UPDATED: In another entry, I had posted a statement of the Liturgy Office of the Diocese of Winona. The Director of Communications of the Winona diocese then wrote in a comment to that entry that that statement was not the position of the Bishop of Winona, found here.
I am very grateful for the clarification.
Subsequently, the Director of Communications contacted me by e-mail asking me to remove that statement because, "It was meant as a worksheet for liturgists and was not at all meant for public consumption."
As a courtesy I removed from public view that other entry, with the "private" statement for the diocese’s liturgists
What disturbs me, deeply, is the disconnect between the "worksheet" for the liturgists and the bishop’s official statement.
Let’s look at the statement of His Excellency Most Rev. Bernard Harrington.
My emphases and comments.
July 13, 2007
STATEMENT OF BISHOP BERNARD HARRINGTON
DIOCESE OF WINONA
REGARDING POPE BENEDICT’S APOSTOLIC LETTER
SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM OF JULY 7, 2007
In his apostolic letter, Summorum Pontificum, issued Moto [sic] Proprio, Pope Benedict XVI
exercises pastoral care for those members of Christ’s faithful who desire to worship in the
manner in which the Church worshiped prior to the liturgical reform of 1970. In a letter sent
to all bishops along with Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict says that his apostolic letter
is the fruit of much reflection, prayer and numerous consultations. He issues it "with great
trust and hope." [I like that H.E. leads with "hope".]
In the apostolic letter, Pope Benedict decrees that the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI (and republished in two subsequent editions by Pope John Paul II) is to be regarded as the ordinary expression of the law of prayer (lex orandi) of the Catholic Church of the Latin Rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V (and published again by Blessed John XXIII) is to be regarded as the extraordinary expression. "Hence, it is licit to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 as the extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church."
In his accompanying letter, the Holy Father explains that it is not a matter of two rites but of two versions of one and the same rite. The last edition of the Roman Missal, published by Pope John Paul II, is and continues to be the Forma ordinaria of the Eucharistic Liturgy; the last edition of the Roman Missal published by Pope John XXIII may now be used as the Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration.
The apostolic letter allows that, in Masses celebrated without the people, any priest of the Latin rite can use the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII or the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI (later editions published by Pope John Paul II) on any day except in the Sacred Triduum. For celebrating in accordance with one or the other Missal, a priest does not require any permission, neither from the Apostolic See nor his own Ordinary. To celebrate properly, a priest must be suitably qualified, i.e. he must demonstrate a minimum rubrical and linguistic ability. When members of the faithful request to join in these Masses, they are to be admitted.
Summorum Pontificum also directs that, in parishes where a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably, [here is that problematic translation again, though is surely better than "stable group"] the pastor is to willingly accede to their requests for the celebration of the Holy Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962. These celebrations, according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, can take place on weekdays. On Sundays and feast days, one such celebration is permitted. "Let the pastor permit celebrations in this extraordinary form for faithful or priests who request it, even in particular circumstances such as weddings, funerals or occasional celebrations, [another problematic translation. The Latin "celebrationes occasionales"really says something closer to "celebratory occasions". The phrase "occasional celebrations" could be taken to mean "rare". Otherwise, the Latin means, those occasions which occur which, while not rare, might not be on the weekly calendar.] for example
pilgrimages." In Masses according to the 1962 Missal, the readings "can be proclaimed even in the vernacular, using editions that have received the recognitio of the Apostolic See." [This doesn't take a position one way or another on the hotly debate issue of whether or not the new Lectionary can be used in the older Mass.] Article 9 of the apostolic letter directs that pastors may grant permission to use the older ritual in administering the sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony, Penance and the Anointing of the Sick "as the good of souls may suggest." The letter also notes that it is lawful for clerics to use even the Roman Breviary promulgated in 1962.
In his accompanying letter, Pope Benedict writes that the positive reason motivating him to issue the Motu Proprio is the need for reconciliation and unity in the heart of the church. [While I am not sure about the lower-case "church", I can accept "in the heart of" pretty easily, since this is not merely an issue of promoting unity with those whose unity with the Apostolic See is questionable. In the translation of the Holy Father's cover letter, we find, passim, an upper-case "Church".] Looking at the history of the church, the pontiff [sic] says: "One continually has the impression
that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the church’s [sic etc.] leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden." We are obliged, the pope says, Ato make every effort to make it possible for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew."
For many years, here in the Diocese of Winona, we have provided opportunities for faithful to join in celebrating the pre-conciliar form of the Eucharist. What the Holy Father calls the extraordinary form of the liturgy is celebrated in such places as Alpha, Guckeen, St. John the Evangelist Parish in Rochester, and St. John the Baptist Parish, Mankato. We will continue to provide such opportunities according to the needs and requests of the faithful. Truly, it is a big church. As Pope Benedict notes: "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and
it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place." Let us continue, in this local church, to thank God for the many blessings he gives us and for that rich diversity and wonderful unity that is God’s gift to us all.
This statement by the Bishop of Winona certainly adheres closely to the Motu Proprio and to the Holy Father’s cover letter, both of which are often cited. It is a bit guarded, but it eschews all the language of "needing to study" and The Pary Line of "this won’t make much difference".
Given the difficulty presented by the presence of the SSPX serminary in that diocese, Bishop Harrington’s statement is very solid.
I am troubled, however, that the liturgy office of Winona would distribute to liturgists something that did not reflect accurately the bishop’s official statement or the content of Summorum Pontificum.
I have asked the Director of Communications to let me know about a corrected version of that "worksheet".