Bishop of Owensboro on the Motu Proprio

 

The following was transcribed and sent by a faithful WDTPRSer.  It is an article from The Western Kentucky Catholic, wherein His Excellency Most Reverend John McRaith, Bishop of Owensboro, expresses himself about the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

My emphases and comments.

Diocese Will Strive To Make the Tridentine Rite Latin Mass More Accessible [The the onset, this sounds very positive!] To The People of God

My Dear Friends,

On July 7, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated an Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio” on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970.  In his Apostolic Letter, the Holy Father allows for the wider use of the Tridentine [we should move away from calling it this, though it is still useful] Rite Latin Mass – the Mass in use prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.  Our Holy Father acknowledges that some members of the faithful are still [not just "still".  Also, "newly". ] attached to this form of the celebration of the liturgy, and it is his desire to provide them with a greater opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist according to the 1962 Roman Missal.

The authority to permit the celebration of this Mass has been at the discretion of all Bishops for some time now, but the Pope’s new legislation simply permits all priests to celebrate such a Mass- as an “extraordinary expression” – if there is a call for it, and he is qualified to do so.  In his letter, the Holy Father makes it clear that the Novus Ordo, the rite that we currently use for the celebration of the Mass, is the “ordinary form” of the Mass, and the former liturgy (the Tridentine Rite) is the “extraordinary expression.”  No priest is required to celebrate this form of Mass. [I believe, therefore, the other argument could be made, no?  No priest is therefore "required" to say the newer form?  Unless, of course, he really doesn’t need a salary.]

The ordinary form for celebrating the Mass and the Sacraments will continue to be the Novus Ordo.

The issue is not merely about celebrating the Mass in Latin, [thank you thank you thank you] since all priests may choose to celebrate the current form of the Mass in Latin.  [thank you thank you thank you] The Tridentine Mass calls for a specific form or rituals of the liturgy.

The official spokesman of the Vatican described this new law as “a reconciliatory gesture” to a relatively small number of people attached to the old liturgy.  It is the Holy Father’s wish that those who truly desire to worship using the Tridentine Rite will be given the opportunity to do so.  This should not be seen as undermining the Second Vatican Council or liturgical reform in any way; nor does it “impose any return to the past.”  The spokesman noted that the new order of Mass is the one celebrated regularly by our Holy Father, who has “spoken eloquently about its richness.”

I would like to express to you my commitment to carry out the wishes of the Holy Father in making the Tridentine Rite Latin Mass available to those who desire it in our diocese, providing that all of the guidelines of the Apostolic Letter are followed.  This is a call that I take seriously, as does the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  [Quod est demonstrandum.] The USCCB subcommittee, the Committee on the Liturgy, has already begun to address many of the issues surrounding the carrying out of the Holy Father’s wishes in this regard.

Please know that I, in conjunction with our diocesan Office of Worship and in consultation with the Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy, will continue to work toward addressing these issues to carry out the Holy Father’s desire to make the Tridentine Rite Latin Mass more accessible to the People of God.

If you would like to read the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter in its entirety, it may be found at http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/bclnewsletterjune07.pdf.  Those without access to this resource may contact my office for a copy by calling 270-683-1545.

God’s blessings on you always

Sincerely in Christ,

+John J McRaith (signed)

 

 

In the balance this is a very good letter.  I don’t know what dispositions there are presently in place in that diocese, but it sounds like the MP has the backing of the bishop. 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Bishop of Owensboro on the Motu Proprio

  1. RBrown says:

    Although the Novus Ordo can be celebrated in Latin, I think it likely that if a priest had wanted to do it, in most dioceses there would have been pressure for him. I know for a fact this was the case with a priest in the KC-St Joseph diocese (before Bp Finn).

    Further:

    I knew an associate pastor in the archdiocese of DC who was saying a private Latin Novus Ordo on his day off. The pastor threw a fit, forbidding him to do it. The priest starting driving to the Opus Dei center on his day off just so he could say mass in Latin.

    I knew another priest, now with the FSSP, who filled in at a parish in Bp McRaith’s diocese, and celebrated VERNACULAR mass ad orientem. He was all but crucified.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    Owensboro is the only diocese in Kentucky that has no authorized “extraordinary” Mass at this time. Apparently there is good hope that this will change.

  3. RBrown: I knew another priest, now with the FSSP, who filled in at a parish in Bp McRaith’s diocese, and celebrated VERNACULAR mass ad orientem. He was all but crucified.

    Yah… that happened to me once.

  4. Timothy James says:

    Is every Bishop SUPPOSED TO come out with a latter on the MP or has that just been the trend this time around? I have yet to hear anything from my Bishop on it, should I just keep waiting for a letter or ask him about it… Im not sure. Anyone have an idea? Thanks!

  5. Cody says:

    The danger of skimming:

    I missed the preceding sentence, and initially understood “No priest is required to celebrate this form of Mass” as “a priest is not necessary for a valid mass to be celebrated.” I nearly had a heart-attack! Then I slowed myself down and read it again :)

  6. michigancatholic says:

    Timothy,

    There is no requirement for a bishop to issue a statement, that I know of. I think a couple of things are at play here.

    A) *They’re issuing* because the MP is historic and everyone knows it, whether they want to admit it or not. I think everyone who’s paying attention realizes that the policies of this pope, including the MP, are an historic turning point in theology, liturgy and catholic identity. This will go down in history, red letter history. So everyone who thinks they’re anybody (which means most emphatically the bishops of the USCCB) has to jump in with a formal statement. It’s the CEO thing to do.

    Is there some verbiage in the MP that involves responsibility of the bishop? A little bit, but mostly it doesn’t involve them as much as probably they’d like to think. They can’t regulate it into a tidy little box of their own design, a problem for some of the power freaks in the crowd.

    And yet, what’s happening post-MP is necessary, because the mass must survive everything, even those who cannot conceive of either their passing or the passing of all the possessions and fashions they hold dear.

    B) *We’re watching* because everyone wonders what their bishop is going to do about people who SAY or GO to the extraordinary form. Nobody wants to get hung out to dry.

    The N.O. mass in Latin is a case in point. I’ve been catholic for over 20 years, yet I’ve heard the novus ordo in Latin precisely twice. (And I don’t live in one of the real hotspots–ie Milwaukee, LA & the like.) I sought it out myself both times and traveled to get to it. Yet, many mass-going Catholics have never heard it and don’t know it exists. Why? Because it is heavily controlled and sometimes priests are even punished for using it!!! This, even though the Latin N.O. was designated as the official form prior to the MP, and the English is merely the badly-translated vernacular version which may be substituted for it.

    Add to this the de facto belief of many of the bishops that they have a right to tell you about everything, even things of which they are abysmally ignorant (ie labor law, economics & international relations), and there is a problem.

    So everyone is watching to see what certain bishops will do to priests. Pointedly speaking, this is the issue. We have some bishops who routinely mistreat the priests in their dioceses.

    Bishops can’t really touch laypeople who are not in their employ. So it’s up to laypeople to do some of the heavy lifting. Info about where and how that’s got to be done is what we’re looking for–where we have to travel, what we have to provide. That and where priests are who need assistance and support from us.

    *Ideally, what ought to happen is PEACE*. The MP is a GREAT ARMISTICE in the liturgical wars and it must take its place in history as precisely that. The Catholic faith must remain free and practiceable through this period and into the future.

  7. “I knew an associate pastor in the archdiocese of DC who was saying a private Latin Novus Ordo on his day off. The pastor threw a fit, forbidding him to do it.”

    Ummmmmm…..Isn’t that an abuse of power?

  8. michigancatholic says:

    Michael,

    The recent history of the Catholic Church (post-V2) has been all about abuses of power. It’s been one of the main themes, in fact.

  9. RBrown says:

    Ummmmmm…..Isn’t that an abuse of power?
    Comment by Michael E. Lawrence

    Of course, it is. The same pastor also forbid him wearing a cassock.

    I have been a Catholic since 1970. Except for the mass in St Joe, the only public Novus Ordo Latin I ever heard about was said in the crypt at the National Shrine in the mid 80’s. It was said by a Benedictine named Urban Schnaus (I think) who used to teach physics at KU . . . and had eyebrows like Edward Teller.

  10. michigancatholic says:

    Now there’s a mental picture. Perhaps the bishop didn’t know how to confront him?? ;)

  11. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Iused to celebrate mass at times in Latin at the National Shrine in D.C. but it became too far to go when I had one of my own at my parish.They stopped it a long time ago and replaced it with a Spansih mass.Isn’t therea requirement for a minor basilica to have mass in latin at least once? The MP has caused some bishops to be very creative in avoiding the truth that they cannot stop it.They can regulate it as they would regulate any mass celebrated according to the 70 missal i.e.insure that it is done properly.The bishop from Owensboro makes a pledge to the people that he will carry out the MP.That is far better than Archbishop Sanchez telling his people that many priests cannot say it because they have to genuflect 18 times and they have bad knees!How idiotic.What did priests do 40 years ago?What do priests do when celebrating the NO where at least they are to genuflect twice,four times if the Blesed sacrament is reserved.His reasoning is weak-kneed.If they are that bad that they cannot even genuflect slightly then they can bow.I was a deacon a long time ago but on Ash Wednesday when we went to impose ashes I was told by the Pastor that I was forbidden to use any of the two formulae for imposition.I had to use theone the parish liturgy committee came up with.I asked the Pastor,”You mean I cannot use the one the Church prescribes and must use one composed by a committee?”He said yes.I went and used “Remember man that thouart dust…”.He got over it.

  12. Dear Father McAfee,

    I think you mistyped. The ordinary use has three genuflections (five with the sacrament is reserved). One at each elevation and a third before picking up the sacrament to display it for the “Behold the Lamb of God.” That third genuflection sometimes gets forgotten during the preparation for communion, however.

  13. Scott Arbuckle says:

    Father bless,

    Why would His Grace, Bishop John call the Tridentine Mass a rite? The Byzantine Catholics have several Liturgies, ie: St. James, St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom, yet they are all within the Byzantine Rite.

    All the best,

    Scott Arbuckle
    Carmel, Indiana

  14. Fr R Blake says:

    “Is there some verbiage in the MP that involves responsibility of the bishop? A little bit, but mostly it doesn’t involve them as much as probably they’d like to think.”

    The MP places the choice to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Rite on the priest. One reasonably presumes that the decision as to his competence to do so rests on the priest, it is priest who decides, now, whether he is capable of celebrating in particular language, the MP does not alter this but adds to his choice.
    Itis also him who decides on pastoral need within his parish.
    The role of the Bishop is, again presumably, to ensure all is done in conformity with the mind of the Church.
    In many ways the MP is one of the few post VII examples of that beautiful and important VII concept of subsidiarity.

  15. Andy Lucy says:

    I live in the Diocese of Owensboro. There used to be an indult Mass, once every three months. The priest then went on active duty as a chaplain, and no replacement was ever sought… in spite of the begging from the faithful.

    We currently drive 3 hrs to attend an indult Mass in Cahokia, IL, when we are able. Otherwise, we attend the ordinary form of Mass here locally, with a priest who really does try to provide a solemn and uplifting liturgy, in spite of the banalities introduced by our guitar strumming chairman of the liturgy committee.

  16. RBrown says:

    It was said by a Benedictine named Urban Schnaus (I think) who used to teach physics at KU . . . and had eyebrows like Edward Teller.

    Should be “physics at CU” (Catholic University).

  17. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Ooops! My mistake.My thanks to Fr.Thompson.

  18. G says:

    Who’s Edward Teller?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  19. Legisperitus says:

    Edward Teller: a Hungarian-born scientist, now deceased, who worked on the Manhattan Project. Think Ed Asner but even more bearlike.

  20. Edward Teller was a physicist involved in U.S. Nuclear weapons research and other defense projects.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Teller

  21. RBrown says:

    The MP has caused some bishops to be very creative in avoiding the truth that they cannot stop it.They can regulate it as they would regulate any mass celebrated according to the 70 missal i.e.insure that it is done properly.

    Revisionist History. The Russians do the same thing with Stalin, pretending that he never existed. And sadly, many bishops do it with Veterum Sapientia, pretending it was never written.

    The bishop from Owensboro makes a pledge to the people that he will carry out the MP.That is far better than Archbishop Sanchez telling his people that many priests cannot say it because they have to genuflect 18 times and they have bad knees!How idiotic.What did priests do 40 years ago?What do priests do when celebrating the NO where at least they are to genuflect twice,four times if the Blesed sacrament is reserved.His reasoning is weak-kneed.If they are that bad that they cannot even genuflect slightly then they can
    Comment by fr.franklyn mcafee

    1. I think you’re referring to Abp Sheehan. Abp Sanchez was fired because he had been fooling around with teenage girls–at least it wasn’t teenage boys.

    2. There’s a priest here who once a month after mass exposes the Sacrament for adoration and never genuflects. He just turns around, gets it from the tabernacle, puts it in the monstrance . . . and strolls out.

    I think that some priests don’t understand that lay people notice such things. They don’t understand that the laity has been taught to respect the clergy and so don’t really say anything. Further, they think that emotional (but vapid) homilies combined with glad handing after mass establishes a firm pastoral foundation.

    3. BTW, Fr McAfee, do you know Fr Buckley of the FSSP?

  22. RBrown says:

    Should be:

    The MP has caused some bishops to be very creative in avoiding the truth that they cannot stop it.They can regulate it as they would regulate any mass celebrated according to the 70 missal i.e.insure that it is done properly.

    Revisionist History. The Russians do the same thing with Stalin, pretending that he never existed. And sadly, many bishops do it with Veterum Sapientia, pretending it was never written.

  23. RBrown says:

    Edward Teller was one of the fathers of the H bomb.

  24. matt says:

    “Otherwise, we attend the ordinary form of Mass here locally, with a priest who really does try to provide a solemn and uplifting liturgy, in spite of the banalities introduced by our guitar strumming chairman of the liturgy committee.”

    Andy Lucy, do you mind to name which parish you’re referring too? I was born and raised in the Diocese of Owensboro but am now a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Louisville. I didn’t get to know many priests and parishes in my youth (unfortunately), but am now always interested in how they are doing. I do know that Our Lady of Lourdes has a nice reverent Novus Ordo (complete with “consecration bells”) despite the usual Haugen/Haas songs. The sanctuary is quite nice as well. I wish I could say the same for Owensboro’s Cathedral.

    About the MP, I must say I am pleasantly surprised by Bishop McGraith’s response to it. Let us pray for him as his health is failing.

  25. RC2 says:

    I had to laugh at the “old knees” comment, although I expect it was facetious –meant to illustrate the bishop’s doubt there will be great demand for the extraordinary form, rather than a literal objection.

    Nevertheless, to illustrate Fr. McAfee’s point, the pastor of St. Mary, Mother of God in downtown DC (for years site of an “indult” mass in our ArchD) is a Vet who literally can’t genuflect. He gets through the extraordinary form just fine.

  26. Andy Lucy says:

    matt

    I am referring to St Edward’s parish. We also attend Sacred Heart parish. Our priest has three parishes to tend to, along with assisting with Spanish Masses at differing parishes.

    He is a devout priest, who puts a great deal of thought into his homilies, even those for weekday masses. He is one of the few we have had here who seems to have a high level of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. And as much as I adore the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, I almost feel bad asking him, as he really is snowed under.

    At least he didn’t call me stupid like one priest did when I asked about using sanctus bells during the Mass. I had never really been chewed out by a priest before, but I was told in no uncertain terms that I was a throwback, a dinosaur, and that stupid ideas such as Latin and incense and sanctus bells were gone forever… good riddance.