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If the See is Vacant Priest Does Not Say ‘Papa Nostro’

If the See is Vacant Priest Omits "Papa Nostro"

(A slightly modified version of the article)

Objection:

“Sedevacantists are not allowed to celebrate Holy Mass during the Vacancy of the Holy See.”

Answer by the Church:

Missale Romanum 1941:

2 Ubi dicit: una cum fámulo tuo Papa nostro N., exprimit nomen Papæ: Sede autem vacante verba prædicta omittuntur.

Missale-Romanum-Sede-autem-vacante-1941-01
Missale-Romanum-Sede-autem-vacante-1941-02

CEREMONIAL: FOR THE USE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES, IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1865:

In pronouncing the name of the Pope, he makes a simple bow towards the Missal, but does not bow at the name of the Bishop in whose diocese he says Mass; or if the See is vacant, he does not say Papa nostro or Antistite nostro.* (Gav., p. 2, Tit. viii., n. 2.)
* The Bishop named is that of the diocese in which the priest celebrates, although he may not be his Bishop. In case he does not know the name, it is sufficient to form his intention to pray for him. In Rome, the words Et antistite nostro are omitted, as the Pope is the Bishop of Rome. (CEREMONIAL: FOR THE USE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Published by order of the First Council of Baltiomore, WITH THE APPROBATION OF THE HOLY SEE. THIRD EDITION, CAREFULLY REVISED, AND CONSIDERABLY ENLARGED, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, BALTIMORE: PRINTED AND PUBLLSHED BY KELLY & PIET, No. 174 Baltimore Street, 1865, Appobation: MARTIN JOHN, Archbishop of Baitimore, Feast of the Annunciation 1865, p. 36)

CEREMONIAL: FOR THE USE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES, IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1875:

In pronouncing the name of the Pope, he makes a simple bow towards the Missal, but does not bow at the name of the Bishop in whose diocese he says Mass; or if the See is vacant, he does not say Papa nostro or Antistite nostro.* (Gav., p. 2, Tit. viii., n. 2.)
* The Bishop named is that of the diocese in which the priest celebrates, although he may not be his Bishop. In case he does not know the name, it is sufficient to form his intention to pray for him. In Rome, the words Et antistite nostro are omitted, as the Pope is the Bishop of Rome. (CEREMONIAL: FOR THE USE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Originally Published by Order of the First Council of Baltiomore, FOUTH EDITION, BALTIMORE: KELLY, PIET & COMPANY 1875, Appoved by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Becker, Bishop of Wilmington, 4th day of November, by J. ROOSEVELT BAYLEY, Archbishop of Baitimore, Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, A. D., 1875, p. 20.)

CEREMONIAL: FOR THE USE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES, IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1893:

In pronouncing the name of the Pope, he makes a simple bow towards the Missal, but does not bow at the name of the Bishop in whose diocese he says Mass; or if the See is vacant, he does not say Papa nostro or Antistite nostro.* (Gav., p. 2, Tit. viii., n. 2.)
* The Bishop named is that of the diocese in which the priest celebrates, although he may not be his Bishop. In case he does not know the name, it is sufficient to form his intention to pray for him. In Rome, the words Et antistite nostro are omitted, as the Pope is the Bishop of Rome. (CEREMONIAL: FOR THE USE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SEVENTH REVISED EDITION, PHILADELPHIA: H. L. KILNER & Co., Publishers. Appoved by +JAMES CARD. GIBBONS, Archbishop of Baitimore, 30th day of November, Feast of St. Andrew, A. D., 1894, p. 20.)

THE CEREMONIES of the ROMAN RITE DESCRIBED:

At the words una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. he adds the name of the reigning Pope in the ablative case,(3) and bows towards the book. If the Holy See is vacant at the time, he omits this clause altogether. At the words et antistite nostro N. he adds the name of the Ordinary of the place where he says Mass. If the see is vacant he omits this clause.
(3) Without the number of the Pope: "Papa nostro Benedicto," not "Papa nostro Benedicto decimo quinto."
(THE CEREMONIES of the ROMAN RITE DESCRIBED, BY ADRIAN FORTESCUE, WITH A PREFACE BY HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL BOURNE ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER, BURNS OATES AND WASHBOURNE LTD LONDON, MCMXX, NIHIL OBSTAT: F. Thomas Bergh, O.S.B., Censor Depvtatvs, IMPRIMATVR: Edm. Canon. Svrmont, Vicarivs Generalis, Westmonasterii, die 6 Septembris, 1917, p. 52.)

Conclusion:

  1. The Church says quite clearly that during the vacancy of the Holy See priests are obliged to celebrate Holy Mass;
  2. The Church’s instructions have been expressed so clearly that it can only be understood in one way: if the Holy See is vacant, a priest does not say una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N; if the Episcopal See is vacant he does not say et antistite nostro N;
  3. So in other words, in order to remain a Catholic a priest must be a "sedevacantist”.

Fr. Valerii

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