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Pope Benedict XVI

Latina Linqua

Apostolic Letter in the Form of "Moto Proprio" of The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI Establishing The Pontifical Academy For Latin

“After the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, the Church of Rome not only continued to use Latin but, in a certain way, made herself its custodian and champion in both the theological and liturgical sectors as well as in formation and in the transmission of knowledge.

“In our time too, knowledge of the Latin language and culture is proving to be more necessary than ever for the study of the sources, which, among others, numerous ecclesiastical disciplines draw from, such as, for example, theology, liturgy, patristics and canon law, as the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council teaches (cf. Decree Optatam Totius, n. 13).

“In addition, precisely in order to highlight the Church’s universal character, the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, the most important documents of the Papal Magisterium and the most solemn official Acts of the Roman Pontiffs are written in this language in their authentic form.”

Pope Saint John XXIII

Veterum Sapientia

On the Promotion of the Study of Latin

Pope John XXIII - 1962

“A primary place
But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.

“And since in God’s special Providence this language united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire — and that for so many centuries — it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See. Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity for the Christian peoples of Europe.”

The nature of Latin
“Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all.”


Pope Saint Pius X

The Oath Against Modernism

Pope Pius X - 1910

The oath against modernism was required of "all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries" of the Catholic Church from 1910 until 1967.


Pope Pius XII

“At the Last Supper He celebrates a new Pasch with solemn rite and ceremonial, and provides for its continuance through the divine institution of the Eucharist. On the morrow, lifted up between heaven and earth, He offers the saving sacrifice of His life, and pours forth, as it were, from His pierced Heart the sacraments destined to impart the treasures of redemption to the souls of men. All this He does with but a single aim: the glory of His Father and man’s ever greater sanctification.”

“In obedience, therefore, to her Founder’s behest, the Church prolongs the priestly mission of Jesus Christ mainly by means of the sacred liturgy. She does this in the first place at the altar, where constantly the sacrifice of the cross is represented and with a single difference in the manner of its offering, renewed. She does it next by means of the sacraments, those special channels through which men are made partakers in the supernatural life. She does it, finally, by offering to God, all Good and Great, the daily tribute of her prayer of praise. “What a spectacle for heaven and earth,” observes Our predecessor of happy memory, Pius XI, “is not the Church at prayer! For centuries without interruption, from midnight to midnight, the divine psalmody of the inspired canticles is repeated on earth; there is no hour of the day that is not hallowed by its special liturgy; there is no state of human life that has not its part in the thanksgiving, praise, supplication and reparation of this common prayer of the Mystical Body of Christ which is His Church!”

Pope Pius XII

“We emphasized, then, that owing to a failure to distinguish between the question of the participation of the celebrant in the fruits of the Mass and that of the action which he performs, the following conclusion had been reached: namely, that the offering of one Mass, at which a hundred priests assist with religious devotion, is the same as a hundred Masses celebrated by a hundred priests. Of this assertion, We said: “It must be rejected as an erroneous opinion”

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Sanctissimam Eucharisitiam

Sacred Congregation for Rites – Decree forbidding the separation of Altar and Tabernacle  June 1, 1957

“In churches where only one altar exists, this cannot be constructed so that the priest may celebrate towards the people; but on that very altar, in the middle, a tabernacle for reserving the most Holy Eucharist should be located, constructed according to the norm of liturgical laws, entirely worthy in shape and size of so great a Sacrament.”

Pope Saint Paul VI

Sacrosanctum Consilium


Constitutuion on the Scared Liturgy Sacrocanctum Concilium Solemnly Promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI  
Deember 4, 1963

Pope Saint Paul VI

Sacrificium Laudis

Apostolic Letter by Pope Paul VI – Apostolic letter to the supreme moderators of clerical religious institutes obliged to the choral recitation of the divine office 

August 15, 1966

“Yet, from letters which some of you have sent, and from many other sources, We learn that discordant practices have been introduced into the sacred liturgy by your communities or provinces (We speak of those only that belong to the Latin Rite.) For while some are very faithful to the Latin language, others wish to use the vernacular within the choral office. Others, in various places, wish to exchange that chant which is called ‘Gregorian’, for newly-minted melodies. Indeed, some even insist that Latin should be wholly suppressed.
“We must acknowledge that We have been somewhat disturbed and saddened by these requests. One may well wonder what the origin is of this new way of thinking and this sudden dislike for the past; one may well wonder why these things have been fostered.”

Source documents on the Vatican Website: LatinItalian.

Cardinal Bacci

Cardinal Ottaviani

Ottaviani intervention

Critique of the draft ‘Missa Normativa’ by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci

September 25, 1969

“Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations:”

Pope Saint Paul VI

Heenan Indult

Pope Paul VI – First permission for the continuing public use of the Traditional Mass

November 5, 1971

“His Holiness Pope Paul VI, by letter of 30 October 1971, has given special faculties to the undersigned Secretary of this Sacred Congregation to convey to Your Eminence, as Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, the following points regarding the Order of the Mass: 1. Considering the pastoral needs referred to by Your Eminence, it is permitted to the local Ordinaries of England and Wales to grant that certain groups of the faithful may on special occasions be allowed to participate in the Mass celebrated according to the Rites and texts of the former Roman Missal.”

Pope Saint John Paul II

Quattuor Abhinc Annos

Indult by Pope St John Paul II – Norms for the use of the Traditional Latin Mass

October 3, 1984

“Since, however, the same problem continues, the Supreme Pontiff, in a desire to meet the wishes of these groups grants to diocesan bishops the possibility of using an indult whereby priests and faithful, who shall be expressly indicated in the letter of request to be presented to their own bishop, may be able to celebrate Mass by using the Roman Missal according to the 1962 edition, but under the following conditions: … “

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Norms of 1986 

Commission of Cardinals under Pope St John Paul II – Proposals for the reform of Quattuor Abhinc Annos – 1986

In the summer of 1986, a commission of eight curial Cardinals was established ad hoc to consider whether the Indult of 1984 was capable of functioning. It found that in practice the Indult had been shown to be “not very helpful” and it presented some detailed recommendations for a new regulation for the whole Church.

Pope Saint John Paul II

Ecclesia Dei Adflicta 

Apostolic Letter by Pope St John Paul II – Norms for the use of the Traditional Latin Mass

July 2, 1988

“Moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.”

Cardinal Ratzinger

Ten Years of the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei"

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

A lecture given at the Ergife Palace Hotel, Rome on

Saturday 24th October 1998

Cardinal Arinze

Letter On Amending the Translation of “Pro Multis” 


by Francis Card. Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Oct. 17/ 2006

Summorum Pontificum  in Latin

Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI

July 7, 2007

“ What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well, and cannot be suddenly prohibited altogether or even judged harmful.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Summorum Pontificum 

Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI

July 7, 2007

“As from time immemorial, so too in the future, it is necessary to maintain the principle that “each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally received from apostolic and unbroken tradition.  These are to be observed not only so that errors may be avoided, but also that the faith may be handed on in its integrity, since the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of faith (lex credendi).”

Summorum Pontificum  in Latin

Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI

July 7, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI

“As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.  At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal.  Probably it was thought that it would be a matter of a few individual cases which would be resolved, case by case, on the local level.  Afterwards, however, it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood.  This was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration.”


Baltimore Catechism

Catechism Of the Catholic Church


First Vatican Council

December 8 1869 -- October 20 1870

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council

Vatican II

Opened Under Pope John XXIII in 1962
Closed by Pope Paul VI in 1965

These same documents in numerous other languages are available on this Vatican webpage: 

Documents of the Second Vatican Council

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