Short Commentary: The “Novus Ordo” Is What Vatican II Intended

Peter Wolfgang at the Catholic Herald  (“Twelve quick thoughts on Pope Francis dropping his long-expected bomb on the traditional Latin Mass”) makes a claim which doesn’t become any truer through frequent repetition:

[Pope Francis] calls the Novus Ordo “one of the key measures” of Vatican II. The Novus Ordo came later and was not what Vatican II intended, but that seems not to be the papal magisterium’s understanding of the matter.

But the title page of every Roman Missal in the world says this:

THE ROMAN MISSAL

RENEWED BY DECREE OF
THE MOST HOLY SECOND ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF THE VATICAN
PROMULGATED BY AUTHORITY OF POPE PAUL VI
AND REVISED AT THE DIRECTION OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

The Catholic Church believes that the post-Vatican II missal is in accord with what the Second Vatican Council intended. The liturgical reform could have been more drastic, or less so, and still fall well within the wide range set forth in the Council’s principles.

Who decides such questions in the Catholic Church? Not the Catholic Herald. Not the monks of Saint John’s Abbey. Not the editorial committee of Pray Tell. Not the Society for Catholic Liturgy. Not the folk group.

The pope does.

He has long since done so. For over fifty years now we have had “the papal magisterium’s understanding of the matter.”

awr