TLM Never Abrogated? What do they mean?

The pope said that the Tridentine mass was never abrogated. What exactly does that mean? Before the indult that John Paul II gave for saying the TLM, was it being said anywhere at all?

By admitting that the old Mass has never been abrogated (which was a huge debate over the past 38 years), the Pope acknowledged that the old Mass was always permitted (contrary to the impression given by all of the hierarchy). So, in effect, when the Bishops forbade the old Mass, they were overstepping their authority, since they had no right to forbid what the Church permits. They pretended that the Old Mass had been abrogated (they pretended that the new Mass replaced the old, and that the old was now forbidden), which was not true.

It also means that the Indult of John Paul II was never necessary. An Indult is permission to do what is not allowed. An Indult allows an exception to the rule. Since the old Mass “was never juridicaly abrogated” the Indult was unecessary, and only added to the argument of those who said it was. After all, they would argue, why would the Pope grant an Indult to say the old Mass is the old Mass was not abrogated.

To put it bluntly, the old Mass was illegally supressed. It was not truly forbidden, but the impression was given that it was. This cause a great crisis of conscience for a lot of priest, who had a problem with the new Mass, but went along with it through obedience. Most of them acted contrary to their conscience and submitted to what we now know what an illegal supression, while some refused to submit to what they knew was an unjust, and illegal, supression.

The last sentence answers your second question: Yes, some priest did continue to say the old Mass, even though they were persecuted by the Bishops and labeled “disobedient” and be “schismatics”. They were neither.

These faithful priest were often subject to persecution and labeled “radical traditionalists”. But they have now been completely vendicated. Their position was correct all alone, as the Pope has now admitted publicly.


It was not abrogated, but it was suppressed. The Pope has supreme authority in the matter of discipline, so there is no question of “illegal” suppression (unless you think Pius V was the first “Super Pope” capable of binding his successors on matters of discipline).

So in brief:
Abrogated: No (though the Pope has the right and power to abrogate any liturgy)
Suppressed: Yes, one must only look at the last forty years to see that.
Illegal: No. This is proven by JPII giving an indult, if it hadn’t been suppressed there would be no reason for the indult, and as it came from the highest authority, there is no question with regards to its legality.
Yours in Christ,

I think the correct term should have been “derogated” (but I’m not sure). The Tridentine wasn’t juridicially abrogated, but it was legally, I dunno, “superceded” by the establishment of the NO as the Mass that would offered by the Church in throughout the world.

in addressing this issue, the september edition of the adoremus bulletin addresses this very point. of an explanatory letter to the u.s.bishops’ committee on liturgy, it is reported that the 1962 missal “was never juridically abrogated” so, “in principal it was always permitted.” pray tell, for what have we gone through over 40 years of grief? charges and counter charges of scismatics?
the abuses that have gone on for these many years. the issue by pope john-paul ii of the “authenticom publicum” because the translations accepted by the bishops of the world from the then discredited i.c.e.l. and liturgists who were not faithfull to the accepted biblical translations. now it is admitted, we were, are and still are correct and legal. have a good year. (alih)

Show me the official papal document that shows the tridentine mass was “suppressed.”

Hello @Neil_Anthony

I’m just curious, why do you refer to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass as the “TLM”? I’ve seen that done before as I was curious given that its name is no the “traditional latin mass.” Thanks.

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