Is Latin the Normative Language? Does English Require an Indult?

BobP, This just totally blew me out of the water. I hate to ask, but could you share your resources on this? There’s a certain liturgist with whom I would like to share that information…

I don’t know if the word “indult” is official or not or everyone defines it the same way, but this has been discussed ad nauseam on this forum. I think if you were to search using the word “indult” you will find numerous opinions (:slight_smile: ) from members here on what is “normative” and what is not. Personally I despise the word.

Ohhhh – thanks for the clarification. :slight_smile:

The Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium

    1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
  1. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the Liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
  1. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
  1. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the Liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above.

Any use of the vernacular requires both approval by the national bishop’s conference AND the Holy See.

That, by definition, is an Indult.

The only Normative language in the Roman Church is Latin.

A priest requires no approval from anyone to say the current Missal in Latin. For a US priest to say the Mass in any other language requires USCCB and Vatican approval.

Yes, it’s somewhat astonishing that the Normative Mass, a Mass that almost undisputably valid at that, is hardly ever used. Sometimes I wonder had the Latin NO were more extensive would we even be discussing the merits of the TLM today. Seriously, I doubt it.

And this is why I’m glad the Pope is finally implementing some more of Vatican II with this MP :slight_smile:

I don’t quite understand this, Bob. The MP calls the TLM the extraordinary rite of the Roman Church, while the Novus Ordo remains the Ordinary Rite. No Rite of the Roman Church requires an Indult, unless it has been abrogated and the only Rites of the Roman Church which have truly been abrogated are those local Masses which varied from the TLM before the Counter-Reformation (Council of Trent).

What’s going to happen to the indult Masses? Are they going to change? Or are they allowed to go on, because they don’t need an indult any more?

Guess we shouldn’t call them indults since the TLM has never been abrogated and we as Catholics have always had a right to attend it, if I read the MP right. The Mass in the complete vernacular, on the other hand, is an indult. No council has allowed it, only your bishop.

The argument is that the vulgar tongue is the indult, not the Rite itself. Latin is the normative. According to both councils, Trent and Vatican II, an entire Mass is not be in the vulgar tongue; therefore it needs at least a bishop’s approval.

Of course the distinction to be made though is that the normative Mass is the Pauline Mass. The vernacular might be an indulted version of it, but it is still the normative Mass of the Church.

And because of that, the use of the TLM, even though not abrogated, still required an indult also–at least as far as I understand it–since it was no longer the normative Mass of the Church.

Fortunately, we have several parishes in the Detroit area that regularly offer the Latin N.O… One parish offered the Latin NO exclusively until the pastor retired awhile back ( that’s almost 30 years of nothing but Latin NO). Another parish, Assumption Grotto, offers the Latin N.O. Mass ad orientem.

If I’m not mistaken, aren’t the masses shown on EWTN often a Latin N.O. recorded at the local parish?

The ones that I have seen often incorporate a large amount of Latin.

But a true Latin N.O. Mass would be entirely Latin, except for the Readings, Gospel and Homily. I haven’t seen one of those on EWTN yet (which is not to say that there haven’t been)

And the Masses are televised from the chapel in Irondale on the EWTN premise. That was the chaple for the nuns, until they moved to the new monastery in Haunceville (about an hour away)

My family and I have discussed this. None of us have ever been to any parish that does the Normative Mass. No Latin NO is available in our parishes.

I agree with your last statement. I doubt it also.

Yes, I do believe English requires an indult. It has been given one in the United States by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to be said in the vernacular.

Yes, I do believe English requires an indult. It has been given one in the United States by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to be said in the vernacular.

We have over 30 vernaculars in the Chicago Archdiocese. Not that he has enough problems already but pity the poor Cardinal who has to make sure they are all correctly said.

While Sacrosanctum Concilium thought the readings were one of the primary things that could be in the vernacular, it didn’t demand it so a “true” Latin NO could have these in Latin as well.


2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.” (emphases mine)
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

As has been pointed out numerous times, though the Council did not call for an all-vernacular Mass, Pope Paul VI permitted bishops’ conferences to make the decision as to what degree the vernacular WOULD be used, subject to approval by the Holy See. So the all vernacular mass is perfectly legitimate and approved by the competent authority (the Pope’s).

Didn’t mean to give that impression, JKirk. I hope I’m not the naughty one.:wink:

So the all vernacular mass is perfectly legitimate and approved by the competent authority (the Pope’s).

Not true. The Pope requires many of the vernaculars changed. The bishops have temporarily allowed the older forms of translations.

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