Western Civilization Exists for the Mass

This article makes a very interesting point, and it also brings up a famous petition signed by none other than Agatha Christi to preserve the original Latin mass. Their efforts gave England and Wales special permission to use it in addition to the modern mass within their parishes.

Catholicism Pure & Simple


Many are stunned today at the speed in which western civilization is collapsing. Coinciding with this is the post-conciliar crisis within the Church, the fourth great crisis of Christendom as it has been described by that great defender of orthodoxy, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan. What may not be as clear too many is the connection between the destruction of the Mass and of the collapse of the Christian west.

One man who understood this connection was Dr. John Senior, professor of English, Literature, and Classics and co-founder of the very successful Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas. Dr. Senior taught for decades at the university level. He was also a convert to the Catholic faith, devoted to the traditional Mass and an attendee of Immaculata Chapel (SSPX) in St. Mary’s, Kansas.

Senior has been credited with inspiring a generation of young men and…

View original post 1,096 more words


46 comments on “Western Civilization Exists for the Mass

  1. Gaheret says:

    the seventh canon on the Sacrifice of the Mass from the Council of Trent. This canon states: “If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments and outward signs which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of Masses are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gaheret says:

    I’m sorry, wrrong sending. I was going to say that I love the Tridentine Rite and the Divine Liturgy, but I think this is wrong. More specifically, heretic under the seventh canon on the Sacrifice of the Mass from the Council of Trent, above unintentially reproduced out of context. Novus Ordo, being a liturgical reform approved by the Church, cannot be said to be deconsecrated, anthropomorfized, an ecumenical experiment or whatever. Mns. Schneider and the SSPX are following the steps of their master, in my view: increasingly bitter, disobedient, proud and contemptuous towards the Church. Card. Ratzinger once called him a Modernist, as he choose what Popes and Councils he should obey to based in his own judgement. The Holy Mass is the center of the Church, of human History and of the Universe. Yet, the Mass must be celebrated until the end of time under Peter and the Apostles, in communion with the Church.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul Dang says:

      There is nothing bitter about saying that the liturgical reform was a disaster. Rites do not fall under infallible discipline. This is why I am a traditionalist, though not bitter. I haven’t seen a new Rite celebrated as well as an average Tridentine. There are many scholars, including Pope Benedict, who admit to the liturgical disaster as well. The Churchmen must respect Tradition, and the new rite hasn’t respected it well, though it has kept some of it.

      Somewhat of a rant, but I am passionate a bit about this. The Eastern Churches have kept their liturgical traditions better than the West, which has more or less discarded its venerable traditions, with the except of few.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul Dang says:

      Why not? There has been proof that the reformers asked Protestants for their input, admitted by the Protestants involved in the liturgical reform. Msgr. Bugnini himself admitted to removing prayers too Catholic for “our separated brethren”. The 3-year reading cycle has been strongly criticized as well: such an innovation has had no precedent in all liturgical rites, East or West. And I haven’t seen the average Catholic know more of the Bible despite it having more readings than the Tridentine rite. You forget the Council of Nicea, which anathemized those who followed novelties instead of keeping ecclesiastical Traditions. Cardinal Ratzinger, I must repeat, admitted to saying the new rite was so banal!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I thought the article offered some interesting commentary on the traditional mass. I did read the article rather uncritically, I must admit. But, I can understand where the author is coming from.

      Naturally, in all things, Catholics must obey the commands and teaching of the magisterium. To do otherwise is become a Protestant. Yet, it’s easy to see why some Catholics have some antipathy towards the Novus Ordo: one hears of so many abuses which occurred after Vatican II.


      • Paul Dang says:

        Oh, I agree but at the same time, it is important to stress that the Magisterium also put limits on what the Pope can do. Indeed, what occurred after Vatican II was a disgrace: those priests who didn’t want to change to the new rite were punished and the celebration of the Mass, in general, was so bad, excepting a few places. Disobedience was rewarded, and the few priests who wanted to keep Tradition were ostracized and the such. No one can ban Tradition, since Tradition is a kind of law, from time immemorial. All good theologians have stressed that, and say that not even the Pope has the authority to ban immemorial rites. I can talk an essay or more about this, since I am somewhat of a liturgy amateur, but this is enough. If one wants to know more about this, I recommend people like Msgr. Klaus Gamber and Michael Davies, both men whom the former Pope Benedict recommended for reading about the reform of the liturgy. The books are Liturgical Revolution (a three-volume series) and The Reform of the Roman Liturgy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul Dang says:

    BTW, this was a good article. Thanks for linking it. We need more people like Msgr. Schneider. Too many times the Liturgy was and even now is still made into a plaything for reformers, instead of being treated with respect and reverence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul Dang says:

    I also want to stress that I have nothing against the Mass of Paul VI, per se. It’s just I have never seen a beautiful celebration of it. I know some of my friends have: they have gone to the Oratorian Masses in England, and there is one place in my city also, done fully in Latin (though it is a bit far). Unfortunately, there are still very few. And Summorum Pontificum is still very badly implemented in many places as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gaheret says:

    Well, I was commenting with my mobile phone, which is sort of a mess. This is better.

    I´m not saying every traditionalist is bitter or disobedient, and I´m sorry if it seemed so: I´m talking about lefebvrists, and specifically Spanish-speaking lefebvrists who write in a page called “adelantelafe”, and some of their supporters, including Mnsr. Schneider. I´ve read the latter accusing the Neocatechumenal Way of being a judaic-protestant heresy (which I know to be a gross exaggeration), to accuse the majority of his brothers in the Episcopate of being heretics (which I think is exaggerated too), to accuse the Pope of being a tyrant akin to the Soviets (which, given the fact that he is still alive after such a critique, it´s necessarily exaggerated), and accusing him of “the Sin of Aaron”, namely, idolatry. I could quote him in all these matters. The ones at adelantelafe are worst: they will interpret every deed or action of everyone who is not a member of SSPX in the worst possible sense, insult and despise with name and surname and often quote out of context, distort or plainly lie in the news they publish. They often break obedience (Mnsr. Lefebvre was excommunicated for his schismatic acts, not for defending Traditional Mass, by decree at july 988) and they will go futher than you, ignoring the canon I quote above and condemning the Mass of Bl. Paul VI. I firmly reject all that, though I love traditions, both secular and Catholic. There´s so much one can learn of them.

    Now then, I´m not forgetting Nicea: traditional discipline, as opposed to Tradition in doctrine, can be (and has been) changed by the legitimate authority. I happen to know a bit about Trent, and St. Pius V, who unified the previous rites fixing the Tridentine, changed it himself after Lepanto, in 1571. There´s no rite a Pope can´t change. And you probably won´t believe this, but the Protestants were also heard in Trent before adopting the Tridentine Rite, it´s in Council of Trent, 13th Session, Chapter 8, ctober 11, 1551. ‘Postponing the Definition of four Articles concerning the Sacrament of the Eucharist and granting Letters of Safe-conduct to the Protestants’, you can find it in the Internet, as all things these days. Don´t ask me why, but they did. Benedit XVI could have changed the Pauline Mass during his papacy if he wished to, and I´ve never read him saying the lithurgical reform was a mess: after all, as Cardinal Ratzinger he said in an interview that Father Josef A. Jungmann, S.J. was one of the greatest lithurgists of the XXth century, being his main work “The Mass: An Historical, Theological and Pastoral Survey” 1976 he notes there that the Pauline Mass is entirely consistent with tradition, as he goes through the historical background of all its prayers.

    Hey, the reform may still be a mess, it can be critized and reformed. All rites have their deffects, they are our work after all: the Mass is one and the same through ages and it´s celebrated by Christ, and that was the aspect I liked from this article. The Mass is really the center, really the root, the key, the definitive rite of all human rites and civilizations: Padre Pio said that it would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass. I want to make clear that what follows is not directed to you, nor to the opinions you have expressed. I´m no expert lithurgist or anything and can´t judge if the present rite is better or worse than others. But deconsecrated, anthropomorfized, an ecumenical experiment, impious, heretic, that sort of things cannot be said under Trent HSM c. 7 about the Mass where I daily find Christ, the Mass which is the center of my life: the canon is clear, no other interpretation it´s possible. So, anathema sint!

    I´ll stress again I have nothing against the Tridentine Rite, and in fact I find it beautiful. I can understand why someone who is not even a Catholic, as Agatha Christie, would love it too. The parts of the lithurgy which go back to the Middle Ages, such as the ordination of priests, are also astonishing. But hey, the lithurgy of Easter Sunday in the novus ordo may be the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life (or the girl I wish to marry, I´m conflicted here): I was there twice on the Vatican (once with Pope Benedict, once with Pope Francis) and once in the Cathedral of León, Spain (my Bishop happens to be a lithurgist). Rite of Light, Rite of the Word from the Genesis to the Resurrection, rite of Water, Litany of Saints, Rite of Holy Communion… It truly enlights my heart for the rest of the year.


    • Gaheret says:

      Ahem, *by decree at July 1988*.


    • Paul Dang says:

      Cardinal Ratzinger said in the preface of the French version of the The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Msgr. Klaus Gamber, that the Novus Ordo was a banal on the spot product, and ignoring organic development. And I happen to also disagree with Fr. Jungmann; according to him, the medieval liturgies and the such to Trent were all aberrations, and must be corrected by going back to the early Church. That idea was condemned by Pius XII in Mediator Dei. I rather agree with Fr. Bouyer, at least when the Novus Ordo wasn’t corrected by Benedict, that there was no liturgy worthy of the name in the Western church.

      As for Tradition in discipline, I don’t believe that’s the case that a committee can do arbitrary changes or suppress prayers deemed too Catholic for Protestants. Lex supplicandi legem statuat credendi, “let the law of prayer determine the law of belief.” There must be right worship. Unfortunately, the Roman Churchmen, in imposing the new rite after VII and punishing others wanting to keep the older rite, until Ecclesia Dei Afflicta (a good, but flawed document), forgot this tenet, which was held by both East (Catholics and Orthodox) and the West (Latin rite).

      And “changing the rites” didn’t happen at all during Trent; what occurred was standardization of the 1474 Missal, since there were so many variations and the such, and they wanted uniformity. The various other rites were left untouched. And I don’t disagree about developing the Mass; nonetheless, the additions must also respect Tradition. IMHO, this wasn’t done with the Mass of Paul VI, beautiful though it can be. As I said previously, the 3-year, 2-year lectionary is a break with liturgical Tradition, East and West. And it cannot be said to have been an improvement, with all its options.

      Here are some articles explaining my position:





      • Gaheret says:

        As you said in the last comment, we should ask medievalotaku for permission first. If he agrees, we can have this debate here, if not, we may go somewhere else. For now, I think that opinion (that there was no liturgy worthy of the name in the Western Church) is heretic under Trent and contradicts the legitimate authority of the Church. I´ll defend this position anytime. Well, may God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • By all means, you can have the debate here. I’m not opposed to readers having long debates in the comments section. And this one is particularly interesting.


      • Paul Dang says:

        Fr. Bouyer didn’t say that the Mass of Paul VI wasn’t a true sacrifice, nor the Mass of Pius V, just that there was no liturgy worthy of the [Latin] Catholic Church. I definitely disagree with him, though what he said wasn’t heretical, though provocative and exaggerating.

        Still, by all accounts, I do agree that the reform of the Liturgy didn’t really respect the wishes made by the Second Vatican Council. Pope Benedict had to revise the Liturgy of Paul VI to be more sacral, more conducive to worship. For the US, we had the horrid translations of the ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) until 2011, when Benedict’s changes came into effect. Now that seems to be in danger of being rolled back.

        As for legitimate authority, what does that mean? Changing the liturgy for “modern man” (whatever that means) certainly doesn’t qualify as using legitimate authority. If one follows that to its logical conclusion, then that means the Mass must always change to suit “modern” man’s tastes, no stability. Which goes against immemorial Tradition, which as St. Thomas Aquinas said, is a kind of law which cannot be abolished.


    • Paul Dang says:

      I don’t believe Msgr. Schneider’s comments are exaggerated. You really don’t know the situation in the US and Germany, and other places if you think so. In Spain, it may be better, but here and in Germany, many bishops deny basic teachings and allow all sorts of abominations to occur. One of my Catholic friends stated without hesitation that if he had to live in Germany, he wouldn’t hesitate to go to the SSPX, since most German Catholic parishes are too gone from orthodoxy. As for the Pope, I must admit I am very critical of him as well; any attack on that recent document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, (which I feel is very flawed) is met with harsh responses, firing of the person from their positions etc.

      I am also against the extreme positions held by some in the SSPX, but quite the majority of them are much more moderate than you think, particularly in the US. And Bishop Fellay in an earlier talk admitted that Arch. Lefebvre wouldn’t have been so against the liturgical reform if he had seen one celebrated like Bishop Fellay saw in 2010(?). I can say that it isn’t a good situation here in the US.


      • Gaheret says:

        Well, the Neocatechumenal are no heretics. That much I know for sure. I happen to know a lot of them and some are dear friends of mine: St. John Paul approved their statutes, Benedict XVI approved their liturgy and they teach orthodox doctrine. They have problems, like everyone else, but when corrected, they obey the hierarchy. In publically saying they were not (an interview dated 25/04/16, in Hungary), Mnsr. Schneider was unjust to them and may have done them great harm, as they depend on the consent of local parishes to establish their communities. And well, I didn´t feel that about Amoris Laetitia, but as much as opinions may vary, I think the point is that the Pope can be better or worse (there was a John XII, after all) but he is still Prince of the Apostles under Vatican I Pastor Aeternus, with the supreme power to bind and unbind granted to Peter, and we must accept he governs the Church, and have confidence in the Holy Spirit and the promise that upon Peter Our Lord build His Church, and all the powers of hell will not ever conquer it.

        I´m sorry too that you´re feeling the sorrow of division, wounds and heresy in the Church there at the U.S. (and Germany). Here we don´t have big problems of orthodoxy among Bishops, but the population is older and older and the Faith is almost extinct: there may be twenty young Catholics in Leon, or maybe less. I´ll pray for you and your country, so the souls may not be lost, hope in God may be maintained and orthodoxy may be restored someday. And for the SSPX, too, so they may be fully restored to communion. God bless you, and Christ be with you.


  6. Paul Dang says:

    Your friends and many in the Neo-Catechumenal Way may not be heretics, but the founders have been accused of it, and there seems to be proof of it in the catechetical writings, such as Christ didn’t found the Catholic Church as the only Ark of Salvation and that it is equally ok to be in other religions, as they are also means to be saved. The founders also seem to deny the priesthood.


    • Gaheret says:

      My honor demands I defend the Neocatechumenals, it seems. Allright, then. Accused by who? Proof judged by who? The SSPX? Mnsr. Schneider? Not the hierarchy of the Church, for sure. The catechetical writings of Kiko Argüello and Carmen Fernández, contained in the Catechetical Directory The Neocatechumenal Way, received the joint approval of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Clergy and for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Kiko Argüello was designated by St. John Paul II as a consultant in 1993 and confirmed by the two subsequent Popes. This doesn´t seem the trajectory of an heretic, in my view. And with thousands of priests being members of the Way, I don´t seem how could they negate priesthood.

      The accusations of indeferentism and Protestant understanding of priesthood that you bring are not new, and the lefebvrians direct them to all the Post-Council Catholic Church. But the Neocatechumenals maintain the obedience, and the SSPX does not. What Mnsr. Lefebvre did was an schismatic act: he chose to disobey who he recognized as the legitimate Pope, now a Saint. Benedict XVI, the best theologian of the past three hundred years, called him a Modernist in a letter, dated 1988. He in turn called the then Card. Ratzinger a Modernist, in Ecône 8-9 February 1991. May the Neocatechumenals err, the Church will correct them, for they obey. May the SSPX err, they will persist in error, for they don´t obey. We can choose to follow Lefebvre or Benedict XVI, Lefebvre or St. John Paul II, but not both. It´s as simple as that. And I´m 100% sure who to believe here: I will live and die an obedient son of the Catholic Church and St. Peter, and their legitimate succesors until the end of time.


      • Paul Dang says:

        You say that, but even with papal approval, bishops from all over the world complain that the promoters of the Neo-Catechumenal Way have been very divisive in the dioceses. Like this:

        An April 30, 2008 report by CathNews included the following quotation from one of these bishops, Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, President of the Bishops’ Conference:

        In the small Catholic Church of Japan, the powerful sect-like activity of [Neo-Catechumenal] Way members is divisive and confrontational. It has caused sharp painful division and strife within the Church. We are struggling with all our strength to overcome the problem but feel that if a solution is to be found, the consideration of Your Holiness for the Church in Japan will be of the utmost importance and direly needed.

        Their dismissal of the older rite of Mass as pagan is also wrong. Their history of the Mass is very wrong, too.


        There are over eighty paragraphs in Catechism of the Catholic Church teaching that the Mass is a divine Sacrifice:

        Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1410. “It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic SACRIFICE. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic SACRIFICE. ”

        Compare this teaching of the Church with Kiko and Carmen’s in their Neocatechumenate Orientation Guide. The Mass is only “the memorial of the Pasch of Jesus, of his passage from death to life”, and again: “The notion of sacrifice is a condescension for the pagan mentality (.). At the beginning of the Church, in the theology of the Mass, there was no sacrifice of Jesus, no sacrifice of the Cross, no Calvary, but only a sacrifice of praise.”

        If I am wrong about these quotations from the founders, please tell me and I will retract.

        BTW, I must apologize to MedievalOtaku for this, but this is one of the major crises of the Church: confusion over doctrine, liturgy, and the such. Is it no wonder in the US that less than 1 in 4 Catholic believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?! I felt bound to expound a little on it. Those who want to know more about the reform can start with the books I mentioned. About the other stuff, Iota Unum by Romano Amerio, a very respected theologian, is highly recommended, to see how bad the situation is in the Church.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I have no problem with my readers having long debates. You’re both engaging with these concerns in an intelligent and gentlemanly fashion. Please continue as long as you like!


  7. Gaheret says:

    It seems I must offer my apologies too in some part: I didn´t found the words you quoted (that Orientation Guide would be a supposedly leaked 373-pages text by the “moles” in the Way), but some not so extreme, yet sufficiently similar formulations of a course they imparted in 1972. Their main purpose seemed to be the insuficiency of “sacrifices of cows and bulls”, which is legitimate, but the formulation is ambiguous. For example, they said that “to say that the Eucharist is sacrifice is right, but is incomplete. The Eucharist is a sacrifice of praise, a complete praise of communicating with God through the Easter of the Lord”, when Trent, c. III, condemned the proposition that “the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice”. Of course, the Eucharist is both a propitiatory sacrifice and a sacrifice of praise, so this is not an heretic formulation, but it´s close, and may obscure important aspects of the Doctrine.

    Looking at the rest I see how it could be said then that they over-emphasized this aspect in detriment of the true, real and cultual Sacrifice offered by Christ which trascends and culminates all the other sacrifices and is the center of the Mass, unseparable from Resurrection and Easter. They affirmed real presence, but by the text, they also seemed to believe that the medievals had the wrong idea about the Sacrifice (which is a common error, but still an error) and that our differences with the Protestants were less than they are (that said, they also clearly affirmed “we are not Protestants”). That was 1972: the text was revised before being approved by the Congregations as quoted above, corrections were issued and confuse statements challenged, and Neocatechumenals accepted these corrections. In my view, there is no better exposition on the othodox doctrine about the nature and meaning of the Sacrifice of the Mass than Ratzinger´s Jesus of Nazaret III, so I would recommend that.

    By 1990, St. John Paul II stated “I recognize the Neocatechumenal Way as an itinerary of Catholic formation, valid for our society and for our times”, and “It is therefore my wish that the brothers in the episcopate – together with their presbyters – value and help this work for the new evangelization, so that it may be implemented according to the lines proposed by the initiators, in the spirit of service to the local ordinary and in communion with him and in the context of the unity of the local Church and the universal Church” (Ogniqualvolta, August 30,1990, AAS 82 1515). So I still defend that neither the Neocatechumenal Way as a whole neither its founders deserve being called a judaic-protestant heresy, sect or whatever. That said, I now understand better how there were some theological misconceptions or at least ambiguities in their origins. And I repeat: only the Holy See is free from the blemish of error, but whenever the Neocatechumenals err, the Church can correct them, as long as they obey. Until now, they do.

    The Japanese reference seems appropiated in this blog. Yet, integration is always difficult, and new things cause division. I know similar things were said about St. Josemaría´s Opus Dei by some Spanish and Italian Bishops in 1940 and St. John Bosco by some Italian Bishops, for example, yet they are both fully integrated in many Dioceses now. This kind of thing affects practice, not doctrine, and seem less relevant to me.

    I hope we haven´t abused medievalotaku hospitality, too, which such a long and detailed discussion. My apologies. Again, let´s pray for the Church and the Western world, and never lose hope in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paul Dang says:

    Thanks for answering my questions. I am still concerned about Kiko’s groups because of recent events and am still leery about their liturgical practices, but I appreciate your time to answer my questions and quotations. I really hope you’re right about the corrections and all that, because there is an ugly situation in Guam right now, but I won’t go into that. May God be with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gaheret says:

    Let´s go then.

    I will defend here the pronouncement by which Cardinal Franjo Seper, Prefect of the Holy Office, wrote to Archbishop Lefebvre in January 1978: “A Catholic, in fact, may not cast doubt on the conformity with the doctrine of the faith of a sacramental rite promulgated by the Supreme Pastor”. I will combat the ideas 1) that the Pope, supreme legislator of the Church, cannot legimitately and validly change liturgy in a manner which is not an organic development of the previous lithurgical traditions, or ban ancient rites, 2) that the Pope is subjected to review or correction from someone in Earth if he does so, 3) that a Catholic cant say that the Pauline Mass constitutes “heteropraxis in the Catholic Church”, as Dr. Hull defends, or that its “ceremonies, vestments and outward signs which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of Masses” are in any way incentive to impiety, as the article above states. As I´m no lithurgist, I´ll state again that I will not defend that the Pauline Mass is better, worse, a mess, that there were or were not better options regarding the 3-year cycle, etc., or that any Catholic must like it, though as I said, I find it beautiful.

    I have carefully read the three articles you´ve quoted. I´ll highlight that the first aknowledge that “Fr. Jungmann was probably the greatest expert on the history of the Roman liturgy” (by the way, he never to my knowledge used the word “aberrations”, the second one states that “Dr. Hull passes some comments about John Paul II that I dare not repeat here”, and the second also states that Joseph Ratzinger has the “opinion that the new missal has brought good” (app. Other points). As for his position, he may critize aspects of lithurgy, but he explicitly affirms the legitimacy of the reform, to which all must submit. “Prior to Trent a multiplicity of rites and liturgies had been allowed within the Church. The Fathers of the Council of Trent took the liturgy of the city of Rome and prescribed it on the whole Church; they only retained those Western liturgies which had existed for more than two hundred years (…) If it would foster devotion in many believers and encourage respect for the piety of particular Catholic groups, I would personally support a return to the ancient situation, i.e., to a certain liturgical pluralism. Provided, of course, that the legitimate character of the reformed rites was emphatically affirmed, and there was a clear delineation of the extent and nature of such an exception permitting the celebration of the pre-conciliar liturgy” (The Ratzinger Report, 124-125). He also notes that “[I]t is simply untrue to say, as certain integralists do, that drawing up new forms of the Canon of the Mass is a contradiction of Trent”. (Ibid., 120)


  10. Gaheret says:

    “And since, by the Divine right of Apostolic primacy, the Roman Pontiff is placed over the Universal Church, We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, [12] and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, [13] and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment”.

    “If anyone should say that the Roman Pontiff has merely the function of inspection or direction but not full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, not only in matters pertaining to faith and morals, but also in matters pertaining to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the entire world, or that he has only the principal share, but not the full plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate over all Churches and over each individual Church, over all shepherds and all the faithful, and over each individual one of these: let him be anathema” (Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ, #3).

    “Thus, whosoever succeeds Peter in this Chair, obtains, by the institution of Christ Himself, the Primacy of Peter over the whole Church. Therefore, the disposition of truth remains, and Blessed Peter, persevering in the fortitude of the Rock that he accepted, has not relinquished the governance of the Church that he received”. (ibíd.)

    “In the dispensation of the sacraments, provided their substance is preserved, the Church has always had the power to determine or change, according to circumstances, times and places, what she judges more expedient for the benefit of those receiving them or for the veneration of the sacraments.” (Council of Trent, 21st Session). Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei said that as circumstances warrant, “public worship is organized, developed and enriched by new rites, ceremonies, and regulations (#22).” Even if the lithurgic or disciplinar tradition was a law, the Pope could change it under these principles. As for the compatibility with Quo Primum, the latter does not preclude the authority of the former. For example, Clement XIV wrote Dominus ac Redemptor in 1773 which suppressed the Society of Jesus, and he declared that this measure should be “perpetuo validas”; but this in no way prevented his successor Pius VII from reestablishing the Society of Jesus in Sollicitudo Omnium of August 7, 1814. The use of the term perpetual did not mean that a subsequent Pope no longer had the authority to revive the religious order which the previous Pope had dissolved. “Perpetual” merely means here until some further legitimate enactment is carried out by a sovereign Pontiff. (Whitehead, p. 59-60).


  11. Gaheret says:

    So, lithurgical Tradition can be better or worse reflected in Pauline Mass, but as a rite approved by the Pope, supreme judge and legislator of the Church, it is legitimate and valid and under Trent, it would be heresy to sostain it´s impious. His opinion is also beyond review, although further approved reforms can take place, if convenient.


    • Paul Dang says:

      I don’t think any one of the articles I used says that at all. But one can certainly question the prudence of this reform. It certainly hasn’t helped people to understand the liturgy more. In fact, less Catholics believe in basic doctrines than ever before! How is the Pope’s opinion beyond review, particularly if it goes against older, long-established views? As I said, the Pope is only infallible in doctrine and morals; everything else can be mistaken, even though valid.


      • Gaheret says:

        The Proto-History of the Roman Liturgical Reform, in the middle, says “Fr. Jungmann was probably the greatest expert on the history of the Roman liturgy, but like so many scholars, he fell into the trap of believing that analysis of a thing necessarily implies its reform”. Book Review: The Banished Heart: Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church by Dr. Geoffrey Hull (minor update), in “Other points”, says that “Obedience was made into a worthy end in and of itself rather than a means of living an un-complicated life, as it was originally intended. The author has some especially strong words for those who equate the Pope’s words and actions with the immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Hull passes some comments about John Paul II that I dare not repeat here”, and then that The negative reaction to Summorum Pontificum was an internal dispute between two segments of the revolutionary party within the Church, not between “liberals” and “conservatives.” Josef Ratzinger, who maintains that he never revised his views, was a proponent of the “new theology” in the 1950s and 1960s (…) His opponents lacked his desire to find a solution for the Society of St. Pius X, but not his opinion that the new missal has brought good”. “Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church” is the name of the book by Dr. Geoffrey Hull. As for the “offices of impiety” part, I was referring to “Western Civilization Exists for the Mass”. If it was something else, please tell me and I will correct it at once.


  12. Paul Dang says:

    The Pope doesn’t have unlimited authority as you imply here. As I already stated, Tradition, particularly immemorial Tradition, cannot be banned by the Pope. Outside of faith and morals, Popes can and have made mistakes in most other things when not defining. The liturgical rites of the Church don’t go under “discipline.” It is significant that until Pope Paul VI, not one Pope had dared to reform the Mass so significantly as was done in 1969. Cardinal Seper’s argument is typical of those who think the liturgy just another source of theology, instead of the REAL theology, which is the liturgy. This is why the Easterners have had kept up their beautiful liturgies for the most part. You cannot turn a blind eye, that even though the Pauline Mass is valid, it really, by itself, hasn’t helped anyone to keep faith in the Blessed Sacrament; my example in the US is quite typical.

    BTW, heteropraxis doesn’t equal heterodoxy, so I can’t see why Dr. Hull’s thesis is wrong. And anyways, not one of my articles has doubted the doctrine of the New Mass, only that it has shown it quite a bit less than the Mass of St. Gregory the Great. Cardinal Hergenrother says this:

    “The Pope is circumscribed by the necessity of making a righteous and beneficent use of the duties attaches to his privileges… He is also circumscribed by the respect due to General Councils and to ancient statues and customs, by the rights of bishops, by his relation with civil powers, by the traditional mild tone of government indicated by the aim of the institution of the papacy—to ‘feed’ .”

    I repeat: there isn’t a single document proving that the Pope can do big changes to the liturgy, and then impose them on unwilling people and banning the older liturgies. There have been examples of rightful opposition, such as the Milanese people resisting the forceful imposition of the Roman Rite on them, or the Toledo rite, or the rejection of the Quignonez breviary. The Pope is bound by Tradition, Apostolic tradition. Pope Innocent III asserted that the older rite was founded on Apostolic Tradition. As I said, St. Thomas Aquinas definitely said Tradition is a kind of immemorial law which cannot be lawfully abolished; and he himself was only following the Fathers of the Church in this question. If the Pope banned the Mass of Pius V, no one need follow that unjust “law,” which isn’t really law, just like the Eastern Churches would rightfully ignore him if he banned the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and imposed on them the Pauline rite.


  13. Paul Dang says:

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the Liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy (n. 1125).

    Cardinal Ratzinger expanded on this in his work The Spirit of the Liturgy.

    The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the Liturgy. It is not “manufactured” by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity…

    The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.21

    21 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press 2000) p. 166.


  14. Gaheret says:

    If you agree that the Pauline Mass, as a rite approved by the Pope which keeps the substance of the Sacrament, is valid and legitimate, then we concur and my first point is made. For the record, it has helped me to keep faith in the Blessed Sacrament.

    I do not held that the authority of the Pope is unlimited, but that

    A) his judgement is the final judgement in matters which attain Faith, moral, discipline and government of the Church or dispensation of the sacraments, provided that their substance is preserved. “In the dispensation of the sacraments, provided their substance is preserved, the Church has always had the power to determine or change, according to circumstances, times and places, what she judges more expedient for the benefit of those receiving them or for the veneration of the sacraments.” (infallibly taught at the Council of Trent, 21st Session).

    B) In all these causes, “the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, [13] and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment” (infallibly taught at Pastor Aeternus). I do not mean the Pope cannot be wrong in these matters (as you say, this is only the case when infallibly teaching on matters concerning faith and morals).

    C) He absolutely must use his authority as you state (not arbitrarily, righteously, beneficently, respecting General Councils, ancient statues and customs, the rights of bishops, civil powers, with a mild tone of government, in the obedience of faith, with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy, following the Tradition of faith which may not be abolished, not manufacturing, being a humble servant, at the service of Sacred Tradition), and we can disagree, consider him imprudent, etc. Yet, in these matters (not in most temporal ones, for example), under Pastor Aeternus it´s clear that only God can judge him if he does not, as “none may” legitimately and authoritatively review or correct his judgement. Or Saints thus frequently obeyed their superiors in the Church when they were wrong, suffering that Cross with Christ.

    D) Finally, the Council of Trent, regarding “[t]he power of the Church as regards the dispensation of the Sacrament of the Eucharist”, holds de fide “that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain,- or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places”. But the supreme power both to ordain or govern and to judge in the Church belongs to the Roman Pontiff under Pastor Aeternus, as said. That´s one among many documents proving that the Pope can do big changes to the liturgy, and then impose them on unwilling people and banning the older liturgies.

    E) I cannot deem opposition to such acts of the Pope, wrong as they may be, “rightful” (not in Milan, not in Toledo, not Quignonez, not in the eventuality of Oriental catholic churches). If people ignore the Pope in matters ataining to the dispensation of the Sacrament of the Eucharist because they consider his action unjust, they would be disobeying him and correcting his judgement as they see fit. To celebrate sacraments in a manner forbidden by the Holy See is an act of schism, which brings ipso facto excommunion. There must be also said that, if the Pope unduly and imprudently restricted the legitimate pluralism in the Liturgy, he would surely be guilty in the eyes of God.


    • Paul Dang says:

      Sorry, but the Pope cannot impose his own rite on other different rites. End of story. If he did so, he goes against Tradition which he cannot go against.This is where you and I part, since the Pope isn’t the arbiter of rites, but only its custodian, as Pope Benedict stated. You’ve yet to prove how the Pope cannot be mistaken in his liturgical actions. Outside Faith and Morals, he can err even badly. You haven’t rebutted St. Thomas Aquinas assertion that custom is a law unto itself, and may not be abolished.


      • Paul Dang says:

        St. John Paul II himself said the traditions of the East must be respected as they have different prayers, gestures, etc. than the Western model and it would be a grave error to think the Latin model must be followed in the Eastern Churches. This is why there was deLatinization. The Church has two lungs, East and West. To demolish the Eastern Traditions, no Pope can lawfully do, since they also came from the Apostles.


    • Paul Dang says:

      Another thing: you can’t call those actions I described “schismatic,” since disobedience doesn’t equal schism necessarily. In fact, in every one of those situations, the Holy See admitted in making a mistake, from wrongfully imposing the Roman Rite on the Milanese people, even though they had the Rite of St. Ambrose (the Milanese rite), to admitting it made a mistake on the Quinonez reform. You say you respect the power of the Pope, but in fact, I think you overexaggerate his power.


      • Paul Dang says:

        Also, I believe you only pay lip service to the Pope’s limits, since you say he can do essentially what he wants in the Liturgy, ancient customs and liturgies notwithstanding. How else can you tell me with a straight face, that the Eastern Churches would be in schism if they rejected the hypothetical unlawful imposition of the Pauline liturgy in their dioceses, to the exclusion of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great!


  15. Gaheret says:

    I’m afraid my computer has run off of energy. Tomorrow I will show how this power to reform the Mass was understood and used by the Pontiffs during the History of the Church, and then I’ll be unable to debate until next week. I sincerely hope I can ease some of your concerns about the uniqueness of this situation.


    • Paul Dang says:

      I wonder what evidence you will show, given that none of the Pontiffs introduced major changes to the Liturgy before Paul VI. The history of the liturgical reform after Vatican II is really sordid, to tell the truth.


  16. Gaheret says:

    Here I am. My second argument will deal with the liturgical changes and reforms concerning the Rites of the Mass in the History of the Church, to show you that the situation today is no unique by any means. The Tradition of the Church has always understood that the Pope had authority over the Sacred Lithurgy and its Rites, which have changed over time according to the need of the faithful and Apostolic Tradition has been considered to be kept. I´m not a scholar, so feel free to correct me if my sources are wrong.

    -From the beggining of the Church, the Rites of the Mass have multiplied, developed and differed according to the circumstances, and that´s positive and legitimate. Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei explained that since the beggining and as circumstances warrant, “public worship is organized, developed and enriched by new rites, ceremonies, and regulations (#22).” Among the matters that have changed over time we have the more or less active participation of the faithful, the use of the vulgar tonge and the manner the Holy Communion is to be distributed, and many others.

    -In the Didache, 1st century, we see people responding to prayers during the Liturgy. In the Liturgical prayer of St. Justin Martyr, 2nd Century, there is participation of the People in Mass. In a variety of traditions from the founding of Christ’s Church there is a tradition of people participating in Mass. In the Liturgy of James the Apostle the following is a portion of people’s response.

    -As soon as years 189-98, Pope St. Victor I departed from the tolerance that earlier Popes had about the long disagreement among Western and Eastern Christians about the date on which Easter should be celebrated. He tried to force the issue and excommunicated several Eastern bishops over the matter. For this excessive severity and departure from previous papal policy, he was criticized by St. Irenaeus, but still obeyed by the faithful.

    -In the late IVth Century, Pope St. Damasus I (366-384) changed the liturgy of the West to Latin. Prior to that time the liturgies of both the West and the East were predominantly in Greek. The Pope changed the Western liturgies to the vulgar tongue of the West (hence St. Jerome’s Bible translation of the same period was known as the Vulgate).

    -The Church repeatedly changed the Holy Communion under one or two species, which is noted by Trent: “Wherefore, holy Mother Church, knowing this her authority in the administration of the sacraments, although the use of both species has,- from the beginning of the Christian religion, not been unfrequent, yet, in progress of time, that custom having been already very widely changed,- she, induced by weighty and just reasons,- has approved of this custom of communicating under one(o) species, (p) and decreed that it was to be held as a law; which it is not lawful to reprobate, or to change at pleasure, without the authority of the Church itself”.

    -The Tridentine Mass was unmistakenly a new rite instituted by the Apostolic See and not a mere standarization. Note the language used at St Pius V´s Quo Primum: “This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding”. Note he does not rescind their custom becasue it would be not wise, not because he cannot.

    -Also, Quo Primum stated that the Pope has the authority to revise the Missal. “For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary.”

    -Also, Quo Primum stated that ancient missals and customs can be forcibly banned by the Pope (this doesn´t mean that they should be). “We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal”.

    -The Council of Trent nowhere claimed that the Roman Canon was perfect as it was or was incapable of being altered. In fact, the opposite is true: “for although the ceremonies themselves can claim no perfection or sanctity in their won right, they are, nevertheless, the outward acts of religion, designed to rouse the heart, like signals of a sort, to veneration of the sacred realities, and to raise the mind to meditation on the supernatural”. Nor was the Council of Trent speaking only of the Canon of the city of Rome to the exclusion of the canons in other rites celebrated at the time in both the West as well as the East. These changes should be made, as I said, “for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places”. That is, for the profit (not “according to the tastes”) of the modern man, or so he can better venerate the Sacraments.

    -Some real changes since the sixteenth century in the rubrics and in the text of the Missal of Pius V have resulted in certain instances from papal orders, such as Pope Urban VII, Pope Clement XII, Pope St. Leo XIII, and Pope St. Pius X (Divino Afflatu and Abhinc Duos Annos). Pope Pius V himself added a feast to the Missal after Lepanto.

    -In his Apostolic Constitution, Divini Cultus, issued in 1928, Pius XI aimed for a more active participation of the faithful in divine worship, a desire also expressed by St. Pius X: “So that the faithful take a more active part in divine worship, let Gregorian chant be restored to popular use in the parts proper to the people. Indeed it is very necessary that the faithful attend the sacred ceremonies not as if they were outsiders or mute onlookers”.

    -The use of English (and vernacular) Missals was forbidden for a long time. In 1857, the prohibition to translate the Ordinary of the Mass was renewed by Pius IX, although, to be sure, its enforcement was no longer seriously urged. However, it was not openly and definitely rescinded until the revision of the Index of Forbidden Books, issued under Leo XIII in 1897.

    -You have quoted Mediator Dei, where Pius XII, speaking about the science of the sacred liturgy, asserts his own authority: “Yet the integrity of faith and morals ought to be the special criterion of this sacred science, which must conform exactly to what the Church out of the abundance of her wisdom teaches and prescribes. It is, consequently, Our prerogative to commend and approve whatever is done properly, and to check or censure any aberration from the path of truth and rectitude”.

    -On July 4, 1976, the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship unequivocally declared: “The Protestant observers did not participate in the composition of the texts of the new Missal.” (Documentation Catholique #58, 1976, page 649). They were heard, but they were also heard in Trent, Council of Trent, 13th Session, Chapter 8, October 11, 1551. ‘Postponing the Definition of four Articles concerning the Sacrament of the Eucharist and granting Letters of Safe-conduct to the Protestants’. This is because the Church cares for those who are separated, as Christ cared for the Samaritan woman, and wants to follow the wise words of St. Paul in 1 Cor 8 when possible without renouncing to her true teaching.

    -Benedict XVI, in the text I quoted, stated that the Tridentine Mass can be forbidden or authorized by the Church depending on circumstances: “If it would foster devotion in many believers and encourage respect for the piety of particular Catholic groups, I would personally support a return to the ancient situation, i.e., to a certain liturgical pluralism. Provided, of course, that the legitimate character of the reformed rites was emphatically affirmed, and there was a clear delineation of the extent and nature of such an exception permitting the celebration of the pre-conciliar liturgy” (The Ratzinger Report, 124-125).

    -We can certainly work obediently for the kind of liturgy which we think will be best for the Church.

    -It is understandable and licit if someone prefers the old rite to the new one and wishes to attend the Tridentine Mass instead of the Pauline Mass: Catholics should have the freedom to worship within whichever rite serves their needs best. The problem is when denying that the revised liturgy is in any way legitimate or that the Pope does not have a right to change the ceremonial elements of the Mass if he judges so to be the best, or when saying that an approved rite is impious in itself or in itself leads to impiety.


  17. Gaheret says:

    My third and last argument (for now) is as follows: Mediator Dei, which I have only read from the beggining to the end just now (and however this debate may continue, I´ll always wholeheartedly thank you for starting it, because it´s beautiful and because I´m sure it will greatly enrich my spiritual life, now and in the future, what a wonderful thing is the Catholic Faith!), explicitly rejects the epigram “lex orandi, lex credendi” – the law for prayer is the law for faith.

    Contrarily to what Dr. Hull said, it doesn´t condemn merely those particular persons who search for the lithurgy of the Apostolic times and prefer it to Medieval lithurgy, but all particular persons who, in the name of ancient rites, disdain those new rites that have been approved by the Roman Pontiff, questioning their validity or conformity to orthodoxy.

    If possible, I would commend you to read it from the beggining to the end. It´s so full of light, of wisedom, of respect, love and fidelity to Christ, the Mass and the centrality of lithurgy that only the Holy Spirit could have inspired it, and I hope I´ll ease your concerns, as it is no stranger to them. Please read carefully. Nevertheless, I will highlight with capital letters what I think it´s most relevant to this debate.

    May God bless you!

    “44. Since, therefore, it is the priest chiefly who performs the sacred liturgy in the name of the Church, ITS ORGANIZATION, REGULATION AND DETAILS CANNOT BUT BE SUBJECT TO CHURCH AUTHORITY. This conclusion, based on the nature of Christian worship itself, is further confirmed by the testimony of history.

    45. Additional proof of this INDEFEASIBLE RIGHT OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL HIERARCHY ies in the circumstances that the sacred liturgy is intimately bound up with doctrinal propositions which the Church proposes to be perfectly true and certain, and must as a consequence conform to the decrees respecting Catholic faith issued by the supreme teaching authority of the Church with a view to safeguarding the integrity of the religion revealed by God.

    46. On this subject We judge it Our duty to rectify an attitude with which you are doubtless familiar, Venerable Brethren. We refer to the error and fallacious reasoning of those who have claimed that the sacred liturgy is a kind of proving ground for the truths to be held of faith, meaning by this that the Church is obliged to declare such a doctrine sound when it is found to have produced fruits of piety and sanctity through the sacred rites of the liturgy, and to reject it otherwise. HENCE THE EPIGRAM, “LEX ORANDI, LEX CREDENDI” – THE LAW FOR PRAYER IS THE LAW FOR FAITH.

    47. BUT THIS IS NOT WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES AND ENJOINS. The worship she offers to God, all good and great, is a continuous profession of Catholic faith and a continuous exercise of hope and charity, as Augustine puts it tersely. “God is to be worshipped,” he says, “by faith, hope and charity.”[44] In the sacred liturgy we profess the Catholic faith explicitly and openly, not only by the celebration of the mysteries, and by offering the holy sacrifice and administering the sacraments, but also by saying or singing the credo or Symbol of the faith – it is indeed the sign and badge, as it were, of the Christian – along with other texts, and likewise by the reading of holy scripture, written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The entire liturgy, therefore, has the Catholic faith for its content, inasmuch as it bears public witness to the faith of the Church.

    48. For this reason, whenever there was question of defining a truth revealed by God, the Sovereign Pontiff and the Councils in their recourse to the “theological sources,” as they are called, have not seldom drawn many an argument from this sacred science of the liturgy. For an example in point, Our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, so argued when he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Similarly during the discussion of a doubtful or controversial truth, the Church and the Holy Fathers have not failed to look to the age-old and age-honored sacred rites for enlightenment. Hence the well-known and venerable maxim, “LEGEM CREDENDI LEX STATUAT SUPPLICANDI” -let the rule for belief determine the rule of prayer.[45] The sacred liturgy, consequently, does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic faith. More properly, SINCE THE LITURGY IS ALSO A PROFESSION OF ETERNAL TRUTHS, AND SUBJECT, AS SUCH, TO THE SUPREME TEACHING AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH, it can supply proofs and testimony, quite clearly, of no little value, towards the determination of a particular point of Christian doctrine. But if one desires to differentiate and describe the relationship between faith and the sacred liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say, “Lex credendi legem statuat supplicandi” – let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer. The same holds true for the other theological virtues also, “In . . . fide, spe, caritate continuato desiderio semper oramus” – we pray always, with constant yearning in faith, hope and charity.[46]


    50. The sacred liturgy does, in fact, include divine as well as human elements. The former, instituted as they have been by God, cannot be changed in any way by men. But THE HUMAN COMPONENTS ADMIT OF VARIOUS MODIFICATIONS, AS THE NEEDS OF THE AGE, CIRCUMSTANCES AND THE GOOD OF SOULS MAY REQUIRE, AND AS THE ECCLESIASTICAL HIERARCHY, UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, MAY HAVE AUTHORIZED. This will explain the marvelous variety of Eastern and Western rites. Here is the reason for the gradual addition, through successive development, of particular religious customs and practices of piety only faintly discernible in earlier times. Hence likewise it happens from time to time that certain devotions long since forgotten are revived and practiced anew. All these developments attest the abiding life of the immaculate Spouse of Jesus Christ through these many centuries. They are the sacred language she uses, as the ages run their course, to profess to her divine Spouse her own faith along with that of the nations committed to her charge, and her own unfailing love. [I almost cried here!] They furnish proof, besides, of the wisdom of the teaching method she employs to arouse and nourish constantly the “Christian instinct.”

    51. Several causes, really have been instrumental in the progress and development of the sacred liturgy during the long and glorious life of the Church.

    52. Thus, for example, as Catholic doctrine on the Incarnate Word of God, the eucharistic sacrament and sacrifice, and Mary the Virgin Mother of God came to be determined with greater certitude and clarity, NEW RITUAL FORMS WERE INTRODUCED through which the acts of the liturgy proceeded to reproduce this brighter light issuing from the decrees of the teaching authority of the Church, and to reflect it, in a sense SO THAT IT MIGHT REACH the minds and hearts of Christ’s people MORE READILY.

    53. The subsequent advances in ecclesiastical discipline for the administering of the sacraments, that of penance for example; the institution and later suppression of the catechumenate; and again, the practice of eucharistic communion under a single species, adopted in the Latin Church; these developments were assuredly responsible in no little measure for the MODIFICATION OF THE ANCIENT RITUAL IN THE COURSE OF TIME, AND FOR THE GRADUAL INTRODUCTION OF NEW RITES CONSIDERED MORE IN ACCORD WITH THE PREVAILING DISCIPLINE in these matters.

    57. The Church has further used her RIGHT OF CONTROL OVER LITURGICAL OBSERVANCE to protect the purity of divine worship against abuse from dangerous and imprudent innovations introduced by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND PARTICULAR CHURCHES. Thus it came about – during the 16th century, when usages and customs of this sort had become increasingly prevalent and exaggerated, and when private initiative in matters liturgical threatened to compromise the integrity of faith and devotion, to the great advantage of heretics and further spread of their errors – that in the year 1588, Our predecessor Sixtus V of immortal memory established the Sacred Congregation of Rites, charged with the defense of the legitimate rites of the Church and with the prohibition of any SPURIOUS innovation.[48] This body fulfills even today the official function of supervision and legislation with regard to all matters touching the sacred liturgy.[49]

    58. It follows from this that THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFF ALONE ENJOYS THE RIGHT TO RECOGNIZE AND ESTABLISH ANY PRATICE TOUCHING THE WORSHIP OF GOD, TO INTRODUCE AND APPROVE NEW RITES, AND ALSO TO MODIFY THOSE HE JUDGES TO REQUIRE MODIFICATION.[50] Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship.[51] Private individuals, therefore, even though they be clerics, may not be left to decide for themselves in these holy and venerable matters, involving as they do the religious life of Christian society along with the exercise of the priesthood of Jesus Christ and worship of God; concerned as they are with the honor due to the Blessed Trinity, the Word Incarnate and His august mother and the other saints, and with the salvation of souls as well. For the same reason NO PRIVATE PERSON HAS ANY THORITY TO REGULATE EXTERNAL PRACTICES OF THIS KIND, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.

    59. The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for THE REVIVAL OF OBSOLETE RITES OUT OF HARMONY WITH PREVAILING LAWS AND RUBRICS, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days – which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation – to other dates; those, finally, who delete from the prayerbooks APPROVED for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.


    61. The same reasoning holds in the case of some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately. The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ANCIENT USAGE MUST NOT BE ESTEEMED MORE SUITABLE AND PROPER, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. THE MORE RECENT LITURGICAL RITES LIKEWISE DESERVE REVERENCE AND RESPECT. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world.[52] They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of man.

    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.


    65. In every measure taken, then, let proper contact with the ecclesiastical hierarchy be maintained. Let no one arrogate to himself the right to make regulations and impose them on others at will. ONLY THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFF, as the successor of Saint Peter, charged by the divine Redeemer with the feeding of His entire flock,[54] and with him, in obedience to the Apostolic See, the bishops “whom the Holy Ghost has placed . . . to rule the Church of God,”[55] have the right and the duty to govern the Christian people. Consequently, Venerable Brethren, whenever you assert your authority – even on occasion with wholesome severity – you are not merely acquitting yourselves of your duty; you are defending the very will of the Founder of the Church.


    • Gaheret says:

      And that´s why I dare tell you all this. Because under Mediator Dei, in asseting such authority I´m defending the very will of the Founder of the Church.


      • Paul Dang says:

        You forget the previous paragraph in Quo Primum:

        “This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom.”

        Meaning all the other rites at LEAST 200 years old were to be respected and kept (barring other circumstances).

        And you are incorrect in saying the Tridentine Mass was a new rite; it was the 1474 Roman Missal, shorn of some medieval accretions.And I’ve never used Quo Primum to defend the older rites. Even if it says what you believe it says, it doesn’t change the fact that long-standing customs are immemorial laws which cannot be abrogated. Adding new feasts doesn’t change the rite in its essence. Despite all the rubrical and liturgical changes (all minor, with the exception of the 20th century, another divisive issue, which I won’t get into, but suffice to say, this is where all liturgical problems of reform started), it remained the same medieval Roman missal of 1474, itself developed from St. Gregory the Great’s Mass.

        As for Pope Pius XII’s encyclical, well suffice to say, I disagree with those parts undermining Tradition, particularly the reversal of ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi: “….so that the law of supplication might form the law of belief.” And in any case, this encyclical was only for the Roman Rite, NOT the Eastern Churches, and also, documents cannot be interpreted only other than what the Church has always taught. The Church hasn’t taught that every utterance from the Pope is infallible.

        And I cannot buy into the official story of how the Mass of Paul VI came to be, particularly when the Protestants observers stated plainly that they gave input. And Jean Guitton, friend of Paul VI, admitted that the Pope wanted to create a Mass close to the Calvinist Last Supper. The Novus Ordo, even if it kept you in the Faith, has kept far less people so, and many those still going don’t have any Faith in the Real Presence. And even if Spain is conservative, which I doubt, as you yourself stated, very few people go to Mass on Sundays and holy-days (probably quite less than 20 percent).

        And Pope Benedict XVI, as I stated earlier, corrected Pope Pius XII’s assertion that the Pope can make any changes he want to the liturgy, by stating the Pope is at the service of Tradition, NOT Tradition to him. He is bound by Sacred Tradition. Even a few theologians, like Suarez, S.J., had the opinion that the Pope himself can be in schism if he went and abolished all traditional rites.

        And I’m feeling that the debate is at an impasse. I haven’t budged one bit in my position, and you haven’t either, though anyone really studying liturgical history would really follow my position, IMHO, but of course, that’s my bias. My main beef here is that the Pope can do no wrong, despite the theoretical limits you give to him. This is what I see as ultramontanism: the belief that every action of the Pope does cannot be wrong, even though there have been plenty of times he’s been wrong. Again, only in faith and morals is he infallible, and not in anything else! St. Thomas Aquinas approved lawful opposition to one’s superiors when they order something contrary to Tradition, morality, etc., even citing St. Paul’s defiance of St. Peter when St. Peter tried to appease the Pharisees.

        I guess I am done here. I haven’t seen any new “evidence” that I’m wrong, but wrong assertions made of the “Tridentine” Mass and wrong ideas. I admit I am a liturgy amateur, but the more I delve into this, the more I believe I’m right about my position. You may have the last word if you want nonetheless.


  18. Gaheret says:

    Well, then I suppose that´s it. Just a few points:

    A) I didn´t forget that paragraph of Quo Primum. I quoted it and explained it. I guess you didn´t pay attention. And Pope St. Pius V said “[t]his new rite”.

    B) St. Thomas didn´t assert the right to disobey or correct in justice our prelates, only of fraternally correct (Matt 18:15) them as an act of charity (II-II, q. 33, ap. 4), where he comments St. Paul in Gal, 2. He didn´t ever say that immemorial traditions or customs are kind of a law that cannot be abolished by a Pope. He said that by Divine Law, “the Roman Pontiff possesses a fullness of power in the Church” (Contra errores Graecorum, Chapters 32, 33, 34 and 35), that “no custom can prevail over the Divine or natural laws”, quoting St. Isidore: “Let custom yield to authority”, and that when a “people have not the free power to (..) abolish a law made by a higher authority; nevertheless with such a people a prevailing custom obtains force of law, in so far as it is tolerated by those to whom it belongs to make laws for that people” (S. Th. I-II, q. 97, art. 3).

    C) “Ultramontanist” meant originally that someone accepted the authority of the Vatican Council I and the definitions of Pastor Aeternus (two centuries after Suárez, by the way), including obedience “not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world”. In that sense, I´m one, and you should be. In any other sense, I´m not. I´ve explained myself, you don´t believe me, so that´s it.

    D) As St. John Paul II said in “Ecclesia Dei”, where he condemned Marcel Lefebvre and the SSPX, idols for the Remnant Newspaper follows, bitterly and disobediently, “especially contradictory is a notion of tradition which opposes the universal magisterium of the church possessed by the bishop of Rome and the body of bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to the tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his church”.

    E) You are opposing your own private interpretation of Tradition (or more accurately, liturgical traditions) to an act of ordinary Magisterium done by the Roman Pontiff, Mediator Dei, in which he states in an explicit way his will to define what “the Church teaches and enjoins” using authoritative language. He said that just as “no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine”, no “more can any Catholic in his right senses repudiate existing legislation of the Church” concerning the Rites of the Mass. He said that “what the Church teaches and enjoins” is not “lex orandi, lex credendi”. If that´s no proof to you, nothing I can say will be.

    May God guard you and bless you, and goodbye.


  19. Aggelos says:

    Hello Medieval.Sorry,I just feel that all this debate gets rather meaningless and maybe confusing.
    Because the real valuable things are others….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand that feeling. Most people probably look at the debate here as two people arguing theological minutiae.

      But, their discussion is not without merit in terms of love of neighbor, even though it mostly concerns matters of truth and beauty. Christ is described as “the Truth,” and God the Father as “Beauty ever ancient, ever new.” Beauty can often lead people to the truth, even as the truth can help people to appreciate the beautiful or find beauty where they thought it did not exist.

      One source of beauty ought to be the Mass, and Catholic Traditionalists are worried that the new rite of the Mass renders the Mass mundane and unattractive. If people outside of the Church do not see the Mass as honoring God through its beauty, they will be less likely to join the Church for that reason.

      Conversely, what if the teaching authority of the Church were shown to be contradictory and lacking authority? It would not matter how beautiful the Mass was if Catholic teaching were not rooted in the truth! There is only one reasons to be Catholic: because Catholicism is true. Any teaching or practice which takes away from the authority of the Catholic Church must be combatted lest souls be lost.

      So, while the primary mission of the Church must be the salvation of souls for the glory of God, debates over the teachings promulgated by Church councils and theologians and also concern with reverence towards God and the beauty of sacred things both aid in the salvation of souls.


      • Aggelos says:

        Hmm,well let’s see Hot Topics:
        What helps a Civilization go to a Growth? How come a nation easily gets cheated by demagogues? What kind of bad or Evil factors push a nation to have a liking on Marxism? Even after the fall of Soviet Union,the one that paved the way for horrid people walk around,many still were confused to understand what’s Wrong(and Horrid as well) with this System!

        Why did Samuel Huntington,author of The Clash of Civilizations,was being put to such scepticism and in the end rejection? I mean it.And if let’s say,they had understood him well then things might have been better.

        Let’s keep in our mind that our love for Christ,his teachings and his vital good examples gets scorned by the Marxists.Yes,the very ones who tag along with their Hypocricy about Morals and Quality of Life.

        Might if I add: Pythagoras,Solon,Plato,Aristotetle,Christ and his Mother Mary -contrary to the Left-really cared about Morals,Ethics,such as Justice and about the Afterlife.They never pretendent being good.They were genuinely Benevolent.
        Unfortunately the Marxism is a very lousy System,that scorns ancient Civilizations and Christ as well.

        And specifically why did Greece go from bad to Worse than ever?! Why,how come the general consensus there has been such an Anime hater?

        What kind of bad motive drove Paul mcEuen to write this “Spiral” novel,all rife with hatred on Japan?Hatred being put in a subtle way.Albeit I think he didn’t all by his own>It has so many weird flaws and inconsistencies that point out many people had a part in this,he took the credit.
        >Such as the preface where gives us the notion that Worls War II had Japan as sole enemy of the US! And Germany…?Why?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry that it’s taken me a little while to respond, Aggelos. Here’s my take on some of those issues.

        For a civilization to grow and thrive, it must have a properly formed imagination. It must believe in certain positive values and wish to share them. Bishop Fulton Sheen rather well described why communism was growing in the 20th century while Western liberty was decaying: “They have all zeal and no truth; we have all truth and no zeal.” Of course, the zeal built upon lies which was communism had to fall; but, the West suffers from a malaise in that it has subordinated virtue and truth to material comfort. We’re no fighting to expand liberty and the Faith as we used to do in the old days. And so, the zeal of the communists is more attractive to many young people than the complacency of conservatives and Christians. The young especially want an ideal to strive for, and we should do our best to show our love for God and freedom.

        Why did Greece go from bad to worse? You’re probably asking the wrong person. My knowledge of Greece is mostly limited to Classical times and a little modern culture. It is probably in decline due to the same reasons other Western nations are in decline plus some help from the EU.

        I haven’t read Paul McEuen’s Spiral. It sounds like a thriller which many people love, but what I read of the plot does not grab me.

        The United States has had a very interesting relationship with Japan. We started as friends essentially. However, our Open Door Policy with China and other efforts to keep Asian trade open to the United States clashed with Japanese attempts at colonization and imperialism. I don’t particularly blame Japan for wanting an empire: that was the example set by other world powers. They were very ruthless to people they conquered in many instances however.

        It was primarily Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor which drove the United States into WWII. We did not declare war on Germany, but Germany declared war on us after our declaration of war upon their ally, Japan.

        America did not want to get into another European War after WWI, when Americans felt like the British had used propaganda in order to get America to bail them out of a losing war and enrich their empire at the same time.

        So, yeah, most Americans viewed the Japanese as their primary opponent. However, Churchill negotiated with President Roosevelt to get America to prioritize Germany.

        Happily, Americans are now very friendly with both the Germans and Japanese–probably more so with the Japanese.


Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s