Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Pope Benedict XVI is rumored to have signed a universal indult which will allow any priest to introduce the Latin/Tridentine mass at his parish, unless expressly forbidden to do so by his bishop, in writing.

Pope set to bring back Latin Mass that divided the Church
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
THE Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI is understood to have signed a universal indult — or permission — for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years. The indult could be published in the next few weeks, sources told The Times.

Use of the Tridentine Mass, parts of which date from the time of St Gregory in the 6th century and which takes its name from the 16th-century Council of Trent, was restricted by most bishops after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

This led to the introduction of the new Mass in the vernacular to make it more accessible to contemporary audiences. By bringing back Mass in Latin, Pope Benedict is signalling that his sympathies lie with conservatives in the Catholic Church.

One of the most celebrated rebels against its suppression was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who broke with Rome in 1988 over this and other reforms. He was excommunicated after he consecrated four bishops, one of them British, without permission from the Pope.

Some Lefebvrists, including those in Brazil, have already been readmitted. An indult permitting the celebration of the Tridentine Mass could help to bring remaining Lefebvrists and many other traditional Catholics back to the fold.

The priests of England and Wales are among those sometimes given permission to celebrate the Old Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Tridentine Masses are said regularly at the Oratory and St James’s Spanish Place in London, but are harder to find outside the capital.

The new indult would permit any priest to introduce the Tridentine Mass to his church, anywhere in the world, unless his bishop has explicitly forbidden it in writing.

Catholic bloggers have been anticipating the indult for months. The Cornell Society blog says that Father Martin Edwards, a London priest, was told by Cardinal Joseph Zen, of Hong Kong, that the indult had been signed. Cardinal Zen is alleged to have had this information from the Pope himself in a private meeting.

“There have been false alarms before, not least because within the Curia there are those genuinely well-disposed to the Latin Mass, those who are against and those who like to move groups within the Church like pieces on a chessboard,” a source told The Times. “But hopes have been raised with the new pope. It would fit with what he has said and done on the subject. He celebrated in the old rite, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.”

The 1962 Missal issued by Pope John XXIII was the last of several revisions of the 1570 Missal of Pius V. In a lecture in 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger said that it would be “fatal” for the Missal to be “placed in a deep-freeze, left like a national park, a park protected for the sake of a certain kind of people, for whom one leaves available these relics of the past”.

Daphne McLeod, chairman of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a UK umbrella group that campaigns for the restoration of traditional orthodoxy, said: “A lot of young priests are teaching themselves the Tridentine Mass because it is so beautiful and has prayers that go back to the Early Church.”

# The Tridentine Mass is celebrated entirely in Latin, except for a few words and phrases in Greek and Hebrew. There are long periods of silence and the priest has his back to the congregation

# In 1570, Pope St Pius V said that priests could use the Tridentine rite forever, “without scruple of conscience or fear of penalty”

# Since the Second Vatican Council, the Tridentine Mass has been almost entirely superseded by the Mass of Pope Paul VI

# Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who took the lead in opposing the reforms, continued to celebrate the old Mass at his seminary in Ecône, Switzerland, and formed a dissident group. He was excommunicated in 1988

# The advantages of the Mass, according to the faithful, are in its uniformity and the fact that movements and gestures are prescribed, so that there is no room for “personalisation”

This indult, if it exists, has not yet been circulated. But, if it's true, it would be a major step towards reunion with those traditionalists who have stepped out of the Church. Many within the Church have strong sympathies towards traditionalists, especially in matters of moral doctrine; however, they also see those same traditionalists as having a protestant-like problem with rebellion against authority and obediance. In a world that is nearly rabid with desire to kill God and the Church, bringing the "uber traditionalists" back into the Church could prove to be the next wave of revitalization and renewal that many feel the Church desperately needs in the wake of liberal "priests of the 1960s" who have managed to satisfy the spiritual needs of almost no one.


Blogger caterina maria said...

The Latin Mass is the only one I'll go to. I think altering the words of the consecration in the Novus Ordo have invalidated the Mass. So I don't attend the local thing that passes for a Mass. Because of its dubious validity, I think "Lex dubia non obligat" applies here.
Priests don't need an indult to say the Latin Mass. It was never abrogated, not even by Paul VI who pushed the Novus Ordo. That's the sick thing about all this hoohah over the universal indult. What's happened is that priests who clung to the true Mass were hounded and persecuted, and driven out of parishes by hostile parishioners and bishops. Parishioners in many parishes are threatened by the true Catholic theology reflected in the Latin Mass. It disagrees with Kum-Bah-Yah, and the doctrine that they have been taught that we're all terribly nice people who go to Heaven no matter what.
Thank God for the Latin Masses that have persisted.

8:09 PM  
Blogger caterina maria said...

And by the way, St. Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between false obedience, i.e. obedience to a bad or evil law, and meritorious obedience. Not even a pope can command obedience of Catholics to an evil law. The traditionalists who adhere to the Latin Mass are the Catholics, because they believe what Catholics everywhere believed right up until Vatican II thoroughly protestantized Catholicism.
If you don't believe the Novus Ordo is a protestant rite, go attend some High Anglican Eucharist and see which seems more Catholic.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Aurora Dies Incommodum said...

Caterina, your posts brings up a number of issues, and goes through a lot or stuff rather shortly. The questions that I can pick out seem to be:

1.Is the N.O. valid or not, or some combination of valid with invalid parts?

2.What gives a priest the "right" to say a mass (of whatever type)? Does the Church have a right to demand obediance to one over another (especially if there is no question of validity)?

3.What rights does the Church have in proscribing liturgy?

4.What are the obligations of the laity to obediance?

5.What is the measure required for a layperson to decide they are in a situation of "Lex dubia non obligat"? How can a person be sure that they are not simply trying to be the pope for themselves?

6.What would constitute an evil law?

7.If a person believes that "modernizations" are wrong, how much is to be blamed on the ACTUAL VATII, and how much on what was done "in the spirit of VATII"?

There are probably more, but that's what I've managed to pick out in the last minute or so.

So here is what I'm proposing. How would you like to write a series of articles, written toward the average lay Catholic who knows the basic tenets of the faith but not much more, explaining what you see as the problems with the N.O. and addressing those issues above (and any others that we pick out as necessary). I'll write some, too (though I can't honestly yet say whether they will agree or disagree). And we'll see what comes out.

11:47 AM  
Blogger caterina maria said...

Thanks for the invitation, have been crazed with local politics and crimefighting, not to mention laughing over Joe Albero's Oz picture. Let me give this some thought. So much has been written, to explain the canonized status of the Latin Mass, that it's hard to know how to pick out the essentials.
I can recommend a few books on the topic that helped me sort it out, but the best thing was the papal encyclical by St. Pius V "Quo Primum", which is best read in Latin.
The crux (no pun intended) of the matter is that no bishop of the 21st century can licitly forbid a priest to say the Latin Mass, because that right was granted in perpetuity by St. Pius V, speaking ex cathedra. (Yes, he spoke before the doctrine of papal infallibility was establish at Vatican I, but that doctrine merely confirmed the teachings of the Magisterium up to that point.)
The evil in the Novus Ordo comes from the tampering with the words of the consecration in English, especially. St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out that if the words were changed in meaning, the form would be invalidated. Now, I can't declare the Novus Ordo invalid. Only a Pope can do that. But I strongly suspect that it is. The words "..for you and for all.." are not the words Our Lord used. Those were "pro vobis et pro multis", which means for you and for many. The implication of the incorrect form is that all men are effectively saved by Christ's sacrifice. St. Thomas says that the power to save all men was made possible, but not all men avail themselves of that grace. Hence "for you and for all" implying as it does that all are saved, is bad and unCatholic theology.
There is more to this, and more to the Novus Ordo that is irreverent and even blasphemous. The trouble is that devout Catholics, such as yourself, are reading into it the true Catholic meaning, while the ambiguous words make it easy for modernists to read into it things like universal salvation, and even that we are the Divine ourselves, that the transubstantiation occurs because of the gathered community's faith, and more.
No Mass, if indeed valid, can be evil, but if its theology is bad it can be evil secundum quid, under a certain aspect. That's the case with the Novus Ordo, and that is why I say it cannot be binding on Catholics to attend it. I regard it as a grave danger to faith, and any church in which it is said may be desecrated.

8:44 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home