Sec. State Card. Bertone CONFIRMS Motu Proprio

With a biretta tip to Rorate and commentors on this blog.  o{]:¬)

Card. Bertone confirmed in an interview with Le Figaro, to be published in the Sunday magazine insert, that there is a Motu Proprio which will give every priest in the world the faculty (or remove any debate about the faculty) to celebrate Mass using the so-called "Tridentine" Rite. 

I can’t get here the Sunday insert for Le Figaro, since there is a reduced edition sold in the edicole here. According to sources, the magazine of Le Figaro has this (my translation and emphasis):  

Is a Decree broadening the possibility of celebrating the Latin Mass according to the rite from before Vatican II (the so-called Mass of St. Pius V) still planned?

Cardinal Bertone:  … the Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with its own calendar, … there is no valid reason not to grant to every priest in the whole world the right to celebrate according to this form. …  The publication of the Motu Proprio detailing this authorization will take place ("aura lieu"), but it will be the Pope himself who will spell out his reasons and the framework of his decision.  The Sovereign Pontiff will personally give his vision for using the old Missal to the Christian people and in particular to the bishops.

So, several things can be gathered here.

1) It will be the 1962 Missale Romanum, and not another edition, such as the 1965.
2) It appears the calendar may be left unchanged.
3) It will concerned all priests, which means religious and not just diocesan.
4) It will happen, but no timeframe is given.

I note with interest the Cardinal’s statement that the Pope is going to explain this to the bishops in particular.  Given that this is a French publication, and the French bishops were the major opponents to this move, this is like a shot over their bow. 

A great deal is still left for the Pope to explain.  I gather this means the M.P. must be entirely in his hands at this point.  He is a) still revising or b) preparing his explanations.  You can bet he will talk about his reasons for doing this with great clarity.

Many of us thought it might happen this week and that it is unlikely it would be during Holy Week… though I still won’t rule that out categorically. 

His dictis … at some point soon you might think about heading to the store to get that bottle of Veuve Clicquot, or whatever it is you prefer. 

o{];¬)

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27 Responses to Sec. State Card. Bertone CONFIRMS Motu Proprio

  1. Theodoricus says:

    Mmmmmmmm….Veuve Clicquot La grande Dame….

    Hahahahaha…i can see the faces of all the modernists already..

    Thank You Lord!

    And Father: Ad Fundum!

  2. Being blessed to have found a Latin Mass parish approved by our Bishop (With priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter) very close to us, which uses the 1962 Missal, it is very good to hear that all may soon share, once again, in the majesty, beauty and solemnity of the Tridentine Mass.

  3. Thomas says:

    Can anyone recommend a really good 1962 vintage wine? I’m searching Arizona for the Veuve Cliquot to enjoy with you! And saving up for another small contribution to your blog, of course! (Also doing re-current training on your ROE as well. It appears they will be useful and needed.)

    Tom

  4. CarpeNoctem says:

    Father, I was wondering… with the MP, does that mean that the indults/celebrets from the Ecclesia Dei commission will be obsolete? Would they stop writing their indults altogether? Would there still be any reason to pursue one? Can you imagine if there would be any additional rights or benefits for a priest with a document from them? Again, just wondering. Thanks for staying on top of all of this.

  5. What Card. Bertone says about “more or less erroneous translations” that unhappily frustrated the authentic reception of the Council are a welcome recognition of your hard work these last years: congratulations, and many thanks.

  6. Jordan Potter says:

    “Father, I was wondering… with the MP, does that mean that the indults/celebrets from the Ecclesia Dei commission will be obsolete? Would they stop writing their indults altogether? Would there still be any reason to pursue one? Can you imagine if there would be any additional rights or benefits for a priest with a document from them? Again, just wondering. Thanks for staying on top of all of this.”

    You know, I would suppose that the Motu Proprio would have to address those very questions, wouldn’t they.

  7. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Also interesting is Cardinal Bertone’s answer to a previous question in the interview. Here is a rough and quick translation:
    Le Figaro: Did not Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, often condemn interpretations that he judged abusive?
    Bertone: The application of the great orientations of the Council, unfortunately, involved more or less erroneous translations, which lead to significant paucity. The fruit of the liturgical reform of the Council are none the less considerable. It is true that these abuses must be combated, because a significant part of the Christian people became alienated from the Church as a result of these errors. The errors are not in the texts of the Council, but in the behaviour of those who interpreted the reform of Vatican II in their own personal manner.

  8. phaley says:

    Ted Krasnicki posted this translation of a comment by Cardinal Bertone: “It is true that these abuses must be combated, because a significant part of the Christian people became alienated from the Church as a result of these errors. The errors are not in the texts of the Council, but in the behaviour of those who interpreted the reform of Vatican II in their own personal manner.”

    If this is true, it is a major conciliatory gesture to the SSPX and other traditional critics of the post Vatican II era. Let us hope this proves to be the judgment of the holy father and that the SSPX picks up the ball and carries it forward.

  9. siciliano says:

    Father, I was curious as to why not the 1965 missale would not be allowed. I have a copy of the 1965 altar missal which was probably what most bishops
    envisioned the reform of the missal to be. From what I can see, it is still the
    1962 missal except that the readings are in the language of the people and with
    some of the prayers such as the tracts and graduals in the vernacular. Was
    curious about this.

    God bless.

    Dan

  10. Ted Krasnicki says:

    phaley:
    Indeed, this sounds conciliatory; Ratzinger had also been saying this too in the sense that he felt that the Council has until now not been interpreted according to Church tradition: there has been a discontinuity, with much abuse. Coming from such a high official from the Vatican at this time, I wonder if Bertone’s restatement is not part of a plan to prepare everyone for the Motu Proprio that is very “immanent”.
    Even though Benedict promised just before being installed as pope that he would be guided by the Holy Spirit rather than by his own views, I suspect that he understands his election the work of the Holy Spirit principally in the areas of bringing reason back into the world as a weapon against the current moral relativism that is spreading around the globe, and to repair the abuses of the post-conciliar reforms, particularly liturgical ones.

  11. Te_Deum says:

    But Father, Father!!!

    Maybe we haven’t heard anything yet because he is going over the English translation himself. ;)

  12. woodyjones says:

    Personally, I am going to practice singing the Te Deum.

    On another happy note, Fr. John Berg, FSSP, will be coming to our parish of Our Lady of Walsingham here in Houston on May 14 to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the 1962 Missal and to give a talk afterwards. It is expected that he will meet with Archbishop DiNardo the next day. Please pray for this meeting, that we might have an FSSP parish, or community, established here in Houston.

  13. Stu says:

    I just gave the 1962 Missale Romanum Bandwagon a wash and wax. She is fired up and ready to go. Climb aboard. Looks like it is going to happen. Thank you Papa and thank You Lord.

    -Stu

  14. alanphipps says:

    Hi Woody – I’d like to know more about that. I visited Fr. Berg’s former FSSP parish in Sacramento, CA in 2004 when he was still pastor. If he is coming to Houston, I would like to participate. God bless…

  15. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Here is another extract that I just quickly translated from the Bertone interview posted by Eucharistie Miséricordieuse:

    …Pope Benedict XVI has just published ad apostolic Exhortation “The Sacrament of Love” devoted to the Eucharist. This text stresses the sacred dimension of the Catholic liturgy…
    The pope has often explained that the true objective of the reform desired by Vatican II is to put God back at the centre of the liturgy, and to permit the Christian people to understand the sense of these great rites. Vatican II wanted to preserve the intrinsic value of the liturgy, while allowing the faithful to participate in the divine sacrifice. The Holy Father, therefore, is asking the Bishops, the priests, and the faithful for a true application of the conciliar texts, for example in the use of Latin and of the Gregorian, which the reform of Paul VI never forbade, but on the contrary, wanted to preserve in its proper place.

  16. somerset76 says:

    There’s another angle to consider in this motu proprio drama. I think most reasonable men would agree that this measure, if indeed having the characteristics as rumored, would not be in and of itself a cure-all, but it will generate new and dramatic momentum towards the rectification of the neo-Modernist crisis of our times.

    As such, therefore, it will present a new ecclesiastical landscape and, I think, a more challenging one to the SSPX and its allies, whose practical (and, dare I say, even ideological) positions have been for so long dictated by the stranglehold the neo-Modernist mafia have held on the traditional Roman liturgy, let alone the traditional understandings of Church doctrines offensive to modern and postmodern ears. The Society’s well-known intransigence is, after all, a purely reactionary phenomenon. They have always said: end the alien conceptions of doctrine and its applications, along with the novelties in liturgy and ecclesiastical governance, and there will be no more “problem” that Rome would have with us.

    The motu proprio will blur the distinctions and battle-lines significantly, and I predict an open fissure will develop within the Society’s camp between those who think that it will be the starting point of grace to build towards the effective rectification of the crisis and those who will see in it a great temptation of “compromise” that will result in the jeopardizing of the intactness of the Society’s charism, mission, and effectiveness.

    Bishop Richard Williamson’s name is often linked with the latter idea, and given the esteem in which he is held by Society supporters not just in English-speaking lands (he knows French, German, Spanish, and I think Italian as well), this is no doubt why many outside the Society seem sure that he will lead (or at least be the chief spokesman for) a “purist” faction that could well contend itself to be Archbishop Lefebvre’s “true legagy.” (I might well add that the significant neo-Jansenist elements in the Society’s subculture will align themselves with this envisioned faction.) As someone who studied under him for several years and has been familiar with his utterances and writings for two decades, I see no reason yet to dispute that understanding.

  17. Paul Haley says:

    With respect to Bishop Williamson and the hard-liners within the SSPX, I implore them to consider that Cardinal Bertone’s remarks that “a significant part of the Christian people became alienated from the Church as a result of these errors” is a breakthrough in the sense that it is the first time to my knowledge that this admission had been made publicly by someone in such a high position in the hierarchy. If this is not a breakthrough, I don’t know what would be and, it seems to me, to not take it for what it is and build on it privately with all due respect to those involved would be a colossal blunder. I again ask the question; if not not, then when? Bishop Williamson is no idiot and for him not to see the opportunity here would be intransigence to the extreme. Yes, Your Eminence, these errors…let’s address them and what we can do in cooperation to make them disappear.

  18. Paul Haley says:

    Correction to previous post: the section that reads: ” I again ask the question if not not,…” should read:I again ask the question if not now,” …

  19. Somerset '76 says:

    Mr. Haley — It should be pointed out (and I’m not carrying the Williamson water on this) that the “errors” to which Cardinal Bertone refers are likely not the same ones that the SSPX hardliners would cite. The Society has officially said it over and over again: it’s not merely a problem of interpretations and implementations of the Council, but of the most obvious sense of certain ideas and expressions in the documents of the Council itself, i.e., that of assumptions, orientations, conclusions, and strategies that together comprise a systemic and principled deviance from the ethos of Catholic tradition. As they always say: the Council was the “1789 of the Church,” actually echoing Cardinal Suenens, who was rather proud of that development.

    As one example that Bp. Williamson is ever eager to point out: whereas in the classic antiliberal Encyclicals, the starting point of all reflection is God and of immutable objective truth, Dignitatis Humanae takes man as its starting point and thus profoundly admits itself to be a statement of a humanistic, and not a Catholic, ethos. (If I misreflect the Bishop’s thought, it isn’t by much. I don’t have my seminary notes on this within reach.) Since my time under his tutelage, I can see the point of those who say that DH is addressing a different aspect of the Church-State issue than did the older encyclicals, or at least, is responding to a different social reality than which held sway prior to World War II.

    For all that’s been said since the Council, and indeed under the present pontificate, no one has taken the Society’s allegation about the radical discontinuity of Vatican II in-and-of-itself head-on, in meticulous detail, and proven them to be wrong, at least not to my understanding. By “no one” I mean those in Magisterial authority, doing so through acts of the Magisterium. There have been enterprising lay polemicists who have made attempts at this, but their authority is no more than my own would be.

    I have lately been trying to allow myself to be open to the idea that this harmonization may yet be possible, given some real pastoral problems that would emerge from a notion of Rome doing (as so many in the Society most want to see) a blanket repudiation of Vatican II and its era, not least of all in the matter of the future credibility of the Magisterial office.

  20. Paul Haley says:

    Somerset ’76,

    I’ve seen comments on the web that Archbishop Lefebvre did, in fact, sign Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes on December 7, 1965 – having “in a moment of submissiveness, subjected his own judgment to that of Peter and, added his signature to the documents, thereby sharing in their promulgation (but that) after the Council he quickly reverted to his total opposition to these documents, especially Dignitatis Humanae.” Source:The Latin Mass , Spring 1997.

    All I’m saying is that reasonable people can disagree but reasonable people can also come together to resolve their differences. It appears to me that now is the time for this to happen. If there is ever to be a reconciliation, it appears to me that now is a propitious time.

  21. dcs says:

    Paul Haley writes:
    I’ve seen comments on the web that Archbishop Lefebvre did, in fact, sign Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes on December 7, 1965

    Indeed, Bp. Tissier de Mallerais wrote in his recent biography of Abp. Lefebvre that His Grace signed all of the documents of Vatican II.

  22. Brian 2 says:

    For what it’s worth:
    If SSPX wants a rejection of VII, they might also ask for a rock so heavy God can’t lift it. Practically, the Church can’t reject Vatican II without creating a bigger mess than any it seeks to solve. Logically, it is a mess: Could an ecumenical council guided by the Holy Spirit go wrong. What would that say about God the Holy Spirit? But what if we said it went wrong, because it wasn’t guided by the Spirit: what does that say about the Magesterium?

    A way out of the dilemma would be to say that Vatican II wasn’t an ecumenical council (and I don’t think the pastoral/dogmatic council distinction quite amounts this, since that distinction already assumes a council) but since it was called by a sitting Pope and attended by all the world-wide Bishops, it would be hard to say why it isn’t without lapsing into ‘who killed JFK’ conspiracy theories about false Popes et al — tending towards sedevacanticsm. In short, to move from SSPX to the zanier SSPV.

    The ONLY option, for anyone committed to Catholic ecclesiology and sophiology, and logical consistency, is to say that Vatican II is OK, but was fundamentally misinterpreted, perhaps from the moment the ink was dry. To do otherwise is say, in one way or another, that Holy Spirit doesn’t guide the Church. And isn’t this — criticizing a fundamental misinterpretation of the council — PRECISLY what the ‘hermeneutics of continuity’ is about. And if that is the case, shouldn’t SSPX get back into the sheepfold and be part of deloping that hermeneutic instead of throwing potshots from outside?

    (I think that the upcoming MP has less to do with SSPX than it does with the Pope’s long standing interest in liturgical theology and his critique of the council’s reception, which going back to the 1970′s pre-dates the rise of the SSPX-controversies.)

  23. Brian Kopp says:

    “The ONLY option, for anyone committed to Catholic ecclesiology and sophiology, and logical consistency, is to say that Vatican II is OK, but was fundamentally misinterpreted”

    It also wouldn’t hurt to go back and make slight corrections where ambiguous texts are open to willful misinterpretations.

    By the way, we all might consider a “Motu Proprio Letters to the Editor campaign” mentioning recent statements. I just sent this to our local paper (our local bishop has NEVER permitted the indult):

    For those traditional Catholics who yearn for a return of the traditional Latin mass, there is great news. Pope Benedict’s Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, confirmed last week that a papal document freeing the old Latin Mass will be released soon, possibly during Holy Week. According to Cardinal Bertone, “there is no valid reason not to grant to every priest in the world the right to celebrate according to this form…The Sovereign Pontiff will personally explain his vision for the use of the ancient Missal to the Christian people, and particularly to the Bishops.”

    Furthermore, according to an article of the US bishops’ Catholic News Service last week, “One big clue to the pope’s thinking came in his 1997 book…in which he sharply criticized the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969…. Thus the liturgy ceased to be a living development and was treated as something manufactured by experts, which has caused the church “enormous harm,” he said.”

    The new papal document, a “universal indult,” would replace the existing indult that dates back to 1988, when Pope John Paul II’s Ecclesia Dei authorized use of the Tridentine rite under more restricted conditions. The permission of the local bishop will no longer be necessary, at least in part because many bishops have refused to obey Pope John Paul II’s Ecclesia Dei instructions for a “broad and generous” use of the traditional Latin mass.

  24. Brian 2 says:

    I don’t know if one could go back and edit the texts this late in the game — although one could certainly issue new scholarly translations. But in any case, if one is interested in willfully misreading something, no amount of precision can help it. Even a list of anathemas could be misread if one tries hard enough.

  25. Joshua says:

    “If SSPX wants a rejection of VII, they might also ask for a rock so heavy God can’t lift it. Practically, the Church can’t reject Vatican II without creating a bigger mess than any it seeks to solve. Logically, it is a mess: Could an ecumenical council guided by the Holy Spirit go wrong.” -Brian 2

    I would bring up two examples. (someone could correct me if I err)

    1. the 4rth Council of Constanople was aborogated by a pope. Likewise many disciplinay canons have been abolished, by later councils or even merely by custom (as happened with Trent in a lot of places)

    2. The Council of Florence taught that the handing over of vessels was the form of the sacrament of Orders. This isn’t true, at least not on the face of it. If it is reconciliable with tradition and later dogmatic teaching it is only by saying it was part of the form insofar as the Church can change such things.

    I bring these up, not because I am against VII, but merely to point out that Councils are not infallible in every respect but only whence dogmatically defining a matter of faith or morals, or teaching what is part of the Universal Magisterium, or on matters that a necessarily presupposed by Faith or morals (such as certain philosophical truths). They are not infallible in discipline, nor even in their presentation (though I think it certain that they cannot be heretical either, since that would involve a defection which is absurd)

  26. Brian 2 says:

    Joshua, I see your point. But I think that SSPX thinks that the ‘erros of VII, are involving faith and morals, and not discipline. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But that pertains more to your second example. I have two comments on your first example. I think there is a distintcion between not-doing-X and doing-not-X. It seems to me that the departures from Trent over the centuries is a case of the first, and VII (for SSPX at least) is a case of the second. But the Council of Constantinople is tricky: I don’t know much about that one, so maybe it is counter-example to my argument… Could anyone add to it?

  27. Joshua says:

    At least according to Tanner’s collection of the 21 Ecumenical Councils (in the introduction to the 4th Council of Constantinople), Pope John VIII condemned and abrogated this council. Though if memory serves there is some disputed historical points about this. Also, this would have a merely disciplinary effect. It winds up being the same kind of authority by which the Church abolished certain laws of Trent to have the liturgical reform now.

    If the SSPX rejects Vatican II in the sense of reckoning it heretical, then they surely err and my example were not meant to support that. My impression was merely that they rejected the “teaching” with regard to certain disciplines, and also the way in which certain doctrines are presented in the documents. If the SSPX officially goes further, than there would be a question of defection in the Church it seems which, on that level, would be absurd.