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On the Use of the "Tridentine" Liturgy (Prot. 0)
Quattuor Abhinc Annos
October 3, 1984

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Four years ago, at the direction of Pope John Paul II, the bishops of the entire Church were invited to submit a report on the following topics:

--The manner in which the priests and the people of their dioceses, in observance of the decrees of Vatican Council II, have received the Roman Missal promulgated by authority of Pope Paul VI;
--Problems arising in connection with the implementation of the liturgical reform;
--Opposition to the reform that may need to be overcome.

The results of this survey were reported to all the bishops. Based on the responses received from the bishops of the world, the problem of those priests and faithful who had remained attached to the so-called Tridentine Rite seemed to have been almost completely resolved.

But the problem perdures and the Pope wishes to be responsive to such groups of priests and faithful. Accordingly, he grants to diocesan bishops the faculty of using an indult on behalf of such priests and faithful. The diocesan bishop may allow those who are explicitly named in a petition submitted to him to celebrate Mass by use of the 1962 editio typica of the Roman Missal. The following norms must be observed.

1.There must be unequivocal, even public evidence that the priest and people petitioning have no ties with those who impugn the lawfulness and doctrinal soundness of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

2.The celebration of Mass in question must take place exclusively for the benefit of those who petition it; the celebration must be in a church or oratory designated by the diocesan bishop (but not in parish churches, unless, in extraordinary instances, the bishop allows this); the celebration may take place only on those days and in those circumstances approved by the bishop, whether for an individual instance or as a regular occurrence.

3.The celebration is to follow the Roman Missal of 1962 and must be in Latin.

4.In the celebration there is to be no intermingling of the rites or texts of the two missals.

5.Each bishop is to inform this congregation of the concessions he grants and, one year from the date of the present indult, of the outcome of its use.

The Pope, who is the father of the entire Church, grants this indult as a sign of his concern for all his children. The indult is to be used without prejudice to the liturgical reform that is to be observed in the life of each ecclesial community.

I take this opportunity of extending my cordial good wishes in the Lord to your excellency.

(Archbishop Augustin Mayer, pro-prefect; Bishop Virgilio Noe, secretary.)

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All contents © copyright, 1998-2018
The Catholic Liturgical Library