Wherein Fr. Z corrects some diaconal misinformation about the Missal of St. John XXIII – UPDATE

A "Mass of St. John XXIII", perhaps even using the Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII

UPDATE 21 May:

Rev. Mr. Ditewig has changed his original post around a bit and has apologized.


The usually sensible Rev. Mr. Kandra and the, well, I suppose less than always sensible (he seems to support women’s ordination and he has some odd colleagues) Rev. Mr. Ditewig are confused today.

They disseminated something about me that isn’t true.

This isn’t a huge deal, but it bears some explanation because I really like the topic.

From Deacon Kandra’s blog: [UPDATE: I think Rev. Mr. Kandra has removed his blog post.]

Deacon Bill Ditewig address a common misconception: 

It is the tendency of some commentators, such as Father John Zuhlsdorf (“Father Z”), to refer to the 1962 editio typica of the Missale Romanum as “The Mass of St. John XXIII”.  [NO.  This is false.  I don’t do that.  I never have and I never will.] I’m not sure why such an error is being made, and I don’t want to ascribe any motivation to something which may be nothing more than a simple error of fact.


Deacon Ditewig… who will get more traffic today than ever… even has a “PLEA” to me to STOP referring to the “Mass of St. John XXIII”.

No.  I can’t do that.  I can’t stop doing that BECAUSE I NEVER STARTED.

In fact, I do NOT refer to the “Mass of St. John XXIII” when writing or speaking about the Extraordinary Form.  I never have and I never will.

HERE is one post, as an example, wherein I refer to the BOOK as the Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII.

I sometimes, and with great relish, now refer to the 1962 Missale Romanum as the “Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII”.

That is to say, this is the edition of the Missale Romanum issued by St. John XXIII in 1962.

Just as I would never refer to the Extraordinary Form, or Usus Antiquior (aka all-sorts-of-things), as simply “the Latin Mass”, because the Novus Ordo ought to be celebrated in Latin and is, therefore, also “the Latin Mass”, I would never be so sloppy and inaccurate as to refer to the “Mass of St. John XXIII”, unless it were applied to a Mass celebrated by St. John XXIII.

The deacons might want to clean their reading glasses.

I am sure that Deacon Kandra, who may not be terribly familiar with or interested all this old Mass business, may have just taken what Deacon Ditewig wrote at face value and without doubling checking.  I don’t think he would purposely misinform people.

Deacon Ditewig, whom we have seen before, could have other motives for misinforming people about what I write and then tisking and clucking and attempting to correct me (who has already forgotten as much about these matters has most clerics will ever know).

In any event, you can watch for their own corrections of the corrections they tried to make in (wrongly) correcting me.  I don’t need an apology.

So, everyone, feel free to use as much as possible the nickname:

Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII!

Could it be that liberals doesn’t like the idea of St. John XXIII being associated with the Extraordinary Form?  Could it be that liberals think they own St. John XXIII?

And, as frosting, here is a shot of the title page of my typical edition of the Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII.  You can tell it is the Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII because St. John XXIII’s coat-of-arms is right there on the page… beneath where is says Missale Romanum.

Finally, did I mention that St. John XXIII’s edition of the Missale Romanum is what we use for the Extraordinary Form thanks to The Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict XVI?


In case Spanish is clearer.


What did Summorum Pontificum say in 2007 (with my emphases)?

Art. 1. Missale Romanum a Paulo VI promulgatum ordinaria expressio “Legis orandi” Ecclesiae catholicae ritus latini est. Missale autem Romanum a S. Pio V promulgatum et a B. Ioanne XXIII denuo editum habeatur uti extraordinaria expressio eiusdem “Legis orandi” Ecclesiae et ob venerabilem et antiquum eius usum debito gaudeat honore. Hae duae expressiones “legis orandi” Ecclesiae, minime vero inducent in divisionem “legis credendi” Ecclesiae; sunt enim duo usus unici ritus romani.

Proinde Missae Sacrificium, iuxta editionem typicam Missalis Romani a B. Ioanne XXIII [according to the typical edition of the Roman Missal (promulgated) by Blessed John XXIII … of course he was only “Blessed” then.] anno 1962 promulgatam et numquam abrogatam, uti formam extraordinariam Liturgiae Ecclesiae, celebrare licet. Conditiones vero a documentis antecedentibus “Quattuor abhinc annos” et “Ecclesia Dei” pro usu huius Missalis statutae, substituuntur ut sequitur:

He was only “Blessed” John XXIII in 2007.  Now that he is “Saint”, we should refer to the Roman Missal of St. John XXIII.

In the meantime, here is a photo of St. John XXIII who, having said Mass that very day, is probably reading something about his very own edition of the Missale Romanum.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Drill, You must be joking! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. benedetta says:

    Hoping they explain why this bothers them so much in their clarification.

    [Don’t hold your breath. But you can tell it does.]

  2. Former Altar Boy says:

    And let all those with an attachment to the Novus Ordo remember: Pope John XXIII only attended the traditional Latin Mass his entire youth and only said the TLM as a priest/bishop/pope. He never faced the congregation during Mass except to read the epistle and gospel and to preach; he never distributed Holy Communion in the hand; he only distributed Holy Communion to the faithful on the tongue while they were kneeling, unless impeded by some infirmity.

    [Sigh…. someone will bring up that St. John XXIII “faced the people” in St. Peter’s Basilica. Just watch.]

  3. Beyond what Former Altar Boy says, it is my inference from his writings that John XXIII loved the traditionally liturgy more passionately than any other pope of the 20th century, or perhaps of recent centuries. A very few others may have been more cerebral in their love of the TLM, but John XXIII loved it from the heart more than the mind. (For a start, see the recent NLM series on John XXIII by Peter Kwasniewski.)

  4. Henry Edwards says: John XXIII loved the traditionally liturgy more passionately

    And let us not forget Veterum sapientia!

  5. johnmann says:

    Summorum Pontificum Art. 5 §2:

    “Celebration according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sundays and feast days, however, such a celebration may also take place.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    There is about to be a free massive online course on “women deacons” led by National Catholic Reporter writer Phyllis Zagano, Santa Clara Jesuit U theology professor Gary Macy, and this man Deacon Bill Ditewig who is the former USCCB permanent deacon guy (and longtime friend of Deacon Greg Kandra http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/12/deacon-bill-ditewig-banned-in-philadelphia/) whom Philadelphia banned from giving talks in their diocese after he co authored a book on “women deacons.” The online course runs June 9-July 8. Anyone can join it. Participants can join in discussion.


    There is no such thing as sacramentally ordained women deacons. Some, even Deacon Greg Kandra (who is clear about the fact women cannot be ordained as PRIESTS), try to claim that sacramental ordination of women deacons may legitimately be discussed and speculated about as an open question; I really think it is not an open question. The sacrament of Holy Orders conforms a man to Jesus Christ for sacramental ministry.

  7. Iacobus M says:

    Now, now, can’t let the Truth get in the way on the nice Manichaean fable about Good Pope John and Bad, Mean Pope John Paul (along with his Wicked Henchman, Ratzinger/Benedict).

  8. wmeyer says:

    Despite having been given multiple notices of his error, in varying degrees of charity, the good Deacon persists. He has “made no error of fact”, he asserts. Perhaps he might make use of the Litany of Humility….

  9. dp0p says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but I was taught in the 1990s that only transitional deacons, in anticipation of their priestly ordination, are to be titled, “Reverend Mister.” Permanent deacons were not to be so styled. The Kennedy Directory page on protocol follows this rule. Was I misinformed, or has something changed?

  10. Riki says:

    The term “NOVUS ORDO MISSAE” reminds me too much of the “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM” or
    ‘NEW WORLD ORDER”. I did 6 years of Greek-Latin Humanities in a nun-run boarding High School and we went every morning to the Chapel for Holy Mass and I must tell you that the Latin Mass was so sacred, during the Consecration everyone was extremely quiet, so full of aw, so it was during and after Holy Communion. Sunday afternoons we had Adoration. Once a freemason professor at my job, he was the first one to do cloning and IVF’s (he was in the news for this) said : how long are we “freemasons” fighting against the Catholic Church ? That’s going to be almost a hundred years and I guarantee you even before the year 2000 they won’t even speak about the “Catholic” Church anymore. (I heard Our Lady of la Salette’s words:the devil will be given a 100 years to test the Church.
    In the early fifties the “Spekpater”=”Bacon Priest” held retreat days in our boarding school and he told us :” know that there are priests being trained and formed in Russia on the Krim (Crimea) to enter and destroy the Catholic Church. I will never forget this, it impacted me deeply. And indeed : the smoke of satan has entered the Church but in the end Mary’s Immaculate Heart will be Victorious but when will they finally consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Why do they not want to listen to Her ???? Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat. Amen Rita Biesemans

  11. JustaSinner says:

    Why the misinformation? Wow, too easy Fr. Z, one word: jealousy.

  12. benedetta says:

    Would this be an error in fact? “The spirituality of St. John XXIII was wholly formed in the Mass now called the Extraordinary Form.”

    And, that which was edifying for him, now a saint, is likewise edifying for us.

  13. rcg says:

    This is really cool! I never thought about asking a priest if he has stopped beating his wife! You can say “No” and we can’t twist it into something bad.

    To bad the same can’t be said about this sort of silliness.

  14. Matt R says:

    I think the deacon made a storm out of nothing. He doesn’t even read your blog!

    I note this from the deacon: The various editions of the Mass of Pius V, promulgated by his successors, did not supplant the fact that the fundamental Mass was that of Pius V. When referring to subsequent editions, we do not change that basic fact.

    By emphasizing the continuity, he implied the lack of it in the missal issued by Pope Paul VI. I am not saying it is invalid or illicit to use it, of course, only that it is firstly not immune from criticism and secondly that those criticisms make for a weak case concerning any kind of hybrid missal that will lead to the abolition and replacement of both forms.

  15. SPWang says:

    10 points to Rev. Mr. Ditewig.
    That’s one way to spike the stats.
    Who knows, there maybe one day a Missal of Rev. Ditewig…unless there already is…

  16. Lavrans says:

    Anyone who honks for the ordination of women as deacons is not worth my time. His argument is yet another tired “well, the Holy See didn’t say SPECIFICALLY that women can’t be deacons…brothers….husbands…horses….decorative vases…so its still technically an OPEN question!”

    *Yawn*. Honk somewhere else.

  17. OrthodoxChick says:

    When I read the link at deacon Kandra’s, I noticed he even used the phrase, “But Deacon! But Deacon!” Can’t imagine how he came by that expression. The whole post strikes me as nothing more than a play for attention, not unlike what my kids do when they want attention.

    [That brought a chuckle. Imitation is, after all, a high form of flattery.]

  18. Geoffrey says:

    Deacon Bill Ditewig is the head of the diaconate program in my diocese. Pray for him.

  19. robtbrown says:

    Riki says,
    In the early fifties the “Spekpater”=”Bacon Priest” held retreat days in our boarding school and he told us :” know that there are priests being trained and formed in Russia on the Krim (Crimea) to enter and destroy the Catholic Church. I will never forget this, it impacted me deeply. And indeed : the smoke of satan has entered the Church but in the end Mary’s Immaculate Heart will be Victorious but when will they finally consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Why do they not want to listen to Her ???? Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat. Amen Rita Biesemans

    I assume you’re referring to the Norbertine, Fr Werenfried vzn Straaten.

    I have no doubt that what he said about moles being trained in the East to destroy the Catholic Church is true. The destruction of Catholic life, however, came from within (mostly from northern Europe)–Rahner, Kung, and Schillebeeckx weren’t trained in the East. They and many members of the hierarchy were influenced by the Community of Man ideology, which included detente with Protestantism and atheistic secularism

  20. Geoffrey says:

    I just realized something. Thanks to Benedict XVI’s ‘Summorum Pontificum’, there are two forms of the one Roman Rite: the Extraordinary Form, which uses the Missal of St John XXIII and the Ordinary Form, which uses the Missal of St John Paul II.

  21. Imrahil says:

    and the Ordinary Form, which uses the Missal of St John Paul II.

    For those who have got that translated yet, that is. Around here, we still practically use the missal of Ven. Paul VI.

  22. Phil_NL says:

    One of the interesting things of the internet is that you can verify things rather easily.

    If we searvh this esteemed blog for the phrase “Mass of John XXIII” three results obtain, from 2009 or before (so why drag this up now?) and as part of quotes from others. [Right!] Once the quoted text is George Weigel’s, obviously he dropped the ball once, many moons ago. The other two people quoted are readers.

    One would expect the deacon to spend those same 3 minutes on verifying his story – writing his plea took probably longer…

  23. Phil_NL says:

    The plot thickens.

    Ditewig now has a correction (and apology of sorts) up. He mentions that “A reader of his blog reports that some of Fr. Z’s readers DO use the expression, without correction, so that must be where I read the expression.”

    Well, then, that could be seen as a response to my post. No-one else on this page used the word ‘reader’ before. So Fr. Z., forgive me if I take this a tad personal.

    But on to the merits of this ‘correction’. It is, how shall we put it, a tiny bit odd that such a response would come within an hour of my comment, while the US is still in the early AM, and then without mentioning that those cases are all at least 5 years old! I guess the only explanation is that deacon Ditewig reads old posts from wdtprs.com. Dinosaur-like old. And then falls over the fact Fr Z doesn’t spend 30 hours a day correcting mistakes in the text of commenters.

    He ends with “My goal is consistency and accuracy in referencing the various Missals”. His point would be that “if we wish to refer to the MR1962 as “The Missal of John XXIII” then we should be referring to MR2002 as “The Missal of John Paul II”. Why do one without the other? Consistency helps avoid confusion.”

    Gosh, what a problem… and not the original problem at all, which was not about identifying missals but the term Mass. Looks a lot like trying to muddle the waters by diverting track to me…

  24. Phil_NL says:

    Ok, perhaps “a reader of his blog” might also refer to a person in Ditewig’s combox who conducted a similar search (though perhaps not limited to this site, it doesn’t say), though that comment never mentioned the author of that comment reads this site.

    In that sense charity demands that I allow for the posibility that Deacon Ditewig has not responded indirecty to me.

    But the fact remains, all the cases of the term he attacks on this site are, by account of its own search function, all older than 2009. google digs up a few more comments, but again, none from the past few years. The where did Deacon Ditewig read the term? That question remains.

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  26. Gaz says:

    I maintain that it is the Missal as subsequently amended by Pope Benedict XVI (Good Friday intercessions). I recognise that this was a very minor change compared to the changes made by Pope St John XXIII.

  27. benedetta says:

    From Phil_NL: He ends with “My goal is consistency and accuracy in referencing the various Missals”

    It’s exactly as I predicted…even the so-called “liberal wing” is trending conservative…say the black and do the red! Be accurate! Be consistent! Follow the rubrics…the continuity with history! This is delicious…

    So these things matter very much apparently…!

  28. AvantiBev says:

    Dear Father Z:
    I don’t care what you call the Usus Antiquior, just say one or more for the Christians of Nigeria digging out their dead from today’s most recent jihadists’ bombings and for Ms. Ibrahim of Sudan whom our limp-wristed State Dept. cannot seem to extricate from her cell in Sudan where she awaits hanging (after giving birth) for the CRIME of being Christian.

    And since it seems like that last phrase will soon apply here in the USA too, say one for NFL player Don Jones who must attend re-education camp for being a straight man grossed out by seeing Michael Sam and his boyfriend kiss.
    Thank you, Father.

  29. HighMass says:

    Henry Edwards and Fr. Z,

    Interesting observation about S. John XXIII loving the Traditional Liturgy…..all the more reason to feel that the N.O. is not something he would have appreciated!

  30. John V says:

    Deacon Ditewig has removed the original post (and comments) and posted an edited version with an introductory comment.

  31. Supertradmum says:

    Sigh, thanks for the clarification, Fr. Z., but I do get tired that you and others have to correct permanent deacons. I personally know one who is no longer allowed to preach as he supports ss relationships. Another one in my home diocese is for women priests and says as much in public.

    Arrggh, When will the formation and training of permanent deacons become truly orthodox?

  32. wmeyer says:

    STM, I recently had the misfortune to hear a permanent deacon tell a class of adults that the CCC was written for priests, not for the laity. Having read Msgr. Wrenn’s books, I know whence this fraud comes, but its persistence is wearying.

  33. My apologies to one and all for my role in this debacle.

    As noted, Deacon Bill has updated his post and issued an apology for misrepresenting the views of Fr. Z.

    I’ve removed the post from my blog and Facebook feed.

    Mea culpa.

  34. Deacon Greg Kandra says: My apologies

    Classy, but no need… from you, that is.

    Thanks, however, for your elegant gesture.

  35. Bressani56 says:

    It’s obvious this permanent deacon tried to “score” against Fr. Z, but now has egg on his face. No wonder he (and, for example, his supporters at a certain Liberal Blog) have deleted their posts, and desperately hope nobody will remember what they wrote.

    But, this points to a deeper problem: the formation of permanent deacons, who in most cases, do not LIVE as consecrated men.

    For example, how could Deacon Ditewig not realize that the “Mass of Pius V” was a ritual that went back about a thousand years before Pope Pius V? Has he had zero liturgical formation? Did he ever attend a “real” seminary? Some of these permanent deacons attend secular universities only before ordination.

    This was his primary error, and it’s no wonder he’s deleted his attempt to “score” against Fr. Z.

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  37. Elizabeth D wrote:

    “There is no such thing as sacramentally ordained women deacons. Some, even Deacon Greg Kandra (who is clear about the fact women cannot be ordained as PRIESTS), try to claim that sacramental ordination of women deacons may legitimately be discussed and speculated about as an open question …”

    The subject of a female diaconate is complex, not only in its history, but in the use of terminology which has evolved over time (including the term “sacramental ordination”). An earlier edition of the following can be found at the EWTN Online Library. It was updated in 2010 to discuss some of the errors in Zagano’s writings.

    Deaconess: A Rose By Any Other Name

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