgh which sounds like it may be almost exclusively female. In Glasgow the choir has been moved to the front of the church from its former place at the back of the church so that it is now “excessively open to the public gaze”.

It all leads me to believe that the SSPX, certainly in the UK, is undergoing something of a crisis in its hierarchy to the extent that priests are now acting on their own impulses and preferences without fear of correction. Archbishop Lefebvre would not have tolerated such a dangerous trend, particularly when it manifests in public contempt for the teaching of Traditionally sound Popes and threatens the unity of the faithful at the pastoral level. SSPX HQ needs to take note and act!

Editor writes…

I have to say, I was seeing tabloid headlines flashing before my eyes, to the effect Woman Passes Away Due to Standing Syndrome as I struggled to remain on my feet during the Holy Week services this year – especially on Palm Sunday.  Don’t get me wrong.  We always stand throughout the reading of the entire Passion of Our Lord and that is expected and appreciated.  Given Christ’s Passion and Death, it’s the least we can do in acknowledgement of the suffering endured by our Saviour for our redemption. Having said that, prior to the Second Vatican Council (and afterwards, in fact) our parish priest would announce to the congregation that anyone who finds the lengthy Gospel reading too much, should sit.  It’s called pastoral care. So, standing for the Gospel is normal on Palm Sunday.

It’s the new “old normal”, the unexpected lengthy prayers which preceded the Gospel (and for which those of us not in possession of the older missal, had no translation) that causes some of us, at least, to consider all options for next year.   However, to my surprise, I’ve discovered that this apparently impulsive return to the pre-Pope Pius XII revision took place, not only in the SSPX Glasgow church, but in at least one of the Summorum Pontificum parishes in the city, as well.  Signed Puzzled, Glasgow…

The big question, then, has to be what brought on this sudden rejection of Pope Pius XII’s revised Holy Week services?  Your thoughts…

Comments (87)

  • Lily

    Even for those of us who don’t attend the SSPX chapels, it seems a very curious thing to do, make the Holy Week services even longer than they already are. I can’t imagine why the priests would do that. It does sound horrendous, standing for hours on end. I presume there were not many elderly or very young there because that would be a nightmare for both groups. I see that there was one 85 year old there – poor soul. Keeping kids quiet and behaved during Mass is tough enough, never mind really long services. I do wonder what the clergy were thinking, to do that.

    Maybe you should have approached the priest, though, before posting this blog? I’m just wondering if this will backfire?

    April 21, 2022 at 2:59 pm
    • Fidelis


      I think the same as you. It’s unnatural for people to want to inflict unnecessary pain on themselves – I don’t see that as “holy”. Standing for hours on end makes no sense to me and can be bad for the back. I always enjoy the peace of Holy Week – this sounds like it would be awful.

      April 21, 2022 at 5:16 pm
      • LittleCharie

        There is no obligation to stand for hours. Those who are unable to stand for long periods have always been free to sit.

        April 22, 2022 at 6:12 pm
      • Kate

        Well no, Athanasius. It isn’t about being indifferent, it is about being Catholic. If you are Catholic it means you are obedient to the Faith and are in communion with the Holy Father and Bishops in communion with him.

        What I notice about this blog is that all commentators are mini Popes exclaiming their own views. They are Protestant having an “I know best” mentality.

        Take the editor who disagrees with the Ordinariates and desires a return of the Catholic Church to the 1950s if not earlier.

        The pre vat II liturgy is a museum piece, not suited to this era. It is inaccessible and boring.

        The people associated with it are always moaning and grumbling. Just look at the comments on this blog lol. They slag off the Holy Father and just whinge. It is tiresome. The editor promotes schism by promoting the SSPX.

        As if pre Vat II was a golden era of the Church anyway… most Masses were Low Mass and the Faithful just spectators twiddling their beads.

        April 22, 2022 at 9:01 pm
      • editor


        That’s fine if one knows for how long one is likely to be standing. In the case of the unexpectedly long prayers at some points over the Triduum, when one didn’t realise one was going to be standing for a long time, one tends to keep standing thinking one would look quite a chump if one sat down now and then came the loud AMEN! So to speak. I referred to the days of my youth when our priest would let us know we were going to be stood standing, and to sit if it got too much, and to be fair, that may have happened this year – I am a tad hard of hearing, to put it mildly, so I may not have heard that, and so I am being grumpy with the benefit of hindsight. In other words, I’d have been grumpy at the time if I’d only known… 😀

        April 22, 2022 at 9:13 pm
      • editor


        I don’t have time to reply in detail to your comment, addressed to Athanasius, but since you appear to be a papolatrist with bells on, I thought I’d take a minute to share this article, written by the Fatima priest, Fr Gruner, RIP. He has written lucidly on the matter of obedience, the obedience due to popes, for example. I hope you find it informative. I know I did…

        April 22, 2022 at 9:18 pm
    • editor


      I did speak with our priest about this, briefly, but he won’t be fazed at all. He’s American! He knows all about First Amendment rights, even for Scots 😀

      He’s a great priest, and once we’ve put him right on this, he’ll be a perfect priest 😀

      I’m just keen to know from whence this fashion for the pre-revised liturgies came. Who dreamt it up? Why? When? What – in other words – is going on?

      April 21, 2022 at 5:21 pm
      • Lily


        I’m glad you spoke to the priest first as it might have been a bit of a shock for him to see this discussion without knowing that you had a beef with the services first.

        April 22, 2022 at 1:50 pm
    • Athanasius


      I think your opening comments really just highlight the crisis in the Church and the consequent absence of pastoral training in priests, especially Traditional priests who have not enjoyed the privilege of learning from experienced parish priests, as was once the norm prior to Vatican II.

      As for speaking with the priest before posting this article, my experience over many years has taught me that there are some subjects relating to the faith that need to be discussed in public. This is one such subject because it concerns obedience to the Church’s legitimate authorities. We walk a very fine line between true and false obedience during this crisis with only one guiding principle to keep us on the right path – the principle “if it’s not against faith then we must obey”, as expressed by Archbishop Lefebvre.

      Priests of the SSPX who disregard this wise admonition of the Archbishop are not going to be swayed by anything a lesser mortal like me has to say, hence the necessity to make the matter public. Thankfully, the greater majority of SSPX priests remain faithful to Archbishop Lefebvre’s wise counsel, though it concerns me that the present rebellion against Pius XII’s revised Holy Week ceremonies seems to interconnect priests from across a broad spectrum of Traditional groups, a sign that it may be orchestrated by a handful of schismatic puppet masters.

      It’s only recently that this pre-1955 liturgy controversy has arisen to disturb the peace and unity of Traditional Catholics. Prior to that it was pushed only by sedevacantists and other such rebellious types. Very odd and very dangerous!

      April 21, 2022 at 11:21 pm
      • Lily


        I’m surprised that the priests of the SSPX are disregarding what Archbishop Lefebvre said on this because I have always understood they consider him to be a saint. So, that does surprise me.

        April 22, 2022 at 1:48 pm
      • Athanasius


        By far the greater majority of SSPX priests are faithful to the rule of Archbishop Lefebvre concerning obedience to the revised Holy Week ceremonies. The problem is with the odd rebel here and there, a problem that even Archbishop Lefebvre had to face with the 9 priests in North America back in 1982. There’s always one!

        April 22, 2022 at 9:48 pm
    • Athanasius


      I also had a private word with the priest beforehand but it didn’t make the slightest difference. Hence this article.

      The very fact that this imposing of the pre-1955 Holy Week ceremonies has caused confusion and division amongst the faithful, carried on to this blog, shows it’s not from God.

      April 25, 2022 at 1:22 am
  • Andrew Q

    I was delighted to find that one of our local churches was again celebrating Holy Week in the pre-1955 rite this year. All Ecclesia Dei communities were given permission to do this from 2018 onwards. (Although, of course, the ED office was recently abolished.) In this particular parish everything was clear and beautiful. Comprehensive booklets were available at each Mass with the pre-1955 texts. The pre-1955 rite is far richer and doesn’t suffer the Bugnini intentions that were to become even more apparent in his Novus Ordo Missae. I appreciate others may have different views. It was one of the most moving and beautiful weeks I and the appreciative full congregation had spent.

    April 21, 2022 at 3:49 pm
    • Laura

      I’m not knowledgeable about this subject but I can’t understand how these priests, the Ecclesia Dei/SSPX can just disobey something which is binding, as per this statement from Pius XII

      To emphasise the authority with which the Supreme Pontiff was promulgating this revision, the Document declares: “Those who follow the Roman rite are bound to observe in the future the restored Order of Holy Week, as described in the typical Vatican edition.”

      What is “enriching” about standing for hours on end? I couldn’t do that.

      April 21, 2022 at 4:15 pm
      • Andrew Q

        Laura, The Ecclesia Dei Commission was acting under the direction of a later pope when it approved the optional use of the pre-55 Holy Week in 2018 (and beyond) for those groups it governed.

        April 21, 2022 at 4:30 pm
      • Athanasius

        Andrew Q

        There is absolutely no evidence that “a later Pope” approved anything. I have read the claims that the PCED approved a 3-year experiment, but nothing to suggest that a Pope was consulted.

        April 21, 2022 at 6:54 pm
    • Athanasius

      Andrew Q

      I’m assuming that those ceremonies were not carried out in the morning, as they were pre-1955, which was ridiculous in the extreme. I think you may be in a minority when it comes to the pre-1955 due to the fact that those ceremonies, apart from the weird times they celebrated, were much longer. That’s why the bishops before Vatican II wrote to Pope Pius XII asking that he revise Holy Week to make it more pastoral. It was their contention at the time that the churches were empty in Holy Week precisely because of times and length of ceremonies. It makes perfect sense to me.

      As regards the Bugnini involvement, I don’t think that was anything as remotely sinister as some (mostly sedevacantists) claim. Bugnini did the damage after Pius XII’s death, not before. The proof of this lies in the huge success of the restored Holy Week services. As I said in the piece, I have attended the restored Holy Week services at the SSPX for 35 years and never found them to be Modernist or dangerous to faith in any way. So we judge by fruits and not by what the armchair theologians have concluded. To reject that restoration, and remember that it was a restoration to pre-Middle Ages ceremonies, is to reject the authority of the Traditional Pope who approved and promulgated them. It serves no purpose at all to have two competing forms of ceremony in Holy Week, it’s divisive and confusing. Beautiful as the minority think they were, the pre-1955 ceremonies largely kept the churches empty.

      By the way, can you point me to an source for your claim that the Ecclesia Dei communities were officially granted permission to follow the old ceremonies back in 2018 – I’ve not heard this before and it certainly doesn’t fit with Pope Francis. Many thanks in advance.

      April 21, 2022 at 4:19 pm
      • Andrew Q


        The parish I attended had the rites at the common times rather than in the mornings. We were given plenty of advanced notice that booklets would be available for those without older missals.

        I don’t have an official statement to point you to, but Google will show you many references to the experimental use of the pre-1955 rite afforded by the EDC permission given in 2018. It was initially for 3 years and applied to FSSP, ICKSP, Good Shepherd, etc. Not many parishes used it but some jumped at the opportunity and most of those which tried it have stayed with it, if their bishops agreed, as their congregations were in favour.

        After the wonderful experience this year, and the many who travelled some distance to attend, I pray that we’ll have the pre-55 rites next year too. The church was packed with large young families, the elderly, and people from across the Catholic spectrum. Many, like me, were encountering this glorious version of the liturgy for the first time. For those who prefer the 1962 missal that Holy Week was available in several locations nearby

        April 21, 2022 at 4:52 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Andrew Q.

        I looks to me like there is so much of a disconnect between your experience of those liturgies and what Athanasius has written, that there must be some mistake.

        I shuddered at the thought of having to stand for hours – how long did you have to stand at those services? Apart from the long Gospel on Palm Sunday, for example, how long did you stand at the start for the blessings (palms etc) and same at the other services.

        April 21, 2022 at 5:07 pm
      • Fidelis

        Andrew Q,

        What that liturgyguy link says to me is that Archbishop Lefebvre was totally wrong to accept the 1962 missal and even more wrong to sack those 9 priests he accused of being sedevacantist. This is a first. All I’ve been hearing about this archbishop is that he’s a saint!

        April 21, 2022 at 5:13 pm
      • Andrew Q

        Margaret Mary,

        It honestly didn’t feel like we were standing for much longer, continuously, than in the ’62 Holy Week. Perhaps that’s a sign it was well-done and engaging? There was more content (prayers, readings) and genuflections, etc., but I didn’t witness anyone having more difficulty than usual. As at any Mass, those with physical difficulties can be accommodated. The young children seemed entranced by most of it – especially the elaborate prayers for the blessing of the live lamb on Easter Sunday.

        April 21, 2022 at 6:20 pm
      • Athanasius

        Andrew Q

        If the standing didn’t feel any longer than the 1962 ceremonies then that may be because it was spoken rather than sung. Some priests do have the pastoral sense when it comes to lengthy ceremonies. My experience was different altogether, it was a full 45 minutes just to bless the palms (where’s the logic in that!) and it was done in a way that resembled the Mass. In other words, we had akin to two masses in one ceremony. I can’t believe any Catholic would welcome such extremism in the liturgy – it should be left in the Middle Ages where it belongs. Pius XII had the authority to restore what went before this Middle Ages extravagance. That’s what he did and the bishops reported a resulting turnaround from usually-empty churches in Holy Week to well populated churches. “By their fruits…”!

        April 21, 2022 at 6:41 pm
    • Athanasius

      Andrew Q

      I did some basic research into this matter of the PCED granting permission to certain Ecclesia Dei communities to celebrate Holy Week in accordance with the pre-1955 ceremonies. What I learned was that there seems to be no actual written evidence available to prove that the PCED actually did what is claimed.

      Anyway, assuming it’s correct, the PCED originally refused permission on the grounds that it had not the competency to respond to questions concerning pre-1962 liturgical matters. Then it seems there was a change of heart and permission was granted, though only in certain places on a three-year experiment and only if the superior of the community in question approved. Maybe this overstep by the PCED gave Francis all he needed to dismantle the PCED, which had overruled Pius XII’s General Decree by what would appear to be its own subordinate authority.

      Besides that, the “liturgyguy” seems to go by his own subordinate authority also when he encourages Traditional Catholics to disapprove of Pius XII’s restoration. Archbishop Lefebvre was sixty years a loyal son of the Church and a master theologian and liturgist. He knew that he had to obey Pius XII, yet here’s the liturgyguy and other armchair experts like him encouraging Catholics to ignore what Pius XII achieved. Yes, no wonder the Church is divided even within Traditional circles.

      April 21, 2022 at 6:31 pm
    • Andrew Q


      I gave the liturgy guy site only as an example. There are many more as a simple search shows. We know that permission was granted for 3 years from 2018 because from that date particular FSSP, ICKSP, etc parishes announced it and started using the pre-55. The EDC acted with authority and presumably with a similar motive to Benedict in his “What earlier generations have held sacred remains sacred”. There are many guesses as to why Francis axed EDC and gave oversight of trads to Arthur Roche and others who have no live for the Latin Mass. I’ve heard priests say the EDC was axed because its original purpose was for discussions with the SSPX and these weren’t fruitful. Who knows? None of us – clerical or lay – is perfect in our understanding in these confusing times.

      April 21, 2022 at 7:01 pm
      • Athanasius

        Andrew Q

        We can absolutely agree on the point that these are confusing times – made more confusing, I would suggest, by this handful of Traditional Catholics diverging off to the pre-1955 Holy Week ceremonies. There needs to be unity of faith and worship among Traditional Catholics, as there was prior to Vatican II, if they are to survive. If little groups start adopting their own liturgical preferences then disunity will ensue followed by disorder. Archbishop Lefebvre understood this well which is why he was very forceful with his priests in the matter of embracing the 1962 missal and restored Holy Week ceremonies.

        April 21, 2022 at 7:47 pm
      • Andrew Q


        I disagree. This discussion amounts to some trad individuals and groups prefer the 62 and others prefer the pre-55.

        Both versions have been approved by tradition and the popes (or the commissions they authorised to make such decisions). It’s analogous to having the choice of attending the Dominican rite or a standard diocesan TLM. Both are valid. Both have their cheerleaders.

        I had a deeply moving Holy Week. Given the choice, I will try to attend the earlier rite in future years. But as those parishes that offer the pre-55 are few and far between I may have to attend the Holy Week created 60 years ago.

        I’m certain both versions can be done well or badly and that may colour our judgements.

        April 21, 2022 at 8:08 pm
      • Josephine

        Andrew Q,

        What was “moving” about it? Sounds horrendous to me, standing still for hours.

        Also, does this mean that you can go to an SSPX church in Glasgow and get the long liturgy in Holy Week and go to the SSPX church in Edinburgh and get the shorter one, or is it that the SSPX is run by country, a national leader or something? This is what happens when nobody holds the top post. I understand totally that what Archbishop Lefebvre did was legitimate, but I have read on here many times that he didn’t mean this situation to be prolonged as then there would be a schismatic mindset in the SSPX churches – I think that’s what seems to be happening here.

        Saying that, I don’t know how the other traditional groups are run, the FSSP, ICK etc. Who, if anyone, has authority over them? Who decides if they can use the pre-1955 Holy Week liturgy or the revised one?

        April 21, 2022 at 8:15 pm
      • Nicky

        Andrew Q,

        I don’t think you can say that the Holy Week services in use for years now, were “created 60 years ago”. They weren’t created, they are a revised liturgy – there’s a difference. Paul VI created a new Mass, but Pius XII revised the HW liturgy.

        April 21, 2022 at 8:18 pm
      • Andrew Q


        Annibale Bugnini created both the ’62 Holy Week and the Novus Ordo Missae. Both are his creations for the respective popes. If you read his ‘The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975’ or Yves Charon’s biography of him you may reach the conclusion that his first creation seemed like a trial run for his second. He was not in favour of Tradition and was thought to be a Freemason.

        I reiterate, both ’62 and pre-55 are valid Holy Week rites. I have my preference now when blessed to have the choice. Just as one may choose a Low Mass over a Missa Cantata on occasions.

        April 21, 2022 at 9:00 pm
      • Athanasius

        Andrew Q

        You’re wrong on the point of choice regarding the two Holy Week liturgies. Pius XII’s Decree makes it absolutely clear that his restored Holy Week ceremonies are binding on the Church. Archbishop Lefebvre understood this and obeyed while sedevacantists and other schismatics did not. Any suggestion that competing rites can coexist in the Church without confusion among the faithful and harm to unity is utterly fallacious, however sophisitc.

        I say again, Pius XII made the restored Holy Week ceremonies binding on the Church. That means there’s no room for personal preference in the matter, just obedience. Archbishop Lefebvre obeyed without question and punished those who didn’t, yet lesser men think they know better than he whom Pius XII described as “the best of my apostolic delegates”.

        April 21, 2022 at 10:20 pm
      • Andrew Q


        Thank you for pontificating. The papally-instituted EDC seemed to disagree with you. I think I’ll leave it there as we clearly aren’t going to agree.

        April 21, 2022 at 11:01 pm
      • Athanasius

        I think you confuse pontificating with clarifying. I merely clarified for you and others that there is not a single official document anywhere proving that a Pope approved what the EDC permitted. That’s not “pontificating”, it’s a challenge for you to find the evidence to support your claim.

        In general, though, I agree that we will not agree. My sole guide in the matter is the admonition of Archbishop Lefebvre that we MUST obey the Church’s legitimate authorities in all that is not dangerous to faith. I have not seen one iota of evidence, despite all the accusations about Bugnini’s influence, that the 1955 revised Holy Week ceremonies have led to damaged or lost faith. Quite the contrary, that revision turned empty churches during Holy Week into full churches, a fact attested to by many bishops at the time.

        The very fact that we’re having this debate demonstrates the controversial and divisive nature of this relatively new promotion of the old books by pre-1955 “fans”, as the liturgyguy calls them. It seems to me that they’re the ones pontificating – in this case against a perfectly orthodox Pope.

        April 21, 2022 at 11:37 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Thanks for this info, I was unaware of it. I went to a non-SSPX parish traditional Easter Triduum some years ago and an earlier rite to 1962 was used but I can’t recall the year. Because our missals were redundant, they gave out paper missalettes to everyone. I didn’t know it was forbidden, but I agree with you – it was interminable. We had a long drive to get there, then the longer services, then a long drive home. The person I went with is disabled and finds even sitting in a wooden chair for a short time very painful. I hope this isn’t going to start a trend and it would be good to know the rationale behind it all. At a time when we should be as united as possible, this is going to cause yet another division. The devil loves to divide.

    April 21, 2022 at 5:14 pm
    • Athanasius


      Yes, the devil does indeed know how to divide and he often utilises apparently good motives in the faithful to bring about those divisions.

      Prior to the Council the Latin Church had one faith, one liturgy and one language in common across the board. Hence, you could go into any church in any part of the Western world and find everything exactly the same as in your own local church. Then Modernism happened and it created a split between those who liked the new laxity and heterodoxy and those who refused to go along. This was soon followed by those who were pro-SSPX and those who were pro-Ecclesia Dei, but also those who were sedevacantist. This latter group of people were initially the only ones to reject Pius XII’s Holy Week restoration under the pretext that Bugnini had used it as a springboard for his New Mass, which of course is untrue. But now there are non-sedevacantists falling into the same error and causing further divisions within Tradition by rejecting Pius XII’s Holy Week restoration. And all of it boils down to personal preference rather than sound theological and liturgical reasoning.

      Archbishop Lefebvre was extremely well versed in theology and liturgy, but he was also extremely obedient to the legitimate authorities in the Church. He knew when he had to obey and when he did not have to obey. In the case of the restored Holy Week cereminies of Pius XII he made it quite clear that since they do not represent danger to faith we must obey. It seems, though, that others are determined to satisfy their preferences rather than follow the golden rule on obedience, which does not bode well for unity within Tradition. Yes, the devil is having a field day.

      April 21, 2022 at 6:08 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Yes, the devil is definitely working overtime trying to split traditional Catholics by using any and all means. As I said to Editor CT the other day, Fatima devotees are even more divided now since the 2022 Consecration. We now, apparently, fall into one of three camps:-
        1) Those who think the Consecration was done correctly in 1984 by Pope John Paul II
        2) Those who think the Consecration was done correctly in 2022 by Pope Francis
        3) Those who think it still hasn’t been done correctly.
        So you see, more division amongst good people. For what it is worth, I fall into the 3rd option camp, but I’m sure others will disagree with me. Perhaps this Fatima issue is a topic for a different thread, but you’ll get my drift. Division, division, division.

        April 21, 2022 at 6:33 pm
      • Athanasius


        I was firmly in camp 2 until I realised that the promised conversion of Russia is nowwhere to be seen, so now I am sadly back in camp 3. The conversion of Russia, when it does eventually occur, will be a very quick response to a proper consecration. Our Lord declared as much when He said that He wanted the world to see that Russia was converted through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Slow, gradual conversions don’t fit the bill, so I’m back in camp 3.

        April 21, 2022 at 6:51 pm
  • editor

    For the record, I have now been informed that the SSPX Prior in Scotland did, in fact, ask permission from both the District Superior and the Superior General to use the older rites as an experiment this year, in order to gauge the response of the faithful. If the experiment meets with a positive response among the overwhelming majority of the faithful they might go one step further and change the time of the Saturday vigil.

    So, although the headline here is accurate, I don’t want to give the impression that the priests in Scotland have acted without permission from superiors. Rejecting the revised ceremonies and acting without permission are two different things.

    I think the topic is more or less exhausted now, so thanks for keeping the discussion purely academic, without any personal remarks, or naming priests etc. Please continue with the same professionalism, folks.

    April 22, 2022 at 8:06 am
    • Athanasius


      I don’t think the thread is by any means exhausted, especially with this revelation that superiors in the SSPX have actually approved a breaking of Archbishop Lefebvre’s very strict anti-schismatic rule concerning obedience to the liturgies of Popes John XXIII and Pius XII.

      If this proves to be true – that SSPX superiors are now abandoning this central principle of Archbishop Lefebvre, however disguised as “experimental”, etc. – then it raises a very serious question about the direction of the SSPX.

      Far from being satisfied, I’m just getting started. I don’t know about other SSPX faithful but I certainly won’t tolerate schismatic priests who betray the Archbishop by breaking the rule that keeps them (and us) Catholic.

      April 23, 2022 at 1:24 pm
      • editor


        Having read the quotes you posted from Archbishop Lefebvre, it is, indeed, a matter of some concern if his clear warnings against schism are being ignored. There are people who have been persuaded to attend the SSPX, relying on those warnings – I know, having, more than once, been one of those “persuaders”…

        Apart from the Feast Day threads which I usually close at the end of the Feast Day, the other threads are left open for quite a while, so you needn’t interpret the exhaustion of any discussion as meaning the closure of the thread. The only other time threads are closed, perhaps prematurely, is if nastiness creeps in, and personal remarks are thrown around – this thread has been respectful in the face of disagreement, and thoroughly academic, sticking with facts, counter facts and…well – you’ll get my drift.

        It’s also notable that while there are strong feelings on both sides of the argument, nobody is so weak as to follow the philosophy of Groucho Marx: These are my principles, but if you don’t like them, I have others… 😀

        April 23, 2022 at 5:01 pm
      • Athanasius


        Thank you for that clarification. I have now written to the UK District Superior asking for his clarification on whether or not he approved this break with the rule of the SSPX. I cannot believe he would actually have done such a thing but I’ll wait and see how he replies, if indeed he does reply. A non-reply would surely be the same as admitting that he did give permission. I hope that’s not the case.

        April 23, 2022 at 6:01 pm
  • Mack

    I think those of us who are not attending traditional services will have learned a lot from this discussion, I know I am thinking harder about what it means to be obedient. But, if popes can update and revise services, then that surely includes the Mass? How can Pius XII revise the Holy Week services but Paul VI can’t revise the Mass?

    I know there was a bull issued by an earlier pope saying it was forbidden to change the Mass but how can that be, if in other ways a pope can change liturgies? I’m seeking clarification here, that’s all, not meaning to cause trouble.

    April 22, 2022 at 12:36 pm
    • Laura


      That’s a good question – I found this at EWTN about the Bull of 1570, written by a priest. I know some won’t like it because of how it ends, but it all seems logical to me. I can see that the changes listed in this article are not a “danger to faith” whereas the creating of a new Mass which took out important prayers, is a danger to faith. I’m sure that will be the answer to that ending, but the rest of the article makes sense to me.

      April 22, 2022 at 3:07 pm
    • Athanasius


      You make a very good point and ask a very pertinent question.

      The simple answer to your question regarding the Bull Quo Primum of St. Pius V is that it did not forbid future Popes from making organic changes to the Mass in accordance with prudence. What it did forbid was what Bugnini did to the Mass, which was to replace it with the vernacular Protestant model of the Reformation apostate Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. The only part that was retained from the Canon of the ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs were the words of consecration, and even these were tampered with. The retention of these words of Our Lord, essential to Transubstantiation, was the only element that stopped the New Mass from being an invalid Protestant meal service.

      That Paul VI approved this New Mass remains a scandal, though he never once attempted to impose it with infallible Papal authority, a fact that proves the actions of the Holy Ghost and the promise of Our Lord that Gates of Hell will not prevail.

      For his part, Bugnini, the architect of the New Mass, publicly declared beforehand that his work must include removing “all Catholic prayers that could be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants”. Once promulgated by Paul VI Bugnini again made a public declaration, this time calling his New Mass “a conquest of the Catholic Church”.

      Now what Pius XII did regarding the revised Holy Week services cannot by any means be compared with the New Mass, either doctrinally or in fruits. Pius simplified the ceremony for pastoral reasons and corrected errors with regard to times. That Bugnini played a part in this work is of little importance since the crux of the ceremonies from Tradition remained in tact. What innovations Bugnini may have managed to insert certainly did not impact on the faith of Catholics. Indeed, Traditional Catholics have used those revised ceremonies for over 60 years now without detriment to faith.

      The New Mass, on the other hand, made an instant impact on faith. In the 50 odd years since its imposition it has almost completely destroyed the priesthood and emptied the churches. It is quite obvious today that this rite of Mass has turned many Catholics into Protestants, as we would expect from a rite which has departed from the ancient Mass of the Church.

      In this regard, a number of prelates and scholars headed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, wrote to Paul VI with a critique of the New Mass of Bugnini, saying that it “departs in whoe and in part from the Catholic theology of the Mass as codified in Session XXII of the Council of Trent”. Paul VI ignored the critique but later lamented that “through some fissue in the walls, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and set her on path of autodestrusction”

      None of this kind of destruction is seen as a result of Pius XII’s Holy Week revision, which was carried out in accordance with ancient Tradition long before the New Mass came on the scene.

      To cut a long story short, a revision of the Holy Week services is by no means on a par with revising the Holy Mass, which is the very heart of our faith. Popes can revise many individual things in the liturgy, including parts of the Mass, so long as the revisions are organic developments or a restoration of some ancient usage. What they cannot do is invent a New Mass which has absolutely no link to what went before, especially when that New Mass has a Protestant history underpinning it and is clearly detrimental to Catholic bellief. Paul VI failed catastrophically on this essential point while Pius XII acted perfectly within the bounds of his authority.

      I hope this helps to clarify. The rule of thumb is that if it follows on from Tradition then it’s legitimate. But if it follows from innovation and invention then it is not legitimate.

      April 22, 2022 at 5:48 pm
      • Mack


        Thanks. That’s a really helpful reply. I’ve been puzzled about Quo Primum for ages. Thanks, I really appreciate that clarification – it makes perfect sense.

        April 23, 2022 at 6:16 pm
      • Athanasius


        You’re welcome. Glad to be of some help.

        April 23, 2022 at 8:14 pm
  • RCAVictor


    Regarding your comment at 6:33 yesterday, I’m in “Camp 3” as well, but I’m afraid there may be a Camp 4 as a result of this failed “consecration”: those who claim that it failed because Francis is an imposter pope.

    Here’s one more thought, while I’m at it: I posted a comment under a YouTube video about the “consecration” about 2 weeks after it occurred, to the effect that it had obviously not pleased Heaven. One of the replies asked me to “be patient,” as if Heaven’s response was going to come in dribs and drabs.

    I didn’t bother to reply, but it occurs to me that such a response would neither promote the power of the Immaculate Heart, nor the power of the Church in obedience to the commands of Heaven. I will continue to believe that, once completed correctly, the result will be at once dramatic and universal.

    April 22, 2022 at 3:09 pm
    • Laura

      RCA Victor,

      I totally agree with you – we will soon know it when the consecration is done properly, your description “dramatic and universal” is correct, IMHO.

      April 22, 2022 at 3:16 pm
      • Kate

        The traditionalists, without a canonical structure in full communion with Rome, will fragment.
        This is what happens when you disobey the God given authority of the Catholic Bishops and Pope.
        We see this constant splintering- the Society of St Pius V and now the SSPX Resistance movement.
        Those still within the SSPX are divided about the way toward unity. Opinions are divided regarding the vality of the NO Missal, including the ordination rite. Any further moves to unity will promote more departures from the SSPX.

        Arguing about whether to use the 1962 or earlier Triduum books are of no interest to the average Catholic. Get a life! The liturgical police are always around criticising and picking holes.

        Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, pray, go to Mass. Don’t obsess

        April 22, 2022 at 4:09 pm
      • Athanasius


        It is precisely the indifference you display with regard to divine truth Vs. error that has the Church in the mess it’s in today. I would much rather debate with a convinced Protestant than with an indifferent Catholic. Your response displays a shocking lack of understanding of the present crisis in the Church. There is no excuse for such ignorance – you have a Confirmation duty to uphold what is true and battle what is false in matters of the faith. I suggest you begin by reading the history of the 4th century bishop, St. Athanasius.

        April 22, 2022 at 6:17 pm
    • Andrew S.

      Our Lady in October 1917 said that the war would end soon. What we now call World War One did not end until November 11, 1918. That was well over a year’s time. She used the word ‘soon’, which obviously has an ambiguous definition. My soon is different from your soon and so on.

      So maybe the consecration was done according to the way that was asked, and the results will be “soon”…

      April 23, 2022 at 4:35 am
      • Athanasius

        Andrew S

        Our Lord said that he wanted Russia consecrated to His Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart so that the whole world could see that it was through her powerful intercession that that nation was converted. Slower manifestations of that intercession, such as the one you cite about the war, are in a different category. If the consecration is done and the conversion of Russia is delayed and protracted, how will the world know that it was through Our Lady’s intercession. It doesn’t fit with Our Lord’s words. No, it will be a manifestation that the entire world will see and be forced to acknowledge.

        April 23, 2022 at 10:58 am
  • LittleCharie

    The Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King use the older rites but don’t celebrate them in the morning. A friend who attends the FSSP church in Edinburgh sometimes attends Mass at the SSPX church due to work commitments and says that there are four men in their choir and that it is a very good choir. This has been confirmed by a friend from London who attended Mass there on Easter Sunday.

    April 22, 2022 at 6:09 pm
    • Athanasius


      It’s not a question of how many men are in the choir, but how many women. Apart from a single emergency indulgence granted by Pius XII after a war in which millions of men had perished, Papal teaching absolutely forbids the inclusion of women in the choir because, as St. Pius X himself observed, the choir forms part of the liturgical function of the Church and therefore cannot admit women to the choir for singing the Mass. It’s a Modernist abuse!

      April 22, 2022 at 11:32 pm
  • Athanasius

    I’ve just been re-reading the transcript of a series of Seminary Conferences given by Archbishop Lefebvre at Ridgefield, CT, in April, 1983. The Archbishop had just expelled nine sedevacantist priests from the SSPX in America for rejecting the authority of the Pope and the validity of the revised 1962 missal, including the revised Holy Week ceremonies. The following exceprts are very interesting indeed and expose the mindset behind the present attempt by some to return to the pre-1955 Holy Week ceremonies.

    “They (the nine expelled sedevacantist priests) say that the Liturgy of Pope John XXIII is not good. And so they condemn it, they condemn me, and they condemn Econe. How is this possible that they condemn the bishop who gave them their ordination? When these priests, all of them, were at Econe, they accepted this Liturgy. When I gave them ordination with the Liturgy of Pope John XXIII, they accepted this Liturgy; they accepted it during 2 years, 3 years, etc. They accepted it during all that time. When they left Econe, they changed, and they took another orientation…

    …in reality, this reform (of John XXIII) was done by Pope Pius XII, not Pope John XXIII. When I was Apostolic delegate in Rome, they asked me to have Episcopal Conferences in Madagaskar, in Camaron, and in the rest of French speaking Africa, and in Central Africa, at four Episcopal Conferences, to ask the bishops about a reform of the breviary. You know, that was during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

    But these young priests (i.e., the nine priests) say that seven men who did this reform were the same ones who did the reform of Pope Paul VI. I said to them that this is not true. Perhaps in the commission it is possible that some of these men were there; perhaps Bugnini was a member of this commission. You know that during the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, this Pope removed Bugnini from his teaching post at the University of the Lateran. Pope John XXIII was against Bugnini. I knew the president of the commission who did this reform of Pope John XXIII. It was Msgr. De Matto who was the Abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls (in Rome). He is still there (in April 1983). I know him very well and I speak many times with him. He was the president of the commission of reforming the Liturgy under the Pontificate of Pope John XXIII. He is very much a Traditionalist, very traditional. And after, during the Council of Vatican II (under Pope Paul VI) he was put outside, removed, because he was a Traditionalist, and they replaced him by Msgr. Bugnini. That is true. That is a big change, a big change. [But] it is not the same; it is not true to say that this reform of Pope John XXIII is the beginning of the Reform of Pope Paul VI. It is not true…

    …So, I have said concerning this reform (of Pope John XXIII) that we must obey the Pope, especially since we have no reason to refuse it…

    …What is the first principle to know what we must do in this circumstance, in this crisis in the Church? What is my principle? The principle of the Church is the principle of St. Thomas Aquinas. It is not my choice, it is not my preference, it is not my personal desire. So what does St. Thomas Aquinas say about the authority in the Church? When can we refuse something from the authority of the Church? The principle is only when the faith is in question; only in this case, not in other cases. And that is found in the Summa Theologica, 2a2ae, Q. 33, art. 4 ad 2um:
    St. Thomas says: ‘It must be said however, that where there is an imminent danger to the faith, prelates can be rebuked by their subjects, even publicly.’ (Sciendumtamenest quod ubiimmineretpe-riculumfidei, etiampubliceessentpraelate a subditis arguendo)…

    Many times I spoke with them (the nine priests) about the Roman Catholic articles (i.e., Roman Catholic magazine). Many of their attitudes and positions were hard, hard, always hard and polemical. That is not my attitude. I am firm in doctrine. I am firm in the faith. But as Our Lord, I try to get souls, to speak with sinners, with all the people, and not always hard, hard, hard. Thus I wrote to this benefactor: Now their rebellion is clear, against the Superior General and against the Fraternity. It is now public. This is the result of this state of mind and tendency: extremist and schismatic. It is a schismatic tendency: in regard to the Liturgy, in regard to the pope and in regard to the sacraments of the new reform; their judgments they have towards these things. They reject and refuse the Liturgy of Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII because (they say) it is bad…

    …And so we cannot continue our way together. They (i.e., the nine priests) are always going towards schism, because on this point, they are against Rome. They refuse the Liturgy that the Pope (John XXIII) gave without a serious reason. If it was a serious reason then I too would disobey the pope. But when there is not a serious reason, I cannot disobey. Thus, that is the first point: they disobey the pope; they disobey Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII…

    …In my conscience, I truly hope that you choose not to follow me but to follow the Church, i.e., the principles of Tradition of the Church. They (the nine priests) say: ‘We are the Tradition.’ That is not true. The Tradition of the Church is not their Tradition. The Tradition of the Church is to obey the Pope when the Faith is not in danger, and to disobey the Pope when he endangers the Faith. That is the principle, and this principle they do not accept…

    …All my life I work for the Catholic Church. I can say that I was a friend of Pope Pius XII. I met him each year during the eleven years when I was Apostolic Delegate. He was a holy man, a great man, a great pope; a very extraordinary pope. I served him. I was a servant of the Church everywhere I went, and I continue to be a servant of the Church: not for me, not for my own glory, but for the glory of the Church. That is my mind. I have nothing else in my mind…”

    I think it is very clear from this last paragraph of the Archbishop that he would never have tolerated any SSPX priest rejecting the revised Holy Week ceremonies of Pius XII. Nor would he have accepted the sophistic argument that Bugnini and a few other Modernists were behind Pius’ revision, a claim which is utterly fallacious.

    April 23, 2022 at 12:30 am
  • Shaun Davies

    It’s really awful that someone should publicly criticise traditional priests of SSPX in this way. The virtue of gratitude is a great one ; I have to be very grateful to three “Conservative” New Rite priests near me – I cannot get to the traditional rites,sadly, but there is no point in me writing about all the things they do. Thank God for the good things (even if not perfect) we can go to and thank God for good priests.
    Playing the legal game just doesn’t work – the decrees of Pius XII have the same weight as those of Paul VI (and Pope Francis).
    To write, as someone did here, about “rebel” priests rebelling against Abp Lefebvre made me laugh – he who was for years called The Rebel Archbishop.
    To say that these rites were just too long sounds like the criticisms of 1955 and 1962 forms made by my friends in the New Rite churches. Oh dear, it’s all too long, we can’t stand for that long service, we can go to a quick New rite service or a said celebration.
    The real importance of the Pre-Pius XII rites is that they are good and traditional and were used with reverence for many years and developed slowly and organically and not made up by a Roman commission.

    April 23, 2022 at 7:26 pm
    • Athanasius

      Shaun Davies

      Yours is a point of view, I suppose, but I think Archbishop Lefebvre’s comments above rather nullify it. That’s the difference between you and I, you offer personal opinion interspersed with emotion and personal preference while I stick solely to the rule of Archbishop Lefebvre, which is the guiding rule of the Church governing true obedience.

      April 23, 2022 at 7:50 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Overall I would say I liked the experience of the pre-1955 liturgy, though parts are likely too long for very small children (granted, several services were at times not suitable for my kids anyway). I had been curious about it and was glad to get the chance to experience it.

    I was mildly irritated that these liturgies made my missal defunct, but it was excellent that quality paper and electronic resources were made available for people with 1962 missals. (As well as being useful, this showed that the proceedings had been well thought out and well organised, with the lay people’s needs considered).

    I did not like it that we did not get the chance to reaffirm our baptism promises. I have always greatly appreciated that part of the (newer) ceremonies, for a variety of reasons. However, I was glad to see the back of the “washing of the feet” – I have never liked that aspect (even from my novus ordo days).

    I was interested to read above about +Lefebvres stance on the matter, which I was unaware of. On the other hand, I have heard it said several times that Pius XII’s alterations to Holy week ultimately proved the first crack in the dam which led to the disastrous ongoing failure that is the Novus Ordo liturgy. As if this move had emboldened those who sought to disfigure the liturgy.

    There is definitely a growing interest in the pre-1955 Holy Week across the entire traditional part of the Church.

    Professor Peter Kwasnieski has been banging the drum for it at One Peter Five for a while now. I do not have a link, but I am sure I recall him encouraging interested clergy not to ask permission but “just do it”, which I found refreshingly bold and straight forward.

    Here is a link where Kwasnieski talks about his first experience of the pre-1955 liturgies. He calls pre-1955 “authentic” and the replacement “neo-Tridentine”.

    I was told that (at least one of) the Glasgow Diocesan TLM parishes also used the pre-1955 books this year (ironically from someone grumbling about the length of the prophecies).

    April 23, 2022 at 9:07 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      You express your pleasure that “quality paper and electronic resources were made available for people with 1962 missals. (As well as being useful, this showed that the proceedings had been well thought out and well organised, with the lay people’s needs considered).

      I wish I’d been aware of those resources – where I attend Mass, nobody seemed to have any such “quality paper” etc. And precisely which “lay people” had their needs considered, one would like to know, as one did not feel one’s needs were remotely considered. In fact, one has become quite grumpy because one’s needs were not considered… 😀

      Or, maybe you mean that you downloaded extra materials from the internet yourself? Is that it? Spill !

      You also (to my great surprise) write:

      I was interested to read above about +Lefebvre’s stance on the matter, which I was unaware of. On the other hand, I have heard it said several times that Pius XII’s alterations to Holy week ultimately proved the first crack in the dam which led to the disastrous ongoing failure that is the Novus Ordo liturgy. As if this move had emboldened those who sought to disfigure the liturgy.

      I’d hesitate before dismissing the very clear and authoritative words of the Archbishop, effectively placing his words below the disputed claims of the equivalent of a parish liturgy committee, i.e. claims that there is a link between the revised Holy Week liturgies and the later novus ordo. You know what they say is the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist… you can negotiate with a terrorist. Remember, the archbishop’s words are based on the demonstrable authority of the Pope, Pius XII, while the disputed claims are nothing more than sedevacantist theory, which is on the same level as the theory of evolution, if you ask me, which I know you haven’t but still, you need to know that 😀

      Since nobody so far has answered the burning question, to which I am longing for an answer, maybe you’d have a bash, our Gabriel Syme… How did this sudden zeal for the pre-1955 Holy Week services come about? Who is behind it?

      I want names, dates, places, passwords, the location of the nearest Chinese Take-away, you name it. I want to know who is behind this sudden switch to the liturgical equivalent of War & Peace. . There are no secrets on this blog, as you should know by now, so please – spill !

      April 23, 2022 at 10:44 pm
      • gabriel syme


        I wish I’d been aware of those resources – where I attend Mass, nobody seemed to have any such “quality paper” etc.

        It was at this location, where you and I both go – the priest had previously announced it during his weekly notices, perhaps a week in advance. There was a 3rd party website to download a pdf and some paper copies provided (I didn’t get any myself). He also advised that the 1962 missal would contain some relevant parts, but not all (obviously).

        I tried to use the electronic version on my phone – but I didn’t really enjoy using such a small screen for the task.

        Funny story, in my novus ordo days, I once was angered to see a man tinkering with his phone at every opportunity during Mass. I made sure to glare at him at every opportunity – this was a new low, even for the novus ordo. When I finally stole a glance at his screen, it turned out he was using an electronic missal, the first time I had encountered such a thing.

        How did this sudden zeal for the pre-1955 Holy Week services come about? Who is behind it?

        I view it as a continuation of the same effect we see when novus ordo Catholics become interested in the traditional Mass.

        The website mentioned above is linked here:

        You could download pdfs for each day. However, there are selling a “Mass companion” which is like a mini-missal for the pre-1955 Holy Week.

        A desire for sales could be a motivation for pushing the pre-1955 ceremonies, but I doubt it.

        In any case, I am sure the SSPX ‘Angelus Press’ has (or had) been selling a very similar mini-missal for years.

        I do not know who is behind the website. There is no “about” section, but there is a contact form.

        April 25, 2022 at 11:13 pm
  • Athanasius

    Gabriel Syme

    Editor asks a very pertinent question, one which deserves serious consideration: “How did this sudden zeal for the pre-1955 Holy Week services come about? Who is behind it?” Who indeed!

    With the greatest respect, I think you are entirely missing the point in this matter of the pre-1955 HW ceremonies. The real issue here is not whether you or a priest or anyone else prefers the pre or post-1955 cermonies, but rather whether we, in order to remain Catholic, obey the Pope when he decrees something which is not immediately dangerous to faith.

    Despite all the fallacious argument of the schismatics about Bugnini’s influence in the 1955 HW revision, which they claim opened the way to the Novus Ordo, the fact remains that the revised HW ceremonies of Pius XII, used by Traditional Catholics now for more than 65 years, have not harmed a single soul. Hence, as Archbishop Lefebvre declared (citing St. Thomas Aquinas), we MUST obey!

    The Archbishop was very actively involved in that revision of Pius XII, remember, and so he knew very well that the Bugnini argument was false. He said so in the excerpts I posted above. “It’s not true”, he said.

    His Grace did not expel those 9 priests from the SSPX just because they happened to prefer the older form of HW ceremony. No, he expelled them because they would not accept that by rejecting the 1955 HW revision of Pius XII and the 1962 revised missal of John XXIII (which was mostly the work of Pius XII), they were effectively rejecting the legitimate authority of two Popes without reason, thereby entering into schism.

    This is what good Catholic priests and faithful have to grasp now – that a rejection of Pius XII’s HW ceremonies is a rejection of the legitimate authority of Pius XII who bound the Church to it. You see the point? This is how serious the issue is. Archbishop Lefebvre understood this and so did most Traditional Catholics up to just a few years ago. This present inclination on the part of some to return to the pre-1955 form was once the sole desire of sedevacantists and schismatics.

    I urge all faithful Catholics to reject the sophistry of the promoters of the pre-1955 ceremonies as deluded pawns of the Father of Lies. The matter is a very simple one – Pius XII bound the Church to a revised form and we must obey if we wish to remain Catholic. Those who don’t may have their elaborate HW liturgies and appear Catholic but they will not be Catholic in the eyes of Our Lord since they have despised the authority of a perfectly orthodox Successor of St. Peter in order to follow their own likes and preferences. Don’t go there, Gabriel Syme!

    April 24, 2022 at 12:21 am
    • gabriel syme


      Thank you for re-emphasising the central point. It is true that I was not seeing it – most other responses to the events I have encountered are mainly about length / preference etc, as opposed to the point about being bound to use a certain version. And so this is how I had come to approach the matter.

      And I now better understand the comment made by our impressive SSPX priest about “the controversy” around the pre-1955 rites.

      As regards who is driving this interest in the earlier rites: personally I think it is a similar effect to how modern Catholics can be moved to appreciate the richer traditional Mass. Its interesting that the effect is seen across all of diocesan clergy, the sspx and former ecclesia dei communities.

      The website:

      States on its home page:

      Therefore the purpose of this site is not, as some might say, a “desire to go backward,” as if to presume that what is older is better, but rather to simply take up again the traditional sensus fidelium in conformity with the perennial Christian tradition. Holy Mother Church has always considered Holy Week the great “Holy of Holies,” a liturgical, catechetical and devotional summit profoundly expressed by its ancient and untouchable ceremonies. The growing desire by so many faithful and clergy for the pre-1955 Holy week stems from our love of the Church and her holy rites, and our longing to more profoundly dispose ourselves to worthily participate in these most august mysteries of our Redemption, in union with our dear Blessed Lord and His Most Holy Mother.

      So that is what whoever is behind the website claims. (There is no ownership info, but a contact form exists).

      The same page has a photo of what they claim is Pope John XXIII using the pre-1955 rites (but who knows the date of the photo?).

      This website below claims (from 2018) the FSSP is ‘leading the way’ as regards pre-1955 rites and also states that the Ecclesia Dei commission granted formal permission for this.

      (I think the possibility still stands, even though Ecclesia Dei is now defunct).

      The single comment on the article claims that ICKSP has blanket permission to use the pre-1955 rites.

      April 25, 2022 at 11:40 pm
      • Athanasius

        Gabriel Syme

        I’m always suspicious of websites whose owners do not identify themselves, hence I stay well clear of them. I do know that the ICKSP uses the old liturgical books, though whether or not it uses them exclusively I couldn’t say. I’m also aware of this apparent permission granted by the Ecclesia Dei Comminssion to the FSSP, though no one has been able to back that claim with actual proof in the form of an official document.

        But none of this concerns me. All that concerns me is that the priests and faithful of the SSPX adhere to the strict rule issued by the prelate who founded it, without whom none of the aforementioned other institutions would exist. If one or two SSPX priests don’t like the Archbishop’s rule, forgetting that they used the 1962 missal exclusively during their formation and ordination, then the honest thing for them to do is leave and join an institution which shares their mindset. It is patently dishonest and disruptive for them to continue in the SSPX when they obviously reject this crucial rule of its founder – still binding!

        It was Archbishop Lefebvre’s determined opinion, which he based on the Church’s own teaching regarding obedience, that a rejection of the liturgical revisions of Pius XII and John XXIII was tantamount to a rejection of legitimate papal authority, a very clear manifestation of the schismatic mindset. This is why he expelled the 9 priests from the seminary in North America and insisted that all priests of his Fraternity rigidly adhere to the 1962 missal, including the 1955 revised Holy Week ceremonies of Pius XII.

        The excerpts included in my article above clearly demonstrate that Archbishop Lefebvre was far better qualified in terms of service to the Church (and personally to Pius XII), in learning, in holiness and in actual participation in the work of the revision than any of the pretend experts of today who disburb the consciences of the faithful with scare stories about Bugnini’s influence in said work of revision. The Archbishop heard these stories and categorically refuted them as false.

        That, together with the very obvious fact that the revised Holy Week services and 1962 missal have not harmed the faith of a single soul in more than 60 years, is good enough to win my obedience. I have not the remotest desire to set myself against such authority and evidence.

        Aside from the liturgical soundness of the revised Holy week services, proven over 6 decades despite the sophisitc arguments of the rebellious, the practical shortening of the ceremonies was a pastoral masterstroke. If you read the General Decree binding all to these revised ceremonies you’ll note that the text particularly highlights how bishops around the world applauded Pius XII for bringing people back into the churches in Holy Week. Prior to his intervention the ceremonies were being dragged out for endless hours at the wrong times of the day during the Sacred Triduum and the pews were empty as a result.

        Listening to the rebels today, you’d think the churches were packed full during Holy Week pre-1955. They weren’t, they were empty.

        April 26, 2022 at 12:55 am
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme & Athanasius,

        According to the conversation on the Taylor Marshall video posted somewhere above (the video is embedded in an article), that website (pre-1955holyweek) is run by Timothy Flanders, an editor at 1P5, and a convert from the Orthodox; he advertised it at the end of their (lengthy) conversation. I wrote to him yesterday, giving him the link for this thread.

        I watched that YouTube conversation, albeit in bits and bobs, as it was too long to watch at one sitting. It struck me, as they went through the old rite and compared it with the 1962, that their great love for the old rites is based on their emotions. They praise the morning celebration of Maundy Thursday! So, departing from the Gospel account of the Last Supper is no problem for them; they are able to “love” that! As Athanasius says elsewhere, it doesn’t make sense to turn the Last Supper into the Last Breakfast. Crazy stuff.

        There is no doubt that there IS some beauty in the older liturgy, but that really isn’t the issue. Throughout Taylor Marshall links every change in the Holy Week rites to Bugnini’s supposed long-term plan to change the Mass.

        Yet, If we can ignore the “binding” nature of the revised liturgies (when there is no danger to Faith), then it’s “goodbye” to the spirit of obedience which Catholics have always understood as being integral to the relationship between the laity and the hierarchy.

        Indeed, it got me thinking that there seems to be a difference in this respect in the case of converts to Catholicism. So far, all the people whom I know to be keen on the pre-1955 liturgy and hostile to the 1962, are converts. Taylor Marshall is a convert, Timothy Flanders is a convert, our two SSPX priests in Scotland are converts. Maybe that is just a coincidence – and it is true that Taylor Marshall did remark that the 1962 rite is acceptable (just not as beautiful, as the older rite). Taylor Marshall also dismissed Archbishop Lefebvre – indeed he only mentioned him towards the end of the conversation. So, as they say these days, what’s that all about 😀

        Maybe I’m misinterpreting the Taylor Marshall/Timothy Flanders conversation, however; I’ve searched for it on YouTube to post here in case anyone wishes to check it out… The advert for the above mentioned website comes near the end.

        April 26, 2022 at 9:51 am
      • Athanasius


        How providential your words are for I have also been thinking recently about the involvement of converts in pushing the pre-1955 liturgy. The two priests here in Scotland who pushed it this year in the SSPX are converts to the faith, for example, and, unless I’m mistaken, the same is pushed by Bishop Williamson, another convert. Taylor Marshall is a convert, as is Timothy Flanders. This is not coincidental, it demonstrates that converts do not have the same grasp of what it means to obey the legitimate authorities in the Church if one is to remain Catholic. This is very interesting and certainly worthy of consideration.

        I was actually going to mention this on the blog but you’ve beaten me to it. Thanks for confirming my own suspicions in this matter.

        April 26, 2022 at 12:47 pm
  • Shaun Davies

    Dear Athanasius,
    I am surprised that you take Abp Lefebvre as the sole rule in matters of obedience. I would have thought; Eternal Rome (as he himself described it ) a better guide and the old rites having a very LONG period of use would seem to be pretty well eternal. Abp Lefebvre himself rejected (at the time of the Pontificate of Paul VI) the idea and the claim that he was the leader of the Traditionalists. Until the idea of a deal agreement with Rome came in sight he allowed each region of SSPX to follow the Calendar that was in general use in their specific area. In England just pre-SSPX there was a conference of traditional priests and laity, organised by the late Mr W.J. [Bill] Morgan and they resolved that they would all follow and go back to the pre-Pius XII calendar and rubrics as they were the ones generally used and accepted in England.
    I wish people could live and let live and stop denouncing and criticising those of a different liturgical spirit and praxis.

    April 24, 2022 at 11:36 am
    • Athanasius

      Shaun Davies

      I take Archbishop Lefebvre as the sole rule in matters of obedience because he took the rule of the Church (so excellently expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas) as his, which is to say he rigidly adhered to the rule that we are only permitted to disobey superiors when the faith is immediately threatened. I’m sure you’ll concede that the faith is not threatened in the least by the revised missal of Pius XII (rubber stamped by John XXIII) and happily in use now for 60 years without the least detriment to faith. Hence, we must obey or become schismatics.

      Whatever Archbishop Lefebvre may or may not have said in the early days of the reign of Paul VI, it soon became evident that Our Lord did in fact have plans for him to be a champion of Tradition and a leader of Traditionalists. That truth has since been well established with the founding and growth of the SSPX and by the fact that every Traditional group within the Church owes its existence to him.

      It is quite false to state that Archbishop Lefebvre ever approved a disorderly system of letting each region of the SSPX do what it thought best – that simply never happened. On the contrary, as far back as 1983 His Grace expelled 9 priests from the SSPX for trying to do precisely what you suggest in contravention of the rule he had established as universal and binding on the priests his international Fraternity.

      What Mr. W. J. Morgan and some Traditional priests decided in England pre-SSPX is of no interest to me. What is important to me is that the SSPX remain rigidly attached to the rule of Archbishop Lefebvre in this matter of the 1962 missal, which, thankfully, it largely does. There are only one or two rebels among hundreds of faithful priests.

      Your expressed wish that “people could live and let live and stop denouncing and criticising those of a different liturgical spirit and praxis is, I would suggest, typical of the “this is what I think, what do you think?” mentality of the conciliar liberals.

      I’m sorry to have to repeat to you that you are missing the point entirely. This rejection of the 1962 missal of Pius XII/john XXIII, particularly the revised Holy Week ceremonies, represents much more than just personal preference for the “old books”, as they call them. It represents a disobedient and schismatic mindset, a nullifying of the authority of two Popes, under the guise of fidelity to Tradition. Archbishop Lefebvre was on to this immediately and that’s why he took such a strong stand against those 9 priests in 1983.

      If Catholics think for one moment that the Father of Lies is active only within conciliarist minds and circles, then they should think again. He is as adept at leading proud Traditionalists into schism with the Church as he is with liberals. It’s very easy to discern his influence, though, even when masked by sophistic argument and protests of fidelity to truth. Just look for his trademark disobedience to legitimate Church authority!

      April 24, 2022 at 4:45 pm
  • Mack

    I haven’t even watched this podcast yet, but it caught my eye because I wouldn’t have expected Taylor Marshall to be a supporter of the pre-1955 Holy Week services, yet he seems to be. I thought I’d post it for comment, although I need to go and see it myself before I say anything. It will be interesting to see what the differences are.

    April 24, 2022 at 9:18 pm
    • editor


      I started to watch the video embedded in that article, last night, but it is – sorry to say – typical Taylor Marshall, a lengthy rambling opening with the same arguments we’ve read here about Bugnini. Bugnini is the main thrust of the argument, so far, but I’m only 40 odd minutes into the 2 hour marathon conversation with his guest (Timothy). The guest is distracting, constantly drinking from his mug, and fiddling with papers. Then when Timothy speaks, half the time Taylor Marshall is moving around, and eventually he, too produces a drink to enjoy on screen. Quite a bit of lamenting the end of the fast from midnight, but no sign of any fasting there 😀 For the record, it’s worth noting that, of course, there’s nothing to stop those who disapprove of the reduction of the fast laws, sticking with the old fast laws. They can fast from midnight if they choose – nobody will ever know…unless they disobey the Gospel injunction not to boast about it. Both Taylor Marshall and Timothy seem unaware that they’re both on camera, drinking and moving constantly. Anyway, so far I’m not impressed. I will try to watch the rest eventually, but, contrary to what some people think, I do have other things to do, other commitments.

      Indeed, one jibe made in an email to me the other day is that married people with jobs wouldn’t have the time to blog, as I do… Er… the key “traditional” Catholic blogs in the USA are run by married men with families who get paid BY their readers for the privilege. At Catholic Truth we do this work voluntarily, without financial compensation, so please forgive me for taking time away from my computer to do other things. Of course, the editors at The Remnant and One Peter Five (two blogs where the editors make their living out of their apostolates) are men. So, maybe I should transition, identify as male and then I wouldn’t have to suffer such jibes. Let me know what you think folks!

      April 25, 2022 at 9:10 am
      • Josephine


        I think you should transition, LOL!

        April 25, 2022 at 12:36 pm
    • Lily


      I tried to find a contact email for Taylor Marshall, I was going to send him the link to this discussion which I think he sorely needs to see, but there’s no way to contact him, that I can find. I’ve watched his video, most of it and I’m not impressed.

      April 25, 2022 at 6:52 pm
      • editor


        I’ve now finished watching that video (in bits and bobs – got there in the end. WHO on earth is going to watch a 2 hours plus video in one sitting!) Anyway, Taylor Marshall is not contactable by email, so I searched for the guest, Timothy Flanders, and turns out he is an editor at 1P5, would you believe. I thus, emailed him as follows, via the IP5 website…

        One of our bloggers mentions having tried and failed to find a means of contacting Dr Taylor Marshall about his video conversation with you, on the thorny subject of the pre-1955 Holy Week services. I am shadow banned by YouTube, so unable to comment on your conversation that way. I have just found your role as editor at 1P5, so I hope you don’t mind me sending you the link to the blog we are running over at Catholic Truth Scotland, on the subject of the pre-revision HW services.

        Your conversation with Taylor Marshall appears to be blissfully unaware of the fact that some of us humble laity are not too great at standing for hours on end, and following a rite minus the translation, nor do you appear to understand that Bugnini was NOT running that particular show. Anyway, hopefully, you will see that there is another perspective on this matter. Everything is NOT “cool” to quote the “with-it” Taylor Marshall, who is more difficult to contact than the UK Royal family (who are much more accessible!)
        God bless you.

        I doubt he’ll reply. If he’s anything like dear old Taylor Marshall, he’ll be way above us ordinary (uneducated-in-matters-liturgical) human mortals 😀

        April 25, 2022 at 9:49 pm
  • Guthlac

    I’m afraid those who support the revised rites of Holy Week support rites that lasted barely six years.Those who support pre-revision rites follow the tradition of a thousand years.
    The demolition squad were well aware of the process these revisions were to set in motion and we didn’t have to wait long for the results.The ugly mutilation of this holy time was inorganic and therefore un-Catholic,so much so that Pope John wouldn’t have anything to do with it and celebrated as before.
    We have the benefit of hindsight so we should use it.Should we give any truck at all to the revolting Bugnini whom Fr Louis Bouyer said “Was as lacking in refinement as he was in basic honesty”?
    It’s a pity that there are those amongst us that think tradition started in the 1950’s.No,the fifties was when the planning of a hundred years was set in motion.Are we really to recommend rites which then changed every five minutes,over those of a millennia?
    I wonder if St John Ogilvie would have complained about being made to stand up a bit longer.
    Our forefathers evidently had no need of a liturgical movement.

    April 24, 2022 at 10:48 pm
    • Athanasius


      You merely regurgitate the arguments of all other proponents of the pre-1955 missal while ignoring, as they do, the fundamental question of obedience to two Popes (Pius XII and John XXIII) who were perfectly orthodox Popes and who bound the Church to the revised Holy Week ceremonies by Pius XII’s General Decree of 1955.

      Archbishop Lefebvre, who was involved in the revision work under Pius XII, very publicly refuted the falsehood that Bugnini had great influence in this work. His Grace stated very clearly that this is absolutely not true. Still, that his first hand knowledge and testimony hasn’t deterred those of schismatic mindset from perpetuating the falsehood speaks for itself. That’s why Archbishop Lefebvre put 9 likeminded priests out of the SSPX in 1983, for he saw that they were less interested in truth than following their own preferences and inclinations.

      Bottom line is the revised 1962 missal, including the 1955 Holy Week ceremonies, is not dangerous to faith in the least and is therefore binding on every obedient Catholic. It’s not about personal preference, it’s about obedience to the Pope in accordance with the rule expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas. This is now getting a little tiresome, trying to explain such a very basic truth over and over again to people who are simply not listening.

      And by the way, the revised Holy Week ceremonies of Pius XII corrected a very serious error in the late Middle Ages version, which is to say it restored the more ancient times of the Sacred Triduum ceremonies to the evening in accordance with the Gospel accounts. Prior to this correction we had the ridiulous spectacle of the Maundy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper in the morning and the first Mass of Easter being celebrated on Holy Saturday morning. By restoring this latter to its rightful time at midnight on Holy Saturday, the fast was extended from midday to midnight, hardly something Bugnini would have encouraged!

      So let’s cut to the chase and answer this question very honestly without all the sophistry about Bugnini, which is just a distraction: Do you reject the authroity of Pius XII and John XXIII in this matter of the revised Holy Week ceremonies? If so, then please present actual evidence demonstrating that said revision has harmed souls. I’m not interested in false links between Bugnini and the 1969 Novus Ordo, since Archbishop Lefebvre has already well refuted this myth. Just present the evidence that shows the revised Holy Week ceremonies (made binding on the universal Church by Pius XII) have harmed the faith.

      And let me say here that these ceremonies have been in use a lot longer than 6 years, for they have been the mainstay of Traditional Catholics all around the globe for some 60 years now.

      I await your presentation of evidence with baited breath, though I won’t hold that breath for too long!

      April 25, 2022 at 12:54 am
    • editor


      Since Athanasius has now answered you in the major points, and as he says, it has become tiresome to have to repeat the same arguments over and over, I will comment only on your closing remark: ” I wonder if St John Ogilvie would have complained about being made to stand up a bit longer.”

      The great saints, including St John Ogilvie, did not go in search of martyrdom – quite the reverse. St John Ogilvie returned to Scotland in disguise in order to provide the sacraments for the Catholic faithful, but to avoid being caught. Similarly, in Carmelite monasteries, it is a fault for the nuns to suffer the cold. Postulants are immediately pointed to extra blankets to use during the night if they feel the cold, and told that, since the revelations in the Little Flower’s Autobiography of a Soul, where she offered up the sufferings she endured due to being cold in the night (which caused her serious illness), the Order had prescribed it to be a fault to suffer in that way.

      So, while it is praiseworthy to offer up unpleasantness and pain when it is unavoidable, we are not obliged to cause or seek such unnecessary pain, nor should we use unnecessary pain to “virtue-signal”, as they say these days. That’s the opposite of humility. The writings of the great saints instruct us to be on our guard against spiritual pride in all its guises.

      Finally, it should be noted that attendance at the Holy Week services is not obligatory. In the event that the so-called traditional groups decide to return to the pre-1955 rites, the fruits of that decision will show in the pews.

      April 25, 2022 at 8:58 am
  • Guthlac

    I did of course mean to say a millennium,not a millennia!

    April 24, 2022 at 11:15 pm
    • Athanasius

      Yes, but remember that the 1955 revision went back even further in some aspects, one being to restore the more ancient times of the ceremonies to their proper place in accordance with the Gospel accounts of Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, which the Middle Ages version you promote had deviated from.

      April 25, 2022 at 12:57 am
    • Guthlac

      Yes,dear Athanasius,but that IS antiquarianism.

      April 25, 2022 at 10:33 am
      • Athanasius

        No, dear Guthlac, Antiquarianism is a desire to return to ancient usages which nullify the natural organic development of the liturgy, such as returning to the use of the table for Mass instead of an altar, or removing black from the colour of the vestments. You’ll find the true definition of Antiquarianism amply set out by Pius XII in Mediator Dei.

        What I referred to was the correction of a Middle Ages error relating to times for the Holy Week ceremonies. Pius XII, the one who defined and coined Antiquarianism in said Encyclical, was the Pope who made that correction. Hence, it can hardly be called Antiquarianism.

        April 25, 2022 at 12:17 pm
      • Josephine


        I decided to read up on the concept of antiquarianism just now and found Pius XII wrote about it in the encyclical Mediator Dei. I have quoted the relevant paragraphs below, which suggests that you are confusing what antiquarianism is, with the work of revising a liturgy like the Holy Week services.

        62. Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.

        63. Clearly no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas by the Church, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit with abundant fruit for souls, because it pleases him to hark back to the old formulas. No more can any Catholic in his right senses repudiate existing legislation of the Church to revert to prescriptions based on the earliest sources of canon law. Just as obviously unwise and mistaken is the zeal of one who in matters liturgical would go back to the rites and usage of antiquity, discarding the new patterns introduced by disposition of divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstances and situation.

        64. This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise.

        I hope you will agree that what Pius XII describes above, is different from the work of revision where that is thought to be necessary.

        April 25, 2022 at 12:33 pm
    • Guthlac

      I should have thought it scarcely necessary to give evidence of the harm done to souls by the Liturgical Movement.This blog would not exist but for it.

      April 25, 2022 at 10:42 am
      • Athanasius


        We’re not talking about the liturgical revolution post 1965, we’re talking about the revised Holy Week ceremonies of 1955, carried out by an extremely an orthodox Pope (Pius XII) who Archbishop Lefebvre referred to as “a great Pope, a holy Pope, an extraordinary Pope”. We shouldn’t conflate the two entirely separate issues, which is dishonest.

        April 25, 2022 at 12:20 pm
  • Guthlac

    They were not carried out by Pius they were carried out by modernists with ulterior motives and foist upon a very ill pontiff.I for one am not prepared to have Jews rewrite my church’s liturgy for me.

    April 25, 2022 at 1:15 pm
    • Josephine


      You are forgetting that it was Pius XII himself who made these revisions binding on Catholics. I’m quoting from the introduction to this thread:

      On November 16, 1955, The Sacred Congregation of Rites published the Decree Maxima Redemptionis Nostrae Mysteria, sub-headed “The General Decree for the Revised order of Holy Week as promulgated by Pope Pius XII“.

      To emphasise the authority with which the Supreme Pontiff was promulgating this revision, the Document declares: “Those who follow the Roman rite are bound to observe in the future the restored Order of Holy Week, as described in the typical Vatican edition.”

      April 25, 2022 at 2:15 pm
    • Athanasius


      So now the Jews are rewriting the liturgy and Pius XII was hoodwinked by Bugnini? This just gets more ridiculous by the minute. But thank you for at least highlighting the real spirit underlying this rebellious rejection of Pius XII Holy Week revisions and John XXIII’s revised missal of 1962. The truth always surfaces eventually.

      I’ll still with those two Popes and with Archbishop Lefebvre, if you don’t mind, since I want to remain a member of the Catholic Church.

      April 25, 2022 at 2:26 pm
  • Athanasius

    “still” should read ” stick in the above comment.

    April 25, 2022 at 2:28 pm
  • Guthlac

    The Jews had been trying to influence Pius since at least 1949 and eventually succeeded in getting the ear of the revisionists and removing words they found offensive in the prayers of the faithful.
    “…the Curia,which had reached a state of near paralysis during the last days of Pius XII and was seen as inadequate to the challenges facing it.In the hands of the revisionists,aggiornamento has taken on another meaning,namely,getting the Church to accept the tenets of the Enlightenment that Pius IX condemned in his Syllabus of Errors”.(Dr E.Michael Jones The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit vol ii p.357).
    For those of us old enough to remember,the Lefebvrian clergy were permitted to use the old Holy Week at their discretion.I know because I attended it and the congregation were quite content.
    When it changed many of us were puzzled at the incongruous practice of distributing communion on Good Friday.Was the Resurrection now on Good Friday and Easter Sunday redundant?Was Christ not in the tomb on Good Friday as our desolate altars testify?
    The new revisions make no liturgical sense and thankfully the younger traditionalists,including those in spheres of influence,are demanding their liturgical patrimony.
    If anyone’s interested I refer you to the liturgist and historian Dr Peter Kwasniewski and Fortescue,as always,is more than adequate.
    Well dear brethren I have run out of time.As we are brethren I boldly presume we blissfully concur on all matters of faith and morals.We are entitled to differ on all else not thus categorized.
    I wish you all a happy,blessed and peaceful Eastertide.

    April 25, 2022 at 7:57 pm
    • Athanasius


      I’m not aware of growing numbers of younger Traditional Catholics demanding a return to the pre-1955 Holy Week ceremonies – it’s certainly not my experience. No, it’s largely still a fringe group of extremists pushing the rebellion against Pius XII’s authority while dividing the Catholic faithful to the great detriment of unity in belief and practice.

      So when you write “I presume we blissfully concur on all matters of faith…”, I’m afraid the answer has to be in the negative. We cannot possibly concur in the faith when I bow in obedience to a holy and orthodox Pope while you refuse. Pius bound the universal Church to the 1955 Holy Week revisions, so it’s not possible to reject them and still claim to be a faithful child of the Church.

      This, tragically, is the bottom line.

      I agree with you on one point though, which is that this exchange has run its course.

      April 25, 2022 at 9:18 pm

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