substantial unity

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 14, 2005

In May 2004, The former Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Jorge Medina-Estevez, wrote in his retirement -- and in his own person -- a letter to the editor of an Italian Catholic journal that included the following paragraph:

I reaffirm my personal opinion that the abrogation of the Missal of St. Pius V has not been demonstrated (non è provata), and I might add that in the decree, signed by me, that accompanied the promulgation of the third editio typica of the Roman Missal, there is no clause of abrogation of the ancient form of the Roman Rite. I say, "of the ancient form," because there are not two "Roman Rites," rather two "forms" of this Rite, which has a substantial unity. And I might add further that the absence of any clause of abrogation is not by happenstance, nor the result of forgetfulness, but intentional.

In the same letter, Medina-Estevez insists, "one cannot doubt the orthodoxy of the Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI." His point that there are not two distinct Roman rites is one that needs to be made often, and with force.

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Feb. 17, 2005 12:47 PM ET USA

    Thank you, Cardinal Jorge and Diogenes. You made my day.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 17, 2005 10:51 AM ET USA

    I have always agreed with the intervention of Cardinal Ottaviani and the warnings of Dietrich von Hildebrand. It was no surprise to a former Protestant that converted in 1949 to see the erosion of spiritual respect and the innovations of the Protestants involved in the develpment of the Mass. I accepted the Novus Ordo only with the stipulation that if it were in violation of the warning of Pope St. Pius V, the error was with the perpetrators, not with me. It can never be my Mass of choice.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 15, 2005 2:50 PM ET USA

    Rev. Joseph Gelineau, S.J. (a member of Abp. Bugnini’s Consilium, which composed the Novus Ordo Mass): “Let those who like myself have known and sung a Latin-Gregorian High Mass remember it if they can… To tell the truth it (the Novus Ordo) is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: The Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.” (The Liturgy Tomorrow, 1976)

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Feb. 15, 2005 1:10 PM ET USA

    Why mention this now in 2004/2005 as if it were news? But is it news? Did either Vatican II or the enabling decrees of the Mass of Pope Paul VI ever refer to "two forms of this one Roman Rite". What's the difference between an "abrogration" and a "supression" (which I believe is the term applied in 1970 to the Roman Missal of 1962)?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 15, 2005 12:24 PM ET USA

    Anyone who says the Novus Ordo Mass grew organically from the Tridentine is either ignorant or a liar. They are poles apart: different venue, different language, different prayers, different music, different gestures, different postures and, most notably, different Canon and different words of consecration. Throw in the abuses that Rome has allowed to become today’s “norms” and you have the difference between night and day. No wonder true Traditionalists argue the Novus Order is invalid.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Feb. 14, 2005 6:01 PM ET USA

    Gusguru, it doesn't look as if your argument is with Diogenes. He (or she: we don't really know, do we?) isn't the one who asserts that there are not two rites but two forms of one rite. Your argument appears to be with Cardinal Medina-Estevez.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2005 4:05 PM ET USA are wrong...there are two completely separate and distinct rites...this can't be emphasized enough...just as there are separate and distinct Eastern Catholics rites so there are two separate Roman rites...not the bogus "two forms"....this is dishonest scholarship at the best as there was in no way, shape or form a homogeneous development from the Mass of St Pius V to the Novus Ordo...Liturgical scholars acknowledge that there was a break and thus there is two rites...not two forms

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2005 2:49 PM ET USA

    It would help if the Church actually had a system of laws - yes I am aware of so-called "Canon Law", and the GIRM and others. But in practice these things only serves as straws for harrassing the faithful, and are easily ignored when the Preference of the local Episcopacy is otherwise. At most it serves as an indictment of said Bishop when he meets St. Peter.