Last week, I joined Dr. Taylor Marshall to discuss a very important question: Can Pope Francis Ban the Latin Mass?
The catalyst for our discussion was the recent reports (see here, here, and here) that a new document which will further restrict (if not attempt to abolish altogether) the Traditional Latin Mass could be forthcoming (as soon as “April or May” of this year, according to one source).
Brian McCall and I have covered those recent reports on our Weekly News Roundup show:
While discussing the question, Can Pope Francis Ban the Latin Mass?, Dr. Marshall and I highlighted five crucial quotes (listed in the order in which we covered them):
- Council of Trent: “If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church that are customarily used in the solemn administration of the sacraments may be despised or omitted without sin by the ministers as they please or that they may be changed to other new rites by any pastor in the Church: let him be anathema.” — Council of Trent, Session VII (March 3, 1547), can. 13 on the Sacraments in General (D.H. 1613)
- Pope Pius IV: “I most firmly accept and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of the same [Catholic] Church. … I also profess that there are truly and properly speaking seven sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord and necessary for the salvation of the human race…. I also admit and accept the rites received and approved in the Catholic Church for the solemn administration of all the sacraments mentioned above.” — Bull Iniunctum Nobis (Nov. 13, 1564), Tridentine Profession of Faith (D.H. 1863-1864)
- Pope Pius IX: “Apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same [Catholic] Church I most firmly accept and embrace. … I profess also that there are seven sacraments of the new law, truly and properly so called, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and necessary for salvation…. I likewise receive and accept the rites of the Catholic Church which have been received and approved in the solemn administration of all the aforesaid sacraments.” — First Vatican Council, Session II (Jan. 6, 1870), Profession of Faith
- St. Thomas Aquinas: “… if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, ‘Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.’” — Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 33, a. 4, ad 2
- St. Robert Bellarmine: “… just as it would be lawful to resist a Pontiff invading a body, so it is lawful to resist him invading souls or disturbing a state, and much more if he should endeavor to destroy the Church. I saw, it is lawful to resist him, by not doing what he commands, and by blocking him, lest he should carry out his will; still, it is not lawful to judge or punish or even depose him, because he is nothing other than a superior.” — On the Roman Pontiff (trans. Ryan Grant), Book II, Ch. 29 (Mediatrix Press, 2016)
These quotes demonstrate two crucial points: (1) the Pope has a solemn duty to faithful guard and hand on “the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church” (Council of Trent), which is part of his duty to preserve and promote the Catholic Faith as a whole; and (2) it is lawful to resist the Pope if he endangers the Faith by his words, deeds, or omissions, and especially “if he should endeavor to destroy the Church” (St. Robert Bellarmine).
Stay tuned for a detailed written treatment of this subject, and be sure to subscribe to Catholic Family News (see HERE)!