Can someone please explain all the masses?


By my understanding, yes, they can. Their bishops were illicitly consecrated though.

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That would then make their sacraments valid, but illicit.

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Yes, and I was questioning the comment saying they were invalid.

EDIT: I was assuming he was suggesting that their Sacraments were invalid by virtue of them being schismatic.




I never knew some people are offended by it until I came here to CAF, and since I have no intention of causing undue offense I do my best not to use it here. Sometimes I’m sloppy and do, and I apologize. Nobody has ever sent me a nasty private message or otherwise taken me to task over it, probably because I’m not in a habit of bad mouthing the Ordinary Form. I think most here are able to figure out the intention of the person using the term. But, yeah. We have plenty of non-offensive synonyms for it so there’s no reason to insist on its use here.

I do think there’s good reason to use “Tridentine”, “TLM”, etc. instead of “Extraordinary Form”. Maybe I’m alone in this but I consider the other particular rites in the West that are not strictly the Roman Rite (e.g. the Dominican Rite) as the “Extraordinary Form”, but I wouldn’t consider them “Tridentine”. In that sense I might find an occasion to use the latter over the former for specificity.

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This old thread from days gone by might be helpful as well, because people frequently misuse the terms “rite” and “church” when talking about the multiple expressions of the Catholic faith.



“Novus Ordo” is perfectly fine to use. I know many would find a reason to get upset over it, perceiving it as “pejorative”, but it really isn’t. You can keep using the term interchangeably with “Ordinary Form”.



The problem with using TLM is that both the EF and the OF can be said in Latin; and it leaves one to presume that the OF cannot or is not said that way. Clarity helps.

Pope Benedict is the source of the terms EF and OF, and he had a clear reason to say EF, which history since then has supported. Is it the end of the world if one does not use it? No, of course not; just as it is not the end of the world if one uses NO. However, given the amount of heat that ha been generated since the OF was promulgated, using terms for the two Mass forms which are clearly neutral avoids some of the unnecessary baggage attendant to the alternatives.

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Ah. I am not sure if it was your original post or a subsequent one, but it sounded as if you were in process. Certainly no offense intended. Glad you started the thread.



None taken. Glad others will gain knowledge from this too.



Why is the SSPX, if performing the TLM or Tridentine mass, not licit or valid? According to the Wikipedia entry, it’s not necessarily because they reject certain Vatican II ecclesiastical reforms, but because they in some sense rejected the Pope’s declaration of authority on consecrating four bishops?



So if understand correctly, the Jesuits and Franciscans are orders, not rites. The RCC, Anglicans and Orthodox are rites, not orders.



Ah, yes, that link is good.

From @porthos11

The Roman Rite is that liturgical form that majority of the Latin Church uses. It has two general expressions: the Ordinary Form (consisting of the liturgical books—Missal, Divine Office, Ritual, Pontifical and Ceremonial promulgated after the Second Vatican Council) and the Extraordinary Form (consisting of the liturgical books in use in 1962, before the Council).

Essentially, a “rite” is a a "way of ordering and expressing the celebration, and the EF and OF are very similar ways of expressing it using similar “structures” (missal, etc.)



Anglican refers to a Protestant Church, the Church of England. It broke from the Catholic Church when Henry VIII was King of England and wanted a divorce the Pope would not grant him. It is also known as Episcopalian in the US. Some Anglican Priests and their congregations have been accepted into The Catholic Church, but I assume The Anglican Use Rite is a modified form of the Church of England’s Liturgy. The Orthodox Communion is a set of various Churches that split with the Catholic Church around 1000 years ago. The Orthodox Churches have maintained Apostolic Succession and the Catholic Church recognizes that the Eastern Orthodox Communion has valid Sacraments. Many of the Eastern Catholic Churches are very similar to Eastern Orthodox Churches liturgically but are in Full Communion with Rome.



The Masses are valid, but illicit.

A priest cannot simply say Mass anywhere at any time. In order to say Mass, essentially he needs to be under the authority of a bishop. And according to Canon law, the Pope has sole final authority in the ordination of a bishop. The four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre were ordained without the permission of Pope John Paul 2 and all 5 were immediately excommunicated. The excommunications of the 4 bishops were subsequently lifted, but the bishops and the Vatican have significant issues which need to be resolved, and until then, they do not have a diocese (or other formal authority in which to act as a bishop) and have no permission to be ordaining priests, nor giving permission to those priests to say Mass. Thus, the Masses are valid, but are illicit.



It should be noted though that marriages performed by an SSPX priest where either party are Catholic very likely would be invalid even if performed during a valid, if illicit, mass.

It has to do with the requirement that faculties to marry Catholics come from either a priest (or deacon’s) ordinary or the parish pastor. Since the SSPX are in an irregular canonical status neither bishops nor priests have a canonical territory and therefore cannot delegate the faculties to others. This is the same reason that until Pope Francis granted faculties for SSPX priests to offer the sacrament of reconciliation that confessions were invalid and not simply illicit.

I point that out merely to say that the lack of canonical status doesn’t just impact licity, but can invalidate certain of the sacraments.

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Deacon, thanks.

All of which says that power to do something (example, say Mass) and authority to do the same are different matters.

Power may be present, but lack authority, and result in illicit, but valid actions. On the other hand, lack of authority may mean that the action is not only illicit, but also invalid.



As I said, as far as I know their rituals are invalid and illict, but I’m no expert on the subject and that’s my personal opinion, otherwise I would have quoted some good Catholic source.



After the Second Vatican Council the Mass was changed. It was generally considered that the form the Mass had prior to the Council was abrogated. Few celebrated it and those who did were often penalised or criticised by the hierarchy. Pope St John Paul II gave a variety of concessions to make this form of the Mass more widely available. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during his pontificate gave the matter some resolution. He declared both forms of the Mass were fully valid and declared the pre-Vatican II form had never been abrogated. He called the Mass as revised following Vatican II the name Ordinary Form and the pre-Vatican II he called the Extraordinary Form. He made it possible to celebrate this latter form at the initiative of any priest.

Some people prefer the pre-Vatican Extraordinary and called it such names as the Traditional Latin Mass or (please excuse my poor Latin) usus antiquior (?) meaning the old or ancient use. It is often the same group who refer to the post-Vatican II Ordinary Form as the Novus Ordo (new order), but employ the term pejoratively.

Both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Mass are fully valid. They are both issued in official liturgical books published by the Holy See in Latin. The former can be translated into vernacular languages provided Rome approves the translation. The latter can only be celebrated in Latin.

There are lot of abbreviations and acronyms knocking around. Just ask about them or look them up. I am what is known as a cradle Catholic and have passed by half-century and I am still learning about the Church. As long as I live, or as long as I am willing to still learn, I think i always will be.


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