Liturgy and the extent and limits of papal authority

The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and and limits of [papal] authority, which of course, as such, had never been considered. After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.

Joseph Ratzinger
in The Spirit of the Liturgy


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Traditionis custodes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Splendid – thank you! And Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Llawen on this Shrove Tuesday!

  2. Thomas S says:

    And to think… he’s still living next door. God, help us.

  3. Pingback: THVRSDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

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