Quo Primum

In Quo Primum, Pope St. Pius V said “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 in Vatican II, the Mass was altered. There seems to be a contradiction here. I’d appreciate any explanation for how the changing of the Mass didn’t violate Quo Primum.

Unlike Church doctrine, in matters of Church discipline, such as this, a pope can bind everyone, except himself or a later pope. So, when he said, “this present document cannot be revoked or modified,” he meant, “this present document cannot be revoked or modified, except by later pope.” The Missal of Pope St Pius V was legitimately changed by a later pope.

Note: the Missal was altered many times between St Pope Pius V and Vatican II.

And as the prior poster mentioned, the Pope cannot place limits on future Popes.

Furthermore, you have to understand the context. Many religious orders and bishops were creating their own liturgies to the Mass within the Latin Church. For example, there were many Rites, several in Britian alone. This was to stop a practice that was getting out of control.

God Bless

Actually it was dismantled in the 60’s but St. John Paul II restored the Missal of 1962 in 1984. Technically it was never abrogated or changed. Paul VI simply promulgated a new Mass, now the Ordinaria Forma. The 1962 Missal is now the Extraordinaria Forma.

Most of these changes were additions of saints and prefaces, I understand.

It seems to me that this is not a matter of faith and morals that the Pope is defining, but rather it is about discipline.

This is similar to todays rubrics of the Mass which are to be observed without change when the Mass takes place. No one is arbitrarily to change anything. But that isn’t to say that new rubrics or modifications will not take place in the future.

This. Context is everything. Pope Pius wanted to unify the Latin Mass under one common missal, not freeze it in time. This principle remains today. No priest, bishop or group of bishops is authorized to change the words of the Mass

Can I second (third?) this? :smiley:

I think the whole debacle about the what Quo Primum means is almost like what you have with the Bible. Some people keep insisting on a literalist interpretation (“You can’t change the form of the Mass, ever”) that often removes the bull from its historical and ecclesiastical context. :shrug:

And feastdays. (Depending on your perspective, the 1570 Missal was either ‘streamlined’ or ‘barebones’ when it came to feasts: many medieval saints and even a number of popular feastdays were removed from the missal, to be reinstated later by subsequent popes.) And some changes to certain rubrics.

They can’t change the Latin (IGMR) but the bishops can change the translations or add more vernaculars. In the case of some of the African countries. I doubt if all of these translations are scrutinized by the Vatican. (According to Cardinal Arinze, Nigeria alone has 240 vernaculars.) The 1969 Missale Romanum is a whole new ballgame.

A good read. Thanks.

Although the wrath of Almighty God and of Sts Peter and Paul is definitely something I would not want to incur, discipline or no discipline. :slight_smile:

Lazy response on my part, but here you go:

Jeffrey Mirus
Did the Pope Intend to Bind His Successors from Changing the Tridentine Mass?


Thank you for all your answers.

IMO, this is the wrong question to ask.

Perhaps how binding was the Council of Trent which spanned some 17 years under three Popes would be a better question. Read, for example, Sessions 7 and 22 in regards the rites of the Church. The doctrines and creeds expressed there would have been enough to sustain a liturgy and discourage massive reforms to the Roman Canon I would think, even without Quo Primum.

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