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Quote:Pope invokes ‘magisterial authority’ to declare liturgy changes ‘irreversible’ [Image: 55101236fab57d575f9de6cd5bdbc655-690x450.jpeg]
Pope Francis rises the holy host during a Mass prior to the Corpus Domini procession from St. John at the Lateran Basilica to St. Mary Major Basilica to mark the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, in Rome, Sunday, June 18, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


Although acknowledging that more than fifty years after the Second Vatican Council there are still tensions and unfinished business in terms of implementing its vision for the liturgy, Pope Francis in a session with Italian liturgists on Thursday nevertheless invoked his "magisterial authority" to declare, "The liturgical reform is irreversible."


ROME - Addressing a group of liturgical experts on Thursday, Pope Francis said that after the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and a long path of experience, “We can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.”

The declaration came in a speech on Thursday to Italy’s “Center of Liturgical Action,” which sponsors an annual National Liturgical Week.

By “liturgical reform,” Pope Francis meant the changes in Catholic rituals and modes of worship which followed from Vatican II, the most immediately visible elements of which included Mass facing the congregation, the use of vernacular languages, and a stronger emphasis on the “full, conscious and active” participation of the people.

Although Pope Francis is often seen as having less interest in liturgical questions than some of his predecessors, this was a lengthy and carefully footnoted reflection, roughly 2,500 words in all.

He began by highlighting some of the cornerstones of the liturgical movement of the 20th century, a reminder that the ongoing reform is rooted in tradition, and was actually kick-started by two popes often seen as  “conservative”: Pius X, who created a commission for renewal in 1913, and Pius XII, with his encyclical Mediator Dei and changes to the liturgy of Holy Week.

According to Francis, these changes came to fruition with 1963’s Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, the application of which is still ongoing, including overcoming “unfounded and superficial interpretations, partial revelations and practices that disfigure” [the liturgy].

Quoting Pope Paul VI, the Argentine pontiff added that this process is still ongoing in part because reforming the liturgical books is not enough to “renew the mentality.”

Also using the words of his predecessor, Francis called Catholics - priests and laity alike - to leave behind “disruptive ferments, which are equally pernicious in one sense and the other,” and to “apply integrally” the reform approved by the bishops who took part in the Council.

Battles over liturgical practice have been a chronic feature of Catholic life since Vatican II.

A desire to maintain the older Latin Mass, for instance, was a primary force prompting French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to lead a group of traditionalist Catholics into a break with Rome. During the 1990s, the church in the United States engaged in a decade-long debate over how to translate liturgical texts into English and other matters dubbed the “liturgy wars.”

There are even sometimes tensions inside the Vatican walls, where Francis and the Church’s top liturgical official, Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, don’t always appear to see eye to eye -particularly on the value of the older Mass, celebrated in Latin and with the priest facing away from the congregation, now known as the Extraordinary form.

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This is kind of dumb, to be honest.  The only reason the reform would be possible in the first place, is if liturgical reform were not irreformable.  This seems to be what the actual position of the Church has been.  On the other hand, if we assume the Pope can make it irreformable, then that happened some centuries ago with Quo Primum and the more recent reforms would be impossible/illegitimate.  It doesn't work either way. :shrug:
Agreed.  The Popes actions in the 20th century prove that nothing liturgical is irreversible.
Exactly what SaintSebastian said. We've had the Quo primum discussion here plenty of times, and no Pope can bind a future Pope in disciplinary matters, since every Pope has the same authority.

And I don't think anyone thought Pope Francis would actually do any reforming of the liturgy. At least not in a direction traditional Catholics would want.
:scratchinghead: Pardon my ignorance, but is this an ex-cathedra declaration thus making it infallible and hence, truly irreversible?
One Pope cannot bind a future Pope in matters of discipline, if it could there would be NO Novus Ordo.
(08-24-2017, 04:46 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]:scratchinghead: Pardon my ignorance, but is this an ex-cathedra declaration thus making it infallible and hence, truly irreversible?

It's as infallible as Quo primum.
However any of us tries to spin this stuff, this sort of comment is going to DEEPLY strengthen the PrayTell, America,CommonWeal and Catholic Answers crowd.  

He is unambiguously attempting to use the power of his office to "magisterially" crown the post conciliar liturgy as above reproach and uuntouchable.  

It's a Pandoras Box that will not be easily shut.
Troubling words indeed, loving the ancient Roman liturgy is very disheartening when the man who should protect it the most is seemingly against it. The classical Roman liturgy is truly, as Father Franc Queox aptly put, "the purest masterpiece of western civilization." Seeing it shoved aside for something far, far less really troubles me more than anything else.
(08-24-2017, 05:01 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-24-2017, 04:46 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]:scratchinghead: Pardon my ignorance, but is this an ex-cathedra declaration thus making it infallible and hence, truly irreversible?

It's as infallible as Quo primum.

:s :s   So....that doesn't really answer my question.  I've never heard of Quo primum and have no knowledge of it.  So...I'll ask again, in my ever increasing ignorance....is this an ex-cathedra declaration making it an infallible papal utterance?
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