Council of Trent + OF/NO

Hello everyone, I was told recently that this quote from the Council of Trent makes it so that the Ordinary Form/Novus Ordo is illicit.

CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by whomsoever, into other new ones; let him be anathema.
(Council of Trent, Session 7)

Does anyone have an adequate response to this?

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There was also one using the same language regarding the Liturgy of the Hours. If that’s the case, then Pope Pius X promulgated an illicit LOTH, which I doubt they’d agree with.


You can’t pit one council / pope against another like this. This was a disciplinary canon. The Church has the power of binding and loosing. The decisions made by the Second Vatican Council and St Paul VI overrule this earlier decision.


Here we go again…


In the words of the bowl of petunias “oh no, not again.”

A lifetime supply of likes to all who get the reference.


Bless you,

Also I imagine that the changes/promulgation to the Ordinary Form has language of some sort like the changes to the LotH? Where exactly would I be able to find that if that’s the case?

Yeah it’s funny how St Pius X’s fairly radical reforms get a free pass by even the most radical traditionalists.

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To be honest, I don’t know, but I imagine it’s in one of the Vatican II documents. Probably missing the anathema though. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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The problem with sedevacantist types – and this would be the case, as the SSPX, by my understanding, do not denounce the OF as illicit – is that this is not your anti-Catholic Protestant arguing that you worship Mary or don’t read the Bible, or any number of fallacious myths, that can be debunked with common sense, the Church’s own words, and Scripture. This is a Catholic who is using the very words of the Church to argue a false interpretation.

In my opinion, I sincerely doubt we will be judged on having the correct interpretation of a Papal bill written over four-hundred years ago.


the first thing before you even consider this , is to research and learn the history leading up to and in the council of trent. Then you need to look at what else happened at that council and why, besides the refutation of martin luther.

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CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema.

The Holy See approves the liturgy, not every pastor of the churches!


In my job, I’m more fond of this one of his: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.“


Hello Quis_UtDeus,
Session 7, Canon 13 is simply reserving the sole rite to rule upon matters of liturgy to the Magisterium. The current Ordinary Form was officially approved and promulgated through the Magisterium, thus it is licit. This canon was intended to stop Catholic clergy from using the previous liturgies that pre-date the Council of Trent in the administration of the Sacraments. The earlier liturgies were rather convoluted, confusing, and differed at times from one region to another. The Tridentine Liturgy promulgated at the Council reduced these liturgies down and standardized them so that proper reverence would be paid to legitimate liturgical actions.


This is an issue of discipline. When one Pope promulgates a rule or makes a liturgical ruling and another Pope comes after him and does something different it could be that the situation has changed enough that a change in the mass is called for. Pope Leo made changes. Pope Pius X made changes. These changes don’t effect the faith and morals they are part of the discipline.

Councils don’t contradict prior Councils.

The current Mass is an approved form of the Mass, made so by the ecclesial authorities under the Bishop of Rome.

By this person’s logic, the Eastern rites that have entered full communion with the Catholic Church since the Council of Trent are anathema, which is silly. Again, those liturgies are approved. The Novus Ordo is approved.

In the future, if changes are made to the Mass, and they are approved changes, then they are fine.

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You were told incorrectly.


the majority of Catholics at the time of Trent couldnt even read - I’d agree with you in saying that this likely won’t make or break salvation

Of course. Only the Catholic Church has the right to change her rites.:grinning: And they most certainly have changed over the centuries, with the essentials always remaining in place.


One might argue that while the changes made by V2 and Pope Paul were totally valid and licit, they were not necessarily prudent, in hindsight. Suppose that person you talked to had claimed that 50 years after Trent, there was evidence of fewer liturgical abuses, and increased Mass attendance, if true; and that the follow-up to V2 is different.

Suppose your acquaintance had said V2, a fully valid Council, urged us to be open to adapt our efforts based on new data; that a high percentage of young people exposed to the EF seem to like it. Thus the Church should expand its availability.

That would be more persuasive than the line of fluff he handed you

Trent also teaches (Session 21):

It furthermore declares, that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain,–or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places.

Pius XII clarifies this power is ultimately in the Pope (Mediator Dei):

  1. It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification.

The canon from Trent you cited was about someone contemning the approved rites of the Church or making changes without authority (which is what Protestants were doing). It does not deny the permanent authority in the Church concerning her rites. Contemning the novus Ordo, an approved rite of the Church, or making unauthorized changes to it is just as much in violation of that canon.