Mediator Dei 59

Pope Pius XII criticizes many of the future conciliar reforms, developments that were carefully considered and based in sound theology:

59. The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days – which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation – to other dates; those, finally, who delete from the prayerbooks approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.

I have had the occasional discussion with those who consider the Old Testament outdated, though I have to say the opinion is almost universally expressed from the fringes of the Catholic traditionalism.

My sense is that Pope Pius was outraged at the avoidance of consulting Rome and the curia for liturgical exploration. The use of the vernacular seems particularly tied up with a post-Reformation view of staking Catholic ground as non-Protestant above most all other considerations.

Mediator Dei on the Vatican web site.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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