How the Code of Canon Law upholds Liturgical Tradition

Pope Saint Pius X offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Missale Romanum of Saint Pius V, which remains still the liturgical law of the Roman Church.

The fundamental principles of the Code affirm the liturgical traditions of the Church and require that the code be understood as such.

We can see this from Canon 2, which reads in Latin:

Can. 2 — Codex plerumque non definit ritus, qui in actionibus liturgicis celebrandis sunt servandi; quare leges liturgicae hucusque vigentes vim suam retinent, nisi earum aliqua Codicis canonibus sit contraria.

Which in English translation says:

Canon 2 :  The Code does not for the most part define the rites, which are to be observed in celebrating liturgical actions: on which account the liturgical laws in force up to now retain their vigor, unless any of them be contrary to any of the canons of the Code.

Here the determinative term in the Code is “liturgical laws” (leges liturgicae). In the Roman Rite, as has been observed by many: the new form of the mass, the Novus Ordo, had been celebrated for 13 years at the time the new Code of Canon Law was promulgated in 1983. As such it had not yet obtained any force of law by mere custom, which requires 30 years (canon 26). It also had not the support of a papal law, since Pope Paul VI in 1969, when publishing the decree, Missale Romanum, neglected to give the new form of the mass the force of law, leaving only minor aspects of the Missale to be determined by his decree and significantly — by the Hand of God — leaving unsaid in a legal act his will that it be imposed or become law (cf. canon 37).

Hence, canon 2, must be read as requiring the decree, Missale Romanum of St Pius V, to remain in force, since it was the principle liturgical law still enforce at the time the new Code was promulgated. We see this affirmed in part by the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, which says the ancient liturgy was never abrogated. Those who argue, that that same decree gave force of law to the new liturgy, have little to argue upon, since in it Pope Benedict limited himself to affirming the facts of law, not in promulgating new ones. That he recites a history of liturgical innovations since the reign of Pope John XXIII determines nothing, because a narrative is not a law or legal decree.

In this, we see that Pope Benedict XVI was simply manifesting the intent of John Paul II in promulgating the Code. The authentic meaning is for tradition, and all other canons need to be read in that light, in virtue of canon 17, which as has been often said here at the From Rome blog, requires that all canons need to be read in the light of canonical tradition and the mind of the legislator and their proper senses.  Since the liturgical innovations of Paul VI were not yet law or customary law in 1983, they cannot be appealed to in the reading of any canon in the present code, and those who do so are violating canons 2 and 17.

Finally, the most important thing to remember, when there arises any controversy over the liturgy at the canonical level, is that the context of the New Code approves the Ancient Liturgy. Never cede to the revolutionaries or those duped by the practice of putting praxis above law and custom, that the New Code upholds the innovations.

For example, let’s apply canon 2 and 17 to the reading of canon 938, which reads:

Can. 938 — § 1. Sanctissima Eucharistia habitualiter in uno tantum ecclesiae vel oratorii tabernaculo asservetur.

§ 2. Tabernaculum, in quo sanctissima Eucharistia asservatur, situm sit in aliqua ecclesiae vel oratorii parte insigni, conspicua, decore ornata, ad orationem apta.

§ 3. Tabernaculum, in quo habitualiter sanctissima Eucharistia asservatur, sit inamovibile, materia solida non transparenti confectum, et ita clausum ut quam maxime periculum profanationis vitetur.

§ 4. Gravi de causa, licet sanctissimam Eucharistiam, nocturno praesertim tempore, alio in loco tutiore et decoro asservare.

§ 5. Qui ecclesiae vel oratorii curam habet, prospiciat ut clavis tabernaculi, in quo sanctissima Eucharistia asservatur, diligentissime custodiatur.

And in English says:

Canon 938: §1 Let the Most Holy Eucharist be habitually reserved in only one tabernacle of the church and/or oratory.

§2. Let the tabernacle, in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved, be situated in some conspicuous, fittingly ornate part of the church and/or special oratory, (which is) apt for praying.

§3 Let the tabernacle, in which the Most Holy Eucharist is habitually reserved, be immovable, constructed of non transparent solid material, and so closed that the danger or profanation be most of all prohibited.

§4 For grave cause, it is licit to reserve the Most Holy Eucharist, especially at night time, in some safer and decorous place.

§5 Let he who has the care of the church and/or oratory, take care that the key to the tabernacle, in which the Most Holy Eucharist be reserved, be most diligently guarded.

Now let us examine this Canon carefully to understand what it means and does not mean.

First of all it speaks of two kinds of tabernacles, those in which the Sacrament is kept (nn. 1-5) and those in which it is kept habitually (nn.  1,3, 4). Thus it does not require that there only be one tabernacle as many have been told it means.  It only requires that for the most part, the tabernacle in which the Sacrament is habitually kept, be one. What does this mean? It means, that there should be numerically only one tabernacle in which the Sacrament is kept 24/7. However, there can be other tabernacles where the Sacrament is kept for a time, which is apt for praying (ad orationem). Here the Code uses the classical Latin term for liturgical prayer, orare, and thus signifies the Mass and any other liturgical service. But for security, another tabernacle at night time, in a more secure place can be had. So from this canon we can see at least 3 kinds of tabernacles are approved. The one for liturgical prayer, the one for habitual reservation, and the one for night time security.

Now, if we read this canon in the light of canon 2 and canon 17, which require us to understand it in continuity with liturgical and canonical tradition, we can see that it in no way at all abolishes the usage which was common for centuries of having a tabernacle on every altar (ad orationem), a tabernacle for principle reservation of the Sacrament and a tabernacle in a secure place, such as the Sacristy, for security.

In fact, when one recalls that Pope Pius XII magisterially taught that to separate the tabernacle from the altar would be an error,* we can see from canon 17, that canon 938 must be understood to include the obligation that at least the tabernacle for prayer (ad orationem) be situated upon an altar. That means, that in § 2 of Canon 938 it is requiring that it be upon an altar. And that canon 2 and canon 938 §2 is allowing it also to be upon the High Altar and every altar where public prayer is offered (ad orationem), since there is no greater praying that at the Altar where the Mass be offered.

Thus this canon in no way causes or requires that other tabernacles not be used or be removed. And if anyone order that a contrary practice be executed, then the subject receiving such an order has the right to refuse its execution. If the order be given verbally and not in writing, then the subject can refuse to comply on the grounds of canon 40, which makes all compliance invalid prior to receiving the administrative act in written form. He may, but is not required, then ask that a rescript first be granted (canon 60) codifying in written form and a legal act the order. If the order be given in writing or by rescript, then if the written act does not contain reference to a grant of authority (to the one commanding) to derogate from canon 2, 17 or 938, then the one receiving the written command can refuse it on the grounds of canon 41 and 38, namely, that such an act is nullified in virtue of canon 38, because it runs contrary to the law of canon 938, and that thus in virtue of canon 41 the one receiving such a command can omit its execution.

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* Pius XII, Allocutio, Assisi, Sept 22, 1956: “To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united.” (complete text here in PDF)

 

The Canonical Right of Every Priest to stop naming Francis in the Canon of the Mass

Most priests do not know that they have a canonical right to stop naming Bergoglio in the Canon of the Mass. They think wrongly that to do so would either be outside of their authority or would involve an act of schism. That it is not schism nor a sin, is proven thus:

Here is the canonical argument

First, a validly elected Pope must be named in the Canon of the Mass as a sign of communion. This is by tradition and liturgical law.

Second: Pope Benedict XVI was validly elected Roman Pontiff on April 19, 2005 A. D., just three days after his 78th birthday.

This is a dogmatic fact, which cannot be denied.

No validly elected pope’s name must be omitted from the Canon of the Mass during his lifetime, or before he validly resigns.

Third: Pope Benedict XVI did not resign on Feb. 11, 2013, he merely retired from the active ministry, as he himself said on Feb. 28, 2013 in his final Allocution (see other evidence here). For extensive canonical information about this see ppbxvi.org.

Fourth: That Pope Benedict XVI did validly resign was the falsehood which emanated from the Desk of Cardinal Sodano. (See explanation here)

Now just as Cardinal Sodano should have acted, is how all priest should act. Namely,

In accord with Canon 40, Priests who are to say mass hold a munus which is merely executory, in regard to whom to name at Mass in the Canon as Pope. This is because they do not decide on their own authority who is the pope and who is not the pope. They follow the command of a superior. That superior is above all the Pope.

If a pope therefore does not renounce his office in accord with canon 332 §2, because he renounces his ministerium instead, that renunciation has no canonical effect, because there is no canon in the Church’s laws which regard the renunciation of ministries.

Therefore, in accord with canon 40 and 41 A PRIEST IS FORBIDDEN to alter the name of the Pope in the Canon of the Mass. He cannot act on the basis of the declaration of Non Solum Propter in the same illegal manner Cardinal Sodano did. To do so would be to collaborate in his grave crime, deceive the faithful and enter into de facto schism with Pope Benedict. (see that article for a greater explanation of the crime and moral offence)

Therefore, a priest must continue to name Benedict in the Canon of the Mass.

Therefore, a priest must cease and desist naming Francis as soon as he recognizes the validity of this canonical argument.

(This argument is not that of the Editor of this Blog, who has merely expanded it for a fuller explanation — There are already a great number of priests who do not name Francis, but name Benedict instead, some openly, some secretly, some by saying for the Holy Father, without a specific name. God bless and strengthen and multiply these priests!)

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NOTE BENE: There is a lot of misinformation out there, from Vatican News, which falsifies things attributed to Pope Benedict. Here is one glaring case from last June, WHEN Vatican News claimed that Pope Benedict said, “There is only one Pope, and he is Francis”, which never actually happened. Click the links in the Twitter Card, below, for more on this.

 

 

Ad orientem, the Catholic & Apostolic thing to do!

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Rome, July 8, 2016 A.D.:  His Eminence, Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, has called upon all priests of the Roman Rite to return to praying the Mass ad orientem.

Ad orientem, is the Latin for “facing the East”.  In matters liturgical, it means facing the Tabernacle placed at the center of the narthex of the Sanctuary, that is the point on the central axis between the High Altar and the back of the Church.  Though, technically, in Major Basilicas, the doors of which open to the East, it means facing the main doors, as the Pope does at the Basilica of St. Peter and St. John Lateran, at Rome.

Ad orientem, means, thus, that the priest when he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, would be facing away from the congregation, in most churches, and showing them his back.

Here are some sound reasons, to heed the Cardinal’s invitation:

  1. He is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, hence it must be presumed he has the Pope’s permission to issue this invitation, therefore, not to, would signify disrespect at the least, for proper ecclesiastical authority.
  2. He is the most eminent member of the College of Cardinals from Africa, so not to heed his invitation might make some thing that one is a racist, like Cardinal Kasper.
  3. Catholics and even all the Orthodox, have faced ad orientem, during Mass for 1965 years.  The practice only was attacked after Vatican II, by the bad example of Paul VI, who tolerated and practiced this.
  4. Ad orientem, has always been the liturgical law in the Roman Rite, even the rubrics presuppose this, but priests have been constrained by political forces in the Church, and often threaten gravely with spiritual, legal and physical violence if they kept this tradition.
  5. This practice is more biblical, because when Our Lord Ascended into Heaven, He ascended into the East, and the Apostles and Disciples gazed for a long time to the East to see if Our Lord would immediately come back.
  6. This practice is more eschatological, for when the Mass is offered in this direction, the whole congregation of the faithful show that they are awaiting the imminent return of the Lord, at the end of time.
  7. This practice is more theological, because the Priest faces the Son and the Father, in the Holy Spirit, and the congregation worships the Triune God with the Priest.
  8. This practice is more mystical, because the priest, and the congregation with him, turns to God, face to face, as Moses did on Mt. Horeb, when the living God revealed Himself for the first time, face to face to a human being.
  9. This practice is more prayerful, since by facing in this way, there are less distractions, and the dialogue of prayer, which should be directed solely to God, is directed solely to God.
  10. This practice is more priestly, because the priest has the intimacy of praying to God without distractions and with his own face veiled to the people, as it were, since they cannot see him face on; while the faithful join him in the same attitude of prayer, sharing in it in their own way.
  11. This practice is more ecclesiological, because priest and faithful pray in the same direction in unity.
  12. This practice is more pastoral, because it manifests evidently to all the faithful that the Mass is a prayer to God.
  13. This practice will promote vocations, because men and altar boys will recognize more clearly that the role of the priest is not to be an actor before men, but a priest before God, and that the Mass is a solemn act of sacrifice and worship, not a stage for entertainment.
  14. This practice will promote reverence, because facing God in this way removes all need for showing off to the congregation, and obstructs it.
  15. This practice will promote mass attendance, because the faithful, wearied throughout the week by their mundane duties, will at last have the most important moment of their week, the prayer of the Canon of the Mass to themselves as a prayer time with God, their Lord, Savior and Redeemer, without distractions.
  16. This practice will promote the restoration of the Ancient Liturgies of the Church, because the silly language and non reverential rubrics promoted by the Aggiornamento will be more easily seen for the discordant realities that they are.
  17. But most importantly of all, Catholics always have prayed the Mass in this way, and if that or all these reasons are not enough, there is something gravely lacking in the faith of the local church and her pastors.

A concrete example of Cardinal Bergoglio’s Peronist Homiletics

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio preaches at the Feast of San Cayetano, of Our Lady of Lujan, and of San Pantaleón, Argentina: Una producción del periodista Eduardo Delbono para el programa de TV ´Buenos Aires al Día¨.

First, a homily for the feast, which is all about Jesus being among the people, and St. Cajetan who gave bread and work to the people.  The homily is in Spanish. The video gives a good view of how Catholicism is practiced in Argentina. Then follows his homilies at the other two feasts.

New Year’s Eve 2015: Let us thank God, chanting the Te Deum!

On New Year’s eve, it is a Catholic custom to thank God for all the blessings of the previous year, by singing the Te Deum. An English translation can be found here.

“Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum patrem,
omnis terra veneratur.

Tibi omnes angeli,
tibi caeli et universae potestates:
tibi cherubim et seraphim,
incessabili voce proclamant:

“Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
majestatis gloriae tuae.”

Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
te prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.

Te per orbem terrarum
sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis;
venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.

Tu rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes,
in gloria Patris.

Iudex crederis esse venturus.

Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni,
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine,
et benedic hereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.

Per singulos dies benedicimus te;
et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum,
et in saeculum saeculi.

Dignare, Domine, die isto
sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine,
miserere nostri.

Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos,
quem ad modum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi:
non confundar in aeternum.”

Read about the History of the Te Deum in the Catholic Encyclopedia.