Quattuor abhinc annos

Last updated

Quattuor abhinc annos (Latin for "four years ago") is the incipit of a letter that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments sent on 3 October 1984 to presidents of episcopal conferences concerning celebration of Mass in the Tridentine form.

Contents

History

The letter explained that previously Pope John Paul II had invited comments from the bishops concerning the reception of the Missal promulgated in 1970 by authority of Pope Paul VI in accordance with the decisions of the Second Vatican Council, and any difficulties arising in the implementation of the liturgical reform. The Congregation subsequently granted diocesan bishops an indult to authorize specified priests and groups of the faithful who requested it, celebration of the Tridentine Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal promulgated by Pope John XXIII. [1] The permitted Tridentine Masses were to be in full accord with the 1962 Missal and in Latin.

This was not the first time that such an indult had been granted: after the promulgation of the Ordo Missae of 1970, Pope Paul VI issued a letter on 30 October 1971, [2] the so-called Agatha Christie indult, which gave permission to a large segment of priests in the United Kingdom to retain the usage of the classical Roman Rite. [3]

Content

Tridentine Low Mass of a priest wearing a maniple in an old church in Szydlowiec Obraz 021.jpg
Tridentine Low Mass of a priest wearing a maniple in an old church in Szydłowiec

An important condition for granting the requests was "that it be made publicly clear beyond all ambiguity that such priests and their respective faithful in no way share the positions of those who call in question the legitimacy and doctrinal exactitude of the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970." [4]

Diocesan bishops refused many requests by people whom they considered not to have met this condition. But authorization was in fact granted either by diocesan bishops or directly by the Holy See to many priests, parishes and priestly societies, who could then use the older forms of the Roman Rite either exclusively or only on occasion. The priestly societies included the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney. These used the "Tridentine" liturgical books exclusively, not only for celebrating Mass but also for the other sacraments and rituals and for the Divine Office. Individual priests and communities belonging to religious institutes also received the same authorization. There were such cases among the Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer, the Institute of Saint Philip Neri, the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius, the monasteries of Sainte Madeleine du Barroux and Sainte Marie de la Garde. Various diocesan clergy also availed of the document's provision. See Communities using the Tridentine Mass for a list of priestly societies and religious institutes which celebrate the Tridentine Mass.

The Pope further expanded upon this with the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei of 1988, in which he exhorted the bishops to be generous in granting such a faculty for all the faithful who requested it. [1] Ecclesia Dei supersedes Quattuor abhinc annos regarding the extent of the privilege. [3]

Groups such as the Society of St. Pius X, who maintained that they needed no permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass decried the document and referred rather derisively to Masses celebrated with the Quattuor abhinc annos authorization as "Indult Masses". Several of these groups, such as the Society of St. Pius V, preferred to celebrate Mass according to pre-1962 editions of the Roman Missal.

The view that use of the earlier form of the Roman liturgy had never been formally abrogated [5] was authoritatively confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI, who declared that permission to use it (which can be granted by the priest in charge of the church) is required only for public celebration. [6]

Pope Benedict XVI revoked the directives on 7 July 2007, replacing them with the norms enunciated in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum . [7]

Related Research Articles

Roman Missal

The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

The Mass of Paul VI, also known as the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass, the most commonly used liturgy in the Latin Church, sometimes referred as the post–Vatican II Mass, is the form promulgated after the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) by Pope Paul VI in 1969. It was published by him in the 1970 edition of the Roman Missal and the revised 1975 edition, and as further revised by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and published in the third Vatican II edition (2002).

Tridentine Mass Type of mass in the Roman Catholic Church

The Tridentine Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), is the Roman Rite Mass of the Catholic Church which appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. Celebrated exclusively in Ecclesiastical Latin, it was the most widely used Eucharistic liturgy in the world from its issuance in 1570 until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI.

Traditionalist Catholicism Movement of Catholics in favour of restoring many or all of the liturgy, practice, and beliefs of Catholics from before the Second Vatican Council

Traditionalist Catholicism, is a set of religious beliefs and practices comprising customs, traditions, liturgical forms, public and private, individual and collective devotions, and presentations of Catholic Church teachings that preceded the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). It is associated in particular with attachment to the 1570–1970 form of the Roman Rite Mass, which traditionalist Catholics call "the Latin Mass", "the traditional Mass, the ancient Mass, "the immemorial Latin Mass", "the Mass of All Time", "the Mass of the ages" or the Mass of the Apostles", "the Traditional Latin Mass", or "the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite".

The Good Friday prayer for the Jews is an annual prayer in the Christian, particularly Roman Catholic, liturgy. It is one of several petitions, known in the Catholic Church as the Solemn Intercessions and in the Episcopal Church as the Solemn Collects, that are made in the Good Friday service for various classes and stations of peoples: for the Church; for the pope; for bishops, priests and deacons; for the faithful; for catechumens; for other Christians; for the Jews; for others who do not believe in Christ; for those who do not believe in God; for those in public office; and for those in special need. These prayers are very ancient, predating the eighth century at least and may be from as early as the second century.

Maniple (vestment) Embroidered band of silk or similar fabric worn hanging from the left arm as part of liturgical dress

The maniple is a liturgical vestment used primarily within the Catholic Church, and occasionally used by some Anglo-Catholic and Lutheran clergy. It is an embroidered band of silk or similar fabric that is hung over the left arm. It is only used within the context of the Mass, and it is of the same liturgical colour as the other Mass vestments.

Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter Catholic society of apostolic life

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is a traditionalist Catholic society of apostolic life for priests and seminarians which is in communion with the Holy See.

An indult in Catholic canon law is a permission, or privilege, granted by the competent church authority – the Holy See or the diocesan bishop, as the case may be – for an exception from a particular norm of church law in an individual case.

Indult Catholic was a traditionalist Catholic loaded term used from the early 21st century until 2007 as a pejorative label applied to Catholics who attended only the licit celebrations of the Tridentine Mass in Latin according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal and regulated by the local bishop through an indult that conformed to the 1984 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments norms in the ecclesiastical letter Quattuor abhinc annos.

Ecclesia Dei is the document Pope John Paul II issued on 2 July 1988 in reaction to the Ecône Consecrations, despite an express prohibition by the Holy See. It said that the two consecrating bishops and the four priests they consecrated were excommunicated. John Paul called for unity and established the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to foster a dialogue with those associated with the consecrations who hoped to maintain both loyalty to the papacy and their attachment to traditional liturgical forms.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei was a commission of the Catholic Church established by Pope John Paul II's motu proprioEcclesia Dei of 2 July 1988 for the care of those former followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who broke with him as a result of his consecration of four priests of his Society of St. Pius X as bishops on 30 June 1988, an act that the Holy See deemed illicit and a schismatic act. It was also tasked with trying to return to full communion with the Holy See those traditionalist Catholics who are in a state of separation, of whom the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is foremost, and of helping to satisfy just aspirations of people unconnected with these groups who want to keep alive the pre-1970 Roman Rite liturgy.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM)—in the Latin original, Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (IGMR)—is the detailed document governing the celebration of Mass of the Roman Rite in what since 1969 is its normal form. Originally published in 1969 as a separate document, it is printed at the start of editions of the Roman Missal since 1970.

Universal indult is a term that was used primarily by traditionalist Catholics in a very specific sense. Since an indult signifies a favour granted to an individual or limited group, a similar measure applied to every member of a particular class of persons would in reality be a change of the law, not an indult. However, in spite of its self-contradictory character, traditionalist Catholics used the term "universal indult" to refer to a general permission that they hoped the Pope would grant to all Catholic priests who celebrate Mass in the Roman Rite to do so in its Tridentine Mass form even publicly without first obtaining a specific indult or permission. Groups such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter have standing specific indults to say the Tridentine Mass.

Summorum Pontificum is an apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued in July 2007, which specified the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church could celebrate Mass according to what he called the "Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962", and administer most of the sacraments in the form used before the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council.

Álvaro Corrada del Río Puerto Rican Catholic bishop

Álvaro Corrada del Río, S.J. is a Puerto Rican prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and member of the Society of Jesus. He served as the second Bishop of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. He previously served as the Bishop of Tyler, Texas.

For a number of years after the controversial 1988 consecrations, there was little if any dialogue between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See. This state of affairs ended when the Society led a large pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee in the year 2000.

The Ceremonial of John XXIII was the last to use full papal ceremony, much of which was abolished subsequently after Vatican II.

The Code of Rubrics is a three-part liturgical document promulgated in 1960 under Pope John XXIII, which in the form of a legal code indicated the liturgical and sacramental law governing the celebration of the Roman Rite Mass and Divine Office.

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish is a Roman Catholic church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, now part of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Traditionis custodes is an apostolic letter issued motu proprio by Pope Francis, promulgated on 16 July 2021. It restricts the celebration of the Tridentine Mass of the Roman Rite, sometimes colloquially called the "Latin Mass" or the "Traditional Latin Mass". The apostolic letter was accompanied by an ecclesiastical letter to the bishops of the world.

References