An SMS on the “Tridentine” Motu Proprio

I get lots of text messages on my busy cellphone each day. They are cheaper than making a phone call and far more discreet.

Here is one I got this morning:

Fama fert Litteras motu proprio dandas scriptas iam esse et mox promulgandas. Sed mox quid sit nescio. Spes autem non confundit.

What is this all about?

Rumor has it that the Motu Proprio is already written and is to be promulgated soon. What "soon" means, however, I don’t know. Still, our hope is not leaving us deluded.

That SMS is the third confirmation I have gotten. So, I feel safer about saying what I am piecing together. Remember: this is based reliable sources but it is still supposition on my part. I sift the exaggerated stuff out and try to get a consistent picture. In no special order…

1) The document will definitely be a Motu Proprio. (That means it will be from the Pope and not a document of a Congregation or joint document issued by different dicasteries.)

2) At the beginning of November it was in its final draft, after four revisions.

3) During the third week of November it was suggested that the document might come out in about three weeks. This would put it around… well… now.

4) It will authorize private celebration of Mass with the 1962 Missal by any priest as he chooses. Public Masses will be regulated by the bishop.

5) What a "private" Mass is will be defined in the document. A number will be established for what constitutes a "private" Mass. Provided the group is that size, no permission of the bishop will be necessary.

6) If I understand it right, and I admit I might be confused, there might be something in the document about greater numbers of people (than what would constitute a "private" Mass) being allowed to attend without the bishop’s permission so long as a Mass in the Novus Ordo is first provided for those who want it. I am not sure about this element, but it might be a prudent solution. If I am right about this element of the document, the idea would be to ensure that a priest doesn’t simply stop offering people the chance to attend the Novus Ordo and thus force everyone to go to the older form. See what I mean?

7) The document will stress the obligation of bishops to be "generous" in allowing the older form of Mass to be offered publicly with language much strong than that in the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei adflicta" of John Paul II.

A few days ago I jokingly said that it would be just my luck that the thing would be released on a day when I was away from Rome and not able to get online. Well… I am going out of town for a couple days on Friday. Let’s take this cvm grano salis but … hmmm!

About the number of people that might constitute a "private" Mass…. Whereas the older idea of "private" was definitely more restrictive, the new document will more than likely suggest a number.

I haven’t heard what that number is.

You might remember that I reported on a battle in the Congregation over the number of people. In October I wrote:

"the "anti-liberalizing" party, rushed to work on attaching restrictive modifications (for example, the need to raise the number of those making the request from 30 to 100),…"

That would surely have pertained to public Masses, not private. So, let’s think about this.

If the anti-derestriction party wanted, say 100 signatures to get a "public" Mass, then you might guess that Mass for a group smaller than 100 would be considered "private". However, 100 would be far too irritating to imagine for the anti-derestrictionists. Anti-derestrictionists would want a very small maximum number for a private Mass, right? The battle I mention here was obviously about some earlier draft. Nevertheless, since 30 was mentioned above, maybe we can imagine that the number permitted for a Mass to be considered "private" might be 30. Let’s hope that it is much higher. I would say… well… just off the top of my head… perhaps a maximum for private Mass of … 1500? More than 1500 and we would need to get the bishop involved. I think that’s reasonable, don’t you? o{];¬)

So, it looks like this Motu Proprio will fill in some of the weak spots in the older Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei adflicta". That M.P. would have worked if more bishops had actually opened their hearts and minds and been generous to people who wanted the older forms – in spite of the fact that traditionalists can sometimes be well… like we know they can be. Human nature being what it is, that was doomed to be not quite enough. I am guessing that the new M.P. will make structural changes to the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" and reshape its mandates. Remember: His Eminence Card. Castrillion Hoyos is President there and he has a lot more time now that he is no longer Prefect of Clergy. He has energy and good will toward the whole issue, too.

In any event, something is in motion. Let’s keep breathing and reasoning in the meantime.

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125 Responses to An SMS on the “Tridentine” Motu Proprio

  1. anon says:

    I wonder if the above, while it is an extraordinary (may I say, inspired?) example of prudence, I wonder if it will be to the SSPX’s liking, as some restrictions (albeit far fewer than EDA) would still be in place.

  2. Brian Mershon says:

    This would definitely be good news for priests, but what about the laymen? This seems like a a lot hubaloo about nothing if what you say comes to pass.

    It certainly won’t give my family access to any more holy day Masses or weekday Masses than we already have now.

    Let us pray that some new canonical structure is formed for the SSPX soon. This type of motu proprio will certainly not meet the needs, wants nor desires of the SSPX leadership either–nor the FSSP nor the ICR either–although the latter two will not say so publicly of course.

  3. Augustine says:

    “Public Masses will be regulated by the bishop.”

    I hope this isn’t so.

  4. anon says:

    If “here might be something in the document about greater numbers of people (than what would constitute a “private” Mass) being allowed to attend without the bishop’s permission so long as a Mass in the Novus Ordo is first provided for those who want it” is true, then so long as a parish has 1 NO, they can offer the TM without any special permission for as many people who might show up. This is DEFINITELTY workable.

  5. Fr, John Pecoraro says:

    If these limitations pan out as they are stated here, I imagine that it might be difficult for priests of small rural parishes to pray the LM with out saying more than 3 masses in a single Sunday. I have a main Church and a mission parish which bring me to the limit allowed by my bishop, it seems I can’t say a private mass on Sunday, and I probably would not have enough petitioners to meet the requirements. It would make more sense to me if a percentage of parishioners was used to determine allowance rather than a hard number. Does this make sense? … early in the morning…coffee…must…drink zzzzzzz

  6. It’s hard to speculate about a document that we’ve not seen, but I do hope that the emphasis won’t be so much on a priest’s right to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal and will be more on the increased availibility of the 1962 Mass to the laity.
    I hope too that there’s some provision for training priests in the use of the 1962 Missal – I don’t like the idea of half-trained priests just picking up the Missal and trying figure out the rubrics, etc…

  7. Brian: I don’t agree with your assessment. I think this would be very good news for laypeople. Sure, it seems to favor priests rather than laity. But Mass is celebrated by the priest, after all, not lay people. As for availability of more Masses for you and others… well… you are not suggesting that priests should be constrained to say the older form, are you?

    o{];¬)

  8. Fr. John Pecoraro: Now that you have had some coffee… I fully understand your dilemma. I am not sure how the percentage thing would work, but that is an interesting idea. I am also pretty sure that, if I am right about that point 6) (above), then you would be able to shift your schedule in such a way that one of the Masses could be “Tridentine”, provided you earlier had a Novus Ordo. Again, that point is the fuzziest of them and I am not sure about it at all.

  9. Zadok: I share your concern about poorly prepared priests. Someone might have good will, but bad ideas about what must be done and, as a result, irritate people and make a hash of things. Still, a document can’t cover everything. I suppose the local bishop will have to make sure that the priest is saying the old Mass properly… goodness gracious how ironic is that … just as he ought to be riding shotgun on the new Mass. Right?

  10. RBrown says:

    You’re onto something.

    1. We know that the document must:

    a. Provide the opportunity for any priest to use the 1962 Missal for any private mass (e.g. student priest in Rome, professor at a seminary, or a priest on his day off). This satisfies a priest who wants to use the 1962 Missal.

    b. Provide the old mass for any group (at least 30) who want it. This satisfies the people who want the 1962 Missal.

    2. These (a & b) together will, I am told, satisfy the SSPX.

    3. On the other hand, what about a priest who wants to say the Old Mass for a small crowd (less than 30, say at a daily mass) who don’t want it? Or a priest who wants to say the Old Mass on Sunday? I doubt there will be too many cases of either, but it seems to me that the answer is that on both days there must also be a Novus Ordo that is said.

    4. But there seems that a hole still remains. What about a large group in a parish that wants one of the Sunday masses to be said using the 1962 Missal–but the priest refuses to provide it?

  11. RBrown says:

    But there seems that a hole still remains

    Should read: But it seems . . .

    I want to add that in #4 there would seem to be no pastoral solution, simply because parishioners would have to go somewhere else, and that undermines the concept that the parish is the basic community.

  12. RBrown: “4. But there seems that a hole still remains. What about a large group in a parish that wants one of the Sunday masses to be said using the 1962 Missal—but the priest refuses to provide it?”

    Okay… this is sort of what I was kidding around with in my response to Brian (above). At this point, I suppose, His Excellency the bishop would need to step in and either a) say the Mass himself or b) prevail on… even assign… priests to do this. Bishops can do that. They can tell a priest that his new assignment is to take care of the community who want the older form of Mass. “So, Father, learn it and do it.”

  13. Ray from MN says:

    The reason that I am in favor of this Motu Proprio is
    not so much that I love the old Latin Mass, which I
    do, but that I am tired of being subjected to
    extemporaneous interpretations of the N.O. Mass by
    priests who feel no obligation to adhere to the
    existing requirements of the G.I.R.M.

    If push comes to shove, I would rather see the first
    problem resolved before a lot of sloppy Tridentine
    celebrations start showing up in our churches.

    The Mass is Sacred and should be celebrated that way!

  14. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    I find myself disapponted if the indult says what you passed on.Regulation of the liturgy is an obligation of the bishop but it has been shown that many have an inner dislike of the TLM for whatever reason.Thus to say that a bishop mustapprove of a public celebration only makes the TLM a gnostic type of liturgy only done in”private” whateverprivate is said to mean.Would that the motu prorio say that a priest may celebrate the 62missal publicly without the bishop’s permission as long as that parish has the NO as the normative liturgy.

  15. As far as I knew, any priest could say the 1962 for a private Mass (with a server or a few people) anytime he wants to already. This doesn’t seem strong enough… Bishops that hate the 62 Missal will basically enforce the 3 Mass limit on Sunday (saying they need to say 3 NO Masses), not assign priests to locations that have more than the 100? minimum, and use the excuse that priests don’t know how to say the Mass, etc, etc… they will take the passive crying stance to basically do nothing..
    Ah if only Bishops pride didn’t get in the way…

  16. fr.franklyn: Sure. However, there has to be some way of regulating this. I agree with the “gnostic” problem inherent in “private”. That is a very good point. Still, if the maximum number of people for “private” remains sufficiently high, that could go very far to minimize our concern.

  17. Tim Ferguson says:

    I’ve got my Code at hand, open to the General Norms section, ready to do some dissecting when this MP is promulgated. Some brief points that are relevant no matter how its worded: c. 77 establishes that privileges (and this indult would be a privilege) is to be interpreted broadly, that is favoring those for whom the privilege is given. If this indult is given specifically to priests, then their freedom to chose (amazing how politics have made some perfectly acceptable phrases feel odious in the mouth) which Missal they use would have to be broadly interpreted. If the indult is given specifically to “the faithful” then the desires of the faithful will determine how broadly to interpret this. It could be that the indult will be given with a certain amount of equivocation, as has been done with the indult thus far (e.g. some priests are given the indult to offer Mass with the 1962 Missal, like Fr. Z; in other cases, a parish is given an indult to have Mass celebrated with the 1962 Missal and priests are assigned to offer it, as in Detroit)

    Remember too, when it comes, canon 36 – the words used will be important, not what the New York Times or the BBC says the MP states. Read it carefully before reacting. Hopefully this MP will be thoroughly vetted by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts to ensure that it does precisely what the Holy Father wants it to do. One of the consistent problems towards the end of John Paul’s reign was that documents were issued without careful attention by canonists, and so major loopholes were allowed to stand and could only be closed up with great difficulty and odd canonical wrangling. Precision matters!

  18. Tim: Thanks for that sound comment. Question for you: My celebret from the Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei” says I have the “faculty” to celebrate also using the 1962 Missale. It doesn’t have any reference an “indult”. If that faculty is in the category of an indult, would all the normal faculties priests (and bishops and cardinals) have also “indults”? Also, I know that some draft of the M.P. did make a tour of the Pont. Council for Legislative Texts. I can’t imagine that if changes were made to subsequent drafts it did not go there again.

  19. Brian Mershon says:

    Father et al,

    We have one parish with 2,300 families and one of the two assigned priests says the TLM at 5 p.m. on Sundays to allow for the four other Novus Ordos and the Spanish Mass on Sat/Sunday.

    We don’t have Holy Day TLMs because the parish priest and his assistant must offer the Novus Ordo and there is not time slot.

    There is one other parish where the priest is awaiting the motu proprio, but with one other assistant and over 2,000 families and his other pastoral obligations, he will have time only on his off day to offer the TLM.

    For families who desire an integral, unified, peaceful spiritual life based upon the the traditional liturgical calendar and feasts, I am more and more coming to the conclusion they must seek out the FSSP, ICR or SSPX communities (assuming they are soon reconciled) rather than do the back-and-forth thing with the new liturgical calendar and the traditional one.

    Maybe I’m wrong. I just don’t see too many priests where I am going the extra mile to make things convenient or accessible for their parishioners, so I am certain the TLM crowd will continue to be treated as “second class citizens” for a long-time to come.

    Everyone already knows the priest can offer the TLM privately. Why do we need a document acknowledging that?

  20. Brian says:

    From a letter written to the Pope:
    “Much media attention appears to revolve around certain bishop’s fears that they would not be able to refuse permission to their priests to offer the Tridentine Mass.

    This would certainly be unfortunate.

    We would humbly recommend that if a bishop has concerns about the propriety of one of his priests offering the Tridentine Mass, that bishop should have full access to the Ecclesia Dei commission.

    Based on a bishop’s written and well-documented petition, the Ecclesia Dei commission should then be required, within a reasonable time period, to respond to the bishop’s request to disallow an individual priest from offering the Tridentine Mass. It would only be fair, of course, that the priest in question be permitted to continue offering said Latin Masses until the Ecclesia Dei commission completes its examination of the bishop’s plea. Such examination would justly weigh the evidence submitted by the bishop against the clear intent of the Motu Proprio in question.

    IF the bishop has made a clear case, based on Canon Law and the express desires of the Motu Proprio, then by all means, the bishop should maintain the authority to replace that individual priest with another priest who is capable and willing to continue offering the Tridentine Mass in that location.”

  21. Paul Haley says:

    If numbers are involved and the local bishop’s approval is still required, if there is no apostolic administration set up for the traditonal rite of sacraments, this document will be a huge disappointment. The bishops have been the problem all along and it appears they will still have the opportunity to work their mischief. How is it that legalisms (numbers) become involved in the Sacrifice of the Mass? I say free it up and make the bishops impotent in the process.

  22. Richard says:

    “Okay… this is sort of what I was kidding around with in my response to Brian (above). At this point, I suppose, His Excellency the bishop would need to step in and either a) say the Mass himself or b) prevail on… even assign… priests to do this. Bishops can do that. They can tell a priest that his new assignment is to take care of the community who want the older form of Mass. “So, Father, learn it and do it.””

    Can anyone imagine, say, Cardinal Mahoney, Bishops Tod Brown or Robert Lynch doing this? Short of a gun being held to their head?

    This makes me think that suggestions of some more beefed up enforcement structure may be on to something.

  23. Tim Ferguson says:

    Fr. John,

    faculties and indults and privileges frequently overlap. There are some faculties that derive from the nature of the person (e.g. a priest has the faculty to bless), some from the nature of the office (a pastor has the faculty to witness faculties and indults and privileges frequently overlap. There are some faculties that are given by law to a person (e.g. a priest has the faculty to bless), some given by law to an office, and thereby the officeholder (a pastor has the faculty to witness the marriages of his parishioners), and some from the free grant of a superior (most parochial vicars are given faculties to witness marriages), and these can be given habitually or specifically. Those faculties which derive from the nature of the person or of the office can’t truly be considered privileges in the sense of c. 76, since they’re not given “by a special act for the benefit of certain persons,” they’re given more generally.

    An indult is frequently the means by which a privilege is given. An indult is simply a decree that grants something (as opposed to a decree which revokes something or a decree which decides something). For a handy understanding of the terminology and concepts, a great resource is John Huels’ book Empowerment for Ministry, which starts with a complete and useful excursus on faculties and delegation.

  24. anonymous says:

    With regard to the canonical vetting Father mentioned above, and at the risk of being a mere rumor monger, is it interesting to menthion that Abp. Burke may have been in Rome in the last week or so?

  25. El Jefe says:

    I wonder if public/private could be interpreted differently, where “public” just menas a general mass for the parish-at-large, while “private” simply means a mass for a specific community or organization within the parish. If the distinction is read that way, then all any parish would have to do is get the priest to recognizes a “TLM Club” along the lines of a Men’s Club, CYO and so forth. Then, the TLM could be celebrated regularly as part of that club’s activities. — even if the club was just one or two people ‘officially’. Just a thought, but unless the document to be explicitly mentions a number or percentage — which I think would be a bad idea — this might be a more useful way to think about it. Again, just a thought.

  26. El Jefe: Interesting. I think in my parish I would schedule plenary meetings of The 1962 Missale Romanum Study Circle every Sunday with follow up meetings for the subcommittees, say, every day during the week, perhaps in the morning around, say, 7 am or 8.

  27. Father: Please try and schedule one of those meetings at 5:15 p.m. during the
    week. ;-)

  28. Barb says:

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

    If the points listed are actually in the Motu Proprio, the document will
    NOT help people in the Springfield, Missouri area. NO priest, I repeat, NO priest
    in this area will learn to say the Traditional liturgies. In fact, according
    to an eye witness who reported to me what he saw and heard, the pastor of one
    of the largest Springfield parishes said he would NEVER allow THAT Mass in his
    parish. At the same meeting, at which the Vicar General of the diocese was
    present, the priests were *all* discussing how they are going to get around the
    latest mandate from the CDW that lay people are not to purify sacred vessels.
    The VG said to them that he just wanted to know what they all would be doing so
    he could do the same!

    We also do not need priests hateful to tradition having the door opened for them
    to celebrate the Traditional liturgies – which, by the way, should include ALL
    the sacraments of the 1962 books. The attitude of “anything goes” by these
    priests will kill the TLM forever.

    As it currently is, my husband and I lack the resources to drive the 3 hour one
    way trip to the Traditional Mass except for very few occasions. We are unable to
    move out of the area either. Personally, I find it utterly schizophrenic to have
    one foot in the Traditional calendar, which I do because I pray the 1962 Divine
    Office, and one foot in the Novus Ordo world. It takes all I have in me mentally
    to get through Sunday Mass at the local Carmelite chapel. The constant yadda
    yadda yadda (no silence in the Novus Ordo)plus the racket before and after
    Mass at times is about more than I can bear. And this place is the best place to
    attend Mass in the area! Believe me, I offer it all up for getting the privilege
    of the Traditional Mass and sacraments in our diocese.

    What we really need in the USA is for Bishop Rifan to be able to expand his
    Personal Apostolic Administration to north America. A number of priests want
    this very badly. Nevertheless, even though I am exceedingly pessimistic that
    the Motu Proprio as outlined by you will be of any benefit to some of us
    personally, it is an important step forward. The Pope must be sure that there
    are no loopholes, no time bombs in it. Also, it must be viewed as a FIRST STEP
    toward the restoration of the liturgy, not the final one. We all have to
    pray for the Pope as he has asked us to do.

  29. Greg Hessel says:

    Barb,

    Do you say the Divine office in Latin or English? What version do you have (one
    from the Fraternity of St Peter)?

  30. Greg says:

    Fr Mcafee,

    Why don’t you appeal to Bishop Loverde personally to be able to have the TLM
    on Sundays? I don’t know why he would turn you down.

  31. Barb: I have great sympathy for you in the circumstances you describe. I will offer some advice. Being so very negative about these things will not win over any priests to being favorable toward celebrating the older form of Mass. If resistant priests are all your hand has been dealt, then that is the hand you have to play. You need to win them over. One at a time.

  32. thomas tucker says:

    What about other changes to the Novus Ordo Mass, e.g. mandating ad orientem
    posture?
    Any changes in the offing such as that?

  33. Greg says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,

    Would you say most priests don’t really care about the
    Indult rather than are negative towards it?

  34. Greg: I think most parish priests are good men, busy with so many things that they don’t think too much about it. They don’t know it, or haven’t used or seen it. It is not on their screens. Some will hate the idea, for sure. But they are a challenge, not an obstacle. In the end, I think this is going to happen. With some encouragement they can be brought around. That might be all they need, a little encouragement.

  35. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Greg,we will see.If there is a specific number-limit given in the motu proprio,100 for instance,and you have 100 people in attendance then one more person comes in,must you switch to the NO?This is silly but realistic.It CAN happen because it has happened.After the imposition of the NO the bishop of Saginaw ,the late bishop Reh,ordered all masses to be said in the NO in English.He made an exception to the private celebration of a priest as long as it was in the early morning before 7:00.The priest was allowed to have a server.This was the NO in Latin.If by chance someone should wander into the church the priest had to swith to english at once.So many of these things are so stupid and it is frustrating that responsible people do them.But they do. Any substantial rumor about the Exhortation? The British blog you cited wonders if thids is a record for the delay of the exhortaion after a synod.I realize,and agree,that Benedict’s first liturgical aim is to faithfully implement the council on the liturgy and that means the reform of the reform.But how is that going to be accomplished without the total freedom to responsibly celebrate according to the 62 missal.I believe its effect would be great upon the celebration of the NO.But the bishops dont share Benedicts vision.They think that the NO reverntly celebrated is just fine.They fail to recognize that a radical new theology of worship is behind it.Pope Benedict’s writings on the liturgy should be must episcopal reading.I would wager practically every seminarianhas read them,more than thebishopds and priets who have.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,

    It is interesting that the Motu Proprio may have
    number limits for private versus public Mass. For I
    know of several young priests in the [REMOVED BY FR Z] Diocese
    who already have small \”Latin-Mass congregations\”.
    They usually will email the attendees with the schedule
    of Latin Masses. It has almost a catacombs feel to it
    as usually they do not want the pastor to know.

  37. All: Please be a little careful when talking about what priests are doing when it could cause problems for them.

    Also, kindly consider using a pen name, call it a nom de guerre when posting. I am not a fan of the completely impersonal anonymous comment.

  38. RBrown says:

    If the points listed are actually in the Motu Proprio, the document will NOT help people in the Springfield, Missouri area. NO priest, I repeat, NO priest in this area will learn to say the Traditional liturgies. In fact, according to an eye witness who reported to me what he saw and heard, the pastor of one of the largest Springfield parishes said he would NEVER allow THAT Mass in his parish. At the same meeting, at which the Vicar General of the diocese was present, the priests were all discussing how they are going to get around the latest mandate from the CDW that lay people are not to purify sacred vessels. The VG said to them that he just wanted to know what they all would be doing so he could do the same!

    The first step needed in Springfield is to replace the liberal bishop, who is past retirement age. Any new man will have difficulty because Bishop Leibrecht had a 20 year run as the ordinary.

    I was told that he said that he would treat any priest who wanted to use the 1962 Missal as if he had been convicted of homosexual misconduct with altar boys.

    But then again, most of those priests seem to have been treated pretty well.

  39. thomas tucker says:

    Going back to my question above- Fr. Z, are there any expectations
    that there will be changes in the NO Mass other than a new translation?
    Is there any expectation that eventually the NO Mass will be “renewed”"
    to resemble more the Tridentine Mass? Or is it expected that we will simply have
    these two Masses in the Latin Rite to choose from?

  40. RBrown,

    Absolutely, the first parish around here that says a regular reverent Tridentine mass on Sunday gets me. I think there are a fair number of people like this because when it’s all said and done, parish life around here (and I suspect in many places in the US) is zilch. I can move in a minute.

    Generally, the more community is talked about, the less of it there is. This has been the case as long as I’ve been Catholic, greater than 20 years. Parish life has been heavily deconstructed by a lot of regrettable factors and I, like many people, stand in mass every week next to someone from a pool of everchanging people who I don’t know, don’t care if I know, and don’t share anything with except attendance at mass on that particular day.

    They should drop the handshake too, as it is a complete silliness, shaking hands with someone you don’t know, don’t have an aspirations to know, and may never see again. It’s not community in any sense of the term, it’s not symbolic of anything in most minds, it’s just an intermission without popcorn and it disrupts the mass.

  41. Alex says:

    Please note, that if these are the mere contents of a supposed “Universal” Indult
    Motu-Proprio, the Society of St. Pius X will not accept it as a fulfillment of their
    demands, and rightly so.

    A m.p. like this, merely redefining the numbers to attain a “special right” for an
    exclusive group to the passed-down Roman Rite, could even be considered insulting and a
    disappointment to many sincere “traditionalist” Roman Catholics.

    It will in no way solemnize what a Cardinals’ Commission in 1986 (cfr. Cardinal Stickler)
    concluded: that the eternal privilege of Quo Primum with the right to the “Tridentine”
    liturgy for every Latin Church priest, was never revoked.

    I find the content disappointing to say the least. It’s another version of the 1984 indult, still
    considering the desire for this Mass to be “special” and needing “special permission”.

  42. Alex says:

    It is unjust, that the passed-down Roman Rite is not considered for all Roman Catholic faithful, but still merely for a small minority in need of special toleration.

    This content will rather harm than improve relations with the SSPX, I expect, unless the SSPX Superior General and Assistants have other plans (like attaining the promised Personal Prelature Status they actually deserve).

    A priest willing to say the Roman Rite passed-down Mass on Sunday must have this possibility, even with a non-agreeing bishop, even with a congregation at first uncomfortable with it.

    The public liturgy is something the Church prescribes, not the whim of local bishops or parish councils and lay soviets (I am myself a layman). The Traditional Mass is good enough for
    Sunday obligation. Those opposed to it, are in 90 % of the cases for reasons not in accord with
    Catholic infallible teaching. These should get rid of in any case, unless they are willing to chadapt themselves to the Church of Rome of all ages.

    Again, issuing guidelines for a special permission will block any possibility of the Roman Rite re-appearing in ordinary parish life. It even blocks all hopes, as our oh so tolerant, liberal, good, socialist, well-meaning bishops will say:
    “See, there is no Quo Primum. I AM THE BOSS OF THE LITURGY in MY diocese! I DECIDE”
    Of course with the clause that if a morality issue is at stake, the lay soviet will decide for the diocese, as the bishop is afraid of loosing his appointment by contradicting Humanae Vitae (1968).

    The Tridentine Mass will not be restored, and rather a doomed-beforehand “Reform of the Reform” will appear, eventually even touching Indult sites by obligations to reform (omitting the Last Gospel, omitting the Judica me psalm, omitting the Placeat tibi).

  43. PMcGrath says:

    This is going to be a disaster.

    It hinges on the “private/public” distiction Fr. Z. mentions at Nos. 4,5,6 above, and the Diocesan Chancery attitudes reflected in some of some of our commentators above, particularly Barb’s.

    Mahony, Brown, Liebknecht et al. want Tradition completely suppressed. We know that. By their fruits we know them.

    These bishops will allow NO (that’s ZERO, no Novus Ordo) public Tridentine Masses.

    Unless the Holy Father in the Motu Proprio publicly berates the rebel bishops for not allowing “generous” use of the Tridentine Mass as JP2 requested in Eccesia Dei, these rebel bishops will do all they can to suppress it, the same way that the Springfield MO priests are trying to subvert the no-purification-by-EHMCs rule, as Barb alluded to above.

    Unless we have that kind of a smackdown, the Motu Proprio is worse than useless.

  44. Alex says:

    Don’t dream of extra TLMs by the same pastor, under these predicted contents of the de-restrictionizing, non-liberalizing, motu-proprio.

    Indeed the SSPX will prove an haven for those Roman Catholic families seeking stability and seeking to know what to expect (and not weird 6 pm Mass times and stuff).

    That priests cannot handle it, Mr Mershon, because of time is a non-argument. Wherever there is a will to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, there is the possibility to do so.

    I know a traditional priest in Europe, in his 50s, who is able to offer 5 Masses every Sunday, while crossing around the continent by car.

    I knew a chaplain serving, in his 70s, 5 Mass centres every weekend, for twenty years.
    While never complaining. Parish clergy “willing” to celebrate “the old way”, but not doing so yet (secretly or openly) are basically not very convinced of the necessity of the passed-down Latin rite and prefer to please men (the bishops and “the Vatican”) rather than God. They won’t change to militant Roman priests only because of this motu proprio. Possibly some old, “obedience is obedience” priests of the old school (ordained before 1960) might, but I am unsure. Even they – if celebrating traditionally – have often found a way to “explain away” the necessity of a clear profession of doctrinal Tradition and of the passed-down “classical” Roman Rite.

    The motu proprio will, if these contents are correctly prophecized, not change a lot in the disastrous environment of the average post-conciliar parish (hosting clown, child, death, gereonto-, and homo- Masses) nor in the average May 1968-generation occupied parish soviets dominating dioceses, orders, parishes, chapels even Vatican dicasteries.

    This motu proprio will not be a clear sign of benevolence towards Sacred Tradition of the
    universal Catholic Church, nor of fidelity to Roman Rite tradition at all.
    It will prove ambiguous and tolerant at most.

  45. Alex says:

    My disappointment all co-incides with the quite shocking statement by Benedict XVI that :
    [In the Blue Mosque], “…I turned to the One Lord of Heaven and Earth, merciful Father of the whole mankind. May all believers recognize themselves as His creatures and give witness of true brotherhood.” Benedict XVI, General Audience, December 6, 2006.

    Why is all given to Orthodox by e.g. the Balamand Declaration, but not even a ring finger stretched out towards the “evil traditionalists” by declaring a never forbidden Rite to be effectively free and free for use to every Latin priest? Is this too much?

    No. If Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae could be – rightfully – issued, like Redemptionis Sacramentum, then a liberation of the “old” Roman Mass can be too.

    If only benevolence and the will were inclined towards sacred Tradition of the depositium fidei.

    The liturgy is a locus theologiae too, you know. That’s why modernists hate the traditional
    liturgy.

  46. Fr, you probably won’t like my post much because things look different 5000 miles up where you are, but this is how things really look at this point in time where the laity are. There’s a huge disconnect between where the powers-that-be are and where the bulk of the laity is, whether you’d like to believe it or not.

    I’m not holding out much hope for a reform of the reform at this point. I think it’s all talk, and that’s regrettable because the Church is going to lose people on that account. Many people currently just walk away because there is little holding them anymore.

    I know far more ex-Catholics than Catholics (by a ratio of greater than five to one and increasing) and I don’t think that’s going to change. And I know far more non-practicing Catholics than practicing ones, too. And I know many more muslims, buddhists and the like than ever(in small town Michigan!) and that’s only going to increase as the native population picks it up for its novelty. They will be beyond our reach in a way we’ve never experience in the US.

    The blatant degredation of the mass and the incomprehensible vagueness of catholic teaching, as completely surrounds us, will simply guarantee that we, as a group, remain a movie prop and not much else to many people. We may even become a target for some. Sorry, but that’s how it is.

    Pointedly, one can be a nice moral guy sitting home one’s undershorts drinking beer, so why go to church to get the obligatory homily which is completedly forgettable, pretend you’re a community with people you don’t know and listen to vile and purile attempts at music performances by amateurs? The dynamics are very, very clear for many people. Honestly, it’s very difficult for most people to be able to *see* what the mass is through all this. They lose their faith in the Holy Sacrifice because it’s being held in the dump. Wouldn’t you?

    The only thing that will change this for a minority who are willing to seek it out is the possibility of (semi-clandestine) small cells of people who can talk about religion with each other because they “get” it, having remembered what the Mass really is. Unfortunately these will only be available to a few and seldom in rural areas. And they may be persecuted a bit, ok, a lot.

    We are going to go the way of Europe, only we largely don’t even have decent buildings as memorials of what was once here. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am, unfortunately.

    The prescriptions of V2 which were intended to stem these problems only guaranteed that the problems would occur. Self-fulfilment in the most exquisitely damaging form.

  47. PMGrath, above, said this would be a disaster. Yes. It will be yet one more aggravation to endure and one more chance for the bishops to show their true colors. Already, we don’t trust them and this won’t help.

  48. RBrown says:

    Please note, that if these are the mere contents of a supposed “Universal” Indult Motu-Proprio, the Society of St. Pius X will not accept it as a fulfillment of their demands, and rightly so.

    Yes and no.

    1. I was told by a German friend who is very, very close to the SSPX that those conditions are acceptable. Basically, it will free up the old mass for every SSPX situation.

    2. The status of the SSPX, however, will not have been resolved. Perhaps it will be turned into a personal prelature, which will all but tell the bishops “hands off”. But the SSPX will never unite with Rome as long as the local ordinary has the final say in every liturgical situation–including language and missal. The putative MP would relieve bishops of certain liturgical authority.

    3. If the MP is promulgated as anticipated and contains what is anticipated, then I think it significant that it will come out before the Synodal document.

    4. I think it will also be a significant (and much welcome) exercise of papal liturgical authority, which has been dormant since Paul VI engineered the destruction of the Latin liturgy.

  49. El Jefe says:

    As long as everyone is prognosticating, let me add my two cents:

    There will be three categories (excluding SSPX from the calculations):

    Some priests will figure out a way to say TLM, and some parishes will encourage them.

    Other priests will not want to say TLM, and the parish won’t want them too.

    Sometimes there will be a disconnect between the priest and the parish on the issue

    At first, things will be messy, but eventually those of like minds will find each other, and at some parishes TLM will be regularly offered, and at others unheard of.

    And that will probably be about it.

  50. I think by and large, nothing will happen in most of the country. In fact, I think most of the laity will be totally oblivious to it, as usual, and the bishops will not mention it unless someone puts them in stocks on the Washington Mall.

    Any volunteers?

  51. Barb says:

    Dear Father Z,

    I’m not being negative. I am telling you the exact truth of this situation. I know these local priests and they cannot be won over. That does not mean I do not pray for them. I am close with a priest in the far eastern regions of our diocese. He has been very supportive. But the bishop has put *every* orthodox priest we have on the east side of the diocese – by design, of course. Trust me when I say that I have been at this since 1997 and know all the players very well. You can say the Traditional Mass any time you want – even every day privately. Imagine if you could not do that for months on end. How would you survive?

    Yes, it is true that Bishop Leibrecht told the priests at a priests meeting that he would treat any priest who wanted to say the Traditional Mass the same way he would a homosexual priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor: he would forbid them to say Mass with anyone present with a heartbeat. I am close friends with the priest who raised the issue because he wanted to say the Traditional Mass publicly in our diocese and he was the one who raised the issue with the bishop at that meeting.

    The Divine Office I pray is the Short Breviary from 1962 published by Liturgical Press. I kept it when I left the convent in 1967. When Baronius press comes out with their 1962 version, I plan to get a copy. Unfortunately I am not well versed in Latin so I need an English translation of the psalms.

    God bless all of you.

  52. fbc says:

    I know Barb — I happen to reside in the diocese nearest to hers that happens to have the Latin Mass (generously provided by our good ordinary, Bp. Edward Slattery.) I attend the FSSP parish in this diocese.

    Barb is *not* negative, and she’s not one of those cramped, mean-spirited Trads that people complain so much about. She’s a responsible and level-headed woman of stature and poise. (You’re welcome, Barb.)

    fbc

  53. Ephraem says:

    Concerning the definition of the Private Mass as less than 30: There is no such thing as a private mass in the new CIC. There is only the Missa sine Populo – not without any people but without The People, ie The Parish. So after 30 people have come into Mass do you shut the chapel doors? But doesn’t that offend against the canonical rights of the laity to attend Mass? The whole numbers business is very odd and reflects a growing desperation. It is last ditch effort stuff.

    IN ANY CASE IT WILL BE SIMPLY UNENFORCEABLE!

  54. David says:

    I was received into the Church at Easter this year and I have to say that I am continually astonished by the negative attitude of so many of the Bishops towards the spiritual, moral, and liturgical traditions of the Church. When I first started attending Masses in the West of Scotland whilst I was in the RCIA I thought the description of the Mass from the Catechism – “the source and summit of Christian life” – was no more than a pious exaggeration. It wasn’t until I went to an indult Traditional Latin Mass that I began to understand the truth of that description. Why is it so bloody hard to worship in the way that Catholics have done for at least 1,500 years?

  55. Aq says:

    Card. Arinze met the Pope today at an audience.

  56. surge says:

    Aq correctly notes that Card Arinze shall have an audience this afternoon. Hm.

    Fr Z – what would be your experienced guess on Vatican major announcement processes? Would you expect something like this to be formally presented at a Press Conference, say with Card Arinze, Card Hoyos, and flagged up a few days ahead on the Vatican Daily Bulletin?

    PS Great confusion can be caused by forwarding the above text message to all Cardinals and hierarchs.

  57. ….. private Mass if less than 30 ….. public Mass if over 100 ….. but only if this condition is satisfied ….. and that one is not …..

    I don’t want to believe any of this — that we’re talking seriously of the Church circumscribing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with numeric head counts and bureaucratic jargon to be parsed by the likes of canon lawyers. Nor that so many of our bishops are so petty and mean as such talk assumes.

    Why not expect our Pope, if and when he speaks of this, to speak uncompromisingly and with a clear voice befitting the Vicar of Christ, of a Mass that perpetuates the Sacrifice of the Cross for all bishops and priests and people, at all places and all times?

  58. surge: If and when an M.P. comes, I don’t think it will get a press conference. I would hope so, but I doubt it will. I think it will simply be released. A press conference would have advance notice, for the journalists to know to come. Also, Card. Arinze, in his capacity of Prefect, has regular meetings with the Holy Father. I don’t think we can read much into that.

  59. “Nor that so many of our bishops are so petty and mean as such talk assumes.”

    Henry, many of them are. Look at the evidence in the abuse documents. I stay clear of them. Many of them have more power than good judgement.

  60. I like free discussion, but I need you all to ratchet back the bishop bashing.

  61. Missy says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf:
    This is the first time I visited your site. I really like your emoticon biretta.
    Would you please ask the Immaculata to tell the Holy Father to publish this moto proprio asap?
    We’ve said our Rosaries and need her help. I live in a diocese without the TridentineMass available.
    Thank you,
    Missy Farber, MI

  62. Missy: Indeed. People can with humility, setting aside the jam clenching, pray to Mary for this. Also we can pray to the Holy Father’s principal guardian angel to support him in a special way in making this decision. Always add a prayer of thanksgiving, in advance, for you petitions.

  63. Father Z: I wonder whether you’ve heard what’s being speculated about elsewhere, that the main holdup is discussion whether to maintain separate traditional and Novus Ordo calendars and lectionaries, or whether somehow to combine them.

  64. Demerzel says:

    hmm….go on silent retreat and things seem to happen. Yet it was good using the 1963 Monastic Diurnal on top of what was scheduled.

  65. RBrown says:

    I know Barb—I happen to reside in the diocese nearest to hers that happens to have the Latin Mass (generously provided by our good ordinary, Bp. Edward Slattery.) I attend the FSSP parish in this diocese.

    Barb is not negative, and she’s not one of those cramped, mean-spirited Trads that people complain so much about. She’s a responsible and level-headed woman of stature and poise. (You’re welcome, Barb.)

    fbc

    I just returned from Clear Creek a few days before Thanksgiving.

  66. I haven’t read the comments, but these things hit me as I read Father’s original entry:
    - I find the “private” Mass idea to be odd in light of what happened regarding the Neo-Catechuminate a year or two ago, where they were rebuked for having their “private” mMasses just for their group.
    - Let’s say “private” Masses were permitted, but the local bishop would not allow “public” Masses. If the TLM were popular, it would be self destructing. If too many people showed up, would it suddenly become an illicit Mass?

    I was going to post a few other comments, but they were pretty negative towards bishops who hate the TLM. (That does seem to be a reather common concern for reform though, negative or not)

    I guess the problem is that Rome can write all the documents it wants, but until they are followed on a local level, or enforced by Rome, are they really helpful? (If a document is written, but you ignore it, does it still exist?)

    Oremus pro bonis.

  67. Martha says:

    “Concerning the definition of the Private Mass…”

    When I wrote to E.D regarding a private Tridentine Mass, the reply was
    that essentially, a private Mass is an unscheduled Mass that is not listed
    in the church bulletin.

    Regarding the comment about winning one’s priest over: We’ve had our pastor for over 12 years. I will not say more about him, but I can tell you
    that I am only waiting for better days after his retirement. In the
    meantime, my family and I travel.

    Father, you sound like an eternal optimist. :-)

  68. “a private Mass is an unscheduled Mass that is not listed
    in the church bulletin”–an interesting concept, a catecomb thing. But I can’t imagine that such a thing wouldn’t come under very heavy fire. It would constitute a “church within a church.”

    No doubt such a thing is where we need to go, but I’m not sure people are thinking this all the way through….

  69. Or maybe this is what is intended…Is that possible?

  70. May I remind everyone not to allow their imaginations to run too far ahead of what we know. First, we don’t know very much. Second, don’t construct some fantastic scenario of doom and then forget that it isn’t real. I know many people are intensely interested and hopeful about this, after so many years of suffering, but let’s use a little reason (as our Holy Father reminds us to do).

  71. Can do, Fr. The whole thing is just more than a little strange. Is this really going to happen??

  72. If this comes off, it’ll be the weirdest thing I’ve seen yet as a Catholic and I’ve seen some weird things. =) But God can do anything, can’t he?

    Here’s hoping good Benedict XVI can figure out some way to fix the mess we’re in. Maybe this is it.

    Thanks, Fr. for your patience with me.

  73. michigancatholic: Yes, sooner or later. I believe it will happen. Lot’s of people have attributed a date to me, and I don’t think I ever gave one. I jokingly said that it would take place when I was away from Rome (and I am going out of time for a couple days as of tomorrow morning). This is in the same way that to assure the entire City that it is NOT going to rain, all I need to do is leave the house with an umbrella.

    Yes, I think this is going to take place. I don’t think it is healthy to get our knickers in a twist about it. I shared information with readers here because I thought it interesting and actually POSITIVE. However, it never fails to amaze me how some folks can look at a silver lining and see only the cloud.

  74. Allen says:

    My hypothesis is that Pope Benedict has decided that it is utterly impossible to solve this problem in a single act without causing a massive upset in the Church. Thus, this is the first concrete step in a multi-stage plan.

    Even a document as (relatively) restrictive as postulated by Fr. Z. will loosen the straitjacket somewhat, however it will also force many of the most implacable adversaries of the T.L.M. to take a vocal and visible stand against it – as has already occurred with the merry bishops of France. Nonetheless it would establish that the T.L.M. has a licit existence alongside the current rite and that all priests have a right to say it.

    After it is promulgated and all of the hue and cry dies down, there will be a very sharp-eyed assessment of the results. At that time, I expect the continued and obstinate opposition of many bishops to provide the Pope with ample cause for the creation of one or more Personal Apostolic Administrations.

    If this is true, I believe that in the long run it will turn out to be a better solution that either a “better” indult or a p.a.a. alone. The goal cannot and should not be to create a permament “ghetto” for the T.L.M., but in some cases a hammer is needed!

    But like everyone else out there I am just piecing things together based upon what I know, what I hear, and what I think. Only time will tell, but meanwhile souls are being lost. When this Pope was elected I asked a very influential bishop, “If not him, who? If not now, when?” with regard to the freeing of the T.L.M. A year and a half later we’re still asking.

  75. Father, it is incumbent upon all of us to think things through, even if we are not powerful, and even if we are only members of the laity and female at that. If more Catholics had thought things through more carefully, most assuredly we wouldn’t be in this ridiculous mess. Perhaps Vatican II could have been implemented correctly instead of the way it was, on impression and hyperbole.

    The other commonly discussed scenario is that having the two rites side-by-side, so to speak, will by the natural process of people going back and forth, improve the new rite.

    One of the problems with this, not the only but perhaps the largest of the lot, is that it may overlook the very firm entrenchment, even institutionalization (here in the states at least) of the current order which will not readily tolerate changes brought about by hobnobbing with the TLM. There are powerful blocs in the form of publishing firms (missalettes and all that), university departments and “professionalization” organizations for career advancement and the like which must somehow be brought around. All of this stuff has grown up since Vatican II, on the coattails of the “spirit of Vatican II.” This factor is often largely overlooked because I truly believe that many people do not realize how networked and injected into the center of normal operations this wing has become. Regardless of the good impulses of new priests and laypeople this institutionalized faction is currently still in power and they like it that way. Else we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Now, if the number of laypeople favorably disposed to changes toward the TLM way of doing things is large, which is not proven, then some accommodation could be made by the “spirit of V2″ establishment out of a degree of necessity, while not giving away the farm. But there are significant risks if this line of action is taken by the church. It may not turn out exactly as hoped because of a number of factors and that remark must be made out of fairness.

    Perhaps time will erase these divisions. One could only hope so. However, I’m rather certain it will not be that simple. I believe that something more will be required of the Holy See at some later time. Perhaps the motu proprio of which you speak is only the first step and more will follow as events develop.

    PS. My knickers are knotless, thank you.

  76. I think we often get so speculative and think of “worst case scenarios” because we want to head off objections at the pass.
    In the swirl of rumors, I guess I have become rather jaded because I have heard so many times, “this is going to happen soon” and nothing ever happens (not just with the indult but with many issues in the Church). For me it is a feeling of “when it happens it happens.”
    As much as we make “speculations of doom” the fact is that there will be some heavy resistance to any type of freeing up of the old ritual.

    That being said, I enjoy Fr. Z.’s analysis of the rumors and his reminders that there is hope.

  77. I love every well-celebrated Mass, attend a daily Novus Ordo whose celebration occasions little complaint, and just this morning attended a beautiful and reverent Latin Novus Ordo (at the local diocesan Catholic high school) that no one could reasonably criticize. However, sometimes it may be best to just bite the bullet and make a clean break with mistakes of the past:

    I Had a Dream
    http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2004/features_feb04.html

    Then in an announcement which stunned the congregation, the new Pope announced that the “prolonged experiment” of the “Novus Ordo” Mass would be rapidly phased out and although, as his predecessors had pointed out, it is a valid Mass, he had no doubt that the great sacramental gifts of the Tridentine Mass, the “Mass for all times” formulated by St Pius V, would soon once again be embraced universally.

    To bring this into effect he had ordered all bishops and priests everywhere to re-institute the Tridentine Mass on a daily basis in all churches and to make it available on Sundays at times when the majority of the Faithful would have easy access to the “Sacrifice of Calvary.”

    Where would we be now if Pope Benedict had done this a year ago? Or if he did it next week? Could any resulting pandemonium be worse for the Church than such outrageous travesties as the recently reported (and widely YouTube viewed) “Halloween Mass” in southern California?

  78. Although, ostensibly the Pope can order anything, I’m not sure that he would be followed if what you suggest (cold turkey) were to be ordered next week. And as easily as you, I or anyone posting here could go straight to the TLM, it would be very hard on many ignorant people, lay & clergy alike, who have been told silly things for years. Rather, it must be somewhat more gentle, but only somewhat.

    There’s also the little matter of appearing to people to have been wrong. I understand that the *implementation* of V2 was botched and so do you and the church did not err in her intentions, but everyone doesn’t get that yet….

    I agree that it is easy to think that we are not suffering casualties over the “halloween masses” and such because we are used to a status quo, but we are. Many people leave every year over this and related matters which we don’t track at all.

    No, what happens (whenever it happens) will be someplace in between the status quo and cold turkey. Of that I am sure simply because we cannot sustain what we have now and remain in existence indefinitely and we have guarantees in scripture that we will remain in existence. So something’s got to give eventually. I suspect God’s got the *big* plans and we’ll find out when he‘s ready to let us know. ;) Take heart. It will turn out–it’s just that we don’t know how yet.

  79. Anonymous says:

    since when were the bishops the enemy?

  80. Oh, I don’t think anybody here really thinks they are, anonymous. Some of them just seem a little sidetracked by administrative issues. I’m sure it’ll all come around eventually.

  81. Demerzel says:

    So… patience while its in process. Give thanks when it really happen.

  82. Emerich says:

    “since when were the bishops the enemy”

    1962

  83. Dennis says:

    Well, another Big Date arrives (not just from Father;
    December 8th has been mooted for a while now). This Indult
    will happen but what is the Pope waiting for!?
    I think the bottom line in all this is the ‘good name’ of
    Paul VI. He messed up bigtime, but to the many Catholics who
    asked “what the hell is going on?” the reply was “the Pope
    decides, the Holy Ghost guides, Vatican 2 and New Mass are
    the Will of God”.
    Any positive move in favour of the Tridentine Mass is, ipso
    facto, a condemdation of Paul VI. And the generations who
    remember him know that! The Vatican knows that.
    Maybe Pope Benedict feels “his hands are tied” yet knows he
    must do something SOON.
    him know this

  84. Adam van der Meer says:

    It is possible that the Holy Father could have signed the motu proprio today, and that it will be released on a later date. It frequently happens that the signing date and the release date of papal documents are not the same.

  85. Dennis says:

    Please God!

  86. No, Dennis. The implementation of V2 was totally botched and they can point to that–there is plenty of blame to go around without pointing fingers either at PPVI or the validity of the council itself. That’s how it is, and that’s how it will be done. It’s what happened.

  87. Besides, if everything I’m seeing here makes sense, it’s an adjustment of the previous motu proprio, the Ecclesia Dei motu proprio of 1988. Neither side should blow it up into a defeat or a victory. It will enable a greater understanding of continuity which is something Pope Benedict knows is important, and which makes perfect sense in the life and logic of the church.

    Pope Benedict realizes, I’m very sure, that we cannot go on like this, without our roots. It’s going to be okay. It contradicts nothing.

  88. Martha says:

    “since when were the bishops the enemy”?

    Since they became diabolically disoriented–that is, when they decided not to heed the Mother of God with her heavenly warnings at Fatima. Sr. Lucia stated that in this final confrontation between the devil and Our Lady, the devils game plan was to go for the head. (My words) She did say that the devil will concentrate on
    consecrated souls, because this way was the easiest way to scatter the flock
    and easily overcome them to their perdition.

    I just finishing browsing over the most recent issue of Commonweal.
    Do most Catholics realize how horrible the situation in the church is?

    Melanie, of La Salette said that when the Faith would be under attack, the bishops would be asleep. I do pray for our clergy very much.

  89. Dennis says:

    michigancatholic: Yes, I know the’hermenutic of contontinuity@
    line is how its being sold. But I dont think your ‘average
    Catholic’ (myself included) will fall for that. Its a bit
    rich to say NOW “we got it wrong, its someone else’s fault”.
    No, Vatican 2 and New Mass were experiments which failed!
    The Traditionalists have been right all along, the Vatican
    wants them in and the first step is freeing the Tridentine
    Mass. Paul VI, his Council and his Mass were ‘the rupture of
    continuity’.
    (I know it did’nt begin there but thats where it became
    obvious).

  90. RBrown says:

    Well, another Big Date arrives (not just from Father;
    December 8th has been mooted for a while now). This Indult
    will happen but what is the Pope waiting for!?
    I think the bottom line in all this is the ‘good name’ of
    Paul VI. He messed up bigtime, but to the many Catholics who
    asked “what the hell is going on?” the reply was “the Pope
    decides, the Holy Ghost guides, Vatican 2 and New Mass are
    the Will of God”.

    The Church’s infallibility, protected by the Holy Spirit, is limited to doctrine. This protection guarantees that the Novus Ordo is valid and contains nothing that contradicts doctrine. It does not guarantee that the Novus Ordo is not a break in Catholic liturgical tradition (as JRatzinger noted)–nor for that matter that as Eucharistic liturgy it is all that good.

    Unfortunately, in the years before VII this infallibility, especially papal infallibility, was oversold.


    Any positive move in favour of the Tridentine Mass is, ipso facto, a condemdation of Paul VI. And the generations who remember him know that! The Vatican knows that. Maybe Pope Benedict feels “his hands are tied” yet knows he must do something SOON.

    I was told that just after JPII was elected, he wanted to give carte blanche for the use of the 1962 Missal. A prominent conservative Cardinal, however, advised against it, saying it would be spitting in the face of Paul VI. The result was the schismatic act of Lefebvre.

    But that was 1978, when Paul VI was still warm in his tomb. And JRatzinger has already written often that the VII reform of the mass was botched.

  91. Dennis says:

    The implementation of Vatican 2 was botched and the reform
    of the Mass was botched. Really?
    The Council Fathers were the same Bishops who implemented
    Vat2 and New Mass. I’ve often heard how the Council was
    ‘highjacked’ and Commissions/administrators sabotaged reform
    of the Mass. Would’nt it be more honest to admit that these
    Bishops liked the changes and were eager to implement them?
    Hence what I see as Pope Benedicts dilemma; most Catholics
    are not going to make fine distinctions.
    One thing to write about problems (he is a joy to read),
    quite another to actually DO IT.
    Poor Holy Father, pray for him.

  92. RBrown says:

    The implementation of Vatican 2 was botched and the reform
    of the Mass was botched. Really?

    Yep. JRatzinger himself has noted it.


    The Council Fathers were the same Bishops who implemented
    Vat2 and New Mass.

    In fact, no. The Consilium was controlled by Cardinal Lercaro and Msgr Bugnini.


    I’ve often heard how the Council was ‘highjacked’ and Commissions/administrators sabotaged reform of the Mass. Would’nt it be more honest to admit that these Bishops liked the changes and were eager to implement them?

    I don’t know about honest, but it wouldn’t be accurate. VatII called for reform of the liturgy, but there was no mention of promulgating a new rite, nor dumping Latin for the vernacular, nor for saying mass facing the people.


    Hence what I see as Pope Benedicts dilemma; most Catholics are not going to make fine distinctions.

    It’s not a matter of fine distinctions. How many understand the fine distinctions of economics? Not many. But most understand when the economy is not doing well with high inflation, low growth, and high unemployment.

    Most Catholics are able to see that the course followed the past 40 years has failed miserably. As a German journalist put it when the US scandals started to break: Today is the first day of the next conclave.

    One thing to write about problems (he is a joy to read), quite another to actually DO IT.
    Poor Holy Father, pray for him.

    He has very able administrators to help him do it. Except for Germany, I don’t think there will be that much opposition to true liturgical reform.

  93. Pingback: Domus Dei » Fr. Z on the Tridentine Indult

  94. CCJ says:

    I’m a priest of 10 years and new to the TLM debate. It would appear that those in favor of the TLM don’t speak with one mind and voice – but I have to say – I just don’t get it. Starting from the point that the N.O. is valid – could someone briefly explain why the TLM should be restored? To say it is more reverent might very well be true – but if it was widely restored it would be the same priests and altar boys who would be at the altar as we have with the N.O. – if they offer a irreverent N.O. they’d offer an irreverent TLM. Rubics would still be ignored; less than inspiring vestments and liturgical appointments would still be utilized; homilies would still be ill-prepared and dribble; the faithful (at least for some time) would still leave Mass early, talk in church, receive Holy Communion with little awareness — So what’s the point? I’m not against it – I’m just a bit confussed as to why it is thought things are going to change over-night. If it is simply a matter of providing the TLM for those who want it — well then again, what’s the big deal – offer a TLM in every region, deanery, county of a diocese and lets be done with it. If its meant to be it will catch on with future generations – and if not it will die out with time. No?

  95. Today wouldn’t have been the day for the announcement, anyway. V2 formally ended on this day in 1965. Look it up. Thank goodness we didn’t have to have our noses rubbed in that anymore, at least where I went to Mass tonight. Most priests have more sense than that nowdays. But it would be too coincidental in some peoples’ minds, so today would not have been the day.

    CCJ, words have meanings. The form of a mass is important. It’s not just a thing that you can make happen with whatever words “work for you” because YOU don’t make it happen. You partake of something bigger and older than you that stretches back into history and on into heaven, and rely on God and the Church for all that constitutes it. You and your voice are only part–an essential part–but still only a part.

    It’s not that changes are going to happen overnight, not at all. The point is continuity-the recognition that we simply cannot “make the church over” anyway we want it to be, like a vaudeville show.

    Yes, I agree completely, the TLM should be offered freely and if it dies out naturally, so be it.

    However, you know, it’s not been that simple. Most people in here know that even though the TLM has never been abrogated, almost everyone was led to believe that it was, very forcefully in fact. Moreover, control was handed over to the individual bishops after a period of more than 10 years after this belief took hold, and some of them, for some unknown and peculiar reasons of their own, have been very adamant about not allowing it anywhere in their dioceses.

    I say by all means, let it be said. How can the Mass that was used for hundreds of years be so feared? Why do we feel we have to break with the past so abruptly? What do we think we might accomplish by doing so?

  96. CCJ: I suggest that those who need the TLM most are not merely those who want it most. To me the point is not that some want it, but that the whole Church needs it.

    In the old days the TLM was not always celebrated in the exemplary way some claim to remember it, but it was a deep channel of grace in way the new Mass has not been (for many or most). I speak as one who attends the new Mass daily, the old Mass two or three times a month. And I offer substantial personal support and resources (beyond mere attendance) for both.

    Both for better and for worse, but thankfully so, the Mass affects people. The behavior of both people and priests at Mass is greatly affected by the liturgy they experience; it goes both ways, old and new. I have seen that priests who learn the old Mass often begin to celebrate the new Mass differently. I have seen the difference in the sermons the same priest gives at the old Mass and at the new Mass. I see the same altar boys, at new Mass one Sunday, at old Mass the next, and cannot help noticing the difference in their behavior at the two Masses. Likewise with people, since most of the people I attend the TLM are also seen at new Mass. Especially, I have seen the change in the behavior at new Mass of the same people after they started attending the old Mass.

    Unlike most of the things the Church tries with its people, the traditional Mass is immediate and powerful in its effects. The Mass (and its manner of celebration) matters.

  97. Dennis says:

    RBrown: Pratically, Vatican 2 and reform of the Mass was
    implemented by the Bishops from 1965; Mass facing the people
    was in place before 1970. The Bishops implemented it, they
    told their priests what to do and how to do it. We got the
    New Mass (ICEL) mid-70′s but, on a pratical level it was no
    great change from what had gone before. With few exceptions
    these Bishops (via their administrators) were perfectly happy
    to oversee these changes. If anything was botched they were
    the botchers.
    Most practicing Catholics are over-45. We remember the before

  98. Dennis says:

    during and after. Nothing needs to be explained to your
    average Catholic.
    The Pope surely knows that freeing the Tridentine Mass will
    be seen as an admission of failure on the part of Paul VI
    his Bishops and their Council. Archbishop Leferbve will be
    seen to have been right all along.

  99. RBrown says:

    RBrown: Pratically, Vatican 2 and reform of the Mass was
    implemented by the Bishops from 1965; Mass facing the people
    was in place before 1970. The Bishops implemented it, they
    told their priests what to do and how to do it. We got the
    New Mass (ICEL) mid-70’s but, on a pratical level it was no
    great change from what had gone before. With few exceptions
    these Bishops (via their administrators) were perfectly happy
    to oversee these changes. If anything was botched they were
    the botchers.

    Not according to Bp Cupich, who wrote:

    September, 1964, the Consilium published directives about how churches should be arranged architecturally to adapt to the reforms. The setting for Mass was to include a presidential chair, a lectern (ambo), the altar facing the people in the body of the Church, the nave

    Msgr Bugnini was of course the secretary to the Consilium.

    BTW, In Rome I knew a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps who served in Iran. He told me that Msgr Bugnini had constructed a chapel in the embassy with the altar against the wall.

  100. People are going to have to come to terms with the fact that the Church’s intentions were good, and there is some value in V2 if it’s read in continuity with the rest of the councils (necessary), but it was not hardly the Council of Trent. But then if you read the opening documents, it never pretended to be this grand doctrinal council people tried to make it into, after the fact. *That* was politics blathering off at the mouth, 60s style.

    And the implementation was botched by the blindness of cardinals on down, mostly “on down.” We, of all people, ought to be able to understand that even though the Church is guided by the holy spirit, we don’t listen all that well sometimes and this was apparently one of those “sometimes.” We got carried away with the goofiness of the 60s–deal with it. Then we will be able to get rid of the liturgical equivalents of leisure suits and wide lapels. We’re past starting to look ridiculous.

    Well, now the dust has cleared, we’ve all put our platform shoes on ebay, and it’s time to take stock and get on with life. So, we’re thinking about eternity now, and we need the reverence of the Mass the angels sing. Nothing less will do.

  101. One of the best things Catholics out there could do for themselves and for the church is read a little church history. Then they’d know a little of what we’ve been through as a church. Read about the Lateran councils-please. Things have not always been so black-&-white as we keep trying to make them. Yes, the Church is infallible when she listens to the Holy Spirit; yes, He always guides the Church, but history is full of surprises and so is the future.

    Americans, particularly, like homogeneity and predictability, so the Catholic Church is a little traumatic for us at times. It’s important to remember we can’t run it like we run our businesses–and that includes the whole laying blame dynamic. It’s not like that.

    If this motu proprio is how God decides to bring this around, then it’ll happen. Our part is listening and cooperating with the Church & Benedict XVI, showing up at masses when the motu proprio comes in (making a useful bridge between the two), and not drawing a lot of scary conclusions that will polarize people who don’t know any better.

  102. RBrown says:


    The Pope surely knows that freeing the Tridentine Mass will
    be seen as an admission of failure on the part of Paul VI
    his Bishops and their Council. Archbishop Leferbve will be
    seen to have been right all along.

    So what? The all but complete collapse of Catholic life in the West, including Papa Montini’s beloved France, indicates the failure of his papacy.

    A few points:

    1. JPII had a long papacy, meaning that most of Paul VI’s men are dead or retired.

    2. Papa Ratzinger was a peritus at VII, meaning that he can not be accused of being against the Council

    3. In so far as Papa Ratzinger has said that the collapse of the liturgy has largely caused the collapse in the Church, he is morally obligated to enact a reform of the reform. Further, it was one of the reasons (maybe the main reason) he was elected.

  103. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    To respond to CCJ, the priest who has been a priest 10 years. He asked the question what’s the difference between the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine Latin Mass.
    That’s easy. One is 75% Protestant (the Novus Ordo), and one is 100% Catholic (The Tridentine Latin Mass).
    One commentator said that John Paul II had a long pontificate so all the Paul VI men who instigated the changes are either dead or retired. True….but it also is sad to note that in His long Pontificate (the longest after Pius IX (1846-1878) ) “He did nothing regarding the collapse of the Catholic Mass and everything else since the Council. His priorities and lack of action in important issues was irresponsible (to use kind words).
    Even worse, however would be if Benedict XVI who in his very probably very short reign, would betray His very Catholic views so magnificently written in His books on the Mass and liturgy and other areas of Church life, and decided to just “go with the flow” and as a gentleman “ease on down the road” of History as another Vatican II Pope who did nothing to correct the crisis in the Church.
    It’s my opinion that those of us who wish for a Pope who will come along who repudiates much of Vatican II will have to wait until all thouse who participated in the Council, or who were 1st generation rabid supporters of it are dead.
    This might mean 1 or 2 Popes down the road…but in the next generation I believe that the Pope will very much largely repudiate and suppress all vestige of Vatican II….if it isn’t already in the process of being consigned to the trash can of history before then.

  104. Long views and short views can be very different. Who knows how history will treat this episode? Pointedly, no one knows how Abp. LeFebvre, or for that matter PJP2 or PPVI, will look in history 500 years from now–for good or ill. Speaking of France, consider the perplexing tale of Joan of Arc.

    We’ll do what we can. Pray for the Latin Rite and Pope Benedict XVI.

  105. Fr. Totton says:

    My understanding of a “private Mass” is one which is not “published” in the parish bulletin or any other publication or advertised in any manner (marquee, newspaper, etc.) I suppose a word-of-mouth congregation would be able to attned a Mass privately celebrated.

  106. In Rome I knew a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps who served in Iran. He told me that Msgr Bugnini had constructed a chapel in the embassy with the altar against the wall.

    Hmm … Archbishop Bugnini must have come in his later years to believe that ad orientem celebration was rather important, after all, if for its sake he felt impelled to turn his back to the people in Iran.

  107. Dennis says:

    The point I’m making (gimme strenght!) is if the Pope is
    delaying this motu propio the reason could be (fear of)
    opposition from those who love Paul VI, his Council, his
    Mass and won’t be seen giving an inch to the ‘Lefevbreists’.
    Okay, we’ve had JPII who, maybe from fear of this opposition’
    did next to nothing. And a new generation of priests who are
    ‘conservative’ compared to the 60′s, 70′s priests. But look
    at the pews; the majority of practicing Catholics will have
    gone to their reward in 10 years time. If Pope Benedict dos’nt
    do something SOON it will be too late for many.

  108. Henry, he may always have thought so. It was very prominent in the works of theologians (and bureaucrats styled theologian) prominent at the time of Vatican II to believe that there had so be special provisions made for the “common man.” This is the “common man” with the demeaning devotionals and the popular culture, who needed (supposedly) a simplified faith in his own language which would keep him attached to the church. [Reading some of these theologians is interesting if it's done carefully. They can be very condescending.]

    The architects of vatican II, it seems, misunderstood. Perhaps the intellectual mean of the common man is modest (I don’t dispute that), but the spiritual mean of the common man is not always so modest. Above all, one must not confuse the two. The Cure of Ars never learned Latin properly after all, and some of the most erudite of churchmen have been devils. There are a great many cases.

    Remember, there are the learned which can have a wonderful kind of holiness (Aquinas, a Dominican). There are the learned which can be evil (Savonarola, a Dominican). The unlearned may also be just as holy (Jean Vianney, Teresa of Avila) or evil.

  109. BTW, this arrogance has translated down to this day. There is an incredibly persistant arrogance coupled with a broad anti-intellectualism in the current church. It’s the greatest reason we no longer produce works of philosophy, music, poetry, architecture and so on that are of quality equal to those previous to Vatican II.

    Genuinely good works are not wanted because they are believed to “put off” that common man. Or worse, on some level, it is believed that the common man will pick up the works and somehow nelect God–ie. go back to the (supposed) superstition of the past. We have to be relevant, dontcha know. (At least on the ostensible level because apparently for the V2 crowd, ostensibility is everything. Which is odd for a church, don’t you think?)

    The spiritual heritage of the Church (true mystical theology) is not talked about or encouraged because it’s not instantly available to anyone who walks by, the mistake being that such anyone(s) would most likely be uneducated and spiritually incapable at the same time.

    It is why everything is supposed to be within the reach of the “common man” and everyone is supposed to be the same. It is why we have been scolded for not “participating” in the cacophony we are encouraged to make in Mass and why something better does not replace it.

  110. RBrown says:

    The point I’m making (gimme strenght!) is if the Pope is
    delaying this motu propio the reason could be (fear of)
    opposition from those who love Paul VI, his Council, his
    Mass and won’t be seen giving an inch to the ‘Lefevbreists’.

    I don’t think that’s the case. There are a couple of things involved. First, Rome has a way of doing things that is unique. Generally, it wants whatever it does to be highlighted in order to emphasize papal authority. That means things have to settle down, and the pope must not be involved in any other public situation, e.g., Turkey. NB: They tried to keep the altar girl permission, which pretty much contradicted Inestimabile Donum, etc., quiet, but certain people made sure it was well known.

    Second, they have tried to consider every facet of implementation.

    Okay, we’ve had JPII who, maybe from fear of this opposition’
    did next to nothing. And a new generation of priests who are
    ‘conservative’ compared to the 60’s, 70’s priests. But look
    at the pews; the majority of practicing Catholics will have
    gone to their reward in 10 years time. If Pope Benedict dos’nt
    do something SOON it will be too late for many.

    It wasn’t fear. In truth JPII had very little interest in liturgy.

  111. In some quarters, the changes of V2 are seen to have been a great success, believe it or not. After all, people still sit in the pews, money is still given, laypeople still participate after a fashion–some as Ministers, mediocre books are sold, bishops and priests toothlessly opt in, the citizens of Vatican City still have titles and the offices are full. We do not stay home. That it is a sheer case of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” is not discussed in polite society.

    The big surprise will arrive when the church wakes up to realize (as she is doing now) that even the appearance of such success only works, so to speak, in certain milieux which are passing as we speak. That is, persons must think of themselves as imbibing in a relative good which has no qualifications and no external threats such that it can be obtained for one’s own use and manipulated for one’s own ends. There is no cost, as enshrined in one of our popular hymns. [We don't talk about people who leave, for they are replaced by those who come in through our wonderful RCIA and are properly processed, but we don't check to see if they stay.]

    These ideas have been very persistent and self-affirming, part of the 20th century popular credo. The big shock to many will be their demise and the tactically necessary return to something that can withstand history (ie. the mass migrations occurring now in Europe, wars, medical advances which stretch the church’s credibility to the hilt, cultural pressures in Europe, the destruction of the Church in Europe, and so on).

    It’s amazing how the champions of “the times they are a’changin” are so oblivious to the changing times, as if they never expected the world to go on after them. But then if you believe relativism is the absolute truth…….

  112. “……they have tried to consider every facet of implementation.”

    Yes, given all these other things, they must consider what they think will happen given different scenarios. It’s prudence, not fear.

    The implementation must not self-defeat in some way or set off “hot buttons” in unduly and unmanageable ways. It must be capable of stepping into the life of the Church in some way that it can reach the faithful who would pick it up.

    And they must of necessity realize that it is not going to be a “one-shot deal.” I hope they are not thinking that. But I trust that Benedict XVI knows that. He is a very capable man and understands, I think based on things he has said and written, what is going on in Europe and the church at large, more than anyone else alive.

  113. RBrown says:

    Henry, he may always have thought so. It was very prominent in the works of theologians (and bureaucrats styled theologian) prominent at the time of Vatican II to believe that there had so be special provisions made for the “common man.” This is the “common man” with the demeaning devotionals and the popular culture, who needed (supposedly) a simplified faith in his own language which would keep him attached to the church. [Reading some of these theologians is interesting if it’s done carefully. They can be very condescending.]

    A few months ago I was asked about the most important works of theology of the 20th century. I replied that Garrigou’s Three Ages was probably the most important simply because it promoted the universal call to holiness (which of course includes laymen) while AT THE SAME TIME it upheld the significance of religious vows and the priesthood.

    Fr Garrigou and Fr Arintero op were writing about the lay call to holiness years before Opus Dei was founded or Vat II happened. Having said that, whenever liberals try to push the laymen-this and laymen-that garbage, I always refer them to Opus Dei, which is founded on the concept of the sanctification of laymen And of course referring to Opus always infuriates the liberals–which is one reason I continue to do it.

    The architects of vatican II, it seems, misunderstood. Perhaps the intellectual mean of the common man is modest (I don’t dispute that), but the spiritual mean of the common man is not always so modest. Above all, one must not confuse the two. The Cure of Ars never learned Latin properly after all, and some of the most erudite of churchmen have been devils. There are a great many cases.

    Remember, there are the learned which can have a wonderful kind of holiness (Aquinas, a Dominican). There are the learned which can be evil (Savonarola, a Dominican). The unlearned may also be just as holy (Jean Vianney, Teresa of Avila) or evil.

    I generally agree that there were those who wanted to dumb down the Church in order to play to the laymen, but I’m not so sure that was a consequence of the documents of VII.

    The architects of that dumbing down knew nothing about the life of the laymen–their strategy was little else than the latest version of clericalism. And so one of the consequences of such drivel is letting laymen play priests every week at mass.

    Every Opus Dei priest has had a prior profession in the world (e.g, engineer, lawyer, doctor), and so they’re not imbued with the naive ignorance of liberalism.

  114. RBrown,

    The desire to dumb down the Church came as a result of many emerging threads in Western culture, not the least of which was a recognition of the disparity between the practical approaches to truth of emerging disciplines and the absolute approach to truth of the Church, based on revelation. These threads were present for many years before Vatican 2. Vatican 2 was the attempt by some to bring the church into line, so to speak. It is the fruit of poor scholarship and even worse faith.

    Also, there was the matter of the communism emerging in political circles at that time, which terrified some high-ranking clergy. V2 may have been an attempt to co-exist, which now looks ridiculous but may not have looked so to them then. Also poor scholarship and worse faith.

    I agree that the architects of the dumbing down knew nothing of the life of laymen, which only made them feel more free to pontificate on the life of laymen, in their new jobs as periti. We were objects to them to be manipulated, which is quite clear in some of the written works contemporary to V2. It’s also quite clear in how we are “handled” now–”I have to sing what..?”

    The fact is that laypeople are not clerics and don’t need to be. We have a religious genius of our own, which enables us to carry on family life and walk the Faith through the streets which is absolutely as necessary to the rest of the church as any other vocation. We need priests to be what they are, holy priests. Priests who pretend to be laypersons are every bit as obnoxious as laypersons who pretend to be priests. To the point, they lack credentials to be walk the faith through the workplace and voting booth as soundly as we lack credentials to say Mass.

    The Compendium, recently released, is perfect for us. I wonder how many are quietly praying the Latin prayers without harsh judgment? I believe this is a model for where we are going to go.

    The liturgy mess is a tough one to crack. I suspect that an lovely appeal to us, much like the compendium, is the way to go. Thus, an adjustment of Ecclesia Dei with a generous and beautifully presented approach will work. We are starved for beauty and mercy.

    However, the longer we wait, the harder it will be.

  115. BTW, sorry for posting so much, but I have to say this to avoid misinterpretation:

    It’s not as though I believe all of V2 was a mistake. I think it is conformable to continuity, as indeed it must be. It is not Catholic to believe either that a council can simply be conveniently dumped in total, or conversely that the latest council can simply “undo” all the rest of the councils in some way. After all, the same source of authority which promulgated V2 also promulgated the other 20 ecumenical councils–we have it on the Church’s authority.

    But we have not even begun to unravel V2. It doesn’t say what most people thought it said at all, not at all.

  116. Brian Jilka says:

    The thing that I have come to realize about a universal indult is that unless there is proper preparation, it will be celebrated by well-meaning but nevertheless unprepared priests, leading to possible abuses and a lack of the reverence proper to the 1962 liturgy that often feels lacking in the Novus Ordo.

    This is what I feel is the best solution:

    The bishop may not deny the privilege of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the 1962 Missale Romanum (except in extreme circumstances, perhaps decided by the Holy See) provided that:

    The priest is willing to learn to properly celebrate it through something like a retreat/seminar put on by the FSSP immersing them in the liturgy and training them in its proper celebration.

    If the faithful desire to have the Latin Mass, they should approach the Bishop and he shall find a priest who is willing to satisfy their desires.

    This would insure that priests are adequately prepared to properly celebrate it, and still opens the possibility to every priest.

    I also don’t think that bishop’s forcing priests to use the old missal is going to change anything for the better either. It’s been mentioned before that these would be the same priests, the same servers, the same congregrations. Rather, if the Latin Mass is allowed to gradually build itself up by the choice of the faithful, it will prosper. The bishop’s responsibility will be to find the people a priest who is willing to offer the Mass after he himself as learned it thoroughly, as stated above.

  117. michigancatholic says:

    Brian,

    The bishops aren’t going to force them to do anything. Indeed, the bishops as a group can’t be counted on to help with this matter at all. Indeed, they have been scolded by the Holy See numerous times for obstructing Ecclesia Dei as well as for ignoring massive amounts of other liturgical instructions from the Holy See.

    I get the feeling you haven’t been watching this long. Not to worry, it will turn out alright if God wills it, and I believe He wills this or something very like it.

  118. Dennis says:

    RBrown: Promalgating a Motu Propio emphasizes papal
    authority. Eccleisia Dei the obvious example, despite the
    fact JPII had little interest in traditional forms of
    liturgy. The Lefebrve excommunications qualify as unique
    and public.
    The Pope must not be involved in any other public situation?
    So they’ll have to slip it in quitely while emphasizing his
    authority…difficult.

  119. Dennis says:

    Brian, Pope Benedict wants reconciliation with the SSPX.
    Their pre-condition is that he formally recognizes that every
    priest has the right to say the Tridentine Mass, that the
    Mass of St.Pius V was never abrogated.
    This would mean that Bishops cannot prevent priests from
    offering this Mass, nor would they need to have permission
    from the Bishop to do so.
    Unfortunately this is far to simplistic for the powers-that-
    be but that is the heart of the matter.

  120. RBrown says:

    RBrown: Promalgating a Motu Propio emphasizes papal
    authority.

    Exactly, and that’s why it will be done on Roman time–not yours or mine.


    Eccleisia Dei the obvious example, despite the
    fact JPII had little interest in traditional forms of
    liturgy. The Lefebrve excommunications qualify as unique
    and public.

    Ecclesia Dei was a different situation. Rome were trying to get the SSPX in the fold before Lefebvre consecrated bishops. Once the ordinations happened, however, Rome needed to act quickly to provide a place for those SSPX priests who still wanted to say the old mass yet objected to the schismatic act.

    The Pope must not be involved in any other public situation? So they’ll have to slip it in quitely while emphasizing his authority…difficult.

    Huh?

    Rome likes acts of papal authority not to be drowned in other goings-on. Rome doesn’t want it slipped in quietly. The altar girl approval, which did undermine papal authority, happened about the same time as Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, with the hope that the attention given to OS would drown out the permission for altar girls.

    But it didn’t work.

  121. Martha Aune says:

    .. could someone briefly explain why the TLM should be restored?

    Father CCJ,

    In the words of Monsignor Gambler: The real destructin of the traditional Mass, of the traditional Roman Rite, with a history of more than one thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which it was based.” The N.O. has a protestant flair, and this is most obvious to those who compare the two.

    In the words of Fr. Paul Kramer: “The Novus Ordo tends to destroy the unity of cult because: 1.) it is an entirely new rite and as such is contrary to the universal customs and rites of the Church; 2.) as the most important organ of the Ordinary Magisterium it does not effectively instruct the people in the truths of the faith; and 3.) having been fashioned according to Protestant principles it bears a striking resemblence to Protestant services and like them it embodies a systematic and tacit negation of the Real Presence and the propitiatory sacrifice..”

    Father, read, read, and then read some more. And, of course, pray. Your eyes will be opened.

    Martha

  122. Dennis says:

    The altar girl comparison is confusing.
    Rome again wants to bring the SSPX into the fold. Papa
    Ratzinger is ideally placed, or so its hoped, to begin to
    bring this about. He knows all the facets of implementation;
    in other words he’s got to get this Indult past his Bishops.
    This is going to be controversial, there is opposition.
    Waiting for some ideal time, mine, yours or Roman is simply
    avoiding the inevitable.
    The Pope wants to avoid confusion, anything similar to the
    implementation of the Mass of Paul VI.
    Problem is those who use the threat of confusion as a delaying
    tactic.
    Either every priest has a right to the Mass of St.Pius V or
    he don’t.

  123. RBrown says:

    The altar girl comparison is confusing.

    OK, let’s try it for the zillionith time: Rome gave permission for altar girls but DID NOT want it to get public attention because it undermined papal authority (cf. Inestimabile Donum). And so in an attempt to keep it from being noticed, it was done about the same time OS was promulgated.


    Rome again wants to bring the SSPX into the fold. Papa
    Ratzinger is ideally placed, or so its hoped, to begin to
    bring this about. He knows all the facets of implementation;
    in other words he’s got to get this Indult past his Bishops.
    This is going to be controversial, there is opposition. Waiting for some ideal time, mine, yours or Roman is simply avoiding the inevitable. The Pope wants to avoid confusion, anything similar to the implementation of the Mass of Paul VI. Problem is those who use the threat of confusion as a delaying tactic.

    You’re assuming that you know why it hasn’t yet been promulgated.


    Either every priest has a right to the Mass of St.Pius V or he doesn’t.

    I agree. But it’s not St Pius V’s mass–it’s his missal. The mass in his missal was around for several hundred years before Pius V.

  124. Dennis says:

    So how is the ‘altar girl situation’ comparable to this
    Motu Propio situation? Your point is about emphasizing papal
    authority, NOT undermining it.
    I’m not assuming that there is opposition nor that the Pope
    wants to avoid confusion. I am assuming that these factors
    are causing delays.
    Of course its not St.Pius V’s Mass nor is it the Tridentine
    Mass, but terms have to be used to distinguish from Novus
    Ordo of Paul VI.
    What do YOU think the Pope is waiting for?