Monday, 29 July 2013

Nicholas Gihr on the Roman Rite

A passage which I selected from Fr. Nicholas Gihr's excellent work, The Sacrifice of the Mass. This particular segment demonstrates the continuity which always existed in the development of the Roman mass, that it was always preserved according to the ancient and venerable tradition of the Church.


Jesus Christ Himself offered the first Eucharistic Sacrifice in the Supper Room of Jerusalem, and this in close connection with the eating of the Paschal Lamb of the Old Testament. At the same time He ordered the celebration of this Sacrifice in His Church for all times, when He gave to the Apostles and their successors in the priestly office the command and the power to do the same as He had done. After the example and by the order of Christ, the Apostles celebrated everywhere on their missionary journeys the Eucharistic Sacrifice… Christ’s example was the norm for the Apostles; at the celebration of the Sacrifice they did, first, only that which Christ had done before. According to His directions and under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost they observed other things besides, namely, according to the circumstances of time and place, to the simple, essential act of sacrifice they added various prayers and observances, in order to celebrate the Holy Mysteries as worthily and edifyingly as possible. Those constituent portions of the sacrificial rite, which are found in all the ancient liturgies, have incontestably their origin from Apostolic times and tradition; such, for example, as the preparatory prayers, the readings from Holy Scripture, the Psalms, the offering of bread and wine mixed with water, the supplications for the living and the dead, the Offertory prayers and the words added to those of Consecration, the reference to the death and resurrection of Christ, the Lord’s Prayer, the sign of the Cross, the kiss of peace, the fraction and distribution of the Host, the thanksgiving after Communion… Already Pope Innocent I (402-417), in writing to Decentius, Bishop of Gubbio, about ritual matters, traces the origin of the Roman liturgy to the Prince of the Apostles: “Who does not know,” he writes, “that what has been handed down by Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, to the Roman Church, is still observed unto this day, and must be observed by all?” St. Peter, consequently, must be regarded (in a more general sense) as the founder of the Roman liturgy, for the method of celebration followed and introduced by him was, without doubt, the essential and permanent foundation for its later development and form… The most ancient written inventories of the Roman liturgy we possess in three Sacramentaries, which bear the names of Pope Leo I (440-461), Gelasius I (492-496), and Gregory 1 (590-604). The Sacramentaries contain a precious treasure of liturgical traditions, which date from the most ancient period of the Roman Church. The above named Popes deserve well of the liturgy, inasmuch as they faithfully preserved the ancient formulas, and, at the same time, enriched and perfected them with additions suitable to the times. Our Missal is principally derived from the Sacramentary of the St. Gregory the Great. Under him the Canon of the Mass received its last addition. The rest of the constituent parts of the Roman liturgy of the Mass (the Introit, the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Collect, the Epistle, the Gradual, the Gospel, the Secreta, the Preface, the Pater Nosted, the Communion and the Post-Communion) date back at least to the fifth or even the fourth century.

Pope Francis and the Old Rite

This news is just in from Sandro Magister's site. Pope Francis seems to be coming down on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a religious order who has been quite enthusiastic in its celebration of the traditional Mass. But Pope Francis has just issued a decree stating the following: 
the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.
This seems to be a direct contradiction of Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum, according to which no explicit permission from higher authorities is required for the celebration of the "extraordinary form." 

I will admit to being quite frightened and disturbed by this. I do not like to attack the Pope, as other traditionalists tend to do. But neither can I sit back and dismiss it lightly. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised... This has happened before, and quite frankly, has been happening for a long time. Tradition is being attacked. 

I won't go any further than that, except to ask that we continue to pray and pray hard for the Church, and for Pope Francis especially. Also that we traditionalists not give in to the temptations of despair or bitterness which the devil will most likely be sending us.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Propers for the Tenth Sunday After Pentecost

INTROIT Ps. 54:17, 18, 20, 23
When I called upon the Lord, He heard my voice and delived me from those who war against me. He humbled them, He who is from eternity and remains forever. Cast your care upon the Lord, and He will support you.
Ps. 54:2. Hearken, O God, to my prayer and turn not from my pleading; give heed to me, and answer me.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Your almighty power is made most evident in Your mercy and pity. Be even more merciful toward us, that we may aspire after Your promises and come to share Your heavenly rewards. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE I Cor. 12:2-11
Brethren: You know that when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led. Wherefore, I give you to understand that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say "The Lord Jesus," but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministries. but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: To another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit: To another the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning of spirits: to another, diverse kinds of tongues: to another, interpretation of speeches. But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.

GRADUAL Ps. 16:8, 2
Keep me as the apple of Your eye, O Lord; protect me under the shadow of Your wings.
V. Let my judgment come from You; let Your eyes behold what is right.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 64:2.
It is fitting to praise You in Sion, O God, and to fulfill our vow to You in Jerusalem. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 18:9-14
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable also to some who trusted in themselves as just and despised others. "Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: 'O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

I have lifted up my soul to You, O Lord; I place my trust in You, O my God. Let me not be put to shame, nor let my enemies exult over me. No one who waits for You shall be left in confusion.

This Sacrifice was instituted by You, O Lord, to give glory to Your name. May we offer it in such a manner that we may find in it healing for our weaknesses. Through our Lord . . .

You shall be pleased with sacrifices which are Your due; with oblations and holocausts offered upon Your altar, O Lord.

O Lord our God, do not withhold Your gracious assistance from us, for by Your heavenly Sacrament we are ever made new. Through our Lord . . .

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pope Pius IX - Iam Vos Omnes

Pope Pius IX

This is a stunning text, and far too unknown in today's Catholic world. It is hard to see how modern ecumenism is compatible with this teaching. God bless Pope Pius IX!

Apostolic Letter of His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868, that they might return to the Catholic Church.

Surely you all are aware that We, who have been raised up, though without any merit, to this Chair of Peter, and therefore to the head of the supreme government and care of the entire Catholic Church of Jesus Christ Our Lord, have thought it opportune to call to Us the Venerable Brothers of the Episcopate of all the world, and to reunite them, in the coming year, in an Ecumenical Council; for preparation, with the same Venerable Brothers, calling you to share Our pastoral solicitude, those provisions which will prove more suitable and more incisive to dissipate the darkness of many pestilent errors which, wherever, with added damage of the soul, every day are more affirmed and triumph, and to always give more consistency and to diffuse in the Christian people, entrusted to Our vigilance, the kingdom of the true faith, of justice and of authentic peace of God.

Reposing full confidence in the most tightly bound and most amiable pact of union which in a marvelous way binds to Us and to this Seat the same Venerable Brothers, what testimony the unequivocable tests of fidelity, of love and of obedience towards Us and towards this Our Seat, [they] have never omitted to offer in the course of all Our Supreme Pontificate, we nourish the hope that, as it has happened in ages past through other General Councils, so also in the present age, this Ecumenical Council of Ours will produce, with the help of divine grace, copious and most joyous fruits for the greater glory of God and for the eternal salvation of men.

Sustained therefore by this hope, solicitous and urged by the charity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered His life for the salvation of all the race of men, it is not possible for us to pass by the occasion of the future Council without turning Our paternal and Apostolic word again to all those who, even if they acknowledge Jesus Christ the Redeemer and boast of the name of Christian, do not profess the totality of the true faith of Christ and are not in the communion of the Catholic Church. This being the case, we propose with all zeal and Charity to admonish, exhort, and beseech them for this reason to seriously consider and reflect whether the way in which they continue is that which is indicated by that same Christ the Lord: which is the way that leads to eternal life.

Nobody will certainly be able to doubt or deny that this Jesus Christ, to the end that the fruits of His Redemption might be applied to all the race of men, has built here on earth, upon Peter, the only Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic; and that He has conferred upon her the power necessary to preserve whole and inviolate the deposit of faith; to transmit this same faith to all peoples, tribes, and nations; to call [elect] to unity in this Mystical Body, through baptism, all men, for the purpose of preserving in them, and perfecting, that new life of grace, without which no one can merit and obtain eternal life; wherefore this Church, which constitutes the Mystical Body, will persist and prosper in her own stable and indefectible nature until the end of the ages, and offer to all Her sons the means of salvation.

Whoever thus gives proper attention and reflection to the situation which surrounds the various religious societies, divided amongst themselves and separated from the Catholic Church - which, without interruption, from the time of Christ the Lord and of His Apostles, by means of her legitimate sacred Shepherds, has always exercised, and exercises still, the divine power conferred upon Her by the Lord - it will be easy to convince [them] that in none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity. It follows that such societies, lacking that living authority established by God, which instructs men in the things of the faith and in the discipline of the customs, directing and governing them in all that concerns eternal salvation, they continuously mutate in their doctrines without that mobility and the instability they find one end. Everyone therefore can easily comprehend and fully reckon that this is absolutely in contrast with the Church instituted by Christ the Lord, in which the truth must always remain constant and never subject to change whatsoever, deposited as if it were into a warehouse, entrusted to be guarded perfectly whole. To this purpose, it has received the promise of the perpetual presence and the aid of the Holy Spirit. No one then ignores that from these dissentions [disagreements] in doctrines and opinions derive social divisions, which find their origin in these innumerable communions and which are always and increasingly diffused with grave damage[s] to the Christian and civil society.

Therefore, whoever recognizes that religion is the foundation of human society must be moved to confess what great violence has been wrought in civil society by the discrepancy of principles and the division of religious societies which fight amongst themselves, and with what force the refusal of the authority willed by God for governing the convictions of the intellect of men through the direction of the actions of men, as much in private life as in social life, has provoked, promoted and fed the lamentable of the things and of the times which agitate and plague [afflict] in this way nearly all peoples.

It is for this reason that so many who do not share “the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church” must make use of the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements [demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and lead them back within holy Mother Church, where their Ancestors found salutary pastures of life; where, in an exclusive way, is conserved and transmitted whole the doctrine of Jesus Christ and wherein is dispensed the mysteries of heavenly grace. 

It is therefore by force of the right of Our supreme Apostolic ministry, entrusted to us by the same Christ the Lord, which, having to carry out with [supreme] participation all the duties of the good Shepherd and to follow and embrace with paternal love all the men of the world, we send this Letter of Ours to all the Christians from whom We are separated, with which we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ; we desire in fact from the depths of the heart their salvation in Christ Jesus, and we fear having to render an account one day to Him, Our Judge, if, through some possibility, we have not pointed out and prepared the way for them to attain eternal salvation. In all Our prayers and supplications, with thankfulness, day and night we never omit to ask for them, with humble insistence, from the eternal Shepherd of souls the abundance of goods and heavenly graces. And since, if also, we fulfill in the earth the office of vicar, with all our heart we await with open arms the return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon which depends not only the salvation of all of them, but above all also of the whole Christian society: the entire world in fact cannot enjoy true peace if it is not of one fold and one shepherd.

Given at Rome, from St. Peter, on the 13th of September, 1868; in the 23rd year of Our Pontificate,
Pius PP IX

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Venerable Louis of Granada - On the Privilege of Confidence

Venerable Louis of Granada
The following passage is taken from The Sinner's Guide by Venerable Louis of Granada.


The joy of a good conscience is always accompanied by that blessed hope of which the Apostle speaks when he tells us to rejoice in hope and to be patient in tribulation. (Cf. Rom. 12:12). This is the rich inheritance of the children of God, their general refuge in tribulation, and their most efficacious remedy against all the miseries of life. 

Before entering upon this subject we must bear in mind that as there are two kinds of faith, one barren and dead, the other living and strengthened by charity, fruitful in good works; so there are two kinds of hope, one barren, which gives the soul no light in darkness, no strength in weakness, no consolation in tribulation; the other "lively" (Cf. 1Pet. 1:3), which consoles us in sorrow, strengthens us in labor, and sustains us in all the dangers and trials of this world.

This living hope works in the soul many marvelous effects, which increase according as the charity which accompanies it becomes more ardent. The first of these effects is the strength which supports man under the labors of life by holding before his eyes the eternal reward reserved for him; for, in the opinion of the saints, the stronger this hope of reward the greater is man's courage in overcoming obstacles in the path of virtue.

"Hope," says St. Gregory, "fixes our hearts so steadfastly upon the joys of Heaven that we are insensible to the miseries of this life." "The hope of future glory," Origen tells us, "sustains the just under the trials of life, as the hope of victory supports the soldier during battle." "If the furious tempests of the sea," says St. Chrysostom, "cannot daunt the sailor; if hard frosts and withering blight cannot discourage the farmer; if neither wounds nor death itself affright the soldier; if neither falls nor blows dishearten the wrestler, because of the fleeting recompense they hope from their labors, how much greater should be the courage of a Christian, who is toiling for an eternal reward! Therefore, consider not the roughness of the path of virtue, but rather the end to which it leads; look not upon the pleasures which strew the path of vice, but rather upon the precipice to which it is hurrying you." Who is so foolish as willingly to pursue a path, though strewn with flowers, if it lead to destruction? Who, conversely, would not choose a rugged and difficult path if it lead to life and happiness?

Holy Scripture is full of commendations of this blessed hope. "The eyes of the Lord," the prophet Hanani tells King Asa, "behold all the earth, and give strength to them that with a perfect heart trust in him." (2Par. 16:9). "The Lord is good to them that hope in him, and to the soul that seeketh him." (Lam. 3:25). "The Lord is good, and giveth strength in the day of trouble, and knoweth them that hope in him." (Nahum 1:7).

"If you return and be quiet, you shall be saved; in silence and in hope shall your strength be." (Is. 30:15) By silence the prophet here signifies that interior calm and sweet peace experienced by the soul amid all her troubles, and which is the result of that hope in God's mercy which expels all fear. "Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him, and mercy shall come to you for your delight. My children, behold the generations of men, and know ye that no one man hath hoped in the Lord and hath been confounded." (Ecclus. 2:9,11).

"Mercy shall encompass him that hopeth in the Lord."(Ps. 31:10). Mark the strength of this word encompass, by which the prophet teaches us that a virtuous man is shielded by God's protection, as a king surrounded by his guards. Read the Psalms, and you will see how beautifully David speaks of the power and merit of divine hope.

In one of his sermons, St. Bernard dwells at some length on this virtue, and concludes by saying, "Faith teaches us that God has inestimable rewards reserved for His faithful servants. Hope answers, 'It is for me that they are prepared'; and charity, inspired by hope, cries out, 'I will hasten to possess them.'"Behold, then, the happy fruits of hope! It is a port of refuge from the storms of life; it is a buckler against the attacks of the world; it is a storehouse to supply us in the time of famine; it is the shade and tent of which Isaias spoke, to protect us from the heat of summer and the frosts of winter; in fine, it is a remedy for all our evils, for there is no doubt that all we confidently and justly hope from God will be granted to us, if for our welfare. Hence St. Cyprian says that God's mercy is a healing fountain, hope a vessel into which its waters flow. Therefore, the larger the vessel the more abundantly will we receive of these waters. God told the children of Israel that every place upon which they set their feet should be theirs. So every salutary blessing upon which man fixes his hope will be granted to him. Hope, then, for all blessings, and you will obtain them.

Thus we see that this virtue is an imitation of the divine power; for, says St. Bernard, nothing so manifests the power of God as the omnipotence with which He invests those who hope in Him. Witness Josue, at whose command the sun stood still; or Ezechiel, who bade King Ezechias choose whether he would have the sun advance or go backward in its course, as a sign from God.

In studying the inestimable treasures of hope, you have some idea of one of the blessings of which the wicked are deprived. Whatever hope remains to them is dead; destroyed by sin, it can produce none of the glorious fruits we have been considering. Distrust and fear as inevitably accompany a bad conscience as the shadow does the body. Hence the happiness of the sinner is the measure of his hope. He sets his heart upon the vanities and follies of the world; he rejoices in them; he glories in them; and in them he hopes in the time of affliction.

It is of such hope that God speaks when He says, "The hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the winds, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm; and a smoke which is scattered abroad by the wind." (Wis. 5:15). Can you imagine a weaker or a vainer confidence than this? But it is not only vain, it is deceptive and injurious. "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, trusting in horses, and putting their confidence in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; and have not trusted in the Holy One of Israel, and have not sought after the Lord. Egypt is man, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit; and the Lord shall put down his hand, and the helper shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall, and they shall all be confounded together." (Is. 31:1,3).

Behold, dear Christian, the difference between the hope of the just and the hope of the wicked. One is of the flesh, the other of the spirit; one is centered in man, the other in God. And even as God exceeds man, so does the hope of the just exceed that of the sinner.

Therefore, the prophet exhorts us, "Put not your trust in princes; in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God; who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them." (Ps. 114:3,5-6).

"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God. They are bound, and have fallen; but we are risen, and are set upright." (Ps. 19:8-9). Thus we see that our hopes are realized according to that upon which they rest, in ruin and destruction, or in honor and victory.

Therefore, he whose hope is fixed upon the things of this world is rightly compared to the man in the Gospel who built his house upon the sand and beheld it beaten down by the rain and winds; while he whose hope is fixed upon the things of Heaven is like the man whose house was built upon a rock, and which stood unshaken amidst the storms. (Cf. Matt. 7:25).

"Cursed be he," cries out the prophet, "that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric [a barren shrub] in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come; but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert, in a salt land and not inhabited. But blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence; and he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture; and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit." (Jer. 17:5-9).

Can there be any misery compared to life without hope? To live without hope is to live without God. If this support be taken from man, what remains for him? There is no nation, however barbarous, that has not some knowledge of a god whom they worship and in whom they hope. When Moses was absent for a short time from the children of Israel, they imagined themselves without God; and in their ignorance they besought Aaron to give them a god, for they feared to continue without one. Thus we see that human nature, though ignorant of the true God, instinctively acknowledges the necessity of a Supreme Being, and, recognizing its own weakness, turns to God for assistance and support.

As the ivy clings to a tree, and as woman naturally depends on man, so human nature in its weakness and poverty seeks the protection and assistance of God. How deplorable, then, is the condition of those who deprive themselves of His support! Whither can they turn for comfort in trials, for relief in sickness? Of whom will they seek protection in dangers, counsel in difficulties? If the body cannot live without the soul, how can the soul live without God? If hope, as we have said, be the anchor of life, how can we trust ourselves without it on the stormy sea of the world? If hope be our buckler, how can we go without it into the midst of our foes?

What we have said must sufficiently show us that an infinite distance separates the hope of the just from that of the wicked. The hope of the just man is in God, and that of the wicked is in the staff of Egypt, which breaks and wounds the hand which sought its support. For when man leans upon such a reed, God wishes to make him sensible of his error by the sorrow and shame of his fall. We have an example of this in God's treatment of Moab: "Because thou hast trusted in thy bulwarks, and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken: and Chamos [the god of the Moabites] shall go into captivity, his priests, and his princes together." (Jer. 48:7). Consider what a support that is which brings ruin upon those who invoke it.

Behold, then, dear Christian, how great is this privilege of hope, which, though it appears one with the special providence of which we have been treating, differs from it, nevertheless, as the effect differs from the cause. For though the hope of the just proceeds from several causes, such as the goodness of God, the truth of His promises, the merits of Christ, yet its principal foundation is this paternal providence. It is this which excites our hope; for who could fail in confidence, knowing the fatherly care that God has for us all?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Nature of Beauty

One of my favorite areas of philosophy is aesthetics, which is the study of the nature of beauty and how it applies to art. As always, I like to draw my logic and conclusions from the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. Unfortunately, St. Thomas did not write any actual treatise on the nature of the beautiful, but only has a limited number of passing comments which address the matter. However, I believe that it is possible to derive a coherent aesthetic theory from the several statements which St. Thomas made. I am not a philosopher, nor a scholar of St. Thomas, by any stretch; so my abilities to draw up such a system of aesthetics are rather limited. I have recourse to the writings of certain other philosophers who have attempted to put together the thoughts of St. Thomas on this matter, using their insights as a guide to my own endeavors. These other thinkers do not always agree among themselves on how to interpret St. Thomas, but it is at least a start. And I have a few more original thoughts of my own to contribute, though I cannot claim the same level of scholarship…

First off: the most well-known comment made by St. Thomas on beauty is his description of it as “that which when seen pleases.” This is a standard understanding of beauty, I think. Beauty is quite universally understood to be that quality which, when perceived, gives pleasure. Many people conclude, from this understanding, that beauty must therefore be a purely subjective thing, since an object might please different people to varying degrees. But I propose that St. Thomas’ understanding of beauty is not in fact compatible with the view that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; I think it entails just the opposite, namely that beauty is an objective thing. Here’s why:

When St. Thomas says that beauty is that which pleases when seen, he means something quite specific by “seen.” This is an intellectual vision, a kind of knowledge. In fact, St. Thomas quite explicitly associates beauty with knowledge. For St. Thomas, beauty is kind of a half-way point between goodness and truth, for it adds a cognitive element to goodness, and a pleasurable element to truth. Furthermore, he likens beauty to the formal cause, which specifically has to do with the objective nature of a thing. As such, when we have knowledge of something, we are taking a hold of the nature of that thing, forming an abstract concept of it in our mind. In other words, when we know, we grasp the form or formal cause of the thing. Since beauty is likened to a formal cause, it is an object of knowledge. As such, it inherently pertains to the nature of a thing. It is objective.

How then do we explain the variation that occurs between the different perceptions that individuals have of beauty? Here I will admit that there is, perhaps, a subjective element to beauty. For while beauty, that quality which gives pleasure when seen, may be an objective quality inherent in things, nonetheless it is also true that the subjective ability to perceive that beauty necessarily varies from person to person. But not only this, it must also be true that the ability to take pleasure in seeing – which pleasure is essential to the aesthetic experience – varies from person to person. And not only is this variation in degree, but also in kind: it is not only a question of who perceives or delights in beauty better than another person, but a question of which elements of an object strike each person as being beautiful. For beauty is not a simple thing, but manifests itself in innumerable ways, all of which are likely impossible for a single person to perceive. Thus it happens that one person will tend to be able to see certain aspects of an object’s beauty, while another person will be able to see other aspects.

That having been said, it is impossible to deny that there are degrees of beauty, and thus that some things simply are more beautiful than others. Again, this is not always immediately perceptible to the beholder; oftentimes it must be examined and demonstrated by a process of reasoning. This can be done in regards to the arts of painting, sculpture, music, etc., as well as in the realm of nature itself. St. Thomas, in addition to his statements about the knowledge and perception of beauty, lists three objective conditions for the beautiful, in which he says that beauty consists. These conditions are integrity, proportion, and clarity. These three conditions can serve well as guiding principles in the demonstration of an object’s beauty, or lack thereof. But as always, we should first understand what is meant by these conditions…

The first condition of the beautiful, namely integrity, signifies a kind of perfection and wholeness. This is brought about by a thing’s being in proper conformity with its nature, or its form. Generally speaking, this means it must lack none of the parts which belong to it by its nature, nor possess something which is repugnant to its nature. It must attain the fullness of its proper existence, as determined by its form. This is perfection or integrity, a completeness of the whole.

The second condition of beauty is proportion or harmony. This has several important implications. First, it means that the various parts of the whole must be harmonious among themselves, that in their diversity there must be an overall unity. In general, there must not be any discord or anarchy existing in a thing, for this indicates a lack of harmony and proportion. St. Thomas says that the senses delight in proportion. This can be said to be true not only of the senses of the body, but also of the whole cognitive faculty of man.

The third condition of the beautiful is clarity. This is perhaps the most important of the three, and it can been defined as the splendor of the form. It is a kind of radiance and brightness, a special intelligibility, that brings out in an extraordinary way the nature of the thing. Clarity presupposes integrity, in that both have to do with the form or nature of the object. Clarity brings out the form, makes it more manifest, in a way that heightens its perfection and makes it radiant to the perception. Clarity thus seals the cap, as it were, on the making of the beautiful, and it gives the final push towards the aesthetic delight that results from the perception of beauty.

These three conditions – which I have only very briefly explained here – can serve as general principles by which to analyze any given object and its beauty. These principles can serve as a basis in the analysis of beauty in the arts as well as in natural objects. 

So that's the basics of Thomistic aesthetics, as I have studied it. I'll likely be writing about it more in later posts.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Propers for the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

INTROIT Ps. 53:6-7
Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the support of my soul. Turn back the evils upon my enemies, and in Your faithfulness to us disperse them, O Lord my protector.
Ps. 53:3. O God, by Your name save me, and by Your might deliver me.
V. Glory be . . .

O Lord, let mercy attune Your ear to the prayers of Your people calling upon You. May they ask only what is pleasing to You, so that their requests may always be heard. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE I Cor. 10:6-13
Brethren: These things were done in a figure of us, that we should not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them, as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them that committed fornication: and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted and perished by the serpent. Neither do you murmur, as some of them murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore, he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.

O Lord our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth!
V. For Your splendor is exalted above the heavens.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 58:2
Rescue me from my enemies, O my God, and defend me from my adversaries. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 19:41-47
At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: "If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee. And they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation." And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein and them that bought. Saying to them: "It is written: 'My house is the house of prayer.' But you have made it a den of thieves." And he was teaching daily in the temple.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 18:9, 10, 11, 12
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; for Your servant observes them.

May we celebrate these sacred rites worthily, O Lord, for each offering of this memorial Sacrifice carries on the work of our redemption. Through our Lord . . .

"He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, abides in Me and I in him," said the Lord.

O Lord, may the reception of Your Blessed Sacrament cleanse us from sin and unite us all in You. Through our Lord . . .

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The SSPX and Summorum Pontificum

I am highly sympathetic to the Society of St. Pius X and have a great deal of respect for them. I think they are a voice in the Church that needs to be heard; they are saying the things that need to be said. I wish that the Church would pay more attention to them. I have defended them against the accusations of schism (not on this blog though). I occasionally attend an SSPX chapel myself. 

That said, there are certain things on which I do not agree with them. Leaving the whole issue of obedience aside, there is the question of whether traditional Catholics ought to attend a Tridentine mass celebrated under the provisions of Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum. The SSPX says (here) that we should not do so. They even say that we should not receive Holy communion from a ciborium consecrated in the Novus Ordo, even if it is being distributed in the tridentine. I take issue with this for the following reason:

We distinguish between the sacrament in itself and the extrinsic rite by which it is administered, the intrinsic and extrinsic merit of the mass. The problem with the Novus Ordo is a problem with the rite, the extrinsic part, and not with the sacrament itself. We say that it is deficient in its external merit, but not in its internal merit. A theologically deficient rite is indeed problematic - I would be among the first to point this out about the Novus Ordo - but even a theologically deficient rite does not in the least affect the actual sacrament of the Eucharist and the presence of the sacrifice of Christ. In other words, the deficiency in the external merit of the new mass does not affect its intrinsic merit. Christ is not "less present" in the Eucharist as consecrated in the Novus Ordo than He is in the Tridentine. The efficacy of the sacrament in and of itself is not decreased in the slightest degree in the Novus Ordo; it remains absolutely untouched. So in a Tridentine mass which uses hosts consecrated by the Novus Ordo, there is absolutely no decrease in the efficacy of the sacrament. It is the same.

To say that we shouldn't receive the Eucharist, even in a Tridentine mass, simply because it was consecrated by a liturgically deficient rite - as if that would in any way decrease the efficacy and holiness of the sacrament itself - seems to me to be a theologically problematic position to hold. Such a position itself seems to stem from a theologically deficient understanding of the Real Presence. For the presence of Christ is equally real, equally holy, and equally meritorious for every valid rite, even if one rite is less perfect than another.

I would be able to understand this particular position of the SSPX if it was founded on a concern about the validity of the Novus Ordo; for an invalid rite could never bring about the true sacrament. But assuming that the Novus Ordo is at least valid in principle, even if seriously deficient, then it seems to me that the sacrament itself must necessarily be preserved in all its integrity, dignity, and efficacy.

And so I think that Catholics should generally be able to attend a diocesan Tridentine mass in good conscience. That's my two-pence. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Authority to Change the Liturgy?

[UPDATE: See this post.]

As Catholics, we are bound to assent to the fact that the Popes have always had the authority to introduce certain changes into the discipline of the Church, including in her liturgies. This is taught authoritatively in several Magisterial sources. The Council of Trent teaches this; I believe Pope Pius VI teaches this in Auctorem Fidei; Pope Gregory XVI teaches this in Quo Graviora; the First Vatican Council proclaims infallibly the authority of the Pope even in disciplinary matters; Pope Pius XII teaches this in Mediator Dei; and Vatican II itself teaches this in Sacrosantum Concilium. And I am certain that there are many other sources which contain this teaching in them. 

That being said, never, to my knowledge, was it ever taught that the Pope had the authority to depart from or reject any of the immemorial traditions of the Church, even in liturgical matters. This is different than mere change; tradition, in fact, is entirely compatible with certain kinds of change. The traditional liturgy itself developed organically and gradually over a long period of time, yet always retaining the substance of its tradition, and growing more perfect as time went on. This development was always guided and approved, in one way or another, by the authority of the Church herself. But it was a development in which tradition was retained. Thus, history itself reveals to us that, until Pope Paul VI, never did the Popes assume the authority to abandon past immemorial traditions in the liturgy; nor was it ever taught or assumed that they had the authority to do so.

In the document Tuas Libenter, Pope Pius IX, following in the footsteps of St. Vincent Lerins, attributes a very great authority to the "common and constant consent of Catholics," by which the authority of tradition must be understood to be included; for tradition by nature involves the common and constant consent of Catholics. Pius IX says that the authority of such a common and constant theological opinion is very high, even if not high enough for the opposite error to be called strictly heretical. But he states emphatically that an error opposed to a theological opinion of such weight does indeed deserve some form of theological censure. It is clear then that tradition does not only apply to the doctrines of faith, but also to those matters which it is not strictly heretical to oppose.

Now, if we take one look at the "common and constant consent of Catholics" throughout the entire history of the Church, I am convinced that we will find no support for the opinion that the Pope could overthrow the received liturgy of the Church. On the contrary, we would find just the opposite opinion. Several theologians down through the centuries have stated explicitly that the Pope has no right to do so (some very authoritative have even said he would be a schismatic if he did so - a doubtful opinion in itself, but the principles are certain). But the general assumption has always been that the Pope could never bring about such a drastic change. If we follow the rule by which Pope Pius IX bound Catholics, I think that the opinion that the Pope could overthrow the received liturgy of the Church deserves some form of theological censure, because it is opposed to the common and constant theological opinion. 

There are instances, however, when the Popes would abolish traditions which had developed independently of the Church's own traditions, thereby leading to disorder and anarchy within the Church. Such was the case at the time of Pope Pius V's restoration of the Roman Missal. In Quo Primum, he explicitly and authoritatively abolishes certain liturgical customs, many of which had been long in use, but which had been formed not by an authentic development of the true ecclesiastical traditions, but by a kind of corruption of them. Therefore, Pope Pius V saw fit to forbid these traditions, and to restore the Roman Missal according to the authentic tradition of the Church, "to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers."

Thus, for the Catholic Church, tradition remained ever the norm and standard for liturgical development. The Popes never assumed the authority to reject the authentic tradition of the Church in such matters, even if they exercised the authority to introduce other changes which contributed to the gradual development of the liturgy. Tradition was always the norm.

And behold, there was the Second Vatican Council...

Pope Paul VI
The liturgical reform of Pope Paul VI seemed to change everything. Pope Paul himself admitted with the utmost clarity that the liturgical innovations which he introduced broke from the venerable tradition of the Church, which, he admits yet further, had previously been regarded as stable and untouchable. He thus admitted to having broken the pattern of his predecessors, to having departed from the ancient and immemorial tradition - not only the tradition of the liturgy, but also the tradition of Papal authority to change the liturgy. On what possible grounds can this be thought to be justifiable? There are none.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

List of Traditional Catholic Quotes

Pope St. Leo the Great meets Attila the Hun

These are some quotes from the Saints and Popes which I have come across whilst studying questions of theology. These quotes all treat of the authority of Catholic tradition, and provide authoritative support for the main thesis of traditional Catholicism, namely that tradition constitutes the rule of faith for Catholics, the standard of orthodoxy in matters of doctrine as well as discipline. I'll be adding to this list as I discover more quotes. 


St. Irenaeus of Lyons
"Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?" -- St. Irenaeus of Lyons

"What is to settle the point for us, except it be that principle of time, which rules that the authority lies with that which shall be found to be more ancient; and assumes as an elemental truth, that corruption (of doctrine) belongs to the side which shall be convicted of comparative lateness in its origin. For, inasmuch as error is falsification of truth, it must needs be that truth therefore precede error. A thing must exist prior to its suffering any casualty; and an object must precede all rivalry to itself. Else how absurd it would be...that that should be thought to be the truer position which is the later one... Such are the summary arguments which we use, when we take up arms against heretics for the faith of the gospel, maintaining both that order of periods, which rules that a late date is the mark of forgers, and that authority of churches which lends support to the tradition of the apostles; because truth must needs precede the forgery, and proceed straight from those by whom it has been handed on." -- Tertullian

"Since the Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostles to preach, (our rule is) that no others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed; 'for no man knows the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.' Nor does the Son seem to have revealed Him to any other than the apostles, whom He sent forth to preach— that, of course, which He revealed to them. Now, what that was which they preached— in other words, what it was which Christ revealed to them— can, as I must here likewise prescribe, properly be proved in no other way than by those very churches which the apostles founded in person, by declaring the gospel to them directly themselves, both vivâ voce, as the phrase is, and subsequently by their epistles. If, then, these things are so, it is in the same degree manifest that all doctrine which agrees with the apostolic churches— those moulds and original sources of the faith must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing that which the (said) churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, Christ from God. Whereas all doctrine must be prejudged as false which savours of contrariety to the truth of the churches and apostles of Christ and God. It remains, then, that we demonstrate whether this doctrine of ours, of which we have now given the rule, has its origin in the tradition of the apostles, and whether all other doctrines do not ipso facto proceed from falsehood. We hold communion with the apostolic churches because our doctrine is in no respect different from theirs. This is our witness of truth." -- Tertullian

"As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours. We count fasting or kneeling in worship on the Lord's day to be unlawful. We rejoice in the same privilege also from Easter to Whitsunday. We feel pained should any wine or bread, even though our own, be cast upon the ground. At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign. If, for these and other such rules, you insist upon having positive Scripture injunction, you will find none. Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them, custom as their strengthener, and faith as their observer." -- Tertullian

"Seeing there are many who think they hold the opinions of Christ, and yet some of these think differently from their predecessors, yet as the teaching of the Church, transmitted in orderly succession from the apostles, and remaining in the Churches to the present day, is still preserved, that alone is to be accepted as truth which differs in no respect from ecclesiastical and apostolica tradition." -- Origen

"Let there be no innovation; keep to what has been handed down." -- Pope Stephen I, to St. Cyrpian of Carthage

"These [perverse men], doubtless, they imitate and follow, who, despising God's tradition, seek after strange doctrines, and bring in teachings of human appointment, whom the Lord rebukes and reproves in His Gospel, saying, 'You reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.'" -- St. Cyprian of Carthage

St. Augustine
"As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils, whose authority in the Church is most useful, e.g. the annual commemoration, by special solemnities, of the Lord's passion, resurrection, and ascension, and of the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven, and whatever else is in like manner observed by the whole Church wherever it has been established." – St. Augustine

"What is held by the whole Church, and that not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by authority." -- St. Augustine

“The customs of God’s people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God.” – St. Augustine

"[The] mere change of custom, even though it may be of advantage in some respects, unsettles men by reason of the novelty: therefore, if it brings no advantage, it does much harm by unprofitably disturbing the Church." -- St. Augustine

“The best advice that I can give you is this: Church-traditions— especially when they do not run counter to the faith— are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down… The traditions which have been handed down should be regarded as apostolic laws." – St. Jerome

"Let us be mindful also of the sacraments of priestly public prayer, which handed down by the Apostles are uniformly celebrated in the whole world and in every Catholic Church, in order that the law of supplication may support the law of believing." -- Pope Celestine I

"The Church has not just recently been given order and statutes. They were faithfully and soundly bestowed upon it by the Fathers. nor has the faith only just been established, but it has come to us from the Lord through His disciples. May what has been preserved in the Churches from the beginning to the present day not be abandoned in our time; may what has been entrusted into our keeping not be embezzled by us. Brethren, as custodians of God's mysteries let yourselves be roused into action on seeing all this despoiled by others." -- St. Athanasius

"Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived." – St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great
"Persecution has come upon us, right honorable brethren, and persecution in the severest form. Shepherds are persecuted that their flocks may be scattered. And the worst of all is that those who are being treated ill cannot accept their sufferings in proof of their testimony, nor can the people reverence the athletes as in the army of martyrs, because the name of Christians is applied to the persecutors. The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers." – St. Basil the Great

“Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us in a mystery by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will gainsay—no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in its very vitals; or, rather, should make our public definition a mere phrase and nothing more.” – St. Basil the Great

"[Paul commands:] 'Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the Traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.' From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there is much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the Tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a Tradition? Seek no further." -- St. John Chrysostom

"For nothing so much disturbs the mind, though it be done for some beneficial purpose, as to innovate and introduce strange things, and most of all when this is done in matters relating to divine worship and the glory of God." -- St. John Chrysostom

"Let no approach to your ears be thrown open to the pernicious plans of undermining, let no pledge of revising any of the old definitions be granted, because, as it must be repeated very often, what has deserved to be cut away with the sharp edge of the evangelical pruninghook by apostolic hands with the approval of the universal Church, cannot acquire the strength for a rebirth nor is it able to return to the fruitful shoot of the master's vine, because it is evident that it has been destined to eternal fire. Thus, finally, the machinations of all heresies laid down by decrees of the Church are never allowed to renew the struggles of their crushed attack." -- Pope Simplicius

"What, pray, permits us to abrogate what has been condemned by the venerable Fathers, and to reconsider the impious dogmas that have been demolished by them? Why is it, therefore, that we take such great precautions lest any dangerous heresy, once driven out, strive anew to come [up] for examination, if we argue that what has been known, discussed, and refuted of old by our elders ought to be restored? Are we not ourselves offering, which God forbid, to all the enemies of the truth an example of rising again against ourselves, which the Church will never permit? Where is it that it is written: Do not go beyond the limits of your fathers [Prov. 22:28], and: Ask your fathers and they will tell you, and your elders will declare unto you [Deut. 32:7]? Why, accordingly, do we aim beyond the definitions of our elders, or why do they not suffice for us? If in our ignorance we desire to learn something, how every single thing to be avoided has been prescribed by the orthodox fathers and elders, or everything to be adapted to Catholic truth has been decreed, why are they not approved by these? Or are we wiser than they, or shall we be able to stand constant with firm stability, if we should undermine those [dogmas] which have been established by them?" -- Pope Gelasius I

St. Vincent of Lerins
"I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church." -- St. Vincent of Lerins

"Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholic, which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors." -- St. Vincent of Lerins

"What then will a Catholic Christian do, if a small portion of the Church have cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What, surely, but prefer the soundness of the whole body to the unsoundness of a pestilent and corrupt member? What, if some novel contagion seek to infect not merely an insignificant portion of the Church, but the whole? Then it will be his care to cleave to antiquity, which at this day cannot possibly be seduced by any fraud of novelty. But what, if in antiquity itself there be found error on the part of two or three men, or at any rate of a city or even of a province? Then it will be his care by all means, to prefer the decrees, if such there be, of an ancient General Council to the rashness and ignorance of a few. But what, if some error should spring up on which no such decree is found to bear? Then he must collate and consult and interrogate the opinions of the ancients, of those, namely, who, though living in various times and places, yet continuing in the communion and faith of the one Catholic Church, stand forth acknowledged and approved authorities: and whatsoever he shall ascertain to have been held, written, taught, not by one or two of these only, but by all, equally, with one consent, openly, frequently, persistently, that he must understand that he himself also is to believe without any doubt or hesitation." -- St. Vincent of Lerins

"True piety admits no other rule than that whatsoever things have been faithfully received from our fathers the same are to be faithfully consigned to our children; and that it is our duty, not to lead religion whither we would, but rather to follow religion whither it leads; and that it is the part of Christian modesty and gravity not to hand down our own beliefs or observances to those who come after us, but to preserve and keep what we have received from those who went before us." -- St. Vincent of Lerins

"But some one will say, perhaps, Shall there, then, be no progress in Christ's Church? Certainly; all possible progress. For what being is there, so envious of men, so full of hatred to God, who would seek to forbid it? Yet on condition that it be real progress, not alteration of the faith. For progress requires that the subject be enlarged in itself, alteration, that it be transformed into something else. The intelligence, then, the knowledge, the wisdom, as well of individuals as of all, as well of one man as of the whole Church, ought, in the course of ages and centuries, to increase and make much and vigorous progress; but yet only in its own kind; that is to say, in the same doctrine, in the same sense, and in the same meaning." -- St. Vincent of Lerins

"For who does not know, or does not advert to the fact, that what was given to the Roman Church by Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and is preserved even to this day, is what should be observed by all? Nor should anything be added, or anything unauthorized be introduced, nor should an exemplar be looked for elsewhere." – Pope Innocent I

Pope Leo the Great
“Teach nothing new, but instill into all men's breasts those things which the Fathers of revered memory have with harmony of statement taught… Preach nothing else than what we received from our forefathers… Accordingly, both in the rule of faith and in the observance of discipline, let the standard of antiquity be maintained throughout.” – Pope Leo I

"A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church which was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate... The tradition of the Church is not only passed on in written documents, but has also been given in unwritten form... What is the origin of the three immersions at baptism, or praying toward the east, or the manner in which we celebrate the eucharist? Therefore the holy apostle Paul says: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (II Thess. 2: 15)." -- St. John Damascus

"We confess that (we) hold and declare the faith given from the beginning by the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ to the Holy Apostles, and preached by them in the whole world; which the sacred Fathers both confessed and explained, and handed down to the holy churches..." -- The Second Council of Constantinople

"If anyone in word and mind does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers all even to the last portion that which has been handed down and preached in the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church of God...let him be anathema." -- Pope Martin I, The Lateran Council (649)

"Those therefore who after the manner of wicked heretics dare to set aside ecclesiastical traditions, and to invent any kind of novelty, or to reject any of those things entrusted to the Church, or who wrongfully and outrageously devise the destruction of any of those traditions enshrined in the Catholic Church, are to be punished thus: if they are bishops, we order them to be deposed, but if they are monks or laypersons, we command them to be excluded from the community... If anyone rejects any ecclesiastical tradition, whether written or unwritten, let him be anathema." -- The Second Council of Nicea

"Therefore we profess to keep and guard the rules which have been handed down for the holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church… guiding by these both our own life and morals and also the whole group of priests, but also all those who are known by the name Christian… [For] Paul, the great apostle, openly gave warning to hold indeed the traditions which we have received either through the word or through the epistle of the Saints who have previously been distinguished." -- The Fourth Council of Constantinople

"It is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed.” -- Pope Innocent III

"'One faith,' St. Paul writes (Eph. 4:5). Hold most firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church ... We must hold this for certain, namely: that the faith of the people at the present day is one with the faith of the people in past centuries. Were this not true, then we would be in a different church than they were in and, literally, the Church would not be One." -- St. Thomas Aquinas

"The Apostles, led by the inward instinct of the Holy Ghost, handed down to the churches certain instructions which they did not put in writing, but which have been ordained, in accordance with the observance of the Church as practiced by the faithful as time went on. Wherefore the Apostle says (2 Thessalonians 2:14): "Stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word"--that is by word of mouth--"or by our epistle"--that is by word put into writing." -- St. Thomas Aquinas

"Even as he would be guilty of falsehood who would, in the name of another person, proffer things that are not committed to him, so too does a man incur the guilt of falsehood who, on the part of the Church, gives worship to God contrary to the manner established by the Church or divine authority, and according to ecclesiastical custom." -- St. Thomas Aquinas

"The custom of the Church has very great authority and ought to be jealously observed in all things." -- St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas
"Human law is rightly changed, in so far as such change is conducive to the common weal. But, to a certain extent, the mere change of law is of itself prejudicial to the common good: because custom avails much for the observance of laws, seeing that what is done contrary to general custom, even in slight matters, is looked upon as grave. Consequently, when a law is changed, the binding power of the law is diminished, in so far as custom is abolished. Wherefore human law should never be changed, unless, in some way or other, the common weal be compensated according to the extent of the harm done in this respect. Such compensation may arise either from some very great and very evident benefit conferred by the new enactment; or from the extreme urgency of the case, due to the fact that either the existing law is clearly unjust, or its observance extremely harmful." -- St. Thomas Aquinas

“It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." – The Decretals, cited by St Thomas Aquinas

"The body of Christ is truly confected in both unleavened and leavened wheat bread, and priests should confect the body of Christ in either, that is, each priest according to the custom of his western or eastern church." -- The Council of Florence

"[The holy, ecumenical and general Council of Trent] also clearly perceives that these truths and rules are contained in the written books and in the unwritten traditions, which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down to us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand. Following, then, the examples of the orthodox Fathers, it receives and venerates with a feeling of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and New Testaments, since one God is the author of both; also the traditions, whether they relate to faith or to morals, as having been dictated either orally by Christ or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church in unbroken succession." -- The Council of Trent

“If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the administration of the sacraments, may be despised or omitted by the ministers without sin and at their pleasure, or may be changed by any pastor of the churches to other new ones, let him be anathema.” – The Council of Trent

"And since it is becoming that holy things be administered in a holy manner, and of all things this sacrifice is the most holy, the Catholic Church, to the end that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, instituted many centuries ago the holy canon, which is so free from error that it contains nothing that does not in the highest degree savor of a certain holiness and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer. For it consists partly of the very words of the Lord, partly of the traditions of the Apostles, and also of pious regulations of holy pontiffs." -- The Council of Trent

"And since the nature of man is such that he cannot without external means be raised easily to meditation on divine things, holy mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely, that some things in the mass be pronounced in a low tone and others in a louder tone. She has likewise, in accordance with apostolic discipline and tradition, made use of ceremonies, such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be emphasized and the minds of the faithful excited by those visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of those most sublime things which are hidden in this sacrifice." -- The Council of Trent

"[Priests must not] make use of rites or ceremonies and prayers in the celebration of masses other than those that have been approved by the Church and have been received through frequent and praiseworthy usage." -- The Council of Trent

"I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church…I also receive and admit the accepted and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments." -- The Tridentine Profession of Faith

The Council of Trent
"The true Church is also to be known from Her origin, which She derives under the law of grace from the Apostles; for Her doctrines are neither novel nor of recent origin, but were delivered of old by the Apostles and disseminated throughout the world." – Catechism of the Council of Trent

"It behooves us unanimously and inviolably to observe the ecclesiastical traditions, whether codified or simply retained by the customary practice of the Church." – St. Peter Canisius

"These ceremonies which are used in the administration of the Sacraments, each of which we receive as delivered and entrusted to us through the hands of the fathers, must especially be retained and observed with great devotion." -- St. Peter Canisius

“[Our Pastoral solicitude] induces us to earnestly protect and preserve in everything and especially in the sacred rites of the Church the best and old norm.” – Pope Clement VIII

“If there is anything Divine among man's possessions which might excite the envy of the citizens of Heaven (could they ever be swayed by such a passion), this is undoubtedly the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by means of which men, having before their eyes and taking into their hands the very Creator of Heaven and earth, experience, while still on earth, a certain anticipation of Heaven. How keenly then, must mortals strive to preserve and protect this inestimable privilege with all due worship and reverence and be ever on their guard lest their negligence offend the angels who vie with them in eager adoration!” – Pope Urban VIII

"The proposition of the synod by which it shows itself eager to remove the cause through which, in part, there has been induced a forgetfulness of the principles relating to the order of the liturgy, "by recalling it (the liturgy) to a greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language, by uttering it in a loud voice"; as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church, had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated,--rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable to the charges of heretics against it." -- Pope Pius VI

"It is most certain that discipline cannot vary temerariously and capriciously, since the two greatest luminaries of the Catholic Church, Saint Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, openly teach that matters regarding discipline must not vary, except when required by necessity or some great usefulness; it being the case that changing a custom, even when that redounds to some benefit, nevertheless, by the novelty itself, is disturbing to people, and there must not be a change (as the same Saint Thomas adds) 'unless, in some way or other, the common weal be compensated according to the extent of the harm done in this respect.' Then it is therefore unthinkable that the Roman Pontiffs have ever corrupted discipline, but on the contrary, with the authority of God conferred on them for the building up of the Church, they have always sought to improve it and make it more amenable." -- Pope Pius VI

"[We cannot refrain from indication those priests] who, taken in by novelty, do not fear to undervalue the sacred rites and to criticize the venerable usages of the Church, nor spare any effort to induce you, Venerable Brother, to publish a new Ritual that will satisfy their desires. But, conscious of your duty, watch constantly over the institutions of the ancients and never allow your clergy to depart from any prescription of the Ritual of the Holy Roman Church or from any rule that may have been inserted in any Ritual you use, provided that that Ritual be ancient and approved by the lawful authority." -- Pope Gregory XVI

"That rule must be absolutely observed which states that, except for the most serious reasons and with the Apostolic See, no innovations are to be introduced into the holy rites of the liturgy." – Pope Gregory XVI

“For many years there has been growing and spreading in this country the very false opinion, the result of the impious and absurd system of indifferentism, which holds that the Christian religion is capable of continually perfecting itself. And since the champions of this false opinion hesitate to apply this pretended perfectibility to the truths of faith, they do so to the external administration and discipline of the Church. And to give credit to their error they employ, for the most part not without inconsistency and fraud, the authority of Catholic theologians who, on occasion, establish this distinction between doctrine and discipline: that discipline is subject to change, doctrine remains always the same and is not subject to any modification. Once this is laid down, they state without any hesitation that on many points the discipline, the government, and the forms of external worship in use in the Church are no longer suitable to the character of our times, and that what is harmful to the progress and prosperity of the Catholic religion must be changed, (which is possible) without the teaching of faith and morals suffering any harm. Thus, under color of religious zeal and behind the mask of piety they introduce innovations, project reforms, devise a “regeneration” of the Church… Moreover, without realizing it, or pretending that they do not realize it, they are in direct contradiction to sound doctrine which they say they wish to reestablish and protect. For in fact, when they pretend that all the forms of the Church without distinction can be changed, are they not subjecting to this change those points of discipline which have their foundation in the divine law itself, which are joined to doctrines of faith by so close a bond that the rule of faith determines the rule of action?” – Pope Gregory XVI

"We are here speaking in open disapproval of that false system of philosophy, not so long ago introduced, by which, because of an extended and unbridled desire of novelty, truth is not sought where it truly resides, and, with a disregard for the holy and apostolic traditions, other vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, not approved by the Church are accepted as true, on which very vain men mistakenly think that truth itself is supported and sustained." -- Pope Gregory XVI

"To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church 'was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.' Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain 'restoration and regeneration' for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a 'foundation may be laid of a new human institution,' and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing 'may become a human church.' Let those who devise such plans be aware that, according to the testimony of St. Leo, 'the right to grant dispensation from the canons is given' only to the Roman Pontiff. He alone, and no private person, can decide anything 'about the rules of the Church Fathers.' As St. Gelasius writes: 'It is the papal responsibility to keep the canonical decrees in their place and to evaluate the precepts of previous popes so that when the times demand relaxation in order to rejuvenate the churches, they may be adjusted after diligent consideration.'" -- Pope Gregory XVI

"By divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium." -- The First Vatican Council

"For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding." -- The First Vatican Council

"If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema." -- The First Vatican Council

Vatican I
"The Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles." -- The First Vatican Council

"The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization." -- Condemned by Pope Pius IX

"For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus - that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning." -- Pope Pius IX

"These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts."-- Pope Pius IX

“…The Roman Pontiffs have always…held that all those rites should be preserved which deviate neither from accuracy in matters of faith, nor from what is fitting.” – Pope Pius IX

"There prevailed a false opinion against the old school, and against the teaching of those supreme doctors, whom the universal Church venerates because of their admirable wisdom and sanctity of life. By this false opinion the authority of the Church itself is called into danger, especially since the Church, not only through so many continuous centuries has permitted that theological science be cultivated according to the method and the principles of these same Doctors, sanctioned by the common consent of all Catholic schools, but it (the Church) also very often extolled their theological doctrine with the highest praises, and strongly recommended it as a very strong buttress of faith and a formidable armory against its enemies.... For, even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless, it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith...It is also necessary [for Catholics] to subject those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure." -- Pope Pius IX

"The sacred rites, although not instituted specifically for proving the truth of the dogmas of the Catholic Faith incontrovertibly, are effectively the living voice of Catholic Truth, the oft-sounded expression of it. For that very reason the true Church of Christ, even as she shows great zeal to guard inviolate those forms of divine worship - since they are hallowed and are not to be changed - sometimes grants or permits something novel in the performance of them in certain instances. This she does especially when they are in conformity with their venerable antiquity." – Pope Leo XIII

“For what concerns diversity of rites in the sacred liturgy, the Apostolic See has always made its position clear: not only it does not condemn diversity, but it eagerly and willingly grants to each nation the right to keep and preserve the legitimate customs and traditions of its forbears.” – Pope Leo XIII

"They knew only too well the intimate bond which unites faith with worship, 'the law of belief with the law of prayer,' and so, under the pretext of restoring it to its primitive form, they corrupted the order of the liturgy in many respects to adapt it to the errors of the Innovators." – Pope Leo XIII

"It is not the part of prudence to neglect that which antiquity in its long experience has approved and which is also taught by apostolic authority." -- Pope Leo XIII

"[T]hey [the apostles] neither abandoned the Jewish rites themselves, nor obliged any others to do so who were used to them. Custom was quite a sufficient reason for retaining them; every Christian was to remain in the state in which he was called… Now from this obedience to the Jewish law, enjoined and displayed by Our Blessed Lord and His Apostles, we learn the great importance of retaining those religious forms to which we are accustomed, even though they are in themselves indifferent, or not of Divine origin… Granting that the forms are not immediately from God, still long use has made them divine to us; for the spirit of religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of men, to unsettle and dislodge the religious principle itself. In most minds usage has so identified them with the notion of religion, that the one cannot be extirpated without the other. Their faith will not bear transplanting…In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether." -- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Pope Pius X
"They [the Modernists] recognise that the three chief difficulties for them are scholastic philosophy, the authority of the fathers and tradition, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war... They exercise all their ingenuity in diminishing the force and falsifying the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight...The Modernists pass the same judgment on the most holy Fathers of the Church as they pass on tradition; decreeing, with amazing effrontery that, while personally most worthy of all veneration, they were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived." -- Pope Pius X

"It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications of a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilisation." - Pope Pius X

"Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!" -- Pope Pius X

"I accept with sincere belief the doctrine of faith as handed down to us from the Apostles by the orthodox Fathers, always in the same sense and with the same interpretation." – Pope St. Pius X

"The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators, but traditionalists." – Pope St. Pius X

"The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable; but Christian society, just as human society, is subject to perpetual evolution.'" -- Condemned by Pope Pius X

"Nor do We merely desire that Catholics should shrink from the errors of Modernism, but also from the tendencies or what is called the spirit of Modernism. Those who are infected by that spirit develop a keen dislike for all that savours of antiquity and become eager searchers after novelties in everything: in the way in which they carry out religious functions, in the ruling of Catholic institutions, and even in private exercises of piety. Therefore it is Our will that the law of our forefathers should still be held sacred: 'Let there be no innovation; keep to what has been handed down.' In matters of faith that must be inviolably adhered to as the law; it may however also serve as a guide even in matters subject to change, but even in such cases the rule would hold: 'Old things, but in a new way.'" – Pope Benedict XV

“Because it is the supreme arbiter of liturgical law, it has ever been the most urgent concern of this Apostolic See to maintain the sacred rites of the Catholic Church in all their integrity, of, if perchance they have deteriorated, to restore them to their former purity. This care is a necessary consequence of the pastoral office confided to the Roman See, to guard with vigilance ‘that exterior worship of God may be accomplished with due reverence, that the sacred mysteries may be celebrated in such a way as to contribute to the great edification of the faithful by exciting piety and stimulating devotion’… The Roman Pontiffs not only have never repudiated those sacred rites, whose antiquity should guarantee respect, so long as they maintain the obedience due to the Holy See with the unity of faith; they have also desired to see these rites reverently preserved and  exactly performed in every way not opposed to or another new law and disposition made by the Apostolic See, to which, it is clear, every rite owes obedience, as to the sovereign Teacher.” – Pope Benedict XV

"For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact forever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith." -- Pope Pius XI

"The Liturgy is indeed a sacred thing, since by it we are raised to God and united to Him, thereby professing our faith and our deep obligation to Him for the benefits we have received and the help of which we stand in constant need. There is thus a close connection between dogma and the sacred Liturgy, and between Christian worship and the sanctification of the faithful. Hence Pope Celestine I saw the standard of faith expressed in the sacred formulae of the Liturgy. 'The rule of our faith', he says, 'is indicated by the law of our worship...' No wonder, then, that the Roman Pontiffs have been so solicitous to safeguard and protect the Liturgy. They have used the same care in making laws for the regulation of the Liturgy, in preserving it from adulteration, as they have in giving accurate expression to the dogmas of the faith." – Pope Pius XI

“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.” – Pope Pius XII

"It is easy to carefully the Apostolic See watched over the full presentation of the Ruthenian rite as far as the entire Ruthenian community and single individuals were concerned. However, let no one wonder whether the same Holy See, although always safeguarding everything essential to the rites and ceremonies of the Ruthenian Church, allowed or provisionally approved of some minor changes due to the circumstances of the particular times." -- Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII
"Hence to neglect, or to reject, or to devalue so many and such great resources which have been conceived, expressed and perfected so often by the age-old work of men endowed with no common talent and holiness, working under the vigilant supervision of the holy magisterium and with the light and leadership of the Holy Ghost in order to state the truths of the faith ever more accurately, to do this so that these things may be replaced by conjectural notions and by some formless and unstable tenets of a new philosophy, tenets which, like the flowers of the field, are in existence today and die tomorrow; this is supreme imprudence and something that would make dogma itself a reed shaken by the wind." -- Pope Pius XII

"It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." -- The Second Vatican Council

"There must be no [liturgical] innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing." -- The Second Vatican Council