“On the one hand, there are those who, under the pretext of greater fidelity to the Church and the Magisterium, systematically reject the teachings of the Council itself, its application and the resulting reforms, its gradual application by the Apostolic See and of the Episcopal Conferences, under our authority, willed by Christ. Discredit is cast upon the authority of the Church in the name of a Tradition, to which respect is attested only materially and verbally; the faithful distance themselves from the bonds of obedience to the See of Peter as to their legitimate Bishops; the authority of today is rejected in the name of that of yesterday. 

(…)

It is so painful to notice it: but how can we not see that this attitude – whatever the intentions of these people may be – places oneself outside of obedience and communion with the Successor of Peter and therefore of the Church?

Since this, unfortunately, is the logical consequence, that is, when it is argued that it is preferable to disobey on the pretext of keeping one’s faith intact, of working in one’s own way for the preservation of the Catholic Church, while at the same time denying it effective obedience. And it is said openly! We dare to say that the Second Vatican Council is not binding; that faith would also be in danger because of the post-conciliar reforms and orientations, which one has the duty to disobey in order to preserve certain traditions. What traditions? It is this group, and not the Pope, not the Episcopal College, not the Ecumenical Council, that establishes which of the innumerable traditions must be considered as a norm of faith! As you see, our venerable Brothers, this attitude stands as the judge of that divine will, which established Peter and his legitimate successors at the Head of the Church, as guarantor and custodian of the deposit of the Faith.

And this is all the more serious, in particular, when division is introduced, precisely where congvegavit nos in unum Christi amor , in the Liturgy and in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, refusing respect for the norms defined in the liturgical field. It is in the name of Tradition that we ask all our children, all Catholic communities, to celebrate the renewed Liturgy in dignity and fervor. The adoption of the new “Ordo Missae” is certainly not left to the discretion of the priests or the faithful (…) The new Ordo was promulgated to replace the old one, after mature deliberation, following the requests of the Second Vatican Council. Likewise, our holy Predecessor Pius V had made the reformed Missal obligatory under his authority, following the Council of Trent.

We demand the same availability, with the same supreme authority that comes from Christ Jesus, to all the other liturgical, disciplinary and pastoral reforms that have matured in recent years in application of the conciliar decrees. Any initiative that aims to hinder them cannot assume the prerogative of rendering a service to the Church: in fact it causes serious damage to it.”

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Pope St. Paul VI

Speech at the Secret Consistory for the Appointment of Cardinals

May 24th, 1976


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