Monday, November 27, 2006

Archdiocese of Genoa: on the Motu Proprio

[This document comes from the Archdiocese of Genoa. Thanks to a reader who pointed it out.]

Clarifications regarding an eventual promulgation of a "Motu proprio" to ease the application of the indult on the use of the Missal called of Saint Pius V

November 27, 2006

1) the Pope, due to his supreme authority, has the power to put in practice universally valid and binding juridical and pastoral acts

2) The legitimate and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist requires full ecclesial communion, of which ultimately the Supreme Pontiff is the guarantor, who personally received from the Lord Jesus Christ the mission to confirm the brothers in the faith (cfr. Lk. 22, 32; Mt 16, 17-19; Jn 21,15-18); therefore it is indeed the Bishop of Rome who presides, with great mercy and joy, universal charity, never ceasing to seek the unity of those who believe in Christ.

3) The Second Vatican Council did not abolish the Mass of St. Pius V nor asked it to be abolished; rather the Council asked the reform of the order as it clearly appears from reading the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, chapter III, numbers 50-58 (cfr. EV 1/86-106);

4) The amplification of the indult regarding the so called liturgy of St. Pius V, is not equivalent in any way to rejecting the Second Vatican Council or the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI.

5) Pope Paul VI himself - who in 1970 promulgated the Roman Missal, according to the indications of the Second Vatican Council -, personally conceded to Padre Pio of Pietrelcina the Indult to continue to celebrate, publicly as well, Holy Mass according to the rite of St. Pius V, although since Lent 1965 the liturgical reform had been under way.

6) Pope John Paul II had already offered, on October 3, 1984, with the "Quattuor abhinc annos" Congregation of Divine Worship Letter (cfr. EV 9/1034-1035) the possibility to Diocesan Bishops of utilizing an Indult, by which Holy Mass could be celebrated using the Roman Missal according to the 1962 edition, promulgated by Pope John XXIII. Moreover the same Pontiff, with the Motu Proprio: Ecclesia Dei adflicta, (July 2 1988, cfr. EV 11/1197-1205), established,among other things, by force of his apostolic authority: "respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962"

7) In the Church since the IV century, different liturgies or rites are in force that, although answering different traditions and sensibilities, express the same Catholic faith; such variety is a tangible sign of the Catholic Church's vitality.

8) the Council of Trent did not will to unify with an act of authority the rites then existing in the Latin Church; in fact, based on the principle established by the same St. Pius V - who, at the request of the Council, acted the reform -, the churches and religious orders which had for at least two centuries their own rite of venerable tradition, could keep it. As years passed by, as a matter of fact, the Roman Rite affirmed itself, though not in an exclusive way; the case of the Ambrosian rite is an example of that, spread through some valleys of the Ticino (called "Ambrosian Valleys") and the entire Archdiocese of Milan, though, even there, with exceptions: Monza, Trezzo, Treviglio;

9) two valid expressions of the same Catholic faith -- that of St. Pius V and that of Paul VI -- cannot be presented as "expressing opposite views" and, thus, as mutually irreconcilable;

10) In liturgical ambit, the decisions and deeds of Popes - namely John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI - and of Councils - Tridentine and Vatican II - cannot be presented in a conflictual way and, even less, as alternative to one another.


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