Bp. Skylstad on “Tridentine” indult

Mr. John L. Allen, the ubiquitous former Rome correspondent for the still left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, pass along a brief interview with H.E. William Skylstad, Pres. of the USCCB. Mr. Allen ask H.E. about a potential "freeing up" of the so-called "Tridentine Mass" (with my comments):

What are your thoughts about wider use of the pre-Vatican II Mass?
We’re a church of unity and of common worship. The thrust of Vatican II calls for more active participation on the part of the faithful in the liturgy itself, and from my standpoint trying to move further in that direction would be most helpful. [I suspect H.E. has a view of "active participation" which is focused mostly on people doing stuff, rather than what we here at WDTPRS talk about] On the other hand, the Holy Father is trying to reconcile with the Lefebvrite group, whose members have an attachment to the older Mass. To date, those efforts have not been successsful, but we are always in the business of reconciling, healing and unifying. [So.... we are to expect much more widespread permissions for the older Mass even before the rumored indult??] Perhaps some further accommodation can be found. … The bishop has to decide when and where it will be pastorally effective.

So you would not want a ‘universal indult’ that doesn’t require approval from the bishop?
I would hope [A great use of the "prelatial subjunctive": "I would hope..., I should think..., it could be that I would imagine that...]that somehow there would be this encouragement or directive that the local bishop is able to make decisions about the liturgical life of his diocese.

Ho hum… same ol’ same ol’, it seems to me. Diocesan bishops want to keep all the control over everything.

In the present environment, can you blame them?

Over course, total control in the hands of the diocesan bishops can be good, or very bad, for this issue of the older form of Mass.

I don’t think anyone in his right mind believes that there should be absolutely NO controls in the hands of the bishops, at least in the very beginning of such a liberalization. But must we continue to fear the use of the older form of Mass? After all, if there are so few people (allegedly) who want it, how could they possibly be a force for widespread change?

Also, until we actually see the document, this is still all rumor. Nevertheless, these two people, Mr. Allen and Bp. Skylstad, seem to think it is happening.

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18 Responses to Bp. Skylstad on “Tridentine” indult

  1. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    “After all, if there are so few people (allegedly) who want it, how could they possibly be a force for widespread change?”

    I often try to see the other side of an argument. Though I might not agree with someone on an issue, an understanding of where they are coming from can be helpful in either coming to a compromise or allaying their fears. But this very question is the one I cannot get past without coming to some troubling conclusions about those who stand against Papa’s plans.

    I just wish the announcement would come soon. I’m going nuts in anticipation.

    -Stu

  2. Pes says:

    The bishop has to decide when and where it will be pastorally effective.

    This confuses me. How can use of the classic Missal not be “pastorally effective”? The Mass is the Mass. The 1962 Missal is just as “valid” as the current version. We are still joined to Christ’s eternal sacrifice to the Father. Even if I were to go to Mars, and hear a Martian priest say Mass for Martians with the 1962 Missal, I would still be in its grace and be nourished.

    So what do they mean by “pastorally effective”?

  3. Andy says:

    “Pastorally effective” for them means “out of the way”.
    From their standpoint the traditional Mass is most
    pastorally effective when it either nonexistant, or, if it must exist, at least shoved off into a corner somewhere so as to
    keep all those pesky traddies quiet out of the way.

  4. Brian Murphy says:

    “We’re a church of unity and of common worship.”

    Honestly when I go from one Novus Ordo to another I don’t see much in the way of unity or common worship.

  5. Father Arsenius says:

    If memory serves me, there are no indult Masses in Skylstad’s diocese.

  6. What Andy said, and…

    +Spokane’s remarks are typical AmChurch gobbledygook. Reminds me of talking to Bishop Wilton Gregory in person 15 years ago.

    Translating his words into plain English:

    1. I hate this Mass but think it’s nice to be condescending to traditionalists – at least it sort of makes us look good. I’ll do it if Rome makes me but…

    2. No, I don’t want a universal indult that overrides me, because I hate this Mass.

    Regarding ‘participation’, blah blah, what actually goes on in the Novus Ordo, as a good friend recently described it to me, is the same as in the 1950s when the dead-silent (or decorated with unliturgical novena hymns) Irish-style Tridentine Low Mass was the American norm. The people trudge in, stand silently (putting up with the stupid ‘music ministry’ singing at them and never singing along) and get their obligation over with, and then leave as soon as possible, even right after Communion. About the only difference now is just about everybody goes to Communion, prepared (fasting and in the state of grace) or probably more often not (because nobody taught them better).

    Right or wrong, chances are if the average guy in Washington state wants to feel ‘unity’, like he ‘belongs’ to something, he goes to all the Seahawks home games; he doesn’t want butterfly banners and some second-rate Peter, Paul and Mary singing saccharine fake folk songs at him in church.

  7. Jordan Potter says:

    “If memory serves me, there are no indult Masses in Skylstad’s diocese.”

    You are correct, Father. Bishop Skylstad even says so in the John Allen interview.

  8. billsykes says:

    Rehearse for me again what then Cardinal Ratzinger
    said a few years ago about national bishops’ conferences …

  9. RBrown says:

    Bp Skylstad is yet another bishop for whom the title of Bob Woodward’s new book is appropriate. Men like him are living in a fantasyland of liberal catholicism, and so they refuse to recognize that what they favor has produce little except disaster. Almost no vocations. Scandals. Sunday Communicants thumbing their noses at Catholic doctrine.

    For them “pastoral” doesn’t refer to propagating the faith and deepening it. It means smiling a lot and shaking hands after mass.

    I might also recommend that he read “The Spirit of the Liturgy” to see what JRatzinger has to say about active participation.

  10. RBrown says:

    “We’re a church of unity and of common worship. The thrust of Vatican II calls for more active participation on the part of the faithful in the liturgy itself, and from my standpoint trying to move further in that direction would be most helpful. On the other hand, the Holy Father is trying to reconcile with the Lefebvrite group, whose members have an attachment to the older Mass. To date, those efforts have not been successful, but we are always in the business of reconciling, healing and unifying. Perhaps some further accommodation can be found. … The bishop has to decide when and where it will be pastorally effective.”

    Here are some statistics on how Bp Skylstad has been “pastorally effective”:

    When he was appointed to Spokane in 1990 there were:

    75,132 Catholics and 87 diocesan priests.

    In 2004 after 14 years of his pastoral genius there were:

    86,721 Catholics* and 69 priests.

    ______

    * Although it is an increase, nevertheless, the percent of Catholics dropped from 12.6% to 12.0%.

  11. Séamas says:

    Father Arsenius,

    Are there any indult masses in the Baker diocese?

  12. John Mastai says:

    “After all, if there are so few people (allegedly) who want it, how could they possibly be a force for widespread change?”

    Very good point Father!

    Also, the bishops (de jure sed non de facto) use of “control” over the Liturgy is well evidenced in the outrageous Novus Ordo smorgasbord which ranges from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous depending on the celebrant. I.E. = no [voluntary] control. Except, of course, if you’ve got a little too much lace on the alb and too little fabric on the chasuble!

  13. It seems to me there really needs to be an honest look at the theology behind the Mass. There always seems to be several areas where the theology of the Mass (Tridentine vs. Novus Ordo) are just completely different. I mean, this difference of an altar attached to the wall vs. totally free altar, priest facing towards the people vs. people facing same direction fo the people, extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharst being Deacons vs. extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharst being laymen, minor orders vs. not having them. I am not saying that the Novus Ordo did away with the old theology, but in practice, there are some huge differences, that really make me wonder about the actual rite of the Novus Ordo (I attend the Novsu Ordo all the time). If the Novus Ordo really was developed and implemented with the idea of catering to Protestants, shouldn’t there really be a complete re-examination of the rite? I hate to use the term “break from Tradition” but the more I learn about these both rites, the more I am seeing problems the theology behind the Novus Ordo. Or am I just off my rocker?

  14. fr.franklyn says:

    The Archbishop doesn’t get it and many others along with him.They,and some traditionalists,believe that it is a gesture to reconcile the SSPX.They have to face the fact that bringing back the SSPX is secondary.Benedict is going to allow the TLM becsuse he beleives the TLM should never have been banned.And he also believes the NO vaid snd orthodox as it maybe wasNOT what VII inteneded.When it comes to the Council the TLM is more in accord with it than the NO.

  15. genevieve says:

    When will they quit–probably not until they die. But as liberals age they must become depressed when they look around and see the failure of all they fought for!!

  16. anony mous says:

    Bishop Skylstad belongs in jail.

  17. That sort of comment does no good for anybody.

  18. RBrown says:

    “It seems to me there really needs to be an honest look at the theology behind the Mass. There always seems to be several areas where the theology of the Mass (Tridentine vs. Novus Ordo) are just completely different. I mean, this difference of an altar attached to the wall vs. totally free altar, priest facing towards the people vs. people facing same direction fo the people, extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharst being Deacons vs. extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharst being laymen, minor orders vs. not having them. I am not saying that the Novus Ordo did away with the old theology, but in practice, there are some huge differences, that really make me wonder about the actual rite of the Novus Ordo (I attend the Novsu Ordo all the time). If the Novus Ordo really was developed and implemented with the idea of catering to Protestants, shouldn’t there really be a complete re-examination of the rite? I hate to use the term “break from Tradition” but the more I learn about these both rites, the more I am seeing problems the theology behind the Novus Ordo. Or am I just off my rocker?”

    Cardinal Ratzinger has said and written that the Novus Ordo is a break in Catholic liturgical tradition. I suggest his Memoirs and the Spirit of the Liturgy.