On the blog of His Eminence Sean Card. O’Malley, we read an account of the meeting he attended in Rome concerning the Motu Proprio. My emphases and comments.
From Cleveland I flew to Rome at the request of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to participate in a meeting discussing the Holy Father’s Moto Proprio about the use of the older form of the Latin Mass. [Very good! A distinction! Someone who understands that "Latin Mass" is any Mass in Latin, not the so-called "Tridentine" Mass.] There were about 25 bishops there, [Okay… was it 15? Was it 30? Was I right after all? After correcting myself?] including the president of Ecclesia Dei Cardinal DarÃo CastrillÃ³n Hoyos, the prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Cardinal Francis Arinze, several heads of bishops’ conferences as well as some cardinals [Yep… that’s Rome for ya….] and other residential bishops.
They shared with us the Moto Proprio and the Holy Father’s letter explaining it. We also had an opportunity to read the Latin document. We each commented on that, and then the Holy Father came in and shared [Ahhh… sharing….] some of his thoughts with us. The Holy Father is obviously most concerned about trying to bring about reconciliation in the Church. There are about 600,000 Catholics who are participating in the liturgies of the Society of St. Pius X, along with about 400 priest. [I wonder where this figure came from. Perhaps it came from the meeting. Sometimes we hear of numbers as high as 1 million.]
The Holy Father was very clear that the ordinary form of celebrating the Mass will be the new rite, the Norvus Ordo. But by making the Latin Mass more available, the Holy Father is hoping to convince those disaffected Catholics that it is time for them to return to full union with the Catholic Church. [But wait! There’s more! There are deeper reasons for this MP.]
So the Holy Father’s motivation for this decision is pastoral. He does not want this to be seen as establishing two different Roman Rites, but rather one Roman Rite celebrated with different forms. The Moto Propio is his latest attempt at reconciliation. [H.E. seems to want to limit the Holy Father’s move with a very narrow motive.]
In my comments at the meeting I told my brother bishops that in the United States the number of people who participate in the Latin Mass even with permission is very low. [Where in the USA? It’s a big place. Could Archbishop Burke have had a different experience?] Additionally, according to the research that I did, there are only 18 priories of the Society of St. Pius X in the entire country. Therefore this document will not result in a great deal of change for the Catholics in the U.S. Indeed, interest in the Latin Mass is particularly low here in New England. [Time will tell. I have the impression that this expresses H.E.’s hope rather than his prediction. But when you are a Cardinal Archbishop, those often coincide.]
In our archdiocese, the permission to celebrate the Latin Mass [Oooopppsss, a fumble on the 10 yrd line.] has been in place for several years, and I granted permission when I was in Fall River for a Mass down on the Cape. The archdiocesan Mass […singular…] is now at Immaculate Mary of Lourdes Parish in Newton. It is well attended, and if the need arises for an extension of that we would, of course, address it.
This issue of the Latin Mass [Oh my! Another fumble at the 2!] is not urgent for our country, [I suspect it may be more urgent than H.E. may believe.] however I think they wanted us to be part of the conversation so that we would be able to understand what the situation is in countries where the numbers are very significant. [I think that the "1" for whom the shepherd described by Jesus left the "99" was "very significant".] For example, in Brazil there is an entire diocese of 30,000 people that has already been reconciled to the Church.
All in all an interesting report from His Eminence. I am grateful that he posted it.