Pope St. Pius V by El Greco
Today the Church allows for an optional memorial of Pope St. Pius V (served 1566-1572) and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation; he was also the pope responsible for the Roman Missal used, with some modifications notably by Pope Pius XII until Vatican Council II.
Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then joined the Dominicans, being ordained in 1528. Called Brother Michele, he studied at Bologna and Genoa, and then taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years before holding the posts of master of novices and prior for several Dominican houses.
Named inquisitor for Como and Bergamo, he was so capable in the fulfillment of his office that by 1551, and at the urging of the powerful Cardinal Carafa, he was named by Pope Julius III commissary general of the Inquisition. In 1555, Carafa was elected Pope Paul IV and was responsible for Ghislieri’s swift rise as a bishop of Nepi and Sutri in 1556, cardinal in 1557, and grand inquisitor in 1558.
While out of favor for a time under Pope Pius IV who disliked his reputation for excessive zeal, Ghislieri was unanimously elected a pope in succession to Pius on January 7, 1566.
As pope, Pius saw his main objective as the continuation of the massive program of reform for the Church, in particular the full implementation of the decrees of the Council of Trent. He published the Roman Catechism, the revised Roman Breviary, and the Roman Missal; he also declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church, commanded a new edition of the works of Thomas Aquinas, and created a commission to revise the Vulgate.
The decrees of Trent were published through all Catholic lands, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World, and the pontiff insisted on their strict adherence.
In 1571, Pius created the Congregation of the Index to give strength to the Church’s resistance to Protestant and heretical writings, and he used the Inquisition to prevent any Protestant ideas from gaining a foot hold in Italy.
In dealing with the threat of the Ottoman Turks who were advancing steadily across the Mediterranean, Pius organized a formidable alliance between Venice and Spain, culminating in the Battle of Lepanto, which was a complete and shattering triumph over the Turks. The day of the victory was declared the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victory in recognition of Our Lady’s intercession in answer to the saying of the Rosary all over Catholic Europe.
Pius also spurred the reforms of the Church by example. He insisted upon wearing his coarse Dominican robes, even beneath the magnificent vestments worn by the popes, and was wholeheartedly devoted to the religious life.
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What Next for Vox Clara?
During the recent meeting of the Vox Clara Committee, which brought an end the work of translating the Roman Missal (third typical edition) into English, Cardinal Canizares indicated his wish to continue Vox Clara as a group of bishops who would serve as consultors to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) and Cardinal Pell indicated his willingness to stay on as Chairman. However, there is as yet no clarity on the membership or the tasks. Below is the Press Release, not including the Holy Father's address which was included in full in it.
Vox Clara Committee members, advisors and the personnel of the CDW with Pope Benedict XVI (missing: Cardinal Justin Rigali) on April 28, 2010
The Vox Clara Committee met at the Pontifical North American College in Rome from April 28-29, 2010. This was the nineteenth meeting of this Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world. The Vox Clara Committee was formed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July 19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.
The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by Cardinal George Pell, Sydney (Australia). The participants in the meeting were Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Emeritus Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman; Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Emeritus Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA), Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Bombay (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; Archbishop Alfred Hughes, Emeritus New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Ottawa (Canada); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Emeritus Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Emeritus Castries (Saint Lucia), and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland). Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer, is also a member of the Committee, but was not present for the meeting.
The members were assisted in their work by the following advisors: Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA), Reverend Dennis McManus (USA), Monsignor Gerard McKay, Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA), Executive Secretary. The customary assistance of officials of the Congregation, led by Reverend Anthony Ward, S.M., Undersecretary, was also appreciated.
The meeting opened with the happy announcement that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments had completed its work of reviewing the English language edition of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia. Following careful consideration of the advice provided over the past eight years by the members of the Vox Clara Committee, a final text was arrived at by the Congregation, confirmed by a decree dated 25 March, 2010 (Prot. 269/10/L) and signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect, and Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., Secretary to the Congregation.
The Committee celebrated the occasion by hosting a luncheon with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, on the first day of the meeting. On this happy occasion, the Holy Father addressed the group.
The second day of the meeting was spent in a study of issues which had emerged in the course of the development of the confirmed text of the Roman Missal, including a review of efforts to assure internal consistency in the translation of deprecatory language and other specialized terms, the poetic and musical dimensions of the text, and its suitability for proclamation. An extended review of various programs developed throughout the English speaking world for the effective implementation of the new translation was also undertaken.
At its closing session, commemorative medals were presented by the Cardinal Prefect on behalf of the Holy See to each of the members and advisors of the Committee. He expressed the thanks of the Congregation for the work of the members and advisors over the past nine years.
Cardinal Cañizares also announced the intention of the Congregation to continue the work of the Vox Clara Committee in advising the Holy See on matters pertaining to the English language translation of liturgical books. The Prefect also expressed his gratitude to Cardinal George Pell, chairman of the Committee, for his willingness to continue as Chairman of the Committee.
Vox Clara members examine their own copy of the English Roman Missal given them by Cardinal Canizares
On behalf of the members and advisors, Cardinal Pell expressed his appreciation for the Prefect’s words and reiterated the gratitude of the Committee to the Cardinal Prefect and his predecessors for their continuing encouragement of the project. He also thanked the Executive Secretary, Monsignor James Moroney, for his outstanding contribution over the many years since the Committee began its work. The Chairman also expressed his gratitude for the participation of other officials and Superiors of the Congregation throughout the years, most especially Father Anthony Ward, S.M., Undersecretary to the Congregation, who has played an indispensable role in facilitating the work of the Vox Clara Committee.
The meeting closed with the Collect “For the Church” from the new Roman Missal:
O God, who in your wonderful providence
decreed that Christ’s Kingdom should be extended throughout the earth
and that all should become partakers of his saving redemption;
grant, we pray, that your Church may be the universal sacrament of salvation,
and that Christ may be revealed to all as the hope of the nations and their Savior. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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Salt and Light and Catholic News Service team came to interview me about the new English Roman Missal on the grounds of the North American College