QUATTUOR ABHINC ANNOS
October 3, 1984
Sent to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops
On the Use of the Roman Missal
According to the Typical Edition of the Year 1962
Most Rev. Excellency:
Four years ago, by order of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, the
Bishops of the whole Church were invited to present a report:
- concerning the way in which the priests and faithful of their
dioceses had received the Missal promulgated in 1970 by the authority of
Pope Paul VI in accordance with the decisions of the Second Vatican
- concerning the difficulties arising in the implementation of
the liturgical reform;
- concerning possible resistance that may have arisen.
The results of the consultation were sent to all the bishops
(Notitiae, n. 185, December 1981). On the basis of their replies, it
appeared that the problem of priests and faithful holding to the so-
called "Tridentine" rite was almost completely solved.
Since, however, the same problem continues, the Supreme Pontiff,
in a desire to meet the wishes of these groups, grants to diocesan
bishops the possibility of using an indult whereby priests and faithful,
who shall be expressly indicated in the letter of request to be
presented to their own bishop, may be able to celebrate Mass by using
the Roman Missal according to the 1962 edition, but under the following
a) That it be made publicly clear beyond all ambiguity that such
priests and their respective faithful in no way share the positions of
those who call into question the legitimacy and doctrine exactitude of
the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
b) Such celebration must be made only for the benefit of those
groups that request it; in church and oratories indicated by the bishop
(not, however, in parish churches, unless the bishop permits it in
extraordinary cases); and on the days and under the conditions fixed by
the bishop either habitually, or in individual cases.
c) These celebrations must be according to the 1962 Missal and in
d) There must be no interchanging of texts and rites of the two
e) Each bishop must inform this Congregation of the concessions
granted to him, and at the end of the year from the granting of this
indult, he must report the result of its application.
This concession, indicative of the Holy Father's solicitude for
his children, must be used in such a way as not to prejudice the
faithful observance of the liturgical reform in the life of the
respective ecclesial communities.
I am pleased to avail myself of this occasion to express to Your
Excellency my sentiments of deep esteem.
From the Office of the Congregation for Divine Worship,
October 3, 1984
+ A. Mayer, O.S.B., Archbishop of Satriano, Pro-Prefect
+ Virgilio Noe, Titular Archbishop of Voncaria, Secretary
[Acta Apostolicae Sedis - Commentarium Officiale (LXXVI, 12) 12/01/84]
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