Bp. Murphy of Rockville Centre on the Motu Proprio: a pleasure to read

And now for your Motu Proprio parsing pleasure…

Someone sent me a transcript of a statement by His Excellency Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY.  It was in His Excellency’s column in The Long Island Catholic of 12 September. 

My emphases and comments.

The Mass of Blessed John XXIII

This Friday, September 14, the motu proprio of Pope Benedict, “Summorum Pontificum,” goes into effect. Just this past July the Holy Father made public his letter in which he established the Mass in Latin of Blessed John XXIII, the 1962 Missal, as an extraordinary rite for the whole Latin Church. This means that, while the Mass as we know it in our parishes remains the ordinary rite, the priest has the option to celebrate the “old Mass” if he so wishes and has the ability to understand and pray the Latin. [Pretty decent, all in all.] More importantly for the lay faithful, the motu proprio makes this Mass more readily available for those who wish to participate in the Mass as it had been established after the Council of Trent and been celebrated until the revision of the Mass ordered by the Second Vatican Council. [I like this.  He also stresses the fact that this form of Mass has been around for a long time.  That is an important point, even if it is not in itself a great reason to prefer the older form.  There are far better reasons for that.] It is important to note that there is only one eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church of the Latin Rite. Now, however, we have been blessed by Pope Benedict with two ways of celebrating the liturgy.  [Nice!  Positive!]

Here in our diocese, thanks to Bishop McGann, we had the Mass of Blessed John XXIII being celebrated monthly at the former St. Pius X Prep Seminary in Uniondale as well as at Sacred Heart in Cutchogue. Over the past years I have been pleased [Nice!] to have the Mass at Pius X in Uniondale celebrated weekly. In addition, last year we renewed a monthly celebration of the extraordinary rite at Sacred Heart in Cutchogue. At the next celebration in Cutchogue, Father James Pereda, who has been handling these Masses for me, will examine the ways we can make that Mass at Sacred Heart in Cutchogue a weekly event, [Another thing to like.  He delegates to someone who is favorable and he is pleased when the results are good.] every Sunday. In addition, [".... But WAIT!   There's MORE!] the pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Dix Hills has indicated his willingness to provide the Mass weekly in his parish. In this way we will be able to offer in all three vicariates the Latin Mass of Blessed John XXIII to those who wish to worship in that rite. [And... remember... there could be more, if pastors receive petitions.]

The motu proprio of the Holy Father has set forth the Holy Father’s desire for this use of the Mass of 1962. He hopes that its greater use will bring back some Catholics who have disassociated themselves from the Church after the Council. He wants it to be available for priests [YES YES YES!   The PRIESTS! Thank you, Your Excellency, for remembering that this is also for the good of priests.] and for those lay people who will derive spiritual benefit from it. He is convinced, and I am of one mind with him, that having the richness of both Masses will be a benefit to the whole Church. [Wonderful.  I would be happy to -shake this fellow's hand-... er um... kiss His Excellency's ring!]  Thus we will continue to have the ordinary form of Pope Paul VI every Sunday in our parishes and the extraordinary form that can be celebrated on Sundays where there is a stable community [ugh] of faithful who wish it and where the parish has the priests and the resources to provide it.  [This is entirely reasonable.]

The motu proprio itself explains that not all the questions that may arise during its implementation are answered by the Holy Father’s letter. This will be a “work in progress” as we see here in our diocese what are the desires of the faithful, how well these can or cannot be handled by the pastors, what options should be used to implement the letter in the most helpful way possible. Our diocesan Office for Worship is working with [not against] pastors as questions are raised, enquiries made and the proper response to the pastoral needs of the people are answered according to the norms the Holy Father [Not some chancery mandarin hostile to the Motu Proprio] has decreed. For example, the pastors have been sent a document from the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy. This contains 40 questions and answers to various elements that need clarification in order to determine how best to implement the pope’s letter. In addition, the U.S. bishops have sent five other questions to the Holy See for clarification [!] and the motu proprio itself indicates that the Holy See is working to provide further helps regarding readings and the like that were not available in the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. Whenever pastors are faced with the possibility of the Mass on Sunday in their own parish, they need to abide by the norms of the pope’s motu proprio and they are urged to check with our Office for Worship which will help them in determining whether or not this Mass actually can take place in their parish[Hmmm.... actually, I think the pastor can determine that for himself, if I read the MP correctly... and I think I do.]

In the meantime, the diocese is moving forward to work out the various issues that this new initiative has given to us. Let me give you two examples of the kinds of challenges we are seeking to meet. [I like this approach.  He is direct and clear.] Father Pereda has been able with the help of a few priests to provide celebrants for the Mass at Uniondale and now at Cutchogue. Most priests today have never celebrated the Mass in Latin. [And none of them in English, given the quality of the lame-duck ICEL version we are sadly still using... but I digress... pay no attention to my irrelevant shot at the truly lousy old ICEL translation we are using as we wait and wait and waaaaaiiiit for the new translation, now years in the drafting....] Over the summer, the Office for Worship had to find out how many priests of our diocese could celebrate and were available to celebrate the Mass. Another issue was to find out where we could get the proper books, [A good point!] the Missale Romanum of Blessed John XXIII. The bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy provided that information with the 40 questions and answers that we received at the end of August.

Anyone my age remembers the Mass that nourished our spiritual life until the post-conciliar changes. All of us know how much the Mass of Paul VI has become the source and summit of our lives in the Church for almost 40 years now. As an altar boy I loved the Mass that was the center of our life as a parish in my boyhood home. I love it still. As a priest, I was joyous in having been ordained and, shortly thereafter, been in that first group of priests to make the transition to the Mass that nourishes us today in every parish in our diocese and around the world. It is the one same eucharistic sacrifice that has been the heart of the Church which received it from the Lord at the Last Supper when he told his first apostles, “Do this in memory of me.” The Church has been ever faithful in doing just that so that the Mass in Latin or Greek, in English or any other “mother tongue” is always the Mass of Jesus Christ, the one true source of life; for here we hear God’s Word proclaimed to raise and transform the hearts and minds of the people, here the priest proclaims the eucharistic prayer that brings the Kingdom of God once again into our world, here we are nourished by the Body and Blood of the Lord who has redeemed us and gives us His Spirit. May we be ever grateful to God and to the leadership of our beloved popes who have faithfully overseen our celebration of the One True Sacrifice of the Mass today in both the forms we now enjoy.

Another great statement from a diocesan bishop!

It is simultaneously warm, direct, and concrete. 

He does not seem in the least anxious that his own authority is somehow going to be snatched away.

He sees this as a gift, though it also presents challenges.  It will be of benefit.  It is not an obstacle or set back.

There are no threats in it, no intimidation.

I especially like the fact that he included a declaration that this older form of Mass is also for the spiritual good of priests.

As a matter of fact, that might be the most important thing the bishop said.

Now… wasn’t that nice?  Aren’t you glad to took the time to read that?

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39 Responses to Bp. Murphy of Rockville Centre on the Motu Proprio: a pleasure to read

  1. Deborah says:

    Thank you Bishop Murphy! This faithful bishop gets it 99.9% right. (Just get rid of the statement, “they [priests] are urged to check with our Office for Worship which will help them in determining whether or not this Mass actually can take place in their parish”. His letter should be sent to all Catholic bishops as a template for their own statements.

    Deborah

  2. Tom Seeker says:

    It is refreshing and gives me hope…being in the protestant Catholic center of Florida and escapee from
    the Diocese of Pensacola\Tallahassee. It is wonderful to see Bishops in union with Rome!

    Thank you Father for all the you do for us….

    in +JMJ+
    Tom Seeker

  3. Jim R says:

    Bishop Murphy’s response was great as were those by Burbrige, Lori and Finn. The responses from the St. Augustine, Erie and Cincinnati dioceses were pretty bad. But, what really disturbs me is the silence from most of the bishops.

    The Holy Farther has issued an apostolic letter which is now the law of the church. This letter has given the laity the ability to request Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal and instructs pastors to willingly accept their requests; and if they don’t obtain satisfaction from their pastor, the bishop is “strongly requested to satisfy their wishes.”

    The letter was issued July 7 and went into effect September 14. It is now September 21. Yet the laity of my diocese, the Archdiocese of Washington, has not even been told about it. How can the laity request the 1962 Mass if they don’t even know they now have the right to make the request with an expectation that their wishes will now be fulfilled?

    As Alan M. Rees said in his wonderful introduction to the St. Augustine meeting on September 18th., “People cannot want and love what they do not know! As more experience the beauty and transcendence of the Alternative Form, attendance will surely grow.”

    Shouldn’t it be the first duty of a good bishop to inform their flock of the motu proprio? Shouldn’t they then attempt to find out how many in the dioceses are attached to the 1962 missal? Isn’t this also the duty of pastors? Or is this just a technique for handling this problem by keeping us uninformed? They can later say there was no interest in my diocese.

    I was sure I would have heard something from the pulpit by this past Sunday. Has the motu proprio been addressed in any parish in the Archdiocese of Washington?

  4. RichR says:

    I have come to see that the semi-democratization of the hierarchy, viz episcopal conferences, has created a dimunition in papal primacy of jurisdiction (de facto, not de jure). The recent motu proprio is a reassertion of the Pope’s immediate jurisdiction anywhere on earth, and bishops who are loyal to the Holy See are realizing that their communion with Rome is more important than “communion” with the national epsicopal conference. I think BXVI is giving a chance for these sons of the Church to proclaim both their loyalty to Rome and their unique primacy in their diocese apart from any conference or ecclesiastical province.

  5. RichR says:

    Not that the NCCB is “against” the motu proprio, lest my previous post be misinterpreted.

  6. danphunter1 says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
    I am heartened to hear that Bishop Murphy has changed his tune in the long persecuted Diocese of Rockville Centre.
    His letter sounds like it is coming from a completely different Bishop.
    God bless Bishop Murphy and God bless the Diocese of Rockville Centre,[all 1,5OO,000 of the faithful].
    Only 3 mass’s for a 100 mile long diocese.

  7. Tim Ferguson says:

    I am very happy to have read that, but I’m burning with curiosity to find out what five questions the US bishops sent over to the Vatican for clarification. I’m also curious to know how the US bishops managed to do this prior to their annual meeting in November. Were these questions posed by the Liturgy committee of the USCCB or by the entire body of bishops?

  8. Mary says:

    Tim Ferguson — The only thing I’ve seen on the bishops’ questions is John Allen’s blog of 8/17.

    This is not to say, however, that all questions about the motu proprio have been answered. Members of the Bishops’ Committee for the Liturgy in the United States recently met to discuss matters that are still up in the air, and sometime soon Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, the committee chair, will send a letter to American bishops summarizing where things stand.

    One outstanding question being raised by some bishops and canon lawyers is whether rulings over the years that apply to post-Vatican II liturgies should apply to the ’62 Missal as well. The pope’s motu proprio says the ’62 Missal was never abrogated, but it doesn’t spell out the status of subsequent disciplinary law. For example, can a vigil Mass be celebrated according to the ’62 Missal on Saturday evening? Can communion be administered under both species? (In the old rite, only the consecrated Host is distributed, and only on the tongue.) Can altar girls as well as boys serve Mass?

    What about scripture readings in the vernacular? Some communities that celebrate the older Mass have adopted the custom of proclaiming the reading first in Latin toward the altar, then turning around and reading it in the vernacular for the congregation prior to the homily — an option not technically given in the Missal. Will that practice, or something like it, be sanctioned?

    In general, sources say, these are not issues that can be resolved on the local level. Instead, they will probably be submitted in the form of dubia, meaning “doubts,” to the Vatican for clarification.

    From what I’ve heard, his sources are usually pretty good.

  9. Tim: I’m also curious to know how the US bishops managed to do this prior to their annual meeting in November.

    People can move pretty fast when they feel the situation is dire.

  10. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    In response to a letter I once wrote to Bishop Murphy, His Excellency referred to the Missal of 1962 as, and I quote,”the Novus Ordo of 1962″.
    Is this correct to say?
    God bless you.

  11. Fr. Stephen says:

    I do appreciate the fact that the good bishop mentions that a priest himeself may actually want to celebrate the old form of the Mass – and not just at the behest of others. I am one of them and I am ready to do so.

  12. Ed Casey says:

    Brothers and sisters in Christ:

    The website of the Diocese of Rockville Center actually has the document Bishop Murphy references. It is, I think, an important document to read – and worthy of wider discussion. Unfortunately, it is not the best scan – but it is what it is.

    It can be found at http://www.drvc.org/worship/2007/40ques_summorum_pontificum.pdf

    At the end of the document, it contains the questions that the USCCB has asked PCED.

    Q1 regards the change from stabiliter to continenter and how the nature of the group approaching the pastor is to be understood.
    Q2 Deals with the 1917 Code of Canon Law vs the 1983 CIC in discipline questions of extraordinary form.
    Q3 Deals with Deacons and Subdeacons and who may carry out those roles

    Ed

  13. David Andrew says:

    If only more “princes of the Church” could have such a well-formed approach. . . pastoral (not only with the sheep of the flock, but also with his brother priests), respectful, knowledgeable and most of all positive.

    Our bishop (and the coadjutor) have been for the most part silent on the matter, but hopefully there will be good things coming.

    As for the use of the expression “stable group,” I can see how, when used by the wrong person in the wrong context, it can set an adversarial tone. I read the word “stability” through the lens of the Rule of St. Benedict. I realize that not everyone who uses the expression “stable group” in their commentary on the MP has anything remotely approaching a Benedictine understanding of the term, but in the case of this bishop’s writing, I think he has the very best intentions when using it. Just my two cents.

  14. Belloc says:

    Father,

    In print, this all looks swell. In truth, this diocese is a blasted vineyard.

    My wife is from DRVC. I visit it often. Several of my best friends live there. One of those friends is a priest of DRVC.

    Without going into too much detail, my priest friend is a young man of 46. He’s no kook. He is a truly dedicated priest, and is congenial and personable and “normal” in every other way. The exception being he also loves the Traditional Latin Mass. And specifically for this reason, he was hounded through three assignments in the first two years of his priesthood. He has suffered in myriad other ways. There was and is no sympathy from the bishop.

    Next Saturday I’m attending a High Mass on Long Island in honor of the 20th anniversary of a friend. Last spring, before the issuance of Summorum Pontificum, my friend petitioned Bishop Murphy for a simple Low Mass. He was denied. After SP, my friend approached a priest he knows, who, given the new circumstances, agreed to celebrate the Mass.

    Another friend there petitioned Bishop Murphy several times last year for permission for a TLM to be celebrated in honor of his parents 50th wedding anniversary. Bishop Murphy refused his polite, respectful request each time. The bishop finally acquiesced only when my friend wrote again suggesting that he might find succor with the SSPX. Bishop Murphy then relented, however my friend was instructed to invite no one but immediate family, and to have a person posted at the door of the church to refuse entry to any who wished to attend. That Mass was held one year ago this month.

    If there has been a startling conversion, that’s wonderful. But I believe that any conclusion that Bishop Murphy is a friend to Tradition ought to await tangible action beyond mere words.

  15. danphunter1 says:

    Why does Bishop Murphy have such an aversion to the Traditional Mass.
    It was like pulling teeth to get even the once a month Mass at Sacred Heart church in Cutchogue.
    We had a number a priests who were willing to offer it, but the bishop denied them all permission.
    We got permission from the pastor of a local church for a retired priest, a wonderful priest, to offer the Tridentine Mass. He graciously offered the mass for about two months until Bishop Murphy found out about it and pulled the plug.
    Now I ask you, if the pastor agreed to the mass and the Tridentine mass was never abrogated, why if this mass has always been allowed did Bishop Murphy squelch it.
    By the way it was right after this supression that Bishop Murphy allowed the once monthly mass at Sacred Heart.
    Plese pray for this persecuted Diocese and Bishop Murphy.

  16. Anthony says:

    Bishop Murphy is a master politician. I doubt that this statement reflects his true
    intentions. The televised daily Mass from the cathedral is a clear reflection of his
    attitude towards tradition.

    Where is this High Mass on Sat as commented about above?

  17. RBrown says:

    Actually, this is what I want to see. No matter how negative a bishop’s previous attitude might have been, after the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, his tune changes.

    The truth is that most bishops don’t want trouble with Rome. And the head of the Metropolitan See is Cardinal Egan, who is an old Roman hand.

  18. danphunter1 says:

    RBrown
    God is more concerned with the thoughts of the heart than what we say with our mouths.
    But I suppose you can say that this is like imperfect contrition.
    Fear of going to Hell is enough to save your soul.
    The Church is always served better though, by Love of God and therefore His Church.

  19. Jeanne Hunter says:

    Dear Father Z.

    As my mother used to say “They flow with the tide”.
    I’d be very careful before I contacted the Grucci family
    for a display of fireworks for Bishop Murphy and the Diocese
    of Rockville Centre. I live in this Diocese (RC) …and Bishop Murphy
    has not been the most generous or congenial of people here.
    It has been a struggle to get the Usus Antiquior (this is the
    one I voted for) out on the East End of this Diocese. I believe
    he has politics in mind……so caution is needed.

  20. Marcin says:

    Jim R,

    I sadly report that in my parish in NW DC there was not a single word said about Summorum Pontificum, neither when it was issued nor when it went in force.

  21. Brian says:

    Hi, Father!

    You wrote:

    given the quality of the lame-duck ICEL version we are sadly still using… but I digress… pay no attention to my irrelevant shot at the truly lousy old ICEL translation we are using as we wait and wait and waaaaaiiiit for the new translation, now years in the drafting….

    I’m heart and soul with you, in wishing the current ICEL a somewhat-less-than-fond farewell… though, if a delay allows the Vatican to eliminate the modernist bits apparently “slipped into the current draft (e.g. the Credo: “…for us [deleted word!] and for our salvation…”), I’d be all too eager to wait…

    In Christ,
    Brian

  22. RBrown says:

    RBrown
    God is more concerned with the thoughts of the heart than what we say with our mouths.

    How do you know the thoughts of his heart?

    The matter at hand here is whether this bishop will bend to the wishes of BXVI and provide access to mass acc to the 1962 Missal, and that is a question of external not internal forum.

    I am not this bishop’s confessor. If you are, then it’s best that you observe the seal of confession and say nothing.

    But I suppose you can say that this is like imperfect contrition.
    Fear of going to Hell is enough to save your soul.
    The Church is always served better though, by Love of God and therefore His Church.
    Comment by danphunter1

    Neither you nor I have access to his innermost thoughts, and so I think it better to let God judge his intentions. Perhaps you consider that a demotion from your position as Supreme Judge of All Men, but you will just have to learn to live with it.

    Life has its little disappointments.

  23. RBrown says:

    I sadly report that in my parish in NW DC there was not a single word said about Summorum Pontificum, neither when it was issued nor when it went in force.
    Comment by Marcin

    The response of a pastor here has been to make September Name Tag month (May is Mary’s month, September is now Name Tag Month) and institute a hand shaking session before mass. I circumvent both by arriving late to mass.

  24. Mike B. says:

    As a native of Queens (which is, of course, in the Diocese of Brooklyn), I read with interest the statement of Bishop Murphy as I visit Long Island and the Diocese of Rockville Centre quite often. Over the years I have heard from many folks out on The Island that His Excellency appeared–at best–indifferent to the TLM and–at worst–hostile to it. Perhaps he is merely playing politics at this time, but we should hope that he has finally seen the handwriting on the wall. Indeed, it would be foolish of him to oppose His Holiness concerning the recent MP. Let’s wait and see if Bishop Murphy has experienced a conversion on the road to Riverhead!

    Pax,

    Mike

  25. Scott Smith says:

    It seems that my Diocese, Little Rock, (Petriculana) is doing well enough with the Motu Proprio considering that we don’t have a Bishop at this time. It is scheduled, by the Administrator Msgr. Gaston Hebert, that the continuing education this fall will be on the older form of the Mass. Hopefully the when we get a Bishop he won’t say what his predecessor, Bishop Fitzgerald, said at Vatican I.

  26. danphunter1 says:

    RBrown
    For the reason that Christ said,”By their fruits ye shall know them”.
    I lived in Bishop Murphys Diocese from the time he became the Ordinary in 2001 until we moved in 2006.
    I have seen the fruits which he has borne the diocese:
    Heterodox Pre-Cana meetings
    Heterodox RCIA
    Outlandish and Abusive Mass’s broadcast on the diocesan TV station fro the diocesan cathedral.
    Television programs from same diocesan Television station that condon homosexuality and heterodox beliefs ie;Teaching the faithful that the Old Covenant is sufficient to save the Jews.
    Hatred of Church tradition
    Refusal to comply with His Holiness Pope John Paul II statement on the Classical Rite Mass and its generous and liberal administration by the bishop.
    Homosexual priests getting the most licrative parishes
    Orthodox priests being punished by being moved to the middle of nowhere.
    A general hatred of Gregorian Chant…etc.
    This is how we know the heart of Bishop Murphy
    And drop your weak sarcastic tone son.

  27. John Paul says:

    As I read the comments on the letters of various bishops, I get a bit discouraged
    that in many ways our confidence in the hierarchy can rest simply on the luck of
    the draw and where we live. We rejoice at bishops who welcome the MP. We don’t
    appreciate those who ignore it or downplay it. For those of us who live in
    dioceses like the latter, what are we really to do? Short of dropping everything
    and moving (I half-joke with my wife that I want to move to Lincoln,NE. She is
    not amused!).

    But seriously, what are we to do? If the bishop and his staff don’t see what the
    Holy Father really wants to accomplish, it just seems futile at times to “tilt
    at windmills.” I do pray for our bishop and priests. And I do assist at Mass
    at an FSSP chapel. But what about the majority of folks who are more than happy
    with Mass the way they have it now? Is it really the same sacrifice as Calvary
    when folks don’t even want to kneel for the Consecration? Is it really the same
    sacrifice when most of the emphasis is on the communal meal? I know that the
    general sentiment of this blog is to be positive to both forms, but when I look
    around at the Catholic landscape, I can’t help but feel that this damage isn’t
    all accidental. Do we honestly believe that based upon the various errors in
    Eucharistic theology that have penetrated Catholic teaching, that everyone thinks
    that it really is the same as it has always been, as this bishop states? If
    I am simply confused (and that is very possible), would someone please clarify
    for me what I am missing. In Jesus and Mary, John Paul Virginia Beach

  28. danphunter1 says:

    John Paul
    No you are not confused.
    There is a valid consecration, hopefully, in both rites of mass but other than that there are no similarities in the way most Novus Ordo mass’s are offered in the United States.
    Of course there are exeptions ie:EWTN mass’s Father Trigilio mass’s.
    I shall give you one example of why you are sadly correct with your observations.
    We took a protestant girl, who is being moved by the Holy Ghost to convert to the Church, to a Tridentine Low Mass. She was blown away, moved beyond belief. She commented that,”these people really love to worship God, I do not see that that in the Methodist church I sometimes attend”.
    We then took her to a relatively reverant Novus Ordo mass. Her comment was,”This looks just like the Methodist service I sometimes go to. If I convert it will be because of the Tridentine Mass.
    That is where I will go”.
    God bless you.

  29. Deborah says:

    After reading personal accounts from those who have dealt with Bishop Murphy’s, this statement may be quite telling after all,

    “they [priests] are urged to check with our Office for Worship which will help them in determining whether or not this Mass actually can take place in their parish”.

    I guess a BIG sign could be posted, “BEWARE” or “APPROACH WITH CAUTION”. Hopefully, he has had a change of heart from his past hostility to the TLM. However, there is also a chance that there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing here and this “check with our office first” is really a wolf saying “come here sheepey, sheepey, I promise I won’t eat you.”

    Remember this quote from Pope Benedict XVI: “look reality in the face with courage, without letting optimism, which is always a lure for us, represent an obstacle to calling things by their names with complete objectivity and without embellishment.”

  30. Gen X Revert says:

    I had sent this link to this column to Fr. Z because he asked for Bishops’ statements regarding the motu. It is a shame such a positive statement resulted in such negative comments. Does anyone remember the 5 rules of engagment on this site? http://wdtprs.com/blog/fr-zs-5-rules-of-engagement-for-after-the-motu-proprio-is-released/
    The negative things mentioned about this Diocese in comments above were here long before Bishop Murphy arrived (Sept. 2001 just a week before 400 members of his flock were murdered). In fact things have improved here over the past few years. I have seen some positive changes in the Diocesan staff, the seminary, and in parishes.
    Before Bishop Murphy the ’62 Mass was offered just once a month in two chapels 100 miles apart. It was Bishop Murphy that allowed the Mass to be held weekly. He also allowed it to be held at several parishes for special occasions (for Sept. 11th victims, for reparation after the priest scandals). He also allowed it to be said on a retreat I attended. This never would have occurred before. Our Diocese has not been in good shape for 30 years, but under Bishop Murphy we are heading in the right direction. Tripling the number of weekly traditional Masses here is just another example of improvement.

  31. From where I sit, it matters less what a particular bishop thinks, or what that bishop says, than what that bishop DOES.

    But hey, that’s just me.

  32. Deborah says:

    Well said, David L Alexander.

    It would be interesting to know the actions of the bishops who have written well and whether they match up with their words. I do have a little bit of sour grapes after being burned one too many times by the bishop of my diocese who is a great politician.

  33. To add to Gen X Revert’s comment about the seminary: the current rector, Msgr. James McDonald is the former pastor of St. Matthew’s in Dix Hills and has demonstrated, at least to me, that he is friendly to tradition in addition to being a solid, solid priest. It was under his watch that the Latin/English Novus Ordo was implemented at St. Matthew’s. Without that development, the presence of the usus antiquior at the parish would have been much less likely.

    A bit of amusing irony here: the schola has been singing the Gregorian propers in part since 2003; in full since Easter 2007. Last Sunday’s first EF Mass was a Low Mass with (Latin) hymns. While there is effort being made on the part of the priests there to move to a missa cantata, the schola is sitting on their Libers and Graduales waiting for the priests to become familiar with the chants (and their voices) so they can chant the propers once more.

  34. Ave Maria says:

    Well, I did write a respectful letter to my pastor requesting the
    extraordinary form and his reply in the parish newsletter was that
    he does not know how to offer that form and does not intend to learn it.

    I also requested the EF from another priest in a neighboring town as I knew
    he loved Latin. Others from all over were also requesting this from him.
    He was ‘on loan’ to the diocese but has been in it for about a decade. Long
    story stort–he was asked to leave the diocese immediately. We cry about the
    ‘priest shortage’ but he was asked to leave and his parish is in an
    uproar against the bishop.

    There was never an indult Mass in my diocese that I am aware of nor are there
    now any current plans for the EF. As my pastor said, “we are on the cutting
    edge of the ‘american catholic church’ “. Peace and justice, you know.

  35. A Long Island Catholic says:

    As a long time resident of Long Island and as a Catholic who has attended the Latin Mass on Long Island for 18 years, I, too, Fr. Z., was pleased to read Bishop Murphy’s column on SP. Things are really turning around. I was surprised to read some negative things and thought I could add to the conversation by putting things in perspective.
    As one corespondent noted the diocese has 1,500,000 Catholics. I can assure people in the rest of the country that we really do not have anyplace that could be called “the middle of no where.” Three years ago I attened a Latin Mass in Nebraska – now that is the middle of no where!!!

    Far from sending orthodox priests to the middle of “nowhere” (if there were such a place here) some more liberal priest have complained about the appointments the Bishop has made. One of the most orthodox priests who loves the Latin Mass and in whose former parish it is now offered was named rector of the Seminary. The priest who has offered the Latin Mass for many years has recently been appointed the Judicial Vicar. I am not sure what that means, but a priest told me it is an important position.A young priest who offers the Latin Mass was just appointed a pastor way before his time in years of ordination. Last year a young priest was made the pastor of a large parish and has in fact started the Latin Mass there.

    I learned the hard way about 15 years ago that it is best for us laypeople not to get involved in clerical matters. There was a priest in my parish whom we traditionalists revered…cassock for Mass, very orthodox preaching, etc. We heard he was leaving the parish and started a petition. Some said he was being hounded out. Later he married a parishioner who was married and had several children. Sometimes the Bishops may know more than we.
    Sometimes there may be other reasons why priests may be asked not to offer Mass

    Anyway, Fr. Baker, SJ, said on The World Over on EWTN that it would be 10 years before the motu proprio would be fully implemented. Let us pray and be patient as the seed grows!

  36. A Long Island Catholic says:

    As a long time resident of Long Island and as a Catholic who has attended the Latin Mass on Long Island for 18 years, I, too, Fr. Z., was pleased to read Bishop Murphy’s column on SP. Things are really turning around. I was surprised to read some negative things and thought I could add to the conversation by putting things in perspective.
    As one corespondent noted the diocese has 1,500,000 Catholics. I can assure people in the rest of the country that we really do not have anyplace that could be called “the middle of no where.” Three years ago I attened a Latin Mass in Nebraska – now that is the middle of no where!!!

    Far from sending orthodox priests to the middle of “nowhere” (if there were such a place here) some more liberal priest have complained about the appointments the Bishop has made. One of the most orthodox priests who loves the Latin Mass and in whose former parish it is now offered was named rector of the Seminary. The priest who has offered the Latin Mass for many years has recently been appointed the Judicial Vicar. I am not sure what that means, but a priest told me it is an important position.A young priest who offers the Latin Mass was just appointed a pastor way before his time in years of ordination. Last year a young priest was made the pastor of a large parish and has in fact started the Latin Mass there.

    I learned the hard way about 15 years ago that it is best for us laypeople not to get involved in clerical matters. There was a priest in my parish whom we traditionalists revered…cassock for Mass, very orthodox preaching, etc. We heard he was leaving the parish and started a petition. Some said he was being hounded out. Later he married a parishioner who was married and had several children. Sometimes the Bishops may know more than we.
    Sometimes there may be other reasons why priests may be asked not to offer Mass

    Anyway, Fr. Baker, SJ, said on The World Over on EWTN that it would be 10 years before the motu proprio would be fully implemented. Let us pray and be patient as the seed grows!

  37. Rose in Nebraska says:

    A Long Island Catholic said:

    “Three years ago I attended a Latin Mass in Nebraska – now that is the middle of no where!”

    Well, I’m grateful that here in “the middle of nowhere” we too have the Latin Mass and bishops who are not hostile to it! :-)

  38. Anthony says:

    A Long Island Catholic,

    I am also from Long Island. I didn’t know there was a young priest who celebrated the TLM in Rockville Center. What parish is he the pastor of? Is he going to celebrate the TLM at his new parish?

  39. Mitchell NY says:

    For anyone that revisits posts as I often do, to be clear, the situation in the Diocease of Rockville Center is the same as when this was written. No additional Masses, no promulgation of the MP and the claim that no one wants it. It was a well written politically correct letter and no more. Cuthogue for anyone that lives here is the equivalent of telling someone in Delaware to go to Rhode Island. Very few people even know ehre this place is a few residents live there. Growing up on LI I have never even been there. Bishop Murphy is about as liberal as they come when it comes to the actual actions of the Diocease. Although with the suave of the New York political elite.