This is a bit of fun, in a way. It seems that Pope Clement XI, gloriously reigning in 1713, issued the dogmatic constitution Unigenitus condemning the errors of the Jansenist known (in Latin) as Paschasius Quesnell. The condemnation can be found here.
Pope Clement condemned 101 of Quesnell’s propositions as
false, captious, ill-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and its practices, contumelious to Church and State, seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected and savoring of heresy, favoring heretics, heresy, and schism, erroneous, bordering on heresy, often condemned, heretical, and reviving various heresies, especially those contained in the famous propositions of Jansenius.
Do you get the idea?
Now to be fair, Clement XI isn’t saying that every one of the 101 propositions is all those things, but rather that each of them is at least one of those things. So it’s not quite as negative as it seems.
Propositions 80-86 will interest Pray Tell readers, for they treat the twin concerns of Virgil Michel OSB when he founded Liturgical Press: the Bible and active participation.
As you have a look at them below, don’t let yourself get caught in a tangle of double negatives, wondering which side the pope (or you) are on. I advise that you read each proposition with an eye toward agreeing with it. If you do, consider yourself condemned. At least as of 1713.
Here you go.
The hundred and one condemned propositions are as follows:
- …..80. The reading of sacred Scripture is for all. Acts viii. 28.
- 81. The obscurity of the holy word of God is not a reason for the laity to excuse themselves from the reading thereof. Acts viii. 31.
- 82. The Lord’s day ought to be sanctified by Christians with the readings of piety, and above all, of the holy Scriptures. It is damnable to wish to restrain a Christian from such reading. Acts xv. 21.
- 83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself that a knowledge of the mysteries of religion ought not to be communicated to females by the reading of the sacred books. The abuse of the Scriptures has arisen, and heresies have sprung up, not from the simplicity of women, but from the haughty knowledge of men. John iv. 26.
- 84. To snatch the New Testament out of the hands of Christians, or to keep it closed to them, by taking from them that method of understanding it, is to shut the mouth of Christ against them. Matt. v. 2.
- 85. To interdict to Christians the reading of sacred Scripture, especially of the Gospel, is to interdict the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a certain kind of excommunication. Luke xi. 33. 1693.
- 86. To snatch from the simple people this consolation, of joining their voice to the voice of the whole Church, is a custom contrary to the apostolic practice, and to the intention of God. 1 Cor. xiv. 16.
From Condemnation of the Errors of Paschasius Quesnell, Bull of Clement XI, 1713.
So then, we can take away from people the possibility of joining their voice to the church’s singing (cf. 86) and this would be in line with apostolic practice and the intention of God.
As is well known, there is only continuity in Catholic tradition, never rupture or contradiction. Two thousand years of, really, non-stop unanimity, with any development being but a deepening of already-known truth. If anyone tells you otherwise, deviously quoting facts of history at you, vigorously resist them. You probably have yourself a modernist. They probably think that Vatican II innovated here or there too.
Your task, then, is to read no. 86 in continuity with Pius X, Sacrosanctum Concilium, and the reformed liturgy of Paul VI. Go for it.