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Dominican Theologian Attacks Catholic Tradition (Part 2): On the Novus Ordo as the “Sole Form” of the Roman Rite

"One missal to rule them all..."

Dominican Theologian Attacks Catholic Tradition (Part 2):
On the Novus Ordo as the “Sole Form” of the Roman Rite

Dr. John R.T. Lamont

(See Part 1.)

(II) Fr. Donneaud on the Novus Ordo as the sole form of the Roman Rite

In addition to his general theological case against traditionalism, Fr. Donneaud argues in support of Pope Francis’s actions in Traditionis custodes and against Dr. Kwasniewski on the basis of specific factual assertions about the Novus Ordo. These arguments, which form a large part of his case,  do not depend on his general theological position, and are very commonly made in criticism of traditionalists.

We will examine them in five points (three today, and two in the third installment).

Fathers of Vatican II

First argument: Disobedience to the Council

Fr. Donneaud writes:

The missal of Paul VI is the implementation of the directives of the Second Vatican Council on the reform of the liturgy. To criticise this missal as defective or to prefer to use the TLM is to disobey the directives of an ecumenical council and to cease to be a Catholic.[1]

A first point to be made about this argument is that the Novus Ordo does not correspond to a detailed plan for reform of the liturgy laid out by the Council. The Second Vatican Council gave some general directives about the liturgy, and left it to a body (later called the Consilium [advisory body] for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) to implement these directives. This Consilium was responsible for the development of the rituals promulgated by Paul VI. The ultimate form of the Novus Ordo could in no way have been predicted by an examination of the conciliar documents. An ecumenical council cannot in fact lend its powers and authority to another body. Any body charged with implementing its directives can and must be judged by its conformity to those directives; its work cannot, as a matter of principle, be identified with the will of that council.

A second point is that an ecumenical council does not function in the way that contemporary elected assemblies do. For such assemblies, what matters is that a legislative text has been passed by the requisite majority as defined by constitutional law. The opinions and purposes of the representatives who vote for it do not matter; most of them are simply voting at the behest of their party leaders, and usually do not bother to read what they are voting for. The authority of an ecumenical council derives not from the terms of a constitutional document, but from the nature of the Church and the action of the Holy Spirit. This action can be said to occur only when the fathers of a council reach not a majority vote, but moral unanimity, on a teaching that they understand, assent to, and choose to promulgate with their authority. An understanding of a conciliar teaching that is demonstrably not the understanding of a substantial proportion of the fathers at a council therefore cannot be correct.   

Evaluation of the argument that the Novus Ordo benefits from the authority of the Second Vatican Council is straightforward. The Council gave a number of specific directions about the liturgical changes that it sought. The Novus Ordo contradicts a number of these directives. Many of the ways in which it flouts the directives of the Second Vatican Council are evident to any Catholic. Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned one of these:

In part it is simply a fact that the Council was pushed aside. For instance, it had said that the language of the Latin Rite was to remain Latin, although suitable scope might be given to the vernacular. Today we might ask: Is there a Latin Rite at all any more? Certainly there is no awareness of it.[2]

Its principal features and overall design are not implementations of conciliar directives. The abolition of the old lectionary and sanctoral cycle and their replacement by completely new productions, for example, are not mentioned by the Council. They are purely the work of the drafters of the Consilium.

Careful and scholarly examination of the Novus Ordo has shown many more ways in which it contradicts the will of the Second Vatican Council. The then Fr. Ratzinger observed of the structure of the Novus Ordo as a whole:

The problem of the new Missal lies in its abandonment of a historical process that was always continual, before and after St. Pius V, and in the creation of a completely new book, although it was compiled of old material, the publication of which was accompanied by a prohibition of all that came before it, which, besides, is unheard of in the history of both law and liturgy. And I can say with certainty, based on my knowledge of the conciliar debates and my repeated reading of the speeches made by the Council Fathers, that this does not correspond to the intentions of the Second Vatican Council.[3]

The composers of the ritual of Paul VI were willing to disobey the instructions of the Council on the liturgy. Matthew Hazell gives the example of the omission of imprecatory psalms, and imprecatory verses from the psalms, in the Liturgy of the Hours. These are the psalms and verses that curse the psalmist’s enemies, and ask God to punish and destroy them. Hazell observes:

When the revised chapter IV of the constitution on the liturgy was presented to the Council Fathers on 21 October 1963, Bishop Joseph Martin (Nicolet, Canada) gave the relatio explaining the various changes made. In these remarks, he also explained that the Conciliar Liturgical Commission had considered the suggestions that the imprecatory and historical psalms should be removed from the Breviary:

« However, another question of no small importance, which does not derive its origin from the text [of the Constitution], has arisen concerning the psalter. Some of the Fathers wish to expunge from the breviary those psalms which express imprecations and vengeance, or even those which provide insufficient revelation about the latter, or, indeed, historical psalms or those that ‘foster insufficient piety’. Other Fathers rejected these opinions, and our Commission adheres to this rejection: the whole psalter belongs to the treasury of the sacred Scriptures, and we believe it is also inspired in those parts which are not fully understood by us now because of the fragility and weakness of our intellect. In such an arbitrary selection of the psalms, one might perhaps indulge ‘rationalist’ tendencies; moreover, we fear that such a thing would be astonishing to the brethren who have separated from us. ‘For whatever was written was written for our instruction’ (Romans 15:4) Otherwise, those parts of the sacred liturgy, taken also from the New Testament, which speak of the same things would have to be expunged. (AS II.3, pp 136-137, emphasis mine [MH]). »

So, to reiterate: the Council Fathers were told by the Conciliar Liturgical Commission that it was in no way envisaged that the constitution on the liturgy would justify the omission of certain psalms from the Divine Office. Sacrosanctum Concilium did not mention this, and the Commission explicitly excluded the possible interpretation or use of article 91 to justify it.[4]

A period piece from the 70s

A simliar bowdlerization was applied to the Scripture readings in the lectionary for the Novus Ordo. These excisions have been well documented by Dr. Kwasniewski.[5] Good examples are the following texts, completely absent in the Novus Ordo (although present in the traditional lectionary):

1 Corinthians 11:27–29: Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

Ephesians 4:23–28: Wherefore putting away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Give not place to the devil. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

This censoring of the biblical text to remove passages that seem harsh and judgmental was not demanded by the Council, and it contradicts the conciliar direction that the liturgy ‘promote that warm and living love for scripture to which the venerable tradition of both eastern and western rites gives testimony’ (Sacrosanctum concilium, n. 24).

The historical fact is that prior to the Council, a number of radical views on desirable changes to the liturgy were circulating in clerical circles. These views were condemned by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Mediator Dei in 1947.[6] Nothing daunted, the supporters of these views worked to get their ideas accepted at the Second Vatican Council. Some concessions were made to these radicals in general terms in the constitution Sacrosanctum concililum. The following passages are examples of this:

21. ... Holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time ...

34. The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people's powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.

To balance these concessions, the document added qualifications to essentially preserve the liturgy as it existed:

23. That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral. Also the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.

Concessions and qualifications were combined in passages such as the following:

36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. 2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. ...

38. Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved.

However, when the new rituals were drawn up after the Council, the radical liturgists took control of the process and of the Consilium and implemented their ideas fully, entirely rejecting the limitations on their project that had been willed and decreed by the Council. This was done purely through possession of ecclesiastical power and control of the means of communication. The decrees and intentions of the Council had nothing to do with it.

This remains the case today. When critics of the Novus Ordo and defenders of the TLM are dismissed as contradicting the will of an ecumenical council—and as ceasing to be Catholic thereby, as Fr. Donneaud asserts—this dismissal is never substantiated by reference to the conciliar text, or by refutation of the evidence brought forward by the critics about what the Council actually said; even when the critics include eminent scholars like the former Fr. Ratzinger, who was himself present at the Council and played a not insignificant role in it. The claim that the Novus Ordo cannot be criticized because it enjoys the authority of the Second Vatican Council is simply a way of conveying the message, “We have the power, we get to decide what is Catholic and what is not, and if you do not agree and enthusiastically repeat and implement what we say, you will be crushed.”

We should distinguish between saying that the Novus Ordo benefits from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, and saying that the Novus Ordo disobeys the instructions of the Second Vatican Council on the liturgy as a whole. The former is undoubtedly false, since the Novus Ordo can be shown to violate certain conciliar decisions on the liturgy. The second assertion raises difficulties. Certainly the Novus Ordo violates some conciliar instructions. But for it to go against the conciliar will and decision on the liturgy as a whole, the Second Vatican Council would have had to have proposed a coherent and realizable goal and plan for the Roman rite. This did not occur.

Sacrosanctum concilium, as we have seen, contains internally inconsistent and contradictory instructions. Some of these instructions are based on the idea that the historic Roman rite in use at the Council was a treasure that needed to be better practiced and understood; others are based on the idea that this rite was a severely flawed edifice that needed to be drastically reworked or even replaced. Substantial groups of conciliar fathers publicly expressed their support for each of these positions during the conciliar debates.

No liturgical change could conform to both of these ideas. (One should note that Orientalium ecclesiarum, the conciliar decree on the eastern Catholic churches, comes down firmly on the side of the former idea of the liturgy as a treasure to be preserved—when it comes to the eastern liturgies.) There is therefore no such thing as “the will and decree of the Second Vatican Council” on the way the Roman rite should be changed or reformed as a whole, and hence, no ritual—neither the TLM nor the Novus Ordo—can be said to obey or disobey this overall plan. A choice must be made between the two aforementioned ideas, guided by previous teachings on the liturgy and the experience of the Church since the Council.


Second argument: The abnormality of the TLM is a dogmatic fact

"The motu proprios Summorum pontificum and Traditionis custodes do not contradict one another when the former asserts that the TLM and the Novus Ordo are both expressions of the Roman rite, whereas the latter asserts that the Novus Ordo is the unique expression of the Roman rite. These two documents taken together teach that the missal of Paul VI is the unique ordinary expression of the Roman rite, and that the TLM is the extraordinary expression of the Roman rite. ‘Extraordinary’ in this context means abnormal, an exception to the normal order, incompatible with the fundamental order of a thing or a process; it does not mean remakable, admirable, eminent, or superior. ’Ordinary’ means what belongs to the order of things, to the fundamental essence of a thing, to its permanent identity. Pope Benedict XVI permitted the use of this extraordinary form for pastoral reasons, but the extraordinary by its nature cannot be given a permanent and normal status. This characterization of the TLM as extraordinary and the Novus Ordo as ordinary is taught as a dogmatic fact by Summorum pontificum and Traditionis custodes taken together. Dr. Kwasniewski, in claiming that the TLM is an expression of the Roman rite that can still be used by all priests of the Latin rite and that cannot be suppressed, is therefore contradicting a dogmatic fact."[7]

There is no doubt that the Church can teach dogmatic facts. The conditions for an infallible teaching are manifestly not met by Summorum pontificum and Traditionis custodes, so the question is whether or not the above characterizations of the TLM and the Novus Ordo are taught by these documents as dogmatic facts in a non-infallible but authoritative fashion.

A statement by ecclesiastical authority must satisfy certain conditions in order to be a magisterial teaching that calls for the assent of the faithful. The basic conditions are that the content of the teaching to be assented to must be clearly expressed (that is, it must be expressed in terms whose meaning is clear given the objective and public meaning of the words that make them up); and that the obligation of all Catholics to believe this teaching in obedience to magisterial authority must be clearly stated by that authority.

Neither of these conditions are satisfied by the texts cited above. The characterization of ‘expression of the Roman rite’ is a term that is new to Catholic theology and magisterial teaching. Competent interpreters have disagreed on its meaning. Fr. Donneaud’s interpretation of the term ‘extraordinary form’ is manifestly wrong. This is made clear by the text of Summorum pontificum, the text of the instruction on the application of Summorum pontificum issued with papal approval by the then Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on April 30th 2011, and the text of the letter to Catholic bishops of Benedict XVI that accompanied Summorum pontificum. The motu proprio Summorum pontificum stated:

Art. 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite. It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.

In his letter to the bishops, Pope Benedict XVI asserted:

Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. ... What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.

The instruction on the application of Summorum pontificum states:

7. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was accompanied by a letter from the Holy Father to Bishops, with the same date as the Motu Proprio (7 July 2007). This letter gave further explanations regarding the appropriateness and the need for the Motu Proprio; it was a matter of overcoming a lacuna by providing new norms for the use of the Roman Liturgy of 1962. Such norms were needed particularly on account of the fact that, when the new Missal had been introduced under Pope Paul VI, it had not seemed necessary to issue guidelines regulating the use of the 1962 Liturgy. By reason of the increase in the number of those asking to be able to use the forma extraordinaria, it has become necessary to provide certain norms in this area.

Among the statements of the Holy Father was the following: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the Liturgy growth and progress are found, but not a rupture. What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well, and cannot be suddenly prohibited altogether or even judged harmful”.

8. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, and has the aim of:

a. offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved;

b. effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful who are its principal addressees;

c. promoting reconciliation at the heart of the Church.

These passages give the following reasons for the regulations on the ‘extraordinary form of the Roman rite’ that were promulgated in Summorum pontificum:

1) The Missal of St. Pius V and John XXIII must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage.

2) This Missal is a sacred treasure that must be preserved in the Church.

3) The sacred character of this missal for prior generations means that it cannot be prohibited altogether or judged harmful.

4) The rupture in the history of the liturgy that would result from a prohibition of this Missal must be avoided.

5) Young persons have found in this Missal a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist that is particularly suited to them.

These reasons exclude Fr. Donneaud’s interpretation of the term ‘extraordinary form’. This interpretation is in fact devised purely to enable Fr. Donneaud to draw the conclusions that he wants; it is and always has been perfectly evident that it is not what Benedict XVI meant by the expression when he coined it. Benedict XVI’s assertion—in a legislative document—that the TLM was never abrogated, and hence that its use was always legally permitted to priests of the Roman rite, also excludes this interpretation. A missal that has never been abrogated and whose use is ruled to be entirely legal cannot be ‘extraordinary’ in Fr. Donneaud’s sense.

Benedict XVI also mentioned reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) as a reason for the motu proprio. The SSPX has consistently refused throughout its history to consider the use of the Novus Ordo, or to accept the idea that its use of the TLM could be considered as a temporary measure that will eventually be replaced by adherence the Novus Ordo. This refusal is indeed one of the main reasons for the existence of that Society, and it is a condition of its further existence, since its faithful would desert it if it even toyed with the idea of using the Novus Ordo. The presupposition of Benedict XVI’s attempt at reconciliation with the SSPX in Summorum pontificum was therefore a recognition in the motu proprio of a permanent right for all priests of the Roman rite to use the TLM. This is how Summorum pontificum should be understood, since it is the only understanding of that document that could have served its acknowledged purpose of reconciliation with the Society.

Fr. Donneaud acknowledges that Benedict XVI stated that there are two expressions of the Roman rite, whereas Francis asserted that the Novus Ordo is the unique expression of the Roman rite. If these two statements contradict one another, the Catholic faithful cannot be required to assent to them as magisterial teachings, and they cannot be considered to be dogmatic facts.

Fr. Donneaud attempts to preserve his interpretation of these statements as dogmatic facts, while avoiding the conclusion that they contradict one another, by claiming that Pope Francis did not really mean to teach that the Novus Ordo is, absolutely speaking, the sole expression of the Roman rite. His argument for this claim is that since Pope Francis permits some use of the TLM in Traditionis custodes, he cannot have actually meant that the Novus Ordo is the only expression of the Roman rite absolutely speaking, or that the Novus Ordo is the only valid or licit expression of the Roman rite. Instead, Pope Francis meant that the Novus Ordo is the unique expression of the Roman rite in that it is the ordinary form of the Roman rite in the sense understood by Fr. Donneaud, while the TLM is allowed under limited and temporary circumstances by Pope Francis because it is the extraordinary form of the Roman rite in Fr. Donneaud’s interpretation of that term.

This argument is fallacious, and its conclusion falsifies the clear meaning of Pope Francis’s motu proprio. The limited provisions made in Traditionis custodes for the use of the pre-1970 missal do not imply that this missal is an expression of the Roman rite. These provisions are restrictive, and are intended to have the effect of eventually bringing all celebration of the TLM to an end. Such provisions are suited to a ritual that is not an expression of the Roman rite, and that should be abandoned in the course of time—as Fr. Donneaud himself holds—but that cannot be immediately suppressed for practical reasons. Pope Francis’s assertion that the Novus Ordo is the unique expression of the Roman rite gives the reason for this policy of suppression, and should be understood in its obvious meaning as denying that there is any other expression of the Roman rite besides the Novus Ordo, be that expression ordinary or extraordinary.

One should note that the terms ‘ordinary form’ and ‘extraordinary form’ are not used by Pope Francis. That is because he holds that the TLM is not a form of the Roman rite at all, thereby contradicting the position of Benedict XVI in Summorum pontificum. The whole object of Francis’s motu proprio was to contradict and nullify Benedict XVI’s position in Summorum pontificum. This is evident in the very drafting of Traditionis custodes, and any honest person must acknowledge it.  This does not raise a dogmatic problem of two popes teaching contradictory statements; it is a matter of one pope reversing a decision of a previous pope. 

Part 3 will continue to examine Fr. Donneaud’s arguments in favor of the Novus Ordo and against the TLM.


[1] ‘C’est pour préserver l’unité de l’Église que le pape François est intervenu. On ne peut, en effet, être catholique et refuser la mise en œuvre de Vatican II qu’est la réforme de la liturgie voulue par ce Concile.’ Interview in Revue Sources,

[2] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy (1986), p. 84.

[3] Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, Letter to Prof. Wolfgang Waldstein, 1976, cited in Wolfgang Waldstein, “Zum motuproprio Summorum Pontificum”, in Una Voce Korrespondenz 38/3 [2008], pp. 201–214.




[7] This is a summary of the argument given by Fr. Donneaud in the following passage: ‘Est appelé « ordinaire » ce qui appartient à l’ordre des choses, à l’essence profonde d’une réalité ou d’un processus, à sa structuration stable et habituelle, à son identité permanente et durable. Les synonymes en sont aisément identifiables, à commencer par l’adjectif « normal » auquel Benoît XVI recourait lui-même en 2007 dans la lettre d’accompagnement de son motu proprio, en parlant de « la forme normale» à propos du missel de Paul VI. Est « normal » ce qui exprime la norme, ce qui se déroule selon la norme, selon la loi intérieure d’une réalité. Inversement, on entend par « extraordinaire » ce qui sort de la normalité, ce qui ne relève pas de la norme, ce qui ne correspond pas à l’ordre profond d’un processus ou d’un organisme, ce qui se produit ou se réalise à titre exceptionnel, du fait de facteurs extraordinaires, inhabituels, anormaux. L’extraordinaire est comme une exception à l’ordre des choses. L’extraordinaire n’est pas de soi impossible, irréel, sans quoi il n’existerait pas. Simplement, il n’appartient pas à l’identité durable du processus qu’il affecte. En présentant le missel de Pie V comme « expression extraordinaire du rite romain », Benoît XVI ne disait donc rien d’autre que ceci : l’usage du missel de Pie V, quoique ce dernier n’exprime pas l’ordre essentiel, la réalisation normale du rite romain, mérite néanmoins d’être déclaré licite, et largement encouragé, pour autant qu’il permet, dans les circonstances présentes et exceptionnelles liées à la réception du concile Vatican II, de ramener ou retenir un certain nombre de fidèles dans la pleine communion ecclésiale, en même temps que d’enrichir l’expression normale du rite romain, en particulier par un sens accentué de la sacralité. Un souci pastoral évident a pesé sur cette détermination : sans aucunement remettre en cause le fait que le concile Vatican II a ordonné une réforme et une adaptation du rite romain, et que le missel de Paul VI, fruit officiel de cette réforme, est devenu l’expression normale, ordinaire du rite romain ainsi réformé, Benoît XVI, prenant acte des difficultés rencontrées dans la réforme liturgique et surtout des souffrances occasionnées chez nombre de fidèles, a étendu généreusement la faculté d’user du missel tridentin comme « expression extraordinaire » du rite romain. Cet unique rite romain, réformé et adapté, s’exprime de façon normale et ordinaire dans le missel de Paul VI, mais tant la prudence que la sollicitude pastorale justifient que son expression extraordinaire soit rendue licite dans un cadre légal généreux. L’extraordinaire n’est pas appelé à devenir ordinaire. Mais de ces légitimes considérations pastorales ne découle nullement que « l’expression extraordinaire » soit appelée à devenir « ordinaire », c’est-à-dire à s’inscrire dans une perspective durable, stable, permanente, structurelle, comme si la coexistence de facto de deux expressions de l’unique rite romain pouvait peu à peu devenir la norme. ... Le théologien se doit d’être attentif au piège des mots et prévenir ceux qui pourraient s’y laisser prendre. L’adjectif « extraordinaire » ne saurait être entendu, sous la plume de Benoît XVI, qu’en son sens premier et fondamental, comme une exception à l’ordre des choses, non en une acception dérivée, devenue courante et en l’occurrence trompeuse : est dit extraordinaire ce qui est remarquable, admirable, éminent, supérieur. La forme extraordinaire serait alors perçue comme l’expression supérieure et éminente du rite romain. On devine la dérive plus ou moins consciente qui en découlerait.’