A received a note with a question from someone studying liturgy. I am not sure if this is a seminarian or not.
Here is the note (edited and with my emphases).
My liturgy professor has suggested that "paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit,"
implies that there must have existed such a group in a parish stably all along. What he is saying is that the Latin of the text is telling us that it this provision is really not for people who become newly interested in the extraordinary form and desire to attend it (though he admits they can certainly attend)…but that it is for groups who, he cited fsspx, have held onto the older form of the Roman rite continuously (i.e. since the Council).
Is that a correct reading? I may be biased, but I just assumed it meant that there would be people who would want to come to mass.
We know that there are certain problems with the translation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Many problems come from a lack of understanding of what the Latin says.
There is also the problem of understanding the law behind what the Latin says.
In short, that is not a correct reading.
The Motu Proprio does not state that the group had to exist previously. You certainly can’t get that out of the Latin. After all, the tense of exsistit doesn’t imply any past existance. It merely describes a situation. That situation might exist right now, at this very moment. It might exist in the future. The Latin leaves the possibilities open. An entirely new group of parishioners, say, young people. Who are just going to be able to get to know the older form now that Summorum Pontificum is in force. That group could be attached to the older forms as well as anyone else. They don’t have to have known the older liturgy growing up. They simply have to want it and ask for it and then be around continenter. Remember: the Latin does not say "stabiliter".
Also, keep in mind the principle of interpretation of Church law. Things which extend rights to people are to be interpreted as broadly as possible so as to favor people. One only applies a narrow interpretation when laws restrict rights. In that way, again, people’s rights are defended from undue restrictions.
A coetus can be a very small group, made up of any one attached, for any reason, to the older form of liturgy and that coetus has to have some sort of continuous presence for, I suppose, a reasonable amount of time. The Motu Proprio doesn’t say how long exsistit continenter is, but I would say that if you heard from them once and then never a peep again, that wouldn’t constitute much of a presence or an attachment.
In short, that liturgy prof is wrong. The Motu Proprio’s provisions apply also to people who are newly interested, as well as those who have been attached all along. People who are newly interested are not to be denied their rights to enjoy the legitimate use of the Roman Rite in both uses as if they were second class Catholics.