The papal powers and the litugical reform

Do traditionalist really dispute that the pope has the authority to make changes to the liturgy?

Only if it’s changes they don’t like.

For instance, Mass in the vernacular = HUGE problem. Canon law allowing for altar girls = HUGE problem. Summorum Pontificum = NO problem at all.

That’s pretty much how it works.


Anyway, that altar girls were allowed in the 90’s were just an interpretation of Canon law, “laici” is in the neuter.
Sacrosantum Cocilium clearly said that Latin was not to be abandoned and in practise it really is.

Yes, some mistakenly believe that the papal bull Quo Primum prevents a pope from making any changes to the mass.

Only the Pope can make changes to the Mass. Paul VI had that authority.Was it wise to use it in the manner he did.?That is the question. Even Archbishop Lefebvre was comfortable with minor changes in the Mass.
*A Bishop Speaks *by Archbisop Lefebvre

“Some reform and renewal was needed…The first part of the Mass, intended for the instruction of the Faithful and as a means of expressing their faith, clearly stood in need of a means of achieving these ends more plainly and, in some way, more intelligibly. In my humble opinion, two of the reforms proposed for this purpose appeared useful: first the rites of this first part and some vernacular translations.
Let the priest draw near the faithful, communicate with them, pray and sing with them, stand at the lectern to give the readings from the Epistle and Gospel their tongue, sing the Kyrie, the Gloria and the Credo with the people in the traditional divine melodies. All these are happy reforms restoring to this part of the Mass its true purpose."

But no one - not even a future pope - can “outlaw” or “persecute” priests for celebrating the TLM because of that papal bull.

[quote=Seminarian Matt]But no one - not even a future pope - can “outlaw” or “persecute” priests for celebrating the TLM because of that papal bull.

Actually, not so. Had HH Paul VI chosen, he could have completely abrogated the TLM. That, however, wouldn’t have been binding on his successors, just as Quo Primum is not.


This is incorrect reasoning. The reason a priest can say the TLM is because it was never abrogated. But it could be abrogated by any Pope present or future.

The papal bull “Quo Primum” did not and could not restrict the actions of a future pope. This would contradit the papal primacy. A pope cannot be bound by the actions of a previous pope, because each pope possesses full papal primacy.

I can already see the argument rising: “Well, what about an infallible statement? A pope can’t contradict the infallibile statement of a prevous pope!” This question is based on the same misunderstanding that led to many aguments around the first Vatican Council. Infallibility is not properly viewed as a restriction on the pope. Rather, it FREES the pope, under the right circumstances, from error. It allows the pope to clearly see and communicate truth, which is not a supression or restriction, but a liberation. Infallibility involves a declaration of the truth, not a regulation imposed by the power of the Church, as Quo Primum was. Thus Quo Primum does not fall under the permanent protection of infallibility, but under the power of the pope, via papal primacy. It can be altered, supended, dispensed from, or abrogated.

That is pretty funny…

Actually most traditionalists don’t have a problem with what the Pope does at all.

What they have a problem with is the abuses and common misrepresentations of what the Pope has said and implemented.
The Pope recommended that Latin be retained, so no problem there. Except this is abused and should be pointed out.
He recommended only Boys on the Altar and allowed for Girls as a necessity, and clearly this was done as a concession to pressure and abuses. Why not complain about this?

So when people misrepresent or disobey the Pope of course traditionalists will get up in arms. I now sound like a staunch traditionalist, even though I go to the NO Mass.

God Bless

the TLM was divinely protected under Pius V’s Quo Primum. It condemns even future popes who try to change the Mass.

That is not to say a whole new rite could not be constructed (which is what happened). The only thing is the Tridentine Mass was meant to never die

So I guess Pius XII excommunicated himself when he made changes to the Mass?

Actually, Quo Primum denied the use of ANY OTHER missal besides that promugated by Pope Pius V. This was binding on all the faithful and clergy, who were in the habit (which was permitted up until that time) of making changes to some parts of the mass. With the advent of Protestantism, this practice was determined to be potentially harmful, as errors were more likely to creep into the liturgy if control was placed at lower levels. Therfore, Pope Pius V set a standard missal and forbade any changes or the use of any other missal, with certain exceptions.

The key point here is that this restriction was not, and could not, be binding on future popes becaue a pope cannot restrict the power of a future pope. This makes perfect sense. If a pope could restrict future popes, then the power of subsquent popes would be diminished. In that scenario, a pope could even declare that all church laws and regulations are from that moment binding and unchangeable by future popes, and no additions could be made. This would strip power from all future popes. The docrine of papal primacy prevents such restrictions on a pope’s power, as all popes all possess the primacy in its fullness.

I explained this more in my previous post above. My main point is that the TLM is alive, not because Quo Primum prevents the pope from touching it, but because it was never abrogated. I am adamant about clarifying this point because if one holds the idea that Quo Primum restricted future popes, one can extend this logic to conclude that the mass of Pope Paul VI is invalid, as too many traditional Catholics have done.

So, um, I admit ignorance at the outset – Why can’t the parish priests have a little meeting and write their own order for mass for their parish? Why must every church on the planet be the same as every other church on the planet?

because we are the ONE holy catholic and apostolic church. lex orandi, lex credendi. as we worship so we believe, and we are all supposed to believe the same thing. the Mass is the sign of our unity, if ti disapears so does our unity.

Let’s see what our new Pope thinks about the Popes authority to make changes to the Mass…

Cardinal Ratzinger: “After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not “manufactured” by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity. . . . The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition. . . .” (The Spirit of the Liturgy, pg 165-166).

As I mentioned above, the Church found that errors were apt to creep in when a strong central control did not exist. I can’t recall if priests were allowed to alter the mass before Quo Primum, but I know bishops could for their own diocese. Pope Pius V decided that the best way to prevent problems was to completely standardize the mass and place all control in the hands of the papacy.

This standardization of the traditional liturgy has been presented as a visible sign of unity. In the eyes of some, however, this was not a perfect solution because it could be argued that adjustments to the mass to make it more understandable to diffferent cultures or groups could be beneficial. This helped lead to the greater flexibility of the Novus Ordro.

The NO really is a product from the experts desk.(Not saying it’s invalid)
Our Eastern separated brothers would never accept tampering with the liturgy.

Bravo!! It’s statements like this that really make the neo-conservative squirm. The Church is the PROTECTOR of both traditions, Tradition and tradition. The pope is not some absolute ruler, that could do anything he wants just because he’s pope. The Pope passes on what he has received–especially in the liturgy

I think he is calling into question the advisability of making changes to the mass, not whether the pope had the power to do so. In that case, he would be declaring the changes invalid, and I haven’t seen anything that indicates the former Cardnial Ratzinger aka Pope Benedict XVI thinks the novus ordo is invalid.

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