Was Vatican II authorized to change the mass?

Some SSPX members say that Vatican II was not authorized to change the mass because

  1. Pope Innocent III said that “if a future pope was to change all the sacraments, then he is not to be followed”

  2. Vatican II changed doctrine and therefore Rome is in a state of apostasy and heresy

So, how does a Catholic defend that these changes to the mass were valid?


  1. the Sacraments were not changed. There are still seven of them.

  2. Post Vatican II was not the first time the Liturgy of the Mass has been changed.

Catholics defend that these changes to the Mass are valid because Christ promised that He and Holy Spirit would protect the Church from incorrect Faith & Teaching.

God Bless.

The only authority who can Change or impose the rites of the Mass is the Pope. Vatican II and it’s decisions were ratified by the Pope (Paul VI).

When the Congregation for Sacred Rites issues any modfications to the Rites of the Church it does so under the authority of and at the pleasure of the Pope.

The rites of the Church can change, the essential matter and form of the Sacrament cannot. So the Pope can modify the external rites, including the language of the rites. But he cannot change something such as the use of wheat bread and grape wine to rye and plum wine. He cannot change the words of consecration from “This is my body” and
“This is my blood” to something like this is a magic rabbit. Nor can he change the matter of baptism to using koolade and saying as Bp, Pike of the Episcopal Church tried to, that we baptize in the name of the Creator, Savior and Sustainer.

If as some of the laity who attend the SSPX Chapels proport only the Missal they use is valid and true, then all the Eastern Rite Catholics, who’s rites are just as valid and licit, the Dominican use and the Ambrosian Rite, and any other non-Roman Missal approved and used prior to Vatican II are either inferior to it, or invalid. The fact is most who make such statements as you’ve asked speak out of ignorance, and don’t really think through the statements. If they had a broader understanding of the Church prior to Vatican II they would know that the Roman Missal was and remains only one of the various rites of the Mass. They would also know that any Mass, be it offered by a newly ordained priest in a humble mission, or the Pope in the most solemn of rites (even pre-Vatican II) is of equal and infinite value as it the the work of Christ, who is the primary celebrant at each Mass.

I would agree with Phil19034. Vatican II did not add or drop any sacraments because God gave us the sacraments. Not even a pope can change sacraments. And also, people are still being baptized with water, people are still confessing to a priest, people are still receiving Holy Communion and celebrating the Eucharist, people are still being confirmed, men are still being ordained by a bishop, couples get married, and the sick are anointed with oil. The sacraments are basically the same when it comes to the basics.

And another thing. The Holy Catholic Church is the Body of Christ. Christ is perfect. Therefore, the Church is perfect. Since the Church is perfect, it cannot make an error. To say that the Church is in a state of apostasy and heresy would be, in my opinion, a blasphemy, since the Church is the Body of the Head, who is Christ our God.

Pope Benedict:

"In the first place, there is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions – the liturgical reform – is being called into question.

"This fear is unfounded. In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.

“As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted. At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal. Probably it was thought that it would be a matter of a few individual cases which would be resolved, case by case, on the local level. Afterwards, however, it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood. This was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.”

Source: vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/letters/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_let_20070707_lettera-vescovi_en.html


The simple answer is that the sspx is not the legitimate authority of the Church. Why should anyone care what the sspx thinks in regards to the function of the Church in the world today? Remember that sspx clergy are in a constant state of disobedience to the pope, canon law and the Church by celebrating the sacraments under suspension. Their position is irregular and so too, apparently, are their opinions about the current form of the Mass.

Was SSPX authorized to act as the Vicar of Christ, declaring that the Bishop of Rome is in heresy?

It appears to me, from what I’ve read, that Pope Francis is not interested in spending any valuable time playing power games with the SSPX. They have chosen their path and it’s quite obvious that their attitude towards Holy Mother Church will not change. :shrug:

I would like to see the source?

Lets ask the question another way: if someone came up to you and insisted the earth was flat, why would you need to defend the fact that the earth is round?
When I was in grade school, which was before John 23rd was pope, we learned that the Holy Spirit was promised to the Church; that the Holy Spirit would always guide the Church in matters of faith and morals, and prevent the Church from ever teaching error in those matters.

So now we have self-anointed “theologians” who espouse all sorts of matters against the Church, insisting that the Church has taught and committed error.

Since they don’t know the basic theology that a grade school student learned in the 1950’s, why is everyone running around quoting from those sources?

The answer, in part, is that we have Catholics who know little or nothing about the Church except, it would seem, from those who also appear to know little about it. As in, the blind continue to lead the blind.

There can be no new Sacraments, only the seven. That is what comes from God–that is their substance. However, rites used to administer the Sacraments can be changed, introduced, etc.

The Council of Trent declared (Session 21, Chapter 2):

“It furthermore declares, that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain,–or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places.”

You have asked this same question about 10 times now. You have received an answer to this question. You have also received the very sound advice to stop pursuing SSPX materials, websites, etc.

I don’t understand the purpose of continuing to post this same set of quetions over and over. If you are unwilling to listen to the replies, why should we spend our time answering?

I’m really sorry…also I believe I only asked it once? :confused:

I haven’t been receiving update emails, either :nope:

MY understanding is that just about the entire brain-trust of the Church was at the Council.

Anywhere from 2,100 to 2,300 clergy attended the council; and SSPX thinks they know better than all of THEM???

IF the Council was not authorized to change the mass (and I personally think it was); one would think that SOMEBODY there would have said SOMETHING? Take Fr. Ratzinger, for example. He is what you would call a “traditionalist”. He is just one of the HUNDREDS who would have spoken up is there were something amiss. There is no way the Holy Spirit would have allowed an unauthorized change to the mass to take place. There were enough bishops there to stop it.

We have to have FAITH that our spiritual guides will do right by our God, our Savior, and our Church.

There’s no harm in asking the question, per se. I think the harm lies in thinking so little of our shepherds as to suspect that so many of them could or would enter into a very grievous error.

God bless John XXIII.
God bless Paul VI.
and God bless our Church.

Do you have the source for this?

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