OLDIE PODCAzT 84: St. Pius V and Quo primum

An oldie PODCAzT for today, which in the feast of St. Pius V in the older, traditional Roman calendar:

On this feast of St. Pope Pius V (+1572) I drill into one of his most famous acts as Roman Pontiff.  Today we look into and listen to his Apostolic Constitution Quo primum, by which he promulgated the editio princeps of the Missale Romanum.

This history changing document came out of turbulent times.  The Council of Trent had just closed and Pius, as Pope, was tasked with the standardization of the Church’s liturgy as a bulwark against attacks on the Catholic Faith on many fronts.   Catholic identity was shaken by the theological revolt in the north, uncertain teachings, lack of unity in the expression of worship and even the menace of invasion by Islamic armies.

Because there is a reciprocal relation between what we believe and how we pray, our worship plays a key role in the shaping and maintaining of our Catholic identity in a difficult world.

However, centuries after the edition of the "Tridentine" Roman Missal, decades after Paul VI issued his own Apostolic Constitution for the promulgation of the so-called Novus Ordo of the Roman Rite, confusing claims remain about the juridical force of Pius V’s Quo primum

Some people maintained that Paul VI absolutely abolished the older, traditional "Tridentine" form of Mass with his own Constitution Missale Romanum.

Some people maintain that Pius V’s Quo primum can never be abrogated or abolished or modified even by other Popes and that it still has force of law.

While not trying to get too canonical, we drill into the questions, draw some conclusions, and hear the words of Pius V in their 16th century splendor.

You may surprised at how modern some of the saintly Pope’s actions sound.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RichR says:

    An oldie PODCAzT for today,

    sigh…….I didn’t realize how much I miss PODCAzT’s.

    Since this is the Year of the Priest, I’d like to make a request,Fr.Z. I’d love to hear your thoughts in a PODCAzT about how priests now are being transformed into parochial CEO’s. I know a dear priest who is so fed up with administrative duties that take him away from his sacramental duties, that he’s depressed about his vocation. My hunch is that there are many priests who could benefit from a pep talk on this topic.

  2. Whoa. I just found Quo primum online and read it. Certainly, when a Pope is named Pius, playtime is over. Especially liturgy playtime.

    Linky: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius05/p5quopri.htm

  3. luiz says:

    The Pope has the authority to abrogate the tridentine mass?

  4. Warren says:

    SP Daily – thanks for the link! That’s a document with teeth.

  5. MAJ Tony says:

    We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers.

    How does a thinking Catholic reconcile this statement with claims that the Pauline Missal was written to be more representative of the liturgy of the early Church. In light of paragraph 4 in Sacrosanctum concilium which states in it’s last sentence

    “The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times.”

    one might duly contend that the Pauline Missal jumped the tracks, specifically and especially in the area of the new anaphoras (eucharistic prayers), which are certainly not of Roman origin, and not completely organic in some cases to any rite, apparently.

    It seems Bugnini was trying to figure out a way to revise the Roman Canon to make it more unified-stylistically-and still keeps it’s Roman genius. Good, bad, or indifferent, complaints pretty much forced the issue, and Bugnini went with plan b, to create a whole new anaphora. This was really beyond the scope of his mission, based on SC alone, but Pope Paul VI gave him the green light to create two or three new anaphorae. My source is http://www.adoremus.org/9-11-96-FolsomEuch.html which is an interesting read. No doubt many of you have already read this.

  6. wanda says:

    Wow. Thank you, Fr. Z., for once again opening up the treasure chest and digging in there and teaching us about what you find. I am truly awed by the riches of our Catholic faith.

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