Spooky Summorum Pontificum memo from Bp. of Steubenville to priests

 

I received this from a priest in the Diocese of Steubenville where His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Daniel Conlon is Bishop.  It is a memo to "priests resident in the Diocese of Steubenville" dated 20 July 2007.

His Excellency Bishop Conlon had already issued a statement on 13 July in the Steubenville Register.

I very much would like to see a copy of this 20 July memo, perhaps even by fax, if a priest in the diocese couple contact me by e-mail.

Here is the text of the memo from the Bishop to the priests as sent to me.  My emphases.

"I would like to take some initial steps to respond to Pope Benedict’s Moto Proprio [sic], Summorum Pontificum concerning the celebration of Mass and other rites in the form prior to the Second Vatican Council.

Here in the Diocese of Steubenville we will take a positive attitude to the Moto Proprio [sic]. On the other hand, we will adhere closely to its terms (many of which require clarification, and to other existing norms regulating the liturgy.

There will be no public celebration of the pre-Vatican II rites until I am assured that they can be celebrated well and in accord with Summorum Pontificum’s terms. Any pastor who anticipates public celebration should contact our diocesan worship office prior to making any commitment to the faithful.

I advise all priests to read the English translation of the Moto Proprio [sic] that is posted on the USCCB website.

Any priest in the Diocese of Steubenville who anticipates celebrating Mass privately according to the 1962 Missal should complete the enclosed questionnaire and return it to me by August 10. If, at a later date, a priest anticipates beginning the private celebration of Mass this way, I would appreciate his letting me know."

[The questions on the questionnaire are as follows:]

Name of priest who expects to celebrate Mass privately according to the 1962 Missal after September 14, 2007
How often to you expect to do this?
Where do you expect to do this?
Do you anticipate inviting lay faithful to join you?  Who?

 

 

First, I am amazed a memorandum announcing strict adherence to norms and them recommends a close reading of the document, has "Moto" twice instead of Motu

Second, I very much hope that strict adherence to the terms of the document also reflects strict adherence to all terms of the Church’s legislation on the liturgy (including documents such as Sacrosanctum Concilium and Redemptionis Sacramentum) and rubrics of of the Novus Ordo.  There cannot be a double standard for the older form and the newer form.  If anything, were a double standard acceptable, you would expect the newer form to be held to the higher standard, since all priests a) know it well, and b) it is the ordinary form.

Third, I do not believe that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum require a pastor even to consult the local bishop for public Masses, much less obtain permission.  It is true that the priest must be idoneus.  The diocesan bishop could have a say in that.  However, idoeneus indicts minimum preparedness only.  The priest’s freedom regarding private Masses, all things being equal, is pretty much ironclad.  One wonders about the purpose of the questionaire. 

That final question… "Who?"  

Hmmmm.

This doesn’t strike me as very positive in attitude.  Perhaps more information will be forthcoming.

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131 Responses to Spooky Summorum Pontificum memo from Bp. of Steubenville to priests

  1. BT says:

    Fr. Z:

    Have you on this blog had a discussion of what is required to be idoneus? It would seem that this would be very good information to publish widely as a response to all suggestions of strict oversight of who is and isn’t qualified to offer the extraordinary form.

  2. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    I am not at all surprised by the tone of this memo.

    When I was at the St. John Bosco Catechetical Conference held at the Franciscan University of Steubenville last week, Bishop Conlon celebratd Mass for the attendees at 5:00pm on Thursday, July 19.

    Msgr. Conlon opened his homily with a disparraging remark about persons who are enaged in a “pharasaical debate” about which rite of Mass to use in the Chruch today. I quickly surmised that this bishop has no love for the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

    Let us pray for this poor prelate!

  3. Cassandrus says:

    Anyone who attended the seminary which I attended in the 1970s and 1980s, who knew the seminarians from the Diocese of Steubenville there (at least the archetypal ones), and who was instructed there in liturgy by a priest from this diocese, are hardly surprised and have seen it all before.

  4. prof. basto says:

    Q: Who?

    A: Christifideles.

  5. Short of making excuses for him, I might be able to offer a few words of context…

    How much of this can be attributed to inexperience? Bishop Conlon was a originally a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, where I can assure you that competence in Latin was not a requirement. He has only been a bishop a few years, and this is his first see.

    The Diocese of Steubenville is probably the poorest in Ohio in terms of per capita income. It is largely rural, and for all the devotion of its faithful, has a severe priest shortage. I believe some of its counties have mission status, although I could be wrong. His caution (“There will be no public celebration of the pre-Vatican II rites until…”) may be assuring the barest competence of his priests in saying the Mass, which is the least any diocesan bishop can do, even under the terms of the decree. Having little experience with liturgical formation “after the fact,” I wonder how prepared many of our bishops are for this.

    Aside from his own edification in knowing the extent of demand, in terms of sheer numbers, I cannot imagine why a bishop would want the list of people making such requests. Nor can I explain his difficulties with spelling.

  6. RBrown says:

    First, I am amazed a memorandum announcing strict adherence to norms and them recommends a close reading of the document, has “Moto” twice instead of Motu.

    There’s Moto Proprio, Moto-cross, Moto-guzzi, and of course Moto-Rino.

    I can only hope that Bishop Conlon will be personally testing any priest for Latin proficiency. My guess is that the good bishop doesn’t read De Bello Gallico before he retires at night.

  7. michigancatholic says:

    This man will not obey the Motu Proprio. What he has suggested is unlawful.

    We are finding out who is who this summer.

  8. RBrown says:

    NB: Bishop Conlon was named bishop while Abp Higuera was Apostolic Nuncio to the US.

    Since the US Nunciature was established in 1893, Abp Higuera is one of two men to be Apostolic Nuncio and not be elevated to Cardinal.

    Of course, the other is Abp Jean Jadot.

  9. RBrown says:

    This man will not obey the Motu Proprio. What he has suggested is unlawful.

    Comment by michigancatholic

    I bet he will for two reasons:

    1. If he doesn’t, he will have trouble with Ecclesia Dei.

    2. It would be one thing if he were over 73, but he’s only 58. He has no choice but to adjust.

  10. alanphipps says:

    My pastor has announced that the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite will be offered at my parish here in Sugar Land, TX, within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. There was a bulletin announcement about it today.

  11. RBrown says:

    I just found out that Bishop Conlon has a doctorate in Canon Law from Ottawa. A JCD and writes “Moto Proprio”.

    Deus meus!

  12. Richard says:

    I would say that this bishop is saying explictly what many of the bishops are in effect saying without saying it, with such lines as “we’re already doing this”, etc. But what strikes me is the sheer dishonesty in the reasoning that their directives are based off of. “These need further clarifications, and until then…” According to the current state of affairs, what is unclear from the text of the MP alone is what editions may be “recognized by the Apostolic See” for vernacular readings, and whether a priest may not use the old Mass PRIVATELY for Holy Triduum AND/OR whether he may use the old Mass at all for the Easter Triduum. To say that the MP’s directives need further clarification all around and to the extent that we really can’t act on it yet is a bunch of BS. They essentially don’t want the old form of the Mass and are treating those who do like a bunch of children by speaking down at them with such directives.

    As one who studies the subjects of management and leadership formally, I can say that this is VERY POOR LEADERSHIP to use such disingenuous techniques as it only builds distrust and a great lack of connectness with those they are supposed to be leading. They are showing, too, that they care more about their agendas than they do the legitimate wishes of the flock. In the end, the spiritual well being of the faithful in the diocese is what suffers from such poor leadership. One may very well be a fool, including themselves, not to be aware of this, and the fact that they just carry on with the same tune while knowing this makes it even worse. If they are so blind to think they actually know better than the faithful that its not good for them to have the old form of the Mass, one can’t excuse them for that either.

  13. “I just found out that Bishop Conlon has a doctorate in Canon Law…”

    Ottawa. That’s St Paul’s University, right? He’d have to know Latin for canon law, one would suppose.

    This changes everything. I’m betting he gets a phone call….

  14. michigancatholic says:

    Maybe, RBrown.

    But he’s going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming unless he sees the writing on the wall and realizes:
    a) he is going to get reported to EC by students from Steubenville, if nothing else.
    b) people are going to do what they need to do even if they have to drive to do it. They can legally, and in good faith, do that now.
    c) he could end up with a bankrupt diocese.
    d) no one is going to take his word over the pope’s word, no matter who he thinks he is.

  15. TNCath says:

    If enough bishops act as Bishop Conlon, Bishop Steib of Memphis, Bishop Trautman of Erie et al. have, will the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei or the Congregation for Divine Workship correct these misinterpretations of Summorum Pontificum and issue (ahem!) “fraternal corrections” to Their Excellencies? Or will this Motu Propio have the same fate as Ex Corde Ecclesia and other direct instructions from the Holy Father?

  16. Anon. Seminarian says:

    There’s a missing piece to this story. I have it on good authority (other seminarians) that 5 counties in the diocese of Stubenville requested an indult before and the bishop turned them all down. No demand? I don’t think so. This guy is just flat out hostile to the ancient Mass.

  17. St. Hyacinth says:

    “Do you anticipate inviting lay faithful to join you? Who?”

    Gee whiz, shouldn’t that be WHOM ??

    Here is a group of officials which (it would seem) is ready to quiz priests on Latin, but they don’t know Enlgish!!

    Regarding certain high-ranking cardinals who walk in gay parades and claim that they will be testing priests desiring to say the extraordinary form on their “rubrics,” it reminds me of the scenes in the US Senate confirmations, where people like Ted Kennedy stand up and question the judge-to-be-confirmed on their moral purity!

  18. Brian says:

    It certainlly seems as though this bishop is already to “hit the ground running” in the Chinese Patriotic Church

  19. John says:

    Anon,

    I can confirm your source. Not only was an indult requested, but it was done so with the hope that priests from the FSSP, or some other society would come and help rescue a number of Churches the Bishop had to close down for lack of diocesan priests. Bishop Conlon by all appearances is an enemy to Catholic Tradition.

    In fact, those present for his first homily in the diocese approx. 3 years ago would have heard a wonderful tale concerning the Yin and the Yang and how we as Catholics can be enlightened by the principles regarding such concepts.

    There is a large group of Catholics faithful to Tradition that are insinuated as the ‘who’ of the Prelate’s letter, not a few who are professors at the University. It may be presumed (though I’m not encouraging we judge the man) that the Bishop’s intention is to give such persons a difficult time in their jobs.

    Sancta Maria, ora Pro Nobis!

  20. telcontar says:

    I read somewhere (although I can’t remember where) that FUS would provide an extraordinary Mass. Given the large student demand (due to the banality of P&W Masses), this is shaping up to be a major split between one of the largest employers in the city of Steubenville (if not the largest), and one of the best known Catholic universities and the bishop. In the end there is one anecdote that foretells the end:

    The chair in which the bishop was installed as bishop of the diocese is owned by the University (as he was installed in the Fieldhouse, they used the Presider’s chair from the Friary chapel).

    There will be an extraordinary Mass on campus, if nowhere else in the diocese.

  21. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    Let’s make some lemonade outta this particular lemon. If you’re wondering whether the lemon is a reference to the document or instead to the bishop, all I can say is…good question.

    Anyhoo…this sort of irresponsible, grasping directive will certainly alert the Holy See to the current foolishness…much more so than “we’re studying it” or “we good” themes to other episcopal responses.

    And the tone to this document…does anyone else hear the discordant echos of that ridiculous, over-the-top, Baroquely worded Foley ban on ad orientem celebration in Birmingham? Some of the language in that piffle hadn’t been seen in an ecclesiastical document this side of Bl. Pius IX! And the kicker was that it was cosigned by the chancellor of the diocese, who happened to be some Daughter of Charity…I’m guessing she wasn’t “down” with teaching children anymore after her liberation. But I’m thinking that this D.C. hadn’t done quite as much with her life as, say, Mother Angelica.

    Back to the point: when it comes to suppressing legitimate options, the enemies of Church tradition can wax quite Stalinist.

  22. John says:

    Telcontar,

    While I would like to believe that FUS would do such a thing, I don’t think it is going to happen. Yes, there is a large student and faculty contingent that desires reverent liturgies. One will see them quite often at St. Peter’s (A fairly reverent Parish) or many of the Byzantine Churches in the area. However, the powers that be at FUS are not all that friendly to Tradition. Though, they do offer a Novus Ordo Latin Mass approximately once a month during the school year, and there is even a ‘traditional’ schola, I do not think the University itself will be asking for the TLM any time soon. One would have more luck with the visiting Opus Dei priests at St. Peter’s.

  23. Widukind says:

    Bishop Dan was one time chancellor for Archbishop Pilarczyk. Since they were “buds” what might you expect?

  24. Dr. Peter H. Wright says:

    Cave !
    Let us remember the Devil will try to sow confusion in the wake of “Summorum Pontificum”.
    Is this memo the authentic work of the Bishop of Steubenville, and his last word on the subject ?
    Further clarification is needed. Not of the Motu Proprio, but of Bishop Conlon’s memo.
    No diocesan bishop can in any circumstances change the wording of “Summorum Pontificum” which allows any priest in good standing to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal without seeking the permission of the local Ordinary.
    If the bishop requires the priest to fill in a questionnaire, that in no way takes away from the priest the freedom he has been granted by the Pope’s Motu Proprio.
    If Bishop Conlon requires help in understanding any part of “Summorum Pontificum”, then perhaps he should contact the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.

  25. Arieh says:

    It will be a fight, but I think FUS will get one on campus. There was a Facebook group started in support of the MP a little over a week ago and it already has over 140 members (during summer break even).

    Years ago hundreds of people signed a petition to bring the TLM to Steubenville. There is a lot of support for the extraordinary form here in Steubenville, and people are already starting to organize. Conlon will have to acquiesce or he will have a big fight on his hands.

  26. RBrown says:

    Ottawa. That’s St Paul’s University, right? He’d have to know Latin for canon law, one would suppose.
    Comment by David L Alexander

    I know for a fact that knowledge of Latin (other than nominal) is not a requirement for a doctorate in canon law at various universities in Rome. And I know someone who received a doctorate in Biblical theology from a Roman university who could not read either Greek or Hebrew.

    BTW, I used to know a priest with a JCD from Ottawa who didn’t think anyone in the world was married. No one. He was the Defender of he Bond in the Brooklyn diocese, which at one time was the Reno, Nevada of the Catholic Church.

  27. RBrown says:

    Re FUS and the 1962 Missal: The Franciscans at the FUS in Gaming, Austria, did not want a mass said using the 1962 Missal. This is not rumor–my best friend was the priest saying the mass.

  28. Arieh says:

    RBrown,

    I know that the friars wouldn’t touch the 62 missal with a 10 foot pole. But there are secular priests, as well as other religious order priests, on campus who may be willing to say it.

  29. RBrown says:

    I wonder what other bishops will say about the Moto Proprio . . . uh, Motu Propriu . . . er, Mota Propria. Moti Proprii? Mote Proprie?

  30. RBrown says:

    I have this vision of Bp Conlon himself saying mass using the 1962 Missal:

    In nomini Pater, et Filio, et Spiriti Sancto.

    Introibu ad altari Deo
    Ad Deo qui laetificet iuventutam meum.
    . . .

  31. Janet says:

    Here in the diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, I haven’t heard one peep out of our retired Bp. Foley concerning the Motu Proprio and the TLM. But since he is after all retired and is only administrating temporarily now, maybe that is the more appropriate action on his part? To make no statement at all?

    My parish priest hasn’t mentioned it either. And I asked an EWTN employee who is a friend of mine about the TLM being done by the Friars there, after Sept. 14th, and she said that the bans that Bp. Foley put in place earlier are basically ‘stuck in place’ until we get a new bishop to make decisions. So if that is indeed the case, we in Birmingham will still be stuck with absolutely no TLM until we get a new bishop?

    I really don’t know if any of these ‘facts’ are straight, and I find it rather confusing and a bit disheartening. We ordinary Catholics in the pews don’t even know who to go to, who to ask, or how to discreetly poll our own numbers to see who would be that “stable group” that would make a TLM possible finally in Birmingham.

    Oh when are we getting our new bishop?? Fr. Z please tell me you know something and at least give me a bit of hope that we really will have our new Bishop this fall.

  32. Ave Maria says:

    Here is one place to start in seeking the extraordinary form of the Mass in
    your location: http://www.lumengentleman.com/motucontacts.asp

    Register and find others with your same hope. And write polite letters to
    your priests! If no one asks, it is most likely not going to happen!

    I wrote to a priest some 40 miles from here who I think will be very open to
    this form of the Mass and I will drive whenever he offers it. I also wrote
    my pastor but I have no hope there–I don’t think think the focus is either
    on peace-n-justice or the assembly. But I wrote him so that he cannot say
    that no one has asked. Now he can say that no one has asked but that one
    ‘nut’. Thats okay; I do not mind that, I have been called worst things.

    But we might have our Mass back! It may not be here and it may not
    be right away but it will be offered in many places and that gives me
    joy.

  33. Ave Maria says:

    My second comment is this: Will this bishop be persecuting priests who wish
    to offer the extraordinary form of the Mass? Is this a veiled threat such
    as some other bishops have issued?

    The Holy Father has said ANY priest can offer this form in private–just for
    starters. It is not up to the bishop and for him to try to say it is and to
    throw in a threat to keep power is totally against the spirit of the
    Summorum Pontificum.

  34. telcontar says:

    John:

    I know many of the priests at the university and while they are no great friends of tradition, they are not its biggest enemies (well, apart from the one who was in charge of the Chapel when I was there…). As you said there is a large demand among the students, a fair number make the pilgrimage to Pittsburgh every Sunday.

    I found my source that the priests may allow it (actually it was in the comments here). Recent developments at FUS, though have been largely positive. The creation of a sacred music program, a fading of the charis-maniac (as opposed to charismatic) movement, these things bode well for a positive reception of the extraordinary form.

    IIRC, they have offered indult Masses, perhaps one per semester, in the past. I guess it will come down to whether the University believes it can “beat” the bishop (mostly in PR). They have the ability to offer it, have the demand for it, are not as hostile as the bishop.

    All in all I would love to be back in the know in Steubie, but I will have to comfort myself with the fact that I will have the extraordinary Mass in biking distance here in NJ.

  35. Jasna Gorak says:

    We should give the bishop until Tuesday of this week to publish a “clarification” of this intimidating letter. If no adequate clarification materializes, then the
    letter simply needs to be forwarded to the Commission Ecclesia Dei. This should be done both electronically and in writing with a “return receipt” postal request if possible.

    The Motu Proprio does not mention the priest having to fill out any episcopal questionnaires as a pre-condition to celebrating the old rite. Those days are over.

  36. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    If necessary, I will be happy to forward a copy of this ridiculous document to the Ecclesia Dei Commission mahself. By overnight mail.

    Many people who love the Church and Her traditions have been too damn nice. Time to take the gloves off.

  37. Father Anonymous says:

    Just say that you’re “charismatic” and visiting steubenville university and you’ll be able to do whatever you want.

  38. RC says:

    Maybe I don’t get the comments from the reader in Birmingham. Bp. Foley’s regulations about TV Masses apply to what EWTN broadcasts, but they wouldn’t restrict what the Missionaries do in their own chapel among their own community. Am I right, Fr. Z?

  39. Brian Crane says:

    Many people who love the Church and Her traditions have been too damn nice. Time to take the gloves off.

    Ah, yes. If fighting evil with good won’t work, why not try fighting evil with evil?

  40. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    Dear Mr. Crane:

    I’m sure you’re great. But based on your post, I can only conclude that your understanding of “good” and “evil” is a little simplistic. And, whatever the case, I can state unequivocally that my statement was not informed with evil intent.

    My point is that people are sometimes not sufficiently bold in asserting their rights. When we read St. Paul, we quickly see that he very often “took the gloves off” and, perhaps as a direct result, he converted more souls to the Faith than we can imagine. In times as bizarre as ours, where even bishops sniff at papal decrees, being more Pauline is probably not only prudent…it may be morally necessary.

  41. “Further clarification is needed. Not of the Motu Proprio, but of Bishop Conlon’s memo.”

    Again, without defending him, this has already happened in other places, especially since the USCCB revised their translation of the decree. I can vouch for it having happened in Pittsburgh, because I broke down and asked for one.

    Maybe someone should ask Conlon for one as well.

  42. Pius VII says:

    Fr. Z – Whose responsibility is it to ensure a priest is “idoneus” for offering the Mass–that of the priest himself, or of his bishop? This seems to be a big question.

  43. Fr Martin Fox says:

    St. Hyacinth:

    “Regarding certain high-ranking cardinals who walk in gay parades and claim that they will be testing priests desiring to say the extraordinary form on their “rubrics,” it reminds me of the scenes in the US Senate confirmations, where people like Ted Kennedy stand up and question the judge-to-be-confirmed on their moral purity!”

    Please name a single cardinal, high-ranking or otherwise, who you know for a fact walked in a gay pride parade.

    The facts in this situation with Bishop Conlon are problematic enough; making things up is unhelpful and actually harmful.

  44. Anon. says:

    I don’t live in the Steubenville Diocese (but not far from it either and have lots of connections there). I am sure that Bp Conlon will be reading the many comments that people submit. Here’s mine. Feel free to mail it to the Bishop in case someone is editing his mail.

    Dear Bishop Conlon,

    The peace of the Lord be with you!

    I am sure that you are hearing from many quarters and many people are hurt and upset that you seem to be doing all you can to keep Summorum Pontificum out of your diocese, or in small well-identified cages. Please reconsider. This is a chance to show leadership and not an iron fist. There are many good souls in your territory that want the TLM, many more than you think. At a time when Mass attendance is steadily falling in your diocese this seems like a good time to support these people and bring more back into the fold. It might also be a good time to learn the TLM and support your people (Latin Mass types are also your spiritual children)and then be pleasantly surprised by the support you will get from a neglected portion of your flock.

    I know you are having a time raising money for your new cathedral. I seriously suggest you hire a more traditiional architect and allow the TLM mass there. You will raise enough money. You may be a bit hurt by some negative responses you have had over the last few weeks. Sometimes people are in a lot of pain, and charity is neglected. I just suggest you reach out to your trads and you and your priests will find that most trads will support you more than you ever thought possible.

    Please, dear Bishop, offer the MAss. I will be there and thank you!

    PS to Franciscan University: You are advertised as the greatest Papal Loyalists! Get the TLM on campus ASAP!

  45. David says:

    These disobedient Bishops need a letter from the Holy Father himself.

    It should begin “Ego sum Petrus”….

    On a similar theme, given His Lordship’s evident problems with the Latin tongue, I offer this simple primer…. “respondens autem Iesus dixit ei beatus es Simon Bar Iona quia caro et sanguis non revelavit tibi sed Pater meus qui in caelis est et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum et quodcumque ligaveris super terram erit ligatum in caelis et quodcumque solveris super terram erit solutum in caelis”

  46. Bonaventure says:

    I live in Steubenville and I can attest that at Saint Peter’s Father George Yontz is willing and able to say the Extraordinary form and there is a great desire for it here. Many laypeople (including professors for FUS) signed a statement a few years ago asking the Bishop to allow the indult. We were denied. Father Yontz has already said he would say the extraordinary form, but he was told by the Bishop Conlon that he had to wait so the Bishop could plan things.

  47. If anyone from the Diocese of Steubenville submits a request to Bishop Daniel (in the East, we do not refer to bishops and priests by their family names…we go by what they were called at their ordination or consecration – just so you know that this is not a sign of disrespect) according to his extraordinary requirements, I would personally be interested in learning about his response.

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  48. Tom S. says:

    Of the many problems with this letter, the most problematic, and ominous, is the last word – who.

    The demand to know (and that’s exactly what this is) the identity of the faithful who would be invited to any celebration of ANY Mass, public or private, can only mean ill for those so named. This is serious. I can’t think of any good reason for the Bishop wanting this information, other than to intimidate all concerned – both priests and laity.

  49. RBrown says:

    I don’t think Cardinal Martini was particularly disappointed at not being elected pope–he had retired three years before the conclave. In truth, he never had much support except for a few liberal European Cardinals. I’m sure he realized that he has never been well regarded by the Italian Cardinals.

    A few years ago I read an article by him written fairly recently. Generally, he is Rahnerian, taking a very subjective approach to the Church: The difference between the Christian faith and other religions is merely one of degree.

    When he was in Milano, he provided for those who wanted mass acc to the 1962 Missal. His objection to the pope’s MP is that he well understands that it marks a serious change in direction for the Church.

  50. Pius: <b>Whose responsibility is it to ensure a priest is “idoneus” for offering the Mass—that of the priest himself, or of his bishop? This seems to be a big question.</b>

    First, it would be the responsibility of seminary staff who trained them.  They are obliged to stand up before the people and bishop at ordinations and attest publicly that they are suitable for ministry.  

    Second, it is the responsibility of the priest himself.  Each state in life has obligations.  Each person has an obligation before himself and God and others in his sphere of influence to gain, maintain or when necessary improve his “tools of the trade”.  For priests this means filling in the gaps in his formation, for parish priests staying current with events, pursuing some “continuing education”, learning what must be learned to serve in his assignment, etc.  Some things a priest MUST know, in order to function: thus, he sins if he doesn’t know them and he knows he ought to.  He cannot claim ignorance.  Other things are helpful or useful but not strictly necessary.  They enhance his “took box”.  He may or may not have some kind of duty to learn these things.

    Thirdly, the bishop must make sure that the priest is at least minimally qualified to serve in the positions he assigns priests to.  Also, because the priests have an obligation to continue or improve their formation, he would have at least some obligation both to help them in reasonable ways and not to place unreasonable obstacles before them.  So, if the priest is not minimally qualified, the bishop must help the priest or find another thing, if anything, he can do.  The bishop should also be helping priests to acquire more tools useful for their ministry.

    Finally, I would say that the people in one’s immediate sphere, for whom and with whom, among whom, the priest is working also have some responsibility for his continuing formation.  Remember that people have the duty to give support to the Church.  This is certainly material support.  When material necessities are lacking, it is hard to focus on other things.  Also, having a certain measure of peace is also necessary if a person is going to grow and learn.  Think of the material gifts which come from the people and are placed on the altar.  By the priest’s actions as <i>alter Christus</i> those things are transformed and given back to the people for their benefit.  When the priest, through the proper kind of support is able to deepen himself and acquire more tools, everyone will benefit.

    Another component here is the spiritual well-being of all involved.  For example, people should strive to better themselves not only because it is useful, as if self-improvement and formation is merely utilitarian.  There is a question of one’s own spiritual well-being, his inner depth and the accuracy of his spiritual compass that must receive attention.  Also, it simply does a person well to help another better himself.  This is not a zero sum game.  When one person benefits, all benefit.

    If seems to me that the Holy Father’s motto as bishop and cardinal was appropriate for this vision: “<i>cooperatores veritatis</i> … co-workers of the Truth”.   That genitive mot only points to the subject (God, who is Truth), but also the object (God is the goal).

  51. dcs says:

    I think what is most astonishing about this (to me, at least) is what seems to be the tacit assumption on the part of certain diocesan Ordinaries that priests and the faithful won’t read the document for themselves. Aren’t those days over? And while it might be helpful to know where one’s Ordinary stands with respect to the extraordinary use, it seems to me that memoranda such as the above will only engender a climate of hostility between the bishop and his flock.

  52. Steve Skojec says:

    Telcontar,

    I don’t know if you and I were under the tenure of the same chaplain (I was there from 1997-2001), but I’ll never forget using my column in the FUS student newspaper, The Troubadour, to agitate for greater liturgical reverence – specifically in the areas of music, architecture, and the example of the priest at Mass (as Masses were more geared toward spectacle than solemn sacrifice).

    I apparently touched a nerve. The faculty advisor to the student paper asked the chaplain for an official response, and it was published in the final issue of the paper for the year, which happened to be the year of my graduation. I was not given advance warning, nor an editorial opportunity to respond. I was personally attacked by the chaplain, my theology was questioned (a theology I had learned at…FUS!) and I was left feeling betrayed by my Alma Mater.

    One of the professors (with whom I had never taken a class) actually tacked up my article on his bulletin board in the faculty wing – with nothing else surrounding it – as a statement. When I thanked him for posting it, he said to me, “You said what many of us (faculty) have been wanting to say for a long time, but couldn’t.”

    There is certainly tension there that would present an obstacle. That said, t would be a glorious thing if FUS could have the Mass in the extraordinary form. The schola is phenomenal there. It would be such a shame for all of the willingness that exists among students and faculty alike to go to waste.

  53. TM says:

    “WHO”? This is spooky indeed. My question is WHAT difference does it make? Doesn’t this question violate some law with regard to privacy?

  54. TM says:

    “WHO”? This is spooky indeed. My question is WHAT difference does it make? Doesn’t this question violate some law with regard to privacy?

    Does the bishop of Steubenville ask for a list of WHO attends the Novus Ordo Missae?

    If not, why insist on knowing WHO attends the older form of Mass?

    This really bothers me.

  55. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: First, it would be the responsibility of seminary staff who trained them. They are obliged to stand up before the people and bishop at ordinations and attest publicly that they are suitable for ministry.

  56. Romulus says:

    Do you anticipate inviting lay faithful to join you? Who?

    Would it be a good idea for me to advise Bishop Conlon that, should I ever find myself in his diocese on a Sunday, I intend to seek out a TLM? If H.E. is going to the trouble of compiling a list of Usual Suspects, I’d just hate for it to be incomplete.

  57. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: First, it would be the responsibility of seminary staff who trained them. They are obliged to stand up before the people and bishop at ordinations and attest publicly that they are suitable for ministry.

    I hand out Tridentine Mass DVD’s like popcorn. Recently, I’ve heard of more than one young priest remarking (after viewing one) that he felt he’d been cheated by the seminary he attended.

  58. Ave Maria says:

    “His objection to the pope’s MP is that he well understands that it marks a serious change in direction for the Church.”

    This quote from one of the responses above is certainly true and that is
    why there are so many howls! The devil had not quite been able to empty
    the churches although many parishes and schools have succumbed over these
    40 years.

    This new direction cannot come fast enough for me. And I know it will not
    affect our local parishes or priests for some time. Our poor priests! Where
    are they and what are they doing? I know what they are not doing and that
    is caring for souls as they leave on yet another vacation and do not call
    the office to seek confession because father is so busy. Lay people visit the
    sick and do many things priests used to do. My sons come home from Mass
    disgusted and this frightens me for this lackluster desert of the faith is
    a place that I must endure but to those who do not have depth, it all
    makes no sense.

    We need the fullness of faith and we need it desperately and we need it now.

  59. Prof. Basto says:

    Romulus,

    You have nothing to fear if you are included in Bishops Tridentine
    “Black List”. But what could happen to a Priest under this Bishop’s jurisdiction?

    The priest has much more to fear, given that he is hierarchically dependant on the Bishop. His whole life, his whole ministry as a priest, can be damaged by a persecution from his superior authority.

    So, the priests are the ones that will be most affected by the scare posed by this “list of usual suspects”. This sounds like a way to “map the traddies”. First, you map them; force them to register; you thereby know who they are, where they are; then, you try and root them out.

    I have no reason to give this prelate the benefit of the doubt that this Gestapo tatic is not what he is employing in this case.

    And, i.m.h.o., this is illegal. The Bishop is creating an additional condition that is not foreseen in the Law. The MP gives every priest the right to say Mass in private, whithout any additional permission; the legislator entrusted to the priest the faculty of accepting requests to attend at this private Mass. He may every day accept requests from different people who are then there present at his church. The Bishop then requires a list to be sent in advance. Thereby he creates a condition, a hurdle, that is not foreseen by the Legislator and that thus cannot block the priest’s right to say Mass in private and to accept requests by whoever appears there and asks to be admitted to attend his Mass.

  60. RBrown says:

    For a man who is only 58 and no doubt hopeful of promotion, Bishop Conlon seems to have made a serious–and stupid–tactical error. To attempt to squeeze anyone wanting mass acc to the 1962 Missal while at the same time misspelling Motu three times sends clear message: “There won’t be mass in Latin because I don’t know it.”

    I hope he enjoys Steubenville because he’ll die there.

  61. Chironomo says:

    I believe that memos and responses such as these, particularly from Bishops and Priests, need to be forwarded DIRECTLY to Ecclesia Dei, once they are verified as genuine of course. This is a lot like Bp. Trautmann requiring a “test” for Priests who wish to say the TLM before he will “approve” of them doing so. Do they understand that thier role is no longer to approve this, and that it is only to handle the disputes that arise when the Motu Proprio is not followed? Who do we go to when the Bishop doesn’t follow the Motu Proprio? According to SP…. Ecclesia Dei is the next in the “chain of command”. Although this may be an issue that needs to be “clarified”, I think it is our responsibility to let ED know what the response to the Motu proprio really is out here. But I’m pretty sure that they get this information pretty quickly….

  62. RBrown says:

    I think what is most astonishing about this (to me, at least) is what seems to be the tacit assumption on the part of certain diocesan Ordinaries that priests and the faithful won’t read the document for themselves. Aren’t those days over? And while it might be helpful to know where one’s Ordinary stands with respect to the extraordinary use, it seems to me that memoranda such as the above will only engender a climate of hostility between the bishop and his flock.
    Comment by dcs

    You’re right–they are over, largely because of the Internet. It was clericalism, and it began to end with the priest scandals.

    I have already forwarded the contents of the memo to a friend in Germany who publishes a Catholic paper there and in S America. Also sent it to a priest friend in Switzerland, who will no doubt forward it to a mutual friend at the Ecclesia Dei Commission.

  63. John says:

    Prof. Basto,

    The typical laity may have ‘nothing to fear’ in the near future, but the professors and students of the college may be given an extremely difficult time. I went there, and I can tell you a grade in a certain class suffered because I refused to admit the heresy of limited inerrancy.

  64. RBrown says:

    To me the spooky memo indicates that the author is likely a control freak.

  65. “I hand out Tridentine Mass DVD’s like popcorn.”

    Mr Edwards, where can I get one? Please contact manwithblackhat at yahoo dot com.

  66. Among the "Who" says:

    I am in Steubenville. For those of you who are not and can freely attend the EO form of the Mass, I ask you one favor – offer your next reception of Holy Communion for our Bishop. The Lord can change his heart. And a resurgence of Catholic faith can revitalize our town.

    Pray also for those professors at FUS. I have met several and they are outstanding men and women.

    God be with you all, and special thanks to Fr. Z for this great blog.

    Peace.

  67. Romulus says:

    Prof. Basto –

    My question was ironic of course: not being ordained or even a resident of Steubenville, I don’t fear persecution by the bishop. I certainly agree with your remark that the bishop’s issued a not-so-veiled threat to his own clergy (and their lay supporters) with a desire for the TLM. My point is that even bishops sometimes can’t ignore what’s being murmured in the pews: since the laity can more safely raise the issue of the TLM than can clergy, more power to them. Let them send a friendly reminder that they’re out there and, if denied, know where to seek a lawful remedy. If Bishop Conlon wants to avoid the collegial humiliation of a Rome-administered spanking, he can’t stiff-arm his petitioners indefinitely.

  68. RBrown says:

    I am in Steubenville. For those of you who are not and can freely attend the EO form of the Mass, I ask you one favor – offer your next reception of Holy Communion for our Bishop. The Lord can change his heart. And a resurgence of Catholic faith can revitalize our town.

    Comment by Among the “Who”

    God moves through instrumental causes, i.e., the bishop’s attitude can be changed by political pressure.

  69. Kris says:

    The Motu Proprio does not mention the priest having to fill out any episcopal questionnaires as a pre-condition to celebrating the old rite. Those days are over.

    Not only that but I think each bishop is obligated now to his priests and the people to fill in any gaps in the education of the prists with special training in Latin/form so that each will be prepared to assist any stable group of his parish at any time that they may arise in the future. All priests should be kept up to snuff so that the people will always have before them a Church in unity in all things.

    The rather funny but sad fact is that there could not be a test of the NO at this stage since there has been such a “variety” of presentations already set as precedent. And to provide a test actually based on the VII documents would be as specifically new to most pastors as what the Motu calls for!

  70. Jason W says:

    So far there is an online coalition of 147 students from FUS to bring the Traditional Latin Mass there, facebook.com/group.php?gid=2552752741

  71. alter Tommassus says:

    The good bishop’s “initial steps to respond to Pope Benedict’s Moto Proprio [sic]” seem worthy of C. S. Lewis’s “Screwtape Letters.”

    Here are some other suggestions to undermine the Motu Proprio:

    1. Because of the priest shortage many if not most of them are already offering three Masses at one or more churches on Sunday/Saturday afternoon or evening/holydays of obligation (the maximum number allowed by Canon Law for pastoral purposes on such days), a Mass according to the extradordinary form may only be substituted and not added to the schedule of public Masses on such days and only if the number of people in the “stable group” of those knowledgeable of the extraordinary form is equal to the average attendance at the other scheduled public Masses according to the ordinary form.

    2. In personal parishes for Mass and the other sacraments conferred by a priest according to the extraordinary form, only one Mass according to the extraordinary form may be offered on Sundays and holydays of obligation (as the Motu Proprio dictates). Any other public Masses offered in such parishes on such days must be offered according to the ordinary form–especially to express the commitment of the priest(s) of such parishes to the ordinary form of Mass. Also, such Masses must not be the ordinary form in Latin or a simple recited vernacular Mass but must offer as many options of the ordinary form as possible; that is, completely in the vernacular, facing the people, with songs in the vernacular, offering Communion under both forms and according to the position of the American norm (i.e., standing at Communion stations), and with lay people (especially women) peforming ministries of reading, serving, and distributing Communion.

  72. michigancatholic says:

    Janet,
    No, no. The motu proprio says the the priest have free access to the extraordinary mass. Period. It is up to the bishop to show why it’s a problem in any particular setting. That’s how the document is written. Anything that is not specifically forbidden is allowed.

  73. Patricia says:

    I’m shocked that Fr Z elswewhere on this site praises a “lay minister” who wrote in the Tablet this week on the Motu Proprio, not least because this man is also billed as a “lay chaplain” and this title may only be used by the ordained according to the Vatican Instruction on the laity, 1997. Also, the same instructions insists that these lay EXTRAORIDINARY ministers should not be habitually used, even in a packed church, yet this priest Fr Z, links this activity to no. 4 of his list of presumably praiseworthy activities in a parish. I’m more than a little shocked.

  74. Patricia: I’m more than a little shocked.

    That could be because you are more than a little rigid in your view of service in the Church.

    And this, being off topic, is just a rabbit hole I am now closing.

  75. Brian Crane says:

    dcs: I think what is most astonishing about this (to me, at least) is what seems to be the tacit assumption on the part of certain diocesan Ordinaries that priests and the faithful won’t read the document for themselves. Aren’t those days over?

    I don’t think so — judging by the local reaction. Many folks just drink in what the newsmedia says, and never read anything for themselves. We’ve seen this not only with the MP, but also with the recent CDF document on the Church.

  76. Patricia says:

    How can I be “rigid” in my “view” of service in the Church when all I have done is cite a Vatican instruction on the matter? Clearly, you are yet one more dissident priest misleading people – thank God your question box is closed. Keep it that way. And whatever you do, stay away from Scotland. We’ve enough dissenters to last us a lifetime.

  77. dcs says:

    Many folks just drink in what the newsmedia says, and never read anything for themselves. We’ve seen this not only with the MP, but also with the recent CDF document on the Church.

    Many folks do in fact do this, but those who are interested in the extraordinary use are generally not among them.

  78. Prof. Basto says:

    Romulus,

    I understood the irony; my saying that you had nothing to fear was only a way of comparing your situation (and mine), with that of the reverend clergy.

  79. telcontar says:

    Yes, same chaplain (I was at FUS 2000-2002, and was around campus in the past few years). There has definitely been a change since my brother had problems with charismainacs while you were there. The charismatic identity was weakening, more and more students heading off campus for Mass.

    I think the University has realized that it cannot afford to alienate traditional minded Catholics as more Catholic colleges are opening, certainly not if they wish to keep many of their professors (particularly some that draw large numbers of students, if you know who I mean).

  80. Dorothy says:

    Regarding the questionnaire for priests who expect to celebrate the 1962 Mass privately: a respectful but non-committal response might go something like this:

    How often do you expect to do this?
    Still to be decided.

    Where do you expect to do this?
    Either in the parish church or in another venue as appropriate.

    Do you anticipate inviting lay faithful to join you?
    I anticipate informing the lay faithful of my plans, not specifically inviting them. This will enable them to attend if they choose by their own spontaneous wish, as set out in the Motu Proprio.

    Who?
    Please see above; attendance will result from information rather than from an invitation.

  81. Anon. FUS Graduate says:

    During my time at Franciscan University several years ago, the more traditionally-minded Catholics had to
    drive 40 minutes to St. Boniface in Pittsburgh for Mass. (And of course they still do.) I knew back then
    that “wide and generous” permission for the TLM was a hoax. But on campus, some of the more vocal profs
    constantly ridiculed the old Mass- sometimes on a weekly basis. Obviously the bishop agrees with them.
    If asked before, why the bishop didn’t allow the TLM (even though numerous requests have been made), he’d
    probably say that it wasn’t the direction of the Church.
    Now that our Holy Father has indicated that the TLM is here to stay, he is falling back to pure
    intimidation, which is what the purpose of his letter is. Apostles don’t lead by intimidation.
    Enemies of the church do.

    With dissent deeply entrenched at many Catholic Universities and colleges, FUS looked very orthodox (although there were some on the faculty that would have done better at ND under Richard McBrien), it was considered by the late Cardinal O’Connor to be a model of Catholic Colleges. It’s time for FUS to lead again (it was impressive when they were the first to pledge their loyalty to the Holy Father). Begin to offer the TLM daily and Sundays. Stop meeting and analysing! THe pope wrote a clear letter. Anyone who doesn’t get it on the first read is looking for loopholes!

    Throw even a little concern in the way of tradition and the TLM and you will increase your enrollemnt and your endowment. What are you afraid of? This is the Mass of the Saints! This is THE MASS that Francis was converted at! This is hte Mass that most Francicans have prayed at for centuries!

  82. Anon. FUS Graduate says:

    During my time at Franciscan University several years ago, the more traditionally-minded Catholics had to
    drive 40 minutes to St. Boniface in Pittsburgh for Mass. (And of course they still do.) I knew back then
    that “wide and generous” permission for the TLM was a hoax. But on campus, some of the more vocal profs
    constantly ridiculed the old Mass- sometimes on a weekly basis. Obviously the bishop agrees with them.
    If asked before, why the bishop didn’t allow the TLM (even though numerous requests have been made), he’d
    probably say that it wasn’t the direction of the Church.
    Now that our Holy Father has indicated that the TLM is here to stay, he is falling back to pure
    intimidation, which is what the purpose of his letter is. Apostles don’t lead by intimidation.
    Enemies of the church do.

    With dissent deeply entrenched at many Catholic Universities and colleges, FUS looked very orthodox (although there were some on the faculty that would have done better at ND under Richard McBrien), it was considered by the late Cardinal O’Connor to be a model of Catholic Colleges. It’s time for FUS to lead again (it was impressive when they were the first to pledge their loyalty to the Holy Father). Begin to offer the TLM daily and Sundays. Stop meeting and analysing! THe pope wrote a clear letter. Anyone who doesn’t get it on the first read is looking for loopholes!

    Throw even a little concern in the way of tradition and the TLM and you will increase your enrollemnt and your endowment. What are you afraid of? This is the Mass of the Saints! This is THE MASS that Francis was converted at! This is hte Mass that most Francicans have prayed at for centuries!

  83. Bonaventure says:

    Has anyone sent this memo to Ecclesia Dei yet?

  84. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    On the Steub diocesan website, there are pictures of Homeboy’s episcopal consecration. Man oh man…somebody should have seen this one coming. Three telltale signs (in order of inceasing “sensitivity” or reliability):

    1. The vestments, which appear to have been cut fron a Starbuck’s banquette.

    2. The Bo-Peep crozier.

    3. This is the kicker…wearing the pectoral cross outside of the chausuble (as though it’s an actual vestment).

  85. Serafino says:

    You don’t have to have a degree in theology or in sacred liturgy to understand the intent of our Holy Father in his MP “Summorum Pontificum.” That many American bishops are finding “loopholes” to impede the lawful implementation of S.P. should come as no surprise. Bishops, chancery personnel, liturgy committees have been fighting Rome for over forty-five years.

    In recognizing the proper canonical and theological position that bishops are”responsible” for the proper implementation of the Sacred Liturgy, S.P. opens the door for the abuse of the document by bishops who wish to limit the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite under the guise of “proper implementation.”

    I agree with those who state that Rome has to be informed. I would suggest this be done as soon as possible. Failure to do so, will doom “Summorum Pontificum” to the same fate as all the other Roman documents which are collecting dust down at the chancery.

  86. Current FUS student says:

    Anon FUS Graduate-
    I believe that FUS wasn’t the first to pledge loyalty — the faculty of Christendom College began making a public oath of fidelity earlier. (And the whole faculty of Christendom pledges their fidelity, not just the theology department)
    The Latin Novus Ordo is said there, and the extraordinary form is said in the town for Front Royal, only 10 minutes away. I wouldn’t be surprised if they said it at Christendom beginning this fall, either.

  87. Among the "Who" says:

    God moves through instrumental causes, i.e., the bishop’s attitude can be changed by political pressure.
    Comment by Rbrown

    Rbrown, I am all for a little pressure. And if that is what it takes to free the EO form in Steubenville, so be it. However, the greater victory would be if Bishop Conlon genuinely saw the goods of the Mass and celebrated it himself with humility and charity (This is a long shot, I know, but not worth forsaking).

    All I asked was for some faithful Catholics to offer their reception of the Lord for the conversion of another’s heart. I understand that grace builds on nature, but do not let your instruments supercede the grace of God. If you believe that political pressure is a more efficacious means of conversion than prayer and sacrifice, then I suggest you attend an ordinary form of the Mass and listen to the Gospel in English ‘cause I think you mistranslated the Latin. (I now offer my most sincere apologies for that dig, but I’m leaving it in because I think its funny.)

    I repeat, I am ALL for a little PRESSURE, but let’s keep things in perspective – if we finally get the Mass but have lost all sense of charity, have we really strengthened the Kingdom?

  88. Among the "Who" says:

    Fr. Z,

    Have you been able to confirm the validity and accuracy of this memo, yet?

    And if so, tell the priest who sent it to you that the faithful are ready! We will go wherever he is. We are longing and praying for the sound of a faithful shepherd’s voice!

    Emitte lucem tuam, et veritatem tuam: ipsa me deduxerunt, et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua.

    –Et introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.

    Peace.

  89. Prof. Basto says:

    This is, in an indirect manner, an attempt to fraud the Law of the Church, and to disobey the command of the Roman Pontiff.

    His Excellency, Bishop Colon, should be deposed from his See.

    If he cannot spell Motu Proprio, why bother spelling His Excellency’s name correctly.

  90. E. Mae says:

    1. Forward Bishop Dan’s letter to Ecclesia Dei. This will be one of many violations of MPSP by the U.S. bishops. These bishops are in denial that Pope Benedict XVI bypassed them and directly gave the priests the right to say the TLM.
    2. Keep a close watch at FUS for they might come up with a charismatic Latin mass! Someone needs to tell them that Latin does not mean speaking in tongues.

  91. Sean says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    My understanding of the legislation is more in accord with Patricia’s sentiments than with your response to those sentiments. What exactly is your understanding of lay liturgical ministry?
    I recently read the documents pertaining to female altar servers in chronological order and while I undoubtedly accept the current discipline as law, it does seem to be based upon a bogus interpretation of canon 230 and a disregard for the initial post-conciliar guidance.
    Of course the lay ministers of Holy Communion are the biggest issue to my mind.

    Thanks!

  92. athanasius says:

    I am a graduate from Franciscan University which is in Steubenville, and I think one thing absent here is the influence of the University. The TOR Franciscans are as anti-Tradition as you can get, trained in liberal seminaries on the east coast. The liturgy professor on campus, Fr. Dominick Scotto, who is a nice man all things considered, is vehemently anti-tradition. In my class on liturgy, concerning the indults of John Paul II, he said “He should never have allowed it again, he was very wrong to do that!” His face was red and he was yelling. When Fr. Terry was made the president, the director of Music who was very pro-Tridentine and very well oriented toward sacred music asked a franciscan close to Fr. Terry what were his opinions on liturgy. The response was “Well, he likes sports.” When a group of FUS students petitioned Bishop Conlon’s predecessor for the indult, the Franciscans sent a counter petition to the Bishop demanding he not do it. Of course that just meant I had to continue driving to St. Boniface in Pittsburg, and on one occasion my car was so full that there was a student laying on the laps of the other 4 crammed in the back seat. Not safe, but, we needed tradition not kumbaya.

    I would not be surprised if the opinions of the TOR franciscans who are 10 miles away from the diocesan chancery, have a good deal to do with influencing the Bishops decision. I can only echo an earlier post to pray for the Bishop.

  93. I never attended FUS, but I have friends who did, and who sent their kids there.

    I remember the first Sunday Mass I attended at the chapel, about ten years ago. They had a contemporary musical ensemble. As the guitars banged out the ending fanfare to the Gloria, people around me began spontaneously muttering to themselves. Yeah, I know, “speaking in tongues.” Call it what you will, it gave me the creeps. I was looking around for the exits, just in case somebody grew horns and a tail.

    Since then, when I’m in Steubenville, I attend St Peter’s, where I have to look at a mural painted by someone with little if any understanding of human anatomy. (I studied art history, I studied human figure drawing. Please don’t tell me it’s a giant icon.) Even so, it’s a vast improvement over that charade on campus, which should tell you something.

    It’s probably hard for some people to hear, but it needs to be said. While the charismatic movement may have saved FUS in the early 70s, it will destroy it now. Its seeds grow quickly, but do not take root. That is where sacred tradition, and a truly cognitive understanding of the Faith (as opposed to merely experiential) wins in the long run. If those TORs ever got off their laurels long enough, they’d realize that. St Irenaeus did when he wrote about people claiming certain “gifts” in his Treatise Against Heresies. Maybe that’s one writer they conveniently skip in theology classes. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  94. MByrne says:

    I am a 26-year old Catholic who is very excited about the Motu Proprio, yet I have never yet been to a Tridentine Mass (or any Latin Mass at all) in my life. I hope to find one to attend soon to see what it is like (though that may be difficult in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati). As it is, I am happy to have found a parish that celebrates the Novus Ordo with reverence and in other aspects seems like a “traditional” Catholic parish, as opposed to the mockery of Catholicism that I experienced when I was a student at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

    I am very surprised by the characterizations of FUS in this discussion thread. Based on all I have heard or learned about FUS in the past I have long been under the impression that it was a committed, orthodox Catholic school. In fact, I have come to perceive it as perhaps the ONLY truly Catholic university in the United States, at least to my knowledge. If what I am reading about FUS is correct, I am deeply concerned, because it leaves me wondering if there is ANY real Catholic college in this country. (I also knew one person who went to FUS who was a charismatic, but I did not realize that that movement was popular at FUS; it surprises me.)

    Now, perhaps the criticisms are a result of differences in degree; though I consider myself a traditional Catholic, as I said I have never had the opportunity to attend a Latin Mass…so perhaps what I perceive as “traditional” is just “less” traditional than what many people who read this website prefer.

    Another disconcerting thought: if the Franciscans at FUS are not traditional (which has been my perception), and the Jesuits are not at all interested in any adherence to Rome or the basics of Catholicism (which was my experience at XU), then what religious order IS mostly free of dissenters?

  95. MByrne says:

    Fr. Z: I hope I did not get too off-topic with my post above…I am just a little confused by some of the comments above and seeking some guidance.

  96. mike says:

    “Not safe, but, we needed tradition not kumbaya”

    Anthony Bourdain

    m

  97. Dogfoodlover says:

    MByrne,

    I attended FUS for five years (up until quite recently actually) and overall it was a good experience. I would send my kids there way before I would send them to any secular school (or “Catholic” school).
    As far as the liturgy goes the school is a mess — it represents 1970′s American Catholicism in that regard.
    It is interesting that when I first went to Steubenville I was a pretty ignorant Catholic and I entrusted my formation to FUS thinking that it was the ultimate standard of orthodox Catholicism. For the first year or so I did not question the mobs of EM’s, the post-Communion rock concerts, etc. but after witnessing six horrific accidents with the Holy Eucharist I began to question the wisdom of their approach.
    Yes, I have seen the Precious Blood spilled on the floor of the gymnasium by a dopey EM more than once (and trampled underfoot, once rolled over by a baby stroller, and another time a fold up chair was put on top of it presumably to “protect” it). One thing that was not mentioned above about Bishop Conlon’s Mass in the FUS gymnasium was that they consecrated glass pitchers and poured the Precious Blood from these into perhaps dozens of crappy chalices to be handed off to hoards of lay people in spite of the overwhelming number of priests present (practices described as “reprobated” by normative legislative texts).
    There is a video that I have seen on youtube of the Easter Vigil Mass [which I have attended several times] that they have every year in the gymnasium which gives a good idea of the “FUS rite” of the liturgy. I would call it a perverse parody of the Mass. You will see women frolicking about with streamers, the lyrics of tacky Protestant jingles projected upon screens and a band with electric guitars and drums leading the Dionysian revival.
    This may sound harsh but for one accustomed to the Mass of the Ages the kind of worship services that are common at this school appear to be of another religion altogether.
    I imagine that if someone — let’s pretend they know nothing of the Church — were to attend a solemn Theia Liturgia such as that shown on EWTN when the Pope visited the Patriarch of Constantinople; or if one were to witness the full splendor of a Pontifical High Mass (the pinnacle of our tradition) and then visit FUS for their most “solemn” worship service, the Easter Vigil, I can’t see how one could think this is the same religion.
    There is also the “International Mass” every semester in which they mix the novel practices of different countries (such as Africa and Jamaica) into a charismatic Mass that is very much a celebration of man. They also have the Household Life Mass, nicknamed the “Banner Mass”, which also embodies the celebration of man spirit. But by far the most outrageous Mass that I have personally attended at this school was one that took place during a Charismatic Conference in the summer.
    But of course I can only be glad that I did not attend this school in the seventies or eighties. I have seen pictures of Fr. Scanlan celebrating a “Last Supper Mass” around a picnic table of some sort, seated in the center in strange vestments with lay people (men and women) arranged like the apostles with a basket of rolls in his hands and a glass of wine before him.
    I have heard stories, told as if they were “cool”, of friars from this school celebrating guitar Masses on moving buses during road trips. Of course the list could go on ad nauseum.
    I have come to the conclusion that in spite of the faith and devotion of the school in general, these kinds of perverse situations would not exist unless there was a spirit inimical to the proper worship of God present in some way. Of course the general disregard for the universal normative structure for worship that has come from Christ’s vicar says a lot as well.

    The main point is that if you value orthodox Liturgy [right/fitting worship/glory], and if you are not sufficiently edified by popular Protestant music, mediocre and infantile charismania or Haugen-Haas hymnals, you may want to consider one of the other Catholic Universities.
    It is true that there are many wonderful and amazing professors at FUS, but there are at least as many bad ones (in my opinion). I have encountered explicit (and rather elementary) heresy in Theology classes on occasion and there are a handful of professors who seem to teach their own religion.
    But it is really the worship that is a problem. Many people seem to find the FUS rite to be exciting and dynamic (the school claims to be the proclaimer of “dynamic orthodoxy” rather than just orthodoxy), but for those who are faithful to the Roman rite you will likely be disappointed, perhaps scandalized and certainly misled.

  98. Dogfoodlover says:

    Here are some highlights for anyone interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naH8r3b7zAg

  99. Dogfoodlover says:

    Comment by Arieh — 29 July 2007 @ 6:30 pm
    It will be a fight, but I think FUS will get one on campus. There was a Facebook group started in support of the MP a little over a week ago and it already has over 140 members (during summer break even).

    – I just joined and there are now 163 members barely over a day after Arieh reported 140.

    Comment by Arieh — 29 July 2007 @ 6:30 pm
    Years ago hundreds of people signed a petition to bring the TLM to Steubenville. There is a lot of support for the extraordinary form here in Steubenville, and people are already starting to organize. Conlon will have to acquiesce or he will have a big fight on his hands.

    Yes, I didn’t even hear about the petition until after it was sent so there is no doubt that there are a great many more people who would have signed it had they known about it. It wasn’t exactly being proclaimed from the pulpits.

  100. First of all, I think Prof. Basta’s deliberate mispelling of Bishop Daniel’s last name is disrespectful to a successor of the apostles and father of a diocese. It is possible to fight for justice without insulting or demeaning others.

    Secondly, as an FUS alum, I believe in some ways that the university has come a long way in its expression of “dynamic orthodoxy” – a phrase I would apply to groups like the FSSP as well. I see “dynamic orthodoxy” as an apt description of living the Gospel according to the spirit of renewal as embodied in movements created by saints like Francesco Bernadone. Francesco’s penitential movement represented a true outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church for renewal while remaining passionately committed to the Roman rite. Vatican II AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE IMPLEMENTED is an example of an expression of this same type of dynamic orthodoxy, and I would include FSSP in that since it is a movement and an organization committed to implementing the authentic reforms of Vatican II.

    Regarding FUS, there has always been something of an unfortunate divide between the school of theology and the campus ministry (led mostly by students). (You will find that most professors do not attend Sunday Mass on campus. Quite a few are downtown at St. Peter’s, where my wife and I attended.) I believe that the expectation of many is that the retreat style experience of FUS Summer Conferences be replicated on campus, especially since so many students are first introduced to the university through these events. (I am one, as is my wife and our now 16 year old son.) I have seen the picture of the “Last Supper” service mentioned above, and it is disturbing in some ways but it does represent a certain “stage” of the University’s development. The campus is something of a microcosm of the Church in some ways…that picture was taken I believe in the mid-to-late 1970′s when experimentation was rampant! I saw nothing like that when I attended years ago.

    For my own part, I came to the University as a fallen away Catholic turned Evangelical and left as an orthodox tradition-minded Catholic. Like the charismatic movement in general there is a strong undercurrent moving towards a restoration of Holy Tradition, and one can see this in many ways on campus these days. I think the transformation is a wonder to behold, and the good fruit of it can be seen in a myriad of ways. As I reflect on my own experience, the more charismatic and evangelical “style” of worship on campus really removed many of my barriers and biases against Catholicism, since it helped me to realize “Gee, these people love Christ too. Maybe there is more to this than meets the eye?” Given my own stage of development, it was an accomodation that really helped bring me back into the fold and to the sacramental life of the Church. As I went deeper into the tradition, I realized how some of these practices were really contrary to the guidance of the Church. That being said, I believe that the evangelical impulse of the Charismatic movement combined with the full liturgical and magisterial traditions and practices of Catholicism (East or West) can be a powerful, almost unstoppable force for good in the Church. It combines a “return to our first love” with orthodoxia and orthodpraxis – hence, a dynamic orthodoxy. It is one of the reasons why Franciscan University is at the center of a much broader renewal in Catholic life today.

    So don’t reduce in your own mind the FUS experience to what you see on the YouTube video. Yes, it seems somewhat “childish”, but I see it as an accomodation to many youth who, apart from FUS, may never have had any experience of God in their life and would have gone through life essentially as baptized functioning atheists. They are college students in their late teens and early 20′s that could be anywhere doing anything, but they choose to be celebrating Holy Week services and they are packing the sanctuary singing their hearts out. No one is forcing them. They come because they love God and the Church. I believe that for many of them this experience represents an entree into something much deeper and richer that will help them to eventually, in the words of St. Paul, “put away childish things”. On campus, it is not unusual to see students praying rosaries, hosting novenas, praying at all night-adoration, praying the Divine Office, etc etc. And when they leave the matrix (womb) of campus life, many of them will become priests, nuns, monks, deacons, youth workers, faithful Catholic parents, businessmen, teachers, nurses and missionaries…and yes, tradition-minded faithful as well. I have seen it play out this way over and over again.

    So kudos to those students who are attempting to get the extraordinary form on campus. My hope is that it will have the effect Pope Benedict seems to desire by gradually introducing more traditional forms into the Ordo of Paul VI. It will take time, but I believe it can and should be done.

    As to dogfoodlovers comments on the quality of the theology faculty, I would only say that there was a time when the big three orthodox Catholic schools in North America were FUS, Christendom and TAC. (Mag was pretty small as I recall…) Now more and more are popping up all the time, many of whom are staffed by people who studied at FUS or are somehow affiliated with FUS and they are solidly orthodox. In general, people who complete their studies in theology at FUS may not have received the perfect education (it is rare to find that anywhere), but they have received a solid foundation in the faith.

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  101. Arieh says:

    David L Alexander wrote: “Since then, when I’m in Steubenville, I attend St Peter’s, where I have to look at a mural painted by someone with little if any understanding of human anatomy.”

    Haha. You know that whenever I go to mass there I cannot lift my eyes above the high altar. Everyone I know here hates that mural–one guy volunteered to whitewash it at his own expense. It used to be worse. Originally JPII, Peter, and Jesus weren’t standing on clouds, but instead had huge club feet. It was so bad that the “artist” had to paint clouds over them. Luckily, the parish has some extra cash and is accepting proposals to fix this monstrosity.

  102. Arieh,

    Hooray! I remember the Fred Flintstone feet! My wife and I chose to be married on campus because we did not want FFF in the background of our pictures!

    I never found any pictures of what was there before. Any idea? That may actually help provide some inspiration for the new backdrop.

    http://www.stpeterschurch.catholicweb.com/

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  103. Dogfoodlover says:

    Gordo,

    Thank you sir for your thoughts on FUS. As a former conference goer, student and employee I believe I understand your perspective. I certainly differ in that I would seek to highlight the negative consequences of FUS, but since this is both off-topic and perhaps less than productive in this context I will simply let my previous comments suffice.

    Cheers.

  104. Arieh says:

    Gordo,

    It used to be a simple fleurs-de-lis pattern. They are weighing several different proposals now. One is similar to the original fleurs-de-lis but the pattern will be two keys and an upside down cross. Other ideas are exact replications of classic art like Titian’s Assunta or one of Peter being given keys (don’t recall the artist).

  105. Dogfoodlover says:

    Oh, and on a critical note, just so it is perfectly clear, Gordo did not in fact engage the serious charges of my earlier post and in no way is FUS vindicated. The response was reminiscent of the kind of glossing over you will find among the FUS ideologues. In essence the ends, interpreted in a certain ambiguous and fanciful way, justifies the means.

  106. lsouthwick says:

    I agree with BT. Fr. Z, you have an opportunity here to most forward the dialog on what is required for “qualification” to say the extraordinary use. The quicker norms are established, the better.
    This is a high profile site, and the discussion will echo elsewhere (and eternally on google).

  107. Among the "Who" says:

    Arieh and Gordo,

    Brother Patrick has pictures of St. Pete’s all through the last few decades. Some of them are absolutely spectacular. At one point the keys of Peter were in background, very nice and subtle. Ask him about the pictures, I’m sure he’d be glad to show. And while you’re at it, mention the EO form of Mass too!

    Gordo, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments regarding respect. It’s one thing to comment on certain things written by the Bishop, but to resort to name calling is clearly not the hope of our Holy Father. I’m all for Ole Doc Farmers “taking the gloves off” but when we do it, let’s strike hard and clean instead of dancing around the ring talking trash.

    One last note. I too am among the FUS grads. I went there a high-fiving, cartwheeling charismatic and I left a tradition-minded student of the Church seeking solemn and contemplative liturgical life. This was not due to my disgust of the FUS masses, much to the contrary – I loved them. Rather, it was due to the solid professors I encountered, and yes, the solid priests I encounter (a few of whom were TORs). I know several other classmates who had similar experiences and like you said, today we are all teachers, youth ministers, and DREs. The fruits from FUS will continue to blossom.

    To those who have been following this post and have a bad taste of FUS in your mouths, I suggest that you go visit. Talk to the profs, students, and priests and make your own decision.

    Peace.

  108. Dogfoodlover,

    Before descending into name calling (FUS ideologue?) perhaps you could specify which serious charge you were making to which you would like me to reply. I saw a series of issues that you brought up and am actually pretty sympathetic to your POV. Clearly the plethora of EM’s are an abuse, especially given the sheer number of priests that are there. Some of the Protestantizing elements in the music and the (very infrequent when I was there) liturgical dancing are also an issue. Did you need me to affirm each of your points one by one?

    The purpose of my relating my own story was to say that for me certain aspects of the FUS experience helped bring me back into the sacramental life of the CHurch and then to go deeper into Catholicism and tradition. It also appears you had a similar experience.

    So I’m not sure where the animus in your post comes from. I do not see EVERYTHING there as a negative. God often works through imperfection, and I believe that helps to define His mercy. I believe I highlighted the fact that one good aspect was the presence of several hundred college students attending Holy Week services. My hope is that the University campus ministry assimilates more traditional forms in its services, particularly of Holy Mass, and support the move to get the extraordinary form on campus on a regular basis.

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  109. Among the "Who" says:

    Dogfoodlover,

    Please don’t interpret my last comment as an ends justifies the means position. By no means do I approve of the liturgical abuses that occur or heretical theology. My point is that not all people there are in agreement with those practices, and the Holy Spirit is moving through the channels that are open. My own faith journey is a testament to this. I’ll let Gordo speak for himself, but my point is that we shouldn’t write FUS off because of those liturgical abuses, but rather, overwhelm them with prayers and resources so that the faithful students, priests and profs have support. Call me optimistic if you want, but I believe that a positive, respectful demeanor is essential to winning hearts for Christ.

    And by the way,

    Is dog food cheaper than cereal? If it is I might switch over.

    Peace.

  110. Dogfoodlover says:

    Gordo,

    I apologize for coming off as though personally attacking you with the “FUS ideologue” bit. It was meant only in a metaphorical sense which the word “reminiscent” was intended to convey. Pointing the remark directly toward the response as such was meant to soften the connection between said remarks and you as a person. In any case it was an excessive rhetorical move and I regret it. Ironically the “Anti-spam word” on this page right now reads, “THINK before posting”. I can’t help but wonder if this is providential. ;-)

  111. dcs says:

    Sean writes:
    My understanding of the legislation is more in accord with Patricia’s sentiments than with your response to those sentiments. What exactly is your understanding of lay liturgical ministry?

    The fact that Fr. Z cited something written by a lay minister who identifies himself as a chaplain does not mean that he actually approves of everything the man does.

  112. RBrown says:

    It seems that the best thing that could happen to FUS is have a place like St Peter’s have mass acc to 1962 Missal and siphon off students. Maybe then, the TOR’s would start to wake up from their whoop-de-doo slumber.

  113. RBrown says:

    Rbrown, I am all for a little pressure. And if that is what it takes to free the EO form in Steubenville, so be it. However, the greater victory would be if Bishop Conlon genuinely saw the goods of the Mass and celebrated it himself with humility and charity (This is a long shot, I know, but not worth forsaking).

    All I asked was for some faithful Catholics to offer their reception of the Lord for the conversion of another’s heart. I understand that grace builds on nature, but do not let your instruments supercede the grace of God. If you believe that political pressure is a more efficacious means of conversion than prayer and sacrifice, then I suggest you attend an ordinary form of the Mass and listen to the Gospel in English ‘cause I think you mistranslated the Latin. (I now offer my most sincere apologies for that dig, but I’m leaving it in because I think its funny.)

    I repeat, I am ALL for a little PRESSURE, but let’s keep things in perspective – if we finally get the Mass but have lost all sense of charity, have we really strengthened the Kingdom?
    Comment by Among the “Who”

    You seem to think that grace and pressure are mutually exclusive.

    By grace Bp Conlon is Pastor. As Pastor he is subject to the pope (Pastor Pastorum). He is also obligated to feed the sheep–thus subject to them via the principle of negative governance (now often called subsidiarity). And so political pressure–or if you will, pastoral pressure–can be exerted both from above (the pope) and below (the flock).

    No matter how pious a man is, in order to be a good bishop he must know what to do. This is called Pastoral Prudence, and it is acquired via various means, one of which is experience (see above, pressure from above and below).

    BTW, St Thomas says that prayer is no substitute for action, which action is what is needed.

  114. Among the "Who" says:

    Rbrown,

    I said nothing that would imply mutual exclusivity between grace and pressure. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    For the record, my “political pressure” began on July 8th when I approached my pastor. I have since followed up with him. I contacted my Bishop, and he has followed up with me. And I have been a part of an organizing effort among the lay faithful to make our desires known. So, please save your Aquinas quotes for another day – I have already consulted him.

    The reason I asked others for continued prayer is because many of the comments on this post have (at least in tone) slipped into a kind of cynicism. I understand the hurt and frustration that many feel. I am among them. I know that according to the facts we are in the right. Nonetheless, I repeat my encouragement to others to offer their reception of the Lord for Bishop Conlon. No, not just Bp Conlon but for all Bishops, particularly those who oppose the wishes of the Holy Father.

    Action must begin with prayer, be prayer itself, and then end in prayer.

    “Prayer then becomes continuous, like the beating of our heart, like our pulse. Without this presence of God, there is no contemplative life. And without contemplative life, our working for Christ is worth very little, for vain is the builder’s toil if the house is not of the Lord’s building.” -St. Josemaria

    Rbrown, I am not trying to preach. I’m sure that you are a prayerful and wise man. I only intend to encourage others, myself included, to remain centered on Christ through prayer and sacrifice, and not get so caught up in our zeal for is right that we stray from our own pursuits of personal sanctification.

    Keep up the good work, brother. I am with you.

  115. Dogfoodlover,

    Thanks for your note. No worries.

    Yes, if only life, e-mail and this blog had undo buttons! ;-)

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  116. Dogfoodlover says:

    Thank you Gordo.

    I appreciate the balance that you brought to the FUS tangent above. I suppose my approach back there was based on the assumption that FUS does enough tooting of their horn that a more exclusively critical statement might be justified. In retrospect this was not fair.
    Considering the way in which people are disposed to form categorical interpretations of such things a bit of the bright side is always appropriate if one’s intention is less than purely destructive.

    It cannot be denied that there is much grace at that institution. As a youth it was first of all in this place that the Lord, we might say, “shattered my deafness.” In spite of the imperfections, I owe a debt of gratitude, particular to the holy fathers who were always true fathers to me.
    And does not such a claim of judgment simultaneously covet a claim to higher perfection when the motive is less than the true good of the other? When I consider the matter of my deepened conversion at FUS there is a part of my heart which would like to say, “Give the glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner”; and yet another part responds, “If he be a sinner, I know not. One thing I know, that whereas I was blind now I see.”

    Suffice it to say that FUS is a human institution — faults are always to be found; but if the good is lost as a result of this preoccupation the fruits of the endeavor will be spoiled.
    I realize I am preaching to myself here.

    Peace.

  117. Christopher Mandzok says:

    Earlier in the responses, an individual suggested that we pen a response letter, indicating the desire to attend the Tridentine Mass within Bishop Conlon’s diocese. I have done my part, as follows:

    July 31, 2007

    Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon
    Bishop of Stuebenville
    DIOCESE OF STEUBENVILLE
    P.O. Box 969
    Steubenville, OH 43952-5969

    Dear Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon:

    I received a copy of your memo to the priest of your diocese relating to the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict regarding the Tridentine Mass. At the end of your memo, you requested the names of any faithful that desired to attend the Tridentine Mass with your priests.

    Please add my name to the list of faithful. My information is as follows: Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Mandzok, 818 West Highpoint Drive, Claremont, CA 91711. I realize that I am not within your diocese’s boundaries, however I will be in Steubenville in April, 2008. I want to put you on notice that I will be attending the Tridentine Mass within your diocese.

    As an aside, Father, Modernist have a saying, “Build it, and they will come.” I ask that you pray the Tridentine Mass for the faithful will come.

    Thank you for your time and cooperation on this matter, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

    MR. AND MRS. CHRISTOPHER MANDZOK

    All of us need to be active in defending the One True Mass.

  118. (applause track)

    Excellent.

    Gordo

  119. Eric says:

    This guy is just flat out hostile to the ancient Mass.

    If necessary, I will be happy to forward a copy of this ridiculous document to the Ecclesia Dei Commission mahself. By overnight mail

    Many people who love the Church and Her traditions have been too damn nice. Time to take the gloves off.

    Ah, yes. If fighting evil with good won’t work, why not try fighting evil with evil?

    These disobedient Bishops need a letter from the Holy Father himself.

    this is illegal

    His Excellency, Bishop Colon, should be deposed from his See

    This man will not obey the Motu Proprio. What he has suggested is unlawful.

    when it comes to suppressing legitimate options, the enemies of Church tradition can wax quite Stalinist.

    A look at these comments, culled from many angry and disrespectful comments above, indicates the problems pastors and bishops will have with bitter, vindictive and mean-spirited people trying to order them around when it comes to the Tridentine Mass. Where is the Christian charity in these comments? Why do these commenters assume they know the bishop’s intentions?

    1. The bishop said they will take a positive attitude toward the motu proprio.

    2. He has said some parts of the document require clarification. Do you know what dubia each bishop has submitted to the Holy See for clarification? Why do you assume you do? The bishop has a right to ask for clarification, and unless you’re reading his mail, you don’t know if he has or hasn’t.

    3. “There will be no public celebration of the pre-Vatican II rites until I am assured that they can be celebrated well and in accord with Summorum Pontificum’s terms.” Again, what’s the problem? Do you want poorly-trained priests to publicly celebrate the Tridentine Mass? Where does the anger come from on this point? He does not limit private uses of the old missal.

    4. “Any pastor who anticipates public celebration should contact our diocesan worship office prior to making any commitment to the faithful.” Again, nothing contrary to the motu proprio here. Why assume he is acting nefariously? He could be checking responses to see if two adjoinign parishes have similar plans, in which case they might be asked to combine and thus have more resources (music, etc.). If a pastor replies, “We plan on dumping our only Spanish Mass on Sunday and replacing it with the Tridentine Mass,” does not the bishop have a right to know that, and to find a way to accommodate all?

    5. The questionnaire asks for a reply on the matter of private Masses by August 10, more than a full month before the motu proprio’s rules take effect. Why do you assume he is trying to block implementation of the motu proprio? He is allowing a month to work out details.

    6. Why not ask details about the private Mass? I mean, how many priests do you know who offer a private Mass without people? If the pastor were to say, “I plan on eliminating the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass and instead offering a private Mass then,” don’t you think the bishop should be concerned? If a priest is offering a public weekday Mass that’s the only one within 25 miles and now wants it to be private, don’t you think the bishop should be concerned?

    7. The question of who might be attending the private Mass is not an attempt to identify individuals. A proper response would be “I have a group of 25 regular parishioners who said they would be interested in attending” would be an example of a good answer to this question. “No one that I’m aware of” might also be OK. But if the priest were to replace a public Mass with a private Mass, and then say “I think three people from four parishes over would come,” that would not be a good thing.

    As long as attitudes such as those expressed in comments above are prevalent among supporters of the old missal, you will not get your way. You have to stop assuming that your bishop is evil and underhanded. You have to stop assuming that only your needs matter. You have to stop assuming that those who prefer the new missal are “less Catholic” than you. You have to stop talking about clown Masses. You have to stop complaining about the lectionary. Just stop all this whining and moaning. It’s not attractive, it’s not Christian, and it’s counterproductive. You are only confirming the worst fears of everyone regarding those who prefer the old missal.

  120. Eric says:

    All of us need to be active in defending the One True Mass.

    Oh yeah, by all means, include a line like that in your letter to the bishop. That’ll make him bend over backwards to accommodate you. Not.

    Or better yet, include some crazy sedevacantist rant. At least then he might get a laugh from it.

  121. Eric: So, it looks to me as if you are taking the bishop’s memo not just at face value, but perhaps giving it a helpful, favorable reading. Would that be accurate?

  122. mike says:

    Shall we all gather up a hammer, nail and a copy of the motu and visit our cathedral doors? What goes around…

    m

  123. Eric says:

    Father:

    I would say that I am reading it overall at face value and giving it the benefit of the doubt where it is unclear. After all, do our teachings against detraction not require us to do so? And I would say that many of the comments here do engage in detraction, if not calumny.

    I don’t think it is at all helpful to read these things negatively at the outset, making all sorts of uncharitable assumptions (e.g., thie bishop is evil). What I would say to the commenters is, why not just take the bishop at his word? If something is unclear, why assume the worst? Later, in the implementation, if things don’t turn out as they should, parishioners can address those issues as they arise, but making sweeping negative assumptions from the get-go will only result in self-fulfilling prophecies. My guess is that in a worst-case scenario folks will get at least 75-80 percent of what they want from such a document as the one cited here, if not all. Of course, if they start attacking bishops over the remaining 20-25 percent, you can be sure the 75 percent will begin to fritter away.

  124. Among the "Who" says:

    Mike,

    I don’t think the Diocese has raised enough money for Cathedral doors yet! But save your nail just in case…

    and Eric,

    Refreshing perspective! Thanks for staying positive.

  125. Remus says:

    If your priest has fears of being labled not “idoneus” perhaps he should
    ake a course in Ecclesiastical Latin Grammar. There is one free at
    http://www.franciscan-archive.org/misc/latin.html

  126. Tina says:

    Good thing the option of the Latin Mass is available…the bishop needs to learn it.

  127. Sam says:

    The bishop should be immediately disciplined by the Vatican for disobedience. The counter revolution has now begun and I can sense a lot of knees are shaking right now. Let us move forward with the Latin Mass. Jube, Domine, benedicere.

  128. Tina says:

    By the way Remus…thanks for website. I need to brush up.

  129. RBrown says:

    Rbrown,

    I said nothing that would imply mutual exclusivity between grace and pressure. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    For the record, my “political pressure” began on July 8th when I approached my pastor. I have since followed up with him. I contacted my Bishop, and he has followed up with me. And I have been a part of an organizing effort among the lay faithful to make our desires known. So, please save your Aquinas quotes for another day – I have already consulted him.

    The reason I asked others for continued prayer is because many of the comments on this post have (at least in tone) slipped into a kind of cynicism. I understand the hurt and frustration that many feel. I am among them. I know that according to the facts we are in the right. Nonetheless, I repeat my encouragement to others to offer their reception of the Lord for Bishop Conlon. No, not just Bp Conlon but for all Bishops, particularly those who oppose the wishes of the Holy Father.

    Action must begin with prayer, be prayer itself, and then end in prayer.

    “Prayer then becomes continuous, like the beating of our heart, like our pulse. Without this presence of God, there is no contemplative life. And without contemplative life, our working for Christ is worth very little, for vain is the builder’s toil if the house is not of the Lord’s building.” -St. Josemaria

    Rbrown, I am not trying to preach. I’m sure that you are a prayerful and wise man. I only intend to encourage others, myself included, to remain centered on Christ through prayer and sacrifice, and not get so caught up in our zeal for is right that we stray from our own pursuits of personal sanctification.

    Keep up the good work, brother. I am with you.
    Comment by Among the “Who”

    1. My point is that the pursuit of personal sanctification cannot be separated from human action.

    2. Opus Dei, eh? No one understands political pressure like Opus Dei.

    3. Do you know Fr Michael Barrett? During the years I was studying in Rome, I knew his brother Brian, also a priest, but not of Opus Dei. He was teaching morals at Dunwiddie and died suddenly of a heart attack. It was surprising because he was young and trim, but I was told later that he had a history of heart disease.

  130. John says:

    Eric,

    Many of the folks on this blog have or now currently do live in Steubenville. Much of the comments I would agree seem to be uncharitable, but detraction goes both ways. Furthermore, benefit of the doubt is prudently granted when a person is unfamiliar with the party at hand. Perhaps you are not familiar with his excellency Bishope Conlon, and therefore it is perfectly acceptable for you to grant him such a benefit in this case. However, those who are familiar with his past actions (and ommissions) with regard to the liturgy would perhaps not be acting according to reason if they read this letter as anything other than a threat, and an attack on Traditionalism. Bishop Conlon has in the past refused to allow ‘a wide and generous application’ of the 1988 Motu Proprio, Ecclsia Dei, despite a substantially large group asking for the TLM. And he now seems to be requiring (contrary to Summorum Pontificum) that priests ask for his ‘ok’ to say the Traditional Mass, which was never abrograted, and which they have had a right to say since they were ordained as Roman Catholic Priests. Furthermore, to ask which of the laity will be attending can most certainly be seen as a veiled threat. If you were familiar with St. Peter’s Church in Steubenville, you would know the extent to which the Bishop’s office has tried to liberalize what used to be a most beautiful liturgy in that Church. Approximately five years ago one would rarely have seen female alter servers (an abuse according to JPII only allowed in very rare circumstances), communion in the hand (again an abuse and objectively evil according to Bl. Teresa of Calcutta), and the abuse of Extraordinary Ministers (evident in the GIRM). Now these things appear to be an every day occurrance there. Again, charity goes both ways. Many of the comments here may be considered just ciriticisms.

  131. Everyone: I imagine that this could go on for quite a while. But I think it is time to stop. We can move along to other things now.