St Louis of France

In its introduction to this feast, the St Andrews Missal advises us that St Louis ‘introduced into his chapel the custom of genuflecting at these words of the creed:  Et homo factus est, and bowing down at the passage in the Passion when Jesus expires. Both these pious practices were adopted by the Church.’

The New Mass, to all intents and purposes, put an end to the former and although a bow has been reinstated following the changes ordered by Benedict XVI, it is observed more in the breach. In addition, the use of the Apostles’ Creed at the New Mass, rather than the Nicene Creed, bypasses the need for even this pared practice and perhaps also enables one to avoid the use of ‘consubstantial’ and the ‘filioque’ if one is so inclined.

It was of course Benedict XVI who confirmed that it is ‘permitted [for priests] to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.’  [our emphasis]. This rite of the Holy Mass known to traditionalists as the ‘traditional Mass’ dates back in effect well over 1400 years.  Mgr. Klaus Gamber in his work, ‘The Reform of the Roman Liturgy’ stated: ‘The Damasian-Gregorian liturgy remained in use throughout the Roman Catholic Church until the liturgical reform in our time. Thus, it is inaccurate to claim that it was the Missal of St Pius V that has been discontinued. Unlike the appalling changes we are currently witnessing, the changes made in the Roman Missal over a period of almost 1400 years did not involve the rite itself. Rather they were changes concerned only with the addition and enrichment of new feast days, Mass formulas and certain prayers.’

Cardinal Ratzinger commenting on Gamber’s work remarked that: ‘What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in the manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.’

Pope Paul’s New Mass which has now become the ‘ordinary’ rite has supplanted the traditional Mass which is now relegated to becoming an ‘extraordinary’ rite.  Alas that adjective is not applied with the same meaning as it is afforded in relation to so-called ‘eucharistic ministers’ – otherwise its use would now be ubiquitous.

Benedict XVI’s confirmation that the traditional Mass had never been abrogated was in stark contrast to the opinion of the episcopal mafiosi who insisted that it had been abrogated and acted accordingly. Indeed despite Benedict’s clarification many bishops and priests act as if it were still abrogated, preferring that fabricated liturgy which they foisted on the faithful.

We often forget what effect Paul VI’s New Mass had on Catholics and we have therefore reproduced here Jean Madiran’s article, ‘An Abuse of Power’, which appeared in Approaches No. 50-51 in 1976.  In the light of Benedict XVI’s admission that the traditional Mass was never abrogated, Monsieur Madiran’s harsh words regarding Paul VI are wholly vindicated. His observations too regarding the indult arising from St Pius V’s quo primum  also bear consideration in view of recent restrictions on the use of the traditional rite in a religious order.


We have posted below  a new ‘Kerr’s Musings’ – a column which appeared in the printed version of Apropos.

Kerr’s Musings

Trinitarian Architecture

‘It might well be asked, indeed, why any one accepting the Bethlehem tradition should object to golden or gilded ornament since the Magi themselves brought gold, why he should dislike incense in the Church since incense was brought even to the stable’ 

G. K. Chesterton.

Some remarkably ugly Church architecture has appeared in recent decades. We hear that Our Lord doesn’t favour splendour, regal vestments and so on, but rather a noble simplicity.

There is a tendency to have a feeling that the Old Testament pertains to the Father, with the Son and the Holy Ghost each waiting to have His turn. However there is one will in the Trinity, so that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are co-responsible for the Old Testament. Hence the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost gave the orders as regards the Temple, and the Ark of the Covenant with its images of 2 Seraphim, the vestments of the priests and so on.

Everything had to be magnificent since God should be glorified as magnificently as possible. That being true of the Old Covenant, how much more so of the New Covenant? The latter being so to speak the crowning of the former, it surely follows that all that pertains to Divine worship should be as magnificent as circumstances permit, if possible surpassing the Temple.

Our Lord knew from all eternity that St Peter’s Basilica would arise in Rome if He sent St Peter there. He sent him there, so He approved of the original construction and all the work done there since which lends itself to that magnificence.

Offensive to pious ears

An early modernist, Fr George Tyrrell sarcastically suggested Rome should define pious ears. In fact a great contemporary, Cardinal Merry del Val, defined by example. It was said of him that a statement that was not quite right doctrinally, gave him the almost physical pain a false note in music gives. This may be taken further. The omission of a note may have a similar effect. To speak of the papal primacy of honour without mentioning the primacy of jurisdiction would be one example.

At Vatican II it was complained that the Holy Office condemned works without consulting the writers. Again we can define by example. In WW II, in North Africa, one unit found that if the two-pounder tank guns were sighted according to the Tank Gunnery textbook, then a shot fired at a target 1,000 yards away would fall 300 yards short. They informed higher headquarters, but deplorably only a very few units received this life-saving information. Those responsible for the original mistake were presumably not German spies.

The Tribunal of Faith is not supposed to be a literary review mechanism. It is there to glorify God by saving lives, civilisation and souls. It does this by expounding God’s truths and crushing errors.


It is often said that the Kingship of Christ pertains to former times. Apparently we’re much more mature than they were in former times.

In the 16th century, St Pius V, as Pope, was in the habit of walking alone through Rome saying the Rosary. Nobody bothered him. In the 18th century Benedict XIV would do the same, simply for exercise, so that you could see the Pope standing chatting to a friend in the street. Nobody bothered them.

Bishop Ullathorne mentioned that at Vatican I when one bishop had finished speaking very well, ‘there burst out an unusual applause, even to clapping and bravos, which were ruled not to occur again, as unsuited to a Council and a Church.’

St Pius X  had notices put up for his coronation in 1903 stating that there was to be no applause. He explained that the servant is not applauded in the Master’s house. Pius XII expressed a wish that when he was carried in on the Sedia Gestatoria the faithful should sing a Papal hymn rather than applaud.

Gloria in excelsis Deo

The Angel Host sang the above ‘and peace on earth to men of goodwill’.  The shepherds turned up. The Magi came down from Jerusalem. Only the Magi, why nobody else?  On the face of it the men of goodwill were hardly a Host. However what about goodwill among pagans?

Our Lord later met Roman soldiers who had become monotheists because they had been stationed in the Holy Land. This suggests a pre-existing goodwill and an openness to grace.

Out of the Church no salvation’  means  that everyone who is saved is ‘within’ the Church in some way, even if not in the perfect way which we call membership (which only Catholics have).  To know the Catholic Church is true and not join it, or to suspect that it may be true and not investigate further constitutes a grave sin.  The man who has never heard of the Church, or only heard a caricature of it etc., but desires to do what God wants, has Baptism of Desire, and would belong to the Church as it were in his soul though not in his body.

There are sins known as reserved sins. These include “one who throws away the consecrated species or, for a sacrilegious purpose, takes them away or keeps them”; “a person who uses physical force against the Roman Pontiff”; “both the bishop who, without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person a bishop, and the one who receives the consecration from him”; “a confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal”; and a confessor who absolves “an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue.” In addition, canon law provides that those procuring a completed abortion, and apostates, heretics and schismatics incur penalties reserved to the Ordinary (the local Bishop).

 Higher authority, perhaps Rome, must give permission for Absolution for cases reserved to it. Suppose a man confessed a reserved sin and died before Absolution could be given, he would so to speak have received Absolution by Desire  provided he had made a perfect act of contrition.

It is worth noting that SSPX priests have had recourse to Roman authorities in relation to reserved sins. The Roman authorities have approved the giving of Absolution. This merits the most careful consideration of the implications involved.

Eastern Orthodox monks are likely to do more penance in a day than most Catholics in a lifetime. Doctrinally they are closer to the Church than any other non-Catholics. Suppose it were possible to write a letter to such a monk which would certainly convert him. Humanly speaking it would not seem much of a favour, he would have to leave his monastery, the other monks would revile him as a traitor. However such a conversion would give glory to God, and the Angels sang first and foremost of the glory of God.

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