Why the Pope Is Wrong About Latin Mass Restrictions

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Throughout its history, the Catholic Church developed affluent forms of liturgical worship successful some East and West, a testament to its universality. In the West, a signifier of the Mass developed, known arsenic the Latin oregon Roman Rite. Its origins tin beryllium traced backmost to Apostolic times and its signifier remained fundamentally unchanged for centuries, until it was replaced by a Novus Ordo (new form) of Mass successful 1969.

There is simply a widespread, and precise mistaken, thought successful the Church that the Second Vatican Council, held from 1962 to 1965, ordered the alteration to the Mass. This is patently not so.

As the Council stated successful its papers connected the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution connected the Sacred Liturgy): “Holy Mother Church holds each lawfully recognized rites to beryllium of adjacent close and dignity; that she wishes to sphere them successful the aboriginal and foster them successful each way.”

This took into relationship assorted rites of Eastern Catholic Churches, arsenic good arsenic the galore nuances past existing successful forms utilized by spiritual orders and successful section Churches and regions.

Further, it was the explicit privation of the Council that “the usage of Latin successful the rites is to beryllium preserved” and that the past euphony of this language, Gregorian Chant and Polyphony, beryllium fixed pridefulness of spot successful liturgical services, since they “express to the highest grade the purposes of ineffable euphony laid down by the Church: the glory of God, the sanctification of the faithful, making supplication much pleasing, promotion of unity of minds, and the conferring of greater solemnity upon the ineffable rights.”

Epoch Times Photo Ancient Latin euphony specified arsenic Gregorian Chant expresses the glory of God. (FNeumann/Pixabay)

In fact, the liturgy was to beryllium “carefully and thoroughly revised successful the airy of dependable tradition,” to marque it much suitable for modern times.

Notwithstanding the instauration of the caller Mass, the Traditional Rite has survived and, peculiarly implicit the past 40 oregon truthful years, experienced accelerated growth, peculiarly among young people.

Let maine authorities astatine the outset that it is not my volition present to delegitimise the Novus Ordo Mass. On weekdays I often be Novus Ordo Masses. All my sacraments person been celebrated successful the Novus Ordo, and yes, it tin beryllium celebrated precise devoutly and prayerfully.

However, since its implementation determination is 1 incontrovertible fact. Rather than the Mass being, arsenic the Second Vatican Council declared, the acme of the Church’s life, the insistence connected modernising has led to dwindling congregations, but successful parishes and orders that are faithful to tradition, doctrine, and the Church’s Magisterium (teaching).

I judge this is simply a origin of large irritation to Pope Francis and his chap travellers, hence the draconian crackdown connected tradition.

Last year, the Pope issued a motu proprio (document) entitled Traditionis Custodes, calling for the regularisation of the solemnisation of the Traditional Latin Mass. A further papers addressing its implementation, the Responsa advertisement Dubia (Response to Questions), outlined these restrictions, which mean that galore priests volition beryllium banned from saying the Traditional Mass, and it volition lone beryllium capable to beryllium celebrated successful constricted settings.

All this has been done successful the sanction of fostering “unity” successful the Church.

Epoch Times Photo A wide presumption astatine St Peter’s Basilica arsenic Pope Francis celebrates the Epiphany Mass astatine Vatican City, connected Jan. 6, 2022. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images)

Archbishop Roche, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, which is liable for issuing these documents, has stated successful the past that the “Ordinary Form” (that is, the Novus Ordo), has overmuch to larn from the Extraordinary Form and that the second is simply a “valid look of the Church’s liturgy.”

However, the tenor of Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa are wholly contradictory to these nationalist statements, and, successful the presumption of this correspondent, neglect connected 2 counts: first, connected the thought of “disunity,” and second, adjacent much importantly, connected their legality.

In attending the Traditional Mass, I person not encountered radical who privation to origin part successful the Church, which Traditionis Custodes suggests. On the contrary, I cognize galore joy-filled (especially young) radical who emotion their religion and basal foursquare with the teachings of the Church’s Magisterium.

The Traditional Mass, arsenic acold arsenic I tin see, is simply a root of unity for the Church, not division. It is the earnest tendency of those successful the Latin Mass assemblage to beryllium portion of the Universal Church, not abstracted from it.

The Traditional Mass, arsenic I person observed, besides draws radical to the Church who, inspired by a emotion of their religion and the instrumentality of supplication being the instrumentality of belief, find successful it a consciousness of the ineffable that allows them to springiness their children the top acquisition they tin give, the acquisition of faith.

These are precisely the benignant of people, I would person thought, the Church aspires to attract, since they are a root of maturation and a surviving witnesser to a life-giving faith. They should beryllium encouraged and supported, not discouraged.

Since the post-conciliar liturgical reforms, determination has ever been a question of the authorization of the pope to alteration the rite. Again, I reiterate, I americium not retired to denigrate the Novus Ordo, but alternatively show that restrictions connected the Traditional Mass are of doubtful legitimacy.

As the large 20th period theologian and liturgist, Monsignor Klaus Gamber, observed successful his enactment The Reform of The Roman Liturgy, the statement that the Pope has the authorization to alteration the Mass is based connected the conception that helium has “the afloat and highest power” successful the Church, derived from the First Vatican Council, “that pertains to the subject and regularisation of the Church dispersed retired implicit each the world.”

However, arsenic Gamber demonstrates, this “discipline” successful nary mode applies to the liturgy, which popes done the ages person repeatedly observed is founded connected apostolic tradition. Therefore, arsenic Gamber notes “the rite cannot autumn into the subject and regularisation of the Church.”

Epoch Times Photo Believers commune during the Christmas wide astatine the Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church successful Cairo, Egypt, connected Jan. 6, 2022. (Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images)

What is more, determination is not a azygous document, including successful the Church’s Code of Canon Law, successful which determination is simply a circumstantial connection that the pope, successful his relation arsenic ultimate pastor of the Church, has the authorization to abolish (and frankincense by extension, restrict) the accepted rite. Gamber quotes St Gregory the Great successful this regard: “As agelong arsenic the Church is of 1 Faith, antithetic ritual customs bash not harm her.”

He further notes that determination are besides different limits to this “full and highest power,” that is, successful matters of dogma, the pope is bound to travel the contented of the cosmopolitan Church. As noted successful the opening paragraph, if 1 looks astatine the past of the Church’s liturgy, helium oregon she volition find that the Mass had been fundamentally unchanged from Apostolic times until the post-Conciliar reforms.

After initially banning the solemnisation of the Traditional Mass, Pope Paul VI, possibly recognising specified a prohibition was invalid, allowed its usage successful England and Wales, and past to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X. Successive popes person besides recognised that it not due for the Traditional Mass to beryllium restricted.

St John Paul II further allowed for its accrued solemnisation successful 1984 and 1988 (exhorting that it was a “legitimate aspiration”), and Benedict XVI restored afloat rights to the accepted liturgy.

Since these initiatives, arsenic noted successful erstwhile sections, the communities and seminaries linked to the Traditional Mass person multiplied, the frequence of the faithful’s attendance has increased, and the spiritual beingness of galore young radical and galore families has recovered an unexpected impetus.

It is truthful Papa Bergoglio and Archbishop Roche who are causing division, connected mendacious pretences. So overmuch for “Fratelli tutti” and inclusivity!

I reason by citing the words of the erstwhile Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: “Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa must simply beryllium ignored, returned to the sender. They indispensable beryllium ignored due to the fact that it is wide that their volition is to punish Catholics who stay faithful, to disperse them, and to marque them disappear.”

Views expressed successful this nonfiction are the opinions of the writer and bash not needfully bespeak the views of The Epoch Times.

Rocco Loiacono


Rocco Loiacono is simply a Senior Lecturer astatine Curtin University Law School successful Perth, Australia, and is simply a translator from Italian to English. His enactment connected translation, linguistics, and instrumentality person been wide published successful peer-reviewed journals.