Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summorum Pontificum: What if the USCCB translation is flawed?

Fr. Z. at WDTPRS presents a conundrum:

the USCCB’s unofficial English version of the whole MP does not match the English on the Vatican website. The problem is that the USCCB’s Liturgy Office, under His Excellency Donald W. Trautman, published guidelines about the MP… based on the unofficial USCCB translation.

Quaeritur: What if the USCCB translation is flawed?

He is formatting tables on his blog to compare the ITALIAN, LATIN, HOLY SEE English version, and USCCB English version. Its a work in progress, worth following closely.

Pope preparing a new encyclical?

Any conjecture on the subject of his next encyclical? Maybe religious liberty, and a further clarification of today's CDF document "clarifying" subsistit in?

Before he died, Pope JPII desperately desired to see the Lefebvre split resolved. I once read (or at least I think I read) that Cardinal Ratzinger promised Pope JPII that he would heal the SSPX rift if he became Pope. This has to be weighing very heavily on his heart.

Pope begins holiday in Italian mountains, to use vacation to write new book
by Nicole Winfield
09 July 2007
LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict said Monday he plans to use his nearly three-week-long vacation in the mountains to write a new book and said he was also preparing a new encyclical.

Benedict spoke briefly to reporters as he arrived at a church-owned villa in Lorenzago di Cadore, in the mountains near Italy's border with Austria. He said he hopes to work on the second volume of the book “Jesus of Nazareth,” the first volume of which was published earlier this year.

“It's in God's hands,” he said. “I hope to write some pages here.”

The first volume, Benedict's first book as Roman Catholic pontiff, offers a personal meditation on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The second volume is expected to explore the birth of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection.

Benedict was asked if he would use his time in between hikes through the mountains to also prepare a new encyclical. He laughed in response but said “yes, eventually.”

Encyclicals are the most authoritative documents popes can issue. Benedict has only written one to date: “God is Love,” an exploration of love and charity that focused on the different types of love - erotic and unconditional - that Benedict says are joined in marriage between man and woman.

The vacation comes after a busy few weeks for the 80-year-old pontiff. Over the weekend, he issued his eagerly expected document liberalizing the old Latin Mass, and a week before that he issued a letter to the Catholic faithful in China, urging them to unite.

On his first full day of vacation, another important document will be issued as well, this one from his old office, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

As he arrived during a break in thunderstorms, the Pope was also asked if he was thinking of Rev. Giancarlo Bossi, an Italian missionary kidnapped in the Philippines. Benedict said that the priest, seized by gunmen in the southern Mindanao region on June 10, was in his daily prayers.

“We hope and pray that the Lord helps us,” he said.

Pope John Paul II frequently visited the home in the Dolomite mountains, although in his later years he moved west, to the Alps close to Italy's border with France. Benedict spent his first two summers as pope at that retreat in Valle D'Aosta, but this year he chose to come to Lorenzago, which had not hosted a pope since 1998.

Benedict said he was glad to be in the mountains “far from the city and all the things that go on every day.”

“I can rest, study and pray,” he said.

He can also play the piano. The house where he is staying has been recently renovated - and it has been outfitted with a baby grand piano. Benedict is an accomplished pianist; his favourite composer is Mozart.

Benedict's vacation continues until July 27, after which he moves to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, in the hills south of Rome. While in Lorenzago, he will have two public appearances to recite his traditional Sunday noon blessings.
10:23ET 09-07-07

The Motu Proprio was GREAT. This CDF document...ain't.

Dear Holy Father,
Your Motu Proprio was GREAT!

This CDF document ... ain't.

(Please fire or retire Levada.)




The Second Vatican Council, with its Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, and its Decrees on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and the Oriental Churches (Orientalium Ecclesiarum), has contributed in a decisive way to the renewal of Catholic ecclesiolgy. The Supreme Pontiffs have also contributed to this renewal by offering their own insights and orientations for praxis: Paul VI in his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam suam (1964) and John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (1995).

The consequent duty of theologians to expound with greater clarity the diverse aspects of ecclesiology has resulted in a flowering of writing in this field. In fact it has become evident that this theme is a most fruitful one which, however, has also at times required clarification by way of precise definition and correction, for instance in the declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae (1973), the Letter addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church

Communionis notio (1992), and the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000), all published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The vastness of the subject matter and the novelty of many of the themes involved continue to provoke theological reflection. Among the many new contributions to the field, some are not immune from erroneous interpretation which in turn give rise to confusion and doubt. A number of these interpretations have been referred to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Given the universality of Catholic doctrine on the Church, the Congregation wishes to respond to these questions by clarifying the authentic meaning of some ecclesiological expressions used by the magisterium which are open to misunderstanding in the theological debate.


First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council1. Paul VI affirmed it2 and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: "There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation"3. The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention4.

Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

Response: Christ "established here on earth" only one Church and instituted it as a "visible and spiritual community"5, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.6 "This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic [�]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him"7.

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium �subsistence� means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church8, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.9 Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church.10

Third Question: Why was the expression "subsists in" adopted instead of the simple word "is"?

Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are "numerous elements of sanctification and of truth" which are found outside her structure, but which "as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity"11.

"It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church"12.

Fourth Question: Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term "Church" in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

Response: The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. "Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all � because of the apostolic succession � the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds"13, they merit the title of "particular or local Churches"14, and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches15.

"It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature"16. However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches17.

On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history18.

Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of "Church" with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

Response: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery19

cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense20.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ratified and confirmed these Responses, adopted in the Plenary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 29, 2007, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

William Cardinal Levada

+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.

Titular Archbishop of Sila


1 JOHN XXIII, Address of 11 October 1962: "�The Council�wishes to transmit Catholic doctrine, whole and entire, without alteration or deviation�But in the circumstances of our times it is necessary that Christian doctrine in its entirety, and with nothing taken away from it, is accepted with renewed enthusiasm, and serene and tranquil adherence� it is necessary that the very same doctrine be understood more widely and more profoundly as all those who sincerely adhere to the Christian, Catholic and Apostolic faith strongly desire �it is necessary that this certain and immutable doctrine, to which is owed the obedience of faith, be explored and expounded in the manner required by our times. The deposit of faith itself and the truths contained in our venerable doctrine are one thing, but the manner in which they are annunciated is another, provided that the same fundamental sense and meaning is maintained" : AAS 54 [1962] 791-792.

2 Cf. PAUL VI, Address of 29 September 1963: AAS 55 [1963] 847-852.

3 PAUL VI, Address of 21 November 1964: AAS 56 [1964] 1009-1010.

4 The Council wished to express the identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church. This is clear from the discussions on the decree Unitatis redintegratio. The Schema of the Decree was proposed on the floor of the Council on 23.9.1964 with a Relatio (Act Syn III/II 296-344). The Secretariat for the Unity of Christians responded on 10.11.1964 to the suggestions sent by Bishops in the months that followed (Act Syn III/VII 11-49). Herewith are quoted four texts from this Expensio modorum concerning this first response.

A) [In Nr. 1 (Prooemium) Schema Decreti: Act Syn III/II 296, 3-6]

"Pag. 5, lin. 3-6: Videtur etiam Ecclesiam catholicam inter illas Communiones comprehendi, quod falsum esset.

R(espondetur): Hic tantum factum, prout ab omnibus conspicitur, describendum est. Postea clare affirmatur solam Ecclesiam catholicam esse veram Ecclesiam Christi" (Act Syn III/VII 12).

B) [In Caput I in genere: Act Syn III/II 297-301]

"4 - Expressius dicatur unam solam esse veram Ecclesiam Christi; hanc esse Catholicam Apostolicam Romanam; omnes debere inquirere, ut eam cognoscant et ingrediantur ad salutem obtinendam...

R(espondetur): In toto textu sufficienter effertur, quod postulatur. Ex altera parte non est tacendum etiam in aliis communitatibus christianis inveniri veritates revelatas et elementa ecclesialia"(Act Syn III/VII 15). Cf. also ibid pt. 5.

C) [In Caput I in genere: Act Syn III/II 296s]

"5 - Clarius dicendum esset veram Ecclesiam esse solam Ecclesiam catholicam romanam...

R(espondetur): Textus supponit doctrinam in constitutione �De Ecclesia� expositam, ut pag. 5, lin. 24-25 affirmatur" (Act Syn III/VII 15). Thus the commission whose task it was to evaluate the responses to the Decree Unitatis redintegratio clearly expressed the identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church and its unicity, and understood this doctrine to be founded in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium.

D) [In Nr. 2 Schema Decreti: Act Syn III/II 297s]

"Pag. 6, lin. 1- 24: Clarius exprimatur unicitas Ecclesiae. Non sufficit inculcare, ut in textu fit, unitatem Ecclesiae.

R(espondetur): a) Ex toto textu clare apparet identificatio Ecclesiae Christi cum Ecclesia catholica, quamvis, ut oportet, efferantur elementa ecclesialia aliarum communitatum".

"Pag. 7, lin. 5: Ecclesia a successoribus Apostolorum cum Petri successore capite gubernata (cf. novum textum ad pag. 6, lin.33-34) explicite dicitur �unicus Dei grex� et lin. 13 �una et unica Dei Ecclesia� " (Act Syn III/VII).

The two expressions quoted are those of Unitatis redintegratio 2.5 e 3.1.

5 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.1.

6 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 3.2; 3.4; 3.5; 4.6.

7 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, 8.2.

8 Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, 1.1: AAS 65 [1973] 397; Declaration

Dominus Iesus, 16.3: AAS 92 [2000-II] 757-758; Notification on the Book of Leonardo Boff, OFM, "Church: Charism and Power": AAS 77 [1985] 758-759.

9 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint, 11.3: AAS

87 [1995-II] 928.

10 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.2.

11 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.2.

12 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 3.4.

13 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 15.3; cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Communionis notio, 17.2: AAS, 85 [1993-II] 848.

14 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 14.1.

15 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 14.1; JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint, 56 f: AAS 87 [1995-II] 954 ff.

16 SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 15.1.

17 Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Communionis notio, 17.3: AAS 85 [1993-II] 849.

18 Ibid.

19 Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 22.3.

20 Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Declaration Dominus Iesus, 17.2: AAS 92 [2000-II] 758.

[01035-02.01] [Original text: Latin]

Pertinent comment from the forum:

Simply superb. Now we've gone from IS to SUBSISTS to PERDURES. I thought we got past the 'is' thing with Bill Clinton. This will do wonders for the SSPX relations.

One step forward two steps back.

Monday, July 9, 2007

UPDATE: First Ever Post Summorum Pontificum Motard Awards

The First Ever Post Summorum Pontificum Motard Awards were unceremoniously handed out last night.

Unfortunately, I must report a gross oversight on the part of the judges:

Fr. Tom Reese

Mea culpa. The official records have been adjusted accordingly.

Clarifying Some Seeming Misunderstandings about the Motu Proprio

Another great summary/analysis, this one from Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement blog:

Clarifying Some Seeming Misunderstandings about the Motu Proprio

Of note:


Question 1: Does the Motu Proprio not allow the classical liturgical books of 1962 to be used for the Easter Triduum?

Response: The statement about what is not allowed during the Easter Triduum does not reference the 1962 liturgical books, but rather private Masses -- regardless of which liturgical books.

The classical Roman books are not excluded from the Easter Triduum.


Question 2: Does the Motu Proprio now allow the 3 year lectionary to be used that is employed in the missal of Paul VI?

Response: The Motu Proprio only mentions that in public masses according to the classical liturgical books, the readings may be in the vernacular "using editions recognized by the Holy See."


Question 3: The Motu Proprio does not mention the sacrament of Holy Orders. Are ordinations in the classical form therefore not allowed any longer?

Response: The Motu Proprio seems to be focused upon the sacraments that would be offered in parish life, and which apply to the discretion of the parish priest, or in the case of the Sacrament of Confirmation, which are offered by the Bishop in a parish setting.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is specific to the Bishop and not inside a parish setting, which would be one possibility as to why it wasn't mentioned.

The USCCB is full of surprises

Good ones. Really.

They have been posting very helpful and surprisingly balanced articles regarding Summorum Pontificum. This is another thing to chalk up to the "good fruits" already seen in response to the Pope's Motu Proprio

Here is their latest, this one regarding Bishop Fellay and the SSPX. (Yes, we all knew differences would still remain only 48 hours status post Summorum Pontificum, but we're talking about the official media outlet of the USCCB; we must give credit where credit is due. See especially the areas I bolded. Prior to 7/7/07, can anyone honestly say they ever expected to see such conciliatory reporting from the USCCB?)

Traditionalists: Differences still remain after Tridentine document

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X thanked Pope Benedict XVI for allowing greater use of the Tridentine Mass but said serious doctrinal differences remain before it can reconcile with the Vatican.

In a statement July 7, excommunicated Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Swiss-based society, said the papal decision had created a "favorable climate" to consider the doctrinal issues more calmly.

"The Society of St. Pius X rejoices to see the church thus regain her liturgical tradition and give the possibility of a free access to the treasure of the traditional Mass for the glory of God, the good of the church and the salvation of souls, to the priests and faithful who had so far been deprived of it," the statement said.

The society expressed "its deep gratitude to the sovereign pontiff for this great spiritual benefit."

The statement went on to say that the Vatican should withdraw excommunication decrees against the society's leadership to allow further progress in their dialogue.

The society, which rejects many of the changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council, broke with the Vatican in 1988 when its late founder, French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, ordained four bishops against papal instructions. Bishop Fellay was one of those ordained.

Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter "Ecclesia Dei" ("Church of God") the same year said Archbishop Lefebvre and the ordained bishops had excommunicated themselves by their acts.

In a meeting in 2005 with Pope Benedict, Bishop Fellay asked for the restoration of the Tridentine rite as a sign of good will.

The papal decree allows the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated by any priest privately and in parishes where it is requested by groups of the faithful. In an explanatory letter accompanying his document, the pope noted the importance of the Tridentine Mass to the breakaway Lefebvrite order but said the reasons for their break with the Vatican "were at a deeper level."

Bishop Fellay's statement said the papal letter "does not hide ... the difficulties that still remain."

"The Society of St. Pius X wishes that the favorable climate established by the new dispositions of the Holy See will make it possible -- after the decree of excommunication which still affects its bishops has been withdrawn -- to consider more serenely the disputed doctrinal issues," he said.

The Lefebvrite society, which has about 600,000 members and more than 400 priests worldwide, rejects the new Mass adopted in 1970 as well as various Vatican II teachings, including those on ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, religious liberty and collegiality.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Vatican official who has led the dialogue effort with the Lefebvrites, said the concession on the Tridentine Mass offered a potential breakthrough opportunity.

"With this 'motu proprio' (a phrase that signifies a pope is acting on his own initiative) the door has been opened for a return to full communion by the Society of St. Pius X. If this return does not happen after this act, I truly wouldn't understand it," Cardinal Castrillon said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

In a separate interview with the Italian magazine 30 Giorni, Cardinal Castrillon said the pope's decision should help correct a long-standing misinterpretation of Vatican II.

The liturgical reforms that followed Vatican II were accompanied by "distress on various levels," the cardinal said.

"What made things worse was that those who felt this distress blamed these changes on the council, when in reality the council itself had not asked for nor foreseen the particulars of these changes," he said.

"The Mass celebrated by the council fathers was the (Tridentine) Mass of St. Pius V. The council did not ask for the creation of a new rite, but for greater use of the vernacular language and greater participation of the faithful," he said.

One thing the council did ask was that church leaders listen to the legitimate desires of the faithful, Cardinal Castrillon said. In that sense, he said, those who object to the pope's decree "ought to see the thousands of letters that have arrived in Rome" asking for the freedom to attend the Tridentine Mass.

He said it was important that those who want the Tridentine Mass not be considered "second-class" Catholics. They simply want the right "to attend a Mass that has nourished the Christian people for centuries," he said.

Cardinal Castrillon said that in consultation sessions with Roman curial heads and the world's cardinals over the last year and a half, there was "truly minimal resistance" to the pope's proposal. Opposition from some bishops' conferences was based on the erroneous impression that the pope would turn back the clock or reduce bishops' authority, he said.

The cardinal said he foresaw no particular problems implementing the decree, as long as "good sense" prevails.

Fears that a small minority of the faithful will be able to impose the Tridentine Mass on a parish are unfounded, he said.

"No pastor will be forced to celebrate the Mass of St. Pius V. But if a group of faithful, having a priest available to do it, asks to celebrate this Mass, the pastor or the rector of the church cannot oppose it," he said.

"Obviously, if there are problems it will fall to the bishop to make sure everything proceeds under the sign of respect and, I would say, good sense, in harmony with the universal pastor," he said.

No, not THAT Marini

Thankfully, Fr. Z at WDTPRS has a clarification regarding which Rev. Marini has just been appointed as Secretary of the Pontifical Commission "Eccelsia Dei."


ZENIT: Widening Hearts, Restoring Unity -- Fr. John Zuhlsdorf Analyzes "Summorum Pontificum"

Excellent. This is the best summary & analysis I've seen so far.

God Bless Fr. Z.:

Widening Hearts, Restoring Unity

Father John Zuhlsdorf Analyzes "Summorum Pontificum"


ROME, JULY 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's letter on the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope John XXIII is an opportunity for Church members to widen their hearts, according to liturgy expert Father John Zuhlsdorf.

On Saturday, the Vatican released the apostolic letter issued "motu proprio," on one's own initiative," titled "Summorum Pontificum," along with an accompanying letter to bishops.

For an analysis of the documents, ZENIT turned to Father John Zuhlsdorf, author of the column on liturgical translation titled "What Does the Prayer Really Say," published in the national Catholic weekly journal The Wanderer.

The column turned into a popular blog of the same name.

Q: What is a "motu proprio?"

Father Zuhlsdorf: A "motu proprio" is a document issued by a Pope "by his own motion," that is, on his own initiative and signed by him. It very often is a rescript, or a written response sent back about a question put to him, or on some burning issue.

Famous "motu proprio" letters are "Tra le Sollecitudini" of Pope St. Pius X in 1903 on Sacred Music and, of course, John Paul II's "Ecclesia Dei Adflicta" in 1988 after Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated bishops without pontifical mandate.

Q: Can you summarize the main points of the document?

Father Zuhlsdorf: There are not many new things in "Summorum Pontificum." Many of its provisions were already in place after "Ecclesia Dei Adflicta," which broadened, but in a vague way, the restrictive legislation in the 1986 document "Quattuor Abhinc Annos." This 2007 "motu proprio" removes ambiguities and resolves disputes. It levels the playing field in a way the previous documents did not.

For example, it makes clear that use of older liturgical books was never totally forbidden. The old form wasn't "abrogated." Some thought it was. All priests will be able to say Mass with the older "use" in private. That had been a disputed point.

In the matter of public Masses, where there are stable groups of people who desire them, pastors can schedule a regular Mass in parishes. There are some reasonable restrictions for Good Friday, Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil.

Parishes or oratories can be erected where only the older liturgical books are used. Bishops could do that before, of course.

As the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" clarified years ago, it is possible, not obligatory, to use the lectionary of the Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI, the new readings, in the Missal of John XXIII. It was never spelled how that would be done. "Summorum Pontificum" doesn't either. The Pontifical Commission will have to figure that out.

The older books may be used for other sacraments as well: baptism, penance, extreme unction. Only bishops will be able to confer confirmation and holy orders, of course. Priests will be able to use the pre-conciliar Roman Breviary instead of the usual Liturgy of the Hours.

A new point is that the older form of Mass is regarded by the Pope as an extraordinary "use" of the one Latin Rite, while the Missal of Paul VI, or "Novus Ordo," remains the ordinary "use." Benedict stresses there are not two rites, but one rite in two expressions or "uses." This has been a matter of deep debate.

Many say the "Novus Ordo" is so different from the Missal of John XXIII, or Tridentine form, that it constitutes a different rite -- the rupture with tradition was supposedly that profound. There are good arguments for that claim, but the Holy Father is leading us in the other direction on this question.

Another new point, though we will see how this works, is that the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" will have to be reinvigorated, and given its due role.

The document aims to promote unity and people's rights. Critics of the Pope's move, not a few bishops included, have warned that this derestriction will cause disunity in parishes and dioceses, chaos will reign, the council will be undermined, and the clock will start whirling backward.

Frankly, I think most of the opposition from bishops was really motivated by concern that this document would restrict the bishops' own authority. Benedict XVI built in safeguards for the bishops to exercise oversight in their dioceses. That is good and prudent. It must be so.

But he makes it clear that there is a new model to be followed by everyone, bishops included. This cannot be emphasized too much. By this "motu proprio," Benedict XVI asserts that traditionally minded Catholics are not to be seen as the nutty aunt to be locked up in the diocese's attic. They have valuable contributions to make. They have rights.

One of the most important aspects of this "motu proprio" is that it underscores the rights of priests and laypeople. It does not cut the legs from under the bishops. But it is a shot in the arm for lay people. The Pope is showing confidence in lay people with a concrete act, but also to priests and bishops. This is a beautiful continuation of John Paul II's call for mutual respect and generosity.

Benedict XVI is asking everyone to open their hearts. In his explanatory letter he even quotes 2 Corinthians 6:13: "Widen your hearts!" When you read "Summorum Pontificum" with a wide heart, no one need fear that rights will be trampled or due authority undermined.

Q: Why is the "liberalization" of the1962 Roman Missal necessary after the world's bishops were granted permission to allow this rite to be celebrated over 20 years ago?

Father Zuhlsdorf: At first there was a very strict permission granted by John Paul II in 1986 to use the 1962 "Missale Romanum." After Archbishop Lefebvre illicitly consecrated bishops in June of 1988, Pope John Paul issued his "motu proprio" "Ecclesia Dei Adflicta" which effectively relaxed the restrictive permission of 1986, but in a vague way.

In that document John Paul II called, actually decreed by his apostolic authority, for bishops and priests to be generous and to show respect to those who wanted older expressions of the liturgy. Some did. More didn't.

Meanwhile, the gap between the late Archbishop Lefebvre's group, the Society of St. Pius X, has in some respects grown wider, in some respects less. The dispute over the use of the Missal of Paul VI, or "ordinary" use, has not settled down, in spite of numerous disciplinary documents issued by the Holy See. It is as if we have lost sight of where our liturgy comes from and what it is supposed to be.

Long before his elevation to the See of Peter, Benedict XVI wrote and spoke about the continuity our liturgical rites and practice must have with our Tradition. Liturgy grows organically over a long period from living the faith and coming in contact with various cultures.

The Missal of Paul VI was, in some ways, pasted together on desks by experts, some of whom it must be said had their own ideological agendas. Together with an unbridled attitude of "out with the old," there was a perceived rupture in the Church's liturgical tradition.

This break in the Church's liturgical life has not borne exclusively happy fruits. Among other wounds, it gave an impression that if the liturgy could change almost overnight and old forms be banished, anything could change -- even doctrine.

But let's cut through the theory. Restoring the older way of saying Mass is simply the prudent thing to do. As Benedict XVI has written, it was unreasonable to ban so suddenly a form of the Mass that shaped Catholic identity for centuries. That did damage to our Catholic identity. We have to heal the wounds.

Q: Many commentators view the "motu proprio" as an attempt to heal the schism between the Holy See and traditionalist sects. What is your view?

Father Zuhlsdorf: This ought to help remedy the break between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See.

My view is that extending this faculty to all priests will help, but it won't solve anything. There are deeper issues that will not be easily resolved.

The matter of what book a priest can say Mass from, or lifting the excommunication imposed on the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, can both be resolved with the stroke of the Pope's pen.

But yet to be resolved are theological issues such as the Second Vatican Council's teaching about religious liberty and how the Church is to interact with the world. That is why I don't think this "motu proprio" is primarily about the break with the Society of St. Pius X.

People on both sides of the issue have long looked at the other with what I call "funnel vision." When we look at each other with Christ's heart, through "the invisible wound of love" as Richard of St. Victor called it, many problems melt away. It is time to heal.

Q: Other analysts argue that the purpose of the "motu proprio" is to help foster genuine liturgical renewal of the Missal of Paul VI -- along the lines of a "reform of the reform." How might this occur?

Father Zuhlsdorf: As I said before, liturgy grows organically over a long period from living the faith and coming in contact with various cultures. Historically, different rites of Mass influenced each other.

What will happen with the derestriction of the older form of the Mass will be a cross-pollination, as it were, use of one Mass influencing the other. This is already the case.

Since Pope John Paul II's original derestriction, many young priests have become interested in older forms of Mass. They didn't really know the "Tridentine" Mass, but they also aren't lugging around the baggage of the 60s and 70s. They aren't trapped in that false "Spirit of Vatican II."

The same goes for some older priests who get reacquainted with the "extraordinary" form of the Mass after years without contact. When they start studying the older form, they adjust the way they celebrate the "Novus Ordo." They begin to re-root their style of celebration of Mass in our profound tradition.

They develop a different sense of the "ars celebrandi," the proper liturgical manner and attitude spoken of by Pope Benedict in his post-synodal exhortation "Sacramentum Caritatis."

In an ironic sense, I have heard some quip that the "Novus Ordo" gets better the more you celebrate it as if it were the older form of Mass.

On the other hand, people using the older form of Mass have learned from the last few decades of the "Novus Ordo." They probably say and participate in the Tridentine Mass better now than people did before all the changes.

The lack of the older missal for so long increased our appreciation of its riches. The good and the bad experiences, even the abuses, have taught us lessons.

When I watch priests celebrate the older form, I can tell they are acutely aware that there are actually people in the pews. There is a strong connection between the priest and congregation. The bottom line is that the different uses will have an influence on the whole liturgical life of the Church. We will all be enriched. There are no losers here. We are all winners.

Q: What does the "motu proprio" have to do with what the Holy Father calls "the hermeneutic of continuity?"

Father Zuhlsdorf: Let's make a couple of distinctions. I try to examine important documents by considering what they say to the Church -- "ad intra" -- and also to the world -- "ad extra."

From the "ad intra" point of view, Benedict XVI wants to heal breaks in continuity in various spheres of the Church's life. The derestriction will, as I said, re-root celebrations of Holy Mass in our deep liturgical tradition.

In his 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia, the Holy Father spoke of a "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture" after the Second Vatican Council. A "hermeneutic" is a principle of interpretation, like a lens through which you examine a question. For many it was as if nothing good or worth preserving happened before Vatican II. Anything old was bad.

The council documents don't call for a rupture. A false "Spirit of Vatican II," of discontinuity and rupture, captivated many influential people in the Church. This "hermeneutic of discontinuity" was applied in parishes, seminaries, universities, chanceries, and in Catholic media. It created fractures in nearly every aspect of the Church's life after the council.

This "motu proprio" is a concrete step in Benedict XVI's promotion of a new way of seeing how past, present and future are connected. He proposes a "hermeneutic of reform," as he called it in that same Christmas address in 2005.

You will hear some use the cliché that this is a move to "turn the clock back." They misread the motive. It is a way to implement the Council more authentically. The derestriction of the older form of Mass must be seen as just one part of Benedict XVI's vision for reform. He is rebuilding continuity with the Church's tradition. "Ad intra," the document is all about healing.

Rebuilding continuity leads us to what the "motu proprio" says "ad extra," to the larger world.

Everyone knows about the efforts to silence and belittle the Catholic Church in public debate, politics and academic settings. Catholics are marginalized if they open their mouths. In short, faith is being shoved off to the side as mere a "private" matter, not to be expressed in public.

Benedict XVI holds that the Church has a right to her own language, symbols and identity. We have a right to express ourselves in the public square with our Catholic identity intact. We must make a contribution as Catholics.

At the same time, Benedict XVI defends the concept of properly understood laicality, but insists on bringing Catholic concerns out in public. In Italy this has started to cause unrest. The Italian bishops are rediscovering their voice in the piazza and their opponents are furious.

For this dimension of Benedict XVI's vision to bear fruit, we must begin to rediscover and reintegrate an authentically Catholic identity. The "motu proprio" to derestrict the form of Mass that shaped Catholic identity for centuries is a major move in the Pope's project to recover continuity with our tradition, to start the healing, and therefore reinvigorate the Church in an ever more secularized and relativistic world.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bishop Fellay's second Communiqué re Summorum Pontificum

This was posted on an SSPX forum; I cannot judge the translation, but the tenor is what we would expect of Bishop Fellay (and not nearly as conciliatory as he should have been, IMHO):

Post subject: Bishop Fellay's letter to the faithful regarding the MP

My translation from the SSPX's French District web site, La Porte Latine http://www.laportelatine.org/district/france/bo/lettreauxfidels20070707/lettreauxfideles20070707.php

Letter to the faithful from the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X

Menzingen, July 7, 2007

The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7th, 2007 restores to the Tridentine Mass its rights. The document clearly recognizes that it was never abrogated. So fidelity to this mass - in the name of which many priests and laymen were persecuted, sanctioned even, for roughly forty years - this fidelity was never disobedience. It is only just to thank Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre today for having maintained us in this fidelity to the mass of all time in the name of true obedience, against all the abuses of power. There is no doubt as well that this recognition of the right of the traditional mass is the fruit of the very numerous rosaries sent to Our Lady during our crusade of the Rosary last October; let us now express to him our gratitude.

Beyond the restoration of the mass of St. Pius V to its lawful status, it is important to study the concrete measures promulgated by the Motu Proprio and the justification which Benedict XVI gives in his cover letter: the practical measures taken by the pope must by right allow the traditional liturgy - not only the mass, but also the sacraments - to be normally celebrated. It is an immense spiritual benefit for the entire Church, for these priests and these believers who until now were paralyzed by an unjust exercise of episcopal authority. It will be advisable however to observe, in the months to come, how these measures will actually be applied by the bishops and priests in parishes. This is indeed why we shall continue to pray for the pope so that he remains firm after the brave act which he has just made.

The cover letter of Motu Proprio gives the pope’s reasons. The assertion of the existence of a single rite under two forms - ordinary and extraordinary-, equal in right, and especially the rejection of an exclusive celebration of the traditional liturgy, can certainly be interpreted as the expression of a political will not to offend the episcopal conferences, which are openly set against any liberalization of the Tridentine Mass. But we can also see an expression there of the "reform of the reform" desired by the pope where, as he says himself in this letter, the mass of St. Pius V and that of the Paul VI would mutually enrich each other.

In any case, there is in Benedict XVI a certain desire to reaffirm the continuity of Vatican II and the mass which arises from it, with the two thousand year Tradition of the Church. This denial of a break caused by the last council - already expressed in the speech to the Curia of December 22nd, 2005 - shows to what extent the stakes in the debate between Rome and the Society of Saint Pius X are essentially doctrinal. That is why the unmistakable liturgical progress brought about by Motu Proprio has to be prolonged - after the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication - by theological discussions.

The reference to Msgr. Lefebvre and to the Society of Saint Pius X contained in the cover letter, as well as the recognition of the testimony given by the young generations which are taking up the torch of Tradition, indicate clearly that our constancy to defend the lex orandi was taken into account. It is thus required of us to pursue with this same firmness, with the help of God, the fight for the lex credendi, the fight for the Faith.

+Msgr. Bernard Fellay

See also Bishop Fellay's 7/7/07 Communiqué re Summorum Pontificum

Cardinal Hoyos: Pope JPII intended a similar Motu proprio; failure to resolve SSPX issue now would be incomprehensible

There is an interesting interview with Cardinal Hoyos in Sunday's edition of Il Giornale, posted at RorateCaeli and also discussed at WDTPRS.

Two statements leap off the page:

"Pope Wojtyla intended to prepare a Motu proprio similar to the one now promulgated"

"With this Motu proprio, the door is widely opened [si spalanca la porta] for a return of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X to full communion. If, after this act, the return does not take place, I truly will not be able to comprehend.

What prevented Pope JPII from publishing a Motu Proprio similar to Summorum Pontificum? Did Archbishop Lefebvre's illicit consecrations play a role in preventing the publication of a similar Motu Proprio almost 20 years ago?

Sunday, July 08, 2007
Castrillón speaks

From Sunday's edition of Il Giornale, an interview of the President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, with Andrea Tornielli, on the main aspects of Summorum Pontificum.

What meaning does the Pope's decision have?

"The Pontiff's letter is clear. It is a decision which comes from the heart and from the mind of a Pope who loves and knows liturgy well. He wishes that the heritage represented by the ancient liturgy be preserved, without this representing any contradiction with the new Mass. Thousands of letters arrived in Rome from those who asked for the freedom to be able to participate in the old rite."

There have been those who said that Ratzinger thus "rejected" the Council...

"Benedict XVI has not walked or will walk, in any way or expression, on a path which is different from that indicated by the Council. The new Mass remains the ordinary Roman Rite. There is nothing in the motu proprio or in the papal letter which signals a minimal deviation from the Council. It may be appropriate to recall that Vatican II did not forbid the ancient Mass, which was celebrated by the Conciliar Fathers during sessions. No rejection, no offense. It is an encounter with the demands of groups of faithful, an act of liberality."

Is it an act of continuity or rupture in comparison to the Montini and Wojtyla pontificates?

"There is no contraposition. Paul VI granted the possibility to celebrate with the old rite soon after the coming into effect of the new Missal and Pope Wojtyla intended to prepare a Motu proprio similar to the one now promulgated."

Is the authority of the Bishop undermined?

"Those who have argued [so], have done so based on a prejudice, because the role of the Bishop rests assured, canon law does not change. It is the competence of the pastor of the diocese to coordinate the liturgy, in harmony with the supreme orderer, who is the Pope. In case of problems, the Bishop will intervene, always in agreement with the dispositions established by the motu proprio. I am certain that the pastoral sensibility of Bishops will find the way to favor the unity of the Church, helping to avoid a schism."

How do we deal with the Holy Friday prayer for the Jews?

"The authorized Missal is that of 1962, promulgated by John XXIII, in which the expression 'perfidis iudaeis' and 'iudaica perfidia' had already been removed."


Do you predict difficulties?

"I am not aware, in the History of the Church, of any moment in which important decisions have been taken without difficulty. But I strongly hope that they may be coped with and overcome, with the approach suggested by the Pope in his letter."

After this decision, the end of the rupture with the Lefebvrists is closer?

"With this Motu proprio, the door is widely opened [si spalanca la porta] for a return of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X to full communion. If, after this act, the return does not take place, I truly will not be able to comprehend. I wish to clarify, though, that the papal document has not been made for the Lefebvrists, but because the Pope is convinced of the need to underline that there is a continuity in the Tradition, and that in the Church one does not move forward by way of fractures. The ancient Mass has never been abolished nor forbidden." [AnTor]

Labels: Summorum Notes

posted by New Catholic

The Te Deums have been sung, the bubbly consumed. Now for a bit of housekeeping.

Well, what a weekend.

Now, unfortunately, it is time for the First Ever Post Summorum Pontificum Motard Awards.

If you will remember, a Motard is

Any Catholic who, after the publication of the Motu Proprio, refuses to acknowledge either its existence, its pragmatic necessity, or its potential for good in the Church and the salvation of many souls.

What makes this First Ever Post Summorum Pontificum Motard Awards just a little bit easier, and just a little less bittersweet, is that so very few truly went out of their way to qualify for the award. And in America, the award goes to an individual that is neither a member of, nor in any way associated with, the USCCB. Bravo!

Without any further ado, and to close this unpleasant little piece of housekeeping, the First Ever Post Summorum Pontificum Motard Awards winners are:

1) Italian bishop Luca Brandolini
2) Rev Anthony Cekada

There. That wasn't so bad. And the brevity of the list is quite refreshing.

UPDATE 7/9/07:

Let all present hereby acknowledge the addition of
Fr. Tom Reese

to the Motard Award rolls.

Cardinal Hoyos: Pope JPII intended a similar Motu proprio; failure to resolve SSPX issue now would be incomprehensible

There is a remarkable interview with Cardinal Hoyos in Sunday's edition of Il Giornale, posted at RorateCaeli and also discussed by Fr. Z at WDTPRS.

Two statements leap off the page:

*"Pope Wojtyla intended to prepare a Motu proprio similar to the one now promulgated"

*"With this Motu proprio, the door is widely opened [si spalanca la porta] for a return of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X to full communion. If, after this act, the return does not take place, I truly will not be able to comprehend.

What prevented Pope JPII from publishing a Motu Proprio similar to Summorum Pontificum? Did Archbishop Lefebvre's consecrations play a role in preventing the publication of a similar Motu Proprio almost 20 years ago?

Sunday, July 08, 2007
Castrillón speaks

From Sunday's edition of Il Giornale, an interview of the President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, with Andrea Tornielli, on the main aspects of Summorum Pontificum.

What meaning does the Pope's decision have?

"The Pontiff's letter is clear. It is a decision which comes from the heart and from the mind of a Pope who loves and knows liturgy well. He wishes that the heritage represented by the ancient liturgy be preserved, without this representing any contradiction with the new Mass. Thousands of letters arrived in Rome from those who asked for the freedom to be able to participate in the old rite."

There have been those who said that Ratzinger thus "rejected" the Council...

"Benedict XVI has not walked or will walk, in any way or expression, on a path which is different from that indicated by the Council. The new Mass remains the ordinary Roman Rite. There is nothing in the motu proprio or in the papal letter which signals a minimal deviation from the Council. It may be appropriate to recall that Vatican II did not forbid the ancient Mass, which was celebrated by the Conciliar Fathers during sessions. No rejection, no offense. It is an encounter with the demands of groups of faithful, an act of liberality."

Is it an act of continuity or rupture in comparison to the Montini and Wojtyla pontificates?

"There is no contraposition. Paul VI granted the possibility to celebrate with the old rite soon after the coming into effect of the new Missal and Pope Wojtyla intended to prepare a Motu proprio similar to the one now promulgated."

Is the authority of the Bishop undermined?

"Those who have argued [so], have done so based on a prejudice, because the role of the Bishop rests assured, canon law does not change. It is the competence of the pastor of the diocese to coordinate the liturgy, in harmony with the supreme orderer, who is the Pope. In case of problems, the Bishop will intervene, always in agreement with the dispositions established by the motu proprio. I am certain that the pastoral sensibility of Bishops will find the way to favor the unity of the Church, helping to avoid a schism."

How do we deal with the Holy Friday prayer for the Jews?

"The authorized Missal is that of 1962, promulgated by John XXIII, in which the expression 'perfidis iudaeis' and 'iudaica perfidia' had already been removed."


Do you predict difficulties?

"I am not aware, in the History of the Church, of any moment in which important decisions have been taken without difficulty. But I strongly hope that they may be coped with and overcome, with the approach suggested by the Pope in his letter."

After this decision, the end of the rupture with the Lefebvrists is closer?

"With this Motu proprio, the door is widely opened [si spalanca la porta] for a return of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X to full communion. If, after this act, the return does not take place, I truly will not be able to comprehend. I wish to clarify, though, that the papal document has not been made for the Lefebvrists, but because the Pope is convinced of the need to underline that there is a continuity in the Tradition, and that in the Church one does not move forward by way of fractures. The ancient Mass has never been abolished nor forbidden." [AnTor]

Labels: Summorum Notes

posted by New Catholic

episcopal drama queen: uhh, it gets even worse

A previous entry here noted the ... dramatic... response of Italian bishop Luca Brandolini to Summorum Pontificum.

But that was only an excerpt from a longer ... dramatic ... interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.

Fortunately for us all, RorateCaeli has come to the rescue with a post of the entire ... dramatic ... interview:

A bishop cries

His bottom line though:

You will not accept the "motu proprio" of Benedict XVI, then?

"I will obey, because I care for the Holy Father. I have for him the same sentiment that a son has for his father. And then, as a bishop, I am bound to obedience. Yet, in my heart, I suffer deeply. I feel as is wounded in my heart, and I cannot help saying it. Nonetheless, if anyone in my diocese will ask me to follow the Tridentine rite, I will not be able to say no. But I do not believe this will happen, because ever since I have been the bishop of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo, there has never been anyone who has expressed a similar desire. I am certain that it will always be like this in the future.

He'll muddle through because, despite this ... dramatic ... interview, he cares for the Holy Father.

That's the good martyr. (And prophet.)

(And lest anyone one get the wrong idea...)

drama queen

One entry found for drama queen.
Main Entry: drama queen
Function: noun
: a person given to often excessively emotional performances or reactions

--Merriam-Webster online dictionary

"a call for a return to the old way of believing"

I've often enjoyed reading the comments of Dr. Robert Moynihan at Inside The Vatican.

Here's his introductory comments on the Motu Proprio:

This is an "Inside the Vatican" Newsflash!


The Old Mass Returns

After months of speculation, Pope Benedict XVI today issued a "motu proprio" allowing worldwide use of the old Latin Mass

by Dr. Robert Moynihan

VATICAN CITY, July 7, 2007 -- After months of anticipation and speculation, after numerous meetings with supporters and opponents, Pope Benedict XVI moved decisively today to issue a very brief, 4-page Latin text which may very well go down as one of the most important, and controversial, acts of his pontificate.

With little fanfare, with no press conference, on a quiet Saturday in July when many journalists away from the Vatican press office, Benedict issued his long-awaited motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum (the title comes from the first two words of the Latin text).

There is an intimate connection between worship and belief, so much so that theologians, and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) prominent among them, have repeatedly declared that the lex orandi (the law of prayer, the way one prays to God, the way one worships God) influences and indeed actually becomes the lex credendi (the law of believing, the way one believes, one's faith).

So, for Benedict to call for a wider celebration in the Church of the "old Mass," the old way of praying, is implicitly a call for a return to the old way of believing connected with that old way of praying.

The implications of this are, of course, many and profound. And only as this text is received and acted upon will those implications really become clear.

For the moment, all we can say is that "he did it." He published the text. Some in Rome had said it would appear a year ago, six months ago, three months ago. So, it began to seem that it might never appear. But it has appeared. That is the principal, first news in this matter.

But the second news is that this text, in its clear reaffirmation of the holiness and validity of the Church's old, pre-conciliar liturgy and its equally clear affirmation of the holiness and validity of the new, post-conciliar liturgy, may very well mark a watershed in the modern history of the Church. Why? Because that history has been marked by considerable, sometimes profound confusion about how Catholics should worship, and how they should believe. In essence, the decision to publish this text means a commitment on the Pope's part to try to begin a thorough-going renewal of the Church's faith and practice. He is beginning with the Mass, because that is where the Church's life begins, in the celebration of the Eucharist, in the celebration of the presence of the Risen Lord who is the sole reason for the Church's existence.

And so we can expect more in the weeks and months ahead.

The text is already available on many web sites, including the Vatican's own site: www.vatican.va. The interest in the document among Catholics and others is evidently very great. Some web sites dedicated to Catholic Church and liturgical issues are reporting huge surges in the number of "hits" (visits) in the past few hours. Father John Zuhlsdorf just told me on the telephone that his website counters have registered 25,000 visits to his own, quite interesting web site just in the past few hours. So the interest in Benedict's decision is great. Vox populi, the voice of the people, is making itself heard. Now the question will be: how many will prepare themselves, and study, and attend the celebration of the old rite of the Mass? Many, or few?

We at Inside the Vatican have followed the issue of the Church's liturgy, which is a central issue to the Church's life, with great attention for many years. However, before sending our own analysis of the text, and commentary from others, we thought we would provide the essential texts themselves. We hope you will read them carefully.

Here below we include the principal documents: 1) the official Latin text of the document itself; 2) a translation into English of that text; 3) a translation into English of the Pope's own accompanying letter to the bishops of the world, explaining what he himself intended to accomplish by publishing this motu proprio.

In the coming hours and days, we will attempt to analyze and explain these documents, and to answer some of the questions that they raise.

1) The official Latin text
2) An English translation of the Latin text
3) An English translation of the Pope's accompany letter

To Subscribe to Inside the Vatican's Newsflash, Please Click Here: http://www.InsideTheVatican.com/itv-newsflash.htm

WOW! What a difference one little document and 24 hours can make

In the last 24 hours, we've seen an incredible amount of bandwidth devoted to commentary and analysis of Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio.

Some folks have recognized and celebrated the earth-shaking reality of SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, others have loathed its publication for obvious reasons, and still others have characterized the document as "too little" or disappointing.

Some of us who comment have no formal education or training in Catholic theology or liturgy; other than twelve years of post-VII Catholic school (1st through 12th grade,) I have no education or credentials to formulate any groundbreaking commentary, and I have no connections to important people in high places whatsoever.

Like most blog readers, I'm just a rank-and-file Catholic. But all of us rank-and-file Catholics have common sense, and eyes to see and ears to hear.

Here's something I saw and heard today that proves to me that SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM is more than "just a tectonic shift."

Today, in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, I witnessed a whole sermon on the subject of a papal document. The priest devoted his entire homily to Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio, explaining in plain and strong words, the Pope's intention and reasoning.

And also explaining, in no uncertain terms, that this document grants to the individual pastor alone the right to decide if he will offer the traditional Latin Mass.

And from the pulpit, in a public sermon, he explained that the local bishop can no longer suppress this mass, and that, God willing, he will be offering the TLM in his parish weekly, immediately following the September 14 date established by the Pope for implementation of SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM.

Furthermore, he explained, he has been privately offering the TLM every evening in his parish church, in preparation for offering the TLM publicly in September.

This is the reality of SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM: a good priest, who up till now only offered the TLM in private and only ever dreamed of being "permitted" to offer this mass to his people -- who for fear of a disobedient bishop feared being discovered privately offering a low TLM in the quiet evenings in his own parish church -- has spoken out with zeal for the restoration of this mass, and with love and generous obedience to the Pope who made it possible.

Like the Pope, this priest made no apologies for his attachment to this mass today. Only 24 hours ago, he had never publicly expressed his desires.

So this is my SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM rank-and-file Catholic commentary:

SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM is good, very good.
It is more than we could have possibly hoped for, given the reality of our present day Church leadership, and given a "hope" limited to the human sphere.

Its fruits, only 24 hours post publication, are blossoming forth in irrepressible hope and joy and zeal.

God bless our Holy Father. God bless the many priests responding to the grace that this brave act on the part of our Pope has already brought forth. God bless the many faithful and courageous rank-and-file Catholics who never stopped hoping for this day.

And Thank You, Lord, for your Mercy and Kindness.

episcopal drama queen: "I can't fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life...[VII] has now been cancelled."

See the area in bold in the following article. Any bishop or priest who talks like this should quietly be granted a dishonorable discharge from the service of Our Lord's Church:

Bishop mourns Latin decree as Jews ask for clarity
Sun Jul 8, 2007 3:16PM BST
By Silvia Aloisi

Link to original here

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A decree by Pope Benedict allowing priests to say the old Latin Mass more frequently has sparked criticism within both Catholic and Jewish ranks, with one Italian bishop saying he was "in mourning". The decree, a nod to traditionalists which the Pope said was meant to heal divisions within the Church, was regarded by some as a blow to reforms introduced in the 1960s that promoted mass in local languages and understanding with non-Catholics.

"I can't fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop," Luca Brandolini, a member of the liturgy commission of the Italian bishops' conference, told the Rome daily La Repubblica in an interview on Sunday. "It's a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled."

The Pope, in a letter to bishops on Saturday, rejected criticism that his decree could split Catholics and reverse the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Some Jewish leaders have sharply criticised the decree, which revives a passage from the old Latin prayer book for Good Friday calling for Jews to be converted. Others, however, took a more measured tone and called for clarification.

"I think there are those who have interpreted it in an extremely alarmist fashion," Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) told Reuters. "That doesn't mean that there aren't things that need clarification but there is no question of Pope Benedict's commitment to respectful relations with the Jewish people."


The AJC's Rome representative, Lisa Palmieri-Billig, said the text of the decree was ambiguous on the issue. Church officials however had no doubt the prayer could now be said in certain circumstances, even if its use would probably be rare. "I find it difficult to believe that the Pope would permit the Good Friday prayer, it could be a communication mistake," Palmieri-Billig said. "Conversion is a very sensitive issue for Jews and if the prayer is allowed, it would be a step backwards for dialogue."

French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, who warned last year against meeting traditionalists' demands for the Latin mass, said on Saturday the prayer could be changed if it caused difficulties with Jews.

The decree, possibly the most important of Benedict's papacy so far, was issued on a summer weekend without the publicity that normally accompanies key documents. The Pope did not mention the Latin Mass decree in his weekly Angelus blessing on Sunday and will retreat to a small town in the Dolomites mountains on Monday to start his summer holidays.

The Vatican will issue another text on Tuesday which Italian media say will declare Roman Catholicism the only true church of Jesus Christ, a statement that could anger Protestants. Other Christian churches criticised Rome in 2000 when it issued a similar document signed by the Pope, who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the top defender of Church dogma.

(additional reporting by Tom Heneghan in Paris, Avida Landau in Jerusalem)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

"a standard aimed at testing the priests' loyalty to the pope"?

"a standard aimed at testing the priests' loyalty to the pope"?

Let's hope so!

Unfortunately, the rest of the article is the standard drivel we've already seen so often:

New rule for Latin Mass worries critics

By Cathy Lynn Grossman,

Pope Benedict XVI's decision to allow expanded use of the centuries-old Latin Mass pleased traditionalists worldwide on Saturday.

Although currently offered in a miniscule number of parishes, a growing number of Catholics of all ages have sought out the elaborate Mass with its sonorous Latin prayers, Gregorian chants and formal choreography of gestures.

The Coalition Ecclesia Dei, an advocacy group that supports the Latin Mass, 119 US churches today offer the Tridentine Mass, up from six in 1989, when John Paul II granted bishops the power to authorize Latin Mass celebrations. A few dioceses, such as Washington, offer it at more than one parish and some offer it daily.

But critics see increased use of the Latin Mass as an unwelcome symbolic throwback to the past that will be meaningless to the vast majority of believers. The modern Mass, said in local languages, is more accessible to the faithful and reflects post-Vatican II ecumenical teachings.

They also say the Pope's decision puts additional pressure on priests who, until Saturday, needed permission from their bishops to offer it.

Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, the head of the French Episcopal Conference, warned in the newspaper Le Monde that pressure on priests to offer the Latin Mass, "will seem like a standard aimed at testing the priests' loyalty to the pope."

David Gibson, author of a book on the pope's battles with modernism, The Rule of Benedict, predicted the change "will not have a great impact in the pews beyond creating more problems for an already overworked priesthood."

The pope, in his letter accompanying the documents released Saturday, rejected the notion that the Masses are different ceremonies. "Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite" and that wider use of both rites will enrich each and promote "interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church."

Gibson, who has written on American Catholics' struggles with their church, disagrees.

Benedict's efforts to please traditionalists "serve as a wedge in already polarized church, between the conservative right-wing minority, who will never be satisfied, and the rest of the church," Gibson said.

"If the church is all about unity, what this does is set up a two-tier system, two kinds of rites and two ways to be Catholic. This move could be seen as a 'correction' on the liturgical front but it's really an ideological move, a way to reinterpret Vatican II by a pope more interested in purity than popularity."

Don't expect an immediate boost in parishes willing, or able, to offer the Latin Mass, which hasn't been taught regularly to priests in 40 years.

John Paul II established the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter specifically to train priests in the Latin Mass. Its North American seminary in Nebraska has trained nearly 100 priests so far and, anticipating Saturday's documents, ran special training sessions this spring.

But liturgical books with original Latin prayers rather than Latin translations of the modern Mass may be impossible to quickly locate. The director of the Vatican publishing house told Catholic News Service he doesn't even know who holds the copyright to the text.

Gibson says initial offerings of the Mass could look like a Catholic amateur hour. He pictures, "a play where the star, the priest, is like a last-minute stand-in reading from a script he doesn't understand, assisted by mystified altar servers."

"It's a much more complicated Mass to say," said Monsignor Charles Pope, 46, who offers the Latin Mass at St. Mary Mother of God in downtown Washington. A former church musician, he taught himself the rite from books and videos.

"I love the old Mass," the monsignor said. "But I still prefer the new Mass. It gives more options and more people are familiar with it. I like to walk in the widest part of the church."

Its the great Motu, Charlie Brown

If you've been following the postings of the Motu Proprio naysayers for any length of time, you know that they have been comparing our waiting for this Motu Proprio to Linus' belief in the Great Pumpkin, implying such hope was in vain, as well as employing the perennial image of Lucy pulling away the football from Charlie Brown.

Now if some graphics wizard would kindly photoshop an image of Lucy holding the football, and Charlie Brown kicking it through the uprights, my joy this day would be complete.

(Hat tip to Vincenzo ;-)

The Ratzinger Effect

I don't know about anywhere else, but in our house today, and at least one rectory I visited early this morning with a fresh copy of Summorum Pontificum (and whose pastor shall remain unnamed), "The Ratzinger Effect" is one of broad smiles and irrepressible joy.

Be that as it may, here is the The Times' summary of "The Ratzinger Effect":

From The Times
July 7, 2007
The Ratzinger Effect: more money, more pilgrims – and lots more Latin

Richard Owen in Rome

With donations to the Church from around the world almost doubling and pilgrims pouring into Rome in ever-greater numbers, Vatican watchers are beginning to reassess the two-year-old pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and noting a positive “Ratzinger effect”.

Today the Vatican will publish the Pope’s “motu proprio” decree allowing broader use by Roman Catholics of the Latin Tridentine Mass — the pontiff’s last act before leaving for his traditional summer holiday.

The move, which amends the Second Vatican Council’s decision in the 1960s that worship should be in the vernacular, is regarded as yet another sign of Benedict’s conservative attachment to tradition and doctrine. Some senior Catholics in Britain have accused him of “encouraging those who want to turn the clock back” and say that they fear the rite will revive preVatican II prayers for the conversion of “the perfidious Jews”.

The Vatican denies this, however, and points instead to the huge appeal of the Latin Mass — and Gregorian chant — not only for disaffected right-wing Catholics but also for many ordinary believers who value “the sheer beauty” of the ancient liturgy. “This is a Pope who — contrary to conventional wisdom — is in tune with the faithful,” one Vatican source said.

The unassuming and scholarly Benedict does not have the star appeal of John Paul II. At 80, he does not travel as much as the “Pilgrim Pope” or write as many documents.

Andrea Tornielli, the biographer of several popes including Benedict, said that when crowds packed into St Peter’s Square to hear Benedict in the early days of his pontificate, “many people attributed this to the John Paul effect”, or the global media coverage of the late Pope’s courage in the face of illness and death.

It was increasingly clear that although Benedict — formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, John Paul’s long-serving doctrinal adviser — lacked the showmanship and charisma of his predecessor, his “simple and direct” assertion of values struck a chord with believers, Mr Tornielli said.

The distinction between “the good and progressive John Paul and the bad conservative Benedict” was a false one, Mr Tornielli told The Times. “Ratzinger was John Paul’s closest adviser for over two decades, and many of his initiatives as Pope — including the Tridentine Mass — are developments of John Paul’s own ideas.”

While less theatrical than his predecessor, Benedict makes no secret of enjoying the “dressing up” side of the job, reviving ermine-trimmed robes, elaborate headgear and dainty satin shoes. He has grown more adept and relaxed at greeting people.

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, head of economic affairs at the Holy See, said that the “remarkable increase” in both donations and numbers of pilgrims showed that there was “a symbiosis, a mutual sympathy between this Pope and Christian people everywhere”.

Presenting the Holy See’s annual budget yesterday, Cardinal Sebastiani noted that not only had it closed last year with a surplus of €2.4 million, partly thanks to diocesan donations, there had also been a “huge jump” in “Peter’s Pence”, the annual church collections given directly to the Pope to use for charity, from $60 million (£30 million) in 2005 to $102 million. “The days when people talked of papal bankruptcy are past,” said Marco Tosatti, Vatican correspondent of La Stampa.

John Paul, who is on the road to sainthood, continues to be an attraction: with up to 35,000 pilgrims filing past his tomb in the crypt of St Peter’s every day, the Vatican is considering moving the tomb into the Basilica.

Record numbers attend Benedict’s weekly audiences, and seven million people a year now visit St Peter’s, a rise of 20 per cent. Similar increases are recorded for pilgrimages to Catholic shrines at Assisi, Lourdes, Fatima in Portugal and Madonna di Guadalupe in Mexico. “This is a Ratzinger phenomenon,” reported La Repubblica.

For some he remains “God’s Rottweiler” or the “Panzerkardinal”. He has disappointed liberals who hoped that he would relax rules on priestly celibacy or the use of condoms to help to fight Aids in Africa. Next week the Vatican is due to issue a document reasserting that only the Catholic Church is “the Church of Christ”, a move that risks offending Anglican and Orthodox Christians.

Benedict’s statements on issues from the Latin Mass to dialogue with China were promised “imminently”, then delayed, and Curia department heads long past retirement age have not been replaced. “Running the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is not the same as running the world-wide Church,” one insider said. “Benedict tends to appoint men he knows and trusts — regardless of whether they are right for the job.” Above all, he does not delegate as the ailing John Paul II did, and such is his reputation as a theologian that no one dares to offer him advice.

This has led to a series of avoidable public relations disasters, most notably his speech on “faith and reason” at Regensburg University last year, when he inflamed Muslim opinion by appearing to suggest that Islam was inherently violent.

In Brazil in May he angered indigenous populations by asserting that the arrival of Christianity in the New World did not amount to “the imposition of a foreign culture” on native peoples, and his off-the-cuff assertion that Catholic legislators who voted for easier abortion in Mexico should be excommunicated had to be hastily “clarified” by Father Federico Lombardi, his spokesman.

More recently the Vatican was dismayed when a reference to a “frank exchange of views” on “delicate questions” after Tony Blair’s farewell meeting with the Pope was taken to mean the two men had had a row. Such lapses, says John Allen, another of his biographers, make him appear “tone deaf”. “For those who know Benedict’s mind, it can be painful to watch his carefully reasoned reflections become capsized in the court of public opinion by a stray phrase that’s obviously open to misinterpretation.”

Traditional strength

- On his election, Benedict XVI replaced the crown on the papal arms with a mitre, indicating a rejection of political power

- He has maintained the Church’s position on artificial birth control, abortion and homosexuality, areas that reformers had hoped would change

- Deus Est Caritas, Benedict’s first encyclical, argued that the concept of “Eros”, or sexual love, now signified simply sex. Its warmth and insight surprised commentators

- In March, the Pope affirmed the Catholic doctrine that Hell “exists and is eternal for those who shut their hearts to [God’s] love”. The move caused controversy amongst liberal theologians

For Christmas 2006, the Pope, who has described rock music as Satan’s work, abandoned the annual Vatican pop concert established by John Paul II. The move was seen as a refreshingly honest refusal to compromise spiritual values for popularity

Summorum Pontificum pertinent analysis and news coverage links

Summorum Pontificum blog is keeping a good running list of links to pertinent Summorum Pontificum analysis and news coverage.

I'll just add these two at present:

AsiaNews: Pope: faithful may have “Tridentine” Mass if they wish
CWNews: Pope broadens access to 1962 Mass (news/analysis)

...just in case you're interested...

Obviously, there are many good folks visiting this blog for the first time this weekend. By the looks of my Sitemeter stats, you will number in the thousands by the end of the weekend. (Wow. Before I had a friend put up the Sitemeter for me a month ago (remember, I'm a Luddite when it comes to this stuff), I didn't know that anyone knew this blog existed.)

So for those of you new to this place, you should also know that I originally created this blog just to redirect people to the Universal Indult Forum, a forum I set up after getting shown to the door of some other folks' forums; I needed a forum no one could ban me from ;-) Furthermore, I couldn't figure out how to add an RSS (blog search) feed to my forum software on the Universal Indult Forum, so I figured if I started a blog by the same name, people would find their way to the forum via the blog.

As it turns out, the blog now carries three to four times the traffic of the original forum.

But if you are looking for a traditional Catholic forum, with this as the forum guidelines...

Be charitable, be honest, be humble, be reasonable

...and this as the forum subheading...

Traditional Catholic forum to celebrate and discuss the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" & to urge ALL traditional Catholics to a charitable, honest, humble and reasoned defense of our Faith

...then come on over and join the discussions.

(Ironically, I never did like blogs, I always preferred forums. I never thought I'd be operating a blog at this point.)

The USCCB responds to the Motu Proprio

The USCCB has posted a PDF file of the text of Summorum Pontificum and the Pope's accompanying letter to the bishops, as well as a Q&A on the document (hat tip to Summorum Pontificum blog.

Here is their Q&A. Keep it in mind as you read the analysis of trusted commentators elsewhere, as well as the comments of your local bishop:

Twenty Questions on the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum

1. What is the purpose of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum?

By this Apostolic Letter, promulgated motu proprio, the Holy Father seeks an “interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church”6 with those who have demonstrated an attachment to preconciliar liturgical forms, making “it possible for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew.” Thus does he exhort the whole Church to “generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”7

2. How does the Apostolic Letter describe the preconciliar edition of the Missale Romanum?

The Holy Father begins by defining two forms of the rule of prayer (Lex orandi) of the Latin church of Roman Rite: an ordinary form, as contained in the Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI,8 and an extraordinary form, as contained in the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V.9 He notes that the extraordinary form was never abrograted and the two forms make up the Liturgy of the one Roman Rite.10

3. When may a Priest celebrate the extraordinary form in a Mass without the people?

Any Priest of the Latin Church may, without any further permission from the Holy See or his Ordinary, celebrate the extraordinary form of the Missale Romanum in a Mass without the people at any time except during the Sacred Triduum.11 If members of the faithful wish to join in these celebrations, they are permitted to do so.12

4. May the extraordinary form be used in religious communities?

Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life who wish to do so may celebrate according to the extraordinary form in their own oratories.13

5. When may the extraordinary form be used in parishes?

In parishes where a group of the faithful are attached to the extraordinary form of the Mass, they may approach the pastor, who is to support their petition willingly. No permissions are required.14

6. May the extraordinary form of the other sacraments also be celebrated?

For the good of souls, a canonical pastor may also grant permission for the celebration of the other Sacraments, Christian Funerals or other occasional celebrations according to the extraordinary form, when requested to do so
by priests or a group of the faithful.15

7. If a priest fails to demonstrate a minimum rubrical or linguistic ability to celebrate the extraordinary form, may he still celebrate the 1962 Missale Romanum?

No. In order to celebrate the extraordinary form, a Priest must be suitably qualified for and not prohibited by any impediments to the celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Missale Romanum.16 This means he must have the minimum knowledge and ability required for a legitimate use of the extraordinary form.

8. As a rule, is it possible for a priest to abandon the ordinary form entirely?

No. The Holy Father states unequivocally that “in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value
and holiness.”17

9. What happens if a pastor is unable to fulfill the request of the faithful?

Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local Ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.”18 Should the local ordinary be unable to respond to the request, it may be referred to the Ecclesia Dei

10. Is the role of the Diocesan Bishop in supervising the Sacred Liturgy diminished by this Apostolic Letter?

No. The norms “do not in any way lessen the Bishop’s own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of [the] faithful. Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese.” 20 As such, he is required both to implement the universal norms of the Church as well as to intervene to prevent abuses from arising with regard to liturgical celebrations in his diocese.

11. What other provisions are made for use of the extraordinary form?

The Bishop may celebrate the Rite of of Confirmation according to the extraordinary form as found in the edition of the Roman Pontifical in effect in 1962.21 Clerics in Holy Orders may use the Roman Breviary of Blessed John XXIII promulgated in 1962.22

12. When the extraordinary form is celebrated, what calendar and Lectionary may be used?

Whenever the extraordinary form of the Roman Liturgy is celebrated, the vernacular edition of the Lectionary for Mass may be used, while the calendar of the Missal of Blessed John XXIII is followed.23 The Ecclesia Dei Commission has been charged with studying the eventual incorporation of new saints and some of the prefaces of the revised Missale into the Missale Romanum of Blessed John XXIII.

13. Who regulates the implementation of this Apostolic Letter?

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is charged with assuring proper observance and application of the norms of the Aposotlic Letter.

14. Does the wider use of the extraordinary form of the rites of Holy Week reflect a change in the Church’s teaching on anti-Semitism ?

No. The 1962 Missale Romanum already reflected Blessed John XXIII’s revision of liturgical language often construed as anti-Semitic. In 1965, the watershed statement Nostra Aetate, of the Second Vatican Council then repudiated all forms of anti-Semitism as having no place within Christian life. When Pope Paul VI issued the
Missale Romanum of 1969, the only prayer for the Jewish people in the Roman liturgy was completely revised for Good Friday to reflect a renewed understanding of the Jews as God’s chosen people, “first to hear the word of God.”

Throughout his papacy, John Paul II worked effectively to reconcile the Church with the Jewish people and to strengthen new bonds of friendship. In 1988, Pope John Paul II gave permission for the Mass to be celebrated according the Missale Romanum of 1962 only as a pastoral provision to assist Catholics who remained attached to
the previous rites, thereby hoping to develop closer bonds with the family of the Church.

By this new Apostolic Letter, Pope Benedict XVI is merely extending such permission for wider pastoral application, but remains committed to “the need to overcome past prejudices, misunderstandings, indifference and the language of contempt and hostility [and to continue] the Jewish-Christian dialogue…to enrich and deepen the bonds of friendship which have developed.”24

15. Where may Bishops turn for support and assistance with the implementation of the Apostolic Letter and the supervision of the extraordinary form of the Roman Liturgy?

The Committee on the Liturgy and its Secretariat are charged by the USCCB with the supervision of the implementation of the provisions of Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, and will continue to provide support and advice on this important pastoral initiative.

16. Prior to the publication of this Apostolic Letter, what provisions have been in force?

By a the letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Quattuor abhinc annos, 1984), Pope John Paul II granted to diocesan Bishops the use of an indult whereby priests and faithful would be allowed to celebrate the 1962 edition of the Missale Romanum, providing that such priests or faithful:

(1) accepted the legitimacy and doctrinal exactitude of the post-conciliar Missale Romanum; (2) celebrated these rites in a church designated by the bishop; (3) and celebrated these rites according to the 1962 Missale Romanum, without intermingling the post-conciliar rites. Pope John Paul II encouraged Bishops to make “a wide and
generous application” of this indult in the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei Afflicta (1988).

17. How does the new Apostolic Letter differ from these previous provisions?

The Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI differs from the previous provisions in the following ways:

What books may be used?

Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:
The 1962 Missale Romanum

Summorum Pontificum:
The 1962 Missale Romanum and all other Roman liturgical rites in force in 1962

Who may permit the use of these books?

Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:
The Diocesan Bishop may grant permission to priests or groups of the faithful at his discretion, but should be wide and generous in application of this indult

Summorum Pontificum:
Any Priest of the Latin Church may celebrate the extraordinary form privately. Pastors are asked to receive willingly the request of groups of the faithful for the Mass and the Sacraments according to the extraordinary form.

Who supervises the celebration of the Liturgy of either form?

Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:
The Diocesan Bishop supervises the correct celebration of all liturgical rites. The Diocesan Bishop must report to the Holy See on progress of indults he has granted

Summorum Pontificum:
The Diocesan Bishop maintains vigilance over the correct celebration of all liturgical rites, both ordinary and extraordinary. If the pastor is unable to respond to the request of a group of the faithful, the Bishop receives the request.
If the Bishop is not able to respond, the matter may be referred to the Ecclesia Dei
Commission, which enjoys competence over the extraordinary rite on behalf of the Holy See.

Where may celebrations of the extraordinary form take place?

Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:
The celebrations take place only in a place designated by the Diocesan Bishop, but usually not in a parish Church.

Summorum Pontificum:
There is no restriction on where the extraordinary form may be celebrated.

Must those celebrating the older form acknowledge the current to liturgical books?

Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:
A condition of granting the indult is acknowledgement of the legitimacy and doctrinal exactitude of the current Missale Romanum.

Summorum Pontificum:
There is no requirement for a determination of acceptance of the current Roman Missal by those seeking celebrate the extraordinary form, although this appears to be presumed.

May rites from the two forms be mixed?

Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:
No admixture of the rites of the 1962 and current editions of the Missale Romanum is allowed.

Summorum Pontificum:
The vernacular edition of the Lectionary for Mass may be used in the extraordinary
form, while the 1962 calendar is to be followed. The Ecclesia Dei Commission
will study the eventual integration of new saints and some prefaces from the
ordinary form into the extraordinary Missal.

18. Why are the present norms not adequate to meet these needs?

In his cover letter, the Holy Father notes that while the present norms have been applied to good pastoral effect in many circumstances, difficulties remain “because of the lack of precise juridical norms, particularly because Bishops, in such cases, frequently feared that the authority of the Council would be called into question.” 25 The new norms are intended “to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.” 26

19. Does this action call into question the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council?

No. The Holy Father makes clear that the current Missale Romanum is the ordinary form (forma ordinaria) of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The extraordinary form is found in the 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII.27

20. When will the Apostolic Letter take effect?

The Apostolic letter will take effect on September 14, 2007, the feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross.

Ten Questions on the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Missale Romanum

1. Why was the 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII chosen as the extraordinary form?

From the time of the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council there were seven official editions of the Missale Romanum. They were promulgated by Popes Saint Pius V (1570), Clement VI (1604), Urban VIII (1634), Leo XII (1994), Saint Pius X (1911), Benedict XV (1920), and Blessed John XXIII (1962). The 1962 edition was chosen as the last edition of the Missale Romanum promulgated before the Second Vatican Council.

2. Are the extraordinary and ordinary forms entirely different?

The Holy Father observes that there is “no contradiction between them and that the history of liturgical books is characterized by “growth and progress, but no rupture.”28

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.29

3. How does participation of the faithful in the Missale Romanum of Blessed John XXIII differ from the Missale Romanum of the Servant of God, John Paul II?

In both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Missale Romanum, full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful is to be desired above all else.30 In both forms, this begins with an interior participation in the sacrifice of Christ, to which the gathered assembly is joined by the prayers and rites of the Mass. The ordinary form of the rite customarily accomplishes this participation through listening and responding to the prayers of the Mass in the vernacular, and by taking part in forms of exterior communal action. The extraordinary form accomplishes this participation largely through listening to the prayers in Latin and following the words and actions of the Priest and joining our hearts to “what is said by him in the Name of Christ and [what] Christ says [to] him.”31

4. How does the role of the Priest differ in the Missale Romanum of Blessed John XXIII differ from the Missale Romanum of the Servant of God, John Paul II?

The major differences concerning the role of the Priest in the ordinary and extraordinary forms pertain to orientation and language. During most moments of the Mass the Priest faces the altar with his back to the people. All prayers are in Latin, with only the readings and the Homily in the vernacular.

5. What other major differences characterize the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the Missale Romanum?

Extraordinary Form (1962)
includes 1% of Old Testament
includes 14% of Old Testament
Begins with prayers at the foot
of the altar prayed privately by
priest and server Begins with a greeting and communal
penitential rite
One Eucharistic Prayer: the Roman Canon
Faithful usually receive Holy Communion only
under one kind
Last Gospel and Prayers to Saint Michael the
Archangel included in closing rites
Preserves prayers and rites of 1570 with some
Only clerics or “altar boys” perform liturgical

Ordinary Form (2007)
includes 17% of New Testament
includes 71% of New Testament
Begins with a greeting and communal penitential rite
Nine Eucharistic Prayers, the first of which is
the Roman Canon
Allows for wider distribution of Holy
Communion under both kinds to the faithful
Closing rites include Prayer after
Communion, Blessing and Dismissal
Simplifies prayers and rites in the light of
contemporary research and understanding
Restores lay liturgical ministries and
encourages careful differentiation of roles

6. What are the reasons why people remain strongly attached to the preconciliar form?

The Holy Father suggests a number of reasons. In the case of the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre, while the preconciliar Missal became “an external mark of identity,” it is clear that “the reasons for the break, which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level.” 32
Some remained strongly attached to rites with which they had become familiar from childhood. A primary cause of this affection in other faithful Catholics was the false sense of creativity unfortunately practiced by some in the celebration of the postconciliar liturgical rites, leading to “deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear.” 33 The Holy Father adds a personal note in his cover letter: “I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.” 34

Finally, the Holy Father describes those young people who “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.” 35 With this motu proprio he is responding to all three of these groups.

7. Won’t the new norms cause division in parishes and exacerbate the tensions between those attached to the preconciliar and postconciliar forms?

The Holy Father sees such fears as “quite unfounded,” since the kind of rubrical and linguistic skills required for the preconciliar form is not found very often. It is, therefore, “clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.” 36

8. How will the two forms influence each other?

The Holy Father expresses his hope that the new saints and some of the new prefaces can eventually be integrated into the 1962 Missal by the Ecclesia Dei Commission, while the use of the preconciliar form will enhance an appreciation in the ordinary form for “the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage.” In this
regard he emphasizes: “The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives.” 37

9. What are the challenges for those attached to the preconciliar form?

The Holy Father notes certain “exaggerations and at times social aspects” linked to “ the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition.” For this reason he asks for “charity and pastoral prudence.” 38

10. What mandate did the fathers of the Second Vatican Council give for the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy?

In the Constitution on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum concilium), number 50, the Council Fathers decreed that:

The Order of Mass is to be revised in a way that will bring out more clearly the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, and will more readily achieve the devout, active participation of the faithful.

For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance; elements that, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated or were added with but little advantage are now to be discarded; other elements that have suffered injury through accident of history are now, as may seem useful
or necessary, to be restored to the vigor they had in the traditions of the Fathers.

Not bad, not bad at all, considering the source.

role of the bishop as chief liturgist is as servant and caretaker, not a master, and cannot exempt from these regulations

Very good analysis, as expected, from Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement blog:

Comments upon the Explanatory Letter

Please go read his entire analysis.

Here is the most important part of today's document, to me at least, living in a diocese in which the bishop always refused obedience to the 1988 indult:

IX. The Role of the Bishop

The following is very important and serves to clarify the role of the Bishop. Too often, the idea of the Bishop as Chief liturgist is employed in a way which would make him able to exercise that authority in an arbitrary way; or one that might suggest he is master of the liturgy -- which even the Pope is not.

"Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local Ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio."

In short, the bishop's role as chief liturgist in his diocese does not give him the ability to absolve himself from these norms. His role is that of a caretaker and of ensuring that the norms are respected and followed in a peaceable way.

One cannot underestimate the importance of this clarification.

X. The 3 Year Period

We've heard of a three year period. However, this clarifies what that means:

"Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought."

"Ways to remedy" suggests that the norms are not possibly going to be revoked, but rather that workarounds might be sought and found. "Tweaks" if you will.

A Concluding Thought

Themes strong in this letter upon my initial reading:

a. Co-existence as important and non-divisive
b. The hermeneutic of continuity to be respected and that of rupture avoided.
c. The liturgical tradition is to be respected, but the new is not be rejected as a point of principle; the good to be recognized.
d. Need for a reform of the reform

Important clarifications/developments:

a. These are not separate rites, but uses of the one Roman rite.
b. After study by the Ecclesia Dei commission, the 1962 Missale Romanum can now be unfrozen; organic development can now continue.
c. Confirmation that the Pope sees this as also helping toward a reform of the reform and a more proper celebration of the modern books in parish life.
d. The 1962 Missal is not abrogated and thus, always permitted.
e. The role of the bishop as chief liturgist is as a servant and caretaker, not a master, and cannot exempt from these regulations.

Posted by Shawn Tribe

Given the reality of the Church today, this document is a grand slam, better than we could have possibly hoped.

And don't foget, its just the first step. This Pope, and his successors, can and will build upon this sturdy and wide foundation for the restoration of traditional Cathiolicsm.

To say that traditional Catholics, who grasp the reality of the Church in our day, should be overjoyed, is an understatement.

This is better than we ever dared to hope. Add to this the upcoming CDF document on The "Church of Christ" and the Catholic Church and there is enough HOPE today to keep the most pessimist among us happy for a long time, hopefully a lifetime.

Its OK, go ahead and GLOAT!

Uh...that's just my title. Maybe gloating isn't the right word at this auspicious moment.

Be that as it may, since Fr. Z. posted it, it cannot possibly be considered either gloating or schadenfreude, so follow this YouTube link and enjoy!!!

Summorum Pontificum celebration

By the way, don't forget to
1)Remove your Random Motu Proprio Date Generators! and,

2)Remove this:

and replace it with this:

and this:

And that will be the full extent of our on-again, off-again Motu Proprio GLOATFEST2007.

We now return you to a sober reconsideration and internalizing of Fr. Z's 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released

Summorum Pontificum: Early analysis


Summorum Pontificum: my intro comments and the text


Motu proprio notes: Towards the Motu proprio

And from the Vatican Information Services:


VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued an explanatory note concerning the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum". The most important paragraphs of the note are given below:

"The Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' lays down new rules for the use of the Roman liturgy that preceded the reform of 1970. The reasons for such provisions are clearly explained in the Holy Father's letter to bishops which accompanies the Motu Proprio (the two documents have been sent to all the presidents of episcopal conferences and to all nuncios, who have arranged to distribute them to all bishops).

"The fundamental provision is as follows: the Roman liturgy will have two forms ('usus'):

"a) The ordinary form is the one that follows the liturgical reform undertaken by Pope Paul VI in the year 1970, as it appears in the liturgical books promulgated at that time. There is an official edition in Latin which may be used always and everywhere, and translations in divers languages published by the various episcopal conferences.

"b) The extraordinary form: which is that celebrated in accordance with the liturgical books published by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962."

In paragraph 8 the note reads: "The bishop of a particular place may erect a personal parish, wherever there is to be found a very substantial number of faithful who wish to follow the earlier liturgy. It would be appropriate for the numbers of faithful to be substantial, even if not comparable to those of other parishes."

The explanatory note also highlights some of the characteristics of the 1962 Missal:

"It is a 'complete' or 'integral' Missal in the Latin language, that is, it also contains the readings for the celebrations (it is not distinct from the 'Lectionary' as the later 1970 Missal is).

"It contains just one Eucharistic prayer, the 'Roman Canon' (corresponding to the first Eucharist Prayer of the later Missal, which includes a choice of various Eucharistic Prayers).

"Various prayers (including a large part of the Canon) are recited by the priest in a low voice inaudible to the people.

"Other differences include the reading of the beginning of the Gospel of John at the end of Mass.

"The 1962 Missal does not provide for concelebration. It says nothing concerning the direction of the altar or of the celebrant (whether facing the people or not).

"The Pope's Letter envisages the possibility of future enrichment of the 1962 Missal (inclusion of new saints, new prefaces, etc.)."

Bishop Fellay 7/7/07 Communiqué re Summorum Pontificum

This was posted on a current thread at Rorate-Caeli. I repost it here, because frankly, this is at least in part what the Motu Proprio was all about, reconciling the SSPX:

SSPX Communiqué:

By the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated the Tridentine Mass in its rights, and clearly affirmed that the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V had never been abrogated. The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X rejoices to see the Church thus regain her liturgical Tradition, and give the possibility of a free access to the treasure of the Traditional Mass for the glory of God, the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, to the priests and faithful who had so far been deprived of it. The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X extends its deep gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff for this great spiritual benefit.

The letter which accompanies the Motu Proprio does not hide however the difficulties that still remain. The Society of Saint Pius X wishes that the favorable climate established by the new dispositions of the Holy See will make it possible – after the decree of excommunication which still affects its bishops has been withdrawn – to consider more serenely the disputed doctrinal issues.

Lex orandi, lex credendi, the law of the liturgy is that of the faith. In the fidelity to the spirit of our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the attachment of the Society of Saint Pius X to the traditional liturgy is inseparably united to the faith which has been professed "always, everywhere and by all."

Menzingen, July 7, 2007

Bishop Bernard Fellay

Summorum pontificum

Summorum pontificum

Letter to Accompany Summorum Pontificum

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bishop Williamson sounding almost reasonable?

Is it possible that Bishop Fellay has finally reined in Bishop Williamson?

In this recent interview, Bishop Williamson sounds almost reasonable regarding the Motu Proprio:

It is said that Benedict XVI is about to set free the traditional rite of Mass. Will this measure be enough to solve the crisis in the Church?

Bishop W.: I may be wrong, but I think that even just a partial setting free of the traditional Mass would be a great step forward for the universal Church. The powerful grace contained in the Mass, presently strangled as it were by the rite of Paul VI, would start to flow again all over the world. However, it would take much more than just restoring the true rite of Mass to solve the crisis of faith in the Church.

But will not this “Motu Proprio” end up by creating more confusion than clarity in the area of doctrine?

Bishop W.: Precisely, it is not by merely allowing once more the true rite of Mass that Catholics would learn again how to attend it as they should. Everything needs to be re-built, so there would indeed, to begin with, be a great deal of confusion, for instance hybrid Masses. But the re-building must start somewhere, and I think we need to trust in the intrinsic power of the true rite.

"the power of bishops to ban the Rite has been removed"

Well, we'll all know for certain tomorrow:

Pope reinstates the Latin Mass

UK Telegraph/ Holy Smoke [Blog]
Posted by Damian Thompson on 06 Jul 2007 at 08:06

The text of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio granting priests universal permission to celebrate the Tridentine Rite of Mass has been leaked overnight to the blog Whispers in the Loggia. And it looks as if the prayers of traditionalists have been well and truly answered.

From now on, a priest "does not require any permission" to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass for himself, says the Pope, and lay people can attend such semi-private Masses. In other words, the power of bishops to ban the Rite – in which the priest celebrates Mass facing the same direction as the people – has been removed after nearly 40 years.

When it comes to public celebrations of the Mass as part of a parish’s Sunday worship, bishops still have to be asked – but Benedict "earnestly requests" that permission be granted and it seems clear that Rome will step in if necessary. There is also talk of "personal parishes" which celebrate the Traditional Mass.


"And, most crucially, while bishops are 'earnestly requested to grant [the] desire' for public celebrations expressed by the extraordinary use's devotees, recourse to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is foreseen in cases of 'a Bishop who desires to make provision for requests of lay faithful of this kind, but is for various reasons prevented from doing so'. The indult-overseeing body is to respond with its 'advice and help'


Just curious: can anyone show where forcing bishops to appeal to Ecclesia Dei to prevent celebration of a TLM was even suggested anywhere prior to this:

An open letter to Pope Benedict XVI regarding the anticipated Motu Proprio

Maybe the Pope reads his email after all.

Maybe its just a simple case where good minds think alike.

Maybe us rank-and-file Catholics would just like to think that somehow we have a say in things, but we don't now, and never did.

But don't fault us for dreaming, not this weekend.

Fellay: the situation "will be practically unchanged"

There is another typical main stream media article today regarding the Motu Proprio in the (UK) Guardian Unlimited:

Pope to Issue Decree on Latin Mass

This one, however, has something new, a statement from Bishop Fellay, head of the SSPX:

...even with Saturday's document, there was no indication reconciliation is near.

The society's current leader, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has said the situation ``will be practically unchanged'' unless the return to the old Mass is accompanied by an ``in-depth discussion'' with the Vatican on key doctrinal issues that also emerged from Vatican II.

``Ecumenism, religious liberty and collegiality remain the points of contention over which we will not budge,'' Fellay wrote earlier this year.

Fellay has said the current ``crisis'' in the Catholic Church - low Mass attendance, low vocations and other spiritually rooted problems - is largely due to what he calls the loss of Catholic tradition that the New Mass and Vatican II represented.

Maybe you haven't been listening carefully enough, dear bishop. The Pope is speaking to you, about your concerns, forcefully and unequivocally.

The ongoing intense "dialog" between Pope Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay, PART DEUX
The ongoing intense "dialog" between Pope Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay.

See also
Motu Proprio: The End of Collegiality As We Know It?
"Its the end of collegiality as we know it"
"The end of collegiality as we know it" - Part III

If you still think the situation "will be practically unchanged" then you need to see an audiologist and an optometrist.

Or else you are consciously refusing to see and hear, in which case nothing the Pope says or does will ever soften your heart.

The ongoing intense "dialog" between Pope Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay, PART DEUX

In a prior blog post, "The ongoing intense "dialog" between Pope Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay," I tried to make the case that, indirectly at least, Pope Benedict XVI has been systematically answering the objections of Bishop Fellay and the SSPX, objections raised as precursors to any further rapproachment.

Now it appears that, immediately on the heels on the Motu Proprio, the Pope intends to step up the dialog a notch.

Rorate-Caeli blog is reporting on a new document, to be published three days after the Motu Proprio, that will once again address the subsistit in controversy, a major subject of contention for the SSPX:

Friday, July 06, 2007
New Document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The "Church of Christ" and the Catholic Church

Andrea Tornielli reports today in Il Giornale that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is about to release a Doctrinal Document stating in definitive and clear terms the interpretation of the Lumen Gentium passage according to which, "Haec ...unica Christi Ecclesia ... in hoc mundo ut societas constituta et ordinata, subsistit in Ecclesia catholica" ("this ...one Church of Christ ... constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church")

"The Church of Christ is the Catholic one"

from Rome

The Church of Christ is not distinct or distinguishable from the Catholic Church, which is the only one to possess "all elements of the Church instituted by Jesus". The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will confirm it next week, responding to "doubts" [dubia] raised in the past few years. The doctrinal stand of the former Holy Office ... should be accompanied by an authoritative theological comment on the pages of L'Osservatore Romano.

At the center of the debate is once again the meaning of the verb "subsists", used by the Council in the Constitution Lumen Gentium, where it is said that the only Church of Christ "subsists in the Catholic Church" (in Latin, "subsistit in"). Words which, in the course of the years, have suffered several interpretations, including the one according to which Jesus in reality had not thought of founding a Church and, in case he had, it would have afterwards divided itself in various Churches and ecclesial communities. Therefore ... , there would not be the true Church of Christ anymore, but only several expressions of it.

This recurrent thesis has already been repeatedly denied by the Popes. In 1973, with the declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, of Paul VI; in 1985, with the notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on a book of liberation theologian Leonardo Boff; in 1992, with the Letter to the Bishops Communionis Notio, and, finally, in 2000 ... , with the declaration Dominus Iesus, approved by John Paul II.

Nonetheless, the doubts return cyclically ... .

I.Media informs that it will be released on Tuesday, July 10 (France-Presse dispatch/La Croix).

posted by New Catholic

Yes, the Pope is speaking to the whole world with these two documents, the Motu Proprio and this upcoming CDF document.

But he is also talking directly to the SSPX.

Are they listening?

Are they willing to swallow their pride and openly admit that their concerns are being addressed -- directly and unequivocally -- by this Pope?

If the SSPX as a whole can be taken at its word, then we should see the efforts at rapproachment on the part of the SSPX itself swiftly accelerate following publication of these two documents.

"IF" is a mighty big word.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the Motu scoop of the century, and lose his own soul?

The Latin text of the first two paragraphs of the Motu Proprio are making the rounds.

This leak of an embargoed Vatican text appears to have started with Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia.

He was wrong to break the Vatican embargo with this petty little stunt, and as much as I'm desperate to see it, we won't be cooperating in his little stunt here.

No posting of the Motu Proprio text here -- any of it -- until it is officially released on the Vatican web site, noon, Vatican time, on July 7.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the Motu scoop of the century, and lose his own soul?

Yes, it calls into question a man's very Faith, if he's willing to do this just to get a scoop on the rest of blogdom.

Uh oh, might have to re-name the blog and the forum

Good points...

Thursday, July 05, 2007
Post-MP terminology

posted by Shawn Tribe

A thought struck me last evening as I was pondering the upcoming release of Summorum Pontificum. There has been some discussion in the blog world, including in the comments here, about whether we should adopt new terminology after its release ('ordinary' and 'extraordinary'). For my own part, I don't believe it is necessary to modify terms like "classical" and "modern" Roman rite, though obviously I am not speaking against using those new identifiers which also have some advantages.

Our terminology is indeed important however, and this made me think of another term which would be more important to evaluate upon the release of this document. Namely, if this document changes the classical Roman liturgy in the Roman rite from the status of an "indult" then we should very quickly make a poignant effort to excise that word from our vocabulary in this regard. e.g. "indult Mass", "universal indult" and so on.

As you know, an "indult" is a special exemption to a law ("doing something not permitted by the common law" - Catholic Encyclopedia) but if Summorum Pontificum changes that so that such is no longer the case, then it would be quite important to lose that terminology. Aside from the matter of accuracy, "indult" can be understood and interpreted (and often is) diminuitively.

But again, we must wait and see. Certainly, however, I have read one recent report that suggests its status will indeed change and the 1962 Missale Romanum will no longer be an 'indult'. If that proves to be true, then such is a far more significant development than the 'universal indult' that was originally hoped for.

Posted by Shawn Tribe

...but no changes are planned at present here ;-)

Motu Déjà vu: three year trial period?

This is strange. Its a week old story; see these two previous Friday, June 29, 2007 Universal Indult blog posts:

Motu Proprio - a five year experiment ?
Motu Proprio provides for review of situation in three years?

Motu Déjà vu?

5 July 2007
MP: three year trial period?
CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULUM — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 10:54 am

I am reading in ASCA today an interesting story about the MP.

In this story the claim is made that His Holiness, listening to the concern of bishops, may be issuing the MP for a three year trial period.

I won’t believe that until I see it in the MP or the Pope’s accompanying document.

We have heard this before. I won’t believe it until I see it in the MP, however.

(ASCA) – Citta’ del Vaticano, 5 lug – Quasi certamente sabato prossimo il Vaticano rendera’ pubblica la disposizione con la quale Benedetto XVI concedera’ per i prossimi tre anni la possibilita’, a chi lo volesse, di poter partecipare alla messa celebrata secondo il rito tridentino....

Fr. Rosensteel's family speaks out (more on priest who jumped from bridge)

This was posted on an SSPX forum by a poster claiming to be the priest's brother-in-law regarding the story, Priest accused of sexual abuse jumps from bridge to his death:

We as his family do not understand many things. We do know that he was a good and holy priest, as evidenced by the 100 or so priests and religious that attended his funeral mass, and the couple of thousand that filed by his casket at the viewing at the church (including legions of alter servers, both past and present!) As with any tragedy there are many unanswered questions. Our family is being frustrated in order to learn the truth. We pray that our questions will be answered. It is not my intention to cast aspersions.

What one reads in the paper is usually not the entire story. There are facts that were not presented in most news articles, and let me say that there wasn't much of an opportunity for Father to defend himself. When I last talked to him he said "nothing good will ever come of that money", which was the settlement that the diocese awarded. He also told me that "God is just." Please pray for his soul.

In the interest of full disclosure I am Father's brother-in-law.

Let's all pray that justice is served, and

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

And may his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
rest in peace.


Motu Proprio will create TLM "personal parishes," repeal Ecclesia Dei, limit bishops to role of arbitration (Apic/I-Media report)

Yesterday many Catholic blogs and news outlets mentioned the I-Media report which revealed the name of the upcoming Motu Proprio, "Summorum pontificum." The I-Media report itself was available only to subscribers, so to my knowledge no english-speaking Catholic blogs or news outlets carried a full translation of the entire I-Media report.

Later yesterday, Kipa/Apic carried a French version of the I-Media report, but we were unsure as to whether the Apic article represented the entire I-Media report, or just excerpts, or even accurately reported the I-Media article. Today, we hear that "I.Media [is] the partner agency of Apic in Rome." So it seems the APIC report should be a trustworthy translation of the hailed I-Media report from yesterday.

Several good folks took a shot at translating the Apic version, and here is an Ecce Agnus Dei blog posting of the article:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Motu Proprio News, Translation From Apic

Translation from Apic by Mr. Edward Snyder

Rome: Motu Proprio will be published on July 7" Summorum pontificum" for the liberalization of the Latin mass

Rome, July 4, 2007 (Apic)

The Apostolic Letter in the form of the Motu Proprio that Benedict XVI is on the point of publishing in order to liberalize the use of the mass and the liturgical books according to the preconciliar rite of 1962 will bear the name of " Summorum pontificum" , Vatican sources learned [via] I.Media, the partner agency of Apic in Rome. This much awaited document favoring the traditionalist faithful and [causing] fears for a certain number of bishops will be published this coming July 7th." Summorum pontificum" (in English, ‘the greatest pontiffs') are the first words (beginning of the text) of the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI liberalizing the use of the Mass known as "St. Piux V”. The first two words of this apostolic letter give its name to the pontifical docume nt which will be made public by the Vatican on this July 7th.

It will be accompanied by a long letter from the Pope announcing his motivation for this publication that certain bishops, in France particularly, see with a jaundiced eye.By this text, the pope is understand to extend to the entire Church the possibility of celebrating the Mass according to the liturgical books promulgated on June 23, 1962, during the pontificate of John XXIII, right before Council Vatican II and the reform which followed, in 1969 and 1970. He will make of this pre-conciliar rite “an extraordinary form of the single Roman rite “, that of the post-conciliar known as that "of Paul VI". In addition to the rite of the Mass, the document should thus also relate to the sacraments of b aptism, marriage, confirmation and extremunction, as well as the celebration of funerals.

If Latin is the language of use of the tridentine rite, the use of the vernacular language could be authorized for the liturgical readings. The new document will put an end to the requirement to require an exemption (called `indult') from the diocesan bishop for being able to celebrate the mass according to the rite of 1962. The bishop should authorize the celebration in the diocesan parishes of a single Mass according to the pre-conciliar form each Sunday and feast day, except during the Pacal Triduum [this could be because all Novus Ordo priests are required to concelebrate on Holy Thursday; also the Good Friday controversy?]. `Summorum pontificum' should moreover encourage the creation of “personal parishes” in the dioceses where only the tridentine rite will then be celebrated.

The local bishop should then be able to intervene only in the event of a legal battle (litigation ) between one of his priests and a group of the [lay] faithful. If necessary, the bishop will be able to address the matter to the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei charged with being the ultimate authority in these matters.This new Motu Proprio will repeal that promulgated by John Paul IIConsequently, the new Motu Proprio will repeal the one promulgated by John Paul Paul II in July 1988, Ecclesia Dei adflicta, as well as the document of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of October 1984, Quattuor abhinc annos, approved by the Pope and granting to the diocesan bishops the possibility of using an indult for the celebration of the Mass in the Tridentine Rite. The Pope should in addition specify that it is not a question of a return to the past, but of a generous gesture in order to place at the disposal of the whole faithful the immense spiritual, cultural, and esthetical treasures related to the old liturgy.


Posted by SyrianCatholic

And a brief summary from one of the forums that boils it down to the bare essentials:

From the I.Media story:

(In a hurry here so I’m just listing the points of interest)

--The MP authorises the use of the 1962 Missal.

--The MP authorises the conferring of the sacraments of baptism, matrimony, confirmation and extreme unction (as well as the celebration of funerals) according to the traditional rite.

--There will no longer be a need for an indult (excercised by the diocesan bishop) to celebrate Mass according to the “extraordinary” rite.

--It will authorise the celebration of a single Mass of the “extraordinary rite” in diocesan parishes on Sundays and feast days – except during the Pascal Triduum.

--The MP will also encourage the creation of `personal parishes' in the dioceses where only the traditional rite will then be celebrated. The local bishop should then be able to intervene only in the event of litigation between one of his priests and a group of faithful. If necessary, disputes may be appealed to the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei which will be the final authority.

--The new Motu Proprio will repeal both Ecclesia Dei adflicta and Quattuor abhinc annos.

Here's a heads' up: One notorious bishop, opposed to the TLM, recently admitted that:

If I am FORCED to offer a Latin Mass, it will only be in a tridentine Rite personal parish, and I'll force them to obey all those pre-Vatican II rules, like the midnite fast, and all the babuskas have to wear head coverings and no slacks will be allowed..."

So it sounds like at least the "personal parish" aspect of the Motu Proprio has filtered down into the trenches. I can't vouch for anything else in the report above.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Breaking: "Baseless Jewish TLM complaints may turn unprejudiced Catholics into anti-semites"

Sorry, I'm just tired of all these pathetic anti-Catholic headlines disguised as pleas against anti-semitism -- so I made up a baseless hysterical headline for this post too.

Here's yet another pathetic anti-Catholic headline:

Latin Mass May Damage Catholic-Jewish Relations

"...When celebrated in the traditional format that is favored by some conservative Catholics, the Good Friday liturgy contains a passage stating that Jews live in "blindness" and "darkness" and asking God to "remove the veil from their hearts." A reference to Jews as "perfidious" was excised from the liturgy in 1969..."

Oy vey! What a load of schmutz! What chutzpah! (What words you can learn as a med student working in Philly ORs!)

Even the mainstream media and the Jerusalem Post have debunked these anti-Catholic talking points:

"...Some wording in the Tridentine Mass has been considered anti-Semitic but some experts said that was because the words were taken out of context or reflect poor translation. For instance, one allegation is that the Tridentine Mass calls Jews "perfidious (treacherous)" but the word is actually "perfidies (unfaithful)" and even that wording was changed in the 1960s.

Vatican officials Monday said the current mass contains no derogatory references to Jews..."

So now they have to stoop to raising the spectre of a version of the mass that nobody is using and nobody is requesting? Please, name exactly which group of "conservative Catholics" is requesting any missal other than the 1962 John XXIII missal!

Nobody is buying their charges of anti-semitism any longer and they're frantic, but it is certainly proving their anti-Catholicism.

Pope's China Letter: Sodano strikes again?

Cardinal Zen would NOT be reacting this way if there was nothing going on:

Cardinal Zen decries mixed messages in pope's letter to China

Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, a staunch critic of Beijing, issued a statement Tuesday pointing out discrepancies between the content of a weekend letter from Pope Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics and explanatory notes thereof.

''In the explanatory notes, which do not constitute part of the pope's letter and which bear no signature of the author, some expression is found which is at considerable variance from what is said in the pope's letter and is very inappropriate,'' Zen said.

He cited a sentence in the letter referring to Beijing's naming of bishops without Rome's consent, which reads: "Other Pastors, however, under the pressure of particular circumstances, have consented to receive episcopal ordination without pontifical mandate."

In contrast, the explanatory notes read: "Others, who were especially concerned with the good of the faithful and with an eye to the future, have consented to receive episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate."

Zen said the latter version effectively praised the bishops who accepted the illicit ordination.

"(The expression) puts the others, who refused to surrender to pressure, in a very bad light, as if they neglected the good of the faithful and were short-sighted! I dare to protest in the name of the (persecuted priests)," Zen said in the statement.

Benedict released the 12,933-word letter and explanatory notes in different languages to followers in China last week, reiterating the illegitimacy of bishops named without Vatican approval.

"I trust that an accord can be reached with the (Chinese) government," the pope said in his letter.

Beijing has expressed lukewarm response since the letter was released, while continuing to call for "constructive effort" by the Vatican to mend diplomatic ties severed since 1951.

Shortly after the Communist Party took power in China, it set up the state-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association, splitting Catholics in the country into those who worship at state churches and those who go to underground churches loyal to the pope.

China's ordinations of mainland bishops without seeking prior approval from Vatican since April last year have strained ties. The association has said China needs bishops and it cannot wait for diplomatic relationship to improve.

Beijing has at least ordained five bishops since last year without papal approval. The Holy See endorsed only two of the five.

And here Phil Lawler offers a possible explanation:

The Forum: Did the Vatican's awkward presentation do injustice to the Pope's message?

by Phil Lawler
special to CWNews.com

Vatican, Jul. 3, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict's message to the Chinese Church is a masterpiece of both pastoral solicitude and realistic diplomacy. Nevertheless, a few days after its appearance, I notice a few shadows falling across the Pope's message.

The problems that I discern, barely visible, are not hidden between the lines. They cannot be found in content of the Pope's message. Rather, they are problems that arise-- or may have arisen-- because of the way the papal message was released by the Vatican, after a lengthy delay.

Why the explanatory note?

The Vatican released the text of the papal message along with an unsigned "explanatory note." Why? Pope Benedict has an unusual gift for clarity in writing. His message stands by itself; there is no real need for explanation.

The Kyodo news service reports that Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong has criticized the "explanatory note," saying that it uses expressions "at considerable variance from what is said in the Pope's letter." I cannot say that I have noticed any discrepancy (nor can I confirm the accuracy of the Kyodo report). But it is no secret that the Vatican Secretariat of State, particularly under Cardinal Angelo Sodano (bio - news), was pushing for diplomatic ties with China. Now Pope Benedict has gently indicated that diplomatic ties will become possible only if Beijing recognizes the religious freedom of its Catholic people. If the "explanatory note" introduces any ambiguity at all on that point-- and Cardinal Zen would obviously be closely attuned to nuances of interpretation-- then it could do real damage to the Pope's intent.

Cardinal Zen had already made the observation that the Vatican bureaucracy used an awkward formula in speaking of the Pope's letter:

At the beginning of June the Vatican Secretary of State announced that “the Pope’s letter has been definitively approved”, a rather strange way of saying things: “the Pope’s letter approved by the Pope?

The Chinese cardinal felt it necessary to add an unambiguous assurance: " Obviously, the finally approved letter is the Pope’s letter, with his signature."

This Holy Thursday or next?

Pope Benedict suggests that Chinese bishops should make every effort to reconcile with priests who have been pressured into unacceptable compromises in the past-- the Holy Father is presumably referring to expressions of fidelity to the Patriotic Association-- but now want to return to full communion with the Church. The Pope adds the suggestion that this reconciliation could be expressed beautifully on Holy Thursday, when the diocesan bishop celebrates the Chrism Mass with all of his priests. From a liturgical perspective that suggestion makes perfect sense. But as a practical matter, Holy Thursday is now several months away.

When he first made the suggestion, was Pope Benedict thinking that his message would be released late in Lent? The original plan was for this letter to appear before Easter. Then Holy Thursday would have been in the near future, and the Pontiff's recommendation would have pointed toward a speedy reconciliation between the Chinese bishops and their wayward priests. If that was the Pope's intent, the long delay in publication damaged his cause.

And people scoffed at Bishop Fellay when he described Sodano's shenanigans recently.

United Press International clarifies the "perfidious" Jews question

Amazing. An international press service article that actually clarifies the "prayers for the Jews in the TLM" controversy, instead of inflaming it:

Catholics await decision on Latin mass


VATICAN CITY (UPI) -- Roman Catholic bishops were awaiting a decision from Rome regarding permission for parish priests to say the 16th-century Latin Tridentine Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI was expected soon to make it easier for parishes to say the rite in Latin. Most masses are said in local languages but the Latin mass is allowed to be said with advance permission.

There have been moves to make the Latin mass more available, particularly by more conservative Catholics, almost since the Second Vatican Council announced masses should be said in local languages.

Some wording in the Tridentine Mass has been considered anti-Semitic but some experts said that was because the words were taken out of context or reflect poor translation. For instance, one allegation is that the Tridentine Mass calls Jews "perfidious (treacherous)" but the word is actually "perfidies (unfaithful)" and even that wording was changed in the 1960s.

Vatican officials Monday said the current mass contains no derogatory references to Jews.

There was a prayer, said only on Good Friday, that sought the conversion of Jews but versions said now no longer make that plea and instead single out Jews as the first people to receive God's word.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

the dichotomy between the rank-and-file Catholic and the priests

One of the reasons I mentioned the dichotomy between the rank-and-file Catholic desire for the TLM, and the grasp of it by priests and bishops, is my own personal experience with a number of active and retired priests.

I have studiously avoided talking about the TLM with most priests in my practice because I know how they typically react to the subject (from the few with whom I've broached the subject.) So I have maintained very jovial and friendly relations with all my priest-patients, no matter what their views on church issues.

However, I wrote a letter to the editor this past spring about the Pope's intentions to reintroduce the TLM.

Several of them brought up the subject in subsequent office visits, with palpable scorn and derision, and the interpersonal relationship with these patient-priests has not returned to the jovial, good-natured status it was prior to my letter to the editor.

Interestingly, the retired Franciscans were the most derogatory, and the youngest diocesan priests were the only ones that expressed any kind of support.

If they treat me this way, I'm sure they treat rank-and-file Catholics in the churches similarly, or worse, when those Catholics have attempted to broach the subject of requesting the TLM.

So again, its no surprise that a hostile poll taker won't hear of much interest or desire in the TLM, sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and not much different than politically-motivated secular poll-takers whose polls (surprise) almost always display the opinion they were trolling for.

Graph: Traditional Latin Masses in the USA 1988 - 2006

If there is "no demand" then why the steady growth?

Anyone want to predict what this graph will look like five years from now, with the rocket boost that the Motu Proprio is going to provide?

The graph and the text below are from the COALITION ECCLESIA DEI web site:

CATHOLICS, Do You Know? . . .

Pope John Paul II had great pastoral concern and compassion for all the faithful. Because of this concern, in October, 1984, he granted permission for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be offered again in Latin with approval of the local Bishop. This is the traditional Latin Mass as it was offered in Catholic churches around the world until after Vatican II.

In a more recent Apostolic Letter, Ecclesia Dei (July 2, 1988) His Holiness expanded these earlier directives, calling for their “wide and generous application.” Pertinent excerpts include:

“To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition, I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask support of the Bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church.

“By virtue of my Apostolic Authority I Decree . . . Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of this who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal ... of 1962.” (Emphasis added)

The Catholic faithful are free to ask their bishop that the Traditional Latin Mass be offered every Sunday in their parish or other nearby churches. Pope Benedict XVI, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, consistently showed his support for those Catholics who wish to worship in the old form of the Mass of the Roman Rite.

In his 1997 book Salt of the Earth, then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote wrote:
"I am of the opinion that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It's impossible to grasp what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community that suddenly declares that what, until now, was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden makes the longing for it seem downright indecent, calls its very self into question.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the Bishops of Chile, given 13 July, 1988, in Santiago, Chile.

"...we ought to get back to the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what make the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, Who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, Whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director."