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 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy 
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New post 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
The following is an exact reproduction of Pope Pius XII’s address as it appears in
The Pope Speaks, (Winter 1956-1957), v. 3, no. 3, p. 273, which is the English
translation of the original: AAS (October 29, 1956), 48: 711-725; also
Osservatore Romano (September 24, 1956) *

The Liturgical Movement
An Address of Pope Pius XII to the
International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy

(September 22, 1956)

You have asked Us to deliver an address upon the closing of the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy which has just been held in Assisi. We readily accede to your request and bid you welcome.

The progress of thirty years

If the position of the liturgical movement today is compared to that of thirty years ago, undeniable progress in its extent and in its depth becomes evident. Interest in the liturgy, practical accomplishments, and the active participation of the faithful have undergone a development which would then have been difficult to anticipate.

The chief driving force, both in doctrinal matters and in practical applications, came from the Hierarchy and, in particular, from Our saintly Predecessor, Pius X, who gave the liturgical movement a decisive impulse by his Motu Proprio of October 23, 1913, “Abhinc duos annos.” (1)

The faithful received these directives gratefully and showed themselves ready to comply with them. Liturgists applied themselves to their task with zeal and, as a result, many interesting and rewarding projects were soon under way, although, at times, certain deviations had to be corrected by the Church’s authority.

Of the many documents published on this subject in recent times, it will suffice for Us to mention three: The Encyclical “Mediator Dei,” “De sacra liturgia,” of November 20, 1947 (2); the new decree on Holy Week, dated November 16, 1955,(3) which has helped the faithful to achieve a better understanding and fuller participation in the love, sufferings and triumph of our Savior; and finally, the Encyclical “De musica sacra” of December 25, 1955. (4)

Thus the liturgical movement has appeared as a sign of God’s providential dispositions for the present day, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church, intended to bring men closer to those mysteries of the faith and treasures of grace which derive from the active participation of the faithful in liturgical life.

The Congress on Pastoral Liturgy

The Congress which is just concluding has had for its particular end a demonstration of the inestimable value of the liturgy in the sanctification of souls, and, consequently, in the Church’s pastoral activity.

You have studied this aspect of the liturgy as it is revealed in history and has continued to be revealed. You have also seen how this aspect of the liturgy is founded in the nature of things, that is, how it is derived from essential elements of the liturgy.

Your Congress, then, included a study of historical developments, some reflections on existing conditions, and an examination both of objectives to be sought in the future and of means suitable for their attainment. After careful consideration of your program, We express Our hope that this new sowing of seed, added to those of the past, will produce rich harvests for the benefit of individuals and the whole Church.

In this address, instead of presenting to you in greater detail norms which the Holy See has already spoken sufficiently, We have decided it would be more useful to touch on a few important points which are actually under discussion in the field of liturgy and dogma, and which hold Our special interest. We shall group these considerations under two headings. These will be simple pointers rather than the express themes We propose to develop: The Liturgy and the Church, the Liturgy and the Lord.

I. The Liturgy and the Church

As we have said in the Encyclical “Mediator Dei,” the liturgy is a vital function of the whole Church, and not simply of a group or of a limited movement. “The Sacred Liturgy is the whole public worship of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, Head and members.” (5)

The Mystical Body of our Lord lives on the truth of Christ and on the graces which flow through its members, giving them life and uniting them to one another and their Head. This is what St. Paul means when he says in the first Epistle to the Corinthians: “All are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”(6) All then is directed toward God, His service, and His glory.

The Church, filled with the gifts and the life of God, devotes herself with a deep and spontaneous movement to the adoration and praise of the infinite God. Through the liturgy she renders to Him, as a corporate body, that worship which is His due.

To this unique liturgy, all the members, those clothed with episcopal power and those belonging to the body of the faithful, bring all that they have received from God, all the powers of their minds and hearts and all of their achievements. This is true, above all, of the Hierarchy, since it holds the “depositum fidei” and the “depositum gratiae.”

Deposit of faith

From the “depositum fidei,” from the truth of Christ contained in Scripture and Tradition, the Hierarchy draws the great mysteries of the faith, in particular, those of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Redemption, and causes them to pass into the liturgy. But it would be difficult to find a truth the Christian faith which is not expressed in some manner in the liturgy, whether in readings from the Old and the New Testament during Holy Mass and the Divine Office, or in the riches which the mind and heart discover in the Psalms.

Moreover, the solemn ceremonies of the liturgy are a profession of faith in action. They give concrete expression to the great truths of the faith which concern the inscrutable designs of God’s generosity and His inexhaustible benefits to men, the love and mercy of the heavenly Father for the world, the salvation for which He sent His Son and delivered Him to death.

It is thus that the Church communicates in abundance in the liturgy the treasures of the “depositum fidei,” of the truth of Christ.

Treasury of grace

Through the liturgy also are diffused the riches of the “depositum gratiae” which the Savior has transmitted to His Apostles: sanctifying grace, the virtues and gifts, the power to baptize, to confer the Holy Spirit, to forgive sins through the sacrament of Penance, and to ordain priests.

At the heart of the liturgy is the celebration of the Eucharist, the sacrifice and the repast. In the liturgy also are all the sacraments gathered up, and the Church, by means of the sacramentals, generously multiplies gifts of grace in the most varied circumstances.

The Hierarchy also extends its care to all that helps increase the beauty and dignity of liturgical ceremonies: the places of worship, their furnishing, the liturgical vestments, sacred music, and sacred art.

Role of the Laity

If the Hierarchy communicates the truth and the grace of Christ by means of the liturgy, the faithful on their side, have a duty to receive them, to give them their whole-hearted consent, to transform them into values for life. They accept all that is offered to them- the graces of the sacrifice of the altar, of the sacraments and sacramentals – not as mere passive recipients of the graces flowing over them, but cooperating in these graces with all their will and strength, and, above all, participating in the liturgical offices, or at least following their performance with fervor.

The laity have contributed in large measure, and by a constant effort to continue to contribute, to increase the external solemnity of worship, to build churches and chapels, to adorn them, to enhance the beauty of the liturgical ceremonies with all the splendors of sacred art.

Unity of shepherds and flock

The contributions which are brought to the liturgy by the Hierarchy and by the faithful are not to be reckoned as two separate quantities, but represent the work of members of the same organism, which acts as a single living entity. The shepherds and the flock, the teaching Church and the Church taught, form a single and unique body of Christ. So there is no reason for entertaining suspicion, rivalries, open or hidden opposition, either in one’s thought or in one’s manner of speaking and acting. Among members of the same body there ought to reign, before all else, harmony, union and cooperation. It is within this unity that the Church prays, makes it offering, grows in holiness. One can declare therefore with justice that the liturgy is the work of the Church whole and entire.

Private worship

But We have to add: public worship is not on that account the whole Church. It does not exhaust the field of her activities. Alongside public worship, which is that of the community, there is still place for private worship, which the individual pays to God in the secret of his heart or expresses by exterior acts. This private worship has as many variations as there are Christians, though it proceeds for the same faith and the same grace of Christ. The Church not only tolerates this kind of worship, but gives it full recognition and approval, without however raising it in any way to the primary position of liturgical worship.

Teaching and pastoral care

But when We say that public worship does not exhaust the field of the Church’s activities, We are thinking in particular of the tasks of teaching and of pastoral care, of the “Tend the flock of God, which is among you.” (7)

We have recalled the role which the Magisterium, the depository of the truth of Christ, exercises through the liturgy. The influence of the governing power upon it is also evident. For it belongs to the Popes to give recognition to rites which are in force, to introduce any new practices, to establish rules for the manner of worship. It pertains to the Bishops to watch carefully that the prescriptions of canon law with regard to divine worship are observed. (8)

But the functions of teaching and control extend even beyond that. To ascertain this it is sufficient to glance at canon law and its statements concerning the Pope, the Roman Congregations, the Bishops, Councils, the Magisterium, and ecclesiastical discipline. The same conclusion may be reached by observing the life of the Church, and in Our two Allocutions of May 31 and November 2, 1954, on the threefold function of the Bishop, We expressly insisted on the extent of his obligations. They are not limited to teaching and government, but embrace also all other human activities in the measure in which religious and moral interests are involved. (9)

Universal duties and interests

If then the duties and the interests of the Church on this point are universal, the priests and the faithful will be cautious in their manner of thinking and acting, lest they fall into narrowness of view or lack of understanding.

Our Encyclical “Mediator Dei,” has already corrected certain erroneous statements which were tending either to orientate religious and pastoral teaching into a form exclusively liturgical, or to raise obstacles to the liturgical movement because it was not understood.

In reality, there exists no objective difference between the end pursued by the liturgy and that of the other functions of the Church. As for differences of opinion, though they are genuine, they do not present insuperable obstacles.

These considerations will suffice to show, We hope, that the liturgy is the work of the whole Church, and that all of the faithful, as members of the Mystical Body, ought to love and value it, and take part in it, while understanding that the tasks of the Church extend well beyond it.

II. THE LITURGY AND THE LORD

We wish to consider now in a special manner the liturgy of the Mass and the Lord Who in it is both Priest and Oblation. As some inaccuracies and some misunderstandings are coming to light here and there with regard to certain points, We shall say a word about the “actio Christi,” and about the “praesentia Christi,” and about the “infinita et divina maiestas Christi.”

1. “ACTIO CHRISTI

The liturgy of the Mass has for its end the expression through the senses of the grandeur of the mystery which is accomplished in it, and efforts are being made today which tend to make the faithful participate in as active and intelligent a manner as possible. Though this aim is justified, there is risk of lessening reverence if attention is distracted from the main action to direct it to the splendor of other ceremonies.

Eucharistic Sacrifice

What is this main action of the Eucharistic sacrifice?

We have spoken explicitly of it in the Allocution of November 2, 1954. (10) We there cited first the teaching of the Council of Trent: “In this divine sacrifice which takes place at Mass, the same Christ is present and is immolated in an unbloody manner, Who once on the altar of the Cross offered Himself in a bloody manner…For the victim is one and the same, now offering Himself through the ministry of His priests, Who then offered Himself on the Cross; only the manner of offering is different.” (11)

And We continued in these words: “Thus the priest celebrant, putting on the person of Christ, alone offers sacrifice, and not the people, nor the clerics, nor even the priests who reverently assist. All, however, can and should take an active part in the sacrifice.” (12)

An erroneous conclusion

We then emphasized that, from a failure to distinguish between the participation of the celebrant in the fruits of the sacrifice of the Mass and the nature of the action which he performs, the conclusion was reached that “the offering of one Mass, at which a hundred priests assist with religious devotion, is the same as a hundred Masses celebrated by a hundred priests.” Concerning this statement We said: “It must be rejected as an erroneous opinion.”

And We added by way of explanation: “With regard to the offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the actions of Christ, the High Priest, are as many as are the priests celebrating, not as many as are the priests reverently hearing the Mass of a Bishop or a priest; for those present at the Mass in no sense sustain, or act in, the person of Christ sacrificing, but are to be compared to the faithful layfolk who are present at the Mass.” (13)

On the subject of liturgical congresses, We remarked on the same occasion: “These meetings sometimes follow a definite program, so that only one offers the Mass, and others (all or the majority) assist at this one Mass, and receive the Holy Eucharist during it from the hands of the celebrant. If this is done for a good and sound reason,…the practice is not to be opposed, so long as the error We have mentioned is not underlying it,” that is to say, the error of equating the offering of a hundred Masses by a hundred priests to the offering of one Mass at which a hundred priests are devoutly present.

The Consecration

According to this, the central element of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is that in which Christ intervenes as “se ipsum offerens” – to adopt the words of the Council of Trent. (Sess. XXII, cap. 2) That happens at the consecration when, in the very act of transubstantiation worked by the Lord, (14) the priest-celebrant is “personam Christi gerens.”

Even if the consecration takes place without pomp and in all simplicity, it is the central point of the whole liturgy of the sacrifice, the central point of the “actio Christi cuius personam gerit sacerdos celebrans,” or “sacerdotes concelebrantes” in the case of a true concelebration.

Some recent events give Us the occasion to speak with precision on certain points regarding the matter. When the consecration of the bread and wine is validly brought about, the whole action of Christ is actually accomplished. Even if all that remains could not be completed, still, nothing essential is wanting to the Lord’s oblation.

Concelebration

After the consecration is performed, the “oblation hostiae super altare positae” can be accomplished by the priest-celebrant, by the Church, by the other priests, by each of the faithful. But this action is not “actio ipsius Christi per sacerdotem ipsius personam sustinentem et gerentem.” In reality the action of the consecrating priest is the very action of Christ Who acts through His minister. In the case of a concelebration in the proper sense of the word, Christ, instead of acting through one minister, acts through several. On the other hand, in a merely ceremonial consecration, which could also be the act of a lay person, there is not question of simultaneous consecration, and this fact raises the important point: “What intention and what exterior action are required to have a true concelebration and simultaneous consecration?”

On this subject let Us recall what We said in our Apostolic Constitution “Episcopalis Consecrationis” of November 30, 1944. (15) We there laid down that in an episcopal consecration the two Bishops who accompany the consecrator must have the intention of consecrating the Bishop-elect, and that, consequently, they must perform the exterior actions and pronounce the words by which the power and the grace to transmit are signified and transmitted. It is, then, not sufficient for them to unite their wills with that of the chief consecrator, and to declare that they make his words and actions their own. They must themselves perform the actions and pronounce the essential words.

The same thing likewise happens in concelebration in the true sense. It is not sufficient to have and to indicate the will to make one’s own the words and actions of the celebrant. The concelebrants must themselves say over the bread and the wine, “This is my Body,” “This is my Blood.” Otherwise, their concelebration is purely ceremonial.

Essential Elements

And so it may not be affirmed that, “in the last analysis the only decisive question is to know in what measure personal participation, supported by the grace which one receives in the offering of worship, increases the participation in the cross and in the grace of Christ, Who unites us to Himself and with each other.” This inaccurate manner of putting the question We have already rejected in the Allocution of November 2, 1954; but certain theologians still cannot reconcile themselves to it. We therefore repeat it: the decisive question (for concelebration as for the Mass of a single priest) is not to know the fruit the soul draws from it, but the nature of the act which is performed: does or does not the priest, as minister of Christ, perform “actio Christi se ipsum sacrificantes et offerentis?”

Likewise for the sacraments, it is not a question of knowing the fruit produced by them, but whether the essential elements of the sacramental sign (the performing of the sign by the minister himself who performs the gestures and pronounces the words with the intention saltem faciendi quod facit ecclesia) have been validly performed.

Likewise, in celebration and concelebration, one must see whether, along with the necessary interior intention, the celebrant completes the external action, and, above all, pronounces the words which constitute the “actio Christi se ipsum sacrificantis et offerentis.” This is not verified when the priest does not pronounce over the bread and the wine our Lord’s words: “This is my Body,” “This is my Blood.”

2. “PRAESENTIA CHRISTI

Just as altar and sacrifice dominate liturgical worship, the life of Christ must be said to be completely dominated by the sacrifice of the Cross.

The Angel’s words to His foster-father: “He shall save his people from their sins,”(16) those of John the Baptist: “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” (17) those of Christ Himself to Nicodemus: “Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that those who believe in him…may have life everlasting,” (18) to His disciples: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished,” (19) and the words especially which He spoke at the Last Supper and on Calvary, all show that the core of our divine Lord’s life and thought was the Cross and the offering of Himself to the Father in order to reconcile men to God and to save them.

But is not He who offers sacrifice somehow greater than the sacrifice itself? So now we would like to speak to you about the Lord Himself, and first of all to call your attention to the fact that in the Eucharist the Church possesses the Lord, flesh and blood, body and soul and divinity. This is solemnly defined by the Council of Trent, in its thirteenth Session, canon 1. It suffices, moreover, to take the words pronounced by Jesus in their clear, literal, unambiguous meaning to arrive at the same conclusion: “Take and eat. This is my Body, which shall be given for you. Take and drink, this is my Blood, which shall be shed for you.” And St. Paul uses the same clear and simple words in his first letter to the Corinthians. (20)

On this subject there is neither doubt nor divergence of opinion among Catholics. But as soon as speculative theology begins to discuss the manner in which Christ is present in the Eucharist, serious differences of opinion rise on a number of points. We do not wish to go into these speculative controversies. We would like, however, to point out certain limits and insist on a fundamental principle of interpretation whose neglect causes Us some anxiety.

A norm for theological speculation

Speculation must take as its norm that the literal meaning of scriptural texts, the faith and teaching of the Church, take precedence over a scientific system and theoretical considerations. Science must conform to revelation, not revelation to science. When a philosophical concept distorts the genuine meaning of a revealed truth, it is either inaccurate or being applied incorrectly.

The nature of the real presence

This principle finds application in the doctrine of the real presence. Certain theologians, though they accept the Council’s teaching on the real presence and transubstantiation, interpret the words of Christ and those of the Council in such a way that nothing more remains of the presence of Christ than a sort of envelope empty of its natural content.

In their opinion, what the species of bread and wine substantially and actually contain is “the Lord in heaven,” with Whom the species have a so-called real and substantial relation of content and presence. Such a speculative interpretation raises serious objections when presented as one fully adequate, since the Christian sense of the faithful, the constant catechetical teaching of the Church, the terms of the Council, and above all the words of our Lord require that the Eucharist contain the Lord Himself.

The sacramental species are not the Lord, even if they have a so-called essential relation of container and presence contained with the substance of the heavenly Christ. The Lord said: “This is my Body! This is my Blood!” He did not say, “This is something apparent to the senses which signifies the presence of My Body and Blood.”

No doubt He could effect that those perceptible signs of a true relation of presence should also be perceptible and efficacious sings of sacramental grace; but there is question here of the essential content of the “eucharistic species,” not of their sacramental efficacy. Therefore it cannot be admitted that the theory We have just described gives full satisfaction to the words of Christ; that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist means nothing more; or that this theory is adequate to enable us to say in all truth of the Eucharist: “It is the Lord.” (21)

Undoubtedly, the majority of the faithful is unable to grasp the difficult speculative problems and the attempts to explain the nature of Christ’s presence. The Roman Catechism, moreover, advises against discussing such questions before the faithful, (22) but it neither mentions nor proposes the theory outlined above. Still less does it affirm that such a theory exhausts the meaning of Christ’s words and gives them a full explanation. One can still search for scientific explanations and interpretations, but they must not, so to speak, drive Christ from the Eucharist and leave in the tabernacle only a Eucharistic species retaining a so-called real and essential relation with the true Lord Who is in Heaven.

It is surprising that those who are not satisfied with the theory We have just described should be listed as adversaries, among the non-scientific “physicists,” or that there is no hesitation in saying, with regard to the so-called scientific conception of Christ’s presence: “This truth is not for the Masses.”

The tabernacle

To these considerations We must add some remarks concerning the tabernacle. Just as We said above: “The Lord is somehow greater than the altar and the sacrifice,” so now We might say: “Is the tabernacle, where dwells the Lord Who has come down amongst His people, greater than altar and sacrifice?” The altar is more important than the tabernacle, because on it is offered the Lord’s sacrifice. No doubt the tabernacle holds the “Sacramentum permanens”; but it is not an “altare permanens,” for the Lord offers Himself in sacrifice only on the altar during the celebration of Holy Mass, not after or outside the Mass.

In the tabernacle, on the other hand, He is present as long as the consecrated species last, yet is not making a permanent sacrificial offering.

Sacrifice and adoration

One has a perfect right to distinguish between the offering or the sacrifice of the Mass and the “cultus latreuticus” offered to the God-Man hidden in the Eucharist. A decision of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, dated July 7, 1927, severely limits exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during Mass. (23) But this is easily explained by a concern to keep habitually separate the act of sacrifice and the worship of simple adoration, in order that the faithful may clearly understand the characteristics proper to each.

Still an awareness of their unity is more important than a realization of their differences. It is one and the same Lord Who is immolated on the altar and honored in the tabernacle, and Who pours out His blessings from the tabernacle.

A person who was thoroughly convinced of this would avoid many difficulties. He would be wary of exaggerating the significance of one to the detriment of the other, and of opposing decisions of the Holy See.

Worship of Christ in the Eucharist

The Council of Trent has explained the disposition of soul required concerning the Blessed Sacrament: “If anyone says that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist with the worship of latria, including the external worship, and that the sacrament, therefore, is not to be honored with extraordinary festive celebrations nor solemnly carried from place to place in processions according to the praiseworthy universal rite and custom of the holy Church: or that the sacrament is not to be publicly exposed for the people’s adoration, and that those who adore it are idolators: let him be anathema.” (24)

If anyone says that it is not permissible to keep the sacred Eucharist in a holy place, but that it must necessarily be distributed immediately after the consecration to those who are present; or that it is not permissible to carry the Eucharist respectfully to the sick: let him be anathema.” (25)

He who clings wholeheartedly to this teaching has no thought of formulating objections against the presence of the tabernacle on the altar.

The position of the tabernacle

In the instruction of the Holy Office, “De arte sacra,” of June 30, 1952, (26) the Holy See insists, among other things, on this point: “This Supreme Sacred Congregation strictly commands that the prescriptions of Canons 1268, #2, and 1269 #1, be faithfully observed: ‘The Most Blessed Eucharist should be kept in the most distinguished and honorable place in the church, and hence as a rule at the main altar unless some other be considered more convenient and suitable for veneration and worship due to so great a Sacrament…The Most Blessed Sacrament must be kept in an immovable tabernacle set in the middle of the altar.’” (27)

There is question, not so much of the material presence of the tabernacle on the altar, as of a tendency to which We would like to call your attention, that of a lessening of esteem for the presence and action of Christ in the tabernacle. The sacrifice of the altar is held sufficient, and the importance of Him who accomplishes it is reduced.

The person of our Lord

Yet the person of our Lord must hold the central place in worship, for it is His person that unifies the relations of the altar and the tabernacle and gives them their meaning.

It is through the sacrifice of the altar, first of all, that the Lord becomes present in the Eucharist, and He is in the tabernacle only as a “memoria sacrificii et passionis suae.”

To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and their nature should remain united.

Specialists will offer various opinions for solving the problem of so placing the tabernacle on the altar as not to impede the celebration of Mass when the priest is facing the congregation. The essential point is to understand that it is the same Lord present on the altar and in the tabernacle.

Pious practices

One might also stress the attitude of the Church regarding certain pious practices: visits to the Blessed Sacrament, which she earnestly recommends, the Forty Hours devotion or “perpetual adoration,” the holy hour, the solemn carrying of Holy Communion to the sick, processions of the Blessed Sacrament. The most enthusiastic and convinced liturgist must be able to understand and appreciate what our Lord in the tabernacle means to the solidly pious faithful, be they unlearned or educated. He is their counselor, their consoler, their strength and refuge, their hope in life and in death.

Not satisfied simply with letting the faithful come to their Lord in the tabernacle, the liturgical movement, then, will strive to draw them even more.

3. “INFINITA ET DIVINA MAIESTAS CHRISTI

The third and final point We would like to treat is that of the “infinita et divina Maiestas” of Christ, which the words “Christus Deus” expresses.

Certainly the Incarnate Word is Lord and Savior of men; but He is and remains the Word, the infinite God. In the Athanasian creed it is said: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, is God and Man.”

Humanity and divinity of Christ

The humanity of Christ has a right also to the worship of “latria” because of its hypostatic union with the Word, but his divinity is the reason and source of this worship. And so, the divinity of Christ cannot remain on the outer edge of liturgical thought.

It is normal to go “ad Patrem per Christum,” since Christ is Mediator between God and men. But He is not only Mediator; He is also within the Trinity, equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Let it suffice to recall the magnificent prologue of St. John’s Gospel: “The Word was God….All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made.” (28) Christ is First and Last, Alpha and Omega.

At the end of the world, when all enemies shall have been overcome, and last of all, death itself, Christ, the Word subsisting in human nature, will give over the Kingdom to God His Father, and the Son will subject Himself to Him Who has subjected all to the son, so that “God may be all in all.” (29)

Meditation on the “infinita, summa, divina Maiestas” of Christ can surely contribute to a deeper appreciation of the liturgy. That is why We wished to call your attention to this point.

In closing We would like to add two remarks on the “liturgy of the past” and the “liturgy of the present.”

The immutable and the transitory

The Liturgy and the Past. In liturgical matters, as in many other fields, noe must avoid two exaggerated viewpoints concerning the past: blind attachment and utter contempt. The liturgy contains immutable elements, a sacred content which transcends time; but changeable, transitory, occasionally even defective, elements are to be found there.

It seems to Us that the present day attitude of liturgical circles toward the past is quite balanced. They seek and study seriously, hold on to what is really worthwhile without, however, falling into excess. Yet here and there erroneous tendencies appear, resistances, enthusiasms or condemnations, whose concrete manifestations you know well, and which We briefly mentioned above.

Progress and conservation

The Liturgy and the Present. The Liturgy stamps a characteristic mark on the life of the Church, even on the whole religious attitude of the day. Especially noteworthy is the active conscientious participation of the faithful at liturgical functions.

From the Church’s side, today’s liturgy involves a concern for progress, but also for conservation and defense. It returns to the past, but does not slavishly imitate. It creates new elements in the ceremonies themselves, in using the vernacular, in popular chant and in the building of churches.

Latin in the liturgy

Yet it would be superfluous to call once more to mind that the Church has grave motives for firmly insisting that in the Latin rite the priest celebrating Mass has an absolute obligation to use Latin, and also, when Gregorian chant accompanies the Holy Sacrifice, that this be done in the Church’s tongue.

Response of the faithful

For their part the faithful are careful to respond to the measures taken by the Church, but adopt divergent attitudes: some manifest promptness and enthusiasm, even at times a too lively fervor which provokes the intervention of authority. Others show indifference and even opposition. Thus are laid bare differences of temperament, and preferences for individual piety or for community worship.

Liturgy and the modern world

Present day liturgy interests itself likewise in many special problems. Among these are the relation of the liturgy to the religious ideas of the world of today, contemporary culture, social questions, depth psychology.

This mere enumeration is enough to show you that the various aspects of today’s liturgy not only arouse Our interest, but keep Our vigilance on alert. We sincerely desire the progress of the liturgical movement, and wish to help it, but it is also Our duty to forestall whatever might be a source of error or danger.

It is, however, a consolation and joy for Us to know that in these matters We can rely on your help and understanding.

May these considerations, along with the labors which occupied your attention these past days, produce abundant fruit and contribute to the attainment of the goal towards which the sacred liturgy is striving. In token of divine blessings, which We beg for you and the souls confided to you, We impart to you from Our heart Our Apostolic Benediction.


* Reported in Osservatore Romano, September 24, 1956. French text. Translated based on one released by Vatican Press Office. Most of the quotations in this address were cited by the Holy Father in Latin but have been translated here. Latin phrases incorporated directly into the text of the address have been left in that language.
This address was delivered to twelve hundred delegates to the International Congress on Pastoral Liturgy who had come to Rome by special train after their four day session at Assisi. About a hundred delegates from the United States were present (p. 274)



1. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 5, 1913, pp. 449-451.
2. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 39, 1947, pp. 522-595.
3. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 47, 1955, pp. 838-847.
4. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 48, 1956, pp. 5-25 [English translation in The Pope Speaks, Vol. 3, pp. 7-23. – Ed.]
5. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 39, 1947, pp. 528-529.
6. I Cor. 3, 23.
7. I Peter. 5, 2.
8. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 39, 1947, p. 544.
9. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 46, 1954, pp. 313-317; 666-677. [English translation in The Pope Speaks, Vol. 1, pp. 153-58; 375-385. – Ed.]
10. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 46, 1954, pp. 668-670. [See footnote 9. – Ed.]
11. Conc. Trid., Sess. XXII, cap. 2.
12. Acta Ap. Sedis, 1, c., p. 668. [See footnote 9. – Ed.]
13. Acta Ap. Sedis, 1. c., p. 669. [See footnote 9. – Ed.]
14. Cf. Conc. Trid., Sess. XIII, ch. 4 and 3.
15. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 37, 1945, pp. 131-132.
16. Mt. 1, 21.
17. John, 1, 29.
18. John, 3, 14-15.
19. Luke, 12, 50.
20. I Cor., 11, 23-25.
21. Cf. John, 21, 7.
22. Cf. Catech. Rom., pars II, cap. IV, n. 43, sq.
23. Acta Ap. Sedis, a. 19, 1927, pag. 289.
24. Conc. Trid., Sessio XIII, can. 6.
25. Conc. Trid., 1. c., can. 7.
26. Acta Ap. Sedis, a 44, 1952, pp. 542-546.
27. Acta Ap. Sedis, 1, c., p. 544.
28. John, 1, 1-3.
29. I Cor., 15, 28.


Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:27 am
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Pax Christi !

Mike- Many thanks, I have printed this out.

In Xto,
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Now posted on the Bellarmine Forums for the benefit of the BF readers.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Thanks Mike for this outstanding address of one of the best Roman Pontiffs the Church ever had.
I just would like to know the opinion of the members of this forum, regarding this:

Quote:
The position of the tabernacle

In the instruction of the Holy Office, “De arte sacra,” of June 30, 1952, (26) the Holy See insists, among other things, on this point: “This Supreme Sacred Congregation strictly commands that the prescriptions of Canons 1268, #2, and 1269 #1, be faithfully observed: ‘The Most Blessed Eucharist should be kept in the most distinguished and honorable place in the church, and hence as a rule at the main altar unless some other be considered more convenient and suitable for veneration and worship due to so great a Sacrament…The Most Blessed Sacrament must be kept in an immovable tabernacle set in the middle of the altar.’” (27)

There is question, not so much of the material presence of the tabernacle on the altar, as of a tendency to which We would like to call your attention, that of a lessening of esteem for the presence and action of Christ in the tabernacle. The sacrifice of the altar is held sufficient, and the importance of Him who accomplishes it is reduced.

The person of our Lord

Yet the person of our Lord must hold the central place in worship, for it is His person that unifies the relations of the altar and the tabernacle and gives them their meaning.

It is through the sacrifice of the altar, first of all, that the Lord becomes present in the Eucharist, and He is in the tabernacle only as a “memoria sacrificii et passionis suae.”

To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and their nature should remain united.

Specialists will offer various opinions for solving the problem of so placing the tabernacle on the altar as not to impede the celebration of Mass when the priest is facing the congregation. The essential point is to understand that it is the same Lord present on the altar and in the tabernacle.


In Christo et Maria Sanctissima

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Specialists will offer various opinions for solving the problem of so placing the tabernacle on the altar as not to impede the celebration of Mass when the priest is facing the congregation. The essential point is to understand that it is the same Lord present on the altar and in the tabernacle.


It applies to those cases in which the building faces West, instead of East. In such cases the altar still must face East. St. Peter's itself is one of these exceptional cases (the altar is over the tomb of St. Peter, and the nature of the site precluded the building extending West from that point, so it had to be built to the East), which is why the altar is placed so that Holy Mass is celebrated facing East but also facing the people. Pope Pius XII is cutting off this line of argument from Modernist innovators who would use it as a path to their preferred outcome - the removal of Our Lord's Presence from the altar in as many churches as possible, and His placement in some obscure corner where He can more easily be ignored. See many or even most V2 churches for examples.

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Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:35 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Thank you, Mike, for posting this. It certainly seems further liturgical changes were coming no matter who was going to be the successor to Pope Pius XII. Fully 30 years+ had been spent on studying and experimenting with different liturgical changes, throughout Europe, especially. As Pope Pius XII stated, bishops had been requesting changes in certain areas for a number of years given the rapid changes in society from both World Wars and technology. They hoped that these changes would assist the laity in living the liturgical life in a society that was far apace from the quiet, agrarian life of prior centuries.

A couple of questions:

Quote:
The concelebrants must themselves say over the bread and the wine, “This is my Body,” “This is my Blood.” Otherwise, their concelebration is purely ceremonial.


Quote:
“Take and eat. This is my Body, which shall be given for you. Take and drink, this is my Blood, which shall be shed for you.”


1. Was concelebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass something new?

2. The words used for consecration used by Pope Pius XII are the short form??

3. I know that the 1962 Missal is seen by some clerics as a "stripped down version" of the pre-1955 Missal. How can these clerics appeal to a future pope for their continued used of this pre-55 Missal when both Pius XII and John XXIII were valid popes, and their is nothing dangerous or harmful to souls in the changes? This sounds to me like the Gallican error of appealing to a future Council to support your current position. In point of fact, if the Church during Pius XII and John XXIII did not alter some things in the Missal, the continuance of the pre-55 Missal may have become harmful to souls by keeping practices that had become too difficult to accomplish. I know that in those chapels that use the pre-55 Missal, the full Holy Week services are attended by very few Traditional Catholics. I've heard the clergy actually complaining on a number of occasions to the congregation about their lack of attendance at these services. Now, these are people who understand the crisis, etc., however, they, themselves, find the length of the services difficult to manage, and end up skipping most of the services. I know this is long-winded, but, imo, the NO crisis does not justify not complying with liturgical changes that valid popes have instituted for very good reasons. (Another example, overlapping octaves, e.g., Christmas, the Sacred Heart).

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Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:12 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
2. The words used for consecration used by Pope Pius XII are the short form??

Shorthand, not short form. :)


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
3. I know that the 1962 Missal is seen by some clerics as a "stripped down version" of the pre-1955 Missal. How can these clerics appeal to a future pope for their continued used of this pre-55 Missal when both Pius XII and John XXIII were valid popes, and their is nothing dangerous or harmful to souls in the changes? This sounds to me like the Gallican error of appealing to a future Council to support your current position.

No, there is no appeal from an authority who is present to a future authority, so it is a different situation. The principle applied by Fr. Cekada seems to me to be sound, and his argument "probable" (in the technical sense). I don't agree with it - but I think it plausible enough to be made in good faith by a Catholic. Indeed, I think the facts pretty much force us to that view. This is, after all, the worst crisis the Church has ever suffered.

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Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:47 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

In my humble view, the " Resotred" Holy Week Rite and the 1962 Missal, have nothing really to do with the " crsisis" and takeover by the modernists that followed. We trads like to package everything into a nice pouch, at the expense sometimes of the facts " withiin context".

Its like the oft used statement " Pope Pius Xiith is to blacme for this crisis, they were " his" bishops..........

In Xto,
Vincent

P.S. Just my 2 cents... and one wonders " penny for your thoughts" ? Why do we give 2 cents anyway?? :)


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
Now posted on the Bellarmine Forums for the benefit of the BF readers.


Thanks a million, Mr Mike.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi !

In my humble view, the " Resotred" Holy Week Rite and the 1962 Missal, have nothing really to do with the " crsisis" and takeover by the modernists that followed. We trads like to package everything into a nice pouch, at the expense sometimes of the facts " withiin context".

Its like the oft used statement " Pope Pius Xiith is to blacme for this crisis, they were " his" bishops..........

In Xto,
Vincent

P.S. Just my 2 cents... and one wonders " penny for your thoughts" ? Why do we give 2 cents anyway?? :)


Vince,

Couldn't have said it better. That's pretty much what I was getting at in my post. Pope Pius XII's changes and the 1962 Missal are being lumped in with the NO, when, imo, they stand independently. I don't believe they're modernist changes. There was no clerical/lay 'revolt' for any of those changes. In fact, Pope Pius XII noted that the changes were necessary given the social conditions.

I wonder why the Trads don't call the 3-hour communion fast a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws. Why do they accept the one disciplinary change, but not the others? Certainly, the 3-hour fast, could be argued, led to the 1-hour fast now in place in the NO: but, we see, it certainly stands independently of what came later. I think it is a case of: "post hoc ergo propter hoc".

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Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:24 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Theresa and Vincent,

I agree. Pope Pius XII gives us the answer to these very issues in this excellent speech. He tells us that the chief driving force for the liturgical movement came from the hierarchy, and traces it back to St. Pius X who gave it a "decisive impulse." Clearly, Pope Pius XII is not distrusting the liturgical movement, he is embracing it, as the legitimate continuation of the work of his predecessor, St. Pius X.

Quote:
The chief driving force, both in doctrinal matters and in practical applications, came from the Hierarchy and, in particular, from Our saintly Predecessor, Pius X, who gave the liturgical movement a decisive impulse by his Motu Proprio of October 23, 1913, “Abhinc duos annos.” (1)


But, the Holy Father goes even further stating that the liturgical movement:

Quote:
has appeared as a sign of God’s providential dispositions for the present day, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church, intended to bring men closer to those mysteries of the faith and treasures of grace which derive from the active participation of the faithful in liturgical life.


Here the Holy Father is attributing the liturgical movement to God's providential plan for his Church, directed by the Holy Ghost, to help Catholics. It seems that if we follow exactly what the Pope is saying, that the 1950's liturgical changes are the continuation of the good work which began by St. Pius X. It is all part of the same whole of good progress made by the hierarchy of the Church of the twentieth century "to bring men closer to those mysteries of the faith and the treasures of grace."

It seems to me that this good progress was derailed by Paul VI, who used the liturgical movement as a means of destroying the liturgy. He turned something that was praised and supported by St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII, for the good of souls into something ugly and evil, and the resulting fruits from Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae are plain for all to see.

The correct understanding of the liturgy is given by the Holy Father in this beautiful and clear statement from the speech:

Quote:
The contributions which are brought to the liturgy by the Hierarchy and by the faithful are not to be reckoned as two separate quantities, but represent the work of members of the same organism, which acts as a single living entity. The shepherds and the flock, the teaching Church and the Church taught, form a single and unique body of Christ. So there is no reason for entertaining suspicion, rivalries, open or hidden opposition, either in one’s thought or in one’s manner of speaking and acting. Among members of the same body there ought to reign, before all else, harmony, union and cooperation. It is within this unity that the Church prays, makes it offering, grows in holiness. One can declare therefore with justice that the liturgy is the work of the Church whole and entire.


In my view, the mistake seems to come from some Catholics view of lumping together a rite which did not come from the Church, the Novus Ordo Missae, with rites and ceremonies that did come from the Church, Pius XII's laws, along with changes that probably came from the Church, John XXIII's laws. This lumping together of the work of Pius XII, John XXIII with Paul VI, does a great injustice to the name and reputation of Pope Pius XII, and further it can lead to a distrust of the Holy See.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
In my view, the mistake seems to come from some Catholics view of lumping together a rite which did not come from the Church, the Novus Ordo Missae, with rites and ceremonies that did come from the Church, Pius XII's laws, along with changes that probably came from the Church, John XXIII's laws. This lumping together of the work of Pius XII, John XXIII with Paul VI, does a great injustice to the name and reputation of Pope Pius XII, and further it can lead to a distrust of the Holy See.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Thank you, Mike, for a wonderful post! I don't anyone has stated the case as clearly and cogently as you have done in the above quote. It's well worth re-reading a number of times.

We, Catholics, trying to hold onto the Faith, can be overly "too conspiratorial" in our thinking, at times. We need to read and re-read the Holy Father's (Pope Pius XII's) address that you have posted above to appreciate that some changes were necessary for the good of the Church, and, not at all, linked with the devastating Novus Ordo Missae. I think that Vince posted that Pope St. Pius X, as bishop, had requested that St. Joseph's name be added to the Canon of the Mass: that fact certainly speaks well of the John XXIII change to the Canon.

As Pope Pius XII stated in Mediator Dei: "...The pressing need of Christians is to live the liturgical life."

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Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:07 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
In my view, the mistake seems to come from some Catholics view of lumping together a rite which did not come from the Church, the Novus Ordo Missae, with rites and ceremonies that did come from the Church, Pius XII's laws, along with changes that probably came from the Church, John XXIII's laws. This lumping together of the work of Pius XII, John XXIII with Paul VI, does a great injustice to the name and reputation of Pope Pius XII, and further it can lead to a distrust of the Holy See.

Mike,

I don't see the above as what is being argued by those who reject these Pius XII changes. We must be careful here as well, not to remove this "rejection" argument from the "jungle" of this crisis. The facts do seem to lead to this conclusion...against the fact of promulgation by Pope Pius XII. Whether these changes were a prudent practical judgment may certainly be examined in the situation we find ourselves. I think a reading of Van Noort supports this view as well.

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
We, Catholics, trying to hold onto the Faith, can be overly "too conspiratorial" in our thinking, at times. We need to read and re-read the Holy Father's (Pope Pius XII's) address that you have posted above to appreciate that some changes were necessary for the good of the Church, and, not at all, linked with the devastating Novus Ordo Missae.

Teresa,

Again, I don't think one can say there isn't any link between the 1955 Holy Week changes and the changes made by Paul VI. If you are basing this on the fact that Pius XII was Pope at the time...remember that this is the same argument made by some for the validity and orthodoxy of the Novus Ordo Missae. Paul VI was a true pope...therefore the Novus Ordo is good. The facts do seem to indicate otherwise.

My main point is again, do not remove any analysis or judgment of other's actions during this crisis from the context of the crisis. It is often tempting to do this to make some point of argument in our favor.

John Lane wrote:
The principle applied by Fr. Cekada seems to me to be sound, and his argument "probable" (in the technical sense). I don't agree with it - but I think it plausible enough to be made in good faith by a Catholic. Indeed, I think the facts pretty much force us to that view. This is, after all, the worst crisis the Church has ever suffered.


I agree with this as well.

Robert


Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:24 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Robert,

Those who reject the laws of Pope Pius XII on the liturgy, ususally state that the problems started long before the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae, they usually cite Bugnini's involvment during the days of Pope Pius XII, and they conclude that they are going to revert to times prior to all of the liturgical changes, ie. to the former laws in force at the time of St. Pius X.

In my opinion, I think this is a dangerous view, I believe that Catholics during a state of sedevacante, should not take it upon themselves to judge that they will reject the laws in force at the time of the state of sedevacante, refuse to obey them, and follow laws in force at a former age of the Church.

Pope Pius XII stated:

Quote:
Thus the liturgical movement has appeared as a sign of God’s providential dispositions for the present day, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church, intended to bring men closer to those mysteries of the faith and treasures of grace which derive from the active participation of the faithful in liturgical life.


Here the Holy Father states clearly that the liturgical movement in force during his pontificate is "a movment of the the Holy Spirit in His Church." What rationale can there be to reject reforms that are moved by the Holy Ghost which "bring me closer to those mysteries of the faith and treasures of grace which derive from the active participation of the faithful in liturgical life."

I will be happy to read the texts you mentioned from Van Noort, and see how they relate to the quote I have cited above from Pope Pius XII.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

John Lane posted :
Quote:
John Lane wrote:
The principle applied by Fr. Cekada seems to me to be sound, and his argument "probable" (in the technical sense). I don't agree with it - but I think it plausible enough to be made in good faith by a Catholic. Indeed, I think the facts pretty much force us to that view. This is, after all, the worst crisis the Church has ever suffered.


When John does not agree with the stand to " reject" the Liturgical Laws of Pope Pius XIIth I am in 100% agreement. However, I do not agree with the statement supporting those that reject said laws " Indeed, I think the facts pretty much force us to that view"

The facts, in my humble view, when examined, appear to be in line with Church teaching to " indeed" accept the Laws of Pope Pius XIIth. As the years go by, those rejecting the Pope Pius XIIth Laws, in my limited observation, are in danger of schism. I have good friends that I have seen this stand become more ingrained, for example, they will only attend chapels that offer the " pre-1955" Liturgy. As the years have gone by they even look at this stance in a egotistical manner " they are more trad , then trads" ....


I am not speaking for all that reject the Pope Pius XIIth Laws , only observing those close to me that hold this view. This mindset does not appear to be positive.


In Xto,
Vincent


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
It certainly seems further liturgical changes were coming no matter who was going to be the successor to Pope Pius XII. Fully 30 years+ had been spent on studying and experimenting with different liturgical changes, throughout Europe, especially. As Pope Pius XII stated, bishops had been requesting changes in certain areas for a number of years given the rapid changes in society from both World Wars and technology. They hoped that these changes would assist the laity in living the liturgical life in a society that was far apace from the quiet, agrarian life of prior centuries.

Yes Theresa, i perfectly agree.
The words in bold are very important. Those who criticize Pope Pius XII don`t realize that the world had changed a lot after 2 world wars, and so any comparison between St. Pius X and Pius XII`s liturgy taken out of the context are baseless.


Quote:
In my humble view, the " Resotred" Holy Week Rite and the 1962 Missal, have nothing really to do with the " crsisis" and takeover by the modernists that followed. We trads like to package everything into a nice pouch, at the expense sometimes of the facts " withiin context".

Its like the oft used statement " Pope Pius Xiith is to blacme for this crisis, they were " his" bishops..........


Vincent this is so plenty of common sense that i can`t see how this can be denied for any person. In fact the pre and post Pius XII changes were made by 2 different Churches. (to me John XXIII wasn`t Pope).


Quote:
I wonder why the Trads don't call the 3-hour communion fast a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws. Why do they accept the one disciplinary change, but not the others? Certainly, the 3-hour fast, could be argued, led to the 1-hour fast now in place in the NO: but, we see, it certainly stands independently of what came later. I think it is a case of: "post hoc ergo propter hoc".


Theresa you are right, i`ve never thougth on that! very good argument.

Mike wrote:
Dear Theresa and Vincent,

I agree. Pope Pius XII gives us the answer to these very issues in this excellent speech. He tells us that the chief driving force for the liturgical movement came from the hierarchy, and traces it back to St. Pius X who gave it a "decisive impulse." Clearly, Pope Pius XII is not distrusting the liturgical movement, he is embracing it, as the legitimate continuation of the work of his predecessor, St. Pius X.

Quote:
The chief driving force, both in doctrinal matters and in practical applications, came from the Hierarchy and, in particular, from Our saintly Predecessor, Pius X, who gave the liturgical movement a decisive impulse by his Motu Proprio of October 23, 1913, “Abhinc duos annos.” (1)


But, the Holy Father goes even further stating that the liturgical movement:

Quote:
has appeared as a sign of God’s providential dispositions for the present day, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church, intended to bring men closer to those mysteries of the faith and treasures of grace which derive from the active participation of the faithful in liturgical life.


Here the Holy Father is attributing the liturgical movement to God's providential plan for his Church, directed by the Holy Ghost, to help Catholics. It seems that if we follow exactly what the Pope is saying, that the 1950's liturgical changes are the continuation of the good work which began by St. Pius X. It is all part of the same whole of good progress made by the hierarchy of the Church of the twentieth century "to bring men closer to those mysteries of the faith and the treasures of grace."

It seems to me that this good progress was derailed by Paul VI, who used the liturgical movement as a means of destroying the liturgy. He turned something that was praised and supported by St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII, for the good of souls into something ugly and evil, and the resulting fruits from Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae are plain for all to see.

The correct understanding of the liturgy is given by the Holy Father in this beautiful and clear statement from the speech:

Quote:
The contributions which are brought to the liturgy by the Hierarchy and by the faithful are not to be reckoned as two separate quantities, but represent the work of members of the same organism, which acts as a single living entity. The shepherds and the flock, the teaching Church and the Church taught, form a single and unique body of Christ. So there is no reason for entertaining suspicion, rivalries, open or hidden opposition, either in one’s thought or in one’s manner of speaking and acting. Among members of the same body there ought to reign, before all else, harmony, union and cooperation. It is within this unity that the Church prays, makes it offering, grows in holiness. One can declare therefore with justice that the liturgy is the work of the Church whole and entire.


In my view, the mistake seems to come from some Catholics view of lumping together a rite which did not come from the Church, the Novus Ordo Missae, with rites and ceremonies that did come from the Church, Pius XII's laws, along with changes that probably came from the Church, John XXIII's laws. This lumping together of the work of Pius XII, John XXIII with Paul VI, does a great injustice to the name and reputation of Pope Pius XII, and further it can lead to a distrust of the Holy See.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Dear Mike, very good summary of the whole question. I`m very glad to find here some persons who think exactly as i do regarding the "Liturgy-Question".

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian wrote:
Quote:
I wonder why the Trads don't call the 3-hour communion fast a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws. Why do they accept the one disciplinary change, but not the others? Certainly, the 3-hour fast, could be argued, led to the 1-hour fast now in place in the NO: but, we see, it certainly stands independently of what came later. I think it is a case of: "post hoc ergo propter hoc".



Theresa you are right, i`ve never thougth on that! very good argument.


I don't think this is a valid point at all. I believe the 3 hour fast was implemented because of the allowance of evening Mass. A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening.

The point is that the Trads don't call the 3 hour fast "a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws." What could be the argument against it?


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert Bastaja wrote:
The point is that the Trads don't call the 3 hour fast "a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws." What could be the argument against it?


This whole thread is fascinating.

Vince, you misunderstood me, I think. I was referring to the view that Fr. Cekada's position is "probable" (even though I don't agree with it) - I was not arguing that his position is true.

Mike and Cristian, your position seems to me to have many merits, not least of which is the defence it provides for the proper filial love and devotion to the Holy Father. It also restores the sense that Christ acts in His Church; that Holy Church as His Mystical Body, with Him as its Head, acts with His personality. This idea - a crucial truth of ecclesiology - is very difficult to reconcile with any spirit of criticism directed towards the acts of Holy See.

Robert, the arguments against the three-hour fast could be that it lessened respect for the Blessed Sacrament and it slackened discipline in a matter in which there was no clear need. I contrast "need" with "utility." It could also be argued that this change gave impetus to the erroneous notions that Holy Communion is the purpose of the Mass, or that the Holy Sacrifice is somehow incomplete without lay Communion, or that one's assistance at the Holy Sacrifice is somehow incomplete or of little value if one does not receive Holy Communion... all of which would be suspects if one were to wonder why there are so many Communions and so few Confessions, even in traditional chapels.

These arguments are not incompatible with the view that the change was good and useful, either. They are merely observations that in addition to the good that the change worked, it also resulted in some concommitant evils. These may even have been foreseen by Pope Pius XII, weighed, and accepted as worth the risk in light of the great good he was attempting to secure by making the change.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
The point is that the Trads don't call the 3 hour fast "a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws." What could be the argument against it?


This whole thread is fascinating.

Vince, you misunderstood me, I think. I was referring to the view that Fr. Cekada's position is "probable" (even though I don't agree with it) - I was not arguing that his position is true.

And I understood that as well...a probable opinion meaning it has sound reasons behind it...not that it is probably true.

Quote:
Mike and Cristian, your position seems to me to have many merits, not least of which is the defence it provides for the proper filial love and devotion to the Holy Father. It also restores the sense that Christ acts in His Church; that Holy Church as His Mystical Body, with Him as its Head, acts with His personality. This idea - a crucial truth of ecclesiology - is very difficult to reconcile with any spirit of criticism directed towards the acts of Holy See.


But we are in the "jungle" of this crisis...all of us.

Quote:
Robert, the arguments against the three-hour fast could be that it lessened respect for the Blessed Sacrament and it slackened discipline in a matter in which there was no clear need. I contrast "need" with "utility."

Any major change in an established law has negative effects for sure. I might argue that Pope Pius X allowed for more frequent communion and the changes in work habits (a man couldn't necessarily get out of Sunday work) tended to negate that. He couldn't even assist at Mass...let alone receive Communion.

Quote:
It could also be argued that this change gave impetus to the erroneous notions that Holy Communion is the purpose of the Mass, or that the Holy Sacrifice is somehow incomplete without lay Communion, or that one's assistance at the Holy Sacrifice is somehow incomplete or of little value if one does not receive Holy Communion... all of which would be suspects if one were to wonder why there are so many Communions and so few Confessions, even in traditional chapels.

True.

Quote:
These arguments are not incompatible with the view that the change was good and useful, either. They are merely observations that in addition to the good that the change worked, it also resulted in some concommitant evils. These may even have been foreseen by Pope Pius XII, weighed, and accepted as worth the risk in light of the great good he was attempting to secure by making the change.

So then why is no one rejecting the fasting changes along with the 1955 changes?

I might add that I am grateful that I don't have to decide whether I accept or reject these changes. I just go to Mass.

Robert


Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:28 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
I don't think this is a valid point at all. I believe the 3 hour fast was implemented because of the allowance of evening Mass.

Robert, i`m not sure of that, because if that would be true, then Pope Pius XII, would have allowed the 3 hour fast just for the evening Mass, but he rather allowed it at any hour.
At most the evening Mass could have been the occasion, but not the cause.

Quote:
A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening.

Ok, is the same mutatis mutandis what Theresa just said above
Quote:
Fully 30 years+ had been spent on studying and experimenting with different liturgical changes, throughout Europe, especially. As Pope Pius XII stated, bishops had been requesting changes in certain areas for a number of years given the rapid changes in society from both World Wars and technology. They hoped that these changes would assist the laity in living the liturgical life in a society that was far apace from the quiet, agrarian life of prior centuries.


Quote:
The point is that the Trads don't call the 3 hour fast "a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws." What could be the argument against it?

We all agree on that, but the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say about the 3 hour fast.

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert wrote:

Quote:
I believe the 3 hour fast was implemented because of the allowance of evening Mass. A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening.


Dear Robert,

The reasoning for the change in the fasting laws of Pope Pius XII were given by the Pope in the 1953 Apostolic Constitution Christus Dominus, which preceded his 1957 Motu Proprio on the same subject. The Pope stated:

Quote:
It should nevertheless be noted that the times in which we live and their peculiar conditions have brought many modifications in the habits of society and in the activities of common life. Out of these there may arise serious difficulties which could keep men from partaking of the divine mysteries if the law of the Eucharistic fast is to be observed in the way in which it had to be observed up to the present time.

In the first place, it is evident to all that today the clergy are not sufficiently numerous to cope with the increasingly serious needs of the faithful. Especially on feast days they are subject to overwork, when they have to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice at a late hour and frequently twice or three times the same day, and when at times they are forced to travel a great distance so as not to leave considerable portions of their flocks without Holy Mass. Such tiring apostolic work undoubtedly weakens the health of priests. This is all the more true because, over and above the offering of the Holy Mass and the explanation of the Gospel, they must likewise hear confession, give catechetical instruction, devote ever-increasing care and take ever more pains in completing the duties of the other parts of their ministry. They must also diligently look after those matters that are demanded by the warfare against God and His Church, a warfare that has grown so widespread and bitter at the present time.

Now our mind and heart go out to those especially who, working far from their own native country in far distant lands, have generously answered the invitation and the command of the Lord: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations."[20] We are speaking of the heralds of the Gospel who, overcoming the most difficult and multitudinous labors and all manner of difficulty in traveling, strive with all their might to have the light of the Christian religion illumine all, and to nourish their flocks, who but very recently received the Catholic faith, with the Bread of Angels which nourishes virtue and fosters piety.

Almost in the same situation are those Catholics who, living in many localities cared for by Catholic missionaries, or who, living in other places and not having among them their own priests, must wait until a late hour for the coming of another priest that they may partake of the Eucharist and nourish themselves with the divine Food.

Furthermore, since the introduction of machines for every sort of use, it very often happens that many workers-in factories, or in the land and water transportation fields, or in other public utility services-are employed not only during the day, but even during the night, in alternate shifts. As a result, their weakened condition compels them at times to take some nourishment. But, in this way, they are prevented from approaching the Eucharist fasting.

Mothers also are often unable to approach the Eucharist before they take care of their household duties, duties that demand of them many hours of work.

In the same way, it happens that there are many boys and girls in school who desire to respond to the divine invitation: 'Let the little children come to me."[21] They are entirely confident that "He who dwells among the lilies" will protect their innocence of soul and purity of life against the enticements to which youth is subjected, the snares of the world. But at times it is most difficult for them, before going to school, to go to church and be nourished with the Bread of Angels and then return home to partake of the food they need.

Furthermore, it should be noted that it often happens, at the present time, that great crowds of people travel from one place to another in the afternoon hours to take part in religious celebrations or to hold meetings on social questions. Now, if on these occasions it were allowed to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is the living Fruit of divine grace and which commands our will to burn with the desire of acquiring virtue, there is no doubt that strength could be drawn from this by which all would be stirred profoundly to think and act in a Christian manner and to obey legitimate laws.

To these special considerations it seems opportune to add some which have reference to all. Although in our days medical science and that study which is called hygiene have made great progress and have helped greatly to cut down the number of deaths, especially among the young, nevertheless conditions of life at the present time and the hardships which flow from the cruel wars of this century are of such nature that they have greatly weakened bodily constitution and health.

For these reasons, and especially so that renewed piety towards the Eucharist may be all the more readily increased, many Bishops from various countries have asked, in official letters, that this law of fast be somewhat mitigated. Actually, the Apostolic See has kindly granted special faculties and permissions, in this regard, to both priests and faithful. As regards these concessions, We can cite the Decree, entitled, [Post Editum,] given for the sick by the Sacred Congregation of the Council, December 7, 1906;[22] and the Letter of the 22nd of May, 1923, from the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office to the local Ordinaries in favor of priests.[23]

In these latter days, the petitions of the Bishops have become more frequent and urgent, and the faculties granted were more ample, especially those that were bestowed in view of the war. This, without doubt, clearly indicates that there are new and grave reasons, reasons that are not occasional but rather general, because of which it is very difficult, in these diversified circumstances, both for the priest to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and for the faithful to receive the Bread of Angels fasting.

Wherefore, that we may meet these grave inconveniences and difficulties, that the different indults may not lead to inconsistent practice, We have deemed it necessary to lay down the discipline of the Eucharistic fast, by mitigating it in such a way that, in the greatest manner possible, all, in view of the peculiar circumstances of time, place, and the faithful, may be able to fulfill this law more easily. We, by this decree, trust that We may be able to add not a little to the increase of Eucharistic piety, and in this way to move and stir up all to partake at the Table of the Angels. This, without doubt, will increase the glory of God and the holiness of the Mystical Body of Christ.


Taken from: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12CHDOM.HTM

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Quote:
I don't think this is a valid point at all. I believe the 3 hour fast was implemented because of the allowance of evening Mass.

Robert, i`m not sure of that, because if that would be true, then Pope Pius XII, would have allowed the 3 hour fast just for the evening Mass, but he rather allowed it at any hour.
At most the evening Mass could have been the occasion, but not the cause.

I did not mean to claim that evening mass was the only reason...nor the direct cause. Reading Pius XII leads me to think it was a significant indirect cause.

Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Robert B wrote:
A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening.

Ok, is the same mutatis mutandis what Theresa just said above

Explain...I don't follow you here.

Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Fully 30 years+ had been spent on studying and experimenting with different liturgical changes, throughout Europe, especially. As Pope Pius XII stated, bishops had been requesting changes in certain areas for a number of years given the rapid changes in society from both World Wars and technology. They hoped that these changes would assist the laity in living the liturgical life in a society that was far apace from the quiet, agrarian life of prior centuries.

Then we need not even consider the changes. They are correct.

Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Robert B wrote:
The point is that the Trads don't call the 3 hour fast "a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws." What could be the argument against it?

We all agree on that, but the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say about the 3 hour fast.

Cristian

Well, Cristian...apply that same thought to the sedeplentists and see where it leads you..."the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say".

Robert


Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:24 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
Robert wrote:
I believe the 3 hour fast was implemented because of the allowance of evening Mass. A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening.

Dear Robert,

The reasoning for the change in the fasting laws of Pope Pius XII were given by the Pope in the 1953 Apostolic Constitution Christus Dominus, which preceded his 1957 Motu Proprio on the same subject. The Pope stated: ...


Mike,

Thanks. I have read that before. Do you think it is in conflict with what I posted? ... (and keeping in mind that I was not intending to present the entire reasoning.)

Robert


Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:35 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert,

I am in no sense disagreeing with your views on the 3-hour fast. I fully adhere to Pope Pius XII's changes, (and Pope John XXIII's changes), and find no problem with them. I find a problem with the position that 'hunts the acorn' in liturgical matters. I pointed out the 3-hour fast as an inconsistency for those who use the pre-1955 liturgy, but avoid the 'imposition' of the midnight fast. As John wonderfully pointed out:

John Lane wrote:
Robert, the arguments against the three-hour fast could be that it lessened respect for the Blessed Sacrament and it slackened discipline in a matter in which there was no clear need. I contrast "need" with "utility." It could also be argued that this change gave impetus to the erroneous notions that Holy Communion is the purpose of the Mass, or that the Holy Sacrifice is somehow incomplete without lay Communion, or that one's assistance at the Holy Sacrifice is somehow incomplete or of little value if one does not receive Holy Communion... all of which would be suspect if one were to wonder why there are so many Communions and so few Confessions, even in traditional chapels.


My argument is if one is an obedient child of Holy Mother Church, one doesn't 'sift' disciplinary or liturgical changes of valid popes anymore than one 'sifts' papal actions ... the sword cuts both ways.

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Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:28 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
Do you think it is in conflict with what I posted? ... (and keeping in mind that I was not intending to present the entire reasoning.)


Dear Robert,

I did not think there was any conflict between what I posted and what you said, but I was not sure if you had read the Pope's reasoning since you did not cite it. I was posting it in case you were not aware of it, and also for the benefit of all of the others who are following this thread. I think it is useful to follow the Pope's thinking in revising the law, which is given in the 1953 Apostolic Constitution Christus Dominus, but is not given in much detail in the 1957 Motu Proprio on the Eucharistic fast.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
Quote:
Do you think it is in conflict with what I posted? ... (and keeping in mind that I was not intending to present the entire reasoning.)


Dear Robert,

I did not think there was any conflict between what I posted and what you said, but I was not sure if you had read the Pope's reasoning since you did not cite it. I was posting it in case you were not aware of it, and also for the benefit of all of the others who are following this thread. I think it is useful to follow the Pope's thinking in revising the law, which is given in the 1953 Apostolic Constitution Christus Dominus, but is not given in much detail in the 1957 Motu Proprio on the Eucharistic fast.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Mike,

Thank you for the source. I do appreciate the work that you’ve done in these areas.

I did not cite any sources because I was posting here...a non-hostile environment.

I have spent countless hours debating in extremely hostile environments where one must carefully craft and source each statement as to avoid the inevitable irrelevant attacks based on a slight misstatement or a statement that is not 100% absolutely bulletproof.

This topic, unfortunately, seems to bring out less than the best in some...Teresa is right, the sword cuts both ways. I tried to make that very point but to no avail.

Take the SSPX out of the crisis and they are schismatics. Take those (who in some reasoned manner reject some of the liturgical reforms) out of the crisis and they are disobedient and smearing Pope Pius XII. None of these positions would even exist, of course, if there were no crisis.

Do you see my point at all? The very thing some of you complain about...you’re doing it yourself...in my humble and worthless opinion.

Robert


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Do you see my point at all? The very thing some of you complain about...you’re doing it yourself...in my humble and worthless opinion.


Well, I think I see your point. Are you saying that rather than criticise those who adopt the pre 55 liturgy, we should make allowances for their position in consideration of the crisis, taking into account that one appeals to that very same thing (consideration of the crisis) in order to make allowances for the mistaken SSPX position?

If so, I agree. We should.

I should also like to add that I found Mike's posts very helpful, as I am one who has adopted the Pius XIIth changes a little reluctantly. I have now been brought to heel!

AMW


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

Dear John,

It is good to have you back safe and sound !

Quote:
Vince, you misunderstood me, I think. I was referring to the view that Fr. Cekada's position is "probable" (even though I don't agree with it) - I was not arguing that his position is true.


That is exaclty how I understood your post. I was just commenting on your second portion, which it appears, I must have misunderstood. :) ;)

Not the first time I have done that.


Hope everyone has a grace filled Lenten Season,

In Xto,
Vincent


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert wrote:

Quote:
Do you see my point at all? The very thing some of you complain about...you’re doing it yourself...in my humble and worthless opinion.


Dear Robert,

My motivation for everything I do is my love for Christ and His Church. If I were to adopt a position which contradicted papal teaching and a brother in Christ pointed it out to me, by providing documented papal teaching, I would want to change my view to the Church's view. I would also see it as a great act of charity on the part of the person who corrected me. I do not want to hold any erroneous positions, and hopefully all Catholics should share that attitude.

Regarding this issue, I am not complaining about the people who hold this view, they are my brothers in Christ, I am trying to help them see that they have adopted a dangerous position. Vincent has cited some of the bad fruit of this position to this forum, and I have also seen it as well.

I also do not complain about Catholics who hold the view that Benedict is the pope. They are wrong, their position can lead to very serious dangers and could lead to heretical ideas on the papacy. I try to do what I can to show them that their position is not sound, and by accepting Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and Paul VI, that their position leads them by following the logic to dangerous errors against the faith.

I realize that in this time of crisis, Catholics must strive to be diffident, as John always reminds us. I do not judge those who have adopted erroneous positions, but I will try to help them as best as with the time that I have while following my duties of my state in life that I have been given by God.

I appreciate your correction, and I will reflect on it, to pray that my motives will always be pure and that all of my actions will be for the love of Christ and for my neighbor.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
John Lane wrote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Specialists will offer various opinions for solving the problem of so placing the tabernacle on the altar as not to impede the celebration of Mass when the priest is facing the congregation. The essential point is to understand that it is the same Lord present on the altar and in the tabernacle.


It applies to those cases in which the building faces West, instead of East. In such cases the altar still must face East. St. Peter's itself is one of these exceptional cases (the altar is over the tomb of St. Peter, and the nature of the site precluded the building extending West from that point, so it had to be built to the East), which is why the altar is placed so that Holy Mass is celebrated facing East but also facing the people. Pope Pius XII is cutting off this line of argument from Modernist innovators who would use it as a path to their preferred outcome - the removal of Our Lord's Presence from the altar in as many churches as possible, and His placement in some obscure corner where He can more easily be ignored. See many or even most V2 churches for examples.


Thanks John, i knew that already, and actually i founded this in AER 120 p346/7.
Question: is a special dispensation necessary to have the altar constructed so as to face the people as was the custom in the primitive Church?...
Answer:... there is no legislation forbidding the construction of altar so that the priest faces the people. In fact, the Missal (Rit. serv. V, 3) still contains directions concerning certain minor changes in ceremonial when the altar is "as orientem, versus populum"...

But in spite of this my question was directed to another thing. I wonder if Pope Pius XII had in mind only the case of the altar built towards the east or He refered to any case.
Doubtless the "Paul VI-table" clerly contradicts Pope Pius XII here on separating the altar from the tabernacle.

Cristian

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
But in spite of this my question was directed to another thing. I wonder if Pope Pius XII had in mind only the case of the altar built towards the east or He refered to any case.

No, only those cases in which the problem arose - that is, when to offer the Holy Sacrifice ad orientem meant also pro populo. Pius XII is clearly forestalling an objection. That objection would be based on some difficulty or other entailed by following his present instruction. The only such difficulty I am aware of is the one we are discussing. Ergo.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Robert B wrote:
A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening.

Ok, is the same mutatis mutandis what Theresa just said above

Explain...I don't follow you here.

Robert, please excuse me the delay. I´ll try to explain myself better...
My argument (and i think Theresa`s) is that Pope Pius XII changed both the midnight fast and the Holy Week for the same reasons, namely the fact that due to the conditions of the modern society, man was no able to assist, as before, to such a large ceremonies and to keep the fast during 10-12 hours.
In His motu proprio Maxima Redemptionis, Pius XII points out that churches got empty during Holy Week because of all the changes the society went through at that time. And that is the reason i quoted you sayng "A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits[/b]...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening". And so if you accept (and i think, everybody does) the 3 hours fast and the reasons, it seems as if you have to accept the changes and its causes on Holy Week.
As far as i read, the 3 Holy Week under the new rubrics before Pius XII`s death, that is 1956, 1957 and 1958) got very good attendance of faithfuls.
But please, let me be clear on this: i`ve no problem to attend S Pius X`s liturgy (as a matter of fact, i do attend), and i understand the arguments (or at least i think that), eventhough to me the law nowadays is that of Pope Pius XII and for those who that law becomes nocive, they have no option to apply epikeya.
I hope this may clarify at least a little more my thoughts.


Quote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Robert B wrote:
The point is that the Trads don't call the 3 hour fast "a 'stripped-down version' of the older fasting laws." What could be the argument against it?

We all agree on that, but the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say about the 3 hour fast.

Cristian

Well, Cristian...apply that same thought to the sedeplentists and see where it leads you..."the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say".

Robert


Well Robert now it is me that don`t understand... could you please?

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Hi all,
I'm kinda new in the forum, and actually my first time posting one. For some time I've been reading topics here, but this one really confuses me. I attend to the traditional Holy Mass (SSPV priests). My point is this: Why this fascinating desire to change the liturgy in the Roman Rite? I mean, lack of attendance is a reason? so, we lower the standards?
(I honestly don't see our Lord lowering the standards to attract more...)
I think Pius XII, a holy and pious Pope by the grace of God, couldn't foresee that some "inocents" changes to adapt some practices would lead later into the caos and abuses that all of us know happened. But it happened.
Please, I don't want to sound as a narrow minded person. I am open to corrections, or suggestions.
Now it has not equal importance some changes with the fasting length (3 hours is reduced, but from midnight still can be used and recommended) compared with changes in the content of sacred liturgy and rubrics of the Mass. Nobody can say that post 1955 changes are bad for the faithful, yet, they were the seed of abuse and the excuse for future destruction of the true church.
I personally prefer to stick to the principle "as far as possible from modern changes" using pre 1955 Missal.
Peace to all!

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
My argument (and i think Theresa`s) is that Pope Pius XII changed both the midnight fast and the Holy Week for the same reasons, namely the fact that due to the conditions of the modern society, man was no able to assist, as before, to such a large ceremonies and to keep the fast during 10-12 hours.
In His motu proprio Maxima Redemptionis, Pius XII points out that churches got empty during Holy Week because of all the changes the society went through at that time. And that is the reason i quoted you sayng "A fast from midnight would to too difficult if not impossible. The evening mass was for the changes in work habits[/b]...a working man could hardly fast from midnight till evening". And so if you accept (and i think, everybody does) the 3 hours fast and the reasons, it seems as if you have to accept the changes and its causes on Holy Week.
As far as i read, the 3 Holy Week under the new rubrics before Pius XII`s death, that is 1956, 1957 and 1958) got very good attendance of faithfuls.
But please, let me be clear on this: i`ve no problem to attend S Pius X`s liturgy (as a matter of fact, i do attend), and i understand the arguments (or at least i think that), eventhough to me the law nowadays is that of Pope Pius XII and for those who that law becomes nocive, they have no option to apply epikeya.
I hope this may clarify at least a little more my thoughts.


Cristian,

Understanding their arguments means that their position is probable in the sense that it has sound reasoning behind it...let us remember that...so we don't put some real "distance" between traditionalists that really does not exist. This controversy will be settled by the Church in due time.

Now I don't agree that the changes in the fast requirements are the same as the changes in Holy Week. I think there is a big difference between the two. I think that is why no one has slid down the slippery slope that you say exists here.

Also, you hold the Law to be that of Pius XII...But many hold that John XXIII was also a true pope. So should they be using the '62 Missal?

Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Robert wrote:
Cristian wrote:
We all agree on that, but the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say about the 3 hour fast.

Cristian

Well, Cristian...apply that same thought to the sedeplentists and see where it leads you..."the fact is not what they say, but rather what, it seems, they should say".


Well Robert now it is me that don`t understand... could you please?


Here is one person who seems to understand:

AMWills wrote:
Well, I think I see your point. Are you saying that rather than criticise those who adopt the pre 55 liturgy, we should make allowances for their position in consideration of the crisis, taking into account that one appeals to that very same thing (consideration of the crisis) in order to make allowances for the mistaken SSPX position?

If so, I agree. We should.

I should also like to add that I found Mike's posts very helpful, as I am one who has adopted the Pius XIIth changes a little reluctantly. I have now been brought to heel!


Yes, here AMWills understands my point. But to be clear...I am not saying that we overlook each other's "mistakes" ... but that we understand that in these areas there will be "disagreements". It is not essential that we agree on these things...it is a tactic of those who oppose us to point out these non-essential differences. Let us not help in making the non-essentials of greater importance than actually are.

Robert


Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:30 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Yes, here AMWills understands my point. But to be clear...I am not saying that we overlook each other's "mistakes" ... but that we understand that in these areas there will be "disagreements". It is not essential that we agree on these things...it is a tactic of those who oppose us to point out these non-essential differences. Let us not help in making the non-essentials of greater importance than actually are.


Dear Robert,

I agree entirely. One might say, we must be generous and forgiving, even towards our friends. :)

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Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:14 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
Cristian,

Understanding their arguments means that their position is probable in the sense that it has sound reasoning behind it...let us remember that...so we don't put some real "distance" between traditionalists that really does not exist. This controversy will be settled by the Church in due time.

I perfectly agree Robert

Quote:
Now I don't agree that the changes in the fast requirements are the same as the changes in Holy Week. I think there is a big difference between the two. I think that is why no one has slid down the slippery slope that you say exists here.

Well i`m not saying (and if i did so, please excuse me) that the changes on Holy Week and on fasting are the same thing but rather i wonder why do they consider the 1955 changes a sort of "bridge" to Novus Ordo and why they don`t consider the 3 hour fast also as a "bridge" to the "1 hour fast" of Paul VI, that`s all.

Quote:
Also, you hold the Law to be that of Pius XII...But many hold that John XXIII was also a true pope. So should they be using the '62 Missal?

If somebody consider John XXIII a true Pope i don`t see any problem for him...

Here is one person who seems to understand:

AMWills wrote:
Well, I think I see your point. Are you saying that rather than criticise those who adopt the pre 55 liturgy, we should make allowances for their position in consideration of the crisis, taking into account that one appeals to that very same thing (consideration of the crisis) in order to make allowances for the mistaken SSPX position?

If so, I agree. We should.

I should also like to add that I found Mike's posts very helpful, as I am one who has adopted the Pius XIIth changes a little reluctantly. I have now been brought to heel!


Quote:
Yes, here AMWills understands my point. But to be clear...I am not saying that we overlook each other's "mistakes" ... but that we understand that in these areas there will be "disagreements". It is not essential that we agree on these things...it is a tactic of those who oppose us to point out these non-essential differences. Let us not help in making the non-essentials of greater importance than actually are.

Robert

Are you saing that the principle i pointed out above, if aplied to SSPX, it leads us to Fr. Cekada`s last issue? excuse me if i don`t undesrtand, please.

Cristian

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Leon Bloy


Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:55 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
From Tradtio.com:

Quote:
"It must be remembered that the Liturgical Commission that would bring to the world the invalid Novus Ordo Ordinal of 1968 and the Novus Ordo Mess of 1969, was originally instituted on May 28, 1948. This Liturgical Commission was headed by Ferdinand Antonelli and Hannibal Bugnini, a Freemason, who orchestrated all the deviations from the Traditional Latin Mass in the 1950s and the 1960s. For further information, click on the Traditional Latin Mass, Divine Office & Sacraments department of the TRADITIO Network for "The Road into the Black Hole of the Liturgical 'New Order.'

"Abp. Marcel Lefebvre personally wrote a glowing preface for this book. Father Bonneterre, referring to the so-called "liturgical reforms" of the 1950s, wrote:

"They are stages in the realization of a plot intended to bring about the death of the Church.... We must also recognize, in retrospect, for the reasons given above, they constitute the first stages of the 'auto-demolition' of the Roman liturgy."


Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:17 pm

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Paxus wrote:

Quote:
"Abp. Marcel Lefebvre personally wrote a glowing preface for this book. Father Bonneterre, referring to the so-called "liturgical reforms" of the 1950s
"They are stages in the realization of a plot intended to bring about the death of the Church.... We must also recognize, in retrospect, for the reasons given above, they constitute the first stages of the 'auto-demolition' of the Roman liturgy."


Dear Paxus,

While Archbishop Lefevbre may have written the preface to the book, I highly doubt that he would have used such strong language personally against the Papal laws of Pope Pius XII. I have not researched this, but perhaps someone on this board may be aware of the Archbishop's thoughts on the liturgical laws of Pope Pius XII.

For myself, I will never believe the theory that some Catholics put forward that somehow the laws of Pope Pius XII, therefore, the laws of the Church, were a stepping block to the evil and sacriligious Novus Ordo Missae. The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions. The laws of Pope Pius XII came from the Church, and are spotless and holy. For me that is the end of the story, and thinking beyond that is dangerous.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:58 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Pax Christi !

Quote:
For myself, I will never believe the theory that some Catholics put forward that somehow the laws of Pope Pius XII, therefore, the laws of the Church, were a stepping block to the evil and sacriligious Novus Ordo Missae. The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions. The laws of Pope Pius XII came from the Church, and are spotless and holy. For me that is the end of the story, and thinking beyond that is dangerous.


Dear Mike,

I agree with you 100% ! And one thing that I have never seen verified:

" Bugnini crafted the 1955 Holy Week Liturgy himself"...... This has been a statement echoed for decades now, but has anyone really verified it? One would think a committee was formed to study the Holy Week Rite, not just one priest...........

In Xto,
Vincent


Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:48 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Quote:
For myself, I will never believe the theory that some Catholics put forward that somehow the laws of Pope Pius XII, therefore, the laws of the Church, were a stepping block to the evil and sacriligious Novus Ordo Missae. The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions. The laws of Pope Pius XII came from the Church, and are spotless and holy. For me that is the end of the story, and thinking beyond that is dangerous.
Yours in JMJ,

Mike


Mike, i agree 100%.
Thanks very much for these thoughts.

Cristian

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Leon Bloy


Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:42 pm
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Quote:
Quote:
"Abp. Marcel Lefebvre personally wrote a glowing preface for this book. Father Bonneterre, referring to the so-called "liturgical reforms" of the 1950s
"They are stages in the realization of a plot intended to bring about the death of the Church.... We must also recognize, in retrospect, for the reasons given above, they constitute the first stages of the 'auto-demolition' of the Roman liturgy."


Dear Paxus,

While Archbishop Lefevbre may have written the preface to the book, I highly doubt that he would have used such strong language personally against the Papal laws of Pope Pius XII. I have not researched this, but perhaps someone on this board may be aware of the Archbishop's thoughts on the liturgical laws of Pope Pius XII.

For myself, I will never believe the theory that some Catholics put forward that somehow the laws of Pope Pius XII, therefore, the laws of the Church, were a stepping block to the evil and sacriligious Novus Ordo Missae. The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions. The laws of Pope Pius XII came from the Church, and are spotless and holy. For me that is the end of the story, and thinking beyond that is dangerous.


Well it was a reference to a quote, and I do know there are not a few who agree with the Archbishop's views, however he may have expressed it. I personally have no opinion on the subject.

You write: The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions. . I think we must be careful not to indulge mythological thinking in our zeal with respect to the Holy Ghost's guidance of all acts, as if popes and prelates cannot have good but misguided intentions. Nor is the pope a mythic-oracle we know. The Holy Ghost protects the acts of the ordinary magisterium from formal error, but it's no guarantee such acts are good for the Church. A weak pope can do much harm.

Another example, that Pius XII in Humani Generis did not "name names" with clear quotations or, more importantly, excommunicate the intended heretics, only allowed them to be "rehabilitated" by John XXIII---and we know to what sorry ends.


Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:02 pm

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Hello,

Mike said:
Quote:
The laws of Pope Pius XII came from the Church, and are spotless and holy.


Here is what Father Sylvester Berry says in: "The Church of Christ: An Apologetic And Dogmatic Treatise, B. Herder Book CO, 1941 pg. 509";

Quote:
"The Church is necessarily infallible in this doctrinal judgment, for if she were not, the faithful might be led into errors of doctrine at any time. But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances. Neither is the Church infallible in applying her laws to particular cases.


Also, as I quoted in a previous post, from Van Noort in his section on Infallibility:

Quote:
The Church's infallibility in disciplinary matters, when understood in this way, harmonizes beautifully with the mutability of even universal laws. For a law, even though it be thoroughly consonant with revealed truth, can, given a change in circumstances, become less timely, or even useless, so that prudence may dictate it's abrogation or modification.


It is simply inaccurate to assume that every law that issues forth from the Church is always the best law, or the most prudent law. For example, is there any traditional Catholic who believes Pope Pius XII's "Instruction of the Holy Office on the Ecumenical Movement" was prudent? Would it be wise today, for our Bishops and Priests to avail themselves of this allowance to say some "Pater's" with our "separated brethren"? Would we not all take scandal given the current circumstance? If it is objected, "But these are allowances, not binding laws.", that is besides the point. To partake in ecumenical meetings, and say some prayers with heretics and schismatics is permitted. I believe it would be wrong headed to partake in such an affair, given the drastic change in circumstances that has occurred since the Instruction was issued.

What about the 1958 "Instruction on Sacred Music" which lawfully grants permission for "lay lectors" who can read the Epistle's and Gospel's and even act as a commentators for the mass (mind you, while the mass is actually being said by the priest)? Was this law, approved by Pius XII "spotless and holy"? Or was it truly a "stepping stone" to the Novus ordo?

Granted, even these instructions, cannot be viewed as evil in and of themselves, simply because they were given by the Church, and are therefore protected. Perhaps, if the Church were "healthy", these permissions could be utilized with the strict supervision of sound Bishops and Priests. But, good heavens! Today? Is anyone saying that these disciplinary laws, given with full approval by Pius XII, are not now harmful, and damaging to souls?

It would be better, I think, to say that those who reject the Holy Week "reforms" are simply applying a correct principle to the wrong situation. It is also inappropriate to speak of a few isolated individuals, as demonstrating the "bad fruits" of those with whom you disagree. I have yet to run across someone who says that anyone who accepts the "reforms" is somehow a liturgical softy who is jogging down the path to hell. I instead believe their stated reasons for rejecting the reforms, assume no hidden motives, and wish them Godspeed. I'm sure there are some who are more "voracious" in regards to the issue, but I don't think their indicative of the whole.

Alas, what is needed is an authority who has the power to bind in regards to disputed matters. Lacking that, all of us are treading "dangerous" ground, and should assume the best of those who are navigating through the same fog we are.

In Christ,
Bill


Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:47 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

I am not judging the motives of those who reject Pope Pius XII's laws. I think you are reading into what I wrote. For myself, I accept what the Pope lawfully promulgated to the Church. I do not think it is healthy for Catholics to take it upon themselves to question the Holy See in matters of law, ie. which law is better than or worse. If Catholics do choose to do that, they should do so privately, and bring their issues to Rome.

Secondly, I have no problem with returning to the former law, or a different law, especially if it is outdated or no longer applicable. I think you have misunderstood me on this point, and I do agree with fully with Van Noort. Van Noort, in your quote, did not say that during a state of sedevacante, individual priests could on their own initiative make these determinations. The law is promulgated by the Pope, and as it stands, Pope Pius XII had promulgated the law.

If a future pope changes the law I will readily obey it. I am not attached to one law or another law. As a Catholic layman and this goes for priests as well, our duty is obedience to the Pope, and in a state of sedevacante, it is to the laws of the Church as promulgated until the death of the pope.

Regarding those Catholics who follow the other view, I also wish them Godspeed as you say. I wish them the best, and I hope and pray that someday when we have a pope once again, they will readily follow his laws, as all of us must, regardless of what decision he makes on the 1955 law of Pope Pius XII, and other liturgical laws. If the new pope decides to maintain the 1955 rite, or modify it, or revert to the former rite, all that matters is that we obey the pope, trust his judgment and be dutiful and obedient Catholics.

I hope that this clarifies my points.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:41 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike wrote:
Regarding those Catholics who follow the other view, I also wish them Godspeed as you say. I wish them the best, and I hope and pray that someday when we have a pope once again, they will readily follow his laws, as all of us must, regardless of what decision he makes on the 1955 law of Pope Pius XII, and other liturgical laws. If the new pope decides to maintain the 1955 rite, or modify it, or revert to the former rite, all that matters is that we obey the pope, trust his judgment and be dutiful and obedient Catholics.

Dear Mike,

I find this statement somewhat accusatory. The assumption is that those who “follow the other view” will possibly not “readily accept the laws” of a LIVING TRUE POPE. When the legitimate authority is restored they will not obey.

If “all that matters is that we obey the pope, trust his judgment and be dutiful and obedient Catholics”, then the neo-Catholics are correct. They believe that Paul VI, JPII, and now Benedict XVI are true popes and they do just this. But that’s not a good thing is it?

Where does this put the SSPX? They seem to do the opposite of what you recommend. But that’s a good thing isn’t it?

You want to apply this hard rule to a controverted period...then extrapolate the behavior during the crisis to later time. I believe this is wrong and dangerous as well.

Yours,

Robert


Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:22 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Mike wrote:
Regarding those Catholics who follow the other view, I also wish them Godspeed as you say. I wish them the best, and I hope and pray that someday when we have a pope once again, they will readily follow his laws, as all of us must, regardless of what decision he makes on the 1955 law of Pope Pius XII, and other liturgical laws. If the new pope decides to maintain the 1955 rite, or modify it, or revert to the former rite, all that matters is that we obey the pope, trust his judgment and be dutiful and obedient Catholics.

Dear Mike,

I find this statement somewhat accusatory. The assumption is that those who “follow the other view” will possibly not “readily accept the laws” of a LIVING TRUE POPE. When the legitimate authority is restored they will not obey.

If “all that matters is that we obey the pope, trust his judgment and be dutiful and obedient Catholics”, then the neo-Catholics are correct. They believe that Paul VI, JPII, and now Benedict XVI are true popes and they do just this. But that’s not a good thing is it?

Where does this put the SSPX? They seem to do the opposite of what you recommend. But that’s a good thing isn’t it?

You want to apply this hard rule to a controverted period...then extrapolate the behavior during the crisis to later time. I believe this is wrong and dangerous as well.

Yours,

Robert


Dear Robert,

I made no accusation, this is only your perception. Since this is your perception, let me make this clear. The law was originally promulgated by a true Pope, and some Catholics use very strong language against the 1955 rite, and by that I hope that they are ready to accept and obey a true pope, if he chooses to preserve this rite. I am not making an accusation that they will not obey, but as far as I am aware, none of the priests who reject Pius XII's law, have made any public statement saying that they will readily obey a future pope if he chooses to maintain this law.

The Catholics who follow Benedict XVI are not correct, because they are obeying a fake pope, not a real one. There is a world of difference. I do not judge their conscience, but they are objectively wrong. In reality, those who are still Catholic and adhere to Benedict XVI, do not believe the false doctrines he promulgates. The people that I know in the indult, for example, still believe the Catholic Faith, and think that the issue is one of interpretation. These people do not deny part of the Faith, but do erroneously follow a fake pope, but that does not make them not Catholic.

The SSPX in my opinion, is doing the right thing in so far as they are separating from Benedict, and preserving their Faith, but they have not, in my view, operated under consistent Catholic principles in responding to the crisis. They have reacted by retreating from the Novus Ordo hierarchy, and keeping their faith, but they have have not systematically formed a Catholic justification for their actions. They are as John Lane says, "practical sedevacantists," whether they realize this or not.

By the way, the SSPX position, even as it stands today, does not differ from the position of every Catholic in the world who reacted to the errors of Vatican II and Paul VI, who intially withdrew from him, but did not believe that he was a false claimant, and thereby not the pope.

I hope this helps to clarify.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:05 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike,

You said:

"I am not judging the motives of those who reject Pope Pius XII's laws. I think you are reading into what I wrote."

The written word is a strange and terrifying thing, is it not? I actually think you were reading into what I wrote. I was speaking in general terms when I was discussing the attitude that some carry when criticizing those who have rejected the reforms. You, whom I believe acts with a genuinely Catholic demeanor in these forums, have not done this, but some have. I must wonder though, you claim your criteria for all things liturgical is the laws in force at the death of Pope Pius XII. Does this preclude your assisting at masses in SSPX chapels (at least the one's who insert St. Joseph's name in the canon, and who omit the last Confiteor)?

You also wrote this:

"Van Noort, in your quote, did not say that during a state of sedevacante, individual priests could on their own initiative make these determinations. The law is promulgated by the Pope, and as it stands, Pope Pius XII had promulgated the law."

Very well. Though I never implied that it did, nor was that the intent of my quoting it. The purpose of my quoting both Berry and Van Noort was to demonstrate that your apparent assertion that all laws emanating from the Church are "spotless and holy".....that all laws are somehow the direct will of God....is fundamentally wrong. Infallibility in disciplinary matters does not guarantee the best usage or applications of ecclesiastical law. Sometimes, the application of said laws, can be down rite imprudent, even harmful, yea, even mistaken. Your applying to the Church a measure of infallibility which she does not apply to herself.

In this state of sedevacante, Catholics are forced to make decisions they ought never have to make. This is precisely the insidious nature of the crisis. Traditionalists constantly point to principles dictating the cessation of a law when it becomes harmful to souls. It seems to me "rank cherry picking" when I see one traditionalist critiquing another for invoking a principle we all utilize to one extent or the other. I think it's fine to state that we should not reject the reforms. I just believe the reasons your using are flawed.

Also, you stated:

Quote:
"I do not think it is healthy for Catholics to take it upon themselves to question the Holy See in matters of law, ie. which law is better than or worse. If Catholics do choose to do that, they should do so privately, and bring their issues to Rome."


Indeed, as I have stated before....if there was a "Rome" to go too, this matter would be settled. As it stands, we have a controverted question based upon sound principles of both canon and moral law. Until such an authority affords us the pleasure of a decision, it's probably best to be charitable where one can, and severely inclined to believe the best of those with whom you disagree.

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:46 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

I think the written word is actually preferable to the spoken word in that there is a record, and that ambiguities and mistaken perceptions can be clarified to make things clear, which is what is being done here, at least I hope. :)

The standard that I use in regards to the liturgy and all law for that matter, is that the law in force at the death of the last pope, is in force until a new pope either abrogates or changes the law. This has always been the standard during a period of sedevacante. Now, you may make the argument that this situation is different due to its length, but the principle remains the same.

Regarding assistance at SSPX or other masses which use the 1962 missal, this would not preclude attendance. John XXIII has not been judged by the Church to be a heretic, and whether or not he was a lawful pope, is still an open question. The 1962 missal was not impious or evil, as was the Novus Ordo Missae, so we are dealing with different issues here.

I stand by my assertion all of the universal laws of the Church are spotless and holy. You add to my statement saying, "that all laws are somehow the direct will of God....is fundamentally wrong." I never said that all of the laws of the Church are the direct Will of God. I was careful in what I said, and I did not say or imply that.

I agree that infallibility does not guarantee the best usage of the law. But, who is to make this judgment, laymen or simple priests? When a Catholic judges a papal law as not as good as another papal law, this is a very grave matter, that in my view should be left to ecclesiastical authority. As I stated in a previous post, if I thought that Pope should not have promulgated a law, and the former law was better, I would never make this a public matter, I would privately correspond with Rome on the issue, and wait for the thier judgment, and would accept that judgment.

I stated in my last post that I do not make any judgment against the motives of those who reject the law. I understand their position, but I will never accept that view. Pope Pius XII, spoke well of the liturgical reforms, (see Papal address above) I will accept his view on the matter.

To sum up, let me break this down:

1. I have not judged the motives of those who have rejected the liturgical law of Pope Pius XII.
2. I have stated that if I thought a former law was better than the current law, I would privately correspond with Rome on the matter, and would not make the matter public.
3. I am not qualified to judge papal laws in the first place.
4. I accept Pope Pius XII's laws, and I would not dare to think that I could make the judgment that his laws are lesser than the former law.
5. I trust Rome, trust the Pope, and regarding law, I will just obey the law, and not think about it beyond that.

I hope this helps.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:27 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Mike,

I see we have a gentleman's disagreement in regards to the written versus spoken word. I prefer a face to face chat that enables individuals to look at facial features, hear tonal inflections and in general remove one from the "distance" that is inherent in communication by text. That I think, is the best remedy for misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions.

Nor Mike, did I "add to your statement". I was not quoting you when I said "that all laws are somehow the direct will of God". But if that is not what you meant when you said this:

Quote:
The Church is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs its official actions.


then you need to clarify. If the Holy Spirit directs all of the Church's "official actions".....doesn't that mean that "all laws are somehow the direct will of God"? Does the Holy Spirit sometimes direct the Church into imprudent and mistaken "official actions"? Aren't we agreed that sometimes, the Church's "official actions" are not always the most prudent, and not always the best given the situation?

For example...do you think the Instructions of the Holy Office on ecumenism and sacred music are "guided and protected by the Holy Ghost, who directs it's official actions."? If so, would you have any objections to lay commentators during mass, and/or your parish priest attending an ecumenical meeting and praying with protestants and the Eastern orthodox? Those Instructions were "official actions", were they not? Do you think, given the crisis today, it would be wise to discourage lay commentators and joining ecumenical meetings, even though "Rome" encouraged/allowed them only a short time ago? There are many more "official actions" we could discuss (the suppression of the Jesuits, Honorius, Benedict XV's suppression of the Sodalitium Pianum etc..), but these should suffice to clarify your position, as some of your statements are confusing me.

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:22 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill wrote:

Quote:
is there any traditional Catholic who believes Pope Pius XII's "Instruction of the Holy Office on the Ecumenical Movement" was prudent?


If you are referring to the 1949 instruction, while subsequently abused I find it in the main unobjectionable for two primary reasons

1.) It reaffirmed that those outside the Church must "return" to submission to the Roman Pontiff---Thus an ecumenism of return which does not posit "positive ecclesial bodies" (Ratzinger) ..."means of salvation" (Vat2) outside the Catholic Church.

2.) In this sense the Church has always left the 99 faithful to seek out and bring back the straying lamb(s), as witness the Council of Florence; also she sought to bring back other Eastern Churches (the Jacobites of Syria, 1442, the Mesopotamians, 1444, the Nestorians and the Maronites, 1444). Etc., etc.

Protestants were guaranteed safe passage to debate in all freedom all the controverted issues with the fathers at the Council of Trent with a view to reconciling differences, misunderstandings, etc. etc.

But having said that I do think Pius XII was terribly pressured by liberal forces to make too many concessions, though thankfully he stopped far short of crossing the foul lines as they did at Vat2. In this area of the liturgical movement especially. Mediator Dei was a far more fuller and more cautious treatment that the text which began this thread, no?


Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:38 am

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Paxus,

The main thrust of the question is weather or not this instruction was "prudent" or the best decision given the circumstances. As Mike's position entails a defense of the notion that all of the "official actions" of the Church are "directed by the Holy Ghost", this question has significant meaning for many reasons.

1.) Was the granting of permission to attend ecumenical meetings and say prayers with heretics and schismatics given at the direction of the Holy Ghost?

2.) Since this was an "official action" of the Church, given by the direction of the Holy Ghost, would it not be impious and rash to question it? Would it not even be fair to say that the Holy Ghost, in directing this official action, is desirous of such meetings and joint prayers?

3.) Would it be objectionable for your parish Priest to participate in such gatherings, and say a few Pater's and Ave's with the local Baptist Pastor? If so, why?

The same type of questions apply to the "Instruction on Sacred Music". Keeping in mind, this instruction dealt with liturgical matters.

1.) This was an "official action" of the Church, given by direction of the Holy Ghost. This instruction allows for lay commentators. Is it then true that we must believe God is desirous of lay commentators? Or even that God is desirous of allowing lay commentators to comment on the mass while the priest is saying the prayers in Latin?

2.) Would you mind at all if your parish began using lay lectors to read the epistle's and Gospel's in the vernacular, and then began using the lay commentators to provide a play by play of the mass while Father is off praying in Latin? If so, why?

3.) Would it be wrong to view this liturgical instruction as a logical stepping stone to the Novus Ordo? Would it be wrong to discourage this practice, even though the Holy Father has permitted it, nay, even recommended it?

Keep in mind, it is my position that the laws of the Church are not always guaranteed to be the best laws, nor the most prudent laws. And in the application of these laws the Church is not infallible. Hence the quote from Fr. Berry. The Church even states that her laws, through a change in circumstances, can become harmful so that "...prudence may dictate it's abrogation or modification." Given the nature of the current crisis, an appeal to authority is not possible. Therefore, traditional Catholics state that certain laws have ceased to bind, because to enforce them, would be a danger to souls. So, traditionalists, on their own authority, disregard the need for imprimaturs when publishing, or the need to get permission from the ordinary to build a Church...etc. And even these are not things we dismiss because they are inherently harmful to souls (in other words, it is not in and of itself harmful to souls to not have a church building, or not have a Catholic book). We could say..."hey, the Church requires imprimaturs when publishing a Catholic work, we have no one to give these imprimaturs...so we're just not going to publish any Catholic works." But we don't. We instead simply assume the mind of the legislator, and claim the law has ceased, because it is understood that the law would not bind in such a circumstance. The notion that we cannot under any circumstance take it upon ourselves to claim a law has ceased due to a change in situations, ultimately leads to the "home alone" position.

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:17 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Very very interesting issue...

Just few words... i believe Mike is right and in support of that i`ll quote (as soon as i can) Leo XIII`s letter called Epistolam Tuam, but right now i`ve not the text, here.

Quote:
The main thrust of the question is weather or not this instruction was "prudent" or the best decision given the circumstances. As Mike's position entails a defense of the notion that all of the "official actions" of the Church are "directed by the Holy Ghost", this question has significant meaning for many reasons.

You say it, "given the circumstances"... well i blieve "given the circumstances" that instruction, in 1949 was prudent, why not?

Quote:
1.) Was the granting of permission to attend ecumenical meetings and say prayers with heretics and schismatics given at the direction of the Holy Ghost?

If you re-read the instruction you`ll see it is surrounded with many precautions. It`s very different to that of Assis and others.

Quote:
3.) Would it be objectionable for your parish Priest to participate in such gatherings, and say a few Pater's and Ave's with the local Baptist Pastor? If so, why?

The instruction clearly says that all these activities should be under the guidance of the Ordinary, and today we have not, ergo this instruction cannot be aplied in our days, and the example to support that the laws of the Church may not be prudent (or the most prudent) at least in this case is not valid.

Quote:
1.) This was an "official action" of the Church, given by direction of the Holy Ghost. This instruction allows for lay commentators. Is it then true that we must believe God is desirous of lay commentators? Or even that God is desirous of allowing lay commentators to comment on the mass while the priest is saying the prayers in Latin?

2.) Would you mind at all if your parish began using lay lectors to read the epistle's and Gospel's in the vernacular, and then began using the lay commentators to provide a play by play of the mass while Father is off praying in Latin? If so, why?

3.) Would it be wrong to view this liturgical instruction as a logical stepping stone to the Novus Ordo? Would it be wrong to discourage this practice, even though the Holy Father has permitted it, nay, even recommended it?


Well... one thing is to say that that law was not prudent at that time (which i don`t agree) an other very different is to say that today it is nocive to aply this law. Personaly i don`t see any problem to aply them, but i understand those who hold the opposite view.



Quote:
Keep in mind, it is my position that the laws of the Church are not always guaranteed to be the best laws, nor the most prudent laws. And in the application of these laws the Church is not infallible. Hence the quote from Fr. Berry. The Church even states that her laws, through a change in circumstances, can become harmful so that "...prudence may dictate it's abrogation or modification." Given the nature of the current crisis, an appeal to authority is not possible. Therefore, traditional Catholics state that certain laws have ceased to bind, because to enforce them, would be a danger to souls. So, traditionalists, on their own authority, disregard the need for imprimaturs when publishing, or the need to get permission from the ordinary to build a Church...etc. And even these are not things we dismiss because they are inherently harmful to souls (in other words, it is not in and of itself harmful to souls to not have a church building, or not have a Catholic book). We could say..."hey, the Church requires imprimaturs when publishing a Catholic work, we have no one to give these imprimaturs...so we're just not going to publish any Catholic works." But we don't. We instead simply assume the mind of the legislator, and claim the law has ceased, because it is understood that the law would not bind in such a circumstance. The notion that we cannot under any circumstance take it upon ourselves to claim a law has ceased due to a change in situations, ultimately leads to the "home alone" position.



Bill the words in bold just give the possibility that a law once good may became, later, nocive or need to be changed and so if you wish to say that a law made by a Pope may not be the most prudent at that time, i think you should prove it, because the text you quote doesn`t support that interpretation, all they say is that a law may became nocive or not prudent to aply due to the changes of circumstances.

Cristian

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Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:17 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
May I suggest a review of this article also, especially pages 212 and 213, keeping in mind that Our Lord is Ruler as much as He is Teacher and Priest in the Church.

http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/fento ... 0Dogma.pdf

Of course, there is always The Catholic Encyclopedia available to emasculate this doctrine too. :)

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Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:02 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Cristian,

You said:

Quote:
"..if you wish to say that a law made by a Pope may not be the most prudent at that time, i think you should prove it, because the text you quote doesn`t support that interpretation,.."


Cristian, I can only assume you did not read the quote I provided from Father Berry. Here it is again.

Quote:
"The Church is necessarily infallible in this doctrinal judgment, for if she were not, the faithful might be led into errors of doctrine at any time. But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances. Neither is the Church infallible in applying her laws to particular cases.


You have asked me to "prove" that a "law made by a Pope may not be the most prudent at the time". Father Berry says "But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances."
This quote..."...prudence may dictate it's abrogation or modification." was from Van Noort. I'm using the word "prudence" because it seems to be the word of choice when talking about this issue in the manuals. In return, may I ask you... do you have any authorities who state that every law of the Church is most prudent, and the best given the circumstance? With all due respect Cristian, I think you have misunderstood the parameters of this discussion.

In Christ,
Bill


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
John,

In regards to the Father Fenton article. Do you think it is addressing the particular point being discussed in this thread? I certainly agree with every word of it, nor do I find it in anyway opposed to the principle that some laws, while certainly never damaging to souls per se, may not be prudent given a particular situation, and may cease given a change in circumstance.

Again, people are not arguing that the principles are correct, but the application is wrong (in regards to the Holy Week reforms). Their arguing that the very principles some use to justify their rejection of the reforms are not valid. This seems to me, mistaken. Any guidance you can offer, John, would be appreciated.

In Christ,
Bill


Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:53 pm
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Bill, as I stated, I certainly agree not all licit laws or directions are always prudent.

However you ask, "Was the granting of permission to attend ecumenical meetings and say prayers with heretics and schismatics given at the direction of the Holy Ghost?"

I think it would only be permissible if the Holy Father directed qualified representatives to such meetings with the explicit aim of the return of some Protestant groups to the Roman Catholic Church / submission to the Roman Pontiff.

I do think the 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy was imprudent, and likely a concession under pressure (duress) from the liturgical "reform" groups which had cropped up all over the world in terrorist camps :shock: in preparation to mount up the Trojan Horse against none other than Pius and Card. Ottaviani themselves.


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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

This is an excellent discussion.

I should say before I comment that I don’t have a final view of this, which is why I have not been participating closely, but rather observing and pondering.

The idea, it seems to me, is to come to a proper appreciation of the manner in which Our Lord acts as Ruler of His Church through what Mons. Fenton calls the “ambassadorial instrumentality” of His hierarchy. I deliberately avoid the term “understanding” in order to stress that there is an element of mystery here which I think we are bound to fail in fully penetrating. And in any case, whilst we do seek understanding our main aim is to grasp the fact of what the Church teaches and to accept it, even if we don’t really understand it at all.

All of this we are striving to do whilst refraining from any criticism of those who have already developed a position and acted in accord with it.

Now, it seems clear that we must avoid defect and excess, which is precisely the ground upon which you and Mike are presently grappling. In a sense, I think you are trying to discover the precise theoretical difference which underpins your difference of practical judgement.

Christ acts as Ruler of His Church. He does so in a manner which is definitely more intimate than the manner in which He acts in civil rulers by a more general Providence. We might describe the manner of His actions in the Church as a “special providence.” But even that would not get to the heart of it, I think, because the Church is His Mystical Body, He is its proper Head; it is certainly correct to describe its acts as His acts.

But on the other hand, not every official act of a member of the hierarchy can be considered His act in this sense – for example, a local bishop excommunicates unjustly, or errs in his ordinary teaching, or promotes a candidate who is manifestly unworthy, for unworthy motives.

Christ does not “inspire” the hierarchy in the sense in which He inspired Holy Writ; He employs them, as Fenton says, in an ambassadorial manner. An ambassador acts with the authority of the one who sends him, and the one who sends him takes full responsibility for his acts, when those acts are within the parameters laid down by his sending authority; and this is so much the case that those acts are said to be in a real sense acts of that sending authority, not just of the ambassador. Think of papal legates at General Councils for example.

In relation to Christ’s role as Teacher, we distinguish when the Church has definitely committed herself and when she merely offers guidance. In both cases she acts with the authority of Christ but her intentions differ in each case – in the one she teaches infallibly, in the other she does not - although we are still bound by her acts, precisely because she acts with His authority. As Mons. Fenton points out elsewhere, we are bound to hold as an opinion whatever she commands us to hold as an opinion, knowing fully that she might modify this position in future.

You have presented some useful texts which certainly provide some insight. However, in considering any text we need to take care in understanding the purpose of the author. Fr. Berry was not developing the whole subject, but rather it seems clear that he was merely laying down some definite boundaries or datum points.
Father Berry wrote:
The Church is necessarily infallible in this doctrinal judgment, for if she were not, the faithful might be led into errors of doctrine at any time. But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances. Neither is the Church infallible in applying her laws to particular cases.

Now, you take from this text the following lesson:
Bill wrote:
You have asked me to "prove" that a "law made by a Pope may not be the most prudent at the time". Father Berry says "But there is no promise that the rulers of the Church shall always enjoy the greatest degree of prudence; consequently, there is no guarantee that their laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances."

Perhaps we can distinguish here: Berry only says that there is no guarantee that “laws and precepts will always be the best under the circumstances.” No theologian writes a statement like that without considering it carefully. Fr. Berry definitely did not say that “there is no guarantee that laws and precepts will always be good under the circumstances.” That was not his point and it would be at least a dangerous thing to say. He contented himself with the definite rejection of the extreme notion that the hierarchy of the Church always acts in the best possible manner in any given circumstance. To claim such a thing would certainly be to err by excess.

However, this leaves untouched the substance of the controversy here. The precise point at issue is not yet completely clear, but one issue seems to be whether we may say that a given law was “imprudent” in itself, and another is whether a particular change was prudent (i.e. distinguishing the actual law from the decision to alter it – one could conceive of a decision which produced a law, good in itself, but resulting in harm accidentally, so to speak, through want of prudence or even of good intentions).

The question of whether a law may cease to do good through a change of circumstances is one which everybody already agrees on, I think.

Bill wrote:
In regards to the Father Fenton article. Do you think it is addressing the particular point being discussed in this thread?

No, I don’t. But some specific points that it makes are definitely applicable and in general I think it helpful to foster in the minds of the disputants the general sense of trust in the Church and love for her every act. A lot of babies get tossed out with bathwater these days.

Anyway, those are some thoughts which I hope may be helpful.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Friends,

For any discussion such as this present one, the following general view must be the background and foundation of our thoughts.

Mons. Robert Hugh Benson, Christ in the Church, Longmans, London, 1911, pp. 10,11.
Quote:
Catholics believe that as Jesus Christ lived His natural life on earth two thousand years ago in a Body drawn from Mary, so He lives His Mystical Life to-day in a Body drawn from the human race in general - called the Catholic Church - that her words are His, her actions His, her life His (with certain restrictions and exceptions), as surely as were the words, actions, and life recorded in the Gospels: it is for this reason that they give to the Church the assent of their faith, believing that in doing so they are rendering it to God Himself. She is not merely His vicegerent on earth, not merely His representative, not merely even His Bride: in a real sense she is Himself. That in this manner, as well as in another which is not our business at present, He fulfills His promise to be with His disciples all the days, even to the consummation of the world. To express the whole position once more under another aspect, in order to make clear what is the position on which I purpose to enlarge, it may be said that God expressed Himself in terms of a single life in the Gospels, and of a corporate life in the Church.

If, then, we Catholics declare to the Protestant world, you would truly "see Jesus" (as the Greeks in the Gospel), you can see Him only as He really is, living in that Body called the Catholic Church. The written Gospel is the record of a past life; the Church is the living Gospel and record of a present life. Here He "looks through the lattice," visible to all who have eyes; here He reproduces, in century after century and country after country, the events and crises of the life lived in Judaea. Here He works out and fills up, on the canvas of the world's history, that outline laid down two thousand years ago: He is born here, lives, suffers, dies, and eternally rises again on the third day. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Dear Bill,

I will try to clarify this point as you have asked. The pope is not a puppet, whereas he has lost his free will to operate. But, God permits a given bishop to become the pope, and further the Pope is given special graces to perform his task of being the Head and Ruler of the Church.

Further, the pope is protected from promulgated an evil universal law, and protected from Teaching heresy and I would say error in his official capacity to the universal Church. If the Pope did so, he would not be the pope, this is one way of determining that Paul VI was not the pope.

Now, with that said, let us move to another point, can the pope bind the flock in a rite that is impious or would lead to impiety. Of course not!

Can the pope make prudential decisions in regards to the Divine Worship of the Church which all Catholics are bound to which may lead Catholics to a less perfect form of worship of God? I think this is the crux of our issue here. I seems that you are arguing that pope can do this, and for myself, I am not sure if he can do this, but even if he could do this, I don't think that I am able to judge which form of woship is better or not better, as both come from the Church. I would rather leave any judgment on liturgical matters to the pope.

My contention is to obey whatever law the pope gives us, trust him on these matters, and if a Catholic thinks they know better than the pope on these matters, that Catholic should address him privately with his reasons.

Now, I am not living on a desert island where I do not see that the Church is in crisis and we do not have access to the Pope or the Roman Curia. That is why I have told you that I do not judge those who differ with me on this. The only important point in a practical sense is that Catholics must be ready to obey the next pope when he comes and by that I am not implying that these Catholics will not.

Lastly, we are the sheep of the Church, the Pastors are the Shepherds and Teachers. In regards to the Pope, I have every desire to obey him, his laws, his commands, and to treat him as a young child who obediently follows his father's will and listens to what he has to teach him.

Conversly, when I hear Catholics say that I do not need to obey the pope's laws, or say that his his teaching is imprudent, or speak against the Roman Congregations under his authority, I for myself, flee from such ideas and commentary. I will stick with the Pope, and any idea which even lessens my loyalty, obedience and submission, and respect for the authority of the Holy Father in any degree is one which I do not want any part of.

I hope this clarifies.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
paxus wrote:
Bill, as I stated, I certainly agree not all licit laws or directions are always prudent.

However you ask, "Was the granting of permission to attend ecumenical meetings and say prayers with heretics and schismatics given at the direction of the Holy Ghost?"

I think it would only be permissible if the Holy Father directed qualified representatives to such meetings with the explicit aim of the return of some Protestant groups to the Roman Catholic Church / submission to the Roman Pontiff.

I do think the 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy was imprudent, and likely a concession under pressure (duress) from the liturgical "reform" groups which had cropped up all over the world in terrorist camps :shock: in preparation to mount up the Trojan Horse against none other than Pius and Card. Ottaviani themselves.


Dear Paxus,

As a Catholic I give my religious assent to this teaching of the Holy Father that was published in the Acta, and further, I as a Catholic will give the benefit of the doubt to the Holy Father that he was acting prudently and in the best interests of the Church in giving this Papal Address. When the Holy Father in the Address states that the liturgical reforms of the 1950's are good things, I will believe the Supreme Teacher of Christendom over a few unauthorized priests who say otherwise.

You may differ on this, but unless you have evidence, showing his imprudence, in giving this address, I will only think well of Pope Pius XII and his teachings given in this Address.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:45 am
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New post Re: 1956 Address of Pope Pius XII on the Liturgy
Paxus,

I understand. I was just pointing out that the questions posed needed to be viewed within the larger context of the discussion. I've always enjoyed your posts Paxus, thanks for the input.

In Christ,
Bill


Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:55 am
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