Pope St. Pius V's encyclical "Quo Primum"

How do you reconcile the Novus Ordo Mass with Pope St. Pius V’s encyclical “Quo Primum,” which explicitly bans changes to the (Latin) Mass. It explicitly states:

Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription - except, however, if more than two hundred years’ standing.

How do you reconcile this? It’s saying no one, including future popes, may alter the missal.

How many times does this tired topic need to be rehashed?

Well, it’s my first time coming across it, and I just want to understand.

It doesn’t say anything about future popes. Pius V standardized the Roman Missal but no Pope can bind future Popes on such matters. Small changes have been made to the Missal a number of times. Some think that Paul VI’s changes were too great but nobody can claim that he had no authority to make them.

To the OP, your answer is in the below thread.


I’ve quoted Brother JR’s comment to make it easier.

I’ll also point out that right after that, St. Pius V made changes to the Missal, too, IIRC concerning now-obsolete parts commemorating the Emperor in the Canon. Which means either that St. Pius V is a heretic, along with such men as St. Pius X and St. John XXIII (which is an infamous thing to hold) or that, as with all such decrees, it is subject to the natural legislative power of the Pope; that is, his encyclical prohibits ordinaries from changing it without the Holy Father’s permission.

Hmm, interesting. By the same logic, Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass could be “overturned” by a future pope, too?

Certainly, though since the Council of Trent, no Pope has suppressed any rite or form of the Mass outright.

It is for the Pope, after all, to prescribe the liturgical services of the Church, though he may delegate such authority if he wishes, subject to his approval.

Didn’t Vatican II suppress the Latin Mass? I thought that’s where all the hoopla came from?

Yes and No.

Theoretically, a future pope could call a council and and promulgate a new missal and revise the Mass. Realistically, this is unlikely to happen.

Actually, no.

In the first place, Vatican II per se did not make any change to the Mass.

Secondly, as the Pope Emeritus explains in Summorum Pontificum, what (now Bl.) Paul VI did was to inaugurate a new form of the Mass (as is his prerogative) and make that the form ordinarily used in the Latin Church (again, as is his prerogative). The Mass of Pius V was not actually suppressed. Else, for example, the so-called Agatha Christie Indult would not have been authorized, for example; nor would the SSPX have been able to form ad experimentum (of course, we know it eventually careened into places it should not have gone).

Maybe it wasn’t suppressed in theory, but in practice, it was very much suppressed, right, since all the diocesan parishes switched to the new rite? The ones who still celebrated using the Latin Mass were basically cast out of the Church, in the case of SSPX and other independent priests?

There is, of course, a distinction between suppression (where no-one whatsoever can celebrate it) and mere derogation of status to not being the Ordinary Form (which is why the ‘normal’ form of Mass celebrated is the Pauline Mass). While celebrating the older form could not endear you socially to many prelates, in quite a few places and quite a few situations you could do it with episcopal permission (hence the Agatha Christie Indult). What Summorum Pontificum did was remove the red tape essentially.

There is a difference between suppression and merely being heavily discouraged. Hence why the FSSP has been in operation before SP.

The SSPX’s main problem since 1988 hasn’t been their celebration of the Latin Mass, by the way. It is a) their erroneous assertions that the decrees of the Second Vatican Council are contrary to Tradition, and b) their problems with obedience to the Holy Father (supported by an erroneous ecclesiology).

Then do a search and spend time reading up on it.

Question answered


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