its Letter to the Editor column, the Paulinian review for
"pastoral workers" (Vita Pastorale, no.6,
1997), published a letter from a worried reader requesting
a "reassuring answer" regarding Cardinal Ratzinger's
declarations in his auto- biography (La mia vie-My Life)
the tragic error made by Paul VI with the proscription
of the use of Pope St. Pius V's Missal together with the
approval of the "new" Missal which was to prove
to be a break in the Church's liturgical tradition (pp.lO5-116).
Falsini, O.F.M., counsellor to the Congregation of Sacred
Rites (Divine Liturgy) writes, amongst other things:
VI had to abolish the use of St. Pius V's Missal..., Pius
V's Missal had diminished to the point of becoming an
almost dried-up trickle of water, quite unable to water
and nourish the faith and piety of the Christian people.
so-called 0rdo Missae of St. Pius Vamere dried-up
trickle of water? (In that case, what can be said about
Paul VI's mini-Ordo?) And how 'could the Rite of
St. Pius V have ever become "unable to water and nourish
the faith and piety of the Christian people," after
having watered and nourished it in a truly remarkable manner
for so many centuries upon centuries, including so many
Ratzinger gives his viewpoint in his autobiography:
was dumbfounded upon hearing about the interdiction of
the old Missal, since such a move had never been seen
in the entire history of Catholic liturgy. The impression
was given that this was all quite normal. The previous
Missal had been realized by Pope St. Pius V, in 1570,
immediately following the Council of Trent (1545-1563);
it was therefore considered normal that, after 400 years
and a new Council, a new Pope should therefore also publish
a new Missal. However, the historical truth is another
matter altogether. Pius V had limited himself to republishing
the Roman Missal then in use just as it had always been
down through the centuries of history. Also, many of his
successors, following his example, had also had the Missal
republished, without ever opposing one Missal to another.
It has always been a continuing process of historical
growth and purification in which, however, essential continuity
had never been destroyed. There does not exist, nor has
there ever existed, a Missal completely made up by Pius
V. There was only a new elaboration ordered by him, constituting
merely a phase in a long process of historical growth.
the Council of Trent, the new reality was of a quite different
nature: the eruption of the Protestant "reform"
had occurred especially under the form of liturgical "reforms"...;
so much so, in fact, that the limits between that which
was still Catholic and that which was no longer so, were
often difficult to define. In such a confused state of
affairs, resulting from a lack of uniform liturgical norms,
together with a liturgical plurality inherited from the
Middle Ages, the Pope decided that the Missale Romanum,
that is, the liturgical text then in use in Rome, was
to be introduced everywhere that there existed a liturgy
dating back to less than 200 years previously. The reason
for this was that the timeless Roman liturgy was most
assuredly Catholic in every sense of the term. Wherever
it could be done, the preceding liturgy (i.e.,
that dating back 200 years or more) was allowed to be
maintained since its truly Catholic character could be
considered to be absolutely certain (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,
La mia vita, pp.lll,112.).
St. Pius V, therefore, did nothing more than to extend to
all western countries the traditional Roman Mass of all
times as an in-surmountable barrier to Protestantism. On
the contrary, Fr. Falsini falsely writes:
V abolished all Missals dating back to less than 200 years.
Paul VI had to abolish the use of Pius V's Missal, because
it was totally inadequate for achieving the pastoral ends
of the Second Vatican Council, and as well because the
content of the Eucholog [i.e., Missal - Ed.]
as well as the structure of the celebration merge together
in the new rite [i.e., the Novus Ordo Missae
comparison between what Pope St. Pius V did and Pope Paul
VI did does not hold up.
contend that Pope Paul VI "had to abolish" the
traditional Roman Rite because the so-called "pastoral
ends" of the Council did not concern Catholics, as
they should have done, but Protestants. Although mindful
of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci's Brief Critical Examination
accurately denouncing Paul VI's Novus Ordo for its
"impressive departure from the Catholic theology of
Holy Mass," we cite a quote from an even more authorized
and irrefutable source: "The prayer of the Church must
not be seen as a stumbling block for anyone," wrote
Mgr .Bugnini in the Osservatore Romano (Mar. 17,
1965) . Since it was inevitable that the "prayer of
the Church" clashed with those outside the Church,
he followed this up by saying that the Catholic Church,
therefore, had to:
every stone which could represent even a shadow of a risk
of a stumbling block or [even] of some displeasure for
our separated brethren.
quite two years later, Osservatore Romano (Oct. 13,
1967) announced that the operation could be considered a
liturgical reform has made a giant step forward and we
have drawn quite close to the liturgical forms of the
this, then, it becomes unmistakably clear that Fr. Falsini's
comparison is lacking in all validity. Pope St. Pius V never
abolished the traditional Roman Rite, but only all of the
other rites dating back to less than 200 years, and he did
so because these had become suspect of Protestant pollution
or accretions. What he did was to extend to all of the western
nations the Roman Missal since it was "most assuredly
Catholic." Pope Paul VI, however, did quite the contrary
by "abolishing" the traditional Roman Rite, and
he did so because it was too Catholic, while promulgating
a new Protestantized Missal. The difference is momentous.
Liturgical Experimentation in the sanctuary.
From Paolo VI beato?,
sac. Luigi Villa, (Brescia: Editrice Civilta, 1998), pp.
what pretense is it to be claimed that Pope Paul VI did,
indeed, abolish the use of Pope St. Pius V's Missal? This
has never been proven. Also, it must be demonstrated beyond
doubt that he had any right at all to abolish the most venerable
Rite of the Latin Church and this, solely to please Protestants.
fact, in Paul VI's constitution Missale Romanum,
nowhere is there to be found a solemn and imperative act
of abrogation (i.e., a total repeal of a law} which
is recorded in Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum (SISINONO,
vol. I, No.9, p.5), but merely:
extremum ex iis quae hactenus de novo Missali Romano exposuimus
quiddam nunc cogere et efficere placet," which
translates as follows:
concerning that which we have heretofore exposed regarding
the new Missal, we are pleased to draw a few conclusions.
self-seeking liberals hastened to translate very liberally
(i.e., erroneously) the all-important phrase:
We wish to give force of law to that which We have heretofore
exposed regarding the new Roman Missal.
addition, the very idea that Pope Paul VI, in promulgating
his Novus Ordo Missae, also "abolished"
the use of Pope St. Pius V's Missal was so vague that inquiries
on this matter came pouring in from all over the world to
the Holy See, as testified by one of the principal artisans
of the Novus Ordo Missae, Mgr. Annibale Bugnini,
in La reforma liturgica ( CLV-Edizioni Liturgiche,
it is even more doubtful that Pope Paul VI was at all authorized
to abolish a rite of essentially Apostolic origin and this,
for no stronger intention than of simply pleasing non-Catholics.
In God's Holy Catholic Church, less than anywhere else,
just laws do not depend on a superior's caprice, whims,
or fancies. It is on this very account that a question was
raised by a liturgical expert (unaffiliated with the Society
of Saint Pius X - Ed.], Mgr. Klaus Gamber, Director
of the Ratisbonne Institute of Liturgical Sciences (1979)
and honorary member of the Pontifical Liturgical Academy
in Rome: "Is the Pope entitled to change a Rite having
its origins in Apostolic Tradition?" (Die reform
der Romischer Liturgie Vorgeschichte und Problematik).
"History," he writes, "teaches us that no
pope has ever done such a thing." He continues:
changes or alterations to the Roman Missal in the course
of al most 1400 years have never touched the Rite of Mass:
on the contrary, these have always merely constituted
an enrichment through the addition of feasts, propers
of Masses as well as of simple prayers (ibid).
today Cardinal Ratzinger echoes his words: "Such a
state of affairs had never before occurred throughout the
entire history of Catholic liturgy" (La mia vita).
order to come across anything similar to Pope Paul VI's
"liturgical reform," we must step out of the limits
of Catholicism and examine a precedent, scandalously dishonorable
for Pope Paul VI, in Martin Luther's "liturgical reform,"
which "destroyed the Roman Mass while retaining various
external forms," including Gregorian Chant (Gamber,
loc. cit.). Even though "the content and the
structure" of the traditional Roman Rite were merged
into the new rite, it would still not be sufficient. Mgr.
Gamber has written:
some few parts of the former Missal be incorporated into
the new one is not at all sufficient,...in order to be
able to speak of a continuity of the Roman Rite"
now we hear Cardinal Ratzinger echoing those very same words.
With Pope Paul VI's "liturgical reform" more than
a simple "revision" of the former Missal has happened.
Says Cardinal Ratzinger:
have pulled down our ancient edifice and have replaced
it with another one, even though using the old materials
as well as the previous projects (La mia vita,
this point we are in complete agreement with the Cardinal
Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith.
are certainly aware that Suarez, along with Cajetan and
other outstanding theologians, proposes as an example of
malfeasance in office a pope who reaches the point "of
changing all of the Church's rites based on and strengthened
through Apostolic Tradition" ("si vellet omnes
ecclesiasticas caeremonias apostolica traditione firmatas
evertere" [De Charitate disput., 12, I.]). It is
obvious therefore that Suarez, in company with other eminent
theologians, refuses to recognize the spurious authority
which Pope Paul VI attributed to himself in his "ecumenical"
obstinacy. Be that as it may, it remains absolutely certain
that the authority entrusted to the pope exists, just as
and even more so than any other authority in the Church,
for the building up and sanctification of the Mystical Body
of Christ, not for its ruin and destruction.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)