Card.Cañizares: “It is normal to use the 1962 Missal.”

From Andrea Tornielli of Vatican Insider:

Cardinal Cañizares explains why he agreed to preside over [not just “preside over”] Saturday’s mass for faithful from the “Una cum Papa nostro” pilgrimage, in St. Peter’s Basilica

“I gladly accepted to celebrate next Saturday’s mass for pilgrims who came to thank the Pope for the gift of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum because it is a way to make others understand that it is normal to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite…[That’s right!] This was the answer Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, gave to Vatican Insider when asked about the meaning of next Saturday’s (3 November) mass which will be celebrated at 15:00 in St. Peter’s Basilica. This morning, the spokesman for the “Una cum Papa nostro” pilgrimage announced that Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, Vice President of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be present at the mass.

VI: What is the point of the pilgrimage?

Card. Cañizares: “To give thanks to God and thank the Pope for the motu proprio he issued five years ago, recognising the value of the liturgy celebrated according to the missal of the Blessed John XXIII and marking continuity with the tradition of the Roman Rite. By recognising the previous liturgy one understands that reform does not mean doing away with older traditional practices.

VI: Why did you agree to celebrate mass for pilgrims who follow the pre-conciliar Rite?

Card. Cañizares: I agreed because it is a way to show people it is normal to use the 1962 missal: [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] there are two forms of the same Rite but there is only one Rite, so it is normal to use it during mass celebrations. [Did I mention that it’s normal?] I have already celebrated a number of masses according to the missal introduced by the Blessed John XXIII and I will gladly do so again on this occasion. The Congregation in which the Pope has called me to act as Prefect does not oppose the use of the old liturgy, although the task of our dicastery is to enhance the meaning of liturgical renewal according to the directives of the Sacrosanctum Concilium constitution and follow in the footsteps of the Second Vatican Council. In relation to this it must be said that the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite must draw inspiration from the conciliar Constitution which in the first ten paragraphs focuses on the true spirit of the liturgy and so is relevant to all rites.[I think some trads will freak out at that suggestion.  Perhaps they ought to read the first ten paragraphs of SC.]

VI: What is your opinion regarding the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, five years on?

Card. Cañizares: “I do not know the details regarding the world situation, partly because it is the Ecclesia Dei Commission that deals with this but I think that people are gradually beginning to understand that the liturgy is core to the Church and we have to revive the sense of mystery and sacredness in our celebrations. [Perhaps this could have been part of the discussion of the Synod of Bishops.] Furthermore, I believe that five years on we are able to better understand that it is not just about some faithful feeling nostalgia for the Latin Rite but about adding to the meaning of the liturgy. We are all part of the Church, we are all in one communion. Pope Benedict XVI explained this very well and on the first anniversary of the motu proprio, he recalled that “no one is unwelcome in the Church.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr. Z! A post you might find interesting!

    The Eastern Churches have their own cultural-liturgical identities, which are value in and of themselves to an Eastern Catholic. What about for the Latin Catholics? If it is wrong for the Roman Church to make the Eastern Churches forget their traditions …


  2. (It is, in fact, not just a plug. It is tangential to the topic at hand.)

  3. Inigo says:

    Are you coming to Rome Father Z?

  4. Father K says:

    In the light of the Cardinal’s remarks I think it is time we moved away from the terms ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary.’ ‘Extraordinary’ in modern English does not express well the reality of what the Pope is trying to do and can be used as a weapon by opponents of the well, ‘extraordinary form.’

  5. HighMass says:

    God Bless His Eminence!

  6. AnnAsher says:

    @Father K- Amen. Our English understanding of Extraordinary would indicate to us commonly that the extraordinary thing is better than the ordinary thing. While ecclesiastically I think Ordinary is taken as “normal” and extraordinary not so. I love the Cardinal’s statement! I’m no sure what the best expression is but I like “Usus Antiquior” which was also used by Pope Benedict XVI in his Motu Proprio.

  7. Sixupman says:

    Yet for diocese around the World, “normal” was not the phrase, it was more like anathema with regard to the Old Mass – and still is in many places.

  8. Pingback: Parlano del pellegrinaggio | UNA CUM PAPA NOSTRO

  9. Father K says:


    Yes, I agree. Maybe ‘older form’ and ‘newer form’ of the Roman Rite might be easier. It puts both forms on an equal footing.

  10. Now if only every Bishop…every Bishop were to offer a pontifical Mass in the EF at the same time on the same day….

  11. Floreat says:

    Father K, might I suggest “The Mass of All Time”?

  12. John Nolan says:

    When Cardinal Castrillon visited London in the wake of SP to celebrate Mass in Westminster Cathedral he referred to the EF as the ‘Gregorian Mass’, which raised a few eyebrows. It is quite clear that Paul VI intended that the newer rites would replace the older ones, and not exist alongside them. However, what we have now is the Roman Rite as it was in 1962, not significantly changed from the missal of 1570 (with the exception of Holy Week), and a new rite which clearly isn’t the Roman Rite as historically understood, but rather a rite authorized by Rome for use in places which formerly used the Roman Rite. In my opinion the continued existence of the classic Roman Rite, far from enriching the newer form actually destabilizes it. Eucharistic Prayer III may be a fine anaphora, but we know it to have been composed by a priest sitting at a typewriter in the 1960s. It cannot match the pedigree of the Roman Canon. Similarly the newly written Offertory prayers do not hold up against the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas which is a feature of this part of the rite in uses of the Roman Rite which long predate Trent. No wonder progressive liturgists (and there are still a few around) were so horrified when SP came out.

  13. Father K says:


    No you may not because it isn’t true.

  14. Floreat says:

    I’m curious, Father, why you think that?

  15. Ben Dunlap says:

    @Floreat, Laszlo Dobszay is very good on that question. You can find his excellent book “The Bugnini Liturgy” available for free download at He argues that the 1962 Missal is simply one historical manifestation of the Roman Rite — and probably not the most pastorally effective one at that, because it was basically the 16th-century Roman Curia’s take on the Roman Rite, and the 16th-century Roman Curia did not really have the direct care of souls.

    He describes with a certain wistfulness some of the medieval ceremonies of Holy Week that would have been normal in, say, 15th-century England prior to the Reformation, and one sees his point. One also thinks of the medieval Sequences — apparently there were hundreds, used throughout the year, and all but a handful were left out of the 1570 Missal.

    Of course in Dobszay’s view the Ordinary Form is essentially different from the historical Roman Rite — so what it comes down to is this: the 1962 Missal is the edition of the historical Roman Rite that we have now and can use freely, so let’s use it. But we needn’t imagine that there has never been anything better and never will be (which is what the name “Mass of All Time” implies, at least).

  16. Pingback: How to Spring a Soul from Purgatory Pope Benedict XVI | Big Pulpit

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