Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fr. Z on St. Pius V's Quo primum

On this feast of St. Pope Pius V (+1572), Fr. Zuhlsdorf "drills into" Quo primum in an excellent discussion offering a synopsis of the document's historical context and significance.

This is exactly the sort of discussion that Roman Catholics need to hear, in order to understand the place of their liturgies within the context of Sacred Tradition.

Fr. Zuhlsdorff allows his audience to listen in -- via his podcast ("PODCAzT 84: St. Pius V and Quo primum") -- as he examines and reads for us Pius V's Apostolic Constitution Quo primum, by which he promulgated the editio princeps of the Missale Romanum.

As prolegomena to the podcast, Fr. Zuhldorf writes:
This history changing document came out of turbulent times. The Council of Trent had just closed and Pius, as Pope, was tasked with the standardization of the Church’s liturgy as a bulwark against attacks on the Catholic Faith on many fronts. Catholic identity was shaken by the theological revolt in the north, uncertain teachings, lack of unity in the expression of worship and even the menace of invasion by Islamic armies.

Because there is a reciprocal relation between what we believe and how we pray, our worship plays a key role in the shaping and maintaining of our Catholic identity in a difficult world.

However, centuries after the editio princeps of the "Tridentine" Roman Missal, decades after Paul VI issued his own Apostolic Constitution for the promulgation of the so-called Novus Ordo of the Roman Rite, confusing claims remain about the juridical force of Pius V’s Quo primum.

Some people maintained that Paul VI absolutely abolished the older, traditional "Tridentine" form of Mass with his own Constitution Missale Romanum.

Some people maintain that Pius V’s Quo primum can never be abrogated or abolished or modified even by other Pope’s and that it still has force of law.

While not trying to get too canonical, we drill into the questions, draw some conclusions, and hear the words of Pius V in their 16th century splendor.

You may surprised at how modern some of the saintly Pope’s actions sound.
Thank you, Fr. Z, for this beautiful synopsis!

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