Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee issues his own norms for Summorum Pontificum

The Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ has issued his norms for the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.  They were borrowed from the Diocese of St. Augustine.  You might remember those.  I called some of their points "shocking". They were developed by Bishop Galeone.  They contain some pretty surprising and problematic points. 

They have been adopted by all the bishops in Florida.

My emphases and comments.

Below are Norms which I am promulgating relative to the wishes of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI as stated in his apostolic letter, Summorum Pontificum, concerning the use of the old Latin Mass. They are intended to serve as a guide for pastors and for the faithful. There will be further refinements of these directives as we receive word from the USCCB.  These norms were developed by the Diocese of St. Augustine.  The bishops of Florida, as was I, were impressed by their succinct and concise nature and we have decided that they should be used throughout the Province and the State of Florida. [!] If you have any further questions please call the Bishop’s Office or Father Paul White, director of the Office of Liturgy, at 850-435-3500.

Most Rev. John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
August 21, 2007

Norms for the Implementation of the Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum
Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the motu proprio Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum (SP) on July 7, 2007 extending the use of the Missal of John XXIII as an “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite. For all intents and purposes, the Holy Father’s Letter speaks for itself. However, there are some important points which all of the clergy in the Diocese need to know in order to properly apply the prescriptions of the document. The bishop, in his role as “moderator of the liturgy within his own diocese,” promulgates the following:

1.      The Roman Missal of Paul VI, referred to as the “ordinary form,” remains the usual/normal manner in which the Eucharistic liturgy is to be celebrated. The “extraordinary form” (the so-called, Tridentine Rite) is contained in the Roman Missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962 Missal).

2.      Only priests who are qualified may celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass and the sacraments, even privately. Those qualified must evidence ability with the Latin language [The Latin word idoneus is used in the Motu Proprio to indicate the qualifications of the priest.  Idoneous never means "expert" or "well-trained" or "schooled" or anything of the kind.  It refers to the minimum qualifications.  This is why the eminent canonist and Archbishop of New York, Edward Card. Egan stated that "II. Priests who choose to celebrate Mass in the "extraordinary" form must have a sufficient knowledge of the Latin language to pronounce the words correctly."] as well as the rubrics for the proper celebration of the Mass in the extraordinary form. The Bishop of the Diocese reserves to himself the authority to determine whether a priest is qualified to celebrate Mass and the other sacraments using the extraordinary form. Generally, the priest must demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of Latin such that the priest is not simply reciting the words of the liturgy, but has an understanding of the meaning of what he is saying. Additionally, the priest must possess sufficient knowledge of the liturgical/rubrical requirements of the 1962 Missal so that the Mass is celebrated in a correct and dignified manner. This will apply to all celebrations of the extraordinary form whether the priest is incardinated or simply a resident in the Diocese. [So... is there going to be a test?  Will there be tests also for priests celebrating the Novus Ordo as well?  If not, it sounds like a terrible double-standard is about to be applied.]

3.      A private Mass is one celebrated by a priest on his own initiative. By definition, [whose?] this Mass is not scheduled nor announced via the parish bulletin or other means. [As in a priest saying during coffee and donut time, "I will be saying Mass tomorrow at..." ] A private Mass may be more or less regular as result of the personal schedule of the priest. Any qualified priest in good standing may celebrate a private Mass according to the extraordinary form with at least the presumed permission [Hang on.  A priest should have at least the presumed permission of the pastor to say Mass at all, but according to the Motu Proprio, the choice of Missal is his own.] of the pastor of the place of celebration. [Please note: A private Mass is never to be celebrated at the same time when public Masses are celebrated in the same church or chapel. To preserve some order, a private Mass (celebrated in either form) should never commence sooner than 15 minutes following the completion of a public Mass or other celebration of the sacred liturgy in the same church or chapel.]

4.      A pastor may not, on his own initiative, schedule a public Mass according to the extraordinary form. [Ummm... I don't think that is what the Motu Proprio says.  Will the bishop now be micro-managing parish schedules?   The M.P. says that pastors not bishops respond to the faithful making requests.] The Apostolic Letter requires that a “stable group [Here is that bad translation of coetus which we have seen constantly in these statements.] of the faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition” make a request for the extraordinary form to be celebrated. The Bishop has determined that such a group should number at least 50 people for such a request to be granted.  [This is ABSURD.  The M.P. does not establish a minimum number of people.  A coetus can be as small as 3 people.]

5.      When the services of a qualified priest are available, and when the pastor has approved a request for the extraordinary form, the celebration may never be the exclusive way in which the Mass is celebrated on Sundays, feast days, or weekdays. No more than one Mass according to the Missal of John XXIII may be celebrated on a Sunday or feast day. If only one Mass is celebrated in a parish or mission, it must be according to the ordinary form.

6.      In cases where the pastor is unable to accede to the request of the faithful (see no. 4 above) for Mass according to the extraordinary form, the pastor is to contact the Bishop’s Office for assistance. [Right.]

7.      The use of the extraordinary form requires the presence of a properly trained male altar server.  [This is interesting.  I wonder if there is permission in that diocese for service at the altar by females?] In the Tridentine Rite, the role of this person is much more significant. [This is a bit ironic, no?  The usual (incorrect) way of thinking about "active participation" suggests that the roles of the laity in the old days were less significant than today.  Curious.]

8.      The Apostolic Letter abrogates all post-conciliar legislation concerning the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, including the indult permitting ordinaries to authorize the celebration of the Tridentine Mass[What a very curious statement.]

9.      The Apostolic Letter is clear that the extraordinary form is NOT to be celebrated in any way during the Easter Triduum [This is not really true.  In those places where the older use is used exclusively, as in a parish or chapel set up by the bishop, where there is no "competition" for the time slot, the older books would be used.] – from the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday through Evening Prayer of Easter Sunday.

10.  Deacons who are asked to participate in a Mass or sacred liturgy according to the extraordinary form must meet the same requirements as priests as outlined in no. 2 above.

All laws governing the celebration of the extraordinary form must be followed. 

Further information can be obtained through the following website – www.usccb.org/liturgy and clicking on the link marked “BCL NEWSLETTER ON SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM.”

Along with the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter, these norms are effective on September 14, 2007.

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174 Responses to Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee issues his own norms for Summorum Pontificum

  1. RBrown says:

    Once again we have a bishop who, after years of not caring whether or not priests knew Latin, now has decided that it would have been a good idea for them to have studied it.

    Isn’t this an admission of episcopal incompetence?

  2. Tim Ferguson says:

    Regarding the publication of the date and time of a private Mass, I am reminded of classmates of mine from major seminary. Their college seminary forbade “parties” in students rooms, but made allowances for “spontaneous gatherings.” Students would hence post notices on the bulletin board announcing that, “At 7:00 p.m. on Friday, there will be a spontaneous gathering in so-and-so’s room.”

    While it is puerile, I would think a similar plan could be used for private Masses in Florida. Perhaps just a note in the bulletin stating that “due to an unannounced private Mass in the extraordinary form being offered at the main altar on Thursdays at 8:00 a.m., those interested in praying the rosary in the church are asked to do so in the side chapel.”

    A little passive-aggressive resistance can sometimes be a healthy thing.

  3. Jay says:

    I have communicated with the chancellor of the Diocese of St. Augustine concerning the memorandum sent to the clergy her concerning the MP. He has offered clarification on the matter which I am not able to post publicly right now. However, there are still questions left in my mind. I’ll follow up on this later.

  4. Fr. W. T. C. says:

    A formal complaint must now be brought before the Ecclesia Dei Commission.

    In addition if the bishop requires proficiency in Latin and the rubrics to be such that the ordinary priest of today is unable to qualify for the celebration of the older use of the Mass given his formation, it seems to me, that the bishop then has the moral obligation and perhaps the legal obligation to correct the situation by additional liturgical formation. He may also have the moral obligation to send his seminarians to seminaries where the requirement for dexterity in the Latin language is taken seriously by the faculty.

    Rome needs to stop these people from invalidating the work of the Holy Father.

  5. James says:

    I am bending over so far backward in my strenuous efforts to divine benevolent intentions in these episcopal directives that I fear I may collapse. Honestly, why do so many bishops develop a backbone only when it comes to suppressing the Church’s venerable traditions? Do they despise the Church’s ancient liturgical tradition that much? If they were one-tenth as severe in policing the ordinary form, the appalling widespread abuses would stop. Sigh . . . illiberal liberals are so perplexing. Let us pray for the priests who have to bear the brunt of this.

  6. woodyjones says:

    The literacy test reminds me of the old joke abut literacy tests in Mississippi, which unfortunately is too politically incorrect to repeat here, but you get the point. This is an absurd situation and evidence of episcopal tyranny.

  7. D. Robert says:

    In reading the various bishops comments, clarifications, deconstructions and plain old disregard it would seem that the problem here is not the priests understanding of Latin; but rather it is the bishops understanding of English and the Pope’s direction. It seems to me that the Vatican needs a new Human Resource department to improve the appointment of bishops.

  8. woodyjones says:

    Sorry about the double post, I was trying to correct my misspelling, and in the third iteration would have omitted the last sentence which accurately reflects how I feel about this but is perhaps too incendiary for this genteel list. This matter calls to mind Rosmini’s famous Five Wounds of the Church (which as I recall listed as one such wound the alienation of people from clergy; if only he could see it now).

    But further on the good bishop’s norms, I wonder why he did not also include a parental notification requirement.

  9. Belloc says:

    James,

    There are no benevolent intentions, and it does no one any good to pretend there are. This is on the contrary malevolent from start to finish. Make no mistake about it. It is a political and diabolic (yes, I said diabolic, as in supernaturally influenced if not conscious) effort to forestall restoration before it has even begun. And it must be stopped NOW.

    I hate to use the sword of a blackguard, but the words of Thomas Cromwell to St. Thomas More at his trial leap immediately to mind.

    “Now we can plainly see, you ARE malicious!”

    Pray for Cardinal Hoyos, that he has the strength and foresight to do his duty, and do it quickly.

  10. Xavier says:

    “The literacy test reminds me of the old joke abut literacy tests in Mississippi, which unfortunately is too politically incorrect to repeat here…

    Unfortunately, I must bless you for your reserve. ;-)

    - a Mississippian.

  11. J Ryon says:

    I thought the Holy Father’s intent was to create greater unity in the church by granting the faithful whose faith is nourished by the older rite greater opportunity to worship according to that rite. These bishops seem to be throwing every possible obstacle in the way. Rome needs to issue some clarification before this goes any further. Why do they have such a hatred for the older rite?

  12. EJ says:

    Father,

    I sincerely admire your patience as you, again and again, analyze the various reactions, interpretations, and (apparently now), the progmulgated decrees from various bishops and dioceses. Your hands must ache as your repeatedly make clear the meaning of “idoneus.”
    I am noticing a rather apparent effort on the part of some to thwart the Holy Father’s intentions with Summorum Pontificum, specifically by misusing or ignoring the real meaning of “idoneus,” and its implication of competence in the Latin language rather than expertise in it. In light of these concerted efforts, it would seem that a very thorough clarification is needed on the part of the Holy See, and the sooner the better, as to what a bishop may or may not do to limit the decrees ordered by Summorum Pontificum (as if this wasn’t clear already from the document itself). Whether or not the Ecclesia Dei Commission was truly given more strength and authority by Summorum Pontificum will surely (and hopefully) be put to the test in the next few months. Many priests and faithful, some already pained and stressed to the breaking point, may not be up for the white martyrdom required in consequence to standing up to a defiant bishop, pastor or diocese. It should be the responsibility of the Holy See to make certain that Summorum Pontificum does not become another Ecclesia Dei-obeyed by some and ignored by others.

  13. Patrick Kinsale says:

    Regarding the complete ban on celebration of the Extraordinary Form during the Easter Triduum, why is this mistake continually made? Should not the Vatican or the USCCB clarify this for bishops? I hope they do so by Septuagesima!

  14. Craigmaddie says:

    J Ryon:

    Why do they have such a hatred for the older rite?

    Msgr Klaus Gamber probably came closest when he commented that to a large extent the new liturgy was created hand-in-hand with a new theology.

    Again and again, we can see that those who are most hostile to the traditional rite of the Mass are also hostile to traditional Catholic theology and the teachings of the Magisterium.

  15. Dominic says:

    I think it would be interesting to contact all the bishops who have responded (so quickly!!) to the motu proprio, and ask them for the norms they issued in response to the 2004 document Redemptionis Sacramentum –On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist.

    I suspect you won’t have to use much, if any, space to publish their norms.

  16. RichR says:

    I am curious to see how this pans out in the next few months. If priests “petition” their bishop for a TLM, then it will be an implicit affirmation of these unlawful norms. If they give in, then they are subject to further enchroachment later on, and will be effectively powerless to appeal (since they didn’t appeal to the EDC earlier). So, the priests will be forced to go ahead, against the Bishops’ “norms”, and (legally) say the TLM anyway. When the chancery finds out and takes action against these “dissident” priests, the priests will then appeal to EDC and things should be set aright. The whole process is probably going to be messy and un-nice. I think the the Holy Father knew these problems existed already, and he drafted the document to bring these things to the surface.

    What confuses me is this: what gives the Bishops confidence that their “interpretation” of the motu proprio will defend them before an EDC hearing? The letter and spirit of the document are pretty plain.

    I think those priests who are thinking of tackling this issue and going ahead with the TLM should do three things. First, pray for your Bishop. Second, know that the law and the Pope are on your side. Three, read the motu proprio for the homily at the first TLM so that the people who haven’t read it hear it. It’s so plain what the rules are here. It will show the average person that nothing is being violated, so when action is taken, the people are behind you solidly.

    This truly is a battle that is already won. Those who will stand up to these unlawful norms know that they are 100% justified in doing so. Those who are “promulgating” these norms are building a house of cards. It looks solid…..until the slightest breeze challenges it.

    Sad. We should pray for the hierarchy. This is going to be messy.

  17. TJM says:

    I thought it a bit ironic that the Bishop’s Motto is
    “God is Gracious.!” Would that the bishop familiarize
    himself with the meaning of the word. Tom

  18. Albertus says:

    There are many priests now coming from Poland, India, Africa to serve in the U.S. Often they are difficult to impossible to understand. Should we have an English prononciation for them so we can understand the Mass in English/vernacular?

  19. Albertus says:

    There are many priests now coming from Poland, India, Africa to serve in the U.S. Often they are difficult to impossible to understand. Should we have an English prononciation requirement for them so we can understand the Mass in English/vernacular?

  20. TJM, maybe he should amend his motto to read, “God is Gracious, but not me.”

    ;-)

  21. I wonder if these Bishops who insist on tests are playing into the Holy See’s hands. If they insist on rubrical tests, then as you say there is a double standard, from what he has been saying the Holy Father would love tests for priests who say the Novus Ordo, so that “all may be done correctly”.

    As for the language qualification, last week I celebrate a funeral, not Mass, in English and Portuguese for a family, I know no Portuguese, I merely had the prayers written out phonetically and practiced them for several days beforehand, however as there was no Portuguese priest available, I felt it was pastorally sensitive, and certainly pleased the family.

    I wonder how idoneus Pope John Paul II was with those Asiatic languages he celebrated Mass in on his foreign travels.

  22. danphunter1 says:

    Good ol’ collegiality rearing it’s ugly head, yet again.
    It must be abolished or we are going to have a thousand more little protestant enclaves where Catholic diocese’s used to be.
    Christ, help us all.

  23. Fr Kevin says:

    I am sure some priests will take this matter to Rome, but most will not. Taking such an action will always sour a relationship and a priest will have to live with the consequences. Dioceses are close knit institutions and no-one likes a troublemaker.

    “…And of course if Father is not happy possibly some extended leave or a little counselling for a few a months might well adjust his attitude, or possibly a move away from supportive parishioners to St X with the bongo drums and the liturgical dancers might stop him getting in a rut – career development, that is it.”

    If a bishop is being unjust it is the laity who must write to Ecclesia Dei and good ‘ole Cardinal Baptista Re at the Congregation for Bishops.

  24. RBrown says:

    I wonder if these Bishops who insist on tests are playing into the Holy See’s hands.
    Comment by Fr Raymond Blake

    I think they are because it opens the door to restoring Latin as a necessity for seminary study.

    Unless Europe where most priests have studied at least some Latin, there are priests here in the US who don’t know a word of Latin.

  25. RBrown says:

    “Unless” should be “Unlike”.

  26. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    According to Bishop Ricard’s coat of arms, “God is Gracious.” Would that Bishop Ricard were as well. With the bishop (as well as with some others), I am sensing control issues.

    This type of letter isn’t anything to lose sleep over. There have been enough similar letters issued by other bishops that the Ecclesia Dei Commission will have to intervene. And that will be that.

  27. Dominic says:

    It is sometimes worth saying a point a dozen times. Thank you Fr Raymond (and I like your blog too!)

  28. Timothy James says:

    It is so unfortunate that the availability of the Extraordinary form of the Mass in some situations is going to come down to whether or not the Bishop wants it to happen. Bishops are becoming more and more creative in finding ways to suppress the use Extraordinary form. It is just a matter of time before a Priest in one of the Dioceses wishes to say the Extraordinary form and is told that he may not by the Bishop, and the Priest turns to the Ecclesia Dei Commission. The first case like this should set the precedent and perhaps open up the door for Priests in similar situations.

  29. Scott Smith says:

    Requires 50 people to approve the request to celebrate the classical liturgy?

    “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?” Gen 18.23,24.

    “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” Gen 18.32

    “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matt. 7.2

    Perhaps some day they will say as long as there are ten you can use the N.O.

  30. Ernie Bragiel says:

    Fr. John,
    In light of the seemingly many problems Bishop’s of the USSCB are having with Pope Benedict’s initiative,
    Is the following (gleaned from Whispers in the Loggia–Rocco Palma) actually happening in Rome and do you
    think there will be some “tweaking” of the directive?

    “…In the meantime, requests for authoritative clarification (known as dubia) on elements of the new norms are going to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei by the ream from the dioceses and episcopal conferences. Entrusted with the final word in overseeing the Missal of Bl John XXIII and its celebration, the commission’s responses will settle not a few points of contention that’ve come to light in the motu’s wake.”

    Thank you and God Bless you.
    In Jesus’ name,
    Ernie Bragiel

  31. Dorothy says:

    Summorum Pontificum: “We order that everything We have established … be observed from 14 September … WHATEVER THERE MAY BE TO THE CONTRARY.”

    This surely implies that if a bishop lays down a requirement that appears to inhibit the freedom granted by the higher authority of His Holiness, the bishop’s order has no force.

    It looks as if Ecclesia Dei will find itself getting very busy, very soon.

  32. RBrown says:

    It looks as if Ecclesia Dei will find itself getting very busy, very soon.
    Comment by Dorothy

    Probably there are no more than 10-15 legitimate questions being asked of Ecclesia Dei. They can be handled fairly quickly.

  33. dcs says:

    RBrown writes:
    Probably there are no more than 10-15 legitimate questions being asked of Ecclesia Dei. They can be handled fairly quickly.

    Yes, I imagine that the very same questions are being asked over and over again.

  34. Timothy James says:

    Ernie Bragiel said: “do you think there will be some “tweaking” of the directive?”

    The accompanying letter to the Bishops does say: “Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.”

    If these same problems persist for 3 years perhaps we will see one of these “remedies.”

  35. RBrown says:

    Some info about Bps Galeone and Ricard:

    Both came from Baltimore, Bp Ricard having been an auxiliary there for 13 (!!!) years and Bp Galeone a priest of that Archdiocese. Bp Galeone is almost 72 years old and Bp Ricard 67.5.

    Bp Ricard was made an auxiliary under Abp Borders (which explains a lot). Bp Galeone didn’t become a bishop until he was 66.

    Translated, this means that neither was ever looked up as key figures in the future of the Church in the US.

  36. RBrown says:

    “The bishops of Florida, as was I, were impressed by their succinct and concise” nature and we have decided that they should be used throughout the Province and the State of Florida.”

    In so far as succinct and concise are synonyms, using them together, as the good bishop does, is anything but succinct.

  37. RBrown says:

    “Translated, this means that neither was ever looked up as key figures in the future of the Church in the US.”

    Should be:

    . . . this means that neither was ever considered a key figure . . .

  38. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    Another positive aspect to statements such as this one is that they identify the concerned bishop’s agenda. And “promotion” can be considered in light of that agenda.

    A previous poster was quite right…the Province of Baltimore has cooked-up some whoppers.

  39. Serafino says:

    Certainly, one of the motives of the MP is to reach out to the Society of Pope St. Pius X. Factions within the Society have always distrusted ecclesial authority and are watching very closely the implementation of our Holy Father’s directives.

    If the E.D. Commission does not take corrective action in dioceses where the bishops are forbidding the extraordinary rite of Holy Mass( And this is really what they are doing!) the Society of Pope Pius X, will NEVER return to full unity. According to them the point would have been proven, “You can never trust Rome.”

  40. David Nelson says:

    I wish Rome would issue an official good translation of the SP along with a commentary on the problems already emerging–e.g. Article 9 above.

    Article 8 is not simply a ‘curious statement’ (Father is too kind here)–it contradicts everything that is stated above. I once had respect for Bishops as being, by and large, an intelligent group of men. The statements they are issuing is depressing for the abysmal ignorance, even stupidity, they reflect.

  41. Paul Murnane says:

    1. It is apparent that the bishop’s of Florida would not pass a rudimentary reading comprehension exam of SP in either English or Latin.

    2. Regarding: The Bishop of the Diocese reserves to himself the authority to determine whether a priest is qualified to celebrate Mass and the other sacraments using the extraordinary form.
    Are we to infer that Bishop Ricard is fluent not only in Latin, but with the rubrics of the EF? Did I somehow miss his announcement that he will be providing training for those priests who desire to celebrate the EF? ;)

    3. Looks like the Florida bishops have been reading the bestseller “Leadership Lessons of Hugo Chavez” ;)

  42. TNCath says:

    Father Z,

    I certainly hope somebody at the Ecclesia Dei Commission is getting these misinterpretations of Summorum Pontificum. I doubly hope somebody will issue a some “fraternal corrections” as well. This has gone beyond defiance and/or ignorance: this is blatant disobedience. Even someone with only a passing knowledge of Catholicism could see that.

  43. Frederick Jones says:

    I am not a member of the Holy Catholic and Roman Church , and reading the accounts given above of the fidelity of your bishops to His Holiness the Pope reminds me of what I once said to a group of catholic priests (including one consultant to Vatican II) “If I believed what you lot believed I would be where I was”. It was a long time ago but nothing seems to have changed. With shepherds like these who needs wolves? Fortunately you have the Pope.

  44. RichR says:

    I think that it is generally bad to speak out against a Bishop, but in this case, clearly-delineated rights of the laity are being squashed in the name of……………..nothing.

    It is also odd that a Bishop will exact obedience from his lower clergy when the very thing he is trying to promulgate is, by nature, disobedient.

  45. No priest is bound to obey such ridiculous requirements. Summorum Pontificum is quite clear enough, and needn’t be reinterpreted or obviated by episcopal “guidelines” of any sort. Pastors are perfectly in their rights to ignore them. It is up to the pastors themselves to determine their response, which is encouraged by His Holiness Pope Benedict himself to be generous, within the minimal guidelines established in the Apostolic Letter itself. That’s the law. If clarification of the law is necessary, it will come from Ecclesia Dei. I can only expect that such is forthcoming soon, as the reaction of so many of these bishops is entirely out of keeping with, antagonistic to, and occasionally hysterical regarding the motu proprio. It seems that the devotees of the “Spirit of Vatican II” are attempting, with all that hot air, to blow stronger than the Papal “Spirit of Summorum Pontificum.” Let the “Spirit of Kumbaya” just try to come up against the “Spirit of the Gloria” and let’s all just sit back with our popcorn and watch the show!

  46. RichR says:

    I think this should be less like a theatrical drama and more like children watching two parents go at it. It’s sad to see. I hope the correction of bishops can be taken care of behind closed doors.

  47. Francis Brennan says:

    Regarding the comment by Ole Doc Farmer:

    “Another positive aspect to statements such as this one is that they identify the concerned bishop’s agenda. And ‘promotion’ can be considered in light of that agenda.”

    Bingo. This is one of Pope Benedict’s key objectives in promulating Summorum Pontificum. Whenever a terna is produced with proposed candidates to fill a vacant see, the Pope will now want answers to the following questions:

    1. Is the candidate already a bishop? If so, proceed to question 2. If not, proceed to question 3.

    2. What is the candidate’s attitude to Summorum Pontificum on the basis of his public pronouncements, his instructions issued to diocesan clergy, and his celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form? (Please provide examples).

    3. What is the candidate’s attitude to Summorum Pontificum on the basis of his involvement in the drafting and enforcement of instructions issued to diocesan clergy, and his own celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form? (Please provide examples).

    It’s a very good way of narrowing down the shortlist – or scrapping the shortlist and requesting fresh names.

  48. Serafino says:

    Sorry about the second post! “I pray thee, hold me excused.” But after reading all these posts, I am glad to see there is real concern ( anger?) over the “childish” attempts of some bishops to stop the Holy Father’s MP. The bishops may think they are “popes” in their dioceses, but they are not!

    Several years ago, a bishop tried to “force” a priest to use “altar girls” in his parish. The bishop even tried to suspend the priest “a divinis.” The priest, took the case to Rome. The response from Rome? “No priest may be forced to use altar girls,” and all canonical sanctions against the priest were dropped! The bishops, of course, was left looking like an idiot!

    These defiant bishops know they don’t have a canonical leg to stand on. I am glad the time is OVER, when people including priests, just mindlessly “pay, pray and obey.”

  49. Lauren says:

    How ironic that I was talking to a couple of friends in a young adult youth group (18-30) about getting the group to go to an extraordinary form of the Mass in South Florida. Thanks Fr. Z for posting and analzing.

  50. WRiley says:

    A lay person needs to write the bishop and point out the errors. When he or she is rebuffed, they then need to write Ecclesia Dei and place the situation clearly in Rome’s hands. This is the point in time where the laity must step forward and protect our priests and stand up for our rights. Imagine the result if letters go to ED from each diocese that is playing fast and loose with the MP.

  51. Mary Kay says:

    Fr. Z, thanks for collecting responses(the entire spectrum) to the motu proprio. I have an observation of 4 and a question about 9.

    On 4, bypassing the quagmire of the coetus, and the bishop might not be off by saying the priest can’t initiate a public Mass in the extraordinary form. The translation I saw said along the lines of “let the priest willing acceded to the faithful.” I think that’s saying that a priest can’t say, “Okay, next week we’re using the extraordinary form,” but that the request has to be initiated by the laity.

    In a way, it protects those priests who are attached to the extraordinary form, because if the faithful make the request, the priest can’t be said to be “imposing” it. Sounds to me like a subtle way of somewhat defusing the tension between individual priest and bishop. (I’m thinking of a specific situation in my diocese.) But then, it seems that some of the bishops’ response reflects smarting from the pope making the norms to “free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.”

    My question about 9 is that if a parish has both forms for Sunday Mass, is the ordinary form always used for the Triduum?

    Thanks.

  52. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I will answer this bishop point-by-point. But, first, I note that Pensacola-Tallahassee is the sole Diocese in the State of Florida and the ecclesiastical Province of Miami that does not offer the Traditional Latin Mass on an every-Sunday basis. I must wonder why its Bishops is so quick to issue regulations first and show pastoral solicitude to his traditionalist flock later. Does he not understand the nature of his office? The episcopate is a rulership of service. I also note that Summorum Pontificum is an act of the Holy See. The ordinary interpreter of such an act, therefore, is … the Holy See. Article 12 extends to the Pontificial Commission “Ecclesia Dei” (in addition to its past powers) the function of supervising and applying these dispositions. One cannot apply what one cannot define. Therefore, it is the Holy See, acting through the P.C.E.D., that has the proper function of defining these norms and then imposing them universally in the Latin Church. It is true that local bishops, taking into account local conditions, can set reasonable standards to determine how the pastoral needs appertaining to each Missal limit access to the other one (cf. Sentence 2 of S.P., 5.1). But that is not the same things as defining the terms.

    (1) The Pope did not claim that the “ordinary form” is ordinary in the sense of usual in practice. It is held to be ordinary, and therefore normative, in terms of law. It is possible, in particular cases, that the “extraordinary form” will be usual in terms of practice. An example would be a personal parish erected for its celebration (cf. S.P. Article 10). Even an entire diocese or its equivalent can have the 1962 Mass as its normative Eucharistic liturgy. For the first time, we have a precedent for this: the Apostolic Administration ad personam of St. John-Mary Vianney, in Brazil. May there be many more of them in the future!

    (2) First of all, “idoneus” means capable or able to do something, not qualified according to some added standard imposed by bishops. Note that, in 5.4, it refers merely to *using* a Missal, which here means reciting the prayers in the text and following the rubrics that accompany this. It refers to an ability to celebrate the 1962 Mass. Those who can pronounce the words and follow the rubrics are qualified. The definitions given in Lewis and Short’s Dictionary include “fit”, “capable”, “apt”, and “sufficient”. They refer to an ability to perform a task in an appropriate way. Under Canon 36, words take their dictionary meanings unless specified more closely, and, when definitions are various, the broadest interpretation is to be given when granting or protecting rights. Latin exams are far too restrictive here. According to the broadest dictionary definitions of “idoneus”, it means that the celebrant must be able to present the Mass. Period.

    Secondly, Section 4 of Article 5 refers to all Masses that are celebrated “in paroeciis” (cf. Article 1 of the SAME Section). “In paroeciis”, in parishes, does not mean within the territory of parishes because a parish is not a territorial structure; rather, it is a legal structure existing in a territory. Therefore, it means here those Masses that are offered by or on behalf of a parish. Hence the reference to the parish priest (“parochus”) in Article 5.1 as the authority who can grant them. Since “in paroeciis” refers to all the Masses celebrated under Article 5, Section 4 of that Article restricts only those Masses: it does not restrict private Masses, which may be celebrated on parish property but are not Masses offered by a parish, since they may not be accessible to all parishioners (for the celebrant is not bound to inform all parishiones about them). Masses offered by a parish are public by definition, open to all parishioners and not only to invited guests.

    It follows that the restriction that the priest must be capable of pronouncing the words and following the rubrics accurately according to any standard imposed by bishops-as-moderators pertains only to Article 5, and was obviously intended as a safeguard against sloppy Masses that all parishioners would be invited to attend. We wouldn’t want our Masses to look like the average New Mass, where chaos reigns and anything goes! We all know how carefully our ‘moderators of the liturgy’ have protected us from liturgical abuses over the last three decades! An interpretation of the law properly takes into account the intent of the legislator. This disposition was included owing to the very public concern (e.g. an entire article in the “Latin Mass Magazine” that progressive priests would import their abuses and their disordered liturgical spirit into our Mass. It was put there to keep out ignorant guitar-stumming priests who might scandalise traditionalist faithful by offering them 1962 Masses full of abuses and errors.

    Local bishops lack the competence to extend that restriction to Article 2 regarding Masses sine populo. Clearly, the restrictions on Masses sine populo are lighter because the Holy See hoped that priests wishing to celebrate publicly could train in private first. If you consider the ordering of Articles 2, 4, and 5, you can see a suggested programme for an inexperienced priest. First, he celebrates with only one server (Article 2; cf. Canon 906); then, privately but with a small group of invited guests (Article 4); and then, once he has mastered the Latin pronunciations and rubrics, regularly-scheduled public Masses (Article 5).

    Thirdly, where were these restrictions on the 1962 Mass since 1984? Where were they for celebrations of the New Mass in Latin? Currently, there are 57 every-Sunday New Masses in Latin in 37 U.S. sees (source: Latin Liturgy Association). Once a priest is ordained, he has a fundamental right to celebrate Mass in the Latin tongue. This proceeds from immemorial custom and therefore cannot be overrided by a mere regulation, only by written law that derogates from that custom (cf. Canon 5.2 & Canon 27). A fortiori, it is guaranteed by Canon 928 that priests have a choice to celebrate either “in the Latin language or in some other language”. No Bishop of the Bailiwick of Pensacola has the authority to remove from priests a fundamental right to celebrate in the lingua sacra of their ritual Church. If the bishops want to ensure a good standard in Latin comprehension, let them respect “Optatam Totius” and other notices from Rome and TRAIN THEM IN LATIN. The presumption of the law is that, by the time of ordination, a priest is qualified to celebrate the Mass of the Latin Church in the sacred language proper to it.

    (3) The definition here of a private Mass is totally wrong, and it shows just how inept and obtuse these bishops are. The Holy See has explained time and again that a Mass sine populo is one that is not celebrated according to a published regular schedule. The celebrant can, each week, announce a time and place for the *next* Mass sine populo (but including those who ask to be present), even if this turns out to be the same time and place each week. What he cannot do is to announce that two or more of such Masses will be celebrated according to some temporal rule. That is what a ‘regular schedule is’ (duh!). For example, he could not announce in the parish bulletin that it will be celebrated *every* Sunday at 2 p.m., or *every other* Thursday at 6 p.m., or on the first Sundays of each month at 8 a.m. But the celebrant can announce publicly when the next *one* Mass will be celebrated. To say that an event is regularly scheduled is to say that it occurs more than once at one place and according to a temporal rule.

    (4) As Fr. Z. notes, this is not what Article 5.2 declares. On the contrary, when compared to Article 1 and the meaning of the Mass as public by definition under Canons 837.1 and 899.2, it is clear that Article 5.1 gives the parish priest a general right to schedule a public parish Mass WITH OR WITHOUT the request of a continuously-existing group. While 5.1 mentions that the parish priest should willingly provide such Masses for groups which request this, nowhere does it say that the parish priest can *only* proceed if such a group has lodged a request. On the contrary, Article 1, ¶2 gives priests the general right to celebrate the 1962 Mass (which is public by definition under Canon 837), and Sections 1 and 2 of Article 5 give the priest a right to celebrate it “in paroeciis”, which means to celebrate it publicly unless specifically restricted. A parish priest in virtue of his office has the right to post regular schedules of all the parish Masses; and he has the right to post notice of the next single private Mass.

    Note once again that NOWHERE does 5.2 “require” that there be any group needed, stable or continuously-existing or otherwise. To say that one ought to give a group what it requests does not mean that one cannot do that thing unless there is such a group to request it. What the law does not forbid, it allows. Moreover, in this case, Article 1 specifically allows a public 1962 Mass because a public Mass, given Canon 867, is the norm, and because parish Masses are public by definition (unless restricted specifically). Only Articles 2 and 4 refer to Masses sine populo, which are, in law, not private Masses (merely a common term we use for them).

    (5) This is a complete misinterpretation of Article 5.2. Nowhere do I see the adjective “only” in the Latin. The section establishes two norms. The second one–the one of interest here–is that, normally, it is expected that the parish priest may schedule one 1962 Mass in Latin on Sundays and holydays. Other laws and other conditions may modify this expectation, however. If the parish priest is only allowed by his bishop to celebrate twice or even once on Sundays (cf. Canon 905), and if any faithful (even one) at that parish want access to the New Mass, and if the parish priest is unable to enlist the help of other priests to celebrate Sunday Masses, it may be that not even one 1962 Mass may be celebrated, not because the local bishop alone has the power to forbid it but because circumstances make it impossible: a right to do something is not a guarantee that it may be done. If even one faithful wants access to the New Mass, he must be accommodated, because the New Mass is held to be normative for territorial dioceses and, therefore, faithful have a right to benefit from it.

    Secondly, the section means that, should there be a great demand for New Masses in all the available times, and should the parish priest have adequate resources to offer Masses in all the convenient hours, he may arrange for the celebration of only one 1962 Mass, offering the most convenient hours for Mass in accordance with demand. The other ‘time slots’ would have to be given to the New Mass. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many sacred places in a parish, no matter how many priests are available to say Mass.

    However, if the priest has adequate means to satisfy the reasonable demand for the New Mass and to offer more than one 1962 Mass, he may offer or have offered more than one 1962 Mass. That is why the norm here says “one Mass” and not “only one Mass”.

    Hence 5.2 establishes a general norm that, in typical circumstances, the parish priest is guaranteed to provide one 1962 Mass on Sundays and holydays. “One” here is not qualified. Hence it does not always mean either “more than one”, but nor does it always mean “only one”.

    Bishops can restrict any priest, even a parish priest, to the celebration of only one Mass on any day, even Sunday (cf. Canon 905). Even though general diocesan policies may apply, a local bishop could make exceptions in particular cases. Hence, if his priests generally may binate on Sundays, a particular priest may be forbidden to do so. On the other side, however, a bishop lacks the competence to prevent a parish priest from enlisting the help of retired priests in good standing. They have the right but never the obligation to celebrate once every day, using *either* Roman Missal. Notice that sections 5.1 and 5.2 mention what Masses a parish priest may schedule but do not imply that he must celebrate those Masses himself.

    (6) No comment. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    (7) Bizarre. Perhaps this is a lame attempt to make this bishop look even-handed.

    (8) This statement goes beyond the text of Article 1, which only refers to two documents that are overwritten.

    (9) Fr. Z is too light in his commentary here. The statement of this Bishop is completely false, and he misconstrues the Holy Father’s intent. Liturgies during the Triduum Sacram are scheduled public events by nature. Therefore, whether using the 1962 Missal or that promulgated in 1970, a priest may not celebrate them sine populo. The restiction applied only to Masses and the Good Friday Service celebrated sine populo under Article 2; it has no bearing on public scheduled liturgies under Article 5. Given the general permission to celebrate according to the 1962 books in Article 1, a parish priest could, for instance, schedule a Good Friday Service using the 1962 books. But this will rarely happen because these services can be said only once a day and, if even one faithful wants the New Missal on those days, that’s what everyone gets, for the New Liturgy is the normative one to which parishioners in territorial parishes have a right. But the case would be different in a personal parish erected for traditionalists under Article 10, or in a non-parochial church made available to them and mentioned in Article 5.5. Also, if the parishioners unanimously preferred the 1962 books, they could be used publicly during the Sacred Triduum in a territorial parish.

    (One closing note on inept translations. The Triduum Sacram is the ‘Sacred Triduum’; it is NOT NOT NOT the ‘Paschal Triduum’ or the ‘Easter Triduum’. Traditionally, the Easter Triduum is the three feast days comprising Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday, and reflecting an ancient Jewish custom of three days of feasting. The Sacred Triduum, which is about fasting, not feasting, is Maundy Thursday evening to Easter Sunday a at noon. They are not the same!)

    (10) Latin exams for deacons too! But Article 5.4 mentions only priests. Local bishop can supervise the application of law (as can the higher authority of the Holy See through the P.C.E.D.: see Article 12) but they cannot add stipulations to the laws made by the Holy Father as lawgiver, just as they cannot amend the Code. I suppose that this Bishop will want to test a deacon on the meaning of the Gospel text he will deliver next Sunday. This outrageous; it violates precedent. Since when was this done for Indult Masses or New Masses in Latin or before 1970? If the bishop fails to train his deacons or priests, then that is his fault. He cannot penalise them for his failure. Once he ordains them, he is approving them for the tasks proper to their function. Once ordained, they have a right to celebrate in the sacred language of their ritual Church. No pipsqueak from Pensacola can remove it. Every Latin-Rite priest has the right to celebrate in Latin because Latin, unlike the vernacular tongues, is universal. This Bishop is misapplying his directives. If he wants to authorise a Spanish-speaking priest to celebrate in English, then he may set an English exam for him, so that the celebration in English is fit and becoming. By ordination per se, one becomes qualified to celebrate in Latin and one own’s vernacular tongue(s) but not, perhaps, some other vernacular tongues.

    Latin and Latin alone is the universal language of the Latin Church. It is the proper language of celebration everywhere (except in Dalmatia) and a right to celebrate it is guaranteed by Canon 928: “The Eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in Latin or in another language, provided the liturgical texts have been lawfully approved.” Since the one who carries out the celebration is, by right, a priest, a priest is to celebrate either in Latin or in a vernacular language known to him. The choice is always his.

    But I am glad that Bishop Galeone and others have raised this point. I have heard about inept and incomprehensible Masses in English celebrated by priests with strong French accents, strong Spanish accents, strong Polish accents, and strong Filipino accents. This must stop! I demand that the moderators of the liturgies not allow foreign priests to celebrate in English until they have been tested in examinations that test comprehension, pronunciation and, above all, grammar. These foreign priests do not even know how to use the English subjunctive present tense. I am outraged! Should we be subjected to this?

    In closing, note that nobody need to abide by regulations (that are not even laws here) that are ultra vires. This set of dreams has no force in law. I urge priests in Pensacola and throughout Florida simply to ignore these illegal restrictions. If the bishops want to know what clear texts mean, let them submit dubia to the P.C.E.D. Oh, but don’t worry, my own dubia are now on their way.

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, Canada

  53. BK says:

    There seems to be a pattern developing:

    GUIDELINES

    For the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form

    Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

    The Holy Spirit has prompted our Holy Father to address the matter of the Tridentine Mass. With his issuance of a Motu Proprio, taking effect on the 14th of September, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI has allowed priests of the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal, without any further permission but under certain conditions. Since it is important to read the document carefully, I wish to issue the following guidelines for our Diocesan Church. This I do for the sake of liturgical unity and integrity, in accord with the Holy Father’s admonition to us bishops. In his letter accompanying the Motu Proprio, he wrote the following: “… I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese.”

    The Holy Father acknowledges the fact that many priests may not demonstrate a rubrical or linguistic ability to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Eucharistic Liturgy. In that case, a priest may not celebrate that particular form of Mass nor is he obligated to learn to do so. Provided that a priest possesses the required rubrical and linguistic ability to celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass, the following come into play.

    1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is to be regarded as the ordinary expression of the law of prayer of the Catholic Church of the Latin Rite. A priest celebrating Mass according to the extraordinary form may not do so exclusively; but, needs to celebrate also the Mass in the ordinary form as an expression of his not denying the validity of the Mass commonly used today.

    2. Any priest of the Latin Rite that has the rubrical and linguistic ability may celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form without the Faithful (privately) at any time except during the Sacred Triduum. Christ’s Faithful who spontaneously request it, may join the priest. No permission is required.

    3. Communities or Institutes of Consecrated Life or Societies of Apostolic Life of either pontifical or diocesan rite may use the extraordinary form of the Mass for their community celebrations in their own oratories by permission of their own major superior.

    4. Should a pastor decide to celebrate or allow the celebration of one of the regularly scheduled Masses in a parish in accord with the extraordinary form (Missal of Blessed John X)(ffl), it must be in response to a request from a group (coetus/association) within his particular parish (member parishioners) that has existed and has been attached to the previous liturgical tradition steadfastly (that is: for some time; stabiliter existit). He may not do so as a result of his own personal preference. I ask that requests be presented to the pastor in writing, including names and addresses. These should be kept on file at the parish. In order to preserve unity within a parish, the Parish Pastoral Council is to be consulted in regard to any change. Groups composed of individuals belonging to various parishes are to approach the Diocesan Bishop.

    5. The entire schedule of Masses in a parish may not be in accord with the extraordinary form, as this would make it a “personal parish” for which the diocesan bishop’s permission is required.

    6. Whenever Mass is celebrated according to the extraordinary form, all rubrics for that form of Mass must be observed; including prayers, language, vestments, Holy Communion under one form on the tongue, only boy altar servers, and postures (both of the celebrant and the faithful if present). The Roman Canon is always used.

    7. In order to assure that a priest has the rubrical and linguistic ability to celebrate the extraordinary form of Mass within the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, acknowledgement of such is to be obtained from our Diocesan Office of Liturgy. This is only logical. Many of our priests have never celebrated Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. Others, who have, have not done so for some time. Our seminaries assure bishops that those leaving to function as priests have the necessary knowledge and facility to celebrate Mass in the current form. Perhaps, in the future, they will also do the same in regard to the extraordinary form. In the interim, the matter will be handled on a diocesan basis.

    The Holy Father asks for charity and pastoral prudence in any consideration of celebrating the Mass in accord with the extraordinary form (according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII). That same charity and pastoral prudence need to be exercised within our own Diocesan Church. The guidelines delineated above are intended in such a spirit of charity and prudence.

    I take this opportunity to encourage the appropriate reverence and harmony in celebrating the Mass according to either form, ensuring the unity of which it is to be a sign. The Eucharistic Liturgy of the Church is a treasure currently entrusted to us to preserve and pass on to future generations of the Faithful.

    (Most Rev.) Joseph V. Adamec
    Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown

    August 20, 2007
    Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania

    Transcribed from a hard copy of the letter sent by Bishop Adamec to his diocesan priests dated August 20, 2007, see http://theloyalcatholic.blogspot.com/

  54. BK says:

    Bishop Adamec states:

    “it must be in response to a request from a group (coetus/association) within his particular parish (member parishioners) that has existed and has been attached to the previous liturgical tradition steadfastly (that is: for some time; stabiliter existit).”

    Does Summorum Pontificum stipulate that those requesting the TLM be member parishioners?

    And how is the latter point possible, when bishops like Adamec have forbidden the traditional Latin mass for two decades?

  55. I have been told that Ecclesia Dei is going to issue a response to the Dubia at either the end of Sept or of October (I don’t remember which).

    Obviously these bishops are going to keep on pushing and they will likely go too far. I am reminded of the scene in “The Passion of The Christ” where the devil, suddenly aware of his colassal blunder in leading men to crucify Our Lord is shown spiralling down in to hell as he cries out in anguish, “No-o-o !!!!!”

  56. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In response to B.K.:

    (1) Absolutely not. S.P., Article 5.1, refers to groups of faithful existing “in paroeciis”. A group is two or more individuals acting in combination. Thanks to Canon 1248.1, any faithful can fulfil his Sunday and/or holyday in any Catholic parish, even one in an Eastern Catholic church. Hence there can be groups of faithful “in paroeciis” who neither have a domicile in the parish, or who live on the street as vagrants in the parish or are registered in the parish.

    (2) The words “stabiliter exsistit” do not appear in S.P. Where are they? The term is “continenter exsistit”. He (or someone) has been playing bathroom lawyer in the vernacular and has then had someone translate his nonsense back into Latin.

    P.K.T.P.

  57. Mike says:

    I disagree with your comments on Bishop Ricard’s implementation.

    Where would you like him to produce priests who are qualified to celebrate a Latin Mass? If there is a shortage of qualified priests at this time, wouldn’t it be a disservice to us all to rush forward priests who cannot properly celebrate it? There are already some available and they are in fact increasing in number. I have no problem with that, but you give the impression that every Mass should be from the ’62 Missal and that is unrealistic and impractical, nor is that what His Holiness seems to intend in his Motu Proprio.

    Another thing that (to me anyway) was interesting was when a fellow parishioner spoke to me after Mass a couple of weeks ago and told me that “the Holy Spirit is leading me to follow Fr. So & So, who offers a Tridentine Mass…” and that I should consider joining him there. He stated that it was more reverent and that little kids didn’t have toys to entertain themselves with there and that he’d seen people falling asleep in Masses he’d attended. I told him I was glad for him but that he needed to keep in mind that I grew up with the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, and that to my recollection those very same things had occurred during the Mass then as well and that was not the fault of the form of the Mass being celebrated.

    Personally I have no problems with the Latin Mass, partially because my own facility with languages is pretty good and I have already learned some prayers in Latin…just because I can.

    My problem however, is with those who seem to feel that the Tridentine Mass is some kind of remedy for all that ails us and that if I do not join them then somehow I am less faithful a Catholic than they are. As a result I have made it a point to avoid participating in any Latin Masses, lest I give the (IMO at least mildly scandalous) impression that I agree with that attitude.

    I approve of what Bishop Ricard has done in our Diocese and support him 100%.
    Very sincerely in Christ,
    Mike in Pensacola

  58. James W. says:

    Good comments all around. Glad that I don’t live in Florida. What this bishop has done (along with a host of others) is substitute his judgement for that of Pope Benedict. Very, very dangerous territory indeed. Let’s pray Ecclessia Dei is up to the task.

  59. Xavier says:

    “‘Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?’ – Gen 18.23,24.”

    But our bishops are now using the new new translation in the ordinary form of the Latin Rite. Did you catch it?

    They are no longer “righteous”, they are “innocent” (which renders Abraham’s plea meaningless, as there are no “innocent” men).

    You see “righteous” is a dirty word in the new theology of the ordinary form. That is why those who strive for it are personae non gratae.

  60. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I am not sure if Mike’s comments were directed to my posts. If so, first, I would say that, to paraphrase St. Thomas More, that the world can construe according to its whims but this court must construe according to the law.

    Having said that, I by no means wish to suggest that the new dispositions will return the 1962 Mass to prominence. I very much doubt that. Sentence 2 of Article 5.1 makes it reasonably clear that everyone must work to harmonise availability to the two Masses. There must be a reasonable access to the New Mass because it is the normative liturgy (according to Rome) of the Latin Church. So there must be adequate and reasonable provision for the New Mass. Given the shortage of priests, the limited number of convenient hours in any day, the number of Masses any priest may celebrate on any day (by his own right or by episcopal permission), the limited number of sacred places in any parish, and, lastly, the very small per centage of faithful who are attached to the 1962 Mass, I very much doubt that 1962 Latin Mases will pop up in every parish for congregation of fewer than ten people.

    On the other side, the Holy Father is insisting that this is not only about the right of faithful, principally, the right of priests to benefit from the old Mass to foster their own devotion. A careful reading of S.P. will show you that it does not guarantee any access to the 1962 Mass for laics at all, but only for priests. To Benedict XVI, who is an intellectual Pope, must of this regards the rights of priests as grounded in immemorial custom.

    That’s all for now.

    P.K.T.P.

  61. dad29 says:

    Well, since all of Florida has the same “norms,” it would explain Ave Maria U’s rather peculiar instructions.

  62. dcs says:

    Mike writes:
    you give the impression that every Mass should be from the ‘62 Missal and that is unrealistic and impractical, nor is that what His Holiness seems to intend in his Motu Proprio.

    It’s clearly not what His Holiness intends in his motu proprio. At the same time, a long litany of rules and regulations surrounding the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal is not what he intended either. I don’t think the Holy Father would have bothered issuing Summorum Pontificum if the end result were that the status quo would remain in place.

    My suggestion is for priests to immediately begin scheduling public celebrations of the Divine Office according to the Roman Breviary. That way they can take advantage of the motu proprio and not worry about running afoul of their bishops. ;-)

  63. Mary Kay says:

    P.K.T.P., a heartfelt thank you for your explanation!

  64. Garrett says:

    Well, why don’t we all phone the director of diocesan liturgy tomorrow? I’m going to do it…

  65. “My problem however, is with those who seem to feel that the Tridentine Mass is some kind of remedy for all that ails us and that if I do not join them then somehow I am less faithful a Catholic than they are…”

    That’s not the bone of contention here, Mike.

    I can appreciate any member of the faithful wanting to rally to the defense of his bishop. But the statement released by this one would lead people to believe that he is attempting to restrict that which a higher authority allows. And in the law of the Church, a lower authority simply cannot do that. In fact, the very idea of him even issuing norms would seem counterproductive, when such norms have been decreed FOR him. It is within his power to see that they are carried out if possible, and not to impede them. Requiring knowledge of enough Latin to get through the Mass is not an impediment. On the other hand, imposing rules beyond those of the motu proprio (when the Mass cannot be said, a minimum attendance requirement, and so on) — these are impediments, and these are unlawful.

    This bishop would have been better off saying nothing at all, and simply making arrangements for the training of any priests who wanted it. That’s what the decree calls for him to do, NOT impose further restrictions.

    Maybe after being tied up in paperwork from Rome for a year, he’ll get the idea. One can always hope.

  66. Richard says:

    I love the tone in the beginning of this message. The USCCB and the pope have swapped their authority. The pope’s directive is only a guide and “word from the USCCB” constitutes the final authority on the matter.

  67. RBrown says:


    Where would you like him to produce priests who are qualified to celebrate a Latin Mass?

    I would like him and the other bishops to have followed the documents of Vat II and produced priests who are proficient in Latin. For any priest who knows Latin it’s not a major enterprise to learn to use the 1962 Missal.

    My problem however, is with those who seem to feel that the Tridentine Mass is some kind of remedy for all that ails us and that if I do not join them then somehow I am less faithful a Catholic than they are.

    If you read John XXIII’s Veterum Sapientia, you will see that the use of Latin cures a lot of ills.

    As a result I have made it a point to avoid participating in any Latin Masses, lest I give the (IMO at least mildly scandalous) impression that I agree with that attitude.
    Mike in Pensacola

    When you go to a Novus Ordo vernacular, are you at all concerned lest you give the (at least mildly scandalous) impression that you disagree with Humanae Vitae, or think women should be priests, or are pro choice?

  68. Mary Kay says:

    RBrown,

    Thank you for proving Mike’s comment “that if I do not join them then somehow I am less faithful a Catholic than they are.”

    The attitude that Mike mentions has been noticed by others. Those who make comments such as yours have no idea how much they drive people away.

    So Mike has been turned off by the uncharitableness of some who prefer the TLM. There have been so many calls for people to respect those who prefer the TLM and sympathize with their negative experiences with Novus Ordo people, yet when Mike says he goes to the Novus Ordo because of negative experiences with TLM people, you jump on him and make further broadside derogatory swipes at the Novus Ordo.

    I agree with Mike that that attitude is one reason why I have no intention of attending the extraordinary form.

  69. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In response to David Alexander:

    I agree with most of your comments. However, I would not go so far as to say that the local bishop can set any standard post ordination for knowing the Latin of the Mass. Canon 928 makes it quite clear that a celebrant is entitled to celebrate Mass either in Latin or in a vernacular language. Latin is the lingua sacra of the Latin Church and priests therefore have a fundamental right to celebrate in it, whether in using the New Missal or the 1962 Missal, just as Ukrainian priests have a fundmental right to use Church Slavonic instead of modern Ukrainian or another vernacular language.

    Therefore, bishops and seminary rectors have an obligation to ensure that ordinands will know a degree of Latin sufficient to celebrate in their sacred tongue. The fact that few priests celebrate the New Mass in Latin is quite beside the point. I note also that the ordering of Articles 2, 4, and 5 suggests a programme whereby priests can learn the Latin and rubrics better so as to celebrate dignified Masses publicly.

    Consider that, in the case of the New Mass, nowhere is there a clause in ecclesiastical law enabling diocesan bishops to test priests in order to ensure that they know enough Latin to celebrate Mass. And, while S.P. mentions celebrations of the New Mass, Article 5.4 only mentions qualifications to celebrate the 1962 Mass. Clearly, once ordaind, priests enjoy a fundamental right to celebrate in their sacred tongue.

    Hence I do not think that idoneus refers to comprehension in Latin but only to an ability to present a Latin Mass that is apposite and fitting and dignified. That is also what Cardinal Egan thinks. Let us now discover what the P.C.E.D. will say about the matter. I have submitted fifteen very detailed and qualified questions and posted them today.

  70. Neal says:

    In response to P.K.T.P.:

    “I will answer this bishop point-by-point. But, first, I note that Pensacola-Tallahassee is the sole Diocese in the State of Florida and the ecclesiastical Province of Miami that does not offer the Traditional Latin Mass on an every-Sunday basis.”

    The extension of the Classical Rite to every Sunday is in the works in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Beginning in October, we will have an Extraordinary Rite Mass on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, as well as every Thursday evening prior to Benediction and Adoration. It was felt the more prudent course of action would be to make the move over a few months rather than suddenly, and the bishop has voiced his support of either course. There is a news article in today’s edition of the Pensacola News Journal if anyone is interested.

    As for the rest, I pray that our Bishops see the fruit of Summorum Pontificum in us and respond in kind.

  71. John Spangler says:

    These many nefarious attempts by a good many bishops to thwart the Holy Father’s beautiful act of pastoral love are so very saddening, but then they were to be expected from many in the American hierachy. Look how Cardinal Mahoney, a prince of the Church, “implemented” Redemptionis Sacramentum in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

    What did the Holy Father ask of his brother bishops who are in communion with him and who took, did they not, an oath of fidelity (cf. Canon 380)at the time of their episcopal consecrations? In his letter accompanying, the motu proprio, Pope Benedict XVI writes to the bishops:

    “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”

    “It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

    “Dear brothers, with gratitude and trust, I entrust to your hearts as pastors these pages and the norms of the Motu Proprio.”

    What must those in and associated with the Society of St. Pius X and others whose return to full communion is desired by the Pope think when they see how the Holy Father’s action is being treated by these local ordinaries?

    I hope that some among the Holy Father’s collaborators in the United States Apostolic Nunciature and in the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei are monitoring the responses that have been gathered together in this blog or that will be reported to them by faithful priests and layfolk in these dioceses, and I trust that the Holy See will act to remedy this situation.

    Of course, bishops have not supported the Holy See before. Consider the English hierarchy (all but Bishop John Fisher) at the time of Henry VIII, “the Defender of the Faith.”

    The words of the Church’s preeminent Latinist ring out: “Non omnes episcopi episcopi. Adtendis Petrum, sed et Iudam considera. Stephanum suspicis, sed et Nicolaum respice, quem dominus in Apocalypsi sua odit; qui tam turpis et nefanda commentus est, ut Ophitarum heresis ex illa radice nascatur. Probet se unusquisque et sic accedat. Non facit ecclesiastica dignitas Christianum. … Cui plus creditur, plus ab eo exigitur. ‘Potentes potenter tormenta patientur.’” (St. Jerome, Letter XIV, SELECTED LETTERS of ST. JEROME. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons (1933), at p. 47-49

    “Summorum Pontificum” is the Holy Father’s clarion call; may it help separate the wheat from the chaff. Alea iacta est.

  72. Neal says:

    In response to P.K.T.P.:

    “I will answer this bishop point-by-point. But, first, I note that Pensacola-Tallahassee is the sole Diocese in the State of Florida and the ecclesiastical Province of Miami that does not offer the Traditional Latin Mass on an every-Sunday basis.”

    The extension of the Classical Rite to every Sunday is in the works in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Beginning in October, we will have an Extraordinary Rite Mass on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, as well as every Thursday evening prior to Benediction and Adoration. It was felt the more prudent course of action would be to make the move over a few months rather than suddenly, and the bishop has voiced his support of either course. There is a news article in today’s edition of the Pensacola News Journal if anyone is interested.

    As for the rest, I pray that our Bishops see the fruit of Summorum Pontificum in us and respond in kind.

  73. Michael says:

    Legally, I should think the only requirement is a “celebret”, anything additional “qualification” such as the bishops are imposing seems of dubious legality, i.e., having a celebret, the presumption is that one is idoneus to celebrate the rite, and he should only be impeded if he shows a deficiency when doing so. The follows from the fact that the Holy Father has made clear that this is a licit and authorized form of the Roman Rite, and a celebret gives a priest license to celebrate in his rite. Thus, as of 14 SEP, all priests who have a celebret in the Roman Rite are licensed to celebrate the extraordinary form, and no further legal “qualification” is necessary. On the other hand, if these “norms” are allowed to stand, they will have the effect of nullifying the Motu Proprio, of requiring a priest to have a de facto celebret from the bishop of the every diocese where he wishes to celebrate (something not required of priests who celebrate the NOM), and making the extraordinary form exactly what the motu proprio says it is legally not, namely a separate rite, and a severely restricted one at that.

  74. Bruce T. says:

    Here’s some Latin for the good bishops of Florida and their like:

    ROMA LOCUTA, CAUSA FINITA!

  75. Pater Iterum Jubilus says:

    If bishops were chosen by lottery, you could not get this much incompetence without someone wondering if you fixed the lottery.

    I would take any ten randomly-selected seminarians (that crowd is fearfully orthodox, to the great chagrin of many bishops) and hope for the best. We could not do worse than what we have seen in the present line-up of bishops.

    I am sure the bishops of Florida are reading these posts. Hi, guys! You may be thinking, “These traditional Catholics are rude to us.” Not really. We’ve been kept in the cellar for forty years and finally B16 has unlocked the cellar door and you all are piling onto it to keep us in. Pardon us for shouting! Trust me: the traditional Catholics will go to the wall for you if you as much as show a little kindness to them. You are the father of all your children, not just the impossible-to-please liberals.

    Pax vobiscum!

  76. TJM says:

    WIth all due respect, Mike in Pensacola comes across as a bit childish with his parting salvo, i.e. if you don’t agree with me I’m taking my ball and going home. The bishop’s statement on its face is an affront to Summorum Pontificem and Benedict XVI. In a perfect world, he would either recant his position or be removed. This motu proprio comes from the highest authority in the Roman Church and its meaning is plain. The Church is not well served when a mere bishop sets himself up as an uber-pope. Get over it, Michael, you and your bishop are dead wrong on this one. By the way, Michael, I attend all types of Masses, including the TLM. I have never had it suggested to me that since I don’t attend the TLM every week that somehow I am some lesser form of Catholic. However, I will say this. A bishop of a Diocese, who is supposed to be the guardian of the sacred liturgy, is manifestly unfit for his role if he cannot accept and promote Latin as the mother tongue of the Latin Rite and Gregorian Chant as uniquely suitable to the Latin Rite. He should find another job. Tom

  77. I was long ago taught, in controversies, “never attribute to malice that which can adequately explained by stupidity.”

    Unfortunately, it seems very difficult to explain such restrictions in terms of honest error.

    The only motives I can credit here are either fear or malice.

    And I honestly don’t understand why so many bishops would either fear or hate the Tridentine mass. Have they really embraced an alternative theology that demands an alternative liturgy, as some here have suggested?

    It’s an honest question, asked in ignorant curiosity.

  78. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In response to Neal:

    Thank you very much for this good news from the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. I have been watching indult figures for years, however, and have always been disappointed with that Diocese. In defence of its bishop, it is true that it is the least-populous see in the Province of Miami. Still, when the new Bishop arrived, I was told that he and the Bishop of Kalamazoo intended to authorise every-Sunday Masses. The information came from local sources. Instead, we waited for endless months while the Bishop of P.-T., for instance, authorised a N.O. in Latin and a Traditional Latin Mass only one Sunday per month. Faithful who are attached to a particular liturgy need minimally an every-Sunday Mass so that they can make it the devotional centre of the week. I connect at least the Sunday Mass (and, ideally, daily Mass) to my work and my social and professional life. To go back and forth from one Mass to another is very disruptive and troubling–and saddening.

    So I shall pray that an every-Sunday Mass comes to Pensacola-Tallahassee soon. I know what Neal is going through here. In my own Diocese in Canada, a priest is implementing S.P. in the same slow and gradual way, staring with Low Mass every Monday morning. I sometimes wonder at these clerics. They act as if the Mass of the Ages is some kind of a bomb with a sensitive trigger. We’d better handle this with care, or it could blow up in our faces and kill some faith!

    Meanwhile, the fruits of the New Mass are not just bad but devastating. The decline in faith, churchgoing, vocations, seminaries, Catholic schools and numbers of students, conversions–even Baptisms–is mind-boggling. It is the New Mass that should be regarded as a dangerous bomb. It destroys everything good that it touches.

    P.K.T.P.

  79. Magister says:

    IHS

    I teach Latin for a living, and I must confess that I pick up
    right away when Father is uncomfortable or not minimally qualified in
    in the language. Not that I am grading him, but I am paying
    attention and it sometimes causes a distraction. I am one of the
    odd people who would like to see Latin become a spoken language.

    I do not presume to say that considerations like these occurred
    to his excellency, but they occur to me.

    On the other hand, I sometimes attend an (Ordinary) Mass, where
    Father tries to incorporate the Latin. His pronunciation is
    wretched, he is tone deaf, and has admitted that language study
    is very painful for him. That impressed me. He doesn’t let his
    own preferences or expertise eclipse a love for the tradition of
    the Church and communicating same.

  80. Brian says:

    I personally (thought favorable to the Traditional Mass and support the choice
    of it for those are spiritually enriched) have seen the kind of extremism from some traditionalists

    that Mike has encountered and it is not pretty. On the other, there is the same
    from some liberal Catholics.

    The point is that the bishops from Florida in putting forth these problematic guidelines
    are setting themselves up for confrontation with the Ecclesia Dei Commission and I expect
    many people to be approaching the Commission and rightfully so considering the
    obstructionism of many of the bishops. It saddens me

  81. Mark says:

    Father, canonically-speaking is a Priest able to “disobey” his Bishop if they get things as wrong as this? It is something I have wondered about.

  82. benedettista says:

    I wonder why some of these bishops seem to regard qualification to celebrate the Mass in Latin as such an obstacle, only capable of being surmounted by a small number of elderly priests. Perhaps they have not yet had time to read, from from Sacramentum Caritatis 69, “….I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant….”

    All the bishops have to do is what they are asked to do, and the problem disappears.

  83. Mary Kay says:

    Dan, you and I have been over this many times before. People have mentioned, many times, that they have seen both forms well celebrated and poorly celebrated, both forms have edified and the opposite. Yet you unilaterally disparage the Novus Ordo and refuse to see the good fruit that has come from it.

    All I’m asking is that you show the same respect and courtesy that you want others to show to you.

  84. Mark: is a Priest able to “disobey” his Bishop if they get things as wrong as this?

    I think yes, if the norms are clearly contradictory to the Church’s laws. However, it must be remembered that bishops are powerful. One can win a battle but lose big time in other ways.

  85. TerryC says:

    I don’t see why anyone is surprised at this response from some bishops. They are merely doing what they have been doing for the past 35 years. The Vatican puts out a statement and the bishops either ignore it or issue guidelines stating why it doesn’t apply in their diocese. How else to explain the use of cermamic and glass vessels at Mass and church buildings without kneelers, not to mention clown Masses?
    These bishops truely believe if they put out guidelines that contradict the intent of Summorum Pontificum and make noises about how their priest are just too overworked to say any more, special Mass for some fringe group that the issue will all go away. They believe, probably correctly, that most of their priest will tow the line and not complain to Ecclesia Dei. Those that do they will try to marginalize or punish, expecting that will keep the others in line. It’s been working for 30 years, why should they believe it will not work now?
    Make no mistake there will not be a ground swell of support from the laity in many locations. In my own parish I doubt that you could find ten members of the laity who would be interested in going to a Mass in Latin, be it Ordinary of Extraordinary.
    The bishops are counting on having to only deal with a noisy fringe group which the Vatican will ignore, as they have beenignored in the past. You don’t think Rome has been ignoring the laity in the past? For myself I refuse to beleive that the Vatican doesn’t get hundreds or even thousands of letters a year about certain bishops. Yet nothing is done. Why shouldn’t the bishops be bold. It’s worked for them in the past.

  86. Craigmaddie says:

    Father Z,

    Please excuse the slight tangent and please delete this if you deem it appropriate. The Archdiocese of Glasgow has put a statement about the Motu Proprio on their website http://www.rcag.org.uk/:

    ***

    Archbishop Conti recently wrote to the clergy of the Archdiocese to provide guidance to them on the Holy Father’s recent motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”. The Archbishop emphasised the reasons for the Holy Father’s document:

    “The underlying purpose of the Motu Proprio, which the Pope’s accompanying letter makes clear, is to bring about a reconciliation of those who feel ostracised or marginalised, or who have joined schismatic groups as a consequence of their not accepting the liturgical reforms called for by Vatican Council II and implemented by Pope Paul VI. In this the Holy father is seeking to restore unity within the Church – I do not have any evidence that the Archdiocese is affected in this way and the provision I have already made for a Mass according to the extraordinary form at Sacred Heart, Bridgeton accommodates the few who want it*. In addition, partly out of consideration for foreign visitors and partly to conserve within the Church its heritage of plain chant, I am authorising a Sunday Mass sung in Latin (Missa Normativa, I.e. ordinary form) at Saint Patrick’s Anderson. In all cases, these Masses are celebrated by suitably qualified priests of our own Archdiocese.

    “However, to the particulars of the motu proprio: it is essential to note that the Holy Father has issued this document as a motu proprio. This means that the Holy Father has enacted new law for the whole Church. It is also essential to note that the Holy Father, as legislator and having chosen to issue new law, is assumed to have legislated for everything he wished to, no more and no less. It is not permissible to add or to subtract from what is in the motu proprio.”

    The Archbishop also reminded the priests of the diocese that the Holy Father’s desire was not to displace the current Missal but to increase the availability of the 1962 Missal and so provide choice for those who retain an attachment to the previous liturgical rites.

    “I also remind you that as an extraordinary Rite these celebrations are over and above the ordinary Rite and no-one may be forced to take part in the 1962 rituals when they would wish to celebrate according to the ordinary Rite.

    “I look to you, the priests of the diocese to cooperate with me in this matter so that all may be done in the spirit of unity that the Holy Father so urgently seeks.”

    ***

    *Well, between 20-40, which is not bad considering the following circumstances: the Mass having been moved out of the Cathedral to an outlying parish in an Orange area of Glasgow’s East End where there has been over the years a large degree of violent attacks against Catholics; the Mass more or less not being allowed to be advertised (even in the Church where it is held); no more than 45 minutes allowed, even for a Missa Cantata; and the Archbishop failing to provide a replacement priest for much of last year when the celebrant had suffered a heart attack (leading a number of people to opt for the relative stability of the SSPX chapel instead).

  87. CBM says:

    What about the use of servers? Fr. Z (in the Wanderer) mentioned that the decision of JPII (to allow female servers) also effects the TLM. What is the actual 2007 norm regarding servers for the celebration of the TLM according to the Missal of 1962?

  88. RBrown says:

    Thank you for proving Mike’s comment “that if I do not join the then somehow I am less faithful a Catholic than they are.”

    The attitude that Mike mentions has been noticed by others. Those who make comments such as yours have no idea how much they drive people away.

    I don’t disagree with you about that attitude. My point is that you have to be fair: If you’re critical of those who prefer mass acc to the 1962 Missal, then be equally critical about the Novus Ordo community.

    As I said, there are often huge problems within the garden variety vernacular Sunday mass community. If you want concrete examples: 1) Someone attending Sunday mass in a parish nearby with a bumper sticker reading: Pro Choice and Catholic; 2) A lector who on occasion has bragged about his vasectomy; 3) Various problems within the clergy, most of whom have had inferior formation in every aspect; 4) Huggy masses (“Before we start mass, let’s all introduce ourselves to those around us”).

    It would be easy to go on and on.


    So Mike has been turned off by the uncharitableness of some who prefer the TLM. There have been so many calls for people to respect those who prefer the TLM and sympathize with their negative experiences with Novus Ordo people, yet when Mike says he goes to the Novus Ordo because of negative experiences with TLM people, you jump on him and make further broadside derogatory swipes at the Novus Ordo.

    Being nice is not the same thing as being charitable.

    I agree with Mike that that attitude is one reason why I have no intention of attending the extraordinary form.
    Comment by Mary Kay

    You and Mike are free to attend or not attend. My point is that I have had tons of negative experiences within the Novus Ordo community. If I used your standards to determine whether or not I would attend vernacular mass, I would be staying away.

  89. Dan says:

    I wonder whether or not members of the Ecclesia Dei Commission have been reading any
    of the statements of the various American Bishops on this blog or from the sources
    themselves and are beginning to take the appropriate action to correct the situation.
    Is there a website that we oursevles can write to them of particular problems?

  90. Federico says:

    Questions and comments have continued regarding my take on Summorum Pontificum. The following questions (somewhat edited by me) have come in from several friends, most of them ordained to the presbyterate and one of them a pastor. These are smart guys and canonists (one of them one of my classmates) so I take their questions seriously. Here is a compendium of questions and my answers:

    Question: It is difficult at times for any of us to separate out our personal perspectives in an intellectual canonical discussion. I assume that you have a great fondness for the Mass of 1962 and are personally in favor of the widest possible celebration of the old Mass. I suspect that you have also been dispirited by the restrictive posture taken by some canonists and bishops, and that you would like to put forward a strong counter-argument against this position.

    Fair question….I don’t have a particularly strong attachment to the 1962 low Mass. My age puts me at 6 years old, living in Rome, when the Novus Ordo began appearing.

    I do have a strong attachment to the older Missa cantata and traditional liturgical music in general. My parish in Rome had a choir to which yours truly belonged. We were rather good and even performed at the midnight Christmas Mass for Paul VI. I played soccer regularly with the pueri cantores of the Sistine chapel, who vacationed in Conca dei Marini where my family had a summer house. When my voice changed I lost my pitch control and was unceremoniously kicked off choir….but that’s another story. I shudder at contemporary music at Mass (I was scarred by a rock band playing at my confirmation Mass). The best liturgy (from my perspective) I’ve witnessed over the last 30 years is a Novus Ordo Mass my family and I used to attend at the Norbertine abbey of St. Michael in Orange County, California. Celebrated in Latin and all in Gregorian chant (and those monks have beautiful voices.) Qui cantat bis orat.

    I have no doubt that my analysis seemed to portray me as a “Taliban Catholic” (what my mother calls me, for altogether different reasons) but not because of my unflinching attachment to the older liturgy. If I had to crystallize my personal position in all this, I would say that I’m a relentless fan of diversity. I like Fr. Žužek’s suggestion that each Church sui iuris is like a mother who nurses Her own faithful with just what they need to foster their salvation. I would extend the metaphor to the bosom of the Latin Church and state that each liturgy of the Latin rite uniquely nurses a portion of the people of God. The Church in Her maternal solicitude cannot neglect any part of the Body of Christ and is obligated to provide for them. I agree with the pope that this cannot be divisive.

    I also have enough memory of the transitional phase in the liturgy to remember the erroneous (and odious) representation in vogue in those days (and to some extent alive today) that the older liturgy was somehow wrong. This view portrayed the Novus Ordo not as an aggiornamento so much as a correction of something that was broken. The fruits of this view are poisonous and too numerous to list.

    Questions:

    In what way is the diocesan bishop still the “principal dispenser of the mysteries of God” (c. 387 and 835 s.1)?
    In what ways does the diocesan bishop direct, promote, and guard the entire liturgical life of the church entrusted to them (c. 835 s.1)?
    In what ways does it still pertain to the diocesan bishop to issue liturgical norms for his diocese (c. 838 s.4)?
    In what way is it still for the diocesan bishop to decide what pertains to the licit celebration, administration, and reception of the sacraments, and the order to be observed in their celebration (c. 841)?

    Fr. Z wrote:

    “I think yes, if the norms are clearly contradictory to the Church’s laws. However, it must be remembered that bishops are powerful. One can win a battle but lose big time in other ways.”

    On this point, one of my professor once said to the class (mostly priests): “Don’t forget that every diocese has its Siberia…

    A little sad, really, but this is why many priests don’t protect and defend their rights. This makes it all the more important that lay men and women insist on the enforcement of Church’s laws. Priests, even good ones, may be handcuffed (or may be unwilling to face their bishop’s ire).

  91. Federico: This makes it all the more important that lay men and women insist on the enforcement of Church’s laws. Priests, even good ones, may be handcuffed (or may be unwilling to face their bishop’s ire).

    This is why I have admonished people more than once to be prudent and avoid at all costs putting the priest between a rock and hard spot.   The insensitivity on the part of lay people to the positions priests are in sometime can lead to a lot of suffering.  I have experienced this myself when lay people, thinking they were being zealous or righteous, did something which boomeranged in a way they would never have imagined or intended.

    Be careful.

  92. dcs says:

    RBrown writes:
    there are often huge problems within the garden variety vernacular Sunday mass community

    That is true. My wife and I no longer attend the parish at which we were married and at which we both received our Sacraments because of the problems there.

    At the same time, we have encountered uncharitable people at the TLM — usually older people with unrealistic expectations of how children ought to behave at Mass — that we never, ever would have encountered at the Novus Ordo. It’s ironic in a way because one generally sees more large families and more young children at the TLM than one sees at the NOM. No, I don’t expect people to be “nice” to my wife and me, but I do expect them not to embarrass us in front of others or call our parenting skills into question in front of our children.

  93. Maureen says:

    Re: idoneus

    A lot of good holy priests come over here from Africa unable to pronounce English intelligibly, but nobody stops them from saying Mass; in fact, our bishops solicit them to come. A lot of the good priests serving the Hispanic community speak Spanish pretty wretchedly. But nobody prohibits them from saying Mass for the Hispanic community, and they do get better. In fact, the only way to get better at a language is practice and _use_ in real life situations.

    So really, “pronouncing the words correctly” is obviously interpreted by our bishops very loosely indeed when it comes to the vernacular. (And properly so.)

  94. Xavier says:

    I find it interesting that those who complain about their treatment at the Extraordinary Rite speak of silly things like having their imperfect parenting skills brought into the light; while those who complain about the Ordinary Rite speak of the monumental, eternal concern of heresy being preached in word and deed.

    The sad thing is that it seems inherent in many of those attached to the Ordinary Rite that they have a difficult time seeing the difference. It’s all about ME.

  95. RBrown says:

    Mary Kay,

    If I might make a few points:

    1. The Church is the US is rife with Pelagianism, which holds that man reaches a supernatural end not by cooperating with God’s grace but rather by only using natural powers.

    Among the Trads this Pelagianism takes the form of overemphasizing the letter of the law, which reduces Christian life to a certain material structure. It is manifest in the Confessional by the priest who seems to think ripping the penitent is more important than the absolution.

    Among the Novus Ordo crowd, Pelagianism takes the form of the priest-celebrant as performer*, emotionalism (cf huggy masses), and an obsession with social justice. In the Confessional it is the priest who seems to think that empathizing with the penitent is more important than the absolution.

    2. Many, including John XXIII, have written on the importance of Latin as a protector of doctrine and a sign that the Church transcends any particular culture. And JRatzinger has written on the deleterious effects of mass facing the people.

    *obviously exacerbated by mass facing the people.

  96. Miguel says:

    Regarding the requirements by the US Bishops regarding proficiency in Latin, I am willing to put up with a certain learning curve if a local priest is willing to say the Traditional Latin Mass. It smacks of hypocrisy for the Bishops to suddenly get all concerned about how well the Latin Mass will be said, when thay haven’t appear to care at all about how the venacular Novus Ordo is said in their dioceses. We have been putting up with and complaining about scandalous Masses for years, and the Bishops have not seemed to care all that much. Hypocrisy!!!

  97. dcs says:

    Xavier writes:
    I find it interesting that those who complain about their treatment at the Extraordinary Rite speak of silly things like having their imperfect parenting skills brought into the light; while those who complain about the Ordinary Rite speak of the monumental, eternal concern of heresy being preached in word and deed.

    The sad thing is that it seems inherent in many of those attached to the Ordinary Rite that they have a difficult time seeing the difference. It’s all about ME.

    I guess you’re responding to my post. It’s interesting that you assume that I’m attached to the ordinary use. I’ve assisted at the TLM for eight years and more-or-less exclusively for the last five. In fact my son, almost six, has attended the NOM probably no more than 20 times in his whole life.

    I readily grant that my parenting skills are imperfect and I don’t mind being corrected. What I mind is having my parental authority undermined by having my parenting skills called into question in front of my children. I don’t see how one can conclude that this is a “silly” concern. If my wife and I had been TLM “newbies,” then we probably wouldn’t have gone back.

    Yes, we still assist at the TLM because we do realize that being hurt or embarrassed is preferable to exposing our children to irreverence etc. At the same time, I don’t think traditionalists should get so caught up in criticizing the Novus Ordo that they lose the capacity for self-examination.

  98. These “norms” which are to serve as “guidance” are clearly contrary to the MP and therefore cannot oblige.
    It is not necessary to have a server at Mass. The rubrics specifically indicate what is to be done
    in the absence of a server.
    Under the current provisions, girls may serve at Mass. There is no canonical reason why girls may not
    be permitted to serve in the extraordinary form (not that any sensible minded priest would permit this
    anyway.)
    A “coetus” does not need to be 50.
    No priest requires permission for a private Mass.
    A private Mass can be publicised, in the sense that people can be notified that Fr will celebrate a private
    Mass and that they many attend if they wish.
    The issue of Latin is curious.
    Etc, etc.
    As someone else has said, this letter should be sent to Ecclesia Dei for overturning.
    If the bishop were as strict on the observance of rubrics in the Ordinary Form as he seems to be on those of
    the Extraordinary Form, Mass would be much more dignified.

  99. Henry Edwards says:

    The bishop’s statement on its face is an affront to Summorum Pontificem and Benedict XVI. In a perfect world, he would either recant his position or be removed. This motu proprio comes from the highest authority in the Roman Church and its meaning is plain. The Church is not well served when a mere bishop sets himself up as an uber-pope. ….. A bishop of a Diocese, who is supposed to be the guardian of the sacred liturgy, is manifestly unfit for his role if he cannot accept and promote Latin as the mother tongue of the Latin Rite and Gregorian Chant as uniquely suitable to the Latin Rite. He should find another job.

    Tom, I just thought this fine “plain truth” statement of yours deserves to be printed in boldface.

    It occurs to me also that the typical bishop who remarks on “how few want it” might well, as a sworn and appointed chief evangelist of the Church, consider that he could better serve the “new evangelism” by doing everything he can to increase the number of those who want the traditional Latin Mass. Perhaps he could work up some motivation to this end by attending his diocese’s indult Mass and observing how full and deep appears to be the faith of its congregation, how actively and prayerfully they participate in worship, how typically young it is on the average, how vibrantly they look to the future rather than the past.

  100. TJM says:

    Father Boyle, thanks for weighing in. Ecclesia Dei
    should crush this nonsense, tres vite! Tom

  101. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Boyle: Under the current provisions, girls may serve at Mass. There is no canonical reason why girls may not be permitted to serve in the extraordinary form (not that any sensible minded priest would permit this anyway.)

    It occurs to me that it may be possible to get hung up too much over rules and regulations, norms and rubrics.

    So far as I know there are no rubrics at all for the extraordinary Mass regarding the behavior of the congegration — when and whether they stand or kneel, whether they receive in the hand or on the tongue, etc. But there are plenty of “immemorial customs” that it would be perilous to ignore.

    Perhaps female altar servers at a TLM are more inalterably prohibited by such “immemorial custom” than they would be by a canon or norm (in this age when canons and norms are so widely violated).

  102. Catholic says:

    A shame really. Orlando has had Protestants celebrate their services at Mary, Queen of the Universe shrine & only offers 1 indult Mass to combat the SSPX. Likewise, we are told the SSPX aren’t Catholics and we should avoid them, yet the diocese sends a representative to witness an invalid Anglican ordination. The guidelines are nonsense. But I’m sure they’ll enforce them. Unlike their position on extraordinary ministers, where a transsexual acts as one in a parish.

  103. Mary Kay says:

    RBrown,

    All I’m asking is that you show the same respect and courtesy that you want others to show to you.
    Comment by Mary Kay — 24 August 2007 @ 6:23 am

    My point is that you have to be fair: If you’re critical of those who prefer mass acc to the 1962 Missal, then be equally critical about the Novus Ordo community.
    Comment by RBrown — 24 August 2007 @ 8:08 am

    Do you see that you repeated the point I had already made?

    If you’re critical of those who prefer mass acc to the 1962 Missal, then be equally critical about the Novus Ordo community.

    I wish you would say that to the TLM community: If you are who are critical of the Mass according to the 1970 Missal, then be equally critical about the TLM community. That is precisely the point I made.

    You’ve also made the false presumption that I have been uncritical of waywardness in the Novus Orod community. Apparently you did not read my earlier comment …both forms well celebrated and poorly celebrated, both forms have edified and the opposite. While that doesn’t spell specific waywardness, but it does convey that waywardness has occurred in both communities.

    Consistent with your inaccurate view that I somehow was unaware of waywardness in the Novus Ordo, you then proceed to give specific examples. Perhaps you should take the time to learn about a person before jumping to conclusions about them. I live in a diocese known for its dissidence and could easily provide a laundry list longer than you could imagine.

    But the point is not to criticize and tear each other down. That’s been tried here with the result of both sides turning a deaf ear to anyone who doesn’t agree with them. To a certain extent, it is necessary to make fraternal correction and go through necessary channels. But there’s a point at which self-righteous criticism is harmful.

    My point is that I have had tons of negative experiences within the Novus Ordo community. If I used your standards to determine whether or not I would attend vernacular mass, I would be staying away.

    Once more you’ve rushed to judgment. You have no clue what my standards are. I said that the attitude I’ve encountered is one reason. I did not say it was the most important one. the Church has made the 1970 Missal the ordinary Mass, the normative Mass, so that’s the one I go to.

    What I ask is for an end to the sniping. From both sides.

  104. danphunter1 says:

    The sidelining and virtual abrogation of the Classical Rite liturgy has caused, with Satans goading, all this nonsense.
    Save the Classical Rite Liturgy,Save the World.
    God bless you.

  105. Serafino says:

    When you think of the countless bishops and priests who suffered imprisonment, torture and loss of life throughout the centuries for the truth of the Catholic Faith, is it possible that priests today fear the “displeasure” of their bishops more than ascertaining their rights under canon law? What kind of an example is this for the flock?

    To suspend a priest “a divinis” there has to be canonical cause. ” Every diocese has a Siberia.” Well, many priests have been sent to the real Siberia and to the diocesan “Siberia” and have saved many souls. Are priests afraid of the cross? Are they afraid to give up a comfortable rectory for a simple dwelling in the “boon docks?”

    Liberal bishops count on the “fear factor” to control orthodox priests. Yet I know several priests( I am one of them!) who stood up for their rights, hired canon lawyers and confronted their bishops. In the end, the bishops backed down.

    The more priests take legal and canonical action against their bishops the more likely will they be disinclined to run “gunshot” over the rights of priests. Doing nothing out fear, only empowers the bishops to more injustices. Let’s show a little manly courage here!

    I am not recommending imprudence here, only manly courage which should be a natural part of the priesthood. Being too comfortable in the priesthood, can lead to many moral and spiritual problems, the effects of which are all around us.

  106. TJM says:

    Thankyou Henry. I have noticed through the good offices
    of this website (multo bene, Father Z)that it is the
    younger bishops who did not experience the liturgical
    wars, i.e. Cordileone, Burke, etc (and there are many)who
    are celebrating the TLM themselves! I believe that the
    bulk (but not all) of the clergy ordained either
    immediately prior or subsequent to Vatican II are so
    invested in the “reform” (really an aberrant reform not
    called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium)that they can no
    longer be trusted with the truth or facts when it comes
    to the sacred liturgy. They may be fine on other matters,
    but with the sacred liturgy, absolutely not. Tom

  107. Syriacus says:

    “Leading in Latin”

    Saint Stephen is the only Catholic church in Pensacola to offer the traditional Mass

    by Kate Peabody

    http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070823/LIFE/708230326

    Published – August, 23, 2007

    [ About the church
    WHAT: Saint Stephen Roman Catholic Church, 900 W. Garden St.

    FOUNDED: 1922. The church is celebrating its 85th anniversary.

    SPECIAL PROJECT: Members are in the process of raising money for the building of a bell tower and Baptistery. Donations are welcomed.

    MEMBERSHIP: 250 families.

    MASSES: Held daily. Call for schedules.

    TRIDENTINE (LATIN) MASS: 10:30 a.m. third Sunday of the month. Beginning in October, mass will also be conducted on the second Sunday of the month.

    DETAILS: 432-9362. ]

  108. EDG says:

    Catholic (in Orlando), you have my sympathies. I live in Diocese of St. Augustine, where this horrible ruling started, and I am always stunned at the liturgical misbehavior the Bishop tolerates from the more, er, liberal wing, while “cracking down” on those eeevil traditionalists.

    I think one thing that people haven’t really mentioned enough in this discussion is the effect of the “liturgist.” The original St. Augustine memo was probably written by the “diocesan liturgist,” a very liberal priest who hates the TLM, and it is being enforced, not only by the bishop and the pastors, but by the paid “liturgists” who have been installed in various churches, at least in this diocese. The latter are generally power-crazed women who have a serious hatred of the TLM and a great deal of power in their churches. I’m sure Orlando probably has them, too, and they’re a factor to keep in mind. We have one at the Cathedral who speaks as if she is the bishop.

  109. Craigmaddie says:

    Serafino:

    I am not recommending imprudence here, only manly courage which should be a natural part of the priesthood. Being too comfortable in the priesthood, can lead to many moral and spiritual problems, the effects of which are all around us.

    As a very good, orthodox nun said to a group of us recently: “Life is short and Hell is real”.

  110. jmgarciaiii says:

    Incidentally, here in Miami these “norms” haven’t gotten any airplay, but the letter from Fr. Terence Hogan, director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Worship (http://www.miamiarchdiocese.org/Atimo_s/news/TridentinePDF2.pdf) to he priests of the Archdiocese seems to be somewhat less rectrictive. It still strikes me as a very “Party Line” outlook, but not as disheartening as Bp. Ricard’s.

    I thank Fr. Z. for his very wise and timely reminder to proceed with care and prudence.

    AMDG,

    -J.

  111. Congratulations. Father your site is fascinating and the comments from readers are very consoleing to a 76 year old Roman Apostolic Catholic who is tired of living in a land devasated and without honor. May Our Lady Mater Divinae Gratiae help0 us all. Your admirer

  112. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Some fellow ‘bloggers’ here have seen my very detailed attacks on the illegal regulations issued by some of these bishops, particularly those of St. Augustine (U.S.A.), Glasgow (Scotland), and Pensacola-Tallahassee (U.S.A.). I don’t even bother with Adamec in Altoona-Johnstown. For once, here, I will be more conciliatory.

    I have been a member of the Traditionalist movement now for many years, and have watched the Indult statistics very closely over the years as well, publishing articles especially on statistics. If we step back for a moment and take a larger view of this matter, we might see that the new motu proprio effects the latest stage in a tug-of-war between the Holy See and the local bishops. In 1984, by the Instruction Quattuor Abhinc Annos, Rome merely extended an Indult to bishops, not to priests, to make possible the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass under certain very onerous restrictions. The measure had almost no result because very few bishops implemented it. By 1988, only about 10 dioceses in the Western Hemisphere had such Masses on an every-Sunday basis: 10 out of some 2,000. There were only a handfull in Europe and none elsewhere. My own Diocese of Victoria, in Canada, was one of the ten.

    In 1988, by the apostolic letter “Ecclesia Dei Adflicta”, Pope John Paul II promoted the 1984 Indult and subsequently (in 1991) lifted most of the restrictions of 1984. This resulted in a huge increase in Indult Masses in the U.S.A., France, Australia, and a few other places, and a moderate increase in Germany, Canada, Northern Italy, Benelux; and marginal permissions were granted mostly after 2000. The burst of activity in France and the U.S.A. was mainly between 1988 and 1993. After that, the rate of increase slowed considerably, and it flatlined around the turn of the century (while new permissions suddenly appeared in the Philippines).

    The prayer of sensible traditionalists during this period was that all but the most underpopulated sees at least in Western countries (where there was a demand for the old Mass) would provide at least one every-Sunday Mass. That has been our standard (with a few more for populous archdioceses). Today, nearly forty per cent of American sees still do not have even one every-Sunday Indult Mass. However, only about 17% of American faithful live in those Indult-hostile sees. (Another 7% of American faithful live in a see in which there is an Eastern Divine Liturgy).

    In France, the situation is somewhat better, although 30% of the sees still do not have the 1962 Mass on an every-Sunday basis. Only one-third of the German sees have the Indult every Sunday. In Canada, the situation is pathetic, and the number of Indult-friendly sees actually increased from 10 to about 14 and then fell back down to 10! Australia has done quite well but still lacks the Indult in some populous dioceses. The Indult has done best of all in the Republic of Austria, after a long struggle.

    I agree with TerryC to a large extent because the truth is that, in most places, traditionalists are a tiny minority. They are probably around 1% in most Western countries but potentially as high as 5%. From my studies on the matter, I think that about 20% of faithful in the U.S.A. would attend the Traditional Latin Mass at least occasionally but most of these would probably prefer a more conservative, more august, more dignified, Novus Ordo in the vernacular (or else the T.L.M. in the vernacular). Of course, it is true that the potential of the traditionalist movement has been suppressed by episcopal action, whether by disallowances over the years or by granting bad conditions for the old Mass (bad times, bad neighbhourhoods, poor venues, liberal celebrants who drive away supporters, &c.).

    Nevertheless, we live in the year 2007, not the year 1975 or even 1990. We must deal with the situation as we find it. There is nothing we can do about the past. I have argued over the years the principle most clearly enunciated by Sir Humphrey Appleby of “Yes, Prime Minister” (I don’t have cable but once did, and this was always my favourite television programme). Sir Humphrey (a modern day Pontius Pilate in some ways) pointed out to the P.M., Hacker, that “the truth is irrelevant, sir, only appearances count”. Well, this has become our nightmare reality in this brave new secularist world. It explains the new power of the media, when once, quite rightly, reporters had less prestige than garbage collectors and no actor could ever aspire to be U.S. president. Today, however, the bishops only fear losing face in the press. They fear not the spiritual damage wrought by priest-predators who rape children; they fear only being caught covering it up.

    So, in this light, what is all this struggle about as bishops try to ‘reign in’ the Pope’s new motu proprio? Well, these are the bishops who have implemented the disastrous reforms following Vatican II. In the heady sixties, their bishops of that time forgot reality for a moment and took a gamble. It failed miserably and caused disaster. The present bishops, as the careerists among the priests from that time, helped to implement the bad ideas of the Revolution, so now they feel bound to defend their errors. Pride is the problem, the greatest of the sins. They especially went too far as regards the Mass. Some say that, had they merely composed a dignified translation of the old Mass, all would have been well. I’m not sure about that but I do know that the Council fathers never even dreamed about a new Rite of Mass that is radically different than the former one and open to such laxity that it opened the door to clown Masses and every imaginable abuse.

    Anyway, the bishops of today, especially the older among them, fear the return of tradition as a slap in their faces. So they have, over the years, restricted the Indult as much as they could. To be fair, however, most Massgoers of our day prefer the New Mass, and the only way to return entirely to the Traditional one would be to effect an entire counter-revolution, and not only a liturgical one. It must be intellectual and, so far, it is not on the horizon. I think that all things are possible to God but that this would not be humanly possible. So we can only pray for it. What we must work for is a *reasonable* access to the Mass that preserves the value of our civilisation so that we have something to hand on to the next generations. We have already achieved this, although it still needs to be secured. In the end, we shall need to have our own personal jurisdictions, the Campos writ large. The Campos, a de facto personal diocese, is the juridical goal for the future; it means independence for the local bishops, independence from those who are, unfortunately, often our enemies and sometimes even criminal mobsters who protect child-rape.

    In the mean time, we do not need to have one Traditional Latin Mass for every five or ten parishes in the U.S.A. The bishops have a shortage of priests and the demand for the old Mass among the faithful does not warrant the number of Traditional Masses that the new motu proprio makes possible. The bishops are trying to find ways to suppress enthusiasm for the old Mass and restrict their priests, so that priests will continue to provide adequate pastoral service to the great majority, which prefers the New Mass.

    I think that, out of this struggle, the bishops will likely try to produce the degree of access that John Paul II called for in 1988. This would mean, in Western countries at least, at least one every-Sunday 1962 Mass per diocese, with the possible exception of the underpopulated large Diocese of Juneau, in Alaska. In addition, populous archdioceses and dioceses such as Los Angeles and New York and Dallas would obviously have far more than one. But one per see is still the goal that we have not met.

    The bishops know that they must provide one per see long-term. They hope to save face by greatly limiting access to the old Mass and then squawking victoriously that they have taken control. When you can’t win, distract people–try to change the perception of what the fight is all about. Hence what they mainly want is not so much to prevent us from going to the old Mass but to make the public think that they have defeated evil fascists who have tried to take back the Church.

    The problem for the bishops is that Benedict XVI has granted more than what traditionalist laics need. He has done so for two reasons. First, being an intellectual Pope, he is concerned first of all with a matter of justice, which is giving every man his due. He has concluded that, since the old Mass was never abrogated, every priest has a general right to celebrate it, regardless of the consequences. Secondly, he has done this because he wants to reconcile the S.S.P.X, which has demanded it as a condition for its reconciliation.

    Why should the Pope want to reconcile with a group that has only 500 priests and, perhaps, one million followers worldwide? (There are over 1,000 million Catholics worldwide and 50,000 priests in the U.S.A. alone.) Well, the Pope is taking a longer view. Once Bishop Adamec of Altoona-Johnstown is gone, he will be remembered as a hopeless failure for a time, and then he will be forgotten entirely, except by God. But the Pope will be remembered for generations to come. What he does in his short time as Pope could help resolve the crisis now besetting Holy Mother Church. The accommodation with the spirit of the world, which is the spirit of Satan, only harmed the Church. What can Benedict XVI do to reverse this? What will be his legacy?

    First of all, I think that he knows that, while the New Mass is a valid Eucharist, it is also injurious to the Mystical Body of Christ. The primary reason, spiritually and intellectually, is that it is open to heretical Protestant interpretations regarding the meaning of the Sacrifice that Christ effects through the hands of the priest. It also re-orients the priest (figurately: I don’t mean in terms of which direction he faces) so that he seems to worship not God but the faith-community, or, they would say, God the Holy Spirit in the faith community. But, at Mass, we worship God mainly as a Father Who can rescue us from our transgressions; we mainly worship the Holy Ghost in our neighbour *after* Mass is ended and we ‘go out into the world, taking our faith with us to convert the world by love’. Church is a place in which we look to a God Who is without, that He may literally come within us as Christ in the Eucharist. There is also the Protestant loss of respect in the New Mass for the rôle of the angels and saints. Perhaps worst of all is the opportunity afforded by lax rubrics for every abuse under the sun, including even banjo music. God is being mocked.

    So the Pope needs to return dignity to the Mass. He is already secretly working on a fourth edition of the Roman Missal that will bring it closer to a true sensus catholicus. Bishop Fellay has revealed this in a speech: Benedict XVI works on a fourth edition even as the Trautmans and Adamecs and German bishops try to undermine the official translations of the third one. The Pope will be opposed by bishops whose day of glory is today and who will be forgotten tomorrow.

    I think that His Holiness is trying to use the 1962 Mass as an instrument to bring the New Mass back to a more Catholic spirit. The silences and the chant and art and graceful prayers of the old Mass could make faithful yearn for that dignity. Then the Pope will try to bring some of that into the New Mass. Gregorian Chant will replace trash such as “Glory and Praise”; the old high Altars with their glorious reredoses or baldaccinos or ridels (options) could replace the barren and ugly Protestant supper tables; Altar rails and an hierarchical arrangement could replace the pagan churches in the round, where the people surround the priest as if he were a witch or a druid performing some magic ceremony at a campfire; and so on.

    Of course, once you traditionalise NewMass, the question becomes this: Why not return to the real thing? Coca Cola didn’t just return Coke Classic to pre-eminence; it abolished New Coke altogether. The answer, I suppose, is *language*. That is what everything comes down to. what spurred the liturgical reform movement into a revolution was the replacement of Latin by the vernacular in a single day (29 November, 1964 for Anglophone countries). Ultimately, the conservative Catholic will want a respectful vernacular translation of the old Mass and no New Mass at all, whereas the traditionalist will want Latin. Arguably, had they only translated the Mass into a good vernacular translation and not composed a New Mass, Latin could have been restricted to one Mass per Sunday in the cathedral for those who wanted it (plus one per parish-grouping, such as a local vicariate or deanery) and the liturgical problem would have been avoided altogether.

    Those in favour of Latin, however, point out that there is no greater mystery than that of God’ Sacrifice, and this can only be conveyed by a mysterious language. This is understood by others, who use Syriac rather than Arabic, Coptic rather than Arabic, old Arabic (Muslims) rather than Turkish or Malay, Hebrew rather than Yiddish or Latino, Hellenistic rather than modern Greek, Classical rather than modern Armenian, Slavonic rather than Ukrainian or Russian, Ge’ez rather than Ethiopian, and so on. Even the Anglican traditionalists use Elizabethan English for liturgical English. They know that a modern translation will lead inevitably to the Blue Jeans Bible. Another problem is that a living language changes its meanings and acquires new connotations, requiring constant corrections to avoid untoward associations. (For example, in my old N.O. parish, at the Peace, people would say ‘Peace of Christ’, which sounds to me like ‘Piece of Christ’ and has rather troubling Eucharistic associations. Much worse are some expressions that now have very negative sexual associations. I will not mention them.) Lastly, Latin was universal; the vernacular mentality disunites; it is the Tower of Babel writ large.

    On the other side, most faithful today simply will not sit through a Mass in a language ‘not understanded by the people’ (to use Cranmer’s expression). My own view is that this language issue cannot be solved unless we first solve a larger philosophical problem. I mean the reconciliation of faith and science that troubles so many people today. Just as St. Thomas reconciled faith and Greek philosophy, we need someone today who can explain succinctly a reconcilation between faith and science that is already available but not very accessible. The problem today is a crisis of faith. If faith returns to the earth, Latin can return in full splendour to the Church.

    In the mean time, our liturgical goal needs to be ‘one every-Sunday Mass per diocese’. Along the way, many of the more populous sees will get more. We are still a far way from our goal. The hope is that Summorum Pontificum can achieve this goal. Let the bishops squawk that they have stopped hundreds of Traditional Latin Masses, while they quietly assure a small number reasonably to meet our needs at this time. Quality will out. The New Mass’s worst enemy is … the New Mass. I will be satisfied if the Pope fixes the New Mass while allowing a reasonable access to the Traditional one. After that, we need to turn not to prelates but to our Lady to achieve more. Even a Pope cannot do what is not humanly possible.

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, Canada

  113. danphunter1 says:

    Mr Perkins,
    Some very good points. But there is such a thing called a Latin-Vernacular missal which gives on ethe translation from the Sacred into the profane.
    I went from Novus Ordo vernacular mass to Classical Rite with no trouble whatsoever. and this never having been exposed to any Latin at all.
    Now if this three toed sloth can make this change, anyone can.
    The only right thing that must occur is to completely bring back the Classical Rite and completely do away with the Novus Ordo. Then uncomprimising sacrality will reign supreme again in our churches

  114. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Danphunter1:

    Do you mean that people can simply read the translations out of their handmissals, or do you mean that the 1962 Mass can licitly be celebrated in the vernacular (as it was between 1964 and 1971)?

    As regards the latter case, I note the worrying fact that S.P. mostly does not refer to the language of Mass but only to the year of publication (1962) or references to the Pope who published it (John XXIII) or to the misterm ‘extraordinary’. In fact, there is a priest in France who is arguing that he can celebrate the 1962 Mass in French rather than Latin. I think that he is in the S.S.P.X and is creating some trouble for them.

    If you mean the former, the use of handmissals, I am sure that most of us use them. However, do you think that the average person fed on forty years of vernacular Masses will read a Mass instead of sitting and listening?

    P.K.T.P.

  115. Stephen M. Collins says:

    “Msgr Klaus Gamber probably came closest when he commented that to a large extent the new liturgy was created hand-in-hand with a new theology.”

    My late Mother once told me, after Vat. II and our church receiving a total latex paint update, that “when something NEW wants to be taught, the first aspect of the OLD, the visible symbolism, must be destroyed. Only then can new symbolism be used, linked to new beliefs to be taught.”

    I truly beileve that the derestriction of the Extraordinary Form is the beginning of the careful (at least hoepfully so) pealing away of many layers of latex paint to bring new life to ancient symbols that many bishops would prefer remain hidden.

  116. Belloc says:

    Dan Hunter wrote:
    “The only right thing that must occur is to completely bring back the Classical Rite and completely do away with the Novus Ordo. Then uncomprimising sacrality will reign supreme again in our churches.”

    Indeed.

    Let the Mahony’s of the world quake. Their worst suspicions are true. Every action I take in my indult parish, every time I meet with my bishop, every conversation I have with a priest, every move I make at the chancery, every coffee hour at which I chat, every child I catechize, every mortification I suffer, every prayer I utter, is directed to this end.

    I will not rest until Restoration is complete: ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

    Yet I agree with Mr. Perkins in the sense that “most faithful today simply will not sit through a Mass in a language ‘not understanded by the people’.” This has been my experience as well. I think the solution, and the quickest end to the Novus Ordo, is celebration of the ’62 Missal in hieratic vernacular approved directly by the Holy See. The Novus Ordo wouldn’t need to be abrogated. In ten years it would die a swift and silent death. At that moment, the stake of abrogation could be driven through its heart, that it never rise again.

  117. Mary Kay says:

    PKTP,

    Meanwhile, the fruits of the New Mass are not just bad but devastating. The decline in faith, churchgoing, vocations, seminaries, Catholic schools and numbers of students, conversions—even Baptisms—is mind-boggling.

    That events occur at the same time is insufficient basis for attributing causation.

    It is the New Mass that should be regarded as a dangerous bomb.

    The popes see it differently. They have consistently declared the 1970 (and subsequent) Missal to be the ordinary Mass.

    It destroys everything good that it touches.

    Simply untrue. I know too many people and communities nourished by God through the Novus Ordo. You apparently don’t. Besides, the popes have consistently said that the Novus Ordo is the ordinary Mass. I don’t know how you reconcile that with some of the statments you’ve made.

  118. Xavier says:

    Note to dcs
    I was not responding to you personally, but using your concern as an example of sniping (that, yes, exists on both sides) versus standing up for the Faith.

    I generally find that those who offer fraternal correction (and, yes, they may do it in a grumpy manner) are willing to receive it. Often, it is because they were corrected and appreciated it, that they pay it forward.

    I also like to keep in mind that those who have been humiliated by priests and bishops for the sake of Christ (as have those attached to the E.R.) have a tough skin and may forget that not all have been through the fire.

    Furthermore, the devil plays tricks to keep us from good company. I once asked a woman why she had stopped singing responses and she said a particular lady had given her a “look” and she assumed it was because she sang poorly. I had to tell her that this particular lady was stone deaf!

  119. Magister says:

    Regarding the idea that one must master the language in order to
    be thought reasonably prepared…

    I am a Latin Teacher, and would be happy to help anybody – priest
    or layman – who wants to appreciate the Mass more deeply by
    studying the language, or needs some sort of pseudo-credential
    to show his bishop as proof of ability to say this Mass.

  120. Marcus says:

    Nice work, PKTP. Now re-type that in Latin.

    I have only recently discovered the Traditional Mass, but am familiar with Sacrosanctum Concilium, and the New Mass as it is typically celebrated in the US (that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? There is no “typical” way it is celebrated) simply cannot be what the Council Fathers intended, at least the majority of them.

    However, things being what they are, I believe the Holy Father’s apparent tact of tweaking various aspects of the NO to make it reflect the Catholic faith more explicity and increasing the availability of the Extraordinary Form (I think it’s a perfect description!) will set these two divergent streams of liturgical practice on a slightly corrected course that will see them converge at some point in the future into what WAS intended.

    I think its brilliant! I’m excited for the future of the Catholic Church!

  121. Mary Kay says:

    I was not responding to you personally, but using your concern as an example of sniping (that, yes, exists on both sides) versus standing up for the Faith.

    I generally find that those who offer fraternal correction (and, yes, they may do it in a grumpy manner) are willing to receive it. Often, it is because they were corrected and appreciated it, that they pay it forward.

    I also like to keep in mind that those who have been humiliated by priests and bishops for the sake of Christ (as have those attached to the E.R.) have a tough skin and may forget that not all have been through the fire.

    Furthermore, the devil plays tricks to keep us from good company. I once asked a woman why she had stopped singing responses and she said a particular lady had given her a “look” and she assumed it was because she sang poorly. I had to tell her that this particular lady was stone deaf!

    Comment by Xavier — 24 August 2007 @ 5:33 pm

    Xavier, I went back and looked at your last two comments. Interesting that you portray those attached to the extraordinary Mass as noble and those attached to the ordinary Mass as “silly.” You then again belittle those attached to the ordinary Mass saying that they can’t tell the difference and make a broad, sweeping – and inaccurate – generalization.

    In your most recent post, you characterize dcs’ concern as “sniping” and your own as “standing up for the Faith.” See the pattern of TLM good guys, Novus Ordo bad (or seriously misguided) guys?

    The reason I’ve spent as much time as I have on this today (and I soon need to tend to some other work) is that I consider this feedback to be “standing up for the Faith.”

    If you’re suggesting that those attached to the ordinary Mass have not been “through the fire,” you are greatly, and I mean greatly, mistaken.

    At this point, it seems to me a time of waiting to see how this goes. The arbitrary restrictions need to be corrected, any ambiguities clarified and then just see what happens.

  122. Andrew says:

    Typical lifecycle of a topic:

    Days 1-3: varied comments come in, some very pertinent and interesting.

    Days 4-5: certain themes begin to repeat and quarrels develop around them.

    Days 6-7: longer and longer comments are delivered by fewer and fewer participants.

    Days 8- : the topic deteriorates into repeated lectures by one or two individuals.

  123. Neal says:

    PKTP:

    “So I shall pray that an every-Sunday Mass comes to Pensacola-Tallahassee soon. I know what Neal is going through here. In my own Diocese in Canada, a priest is implementing S.P. in the same slow and gradual way, staring with Low Mass every Monday morning. I sometimes wonder at these clerics. They act as if the Mass of the Ages is some kind of a bomb with a sensitive trigger. We’d better handle this with care, or it could blow up in our faces and kill some faith!”

    Sometimes the slower course is the more proper given the dynamics of a particular Diocese/Parish. Father is a wonderful priest who has worked diligently to promote the love of God through a holy and reverent Liturgy which bears its fruit in the lives of those who attend it. We are blessed to have him in our small parish. It is not often that one is able to attend weekly classes on topics ranging from Mariology to the Mass that cover a period of several months, let alone one that is taught by a Doctor of Sacred Theology trained at the Angelicum. He is also a wonderful confessor and friend to many. After being limited to one Classical Rite Mass per week for years, it is good to have room to breathe and support from above.

    I have additional good news, as well. He has been contacted by fellow priests to provide classes on Latin. Pray that all may benefit and our parish as well as those around us may grow. St. Stephen and Our Lady of Good Remedy, pray for us!

  124. David says:

    Thankfully, not all Florida bishops reacted in a similar manner.

    Thank you, Lord, for Bishop Dewane of Venice!

  125. Catholic says:

    EDG, thanks for your comments. Yes, we have the same problems in the diocese. As well, the vicars here aren’t any help. One seems to bash the TLM whenever he can in his bulletin. The other, a monsignor, is very new age and is leading his parish into movements like “centering prayer” and the like.

  126. MSusa says:

    (another Mississippian here, thanks for not posting the joke-hello Xavier and others)

    It seems to me that Pope Benedict was pretty clear on this matter. Are the Bishops upset that this “power” has been given to the priest?

    It is also interesting, to hear that there could be ramifications for priests who INSIST.
    We will pray harder for our dear priests and Bishops. We really do not know all the grief some must go through.

  127. MSusa says:

    (another Mississippian here, thanks for not posting the joke-hello Xavier and others)

    It seems to me that Pope Benedict was pretty clear on this matter. Are the Bishops upset that this “power” has been given to the priest?

    It is also interesting, to hear that there could be ramifications for priests who INSIST.
    We will pray harder for our dear priests and Bishops. We really do not know all the grief some must go through.

  128. Martha says:

    Peter K. Perkins,

    Would you be so kind as to inform us about the reply you get to your dubia?

    I have recently found out that our diocesan “guidelines” stipulate a minimum of 25 AND approval by the “chancellor(ess)”. Good grief!

  129. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Mary Kay:

    You wrote this:

    “That events occur at the same time is insufficient basis for attributing causation.”

    You must be kidding. There is an amazing coincidence between the reforms and the loss of faith and catastrophic decline in churchgoing, confession-going, vocations, conversions, numbers of Catholic schools and students, and so on. A lawyer in the U.S.A., Kenneth C. Jones, has written a statistical analysis of this. What is interesting is something not generally known. During the period 1945 to 1965, there was a large decline in these indicators among most Protestant denominations (the mainstream ones, not the evangelicals and Baptists) but, during the same period, there was actually a slow but gradual *increase* in all these factors for the Catholic Church. The turn came between 1965 and 1967. In Québec, one priest in Montréal attested in a documentary that “At the beginning of 1966, the churches were full, at the end of that same year, they were almost empty”. In 1965, 1% of churches were without priests; today, 15% are.

    Now, what great change occurred around 1965? Why, it was the vernacularisation of the Mass, followed by a series of radical liturgical reforms in the mid to late 1960s, such as the reforms of 1965 (loss of the Judica Me and last Gospel; change in the formula for giving Communion) to Tres Abhinc Annos in 1967 and other reforms in 1968. Mostly, the rubrical changes allowed the clown Masses and other abuses that drove people out by the tens of thousands.

    At the time, the experts said that this renewal would introduce the Church to a new springtime of vocations, conversions, and apostolic activity. The exact opposite followed. Now, Mary Kay, try for a moment to imagine that the experts’ predictions had all come true, resulting in a massive positive response from the faithful. Now try to imagine that I came along and said that the huge improvement had nothing to do with the reforms! After all, mere concurrence does not prove causation! I would be laughed out of town!

    When things are going swimingly and then a revolution occurs in liturgy and ecclesiology, and when this is followed by a masive decline of the Church, I think that it is reasonable to assume that the two are connected causally. The reason is that the change in the Church’s fortune was so sudden, just as the changes in liturgy and discipline were sudden. I certainly would agree that other factors were involved, such as a crisis for Christianity in general. But, clearly, the conciliar revolution was a major contributing cause.

    I can’t prove it! No, I can only husband evidence to show how the cause and effect were equally sudden and turned a growing success (although only a moderate one) into a cataclysmic failure. I note that the decline recorded in detail by Kenneth C. Jones, Esq., of St. Louis (U.S.A.) are mind-boggling. For example, the number of priests in America, at the current rate of decline, will, by 2020, equal the number there were in 1930, even though the Catholic population at the same period has increased enormously. Between 1965 and 2000, the number of seminarians dropped by 92% (from 49,000 to 4,700). As a result, the average priest is now 68 years old. The De La Salle brothers have declined by a factor of 99% since 1965. Catholic marriages have fallen by one-third, while annulments have increased from 338 in 1968 to 50,000 today. Today, “only 10% of lay religious teachers now accept [C]hurch teaching on contraception. Fifty-three per cent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. … 70 per cent of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe that the Eucharist is merely a ‘symbolic reminder’ of Jesus’”. Lex orandi, lex credendi, indeed!

    Wake up! It’s a crisis. They are selling off a huge per centage of the churches because nobody is there. They pay out the monies for all the fags they protected over the years, and funnel a per centage for ‘administration fees’ into their offshore accounts in the Grand Cayman Islands. In Québec, only 5% attend Mass every Sunday. In 1965, the figure was about 80%. In the Gaspé, it was over 90%. In France, Mass attendance is now down to 7%. Mass attendance in the U.S.A. dropped from 75% in 1965 to 25% today.

    And Jones found that the magic year for the turn-around was … [drumroll] 1965 or 1966. The vernacular replaced Latin in Anglophone countries on 29 November, 1964, the First Sunday of Advent of that year. Sometimes, when one thing follows another, there is a connexion!

    As for what the popes say about the fruits of the New Mass, they are wrong. There is no infallibilty in matters of prudential judgement on liturgy, none whatever. Popes in the past have made mind-blowing blunders. Let’s stop worshipping Paul VI, the worst pope in history, and heed the facts. We can be respectful to the Pope while, at the same time, noting that some blunders must be corrected, because they harm the Mystical Body of Christ. The popes’ authority is only legitimate to the extent that it respects its end, which to build up that Mystical Body.

    P.K.T.P.

  130. Everyone: Concise comments are good.

  131. Vernon says:

    One only has to listen to the 3 year old in these clips to realise that it is not hard for an educated adult priest to learn the Latin of the Mass.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFPOx02fJks and http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qX_h0YbC65Y

  132. Vernon says:

    One only has to listen to the 3 year old in these clips to realise that it is not hard for an educated adult priest to learn the Latin of the Mass.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFPOx02fJks and http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qX_h0YbC65Y

  133. Mary Kay says:

    P.K.T.P.,

    Co-incidence is not causation.

    What happened in the mid60s? During the same time frame that you cite for the liturgical changes, culture and society underwent a huge change. Television, air travel, the explosion of the drug culture, questioning and re-examination of gender and family roles, “taboo” topics discussed for the first time.

    Has it occurred to you that the Holy Spirit saw that mess coming and prompted the reforms and the Novus Ordo a way to deal with the 60s onward? Have you considered the possibility that the Novus Ordo is the ordinary Mass because that’s what the Holy Spirit prompted? That seeing how spiritually effective the Novus Ordo would be that Satan did everything he could to gum up the works?

    Things were not “going along swimmingly.” Pope Benedict said that the Low Mass was not the ideal. (I don’t remember the exact quote.)

    Now we come to the part that you say the popes are wrong. That in itself should send up a red flag. I notice that you don’t mention specific “mind blowing blunders.” The “bad” popes are considered such because of personal weakness, not doctrine or liturgy.

    There has indeed been good fruit since Vatican II. Yes, a lot is haywire, much needs correction, but the good fruit is there. People have converted to the Church knowing only the Novus Ordo, lay apostolates are active and bringing the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.”

  134. RBrown says:

    Just as St. Thomas reconciled faith and Greek philosophy, we need someone today who can explain succinctly a reconcilation between faith and science that is already available but not very accessible.
    Comment by Peter Karl T. Perkins

    I think it inaccurate to say that St Thomas reconciled Faith and Greek philosophy. Greek philosophy (i.e., Platonism) influenced Catholic thought long before before St Thomas was born (1225). Obvious names are St Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and John of Salisbury (the School of Chartres).

    What St Thomas did was synthesize the Platonic concept of Emanation with Aristotle’s Four Causes. And this synthesis proved valuable in all aspects of Theology.

  135. danphunter1 says:

    Mary Kay,
    As the Church goes, so goes the world.
    You can defend it until you are blue in the face, but the fact remains that the Novus Ordo is a weak undernourished version of the Classical Rite Mass, and as long as the Novus Ordo is allowed to continue as the ordinary form so will the faithful remain weak and undernourished.
    It is no coincedence that catechesis before the destruction of the mass was superb.
    Look at it know.
    Ask the average Catholic to name the six precepts of the Church, today.
    Before the 1960′s most Catholics could do so.
    God bless you.

  136. RBrown says:

    Mary Kay,

    Has it occurred to you that the Holy Spirit saw that mess coming and prompted the reforms and the Novus Ordo a way to deal with the 60s onward? Have you considered the possibility that the Novus Ordo is the ordinary Mass because that’s what the Holy Spirit prompted? That seeing how spiritually effective the Novus Ordo would be that Satan did everything he could to gum up the works?>

    Things were not “going along swimmingly.” Pope Benedict said that the Low Mass was not the ideal. (I don’t remember the exact quote.)

    I agree there were problems with the public low mass.

    But JRatzinger made it clear that he thinks the liturgical reform was bungled. I suggest you read his books.

    Now we come to the part that you say the popes are wrong. That in itself should send up a red flag. I notice that you don’t mention specific “mind blowing blunders.” The “bad” popes are considered such because of personal weakness, not doctrine or liturgy.

    Correct about doctrine, but incorrect about liturgy. Papal infallibility protects against doctrinal errors in liturgy, but it does not guarantee that the liturgical books be of high quality.

    There has indeed been good fruit since Vatican II. Yes, a lot is haywire, much needs correction, but the good fruit is there. People have converted to the Church knowing only the Novus Ordo, lay apostolates are active and bringing the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.”
    Comment by Mary Kay

    Conversions are way down in the West compared to before the liturgical changes. You’re correct about the active lay apostolates, and no one knows more about them than Opus Dei.

  137. Fr. John says:

    In the U.S., if certain bishops and their litury mafia are so concerned about the priests training in Latin and the priest knowing exactly what he saying…, why do they MAKE us say the Mass in Spanish when most really do not have a clue what they are saying? I have priest friends all over the country who are forced to say the Novus Ordo in Spanish and they have never had any training in the language. They just learned to pronounce it. I have been saying the Novus Ordo in Spanish for 6 years now. The first year, I really did not have clue what I was reading most of the time. And Confession, the bishop told me to try to figure out if they were sorry for their sins. Perphaps the priests who do not want to say the Mass in Spanish should just tell their bishops they don’t really know what they are saying – like you speak about concerning the extraordinary rite.

  138. RBrown says:

    Mary Kay,

    Consistent with your inaccurate view that I somehow was unaware of waywardness in the Novus Ordo, you then proceed to give specific examples. Perhaps you should take the time to learn about a person before jumping to conclusions about them. I live in a diocese known for its dissidence and could easily provide a laundry list longer than you could imagine.

    I did not mention a word about waywardness in the Novus Ordo–you must be thinking of someone else.

    But the point is not to criticize and tear each other down. That’s been tried here with the result of both sides turning a deaf ear to anyone who doesn’t agree with them. To a certain extent, it is necessary to make fraternal correction and go through necessary channels. But there’s a point at which self-righteous criticism is harmful.

    I’m not interested in fraternal correction, only in pointing out things I think to be true.

    Once more you’ve rushed to judgment. You have no clue what my standards are. I said that the attitude I’ve encountered is one reason. I did not say it was the most important one. the Church has made the 1970 Missal the ordinary Mass, the normative Mass, so that’s the one I go to.

    I addressed the standard that you chose to mention.

    And you’re right–mass acc to the 1970 Missal is normative. But let’s not stop there: A lack of priestly and religious vocations, the rejection of Catholic doctrine, and the collapse of discipline in the Church are also normative.

    And according to various writings of JRatzinger, they are not unrelated: “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy . . .”

    What I ask is for an end to the sniping. From both sides.

    Hate to tell this, but it ain’t gonna stop.

  139. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Reply to RBrown:

    I would go a bit further than you on St. Thomas and mention several other subjects, such as the question of the eternality of the world. Of course, you are right about St. Augustine, etcetera. My point, however, was that many felt challenged by Greek philosophy (e.g. Aristotle) often made available for the first time in centuries by way of translations from Arabic sources. His synthesis strengthened the faith at a time of some crisis. My view is that there is a similar but perhaps deeper crisis to day. Many people feel (quite wrongly, I think) that science ‘disproves’ the Faith. We have good answers to it but I think that they need a more succinct expression. We also need better means to communicate the truth. On the Internet, you can find anything, but not much of it is truthful.

    Reply to Mary Kay:

    No, Mary Kay, I do not think that the reforms of the 1960s were a response by the Holy Ghost. The reforms practically turned the Mass and the Church into Protestants. That looks more like the work of the devil. Of course, we do need to distinguish between the Council and its implementation.

    After those reforms, one can only say, If this is a glorious solution, I’d hate to see what a dismal failure must look like. I submit that you have failed to consider adequately just how deleterious was the decline following the Council. It was not just a decline; it was a decimation.
    When I wrote that things were going swimingly, I did not mean that they were perfect: far from it. But the fact remains that the indicators were generally improving in the twenty-year period 1945-1965 and then suddenly did a nosedive.

    You seem to be arguing that the nosedive would have occurred in any event and would have been much worse had the reforms not been implemented. Of course, I can’t disprove a negative. It is also possible that the price of petroleum was the cause of the decline, but I doubt it.

    Anyway, I have little more to add. The fact is that the suddenness of the decimation corresponded exactly with the suddenness of the reforms. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    P.K.T.P.

  140. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Reply to Fr. John:

    Thank you for this fascinating information. I had no idea that priests were being asked to celebrate in Spanish without knowing that language.

    The reverse problem is that some Hispanic priests are celebrating in English. When visiting a relative back East last year, I had to go to a N.O. Mass far from downtown. I had a choice between a Hispanic priest who spoke very poor English and a Canadian priest who spoke excellent English. I preferred the former because he was a wonderful priest and a great man. But I think that he did not entirely understand the English words of the Mass.

    But this is all very interesting. I have come across other priests with similar problems. For example, a very good confessor I have encountered is Vietnamese. He understood my English very well but speaks it poorly, so he can understand my confession easily but I have trouble understanding his counselling, and I think he became a tad exasperated when I asked him to repeat the penance.

    I just wonder how large this problem is all ’round.

    Anyway, it does make your point, Fr. John.

    P.K.T.P.

  141. RBrown says:

    PKTP

    1. Greek philosophy is more than just Aristotle. As I noted, strains of Platonism were to be found in Christian thought long before St Thomas lived.

    2. It was the Emanationism (cf Plato) taught by the Arabs (Ibn Sina and Ibs Rushd) that was controversial because it undermined the freedom of God in His creative act. Further, it created problems with the nature of the human soul because of its relationship with universals.

    3. As you no doubt know, St Thomas’ says that from reason alone we cannot know that the world was not created ab aeterno–but there is no conflict between it and creation ex nihilo. Generally, non Thomists do not accept this.

    4. If you’re interested in these topics, I recommend a book by a Dominican named Booth “Aristotlian Aporetic Ontology in Islamic and Christian Thinkers”. At the Angelicum I had Fr Booth’s course of the same name.

    5. Although I agree about the contemporary clash between faith and science, I’m not so sure that balancing the two is a key to resolving the present crisis in the Church. To me the most pressing questions involve the nature of the Eucharist, the nature of the priesthood, and the nature of liturgy.

  142. Mary Kay says:

    P.K.T.P,

    Thank you for providing one of the most civil discussions I’ve had on this topic.

    Food for thought on the topic of co-incidence: The most dissident priests I know had their formation in the pre-conciliar TLM. According to your view, that would be basis for me to find fault with the TLM. I wouldn’t do that.

    As for the nosedive, I think the changes simply took the lid off what was already there. To use your figures that numbers improved 1945-1965. Some of the most dissident people I know entered seminary or religious life in the late 50s and early 60s. If you don’t take other factors into consideration, what’s left is the impression that faith formed by the TLM wasn’t strong enough to counter their seeds of dissent.

    By the same token that I would not disparage the TLM because dissident priests were formed in it, I would ask for a cessation of disparagement of the Novus Ordo because they’ve continued to dissent.

    The 1960s were when everything came together. A movement for liturgical reform went back at least to the 1930s. Humanae Vitae was published in 1968 but had to have been discussed in Church circles in the preceding years. That’s an important landmark I left out of the changes listed last night.

    So yes, I think the nosedive and dissent was ripe to happen anyway and that the Holy Spirit was doing some damage control. You don’t believe that the reforms of the 1960s were a response by the Holy Ghost. I hear that. I don’t agree with you, but at this point will have to “agree to disagree.”

    RBrown,

    only in pointing out things I think to be true

    So am I.

    A lack of priestly and religious vocations, the rejection of Catholic doctrine, and the collapse of discipline in the Church are also normative.

    This sort of BS response really shouldn’t be even dignified with a response.

    As to your quote from the pope, if you had cited a source, the disintegration would refer to the abuses, not the Missal itself. How can you not see the inconsistency in both acknowledging that the pope has said the 1970 Missal is normative and implying that the pope’s comment about disintegration referred to the Missal itself?

    But JRatzinger made it clear that he thinks the liturgical reform was bungled. I suggest you read his books.

    Again, the implementation, not the Missal itself. Your suggestion that “read his books” insinuates that I haven’t. Yet another unwarranted assumption on your part.

    What I ask is for an end to the sniping. From both sides.

    Hate to tell this, but it ain’t gonna stop.

    No, which is why this will be my last post. It takes a toll on me because in my polarized diocese, I can’t get a single hour for Sunday Mass that doesn’t include sniping. It’s either listen to the dissidents moan and whine about how mean the Church is or listen to the more traditional moan and whine about how the Church has gotten it wrong. Common to both is moan and whine.

    It would be so refreshing to be with people who are less interested in moaning and whining and more interested in loving and serving God.

  143. flabellum says:

    The Florida bishops’ inability to accurately comprehend the latin text of the MP does little to inspire confidence in their ability to judge the familiarity with the latin tongue of those who propose to take advantage of the provisions of the MP. Such gudelines are wholly otiose, and have no moral or canonical force, so they can safely be ignored. Any adverse action taken by a bishop in purportedly restraining or inhibiting a priest should be promptly reported to the commission Ecclesia Dei who will take the appropriate action.

  144. Xavier says:

    Again, I have proof that the theology behind the Ordinary Rite has produced a generation who “probably think this song is about [them].”

    By the way, it isn’t, so please don’t reply.

  145. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Mary Kay:

    Yes, the dissident priests of the 1960s and 1970s necessarily had their formation in the 1950s and 1960s. It could not have been otherwise, since you must attend seminary for six or seven years before you become a priest. The problem is that the orthodox men who were in seminary or ordained in the 1960s mostly left when they saw that the reforms had emasculated the priesthood and put Sister Susy in charge of the Parish. Kenneth Jones also shows in his statistics a massive exodus of priests and seminarists in the 1960s and 1970s. I was shocked when I saw the numbers. I had had no idea of the extent of it. In the old days, large families sent some children into the Church. That is why, even today, you will find older priests and nuns who have siblings who are also priests or nuns or religious brothers. (I can think of two Brothers who taught me who were also brothers, and two priests in my Diocese who are brothers.)

    When the revolution–and that is what it was–decimated the Church, a very large per centage of those types from solid Catholic families abandoned ministry in the Church for the other professions. The Church then had a desperate vocational shortage and had to take all comers. And we now know who those comers were. Many of them were sexual inverts; others were intellectual midgets. In essence, the dwarves chased out the giants. But, even with the low quality of applicants, there still were just not enough of them. Hence the devastating shortage of priests. Of course, I agree that there was also a fifth column of older liberals in the Church. These had been there since the beginning of the twentieth century but were a tiny minority. Some were removed by Pope St. Pius X.

    The revolution took place in all aspects of ecclesial life. Notice that they changed anything regarding liturgy or discipline or the Sacraments. But I think that the complete revolution in the liturgy had the most fundamental effect in bringing on the crisis. Lex orandi, lex credendi. If I wanted here to list even a good per centage of the changes, it would take me all afternoon. The change was so profound that, if an alien from outer space attended the Traditional Latin Mass and the N.O. on the same day, he would be convinced that he had participated in the rites of two different religions. It does down to details. Even the matter of replacing statues in niches with potted plants and light-coloured ‘sunny’ wood.

    I agree with you that there were other, deeper, problems. With respect to RBRown, I disagree with him about what they are. But whatever the deeper problems were, it was surely the revolution in liturgy and discipline, directed from the top down, that, in your terms, took the lid off those problems. It was the stability of the Latin and the traditions that had kept that lid on the box in the 1950s and early 1960s, and, given the actual *improvement* in the leading indicators in the early 1960s–when those indicators for the mainstream Protestants were showing drastic decline–I see no reason to believe that the lid would ever have come off the box had we simply maintained tradition. It is tradition, respect for that which has been handed down, that has always protected the Church. This was recognised even by that faulty Council, Vatican II. Vatican II did not even hint at most of the changes that ensued, and, in one place in S.C., ordered that no changes be made if the good the Church did not *require* them.

    Did the good of the Church require composing a New Mass, in which the beautiful Roman Offertory was replaced by a prayer based on a Jewish grace, concocted by Bugnini and a committee that included six Protestant advisors? This is just one example that I could mention. There are a million. Did the good of the Church require breaking tradition to add a fifteenth Station of the Cross or replacing chant with pop music on banjos? Did it require dressing women up as priests and having them brandish the Gospel over their heads in processions? No more. Enough examples.

    You mention the movement for liturgical reform from the 1930s. Some say that it was hyjacked. Whatever the case, I don’t think that this movement would have in any way approved of what we received. I agree that the liturgical situation in the 1950s was far from ideal. But the evidence suggests that, imperfect as it was, it did not prevent an actual improvement in the leading indicators at a time when disaster was striking the mainstream Protestant sects. It was the abandonment of Latin in one day and liturgical changes reflecting a Protestant mentality that ‘took the lid off your box’. Notice that the disaster followed the changes within months.

    What makes the entire disaster hardest for me to accept is that so many of the changes were adoptions of mainstream Protestant ideas (e.g. replacing the Altar of Sacrifice with a suppertable; replacing a notion of a Sacrifice of the Divine Victim with that of only a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise; address to God versus address to the assembled people) made when those same Protestant bodies were going out of existence. It is as if the directors of the Catholic company, noticing that disaster had struck the Protestant competition, madly decided to adopt the same policies that had caused their dereliction.

    My view is that the changes in the Church, particularly those in the liturgy, took the lid off your box and that, secondly, they were themselves the primary cause of the disaster. They were both the primary cause and the trigger that unleashed the other causes. The immutability of Latin and the Mass ensured the stability of the Faith, symbolised also by the immovable stone Altars that were removed. No offence intended but, Wake up!

    P.K.T.P.

  146. RBrown says:

    Mary Kay,

    You want everyone else to be nice while you are insolent. And it is not hard to see that you try to cover up your own inadequacies with vapid responses like “BS” or by accusing me of “unwarranted assumptions”.

    You try to explain away my reference to Ratzinger’s thought on liturgical reform. If you had read his Memoirs, however, you would know that your explanation is dead wrong.

    As for griping and moaning, some years ago I left my job as a consulting systems/data base analyst and spent 8 years in Rome studying theology (specializing in the works of St Thomas) and Latin. I have four pontifical degrees and quizzed out of a fifth. I am a theologian who has taught in seminary and has taken a formal oath of fidelity to uphold the Church’s doctrine.

    This forum is not the place for footnotes. But if you want me to give you a reading list, I’ll gladly provide it–I think you might want to start by reading the Ratzinger Memoirs.

    On the other hand, I wonder whether that recommendation is a waste of time–you seem more interested in trading insults than in learning.

  147. Henry Edwards says:

    Andrew:

    Typical lifecycle of a topic:
    Days 1-3: varied comments come in, some very pertinent and interesting.
    ……..
    Days 8- : the topic deteriorates into repeated lectures by one or two individuals.

    You mean to write Hours instead of Days?

  148. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear RBrown:

    Actually, I was fully aware of all your points made regarding Aristotle. I know far more about the subject than I could possibly explain here, but it would be a huge digression. My point stands that there was a philosophical crisis in the thirteenth century caused by a new infusion of Greek philosophy through Arab translations (and, yes, including Arab interpretations of them). This crisis was faced very systematically by St. Thomas and other scholastics (e.g. by showing where there was no necessary logical contradiction between Faith and a fashionable new Greek philosophy).

    I was not trying to open up this subject but only using it as a parallel for a crisis which we face today. What has caused that crisis is a matter of judgement. I am looking more to a popular loss of faith that is massive. It is transmitted by a secualist media that has taken over the means of communication (which were once dominated by the pulpit). I think that the crisis is caused by the popular misconception that ‘science disproves faith’. We are living in a democratic age, and so the issues are not often the most abstruse or the most recondite. Unfortunately, we must look to the problems of the common man. I am not sure that the common man is concerned with the nature of the Eucharist or the liturgy.

    I agree that teaching rightly on the Eucharist, the priesthood, and the liturgy is a necessary condition to solving the problem. But I do not think that it is sufficient. The real problem is a challenge thought to be posed by science. To meet this challenge, the Church needs first to gain control of some electronic media. Having done that, we need the aid of a new thinker succinctly to explain how faith and science cohere. The one best able to do this might not be the sharpest of the thinkers but a plodder who has the patience to be systematic and, above all, accurate and clear.

    I was very pleased to hear recently that Benedict XVI is starting the first Catholic television station soon. In my view, this proves that he is a good deal more perceptive than most people are. Of course, making it effective will be challenging. But every journey begins with a first step. We have been shut out of the mass media since the 1920s, when governments ruled that they owned the airwaves and needed to police them for practical reasons (e.g. preventing maverick stations, often from transmitters in motor vehicles). Yet again, the state has tried to put the Church out of business.

    But the liturgy needs to be fixed as soon as possible. The Church needs to re-orient herself to the worship of a God Who is needed by man before she can take on the false teachings of other men.

    P.K.T.P.

  149. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    One short comment is in order regarding those who dislike the longer exchanges: The nice thing about these fora is, if you don’t like the comments, don’t bother reading them. For those who do want to read them, they can sometimes learn things. We can all learn a bit from one another, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    P.K.T.P.

  150. Xavier says:

    “One short comment is in order regarding those who dislike the longer exchanges: The nice thing about these fora is, if you don’t like the comments, don’t bother reading them.”

    But it may place a burden on our gracious moderator who is responsible for the content of his blog, so probably must at least scan everything.

  151. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To depart from recent digressions and return to a point I had made earlier, I see no reason why local bishops should obstruct celebrations of the 1962 Mass as long as they in no way impede a reasonable access to the New Mass, which is held to be normative.

    In reference to Sections 1 and 2 of Article 5 of S.P., parish priests can not be forbidden from arranging for the celebration of one 1962 Mass on Sundays and holydays, although the bishop may interfere to ensure that the more convenient hours are allotted to Masses in accordance with pastoral need. That seems reasonable in the circumstances.

    A close perusal of those sections will show, I think, that, while episcopal action alone cannot prevent the celebration of 1962 Masses, such action can sometimes combine with accidental factors to prevent it. For example, a bishop could use Canon 905 to prevent a parish priest from celebrating more than once a day and then use Article 5.1 and Protocol 1411-99 with Canon 534 to insist that his one Sunday Mass be a Novus Ordo Mass. Since there is no guarantee that the parish priest will be assisted by other priests in his parish, this may prevent celebration of the 1962 Mass. On the other hand, the parish priest may find help from other priests, including retired priests, in which case such drastic episcopal action would be unable to obstruct celebration of the 1962 Mass on Sundays in that parish. Retired priests, in particular, are like clerical supermen under the provisions of S.P.: the bishops can’t touch them.

    A fortiori, I think that any such drastic action on the part of a local bishop would be pastorally irresponsible. Therefore, a priest treated in that way could appeal for help to the P.C.E.D.

    Let us take some more reasonable cases. Let us suppose that a parish priest currently celebrates one anticpated Sunday Novus Ordo every week and one Sunday morning Novus Ordo. These have been in place for years and the faithful attached to the New Mass are satisfied by and happy with these provisions. Now the same priest wants to add a public 1962 Mass to his schedule, even though only three or four people would attend. I see no reason to obstruct this. These three or four people and the priest are in no way inconveniencing others, and every Mass has an infinitely good value for both the living and the dead. Should that which is good be forbidden if it does not harm anyone?

    Let us take even a harder case. The priest is already celebrating two N.O. Masses on Sunday mornings and wants to add a 1962 Mass. His bishop currently allows him to trinate on Sundays. Once again, if the priest feels that celebrating three Masses on one day will not damage his health, the decision should be his. But if, in order to add this Mass, he has to change the times of the other Masses, the bishop may quite rightly intervene to ensure that those who have attended the New Mass continuously are not unduly inconvenienced.

    In terms of pastoral need, I think that S.P. grants far more than what is needed for laics, given current circumstances. However, we need also to take into account that many priests wish to deepen their devotional life by celebrating the 1962 Mass, or by benefitting from use of both Missals and their differing positive fruits (in their own view).

    Often though, laics forget their perspective in these reactions to bishops. I have noticed that most episcopal reactions so far have come from bishops who already allow the Traditional Latin Mass on an every-Sunday basis. It is as if they are trying to distract us to protect their brother bishops who have not been so accommodating.

    We need right this instant to see some commitments from bishops in the other dioceses, commitments not to interfere with priests’ rights under S.P. I am addressing the U.S. bishops and archbishops of Monterey, San Francisco, Yakima, Spokane, Baker, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Helena, Great Falls-Billings, Las Cruces, Gallup, Anchorage, Grand Island, Dodge City, Salina, Fargo, Bismarck, Victoria in Texas, Brownsville (the number one offender), Amarillo, Lubbock, San Angelo, Laredo, El Paso, Beaumont, Lafayette (either one), Springfield (any one), Alexandria, Shreveport, Houma-Thibodaux, Mobile, Jackson, Biloxi, Pensacola-Tallahassee, Savannah, Charlotte, Nashville (some positive signs here), Owensboro, Greensburg, Altoona-Johnstown, Steubenville, Toledo, Gaylord, Marquette, Saginaw, Wilmington, Metuchen (positive signs), Burlington (positive signs), Manchester, Joliet, Evansville, Jefferson City, Madison, Superior, Winona, New Ulm, Duluth, and Crookston. That’s about all of them. If you live in one of these, get on the telephone! Just ask that your bishop not try to establish uncharitable limitations on the rights of his priests to benefit from the Mass that sustained the Church for countless centuries.

    I rattled them off without thinking. As I say, I have watched the Indult statistics worldwide for years. I know where the problems are. I am less concerned that we wrench another 1962 Mass out of Trautman in Erie, who already provides two. I am more concerned that there is still nothing–nothing at all–every Sunday in very populous sees such as Madison, Brownsville, and San Francisco.

    I leave Juneau alone. There are only 6,000 faithful there.

    P.K.T.P.

  152. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Mary Kay:

    I submit that, in its externals and spirit, the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church is much closer to the Traditional Latin Mass than the Traditional Latin Mass is close to the Novus Ordo. And yet the Eastern Orthodox Church is not the same religion.

    But I shall leave this discussion for now.

    P.K.T.P.

  153. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In response to RBrown and Mary Kay:

    I have nine pontifical degrees and won seven gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. I also play the piano, the viola da gamba, and chess. I teach
    English literature at a University and have a baby brother who wears a sailor suit.

    At least one of the foregoing statements is actually true. But since I could be fabricating them all, I shan’t bother revealing which of them is or are.

    Viva il Papa!

    P.K.T.P.

  154. P.K.T.P.: FYI… This is my blog. It is not a forum.

    I am not moderator here.

    I am Benevolent Dictator.

    Keep ‘em short.

    o{]:¬)

  155. Stephen says:

    PKTP,
    You note the similarities between the EO Liturgy and the Traditional Latin Mass, and how they are closer to each other than either is to the Novus Ordo. Perhaps because the older liturgies have their oriigins in fact in the same religion? Which would lead one to think that the Novus Ordo is not the same religion. And what was the instrument than imposed the Novus Ordo on the West – The Papacy, the one thing the Eastern Orthodox do not have. If such innovation came from the Papacy, what might that say about the nature of the Papacy, especially in relation to liturgy? Innovation, thy home is Rome. This is also why the revolution, as you call it, came about so easily in the West.

  156. Mary Kay says:

    :^) at Peter Karl T. Perkins. Are you related to Mark Spitz?

    (Just for clarification, I attended the Divine Liturgies I attended were Catholic Melkite.)

  157. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    First of all, I agologise to Fr. Z. and shall keep most of my posts brief.

    In reply to Stephen:

    Historically, I think that the papacy has preserved the Faith. Just consider how many Patriarchs of Constantinople in the Primitive Church created schisms or followed them.

    Secondly, I am not claiming that the N.O. is incompatible with the Catholic Faith or is invalid. But I think that it is foreign to the Catholic spirit. Revolution is incompatible with Catholic Tradition.

    Given the circumstances in which we live in 2007, I argue for a reasonable access to the 1962 Mass, both for laics and priests. I don’t mind it if many prefer the Novus Ordo. Live and let live. The problem is that the progressives want to live and kill us off (metaphorically-speaking). They live not to bask in the glories of kumbayah and sweetgrass but to shove it down our throats.

    Dear Mary Kay:

    No, I have never even heard of Mark Spitz.

    P.K.T.P.

  158. danphunter1 says:

    This has become retrograde.
    In the end the Classical Rite is far superior to the Novus Ordo and we must all beseech our most Blessed Mother that she beseech her Divine Son that He change the hearts of all the prelates and layman who persist in denying this truth and to give the Church back, fully, her pearl of great price.
    Viva Christo Rey!

  159. Andrew says:

    Whatever opinions one may hold, it is a good idea to adhere to facts. The reality is this: we have two forms of the one Roman rite, (both of them are in Latin) and we can be thankful that the Magisterium provided some guidelines for the two forms to co-exist. That’s where we are right now. Some might not like it but they have to recognize the legitimate usage of the extraordinary form. Just as some may not like it but they must accept the ordinary form. But in order to adhere to the Magisterium everyone must accept both forms.

  160. Stephen says:

    PKTP: You yourself said earilier that it was indeed a revolution. How did you change so fast?

  161. Mary Kay says:

    PKTP, Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in swimming in the 1972 Olympics.

    That leads back to topic. If you haven’t heard of Spitz, whose name and image was plastered over every sort of media, then I’d suggest that your knowledge of that time not complete and perhaps not fully grasp what an upheaval the 60s were.

  162. Dan Hunter says:

    Mary Kay,
    he knows who mark spitz is.
    everyone does.
    he was the eric hayden of swimming.

  163. Xavier says:

    The more the significance of Summorum Pontificum sinks in, the more it resembles a “Berlin Wall” moment. I think it will amaze us how fast the Ordinary Form crumbles in the next decade when its soldiers may no longer shoot at defectors.

    I expect 07/07/07 to go down in history as the date of the victory of the Church Universal over the heresy of Modernism.

  164. RBrown says:

    I have nine pontifical degrees and won seven gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. I also play the piano, the viola da gamba, and chess. I teach English literature at a University and have a baby brother who wears a sailor suit.

    At least one of the foregoing statements is actually true. But since I could be fabricating them all, I shan’t bother revealing which of them is or are.
    Comment by Peter Karl T. Perkins

    You’re right, I could be fabricating what I said. On the other hand, I began posting on Fr Z’s blog at his request–he is an old friend from Rome.

    Your turn.

  165. RBrown says:

    He knows who mark spitz is.
    everyone does.
    he was the eric hayden of swimming.
    Comment by Dan Hunter

    Uh, I think it’s Heiden–who is now, by the way, an orthopedic surgeon.

  166. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Stephen:

    I think that it was indeed a revolution. However, the Holy Ghost prevented the Popes from promulgated an invalid Mass. That’s really not saying all that much. Even the Anglican Communion Service can supposedly validly confect the Eucharist when it is celebrated by a real priest. It is because most of their ministers are not real priests that it is invalid, not because the rite itself is invalid.

    I think that those who claim that the N.O. is invalid and completely unCatholic go too far. It is tempting to overstate the case. I don’t think that we have to. If the salvation of souls is the highest law, then anything that undermines that is bad. The New Mass clearly has harmed the faith and led souls astray. Mary Kay may be correct that it has nourished some souls, but I rather doubt that those would not have been inspired by the Traditional Mass in any event.

    Whatever the case, we must also be realistic. It is not humanly possible to rout the New Mass. That is for God to decide; we can, at best, pray for it. It is our part both to safeguard and protect the Traditional Mass, for, to paraphrase Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narni (the film version): it is good.

    P.K.T.P.

  167. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Correction from last post:

    Sorry, I meant “promulgating”, not promulgated” and, especially,
    “safeguard and promote”, not “safeguard and protect”.

    P.K.T.P.

  168. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I apologise for the repetition of my last message. For some reason, it was not loading and I re-tried.

    I think that Xavier’s comment may prove to be very astute. I have also kept very careful records of episcopal appointments. At present, only about 7% of the serving bishops were appointed by Paul VI. More than half of those who remain will be gone in less than five years. Of course, there are other bishops who were careerists in the late 1960s and early 1970s: seminary rectors, incumbents at large parishes, vicars-general and episcopal vicars and various monsignori. Their power lingers because their policies killed off vocations, so that the average age of U.S. priests is now 68. But even they will be gone in ten years, and the next generation of priests will be looking for someone to blame for the débâcle. Will the N.O.M. suddenly be found to be otiose, even deficient?

    P.K.T.P.

  169. RBrown says:

    I was not trying to open up this subject but only using it as a parallel for a crisis which we face today. What has caused that crisis is a matter of judgement. I am looking more to a popular loss of faith that is massive. It is transmitted by a secualist media that has taken over the means of communication (which were once dominated by the pulpit).

    The Church can use the media a one way of communicating the faith. But for most Catholics, the faith is communicated chiefly by priests and religious where they attend mass and go to school.

    I think that the crisis is caused by the popular misconception that ‘science disproves faith’. We are living in a democratic age, and so the issues are not often the most abstruse or the most recondite. Unfortunately, we must look to the problems of the common man. I am not sure that the common man is concerned with the nature of the Eucharist or the liturgy.

    1. The liturgical changes were based on a modification of the theology of the Eucharist. Instead of the Eucharist being considered as a Sacrifice, the Meal Concept, which originated in Protestantism, was introduced. Instead of the Eucharist being a memorial of the Passion and Death that was instituted at the Last Supper, it was considered a memorial of both the Passion & Death and the Last Supper. It is easy to see why the Meal Concept would lead to the celebrant facing the people.

    Cardinal Ratzinger labored long and hard to try to restore the proper understanding of the Eucharist as Sacrifice(cf the catechism).

    Accompanying the change in the understanding of the Eucharist was a change in the concept of the priesthood. The traditional concept was the priest was primarily the one who entered the sanctuary to offer the Sacrifice–everything else in his life flowed into and out of the Mass. But that was changed so that Pastoral Responsibilities were the center of the life of all priests (cf CIC 276).

    2. I assume by Science and the Faith you are referring primarily to the problems presented by Evolution and Physics. In fact, those topics are taken up in courses of the Philosophy faculty of the Angelicum. (And there is–or was–a course named Physics and Philosophy). Further, some years ago those questions were addressed by people like Jacques Maritain (cf The Degrees of Knowledge) and in certain philosophy manuals used in seminaries. For example, the well known DiNapoli philosophy manual has very competent treatments of the cosmological consequences of evolution as well Modern (Newtonian) and Post Modern (Einstein and after) Physics.

    Unfortunately, with the suppression of the philosophy programs in the United States, seminarians were no longer exposed to such topics.

  170. RBrown says:

    Should be:

    I was not trying to open up this subject but only using it as a parallel for a crisis which we face today. What has caused that crisis is a matter of judgement. I am looking more to a popular loss of faith that is massive. It is transmitted by a secualist media that has taken over the means of communication (which were once dominated by the pulpit).

    The Church can use the media as one way of communicating the faith. But for most Catholics, the faith is communicated chiefly by priests and religious where they attend mass and go to school.

  171. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To RBrown:

    I agree very strongly with your position regarding how the New Mass changed conceptions of the Eucharist and priesthood in a Protestant direction. The New Mass de facto promoted a Protestant mentality, and together with the loss of Latin, was the trigger that caused the disastrous decline of the Church from the mid 1960s on. I am not sure what would have happened if we had simply stuck with Latin and the Traditional Mass, but I am convinced that the precipitous decline would have been avoided. Perhaps the growth in the leading indicators would have flatlined and slowly began a gradual decline; perhaps not.

    However, my point is that most faithful are not intellectuals. The revolution in the 1960s did indeed trigger the decline, but it also made the faithful susceptible to this crisis of faith versus science that I have referred to. Thanks largely to our modern secularist news media, most Western Christians today now doubt their faith for this reason. It keeps people away from church.

    Hence I am not at all convinced that a simple return of the pre-conciliar liturgy and discipline will be adequate to reverse the continuing decline. In fact, I can’t imagine a thorough restoration being effected even were it possible to abolish the New Mass and the reforms.

    I am not claiming that science contradicts faith but that most people think this to be the case. There needs to be a Catholic response that is not only true but also effective, and this will require both some control of the means of communication and some enormous work on presentation of the arguments. Intellectuals need to step back and try to understand the perspective of the average Joe.

    P.K.T.P.

  172. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    RBrown wrote this:

    The Church can use the media as one way of communicating the faith. But for most Catholics, the faith is communicated chiefly by priests and religious where they attend mass and go to school.

    Dear RBrown:

    The problem today is that the vast majority of Baptized faithful don’t even attend church regularly, and they are not hearing the faith very much when they do. Instead, media heads, many of them at the behest of Freemasons on ‘history’ channels, are providing their ideas.

    This rarely has anything to do with real intellection. The average Joe thinks in such terms as this:

    The Church teaches us authoritatively to believe in the ‘fable’ of Noah’s Ark as literal.

    Science ‘proves’ that the story of Noah’s Ark is false, and that it parallels similar flood stories in other ancient cultures (well, most average Joe’s wouldn’t get the latter point).

    The Church has been wrong about Noah’s Ark for twenty centuries.

    Therefore, the Church is not the repository of sure truth.

    So, why should we believe anything the Church teaches? Darwin (Joe’s heard of him) and the other scientists (and sciolists, such as Dawkins) give us a better explanation of everything.

    The religions were just made-up stories to explain what, in the past, science could not yet explain.

    That sort of message has now been hammered into people’s heads. It will take more than the pulpit to dismiss it as the nonsense it is. The Church has always been versatile, adapting her methods to changing conditions. Just think of the birth of the mendicant communities to preach in new towns in the thirteenth century.

    I think that a restoration and the pulpit are necessary but not sufficient condtions to meet the crisis of our age.

    P.K.T.P.

  173. RBrown says:

    1. The faithful are not intellectuals, but causes are known through their effects. And so the average Catholic knows of the changes in Eucharistic theology by means of the way mass is now celebrated.

    2. A return to pre-conciliar liturgy does not mean a return to the pre-conciliar Church. As Card. Ratzinger said more than once, that era is gone, and it will not return.

    But the use of Latin and celebration ad orientem will begin to restore the sense of the sacred.

    3. Further, Latin is the driver for the clerical education. Latin students are exposed not only to sophisticated grammar but also to Latin literature, both of which are excellent preparation for the study of philosophy. The former disciplines the mind, and the latter orients the mind to the important questions of life and reality.

    In fact, I have a friend who has long been a prof of theology at probably the best US seminary. A few years ago they tried to restore the two year philosophy program but found that the students couldn’t handle 12 hours of philosophy a semester because of deficient preparation.

    4. I covered the basic questions of Evolution and Physics in my course De Deo Create et Gubernante. Also in Eschatology, we examined the nature of time and motion (time is a measure of motion acc to before and after) acc to Aristotle, Augustine, St Thomas, Newton, and Einstein.

    Intellectual paraphernalia notwithstanding, it’s only a matter of common sense to reject Macro-evolution–that blue-green algae is the ancestor of man.

  174. RBrown says:

    Peter Karl T. Perkins,

    I don’t disagree with what you said, but I think people leave the church because of media influence. From what I’ve seen among my lapsed Catholic friends, the decline in faith has been caused partly by the trivialization of the mass (the loss of the Sacred) and partly the Church’s teaching on marriage.