23 July 2023


S Prosper of Aquitaine was so close a collaborator with S Leo the Great that it is not always entirely clear which of S Leo's writings are his, and which might owe much to S Prosper. It was he who formulated the adage that "the Law of Praying should establish the Law of Believing" (obsecrationum quoque sacerdotalium sacramenta respiciamus, quae ab apostolis tradita in toto mundo atque in omni catholica ecclesia uniformiter celebrantur, ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi. It is, in other words, to the Law of the Church's Prayer that we should turn in order to find sound doctrine.

I am a trifle uneasy about the way in which Pius XII flirted (Mediator Dei, 1947) with the notion of reversing this formula so as to make the Law of Believing establish the Law of Praying, and of retaining both versions in, as it were, creative tension. This could easily relegate the Law of Praying to the humble status of a resource occasionally plundered by those drafting pontifical documents and needing proof-texts to bolster up a weak argument with impressive footnotes. This demotion of the Law of Praying seems indeed to be precisely what happened in the disordered years after the Council, when the levers of liturgical power in the Church fell into the hands of a tendenz determined to make their own presuppositions the dominant norm according to which liturgical texts would be judged and changed or even (as in the rite for the Consecration of bishops and by the provision of "Alternative Eucharistic Prayers") dumped.

An expression of this disordered desire to make the Lex credendi determine the Lex orandi (rather than the correct way round) can be found in the Decree of 1951 ordering a new Office for August 15: " ... congruum erat ut etiam Officium iis adornatum esset laudibus, quae Deiparae Virgini ob definitum corporeae Assumptionis dogma merito tribuendae erant".

As so often, when one really looks into matters, Pius XII turns out to be the real progenitor of the "Post-Conciliar Reforms" and of the errors of Bergoglianity. Hannibal Bugnini forsaw this very clearly when he wrote in 1956 that the pope who had been, first, the Restorer of the Vigil and then the Restorer of Holy Week, would become the Supreme Restorer of the entire sacred Liturgy (totius sacrae Liturgiae Summus Instaurator).

We did not then and do not now need a Supreme Restorer of the entire Liturgy. We need a recovery of respect for the ancient liturgical texts so that they can shape the beliefs of the worshipping community.

Not be shaped by them.

In his Letter which accompanied Traditionis custodes, PF claimed to be following in the footsteps of S Pius V.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

PF claimed that S Pius was "establishing for the whole Latin Church a single Missale Romanum. For four centuries this Missale Romanum, promulgated by S Pius V, was thus the principal expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite ...".

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The merits of the Missal of S Pius V did in fact secure for it a dominance in those "four centuries".  But this was not what S Pius either intended or expressed in his legislation. We must not read history with hindsight. Careless folk often write that S Pius "permitted" the survival of rites older than 200 years.

This is erroneous. Quo primum, dealing with the rites of more than 200 years, stated that the pope was by no means abolishing them (NEQUAQUAM AUFERIMUS); on the contrary, he ordered them to be continued (unless a bishop with the unanimous consent of the Chapter decided  otherwise).

S Pius ordered the preservation of Rites with a history of more than 200 years.

PF is ordering the extinction of  a Rite more than 1500 years old.

To assert the identity of these two policies is the language of 1984; it is such a massive suggestio falsi that I rather suspect it tips over into the category of a great big lie.


Stephen said...

So are their items, which are declared as faith requirements, in the Roman Catechism and Proclamations of Popes and councils that are NOT to be found in the common prayer life of the Church? If such items exist, are they to be considered more, less or of equal importance to those that do? If more or equal, than does that not undermine the importance of "lex orandi, lex credendi"?

Arthur H. said...

Recently, I had the happy occasion to attend Sunday Mass with friends. It was the Latin Mass, and it was a low Mass, but beautifully prayed by the PP, with several altar boys, a wonderful schola, a huge congregation mainly composed of young families with lots of screaming babies, it was great!

All the wives were pregnant and/or nursing, and all the husbands looked like Vikings. Sadly, I will not tell you where this took place for fear of reprisals... But God willing, I have beheld the future of the Catholic Church. Deo Gratias.

David TN said...

Isaiah 52:11 (Vulgate): “Recedite, recedite; exite inde, pollutum nolite tangere; exite de medio ejus; mundamini, qui fertis vasa Domini.”

Arthur Gallagher said...

Whichever way 'round you put it, it is clear that the Vatican II way of prayer has destroyed the belief of millions of Christians in the true faith.

Grant Milburn said...

The corkboard on the wall of the Mutual Enrichment detective agency is sporting more and more pieces of string connecting scenes of liturgical devastation with a mug shot of…Papa Pacelli!

Ironic, considering how many trads look to Pius XII as the last really trustworthy Pope. It reminds me of those TV whodunits in which it suddenly emerges that the guy who has been so helpful with a rather gruesome case is actually…

So.  the rule of prayer is subordinated to the rule of belief. Next thing, so we are told, the Mass had to change because the theology had changed. Turns out the rad trads were right all along. We are talking about two different rites expressing two different religions - but there can he ONLY ONE. There's one point that both Roche and the SSPX can agree on. 

coradcorloquitur said...

We live, as I think most who read and contribute to this blog know, in an age singularly characterized by mendacity. So, important public figures think nothing of lying to us in our faces, Francis chief among them. It shows you the crass, ignorant contempt they have for the people they are always cynically prattling about loving. Lies upon brazen lies worthy of the Father of Lies. Oh, but wait for the exclamations of "Santo subito" he moment Francis goes to his dread judgement---for the lies must not cease.