Author Topic: Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages  (Read 2380 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SeanJohnson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5500
  • Reputation: +4502/-1735
  • Gender: Male
Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages
« on: September 30, 2012, 07:21:25 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Forum-

       Magdalena posted this article link, with Neil digging some of the most pertinent highlights out from it.

       Question: Is there a preferred and/or a predominant missal preference in the competing varieties of sedevacantist chapels?

       I had always presumed 1954 was the choice.

          4     2     
    magdalena said:
    magdalena said:
    "I would love to return to the 1950 missal before the Holy Week changes.  By that time, Bugnini already had his fingers in it."

    Reply by....RomanitasPress:

    It is also important to note that the Holy Week revisions were accepted by the bishops and greatly appreciated by both the clergy and faithful.

    If anything, that is reason for it being suspect.  The laity wanting to be a "participating" part of the Mass  made the NO "mass" that much easier for those wishing to destroy it.  It's the same with the dialogue Mass.  The responses belong to the servers in lieu of not having deacons, sub-deacons etc.  We aren't even necessary for the Holy Sacrifice to occur.  We just "assist".  It smacks of the NO notion of the "People of God" and the "Eucharistic Celebration" with their obsession of being heard and being all over the altar.  The changes in Holy Week were a testing ground for future changes.  I found this to be a good article well worth reading and pondering.

    Holy Week revisions were accepted by the bishops and greatly appreciated by both the clergy and faithful? This is obviously a da*ned lie, when you read the story of what really happened..

    Following your link, is found:
    (I highly recommend the whole article, but this is a quick hit-list of its points)


    Underestimating the Enemy

          Pius XII underestimated the seriousness of the liturgical problem: "It produces in us a strange impression," he wrote to Bishop Grober, "if, almost from outside the world and time, the liturgical question has been presented as the problem of the moment."

          The reformers thus hoped to bring their Trojan Horse into the Church, through the almost unguarded gate of the Liturgy, profiting from the scant attention of Pope Pius XII paid to the matter, and helped by persons very close to the Pontiff, such as his own confessor Agostino Bea, future cardinal and "super-ecumenist."

          The following testimony of Annibale Bugnini is enlightening:

    "The Commission (for the reform of the Liturgy instituted in 1948) enjoyed the full confidence of the Pope, who was kept informed by Mgr. Montini, and even more so, weekly, by Fr. Bea, the confessor of Pius Xll. Thanks to this intermediary, we could arrive at remarkable results, even during the periods when the Pope's illness prevented anyone else getting near him."


    The 1955 Holy Week: Anticipating the New Mass

          "The liturgical renewal has clearly demonstrated that the formulae of the Roman Missal have to be revised and enriched. The renewal was begun by the same Pius XII with the restoration of the Easter Vigil and the Order of Holy Week, which constituted tile first stage of the adaptation of the Roman Missal to the needs of our times."

          These are the very words of Paul VI when he promulgated the New Mass on April 3, 1969. This clearly demonstrates how the pre-Conciliar and post-Conciliar changes are related.


      In fact, the new rite of Holy Week, is an alien body introduced into the heart of the Traditional Missal. It is based on principles which occur in Paul VI's 1965 reforms.

          Here are some examples:

          • Paul VI suppressed the Last Gospel in 1965; in 1955 it was suppressed for the Masses of Holy Week.

          • Paul VI suppressed the psalm Judica me for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar; the same had been anticipated by the 1955 Holy Week.

          • Paul VI (following the example of Luther) wanted Mass celebrated facing the people; the 1955 Holy Week initiated this practice by introducing it wherever possible (especially on Palm Sunday).

          • Paul VI wanted the role of the priest to be diminished, replaced at every turn by ministers; in 1955 already, the celebrant no longer read the Lessons, Epistles, or Gospels (Passion) which were sung by the ministers — even though they form part of the Mass. The priest sat down, forgotten, in a corner.

          • In his New Mass, Paul VI suppresses from the Mass all the elements of the "Gallican liturgy (dating from before Charlemagne), following the wicked doctrine of "archaeologism" condemned by Pius Xll. Thus, the offertory disappeared (to the great joy of protestants), to be replaced by a Jewish grace before meals. Following the same principle, the New Rite of Holy Week had suppressed all the prayers in the ceremony of blessing the palms (except one), the Epistle, Offertory and Preface which came first, and the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.

          • Paul VI, challenging the anathemas of the Council of Trent, suppressed the sacred order of the subdiaconate; the new rite of Holy Week, suppressed many of the subdeacon's functions. The deacon replaced the subdeacon for some of the prayers (the Levate on Good Friday) the choir and celebrant replaced him for others (at the Adoration of the Cross).


    The 1955 Holy Week: Other Innovations

    Here is a partial list of other innovations introduced by the new Holy Week:

          • The Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics became the "Prayer for Church Unity"

          • The genuflection at the Prayer for the Jews, a practice the Church spurned for centuries in horror at the crime they committed on the first Good Friday.

          • The new rite suppressed much medieval symbolism (the opening of the door of the church at the Gloria Laus for example).

          • The new rite introduced the vernacular in some places (renewal of baptismal promises).

          • The Pater Noster was recited by all present (Good Friday).

          • The prayers for the emperor were replaced by a prayer for those governing the republic, all with a very modern flavor.

          • In the Breviary, the very moving psalm Miserere, repeated at all of the Office, was suppressed.

          • For Holy Saturday the Exultet was changed and much of the symbolism of its words suppressed.

          • Also on Holy Saturday, eight of the twelve prophecies were suppressed.

          • Sections of the Passion were suppressed, even the Last Supper disappeared, in which our Lord, already betrayed, celebrated for the first time in history the Sacrifice of the Mass.

          • On Good Friday, communion was now distributed, contrary to the tradition of the Church, and condemned by St. Pius X when people had wanted to initiate this practice

          • All the rubrics of the 1955 Holy Week rite, then, insisted continually on the "participation" of the faithful, and they scorned as abuses many of the popular devotions (so dear to the faithful) connected with Holy Week.

          This brief examination of the reform of Holy Week should allow the reader to realize how the "experts" who would come up with the New Mass fourteen years later had used and taken advantage of the 1955 Holy Week rites to test their revolutionary experiments before applying them to the whole liturgy.


    Roncalli: Modernist Connections.

          Pius XII succeeded by John XXIII. Angelo Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, Roncalli was involved in affairs that place his orthodoxy under a cloud. Here are a few facts:

          As professor at the seminary of Bergamo, Roncalli was investigated for following the theories of Msgr. Duchesne, which were forbidden under Saint Pius X in all Italian seminaries. Msgr Duchesne's work, Histoire Ancienne de l'Eglise, ended up on the Index.

          While papal nuncio to Paris, Roncalli revealed his adhesion to the teachings of Sillon, a movement condemned by St. Pius X. In a letter to the widow of Marc Sagnier, the founder of the condemned movement, he wrote: The powerful fascination of his [Sagnier's] words, his spirit, had enchanted me; and from my early years as a priest, I maintained a vivid memory of his personality, his political and social activity."

          Named as Patriarch of Venice, Msgr. Roncalli gave a public blessing to the socialists meeting there for their party convention. As John XXIII, he made Msgr. Montini a cardinal and called the Second Vatican Council. He also wrote the Encyclical Pacem in Terris. The Encyclical uses a deliberately ambiguous phrase, which foreshadows the same false religious liberty the Council would later proclaim.


    The Revolution Advances

          John XXIII's attitude in matters liturgical, then, comes as no surprise. Dom Lambert Beauduin, quasi-founder of the modernist Liturgical Movement, was a friend of Roncalli from 1924 onwards. At the death of Pius XII, Beauduin remarked: "If they elect Roncalli, everything will be saved; he would be capable of calling a council and consecrating ecumenism..."'

          On July 25, 1960, John XXIII published the Motu Proprio Rubricarum Instructum. He had already decided to call Vatican II and to proceed with changing Canon Law. John XXIII incorporates the rubrical innovations of 1955–1956 into this Motu Proprio and makes them still worse. "We have reached the decision," he writes, "that the fundamental principles concerning the liturgical reform must be presented to the Fathers of the future Council, but that the reform of the rubrics of the Breviary and Roman Missal must not be delayed any longer."

          In this framework, so far from being orthodox, with such dubious authors, in a climate which was already "Conciliar," the Breviary and Missal of John XXIII were born. They formed a "Liturgy of transition" destined to last — as it in fact did last — for three or four years. It is a transition between the Catholic liturgy consecrated at the Council of Trent and that heterodox liturgy begun at Vatican II.

    The "Antiliturgical Heresy" in the John XXIII Reform

          We have already seen how the great Dom Guéranger defined as "liturgical heresy" the collection of false liturgical principles of the 18th century inspired by Illuminism and Jansenism. I should like to demonstrate in this section the resemblance between these innovations and those of John XXIII.

          Since John XXIII's innovations touched the Breviary as well as the Missal, I will provide some information on his changes in the Breviary also. Lay readers may be unfamiliar with some of the terms concerning the Breviary, but I have included as much as possible to provide the "flavor" and scope of the innovations.

    1.  Reduction of Matins to three lessons...

    2.  Replacing ecclesiastical formulas style with Scripture...

    3.  Removal of saints' feasts from Sunday...

    4.  Preferring the ferial office over the saint’s feast...

    5.  Excising miracles from the lives of the Saints...

    6.  Anti-Roman Spirit...

    7.  Suppression of the Confiteor before Communion...

    8.  Reform of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday...

    9.  Suppression of Octaves...

    10. Make the Breviary as short as possible and without any repetition...

    11. Ecumenism in the Reform of John XXIII...

    12. The Office becomes “private devotional reading.”

          One last point, but one of the most serious: The Ottaviani Intervention rightly declared that "when the priest celebrates without a server the suppression of all the salutations (i.e., Dominus Vobiscum, etc.) and of the final blessing is a clear attack on the dogma of the communion of the saints." The priest, even if he is alone, when celebrating Mass or saying his Breviary, is praying in the name of the whole Church, and with the whole Church. This truth was denied by Luther.

          Now this attack on dogma was already included in the Breviary of John XXIII: it obliged the priest when reciting it alone to say Domine exaudi orationem meam (O Lord, hear my prayer) instead of Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you). The idea, "a profession of purely rational faith," was that the Breviary was not the public prayer of the Church anymore, but merely private devotional reading.

    A Practical Conclusion

          Theory is of no use to anyone, unless it is applied in practice. This article cannot conclude without a warm invitation, above all to priests. to return to the liturgy "canonized" by the Council of Trent, and to the rubrics promulgated by St. Pius X.

          Msgr Gamber writes: "Many of the innovations promulgated in the last twenty-five years — beginning with the decree on the renewal of the liturgy Holy Week of February 9, 1951 [still under Pius XII] and with the new Code of rubrics of July 25, 1960, by continuous small modifications, right up to the reform of the Ordo Missae of April 3. 1969 — have been shown to be useless and dangerous to their spiritual life."

          Unfortunately, in the "traditionalist" camp, confusion reigns: one stops at 1955; another at 1965 or 1967. Archbishop Lefebvre's followers, having first adopted the reform of 1965, returned to the 1960 rubrics of John XXIII even while permitting the introduction of earlier or later uses! There, in Germany, England, and the United States, where the Breviary of St. Pius X had been, recited, the Archbishop attempted to impose the changes of John XXIII. This was not only for legal motives, but as a matter of principle; meanwhile, the Archbishop's followers barely tolerated the private recitation of the Breviary of St. Pius X.

          We hope that this and other studies will help people understand that these changes are part of the same reform and that all of it must be rejected if all is not accepted. Only with the help of God — and clear thinking — will a true restoration of Catholic worship be possible.

    (The Roman Catholic, February–April 1987).

    All these changes are part of THE SAME REFORM. And what did this same reform
    end with? The new mass? Guess again! News Flash: the reform is never-ending!
    There will always be something new. And while the crowds (erstwhile "faithful")
    are less and less informed because of the tsunamis of innovations over the years,
    wiccan and satanism rites can be introduced, presented for the unknowing "active
    participation" of the crowd (erstwhile "faithful") and unbeknownst to them, they
    are then part of a diabolical devil-worship service. This has already been
    documented, so I'm not dreaming it up.

    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline Domitilla

    • Jr. Member
    • **
    • Posts: 479
    • Reputation: +1009/-29
    Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages
    « Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 05:39:09 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • You've hit the nail on the head, Seraphim!  

    "I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima.  This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology, and her soul ... I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past."

    "A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted.  She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.  In our Churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, "where have they taken Him?"

                                             Pope Pius XII
                                              Quoted in the book, PIUS XII DEVANT L HISTOIRE,
                                               by Msgr Georges Roche, pp 52-53

    Traditional priests should begin to celebrate Holy Mass according to an earlier Missal which is completely untampered with by the so-called liturgical reformers.  Fr. Bolduc certainly did (RIP).

    Offline magdalena

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 2047
    • Reputation: +1805/-39
    • Gender: Female
    Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages
    « Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 06:41:19 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • The article is very correct with regards to the vast amount of changes that occurred in the breviary.  Thankfully, one can find Divino Afflatu on two different websites:  Divinum Officium and
    But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.
    Luke 10:42

    Offline Neil Obstat

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 18173
    • Reputation: +8257/-638
    • Gender: Male
    Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages
    « Reply #3 on: October 01, 2012, 07:29:49 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • When you look at today's "Divine Office" and compare it to the Breviary in use
    during the reign of Pius XI, when the soon-to-be Pius XII made that prophetic
    utterance (two posts above) you don't see much continuity. The two texts seem
    to describe the prayer of two different religions. At best, the comparison is
    surreal. And yet, how many Catholics today go around thinking that this is "the
    prayer of the Church?"

    For most, it's better to stick to the Rosary, and the 15 decades (don't get
    distracted by the "luminous mysteries!"), which have such depth of heavenly
    wisdom and mystery in them no lifetime is sufficient to penetrate their depths.

    .--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.

    Offline Hobbledehoy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3746
    • Reputation: +4805/-5
    • Gender: Male
    Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages
    « Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 10:38:55 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Well, since it has been brought up and contextualized within the present day discourse of sedevacantist polemics, the exigencies of conscience compel me to present "the other side" of the issue in current discourse of sedevacantist polemics. It is not a secret that the "liturgical question" has been abused and manipulated as a strategic tool employed and devised with the purpose to attract those of the faithful who have been betrayed and disenfranchised by certain clerics (SSPX, Fraternity of St. Peter, the Novus Ordo, etc.), only assure themselves their minds, hearts and wallets. The lack of unity amongst the sedevacantist clerics themselves substantiates that this is indeed the reality of the question.

    I earnestly desire and pray that the betrayal of Bp. Fellay may not push you who have been troubled and afflicted by the current crisis within the SSPX into some "traditionalist/sede" version of Jonestown.

    I know most traditionalists (regardless of their opinion regarding "sedevacantism") disagree with me regarding this question, and vehemently so. However, what concerns me is not whether other Catholics agree with whatever my personal opinions may be, but that they may have access to information from approved sources so that they may arrive at informed and orthodox conclusions, guided by prayer and holy grace. The faithful should at least see both sides of the question before they decide what Chapels to attend, and such other things.

    Ultimately we indeed disagree to only agree because we all want the same thing: the freedom and exaltation of Holy Mother Church.

    Whatever position one takes, it is worthless and even noxious unless one leads a better interior life because of it: giving oneself over to works of piety, charity and penance; perseveringly practicing interior and exterior mortification; frequenting the holy Sacraments and seeking the spiritual direction of a devout and learned Priest; and abandoning oneself with filial confidence unto the designs of Divine Providence, whilst consecrating completely all that one is and has to Mary Most Holy, so that she may jealously preserve us by her benign tutelage and maternal patronage as Mediatress of All Graces.

    With this in mind, I present the very notes for which I am still getting "hate mail" and such:

    How the Faithful of the Sedevacantist Persuasion Ought to Regard the Restored Order of Holy Week

    Advisory Notice

    As it had been foretold unto us, so it has come to pass in the present age: "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables" (II Tim. cap. iv., 3-4).

    Not only does this warning of St. Paul apply to the modernists who have constructed their anthropocentric "Tower of Babel," which is the Johannine-Pauline anti-Church, but also to Catholics who have committed their own aberrations and errors in a rash reaction against the novelties of the modernists.

    There is nothing that illustrates the latter case better than the predicament of certain Catholic polemicists of the sedevacantist persuasion who discuss the question of the liturgical reforms promulgated by authority of the last pope whom they all recognize as such, only to discard and vilify the Decrees of the Apostolic See and even the person of Pope Pius XII.

    If they would insist in postulating their views regarding the great ecclesiastical question of the present day as cogent theological opinions (stricte dicitur) whilst maintaining moral and intellectual integrity, the Catholic polemicists of the sedevacantist persuasion are to regarding the reforms promulgated by the authority of Pope Pius XII as binding in conscience, according to the principles of the Sacred Canons and the doctrines of the inerrancy of the Apostolic See in matters of general ecclesiastical discipline.

    The "recognize-and-resist" traditional Catholics who eschew sedevacantism and follow the typical editions of the Roman Missal and Breviary prior to the promulgation of the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius X are not the object of my critiques because they are informed by a different ecclesiological orientation. I have not studied enough the seminal texts and the present day discourse of their circles to enable me to write anything substantial regarding their stance, but (as I have written before) their liturgical praxis appears to be consistent with their understanding of the ecclesiastical question. I cannot blame them for rejecting the reforms of Pope Pius XII when they recognize Benedict XVI as the Supreme Pontiff and yet act as if he is not at Rome.

    Those traditionalists who are domineering and self-proclaimed demagogues with the "mission" (Canonical pun intended) to expose how Benedict XVI cannot be the Roman Pontiff because the Pope can never promulgate anything anti-Catholic --- even to the point of imputing moral culpability to those Catholics who attend Holy Mass wherein he is mentioned in the Sacred Canon --- and continue to vilify the late Pope Pius XII with such rank arrogance and disdain, to the point of positing that he opened the way to the Johannine-Pauline anti-Church: these are the sedevacantists who ought to be corrected, because they are causing scandal amongst the faithful, deluding and seducing them with the aberrant notion that they can be Catholics without an Apostolic hierarchy and yet lend ear to the private opinions of acephalous clerics who are bordering on (if not outright espousing) the Gallicanism of which they absurdly accuse the SSPX and others to be culpable.[/size]

    Prefatory Remarks

    It is to be known that the simple layman who has written the following notes does not intend to pretend to have the canonical training that is proper to Priests in ages past―much less the education prerequisite for the licentiates and doctorates that had enabled clerics to officially teach in oral or written discourse as theologians, canonists and rubricists of happier ages—knowing well that he is bereft of the competence to issue definitive declarations and the authority to bind individual consciences thereto, which prerogatives are proper to the Apostolic See alone.

    However, if it was the harlot Rahab whom our Lord God chose as the instrumentality by which the children of Israel took possession of the Promised Land (Josue ch. ii-vi; Heb. ch. xi., 31; S. James ch. ii., 25) and so was found worthy to be mentioned in the sacred Genealogy of our Lord (St. Matt. ch. i., 5), so may this vilest amongst sinners, with the help of holy grace and the loving patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sedes sapientiæ,[1] help the servants and handmaidens of Jesus and Mary to attain to some clarity and equilibrium regarding these matters, relying solely on divine assistance and presuming not on any defective faculties proper to himself.

    It would be better for the reader to be forthwith cognizant of the conclusion whereto the following notes arrive: the safest and most decorous course of thought and action for an individual Catholic to take in these tumultuous times is that of prayerful humility and obedience to the doctrinal teachings and disciplinary decrees of Holy Mother Church. To place individual and private opinions and sentiments as normative principles in preference to legislation promulgated by lawful authority―especially in matters of great moment―would be antithetical to the sensus Catholicus that schismatics and heretics scruple not to violate in the excess of pride and vainglory. Such a course of thought and action would not only be repugnant to the Lord God―Who in the multitude of His ineffable loving-kindnesses established for our sakes the holy Apostles together with their successors, subject to the supreme primacy and guided by the dogmatic infallibility of St. Peter and his successors, as rulers and Pastors of Holy Mother Church[2]―but it may also bring about a very great peril for souls, as demonstrated by the histories of the schismatic and heretical sects that have plagued Christendom throughout the ages. The reader, therefore, would do well to be mindful of the fact that there need be no apology against polemicists and critics for adhering to the legislation promulgated by authority of the Roman Pontiff: indeed, for a Catholic the very idea of defending filial obedience to the Apostolic See against other Catholics is a bewildering absurdity.

    In order to arrive at a correct understanding of this conclusion as it applies to the esteem Catholics of the sedevacantist persuasion are to entertain for the Restored Order of Holy Week, the reader must consider the nature and the binding force of the General Decree that promulgated the Restored Order of Holy Week in the light of the dogma of the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff and the principles of liturgical law. It has been a great misunderstanding of these matters that has primarily contributed to the multiplicity and gravity of the errors that traditionalist polemicists have committed and propagated in the controversies that have arisen regarding the reforms of the late Pope Pius XII, particularly the Restored Order of Holy Week.

    The exigencies of circumstance and the paucity of time prevent the author from treating these important matters in their appropriate depth and detail. For the present time, these few notes will have to suffice, leaving to better minds and hearts the task of composing and publishing treatises more worthy of this sublime and grave matter.

    The Nature and Binding Force of the General Decree Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria of the Sacred Congregation of Rites

    The Restored Order of Holy Week was promulgated by the General Decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites Liturgicus Hebdomadae Sanctae ordo instauratur (Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria) together with the Instruction De ordine Hebdomadae Sanctae instaurato rite peragendo (Cum propositum) on 16 November 1955.[3] This very fact alone should have obviated any controversy or confusion regarding the question raised by certain traditionalist polemicists of whether or not to observe the Restored Order of Holy Week. For the principles of liturgical law―that is, “that part of Divine and Canon Law that concerns the Sacred Liturgy, i.e., the worship of God by the Church”[4]―forbid any individual to pronounce opinions involving any interpretation or application of principles of Canon Law contrary to this and all other General Decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites.  

    The Authority of the Roman Pontiff in Matters Liturgical

    The Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in the Apostolic Constitution Providentissima Mater (27 May 1917),[5] declares that “it belongs to the Holy See to regulate the Sacred Liturgy as well as to approve liturgical books.”[6] It is to preserve the integrity of the Sacred Liturgy that the Apostolic See has been given supreme authority over it, as Pope Pius XI teaches in the Apostolic Constitution Divini cultus (20 December 1928):[7] “Since the Church has received from her founder, Christ, the duty of guarding the holiness of divine worship, surely it is part of the same, of course after preserving the substance of the sacrifice and the sacraments, to prescribe the following: ceremonies, rites, formulas, prayers, chants―by which that august and public ministry is best controlled, whose special name is Liturgy, as if an exceedingly sacred action.”[8] Citing the above-mentioned Canon in his celebrated Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei (20 November 1947),[9] Pope Pius XII makes it clear that “the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification.”[10] This is because the Roman Pontiff “is the shepherd and teacher of the faithful, and has by divine right and delegation the primacy of jurisdiction, being successor de jure and de facto of S. Peter, so that he is the supreme lawgiver in the Church, jurisdiction being the power of ruling subjects in matters over which the Superior has control.”[11] It is as Pope Eugenius IV had taught in the Bull Laetentur coeli (6 July 1439): “We likewise define that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff, hold the primacy throughout the entire world; and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter, the chief of Apostles, and the true vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the entire Church, and the father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter by Our Lord Jesus Christ, to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church.”[12] Moreover, regarding the supreme and absolute primacy of the Roman Pontiff, the sacred Vatican Council in its fourth session (18 July 1870) defined that “the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both as separate individuals and all together, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church.”[13] Those who have the audacity to deny this have been solemnly anathematized by the same holy Council,[14] for it is “the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation.”[15] The Code of Canon Law has affirmed this absolute and universal jurisdiction of the Sovereign Pontiff in the selfsame words that the Vatican Council employed to define this dogma.[16]

    The Authority of the Congregation of Sacred Rites

    Although at times availing himself of this authority directly through such documents as an Encyclical Letter or a Motu Proprio, the Roman Pontiff ordinarily legislates in liturgical matters through the Roman Congregations, particularly through the Congregation of Sacred Rites (Sacrorum Rituum Congregatio).[17] Pope Pius XII, in his above-mentioned Encyclical Letter, states that his predecessor Pope Sixtus V in the Apostolic Constitution Immensa aeterni (22 January 1588) established the Congregation of Sacred Rites “when private initiative in matters liturgical threatened to compromise the integrity of faith and devotion, to the great advantage of heretics [of the 16th Century Protestant revolt] and further spread their errors” and it was therefore “charged with the defense of the legitimate rites of the Church and with the prohibition of any spurious innovation.”[18] This Sacred Congregation, according to the Code of Canon Law, “has the right of watching over and determining all that immediately concerns the sacred rites and ceremonies of the Latin Church” and “is its concern, especially, to see that the sacred rites and ceremonies are diligently observed in celebrating Mass, in administering the Sacraments, in the carrying out of the divine offices, in fine, in all that regards the worship of the Latin Church.”[19] The decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, “when drawn up in due form and duly promulgated,” have the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, “even if they had not been referred to him.”[20] When a decree is “drawn up in writing and signed by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation and its Secretary, and furnished with the seal of the Congregation” it is considered authentic, and therefore possessed of binding force.[21] Furthermore, when a decree, both in its content and form, concerns the entire Latin Church, it is a formally general decree, which is of obligation for all who follow the Roman Rite.[22]

    The Authority of the General Decree Promulgating the Restored Order of Holy Week

    The General Decree Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria, together with its accompanying Instruction Cum propositum, fulfills the requisites of an authentic decree, being signed by His Eminence Gateano Cardinal Cicognani, Prefect of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, and by His Eminence Alfonso Cardinal Carinci, titular Archbishop of Seleucia in Isauria, and Secretary of the same Roman Congregation. It is clear that the Decree is formally general as its very text demonstrates: “Those who follow the Roman Rite are bound in the future to follow the Restored Order of Holy Week, set forth in the original Vatican edition.[23] All things to the contrary notwithstanding.”[24] Not only is the General Decree of 16 November 1955 binding on all who follow the Roman Rite by reason of its authentic and formally general nature, but the fact that it is endowed with the authority of the Supreme Pontiff is made abundantly clear by the fact that it was promulgated by express command of the late Holy Father himself: “by special mandate of Our Most Holy Lord the Pope, by Divine Providence, Pius XII, the Congregation of Sacred Rites decrees that which follows.”[25] This is to be expected, since the endeavor to restore the Rites of Holy Week was conceived by the paternal solicitude of this same Holy Father, as the General Decree states: “Our Most Holy Lord Pope Pius XII commanded the Commission for the Restoration of the Liturgy, established by the same Most Holy Lord, to examine this question of restoring the Order of Holy Week and propose a solution.”[26]

    Considering all these things, together with the principles of liturgical law and in light of the ecclesiastical primacy and sovereignty of the Roman Pontiff as defined by the sacred Vatican Council and declared by Canon Law, there can be no doubt that the rites of Holy Week as found in the old Officium Majoris Hebdomadae and the Memoriale Rituum have been abolished. Furthermore, those who are bound to the Roman Missal and Breviary by virtue of the Bulls Quo primum (14 July 1570) and Quod a nobis (9 July 1568) of Pope St. Pius V and by the Bull Divino afflatu (1 November 1911)[27] of Pope St. Pius X cannot lawfully avail themselves of them as they are bound in conscience to observe the rites of Holy Week as found in the typical edition of the Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae instauratus.

    Present Day Abuses of Clerics Exceeding their Competence in this Matter

    Since the Apostolic See has exclusive and absolute authority over liturgical matters, no Ordinary in virtue of his own authority and competence can presume “to abrogate, dispense from, or give an authentic interpretation of, such laws.”[28] On the contrary, as the Code of Canon Law states and as Pope Pius XII has reiterated in his Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei, the Ordinaries “have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship.”[29] “Private individuals, therefore,” continues the late Roman Pontiff in his celebrated Encyclical Letter, “even though they be clerics, may not be left to decide for themselves in these holy and venerable matters” and, moreover, “no private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity, and concord of the Mystical Body and frequently even with the integrity of the Catholic faith itself.”[30] This is especially pertinent to the present-day traditionalist clerics, being bereft of ordinary or delegated jurisdiction together with its concomitant privileges and prerogatives. All that the present-day “independent” clerics can claim is supplied jurisdiction given by the Church in the various individual instances wherein acts that are necessary for the spiritual welfare of the faithful need to be performed in both the internal and external fora, solely relying on the prudent application of the principles of epikeia— lest they risk exacerbating their problematic Canonical predicament wherein they have, strictly speaking, no proper ecclesiastical office since they lack the requisite Canonical mission.[31] The clerics of the present day, therefore, may not in any way presume to deviate from the disciplinary decrees that have been promulgated by the late Holy Father and the Roman Congregations that availed themselves of his supreme authority, especially considering that lawfully appointed Ordinaries had been forbidden such measures. That the clerics of the present day presume to do that which was forbidden to the Ordinaries who had lawfully governed dioceses and communities by the authority of the late Pope is as perplexing as it is disheartening.

    Those clerics of the present day who pertinaciously advocate the observance of the abolished rites of Holy Week as found in the Officium Majoris Hebdomadae and the Memoriale Rituum can be said to be rebuked by Pope Pius XII in the words of his abovementioned Encyclical Letter: “The temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve reproof.”[32] Moreover, the late Supreme Pontiff declares that “ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity.”[33] “The more recent rites,” continues the Holy Father, “likewise deserve reverence and respect. They too owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, Who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world [S. Matt. ch. xxviii., 20]. They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of men.”[34] Just as no Catholic in his right mind would reject “the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas of the Church […] because it pleases him to hark back to old formulas,” so “as obviously unwise and mistaken is the zeal of one who in matters liturgical, would go back to the rites and usage of antiquity, discarding the new patterns introduced by disposition of Divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstance and situation.”[35] Such a course of thought and action, as the Holy Father teaches, ultimately leads clerics, together with the layfolk who follow them, “to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise,” and succumb to the grave errors that “tend to paralyze and weaken the process of sanctification by which the sacred Liturgy directs the sons of adoption to their Heavenly Father for their souls’ salvation.”[36] Sadly, this calamity, of which the late Pope attempted so earnestly to warn clerics and layfolk in his paternal solicitude and loving-kindness, has become the harrowing reality of the present age amongst the majority of traditionalist clerics and faithful.[37]

    “Let no one,” the late Pope Pius XII declares, “arrogate himself the right to make regulations and impose them on others at will.”[38] For the Apostolic See alone is the Iuris Liturgici suprema moderatrix, the supreme moderatress of liturgical law.[39] The authority that promulgated the Restored Order of Holy Week is none other than that of the Apostolic See, that of the Supreme Pontiff himself, which no Christian can refuse to obey if he wishes to profess inviolate the Catholic faith. It would be most apt to remind the reader of the solemn words of Pope Boniface VIII: “Furthermore, We declare, say, define and pronounce as entirely necessary for salvation for all human creatures to be subject unto the Roman Pontiff.”[40] Those who advocate disobedience and rejection of the decrees promulgated by the authority and express command of the late Holy Father ought to carefully consider and meditate upon these words, that they may discern what spirit animates their zeal for the integrity of the Sacred Liturgy.


    Appendix A

    All clerics of the Roman Rite are bound in conscience to adhere to the Restored Order of Holy Week promulgated by the General Decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria with its accompanying Instruction Cum propositum. It would be absurd to argue the contrary from the principles of customary law and precedents of usages contra legem. Establishing a real custom contrary to existing liturgical legislation is difficult “because of the resistance of the Holy See, owing to its desire for uniformity in matters liturgical.”[41] Furthermore, the Congregation of Sacred Rites in its decisions “admits the force of custom only in minor matters and for particular cases” and “it seldom approves of a general usage contrary to the rubrics.”[42] Moreover, those decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites “which expressly oppose existing usages, at once abolish these (and this even if they are immemorial) for they prevent the consent of the legislator which alone can change a usage into a custom.”[43] Such abuses did indeed exist before the present crisis of Holy Mother Church: “Not infrequently, in practice, usages contrary to the rubrics are defended on the ground that they are ‘customs.’ Quite often such usages are not only not customs―for they do not possess the qualities which are required to create customary law, i.e. , reasonableness and the requisite age, together with the absence of resistance on the part of the legislator―but are abuses which should be suppressed.”[44] There can be no Catholic possessed of reason and sense who can seriously entertain the notion that the observance of the abolished Holy Week Rites as found in the Officium Majoris Hebdomadae and the Memoriale Rituum during the present interregnum (that is, according to the understanding of the sedevacantists) can lawfully constitute a custom, nor can anyone pretend that the clerics of our age have the authority to sanction such an abuse in any other way.

    Appendix B

    Whosoever were the clerics in the Liturgical Commission whose recommendations contributed to the latest liturgical reforms is of no consequence whatsoever. What is of consequence is that the Sacred Congregation of Rites has the authority of the Supreme Pontiff in liturgical matters. Just as no one seems to care about the fact the reformed Roman Psalter of Pope St. Pius X was not actually his, but the schema of the forgotten and unsung Rev. Father Paschal Brugnani, so Catholics should not pay mind to the fact that the above-mentioned Roman Congregation availed itself of the services of certain clerics who later were found to be modernists and who worked to establish a pseudo-liturgy antithetically opposed to the divine Offices of Holy Mother Church. To believe that a band of covert heretics can be so successful in implementing their novelties in the Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Rite to the detriment of faith, morals and the spiritual welfare of the faithful, is essentially to deny the moral inerrancy of the Apostolic See in matters of ecclesiastical discipline.

    Appendix C

    It is absurd to base one’s decisions, especially if they are of great moment, on future contingencies which can never be the proper object of a created intellect. The argument set forth in certain tracts that the late Holy Father would have rescinded his liturgical reforms had he known their supposed consequences, and that clerics are thereby allowed to return to the abolished rubrics and ceremonies of the reformed liturgical books, betrays an ignorance of catastrophic magnitude — it is ultimately an irresponsible and ignorant historiography, based upon contingencies absolutely incognoscible to created intellects. Ultimately, one must conclude that the machinations of subversive clerics working in the Liturgical Commission of Pope Pius XII were foiled because the Roman Rite never became what they intended to make of it: whatever happened after the death of the late Pope Pius XII should be of no consequence whatsoever to the faithful of the sedevacantist persuasion, as all such acts are null and void by reason of the vacancy of the Apostolic See according to the opinion of these same Catholics. The august dignity and divinely-bestowed authority of the Supreme Pontiff is such that these historical details are reduced to mere footnotes and have no importance or relevance to the matter. The intention of certain modernistic clerics notwithstanding, the infallibility of the Apostolic See guarantees that the latest liturgical legislation is free from all moral and theological error.

    The burden of writing apologias and of constructing ingenious arguments falls upon those who advocate rejection of the decrees promulgated by the Apostolic See. The above notes did not intend to address any particular missive of this category, or any author thereof. Those clerics who have advocated disobedience and rejection of the most recent liturgical reforms promulgated by the Apostolic See present a very quizzical problem. Although their position is erroneous, and even scandalous and pastorally devastating when considered in itself, particularly when these clerics err grievously in the interpretation and application of principles of Canon Law as well as when they avail themselves of expressions which are impudent and puerile, the reader would do well to assume that they are animated with a zeal, although misguided, for the integrity of the Roman Missal and Breviary and therefore are to be considered as erring in good faith. However, those clerics who are neither canonically fit nor trained and those whose Orders are of dubious origin, as well as lay-folk exceeding the competence proper to their station in writing about matters they are incapable of understanding without the necessary guidance that such clerics are unable to provide, who attack the decrees of the Apostolic See with an ignorance and arrogance that betray a schismatical and heretical mentality, are to be confuted and rebuked with a salutary severity, yet ever moderated by charity and purity of intention.

    Appendix D

    The clerics and layfolk of the sedevacantist persuasion who continue in their pertinacity and obstinacy in disobeying and vilifying the Decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and even the very person of Pope Pius XII, substantiate the claims posited by anti-sedevacantist apologists: that if one were to adopt the sedevacantist stance, then they would expose themselves to proximate perils of pride, and ultimately come to fancy themselves as possessing at the theoretical and practical orders the very magisterial and disciplinary authority that the Apostolic See alone can claim and demand.

    The question of the Restored Order of Holy Week amongst the Catholics of the sedevacantist persuasion should not be a controversial topic. Holy Mother Church has promulgated legislation regarding Sacred Liturgy, and a Catholic has no choice but to obey. It would be one thing for a cleric to follow his conscience in purity and simplicity of heart and adhere to those rubrics which he knows he can competently fulfill, but it is quite another for a cleric to adopt a historicist revisionism that does not pay due respect to the Office of the Roman Pontiff or to the Apostolic See. The same principles apply to the laity.

    We are not free to do as we please simply because there is no reigning Pontiff (according to the sedevacantists' explanation of the present crisis devastating Holy Mother Church). Yet this seems to be the norm amongst those of the sedevacantist persuasion who "Missal-sift," observing the Offices of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as promulgated by Pope Pius XII, or the Offices of Pope St. Pius X, whilst rejecting and denouncing the Offices of St. Joseph the Workman as a "modernist invention."

    This is the great difference between what has transpired before in the history of the Church, such as the great Schism and the Babylonic Captivity or the Arian persecutions, and the predicament of the present day: the Catholics who endured those trials in their respective epochs always remained faithful and docile to the supreme magisterial and disciplinary authority of the Apostolic See. Their very loyalty and obedience was what made their Crosses so difficult to bear and yet so very meritorious.

    In the present day, certain Catholics of the sedevacantist persuasion have come to impose themselves as authorities in ecclesiastical matters and categorically insist that their opinions are to be taken as as the "safer course," if not "truth" itself. In doing so, they have essentially arrogated to themselves the authority and privileges of the Ecclesia docens, and have rent themselves from the Ecclesia discens at the practical level. This was never done by Catholics who were assailed and beleaguered by such things as the Babylonic Captivity (when the Supreme Pontiff abandoned Rome for Avignon) and the subsequent Great Schism, or those Catholics who endured the persecutions of the Arian heretics. Never did it occur to them to "make it up" as they went along.

    This is dramatically illustrated in the manner in which certain sedevacantist polemicists have treated the question of the reforms promulgated by Pope Pius XII in such wise so as to cast doubt and defame the authority of the Supreme Pontiff in matters of ecclesiastical discipline and to negotiate away their sensus Catholicus regarding this matter for an ecclesial Stockholm Syndrome wherein they blindly follow the acephalous clerics who share their opinions and theories simply because they audaciously claim, "It is either our clergy or the N. O."

    Things are much more complicated than that.

    In order for Sacred Liturgy to be Catholic the authority of Holy Mother Church is indispensable, otherwise it is all just rubricated theatre, akin to what the Anglo-Catholics have in their Sarum Missals.

    The sedevacantist clergy and laity who accept that Pope Pius XII had reigned as Roman Pontiff cannot refuse to obey the liturgical reforms of the Apostolic See by invoking epikeia, appealing to private speculation based on non-authoritative sources as presented and interpreted by acephalous clerici vagi, who have neither Canonical office or mission, nor habitual or delegated jurisdiction.

    Since when did conspiracy theories and private speculation suffice to disobey the decrees of Holy Mother Church? And to do so with such air of authority?

    The Sacred Canons menace certain serious penalties against such arrogance. One may conclude that Canon 1399, no. 6, and Canon 2334, as well as the Decree issued on 29 June 1950 by the Sacred Congregation of the Council (A.A.S., vol. xlii., pp. 601 seq.) condemn such clerics as Fr. Cekada, Fr. Ricossa, etc,. for undermining the ecclesiastical discipline of the Church in their rants against the reforms of Pope Pius XII, attacking the person of the Supreme Pontiff in writing, and inciting the laity to defy and vilify the authority of the Church. Probably, their writings and missives would be censured by the Holy Office and placed in the Index of Forbidden Books for these reasons alone.

    The general ecclesiastical discipline of the Church is to be chosen in preference to the private opinions of any cleric, his learning or personal sanctity notwithstanding. Even if every sedevacantist or traditionalist cleric chooses to disobey the decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, it would still be wrong[/u].[/size]

    Appendix E

    Arguments based upon past contingencies absolutely incognoscible to created intellects (such as the question, "What would Pope Pius XII have done if he had lived longer?") are not only inadequate and unsatisfactory, but they expose in a striking fashion the troubling contradiction of those sedevacantists who profess themselves apologists for the indefectibility of the Apostolic See and yet do whatsoever it pleases them, crying forth, "Oh, Pope Pius XII would have done so!"

    Equally unbecoming and inadequate are those who in their theories imitate the modernist discourse of "hermeneutic of continuity" and other Hegelian constructs in arguing in favor of a neo-historicist historiography attacks the very nature of the Church of Christ.

    Whosoever were the clerics in the Liturgical Commission whose recommendations contributed to the latest liturgical reforms is of no consequence whatsoever. What is of consequence is that the Sacred Congregation of Rites has the authority of the Supreme Pontiff in liturgical matters.

    Just as no one seems to care about the fact the reformed Roman Psalter of Pope St. Pius X was not actually his, but the schema of the forgotten and unsung Rev. Father Paschal Brugnani, so Catholics should not pay mind to the fact that the above-mentioned Roman Congregation availed itself of the services of certain clerics who later were found to be modernists and who worked to establish a pseudo-liturgy antithetically opposed to the divine Offices of Holy Mother Church.

    To believe that a band of covert heretics can be so successful in implementing their novelties in the Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Rite to the detriment of faith, morals and the spiritual welfare of the faithful, is essentially to deny the moral inerrancy of the Apostolic See in matters of ecclesiastical discipline.

    This is why the supposed evolutionary continuity between the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII and the anti-liturgy consequent upon the Johannine-Pauline Council is merely accidental and peripheral at best: a revisionist historiography that seeks to explain the activity of the modernists as if the Church herself were "conquered" by them is not right, as the Church can never be overcome by modernists.

    The Roman Liturgy is pure and unadulterated as Pope Pius XII has left it, whereas resorting to conspiracy theories and private opinions leads to an egocentric antiquarianism. If it were otherwise, then an individual may be led to believe that the Church can err in matters of general ecclesiastical discipline, making a sense of loyalty and love for the Apostolic See absurd and even noxious, as one sedevacantist polemicist seems to inadvertently admit when he wrote:

    If it wasn't for the obedience factor, which Satan used to lure us into the V2 Church, all would agree that the liturgy before the changes under Pius XII was certainly the most Catholic, even if some take humbrage to that statement since they claim nothing imprudent can happen to the liturgy under the watchful eyes of a severely ill Pope. [emphases mine]

    Holy Mother Church has spoken, the matter is settled. It does not matter what Msgr. Bugnini had published in private or public missives: the Apostolic See has declared the Restored Order of Holy Week must be followed by all those who are bound to the Roman Missal and Breviary by the Bulls Quo primum and Quod a nobis.

    Fr. Cekada's arguments, for example, (e.g., "Is Rejecting the Pius XII Liturgical Reforms 'Illegal'?") are ultimately based on the publications of Msgr. Bugnini, and the conclusions he derives therefrom. He cannot apply the principles of perpetuity and cessation of law based only on these non-authoritative sources and private speculations of their own making, much less on past contingencies as he himself imagines and interprets them.

    Such polemicists as Fr. Cekada, Fr. Ricossa, etc., together with their lay disciples, have yet to prove that the rites and rubrics of the Restored Order of Holy Week or the Simplification of the Rubrics promulgated by authority of Pope Pius XII present an occasion of scandal or are noxious to faith and morals. Even presuming to do so is perilous, for the Church cannot err against faith and morals in her general ecclesiastical discipline.

    Whatever Msgr. Bugnini and other modernist clerics wrote or did is tangential and peripheral, because the Apostolic See cannot promulgate ecclesiastical discipline that leads to errors against faith or moral, or could ultimately result in the conquest of the Church, as Bugnini himself had boasted and as these sedevacantist historicists seem to imply in their polemical missives against the reforms of Pope Pius XII.

    Appendix F

    Furthermore, this already problematic predicament has been made all the more labyrinthine and perilous by certain polemicists who ascribe to the acephalous clergy the formal Apostolicity and the possession and exercise of habitual or delegated jurisdiction that can only be found in a cleric endowed with a Canonical mission and office by authority of the Supreme Pontiff (directly in the case of Episcopal consecrations, and through the duly appointed local Ordinaries or Religious Superiors in the case of Sacerdotal ordinations and ordinations to the Diaconate and the ecclesiastical Minor Orders).

    As has been written in the notes above, a consistent sedevacantist would admit that it is precisely because the Apostolic See is vacant (according to their understanding) that no traditionalist Bishop can claim both formal and material apostolicity: only the latter can be ascribed to them without infringing the ecclesiological doctrines taught by the theologians and manualists of past ages and enshrined in the Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in the Apostolic Constitution Providentissima Mater (27 May 1917; A.A.S., vol. IX, pars II.).

    The reality is that the clerici acephali, the episcopi vagantes, of our day may have ostensibly imperiled their salvation in risking the possibility of incurring serious censures and scandal, as well as committing sacrilege and mortal sin in having attained to the sacred Episcopacy contrary to the norms of Canon Law (cf. Can. 953: “Consecratio episcopalis reservatur Romano Pontifice ita ut nulli Episcopo liceat quemquam consecrare in Episcopum, nisi prius constet de pontificio mandato;” Can. 2370: “Episcopus aliquem consecrans in Episcopum, Episcopi vel, loco Episcoporum, pres-byteri assistentes, et qui consecrationem recipit sine apostolico mandato contra praescriptum Can. 953, ipso iure suspensi sunt, donec Sedes Apostolica eos dispensaverit"), for they have been consecrated as Bishops, and have themselves consecrated other Bishops, without Apostolic mandate.

    Although, because of a salutary and necessary application of the principles of epikeia, there is no moral culpability to be imputed to them in this regard, the fact remains that these Bishops and the clerics they have elevated to Sacred Orders have, strictly speaking, no proper ecclesiastical office nor ordinary jurisdiction (habitual or delegated) since they lack the requisite Canonical mission (cf. Can. 147: § 1. Officium ecclesiasticum nequit sine provisione canonica valide obtineri. § 2. Nomine canonicae provisionis venit concessio officii ecclesiastici a competente auctoritate ecclesiastica ad normam sacrorum canonum facta).

    It must be emphasized that the sacred Episcopate is subordinated unto the Supreme Pontiff in the order of jurisdiction (cf. 108, § 3: “Ex divina institutione sacra hierarchia  ratione ordinis constat Episcopis, pres-byteris et ministris; ratione iurisdictionis, pontificatu supremo et episcopatu subordinato; ex Ecclesiae autem institutione alii quoque gradus accesere” [emphasis mine]; Can. 109: “Qui in ecclesiasticam hierarchiam cooptantur, non ex populi vel potestatis saecularis consensu aut vocatione adleguntur; sed in gradibus potestatis ordinis constituuntur sacra ordinatione; in supremo pontificatu, ipsomet iure divino, adimpleta conditione legitimae electionis eiusdemque acceptationis; in reliquis gradibus iurisdictionis, canonica missione” [emphasis mine]).

    Although the Bishops are truly doctors and teachers for those souls whose pastoral care they have undertaken or have been given, this is only so by reason of the authority of the Pope since the magisterial authority of the Bishops, whether collectively or singly, is dependent upon the jurisdictional and magisterial primacy of the Sovereign Pontiff (cf. Can. 1326: "Episcopi quoque, licet singuli vel etiam in Conciliis particularibus congregati infabillitate docendi non polleant, fidelium tamen suis curis commissorum, sub auctoritate Romani Pontificis, veri doctores seu magistri sunt” [emphasis mine]).

    Moreover, Holy Mother Church, since the Sacred Council of Trent (Session XXIII, De reformatione, caps. 11, 13, 16), has ordained that all clergy are to be incardinated into a diocese or ingress unto Holy Religion (cf. Can. 111, § 1: “Quemlibet clericum oportet esse vel alicui dioecesi vel alicui religioni adscriptum, ita ut clerici vagi nullatenus admittantur” [emphasis mine]).

    One must therefore conclude that all the present day traditionalist clerics are clerici vagi. Supplied jurisdiction given by the Church in the various individual instances wherein acts that are necessary for the spiritual welfare of the faithful need to be performed in both the internal and external fora are all that the present-day clerics can claim solely relying on the prudent application of the principles of epikeia. In going any further than this, they risk transgressing the limitations of their limited competence (in order of ecclesiastical authority) and exacerbate their problematic Canonical predicament all the more. It is precisely because the present day clerics do not have a Canonical mission that they cannot publicly bind individual consciences to their private opinions or practical judgments, save insofar as they conform with the doctrines and customs sanctioned by Holy Mother Church. Nor can they ascribe to themselves the dignities and prerogatives of the Bishops and Priests that ruled over the faithful in ages past by authority of the Supreme Pontiff.

    Normally, the Bishops and Priests would be given unquestionable credibility and authority, but, precisely because the Roman Pontiff is presently out of the equation in the practical order (according to the sedevacantists), such can no longer be the case. In doing otherwise, one would perhaps substantiate the anti-sedevacantists' claims that the sedevacantist faithful discard the reverence and veneration due to the Papacy alone, whilst adhering to the vagrant clerics in an irony that is absurdly  bereft of the sensus Catholicus.

    To assert the contrary would be erroneous and obscene. Just because the Johannine-Pauline structures cannot be identified with the Ecclesia Christi, does not necessitate resorting to historicist and revisionist interpretations of what the theologians have taught in order to assuage those doubts that continue to haunt us.

    Yet this too is a phenomenon amongst certain sedevacantist polemicists that seems concomitant with the vilification and slander of the authority of Holy Mother Church.

    To argue that what the Church has promulgated as binding ecclesiastical discipline (i.e., the simplification of the rubrics of the Roman Missal and Breviary, the Restored Order of Holy Week, the mitigation of the Eucharistic fast, all promulgated by authority of Pope Pius XII) can be noxious to faith and morals because of the times is something that no Catholic would have argued in ages past. To cite historicist historiography -- seemingly bereft of the indispensable orientation given by the divine revelation as proposed by the Catholic Church and taught by the Fathers, the Popes, and approved theologians, -- and invoke the principles of Canon Law to justify arbitrary and egocentrically antiquarian liturgical praxes, is simply disheartening to say the very least.

    Curiously, such process of cognition and reasoning is akin to what the modernists wrote regarding the "organic evolution" of dogma and the "hermeneutic of continuity" that is so often cited nowadays by conservative circles within the Johannine-Pauline construct.

    The nova œconomia brought forth by the Johannine-Pauline modernists and implemented by the structures they have usurped cannot at all be construed as warranting the creation of another nova œconomia: redefining and re-interpreting what the magisterium of Holy Mother Church proposes for our assent, particularly regarding the Apostolicity and Unity of the one and true Church of Christ, can only bring about error and confusion. Instead of defending Holy Mother Church in the pristine integrity of her doctrines, some Catholics, in a rash reaction to the novelties of modernists, have (inadvertently, and in some cases with full deliberation) concocted further novelties whereby they humiliate and vilify these same doctrines in a most lamentable manner.

    This, again, is inexorably connected with the Gallicanistic liturgical praxes of the sedevacantist polemicists of whom I have been writing.

    Post script: The New Sedevacantist Error

    Partly as a reaction to the notes presented above, certain sedevacantist polemicists have adopted the view that the independent clerics do have the "authority" to pick and choose which editio typica of the liturgical books to use because they are to be ascribed Apostolicity formaliter and ordinary jurisdiction, and, consequently, constituting the Ecclesia docens properly so-called.

    The sensus Catholicus recoils at having to reconcile the "Œconomia nova" of the modernists who occupy the Johannine-Pauline structures and the depositum fidei of the Church of Christ. However, identifying the acephalous and vagrant clergy of the anti-modernist resistance with the duly appointed hierarchy of the Church of Christ only complicates things. In order for the sedevacantists to logically posit their self-appointed clergy as constituting the Ecclesia docens, they must first demonstrate and prove:

    (1) precisely how, when and why the occupants of the Johannine-Pauline structures cannot claim to constitute the Ecclesia docens;

    (2) precisely how, when and why the occupants of the Johannine-Pauline structures lapsed away from the Catholic and divine faith into formal heresy, properly so-called;

    (3) what precisely in the documents of the Johannine-Pauline council can be said to constitute the "Œconomia nova" of the modernists, by identifying the heresies and errors thereof and demonstrating what theological label is to designate these propositions (according to the methodology of the eminent theologians whom Holy Mother Church has proposed to us as our teachers and guides in these matters);

    (4) they must demonstrate the theological, moral and Canonical ramifications of the deliberate and contumacious adherence of these propositions of the Johannine-Pauline council, both as regards to the Bishops of the time and to the laity and clergy who remain materially adhered to the structures that were brought forth by the Johannine-Pauline council and its modernist proponents;

    (5) how exactly are we to contextualize these occurrences to the doctrines of Holy Mother Church as set forth in the Encyclical letters of the Roman Pontiffs, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the approved theologians of the illustrious schools; and

    (6) why does it necessitate positing the conglomerate and acephalous clerics of the anti-modernist resistance as constituting the Ecclesia docens, and what are the criteria whereby the faithful may readily identify who exactly amongst these same clerics to be ascribed the "hierarchical claim" and how these clerics are to "exercise" such a claim (for example, what prevents one from ascribing such "hierarchical claim" to Bp. Pivarunas, but denying it to Bp. Slupski, or how can the faithful determine who are the charlatans and frauds, such as Ryan "St. Anne" Scott?).

    Numbers one through five have been done by individual apologists (whether clerical or lay), or groups thereof, but not in a systematic manner, much less according to the strict scholastic methods of inquiry as seen in how theologians such as Franzelin, Van Noort, Scheeben, Garrigou-Lagrange, Tanquerey, Fenton, &c., present sacred doctrine in their manuals and commentaries. As one sedevacantist has written:

    There is no "complete" published sedevacantist theory except the Guerardian one (and even that has not been published in any language than French, and even in French it was not put into a systematic form and published in a volume, but rather it appeared scattered throughout issues of a journal). Yet non-sedevacantists are attacked for failing to adopt "sedevacantism". This only needs to be stated for its absurdity to be immediately apparent. Can any reasonable and just man condemn another for refusing to accept a theory which, as far as he can see, involves the denial that the Church has a hierarchy? Can anybody really be condemned for not adopting a theory which nobody has even bothered to present in a professional and complete form?

    Number six essentially constitutes the controversy in question, and it has become a public controversy now because of the contumacy of certain polemicists who have made novel theories in prejudice to sound theology.

    In order for either the aforementioned polemicists or for such sedevacantists as the author of the cited article to evade the censure of theological error or of being "rash," they have to methodically and systematically present the predicament of the Church in the present day according to the teachings and methods of Thomistic philosophy and theology. They cannot just pretend the Johannine-Pauline structures do not exist or have relevance, because millions of Catholics adhere to them in good faith, and immune from danger of formal heresy according to the promise of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima in the third portion of the great "Secret."

    For to posit that the conglomerate of acephalous and vagrant clergy in the anti-modernist resistance is to be identified as the Ecclesia docens is equivalent to stating categorically and unequivocally that the "traditionalist movement" is the Church (not just a portion thereof), and that the Johannine-Pauline structures necessarily impute the guilt of formal heresy unto those who adhere to them, without due consideration of the great obfuscation of the present age whereby millions of Catholics yet remain deluded and led astray without guilt of their own.

    Furthermore, positing that the the conglomerate of acephalous and vagrant clergy in the anti-modernist resistance is to be identified as the Ecclesia docens would indeed invest them with "executive responsibility" for what has been happening with the Church for the past decades: including everything from the Johannine-Pauline council, to the sex abuse scandals and the conspiracy to conceal these crimes, to the immorality rampant and encouraged at such events as the "Youth Days" or whatever they are called, &c.

    For, if these clerics have been "sent" by some sort of missio extraordinaria, and have been endowed with the necessary power and jurisdiction: why would Christ make this hierarchy (sic) of His Church so powerless, divided, and enfeebled so as to allow the damnation of millions upon millions of Catholics who have defected into modernism or lapsed away from the faith in the Johannine-Pauline structures?

    Or is the responsibility of these clerics limited to the faithful who attend their chapels and give them stipends? If so, how can their missio be universal and pertain to the entirety of the Church of Christ (both the Latin Occident and the Churches of the Orient)?

    This is how problematic the so-called "hierarchical claim" of the traditionalist clerics truly is. It is not helping the anti-modernist resistance, nor does it vindicate sedevacantism in any way. On the contrary, it is inherently subversive not only to sedevacantism, but to the entire resistance against the Johannine-Pauline structures.

    For in positing these ecclesiological errors, sedevacantists such as Mr. Ruby incur the censure of Cajetan as cited by Msgr. Journet

    Quote from: Msgr. Charles Journet, in fact, in his work [i
    The Church of the Word Incarnate: An Essay of Speculative Theology[/i] (trans. A.H.C. Downes; London: Sheed and Ward, 1954), pg. 411n]During a vacancy of the Apostolic See, says Cajetan, the universal Church is in an imperfect state; she is like an amputated body, not an integral body. "The Church is acephalous, deprived of her highest part and power. Whoever contests that falls into the error of John Hus―who denied the need of a visible ruler for the Church―condemned in advance by St. Thomas, then by Martin V at the Council of Constance. And to say that the Church in this state holds her power immediately from Christ and that the General Council represents her, is to err intolerably" (De Comparatione etc., cap. vi., 74). Here are the seventh and the twenty-seventh propositions of John Hus condemned at the Council of Constance: "Peter neither is nor ever was the head of the Holy Catholic Church"; "There is nothing whatsoever to show that the spiritual order demands a head who shall continue to live and endure with the Church Militant" (Denz. 633 and 653).

    The anti-sedevacantists could make the argument that such polemicists as those in question expose "sedevacantism" as theologically untenable by subscribing to the condemned twenty-seventh proposition of John Hus.

    Moreover, the twenty-eighth proposition seems to be blueprint of the so-called "Apostolic Church" that these sedevacantists have devised: "Christ through His true disciples scattered through the world would rule His Church better without such monstrous heads," Christus sine talibus monstruosis capitibus per suos veraces discipulos sparsos per orbem terrarum melius suam Ecclesiam regularet" (Denz., no. 654). And there have been sedevacantists who have lamented the dogmatic definition of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff by the Vatican Council (Session IV, 18 July 1870) in the Constitution Pastor aeternus as the "preparation" for the present day ecclesiastical crisis; ironically echoing the Jansenists and Gallicanists that preceded them.

    Ultimately, this renders such sedevacantists' opinion the very "sedevacantism" (to speak anachronistically) that John Hus himself professed, as his twentieth proposition seems to show: "If the Pope is wicked and especially if he is foreknown, then as Judas, the Apostle, he is of the devil, a thief, and a son of perdition, and he is not the head of the holy militant Church, since he is not a member of it," "Si Papa est malus et praesetim, si est praescitus, tunc ut Iudas apostolus est diaboli, fur, et filius perditionis, et non est caput sanctae militantis Ecclesiae, cum nec sit membrum eius" (Denz., no. 646). For if these so-called apologists of the sedevacantist camp adopt an ecclesiology that hearkens to the errors of John Hus, there may be a legitimate objection that posits the possibility that "sedevacantism" as interpreted by these polemicists is ultimately a revival of the Hussite heresies.

    In making the acephalous and vagrant clergy the Ecclesia docens, such theorists are devising an "Œconomia nova" of their own, wherein this sort of "sedevacantism" brings forth a new abominatio in desolationem (cf. Dan. cap. xi., 31, cap. xii., 11), or, rather, a new abominatio desolationis (cf. Dan. cap. ix., 27, S. Matt. cap. xxiv., 15, S. Marc. cap. xiii., 14): not only a Church without a Pope, but a Church that has no need of a Pope to have a hierarchy that can claim Apostolic succession formaliter and ordinary jurisdiction. A new and vile form of fideicide that brings about scandal and error in a manner analogous to the Hegelian historicist "dogmatics" of the modernists and their Johannine-Pauline structures.

    The sickening and heart-rending irony of the tragic errors of the Missal-sifting sedevacantists is that they, in their endeavors to expose the Johannine-Pauline anti-liturgy as ushering in the "abomination of desolation," have themselves ushered in another "abomination of desolation" - a Church that not only is bereft of a Pope, but has no need of one to function.

    "Qui legit, intelligat" (S. Matt. cap. xxiv., 15).[/size]



    [1]Litaniæ Lauretanæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis, Rituale Romanum, Tit. XI, cap. iii. (Romæ: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1954).
    [2] Cf. Missale Romanum, Præfatio de Apostolis: “Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare: Te Domine, suppliciter exorare, ut gregem tuum, Pastor æterne, non deseras: sed per beatos Apostolos tuos continua protectione custodias: Ut iisdem rectoribus gubernetur, quos operis tui vicarios eidem contulisti præesse pastores.
    [3]Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xlvii [1955], p. 838-847.
    [4] Rev. Father J.B. O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal (Milwaukee, WI: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1956; Imprimatur: + Albert G. Meyer, Archbishop of Milwaukee, 27 April 1956), p. 6
    [5] A.A.S., vol. IX, pars II [1917].
    [6] Can. 1257: “Unius Apostolicae Sedis est tum sacram ordinare liturgiam, tum liturgicos approbare libros;” cited in Rev. Father Richard Stapper’s Catholic Liturgics (trans. Rev. Father David Baier. Paterson, NJ: St. Anthony Guild Press, 1938; Imprimatur: + Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York, 1 November 1935), p. 34.
    [7 ]A.A.S., vol. xxi. [1929], pp. 33-41.
    [8] Rev. Father Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (Barcelona: Herder, 1957; Imprimatur: + Gregory Bishop of Barcelona, 29 September 1950),  no. 2200.
    [9]A.A.S., vol. xxxix [1947], p. 521-595.
    [10] “Quamobrem uni Summo Pontifici ius est quemlibet de divino cultu agendo morem recognoscere ac statuere, novos inducere ac probare ritus, eosque etiam immutare, quos quidem immutandus iudicaverit.
    [11] Rev. Father Henry Davis, S.J., Moral and Pastoral Theology (London, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1958; Imprimatur: + John Henry, Archbishop of Portsmouth, 4 May 1957), vol. 1, p. 149.
    [12] Denzinger, no. 694.
    [13] Denzinger, no. 1827. Dogmatic Constitution I of the Church of Christ Pastor aeternus (Acta Sanctæ Sedis, vol. vi. [1870-71], pp. 40 sqq.).
    [14] Denzinger, no. 1831: “Si quis itaque dixerit, Romanum Pontificem habere tantummodo officium inspectionis vel directionis, non autem plenam et supremam potestatem iurisdictionis in universam Ecclesiam, non solum in rebus, quae ad fidem et mores, sed etiam in iis, quae ad disciplinam et regimen Ecclesiae per totum orbem diffusae pertinent; aut eum habere tantum potiores partes, non vero totam plenitudinem huius supremae potestatis; aut hanc eius potestatem non esse ordinariam et immediatam sive in omnes ac singulas ecclesias, sive in omnes et singulos pastores et fideles; anat
    Please ignore all that I have written regarding sedevacantism.

    Offline Hobbledehoy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3746
    • Reputation: +4805/-5
    • Gender: Male
    Sedevacantist Holy Week and Missal Usages
    « Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 11:07:26 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote

    The "recognize-and-resist" traditional Catholics who eschew sedevacantism and follow the typical editions of the Roman Missal and Breviary prior to the promulgation of the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII are not the object of my critiques because they are informed by a different ecclesiological orientation. I have not studied enough the seminal texts and the present day discourse of their circles to enable me to write anything substantial regarding their stance, but (as I have written before) their liturgical praxis appears to be consistent with their understanding of the ecclesiastical question. I cannot blame them for rejecting the reforms of Pope Pius XII when they recognize Benedict XVI as the Supreme Pontiff and yet act as if he is not at Rome.[/color]

    Please note the above correction.

    Thank you anonymous friend for bring this to my attention.
    Please ignore all that I have written regarding sedevacantism.


    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16